The author slips in a concession to censorship, an exception to free speech, that in its huge wooliness looks a lot like the exceptions that have kept so many 20th and 21st century tyrannies in business for so long: "Hence," he writes, "governments can legitimately suppress the expression of radical forms of skepticism and relativism and other doctrines that would subvert the very natural law that grounds the right to free speech, when there is a danger that the influence of such doctrines might spread beyond an eccentric and ineffective minority."

In other words, speech that questions the legitimacy of the regime's founding idea (in this case, a natural-law regime) is forbidden; especially worrisome is that eerily familiar three-word trapdoor, "and other doctrines." Ouch. That is a trapdoor that opens out on a particularly broad, and especially slippery, slope. And just who gets to decide what speech qualifies as subversive of natural law, and what speech qualifies as "other" forbidden doctrines?

Is there a way out of this briar patch? I like his big argument. Banning pornography is clearly coherent with the founding doctrine. But it seems to me these other concessions to censorship are dangerously subversive of it, and impractical. Are we stuck with Mill after all?

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Good, thanks.

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