On the Possibility of Intellectual Freedom Today

Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Article 19:
Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.
— United Nations General Assembly resolution 217 A, Paris, 10 December 19481

Born out of the gigantic catastrophe that was the mid twentieth century eruption of European fascism in partnership with Japanese statism, the post war notion concerning the unrestricted expression of ideas was and still is an aspirational ideal in the humanist struggle against the totalitarian tendencies seemingly inherent to so many of our modern political systems. Article 19 gave this brave new world a very succinct and apparently universal legal definition of intellectual freedom…

A Provocation on the Possibility of Intellectual Freedom Today: Universal Declaration of Human Rights, published in What Does Intellectual Freedom Mean Today? A Provocation, Continental Thought & Theory, Issue 1, April 2016, eds. Mike Grimshaw and Cindy Zeiher, University of Canterbury, Christchurch.

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