The front page of the leading newspaper in Ecuador was nearly blank today. That is, except for this quote:
When you see that trading is done, not by consent, but by compulsion–when you see that in order to produce, you need to obtain permission from men who produce nothing–when you see that money is flowing to those who deal, not in goods, but in favors–when you see that men get richer by graft and by pull than by work, and your laws don’t protect you against them, but protect them against you–when you see corruption being rewarded and honesty becoming a self-sacrifice–you may know that your society is doomed.
The quote is from Atlas Shrugged, which if you haven’t read yet, you should buy today. The paper apparently decided to print it after its directors and an op-ed writer, Emilio Palacio, were sentenced to three years in prison and fined $30 million for writing and printing a piece judged to be libel against the president. The ruling has been criticized by human rights advocates for intimidating citizens and media who might dare to question the government. The decision also seems suspicious because a flurry of judges oversaw the case throughout the process (which began in February), and the last judge was in charge for less than a week. The judge who issued the ruling also did so just minutes before his authority expired.
While this is certainly an awful milestone for the freedom of the press, it is encouraging to see Rand’s message, and that of liberty and freedom in general, still find a way to be heard, standing as a glimmer of hope when oppression seems to be winning the most.Published in