Articles by Justin Campbell

Free speech? Shut up and drink your hemlock!

When Socrates was tried and executed by his fellow Athenians, his speech was found to be outside the acceptable realm tolerated by his polis’ democracy. He was found guilty of heresy. While the Athenians had significant freedom of speech, it was not absolute, it was freedom both granted and taken away by the city state. After losing the Peloponnesian war, the Athenians searched for someone or something to blame. Socrates challenging of cultural norms through socratic questioning was deemed unacceptable and as a result Socrates was executed by being required to drink hemlock. 

Chris Berg explains in the first chapter of his book, In Defence of Freedom of Speech” the difference between freedom of speech that is granted by the State (such as in Ancient Athens) and freedom of speech that is a right (Such as in Ancient Rome). The difference is significant, in Ancient Athens freedom of Read the rest

The legalisation of Uber demonstrates how to campaign for liberty

Last week the Queensland Government announced that it will legalise ride sharing in Queensland. Annastacia Palaszczuk announce on her facebook page that, “From September 5 this year, my Government is leveling the playing field so ride-booking companies will be able to operate in Queensland, in concert with the taxi industry.”  This happened in spite of the vested interests of the taxi industry, the makeup of the Queensland parliament and the status quo. Why then did the Uber campaign succeed and what lessons does it provide for other liberty campaigns?

The campaign to legalise Uber had three main elements: civil disobedience, social media campaigning and it built a coalition of supporters across society and the political spectrum.

Civil disobedience was key to legalising ridesharing. Embarrassingly for the government, thousands of people broke the law by using Uber and working as Uber drivers. This forced the government to either legislate by cracking … Read the rest