Roll up, roll up ... get your free speech 'ere before it's all gone.

For a limited time only, get you own free speech — say what you want to the world completely free of all constraints before it is all gone.

Some say it should cost something — that we should pay up in terms of freedoms in order to get it. But we are not going to discount a certain amount of freedom in exchange for the cheap version.

Read more: Terry Sarten: Banal and bizarre ... you can add that to my list
Terry Sarten: Shaky, shonky world-wide-wisdom network
Terry Sarten: Germany's humiliating exit - there's a word for that

Advertisement

So, get some of the old-style free speech now before it is all captured and tamed by those who would wish to dictate what can or cannot be said, attempting to silence opposition so that their voice is the only one that can be heard above the din.

This is an important moment ... Because speech is free we get to hear it all, in both its splendour and its ugliness — the racist rhetoric, the bigotry, the hypocrisy, the haters and destroyers.

How would we know that people held such views unless we heard them spoken out loud? Hidden hatred is unhelpful. We cannot resist such talk if we do not hear it.

And we are free to resist. We can say what we think of those who incite hatred; we can challenge those who would stir up confrontation, aggression, provoke violence and demean others who do not accept their version of the world.

The truth was once the ultimate speech protector. It did not come cheap — it cost lives and required considerable effort and sacrifice to bring it to people.

But now we have this new version of free speech, where hate can be spoken based on falsehoods disguised as ideas, the truth is in trouble.

There was a time when the free speech was seen as a naturally occurring by-product of democracy. The truth was valued, while opinion was an optional extra, an accessory, something to match the prevailing fashion of the day.

Of course, there has always been a slant taken, an agenda to pursue — the winners have always written the history books, and propaganda has always produced lop-sided distorted versions of the truth to advance political positions.

Now everything is free and we grapple with wild new concepts such as fake news, factoids, fabrications, outright lies, misspoken sentences, conspiracies theories ... and actual conspiracies.

Meanwhile, the truth waits to be found among all of this. It is there but it is not always as shiny and attractive as a well-polished lie, so we miss it.

And we do miss it. We grief for its demise; we lament its loss and wonder if by making speech free we have actually lost it.

Now to deny or decry something – anything will do (genocide, religion, culture, gender, politics) — is open season.

There's talk and there's attack. There's them that hates it and them what luv it 'cos its allows hate.

Some offer it as a right, others a wrong, then there's the left, the conservative, the authoritarian and the libertarian versions. It comes in hundreds of shapes and guises.

There is no other product on the open market that can both boost your profile and get people you never knew to love you or hate you and wish to destroy you all at the same time.

So, get your free speech here. Challenge those who would prevent you from speaking; argue with those who tell lies. Let it all out – set it free.

Let it loose in the world and see what happens — because the truth needs all the help it can get.

*Terry Sarten (aka Tel) is a writer, satirist, musician and social worker — feedback: tgs@inspire.net.nz