Having grown up in a time with an unprecedented overthrowing of dictatorial regimes and watching in satisfied awe as countries have replaced them with open governments, I have been struck by one paradoxical effect of freedom:back in the days of apartheid or the iron curtain, if you were part of the resistance to those regimes, you had ideas worth dying for. That has a way of focussing the mind on producing good ideas. But in free societies, the cost of an opinion is exactly nothing. And I see that often you get what you pay for.
People come to think that if all opinions are equal, then their opinion must be right. Knowledge suffers. People stop looking for a better way or the best way; politics becomes a negotiation designed to give people as much of their own opinion as possible, and people lose the skill of argument as the relevance of changing one's mind approaches zero.
I think this is a self-limiting effect of freedom, and I wonder if there are others.