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Economics

2014

Thomas W Joo

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The Worst Test Of Truth: The "Marketplace Of Ideas" As Faulty Metaphor, Thomas W. Joo Feb 2014

The Worst Test Of Truth: The "Marketplace Of Ideas" As Faulty Metaphor, Thomas W. Joo

Thomas W Joo

In his famous dissent in Abrams v. United States, Justice Holmes proclaimed that “the best test of truth is the power of the thought to get itself accepted in the competition of the market.” This Article critiques the basic argument against speech regulation that has developed from the “marketplace of ideas” metaphor: that speech should be “free” because markets are “free,” and because free markets produce “truth.” These assertions about markets are taken for granted, but they portray markets and market regulation inaccurately; thus economic markets provide a poor analogy for the deregulation of speech.

First Amendment jurisprudence invokes the ...