Why have kings, emperors, and governments killed and imprisoned people to shut them up? And why have countless people risked death and imprisonment to express their beliefs? Jacob Mchangama guides you through the history of free speech from the trial of Socrates to the Great Firewall.
Stay up to date with Clear and Present Danger on the show’s website at freespeechhistory.com
Free Speech and Racial Justice: Friends or Foes?
This episode will focus on what role the dynamic between censorship and free speech has played in maintaining and challenging racist and oppressive societies. The episode will use American slavery and segregation, British colonialism, and South African apartheid as case studies.
Special Edition - Suzanne Nossel
In this Special Edition, we will zoom in on current challenges to free speech – specifically in the US. With me to discuss this timely subject, I have CEO of PEN America, Suzanne Nossel, who has just published her new book Dare to Speak: Defending Free Speech for All.
The conversation evolves the main conclusions of Suzanne's book.
Special Edition - Daphne Keller & Kate Klonick
“Internet Speech Will Never Go Back to Normal” read a recent Atlantic article, that stated that “governments must play a large role in these practices to ensure that the internet is compatible with a society’s norms and values.”
But is this conclusion the only one available from the fallout of the coronavirus crisis? Or are there other ways to ensure a mature and free internet? Here to discuss the issue is two of the biggest experts on the subject, Daphne Keller and Kate Klonick.
Special Edition - Dunja Mijatović
Since the coronavirus became a pandemic, governments around the world have adopted a wide range of measures affecting basic human rights. This includes many of the 47 member states of the Council of Europe all of whom are legally bound by the European Convention on Human Rights.
To discuss the implications for freedom of expression is none other than the Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights, Dunja Mijatović, who previously served as the OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media.
Special Edition - Monika Bickert
The Coronavirus has disrupted life as we know it. And the Internet overflows with torrents of data, news and updates about the ongoing crisis. But in parallel with the corona pandemic, WHO has warned of an “infodemic” of mis- and disinformation spreading through social media and messaging apps.
With me to discuss how Facebook is navigating this unprecedented situation is Monika Bickert, who is the Head of Global Policy Management at Facebook with responsibility for content moderation.”
The Age of Human Rights: Tragedy and Triumph
In this episode we will explore:
How the Communist East and the Capitalist West clashed over the limits of free speech when drafting the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. How the Helsinki Final Act contributed to the fall of Communism.
Unbelievably good. Filled with fascinating history and insights.
I learn a lot with every episode
Freedom of speech is a fairly new concept and still controversial, even in the US. Clear and Present Danger teaches the history of tyrants who would tell us what to think and say. Highly relevant today.
Interesting, covers a lot of ground, yet nuanced
This show has an amazing scope, starting with ancient Greece, progressing to medieval Christian & Islamic realms, and onward to (so far) the late eighteenth century and, eventually I assume, up to today. With occasional episodes devoted to interviews with academic experts on the period or culture just discussed.
I’ve learned a lot, and come away with a better sense of the changing shape and extent of restrictions on expression over time and under different regimes.
Most recently, I really loved the interview with Steven Nadler about Spinoza’s ideas regarding expression, and political and religious freedom more generally, and the reaction to those ideas within the Netherlands (which was then at the forefront of such liberty) and by other philosophers and thinkers. Very nuanced.
Some of the sound effects—e.g., those used for transitions—can be a little hokey, but at least in the earlier episodes, which are devoted to antiquity, they do suggest an ancient setting.