I had an “interesting conversation” with my daughter a few days (ok, weeks) ago. Basically, my wife and I had been discussing replacing a defective doorbell (my daughter was in her bedroom at the time) and I said that all the wiring is in place (assuming it works) – so all we need is to buy a doorbell and get an electrician to install it.
That was when my daughter emerged from her bedroom, to chime in with, “I know an electrician!” I was a bit startled, but after a moment I gathered my thoughts and told her that we already knew an electrician that had worked for us before, and we liked his work. She wouldn’t let go, and spent several minutes trying to convince me that we should use her friend.
Which is what prompted this introspective analysis of “communication”. Here is how I see it:
There are 4 major types of communication. You to yourself, You to others, Others to You, Others to Others.
Thinking about that, and applying it to the 1st Amendment, you get this:
1. Freedom to say what you wish (caveat to the “shouting fire in a theater” argument)
2. Freedom for others to say what they wish (same caveat)
3. Freedom for you or others to choose not to listen
4. Freedom for you to agree or disagree with what is said by others.
5. Freedom to change your mind.
6. Freedom for others to agree or disagree with what you said.
7. Freedom for others to change their mind.
8. Freedom to choose not to say anything.
9. Freedom for others to choose not to say anything.
It seems to me that all of these are necessary for the 1st Amendment protections on Free Speech to work. Also, if any of them are forced, prohibited or suppressed, it would seem to be a given that you no longer have Free Speech.