alexander meiklejohn free speech and its relation to self government

alexander meiklejohn free speech and its relation to self government

It thus refuses to identify the right to speak freely with property rights, which as Meiklejohn observes can have relatively severe restrictions within the overarching limitation of due process. Meiklejohn thus elevates freedom of speech above almost all other rights as the foundation or most essential condition of the democratic process.

Meiklejohn, Alexander. He was hired as a philosophy teacher at Brown and in was named dean of the university. He served as president of Amherst College from to He then founded an experimental college at the University of Wisconsin, where he was a professor, and in moved to the San Francisco School of Social Studies. Meiklejohn also served for many years on the national committee of the American Civil Liberties Union.

In he was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom. The value in free speech, therefore, is that it produces informed voters. Critics argue that such a division is unjustified by the text of the Constitution and that such an understanding fails to protect art or other forms of self-expression. The basic intuition is sound enough that the public order, which is the state, is the result of the consensual cooperation of its members, ever renewed in a daily plebiscite; that government is not above the order but in it, in vital union with, the willing consent of the people; that the relationship of governors and governed is not established by force or compulsion.

The American system is indeed the most daring historical realization of the medieval principle that the community is the source of law, and the most effective institutionalization of the maxim of Edward I in his famous summons of the bishops to the Parliament of "Quod omnes tangit, ab omnibus approbetur," or of Papinian's dictum, repeated by Bracton, that "lex est communis rei publicae sponsio," the common engagement of the republic. Moreover, no other political system has gone so far in erecting safeguards of liberty by adding to the ancient principle of the legal limitation of government the modern principle of the political responsibility of government.

And it is the institution of free speech which, together with a free electoral system, is the agency for enforcing this responsibility. In a word, the United States is a unique experiment in constitutionalism.

I do not pretend to be an expert in the matter, but I gather that there has never been complete agreement about all the implications of the experiment. Naturally enough. We have attempted a unique solution to the ancient problem of ruler sovereignty vs.

But the solution is as unstable as the position of the problem is variable; and even with the limits of general agreement the fundamental conflict persists, as witness the controversy between Jefferson and Marshall.

At all events, Dr. Meiklejohn essays his own interpretation of the American experiment. Unfortunately he is brief, and one is left to guess at the ultimate assumptions of his thought.

On the face of it, it looks like an 'attempt to read Rousseauism into the American Constitution—to solve the central problem of politics by the Rousseauistic trick of the identification of the government and the governed. To this is apparently added a solution of the moral problem of authority in terms of the Kantian principle that all submission to heteronomous law or will is somehow necessarily violative of freedom.

I call Rousseauism a "trick," because I do not think that the identification he postulates will stand up either under a sociological analysis of political society—any political society—as it is, or under an ethical analysis of political society as it ought to be. And as for the Kantian principle, it is philosophically untenable.

However, the immediate question would be whether Dr. Meiklejohn actually gives an account of what happened in and and of the ideas that guided the happening.

For my part, I do not think so. The question precisely is whether the Founding Fathers' idea of "government by consent" is actually Dr.

Mieklejohn's idea of "self-government. And unfortunately Dr. Meiklejohn's limits of space forbade him a full development of his thesis, that might persuade one to the contrary. There is, of course, a[n] hypothesis in which the problem of authority will logically be solved, or dismissed, by some form of identification of the government with the governed.

One must come to some such identification if one denies that there are objective norms and ideas and common values that have to be realized by the cooperative endeavor of rulers and ruled, and that are therefore the ultimate measure both of the reasonableness of the obedience of the ruled and of the rightfulness of the commands of the ruler. After making this denial, if one wants to keep the citizen free, one must somehow arrange that he obey only himself; otherwise there is no way to rescue him from the tyranny of the arbitrary heteronomous will of "those in power.

Meiklejohn actually does make this denial, or at least that he logically ought to. He instances with apparent approval Holmes's well-known scepticism with regard to the inherent personal dignity of man; consequently he ought to deny that there is an order of human ends that imposes itself on the human and political conscience as imperatively necessary, apart from any antecedent free consent to strive for these ends. In the absence of such an order of ends, sovereign at once over ruler and ruled, there is no logical way to safeguard what Dr.

Meiklejohn conceives to be the essential dignity of man, his political freedom, save by an appeal to illimitable popular sovereignty, against the dangers of unlimited ruler sovereignty. However, this appeal itself is dangerous, in fact disastrous, as the history of Continental political theory and practice in the nineteenth century amply attests. The rex sulutus a lege is hardly a worse enemy of human freedom than the populus solutus a lege.

Mieklejohn is not unaware of this fact. In fact, no one could be unaware of the eternal problem: "Quis custodiet custodes? In Nixon v. In response to protestations that such laws violate citizen's rights to free speech, Breyer held that there were free speech arguments on both sides of the issue. He said that properly framed regulations limiting monetary contributions could substantially expand the opportunity for freedom of expression rather than limit it.

He pointed out that the integrity of the electoral process needs to be maintained since that is the means by which a free society translates political advocacy into concrete political action, and that regulating the financing of political campaigns is integral to that advocacy.

In doing so, Breyer cited Meiklejohn's interpretation of the First Amendment which gives emphasis to public need rather than individual prerogative. He received the Rosenberger Medal in Meiklejohn was selected by John F.

Johnson shortly after Kennedy's death. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. This article includes a list of references , but its sources remain unclear because it has insufficient inline citations. Please help to improve this article by introducing more precise citations.

Alexander Meiklejohn was the first political theorist sslf found a defense of freedom of speech entirely on democratic theory. The function of liberty of speech and of the press, in his view, is to enable the most alexander meiklejohn free speech and its relation to self government and therefore best public deliberation. It thus refuses to identify the right to speak freely with property rights, which as Meiklejohn observes can have relatively severe restrictions within the overarching limitation of due process. Meiklejohn thus alexander meiklejohn free speech and its relation to self government freedom of speech above almost all other rights as the foundation or most essential condition of the democratic process. Meiklejohn, Alexander. Free Speech and its Relation to Self-Government. New York: Harper Publishers, Find it on Amazon. Schauer, Frederick. Sunstein, Cass. Back to all. No Thanks. Name First Last. This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged. alexander meiklejohn free speech and its relation to self government The Lawbook Exchange, Ltd., Reprint of sole edition. Originally published: New York: Harper Brothers Publishers, []. "Dr. Meiklejohn, in a book which greatly needed writing, has thought through anew the foundations and structure of our theory of free speech he. Alexander Meiklejohn: Free Speech and its Relation to Self-GovernmentHarper Brothers Publishers, | Alexander Meiklejohn, Back to all. Free Speech and its Relation to Self-Government [Alexander Meiklejohn] on elmarkinninger.biz *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers. Free Speech and its Relation to. FREE SPEEcH AND ITs RELATION TO SELF-GOVERNMENT. By Alexander Meiklejohn. New. York: Harper Bros., Pp. xiv, $ FREE SPEECH AND ITS RELATION TO SELF-. GOVERNMENT. By Alexander Meiklejohn. New. York: Harper & Brothers, Eve Thomas. Follow this and. In he was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom. Meiklejohn said self​-governance is the justification for free speech. The core of Meiklejohn's. Free Speech and Its Relation to Self-Government by. Alexander Meiklejohn. John P. Frank. Indiana University School of Law. Follow this and additional works at. Free Speech and Its Relation to Self-Government, (full text online); Political Freedom: the Constitutional Powers of the People, See also[edit]. The Georgetown Law Journal. Review of: Free Speech in Its Relation to Self-​Government—by Alexander Meiklejohn. Harper and Brothers, New York, N. Y. In these few pages, Holmes meets an adversary worthy of him. He was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in As it is, these rights and liberties have inherent substance in that they rest on clearly discoverable convictions in the order of absolute truth. However, the immediate question would be whether Dr. Lectureships have been named for him at Brown University and at the University of Wisconsin. I fear I have done poor justice to a valuable book by a thinker of high seriousness and competence. In this regard Dr. In Meiklejohn moved to the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where he set up an experimental college. Lectureships have been named for him at Brown University and at the University of Wisconsin. The whole argument is tight, not without involutions, developed only sparingly. But may one not see in his absolutism a distrust of our capacities for political prudence—our ability to settle individual cases justly, on their merits? alexander meiklejohn free speech and its relation to self government