An excellent column by Michael Ledeen:
"Shut up, or I'll kill you."
"It’s worth reminding ourselves that free speech around the world is
still a rarity, and seems to be becoming even rarer. Lots of countries
have the death penalty and other violent punishments for “insulting the
state” or “the leader.” In religious states, such talk is branded
blasphemy; in all too many secular states, unrestrained criticism of
favored groups falls under the arbitrary classification of “hate speech”
and is suppressed."
"Citizens and subjects of such places are not at all like Americans;
they learn habits of mind and mouth that are quite different from ours.
They learn to be silent about any subject that could arouse the
displeasure of the thought police, and they learn to speak in code,
using words to mean things very different from their dictionary
meanings. If they are unhappy with their lot or see ways things could be
improved, they don’t dare reveal their true feelings openly and
"That means they can’t think their way to new ideas, because
creativity requires trial and error; it needs open criticism, it
relishes the destruction of bad ideas."