Modern Britain is about as close as it gets. But there are still areas- race, terrorism, Islam, paedophilia- in which it's wise to tread carefully.
And then there are our libel laws- which make it problematical to draw attention to the criminal goings-on of the very rich.
Since 911 there's been a tightening up- as of the sphincter. The politicians are jumpy and would prefer us to shut up around them. For instance they've made it illegal for us to protest- without police permission- within a one mile radius of the Palace of Westminster.
But that's not what concerns me today. I've just read (in zephyrcrow' s LJ) that LJ- under pressure from some noisy, self-righteous people- has been banning users whom it suspect sof nasty sexual habits.
If the rumours are true, it could be "fatal" to list things like "pedophilia" or "necrophilia" among your interests- even if you're doing it with irony, even if your interest is professional or academic.
I'm not happy about this. I don't particularly want to read about forbidden sexual pratices but I resent being told I can't.
I know there are lines to be drawn, but lets draw them as far out as we possibly can. If I'm hurting someone, stop me. If I'm just talking about hurting someone, let it pass.
But maybe the rumours aren't true.
Free speech is precious. We need to be able to talk frankly about the things that trouble us.
Out there in the badlands is also where the prophets live.