Re: What about forriners?
"Just like China, Russia has not quite got the idea of democracy at all . . ."
Just the opposite - they understand democracy quite well, which is why they won't have a bar of it.
Both countries operate on a relatively simple principle, which is to control what the public knows. The reason for doing so is again simple - to control what the public think. North Korea does the same thing, but even more completely.
And it works.
You only have to look at a recent survey that showed that 80% of Russians apparently believe that MH-17 was shot down by the Ukraine, rather than (as is almost certainly the case,) Russian separatists equipped, funded and supported by the Russian Government.
Freedom of speech is essential for freedom of thought - a concept that was explored by Orwell in Nineteen Eighty-Four. If you control speech, you control the people.
That's not always 'bad', because some thoughts we do want to at least curb, such as persecution of minorities. This is seen in 'hate speech' laws. I am not necessarily suggesting it is a great idea or that those laws can't be misused but the very basis of civilisation is a compromise between laws and freedom. In effect, all laws limit freedom in one was or another but that can be considered a good thing when the goal is the increase in the well-being of those the laws apply to, as a whole.
Restricting my 'freedom' to steal from someone may disadvantage me but on the whole, society is better for it. Freedom of speech is a very thorny instance of this, however and any laws affecting it must be crafted and limited very carefully to avoid a slippery-slope.
Another one of my diversions but, for once, I am sober.
The Cliff's Notes version is that, while we must accept the loss of some freedoms for the sake of a harmonious society, you should be wary of anyone who looks to restrict what you can say because they are likely to want to restrict what you think and thus what you do.
As an explanation, I am a big, big fan of free speech and I think that only the most utterly excessive and abhorrent instances should be even in the crosshairs, and even then, only when directly specifically at someone. Merely ranting on a blog that you think that <insert racial group here> is <insert vile insult here> is not protected (in my view). Going out and saying it directly to someone of that nationality while adding that they, their family and their entire race should be beaten and killed is across the line and you have impacted that person's freedom to live a relatively unmolested life.
Needless to say, the desire to prevent people 'promoting homosexuality' or 'spreading rumours' doesn't quite meet the test.