Commentators and jurists have long searched for an explanation of the true value served by the first amendment's protection of free speech. This issue certainly has considerable intellectual appeal, and the practical stakes are also high. An appropriate way to begin analysis of the self-realization value is, with a discussion of the theory of free speech perhaps farthest in practical result from that value: the view that the sole purpose of the free speech guarantee is to facilitate operation of the democratic process. Examination of the "process" values inherent in our nation's adoption of a democratic system reveals an implicit belief in the worth of the individual that has first amendment implications extending well beyond the borders of the political world. These "process" values seem to translate into two forms: an "intrinsic" value and an "instrumental" value. One conceivable value is "consequentialist" in nature: efficiency.