40% Of The World Is Free
According to the Freedom House organization, approximately 40% of the world's countries are considered free. The level of freedom is assessed on a number of factors such as freedom of expression, politics, and economics. Countries with the highest ratings include Sweden, Canada, and Australia while countries with the lowest freedom ratings include North Korea and Syria. Although the freedom report is labeled 2016 it is in fact representative of the year 2015 while the report itself is published in 2016. According to the report 72 countries saw declines in freedom while 43 countries receives gains. The 72 declines marks the largest decline in 10 years of the Freedom House reporting. This is an alarming statistic, along with their rating of 40%, which is less than half the world, being free. Thus it is important to not take any remaining freedoms we may have, in any country that we are in, and always strive to remove any restrictions on personal liberties and expressions.
Freedom of speech and expression is paramount and we should also be wary of those that want to ban speech deemed "hateful" or "offensive" because this will undoubtedly lead to censorship. Even if we disagree or despise what someone might say, we should rather focus on debate rather than simply censor opposing opinions, because that is just masking the problem, and not fixing it. Also, keep in mind that if restricting the speech of others, regardless of how hateful it is, so long as it's not inciting actual violence, is only possible with providing the ruling government more powers, and the citizens less. So remember that freedom has its downside, but they are far outweighed by its upside, which is the ability to express what you believe deep down.
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