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Philosophy

First Amendment, Communism
"Laws which decree what everyone must believe, and forbid utterance against this or that opinion, have too often been enacted to confirm or enlarge the power of those who dared not suffer free inquiry to be made."
Spinoza
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Scales

v.

United States
First Amendment, Communism

Justice Douglas Dissent
June 5, 1961
Seal Of The Supreme Court
Excerpt:

Not one single illegal act is charged to petitioner. That is why the essence of the crime covered by the indictment is merely belief — belief in the proletarian revolution, belief in Communist creed. Spinoza summed up in a sentence much of the history of the struggle of man to think and speak what he believes:

Laws which decree what everyone must believe, and forbid utterance against this or that opinion, have too often been enacted to confirm or enlarge the power of those who dared not suffer free inquiry to be made, and have by a perversion of authority turned the superstition of the mob into violence against opponents. (TRACTATUS THEOLOGICO-POLITICUS, London 1862)




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