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For Reed, the impact of liberty is the ability for the people to question those in the position of power. With the American involvement in World War I, and the government's insistence that "free speech" is anything but, Reed is able to suggest that when liberty is under the threat that it is at the time of writing, people must be vigilant and be ready to take an aggressive stand to defend it. In using what he sees to be manufactured charges against Berkman and Goldman in their trial, Reed argues that there is a "new American definition of freedom—the freedom for which countless millions have died in the long uphill pull of civilization—which is, in effect, 'freedom is the right to do what nobody in power can possibly object to.”
For Reed, this is the impact of liberty in America. It is a condition in which people must actively defend and fight for because those in the position of power are ever too eager to take it away from the citizens. For Reed, the impact of liberty is found in the "countless millions" who "have died in the long uphill pull of civilization." Liberty's impact is found in the people who have given everything to freely express thoughts and ideas that those in the position of power have found uncomfortable. It is here in which Reed's discussion of the impact of freedom can be found in uncompromising terms.
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