Town square test

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Town square test is a threshold test for a free society proposed by a former Soviet dissident and human rights activist Natan Sharansky, now a notable politician in Israel.

The test is found in Sharansky's book, The Case for Democracy (first published in 2004), and it reads:
  • If a person cannot walk into the middle of the town square and express his or her views without fear of arrest, imprisonment, or physical harm, then that person is living in a fear society, not a free society. We cannot rest until every person living in a "fear society" has finally won their freedom.

The test became famous after George W. Bush endorsed the book and Condoleezza Rice quoted it in her remarks before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

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