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When the State Speaks, What Should It Say?How Democracies Can Protect Expression and Promote Equality$
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Corey Brettschneider

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780691147628

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691147628.001.0001

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Averting Two Dystopias

Averting Two Dystopias

An Introduction to Value Democracy

(p.1) Introduction Averting Two Dystopias
When the State Speaks, What Should It Say?

Corey Brettschneider

Princeton University Press

This introductory chapter provides an overview of value democracy. According to value democracy, all viewpoints should be protected by rights of free speech from coercive bans or punishment. However, the state also has an obligation in value democracy that extends beyond protecting freedom of speech. It should engage in democratic persuasion, actively defending the democratic values of freedom and equality for all citizens when it “speaks.” The notion of state speech is common in First Amendment jurisprudence. It often refers to the various non-coercive functions of the state, ranging from pure expression, such as speeches, to issues of funding. By using democratic persuasion to articulate the reasons for rights, value democracy aims to answer the critics who contend that liberalism cannot defend its most basic values or counter the threat to equality that might come from hate groups in civil society.

Keywords:   value democracy, freedom of speech, democratic persuasion, equality, state speech, liberalism, hate groups, civil society

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