Viva La Marketplace Of Ideas

DISAGREE WITH US … WE’LL PUBLISH YOU! || By FITSNEWS || This week we posted a column from new contributor Emily Conrad on the refugee controversy in Spartanburg, S.C. (which, as it would happen, is a controversy we’re responsible for generating). Conrad’s column – which you can read here –…


|| By FITSNEWS || This week we posted a column from new contributor Emily Conrad on the refugee controversy in Spartanburg, S.C. (which, as it would happen, is a controversy we’re responsible for generating).

Conrad’s column – which you can read here – is a heartfelt endorsement of the resettlement proposal, full of compelling arguments and rich in historical context.

Do we agree with her opinion?  No.

As sad as the plight of these refugees is, we don’t see how it imposes an affirmative obligation on U.S. taxpayers.  And while we have no problem with faith-based groups and/or philanthropic organizations subsidizing the lawful immigration of such refugees – we do have a problem when one person’s benevolence becomes another’s financial burden (without their consent).

Still, we ran Conrad’s column because we believed it contributed – passionately, intelligently and substantively – to the marketplace of ideas.

Similarly this column from contributor Taylor Brown – which took a direct shot at our website’s founding editor – also passionately, smartly and substantively contributed to that marketplace.

Wait … “marketplace?”  Where does that term come from?

Originating in John Stuart Mill‘s utilitarian philosophy, the term is the brainchild of Oliver Wendell Holmes, who served on the U.S. Supreme Court from 1902 to 1932.

In his dissenting opinion in Abrams v. U.S. (250 U.S. 616) – an early First Amendment case decided by the high court in 1919 – Holmes wrote that freedom of expression was essentially a market-based concept.

If you have no doubt of your premises or your power and want a certain result with all your heart you naturally express your wishes in law and sweep away all opposition … But when men have realized that time has upset many fighting faiths, they may come to believe even more than they believe the very foundations of their own conduct that the ultimate good desired is better reached by free trade in ideas … The best test of truth is the power of the thought to get itself accepted in the competition of the market, and that truth is the only ground upon which their wishes safely can be carried out.

In other words, the best way to regulate speech is for the marketplace – not government – to assign value.

Which, oh by the way, is consistent with the First Amendment – which guarantees freedom of speech.

Obviously this website believes passionately in this freedom – along with America’s other indispensable, increasingly endangered liberties.  We also believe passionately in the free market, and the limitation of government interference in its proper functioning.

Above all else, this is an opinion website – an exercise in trying to convince you that our views would lend themselves to what Holmes called “the ultimate good desired.”

But in advancing our views we will always make room for the views of others … even when such views take direct aim at us or our founding editor.

That’s what the marketplace of ideas is all about.

So whether you’re an elected official tired of getting criticized, a bureaucrat taking issue with our rebuke of government spending or a citizen like Emily Conrad who simply feels passionately about a particular issue – send us your thoughts!

We can’t promise we’ll publish them (and bear in mind most people tune out after around 800 words), but we will certainly consider any and all submissions on any and all topics …

WANNA SOUND OFF? Submit your letter or opinion piece via our tip line or via email.


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Pffffft July 9, 2015 at 10:49 am

Does that make this comments section Chamber of Brain Farts?

Cognitive Cheese Cutter July 9, 2015 at 10:56 am

That is a fair assessment.

Well named July 9, 2015 at 11:11 am

Been coming here for past week checking out the flag coverage. The commenters here crack me up to no end. Straight up racists, silly righteous liberals, old anti-socialists collecting their gov’t checks, fake Colonels, and whatever this ‘flip/pogo’ person is supposed to be. South Carolina does not disappoint. Definitely the Chamber of Brain Farts.

Sic Semper Tyrannis July 9, 2015 at 11:25 am

We’re having a “great day” in South Carolina, LOL.

west_rhino July 9, 2015 at 1:31 pm

flag cleavage is much nicer (and prone to attract the editor, more so if freckled).

SBD July 9, 2015 at 11:30 am

Your name answers that.

Dumped July 9, 2015 at 10:52 am

Looks like Trump got the same call Haley got a couple weeks ago from the head of the GOP. Will he apologize or just drop out completely?

vicupstate July 9, 2015 at 1:41 pm


Dumped July 9, 2015 at 5:10 pm

You’ll see ;-)

TroubleBaby July 9, 2015 at 11:23 am

“we do have a problem when one person’s benevolence becomes another’s financial burden (without their consent).”

I’m looking forward to your next article arguing for the elimination of taxation.

In the mean time, John Stuart Mill’s utilitarianism is a bane to the liberty minded.

Victorious Secret July 9, 2015 at 12:00 pm

Before you go putting Holmes on a pedestal, lest not forget that he was the author of “gem” opinions such as Buck v. Bell, where he ratified the state’s right to forcibly sterilize someone.

Take a gander at such “fine” words.

“It is better for all the world, if instead of waiting to execute degenerate offspring for crime, or to let them starve for their imbecility, society can prevent those who are manifestly unfit from continuing their kind. The principle that sustains compulsory vaccination is broad enough to cover cutting the Fallopian tubes. Jacobson v. Massachusetts, 197 U. S. 11, 25 S. Ct. 358, 49 L. Ed. 643, 3 Ann. Cas. 765. Three generations of imbeciles are enough.”

TroubleBaby July 9, 2015 at 12:22 pm

Ahhhhh…..smell the “freedom” in his words.

CorruptionInColumbia July 10, 2015 at 9:31 pm

I can’t say that he was wrong about that. If someone lacks the capacity to care for their offspring, how is it a good thing that tbey reproduce?

Victorious Secret July 10, 2015 at 9:59 pm

Perhaps it might do you well to read up on Ms. Carrie Buck…the leading authorities all agree that this case was a sham attempt to cover up a “shameful” pregnancy that came as the result of an unlawful (obviously) rape.

Ms. Buck’s daughter–(offspring prior to the forced sterilization, also obviously)–consistently achieved notoriety among her school’s honor roll and significant evidence refuted the idea that Ms. Buck was an “imbecile” and could only procreate the same.

Victorious Secret July 10, 2015 at 10:01 pm

This is worth checking out

The Buzzman July 9, 2015 at 1:12 pm

Imma send ya somethin’.


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