Darwin’s theory that evolution is an inevitable process and a continual struggle for survival has wandered into every fabric of life that makes one wonder if Darwin did in fact draw his inspiration not from a random science experiment he conducted, but from the competitive nature of everyday life. Though reverse biological evolution sounds absurd and impracticable, reverse social evolution on the contrary is quite possible as evidenced by many of the circumstances surrounding man’s existence like manmade tragedies around the world.
Those who were ever imprisoned in POW camps and dreaded detention centers hold testament to the potential of reverse social evolution. It is certain that long deprivation of any individual of the basic things that improve life or bad guidance will eventually lead to reverse social evolution.
Today, everyone is pointing to the endless possibilities freedom of speech brings like better accountability, openness, increased trust and a shared degree of responsibility. Behind all these lie numerous assumptions which are hardly mentioned. It is assumed that everyone is well educated and there is the existence of a strong independent body to ensure this right is not abused.
The absence of free speech regulation will create a chaotic society where some individuals will libel and spout some of the most irrational things thereby reversing the course of social evolution.
Free speech could be an effective tool in promoting social evolution only if it is tailored and limited to positive criticism, but in this narrow restriction it losses the meaning of being free and thus ceases to be free speech. Freedom of speech for it to be completely free will also give credence to groups that hide under its tenets to promote fascism, racism, terrorism and everything considered offensive to other groups of individuals.
If everyone were so well educated from infancy, everyone will be so sophisticated, so wise and so disciplined that there will be no need to regulate free speech. For an uneducated population were false news spreads like wild fire and were there are few options to verify allegations before any harm is done, the legitimacy of free speech seems almost unfounded.
Freedom of speech equally helps individual develop self confidence. In regions were there is little freedom of speech and the indigenes are constantly intimidated, the people may not even develop confidence in their own ideas as they can not express their opinions in a social environment for fear of being unjustly punished. The repercussion to this is that even those who may lack substance, but are emboldened enough to confront the established rules are looked upon for leadership.
The overriding philosophy within a community determines the pace of social evolution. Even the mainstream philosophy is not free of faults as the people can only discern to the extent that their minds are stretched.
Unlike Darwin’s forward and less tumultuous biological evolution, social evolution for the past decades has been turbulent and violent with wars and rival countries engaged in incessant conflicts. Some have attributed these to intellectual limitations or just the complete disregard for the value of life.
At least over the last century, mankind has been able to evolve socially though to a limited extent should one factor in the ever present conflicts continue to hover around.
The fact that people still listen to voices that appeal to lesser human instincts is a tacit recognition of a lagging social evolution and challenges the notion that natural selection within the social milieu alone is sufficient enough to obliterate the voices that demean humanity.
The ability to self-criticize and the willingness to self-criticize is a social evolutionary asset, but too much self-criticism only leads to stagnation. Given that self-criticism is difficult to cultivated, unrestricted free speech is likely to go astray and the fact that freedom of expression has the potential of giving rise to both social evolution and reverse social evolution, there arise the need to regulate free speech.
Today, the political system has been more involved in restricting free speech more than anything else free speech has given rise to. Should the political process restrain free speech? The creator of the political process and every ideology is free speech -restricted or unrestricted free speech. How then can a creature out of many creatures seek to regulate its creator if not for selfish reasons? Free speech is an instinct even from child birth and the political establishment developed from it.
So, any attempt by the political mechanism to take over the regulation of free speech for which it is only one of many parts lacks justification. Free speech should be the overarching regulatory body for political institutions.
In the absence of any body independent of the political process to regulate the freedom of speech, free speech should not be regulated at all or to the least be regulated by a body with only a virtual association to the political process so as to eliminate any conflict of interest.
There is no doubt of the wonderful advantages of freedom of expression, but with it comes the adverse circumstances that are detrimental to social evolution. John Mill will contend that free speech is only permissible if it will increase aggregate utility or social evolution and impermissible when it will decrease aggregate utility though aggregate utility remains a controversial task to measure.