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To become self-aware, people must be allowed to hear a plurality of opinions and then make up their own minds. They must be allowed to say, write and publish whatever they want. Freedom of expression is the most basic, but fundamental, right. Without it, human beings are reduced to automatons.
The human mind, if it is to keep its sanity, must maintain the nicest balance between unity and plurality.
Plurality should not be posited without necessity.
William of Occam
Every president to hold office has espoused some version of Americanism - the truths that we hold self-evident, even when those truths are not always in evidence. But for all their grand rhetoric and mostly good deeds, none was able to seal the deal on the trifecta of equality, plurality and socioeconomic ascendancy. Obama has.
My hope is that the Chinese government will come to realise that it is futile to repress free speech, and that contrary to what they believe a regime's strength rests not its suppression of a plurality of opinions and ideas, but in its capacity and willingness to encourage them.
Thus, the forces and value systems that are most threatened by this shift are becoming the most coherent and are rising to the top as minority or plurality powers. But they do not represent either the shift, the change, or the future.
I don't campaign for the end of the aristocracy or the upper classes; I don't really want to destroy anything at all. I just want more plurality.
I think it is quite remarkable actually that Pope Benedict has a sense of the variety of ways in which it is possible to be a Catholic. I think he is more comfortable with a plurality of expressions of Catholicism in different rites, traditions than many of us are.
It is easy to see why a diversity of cultures should confront power with a problem. If culture is about plurality, power is about unity. How can it sell itself simultaneously to a whole range of life forms without being fatally diluted?
What is certain is that plurality and diversity are not, and never can be, a natural 'byproduct' of unregulated market forces.
Without the BBC, the proliferation of television and radio channels by the private sector would simply result in more and more channels, with tiny audiences, all seeking to do the same thing. The future would be one of fragmentation - fragmentation without either plurality or diversity.
Nixon's full term was one of the most successful in U.S. history, which is why he was re-elected by the largest plurality in the country's history.
When we discover New Earth - a planet we could call home - the question of the 'plurality of worlds' will come front and center, reminding us yet again that we are not the center of the universe.
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