Posts Tagged With: censorship

Defend Your Rights or Lose Them

In what is a disturbing trend, private companies, journalists, and the government, have joined together in the censorship of speech, sharing of information, and academic freedom. A growing number of voices are recognizing the danger and speaking out. Here is a small sampling from recent weeks.

In In Big Tech world: The Journalist as Censor, Hit Man, and Snitch:

A new and rapidly growing journalistic “beat” has arisen over the last several years that can best be described as an unholy mix of junior high hall-monitor tattling and Stasi-like citizen surveillance. It is half adolescent and half malevolent. Its primary objectives are control, censorship, and the destruction of reputations for fun and power. Though its epicenter is the largest corporate media outlets, it is the very antithesis of journalism.

– Glenn Greenwald

From GameStop Was A Warning: Elites Are Weaponizing Censorship To Keep Outsiders Out:

If there is a Big Lie in American politics right now, it is the idea that censorship of social media is necessary to save democracy…The last thing that the rulers want to see when they look down is a teeming throng in the Square. And nobody benefits more than the rulers from malleable censorship rules that are easily weaponized to restrict, disrupt, or disband the Square.

What the insiders fear is not the end of democracy, but the end of their control over it, and the loss of the benefits they extract from it. Ultimately, the battle over speech is just one aspect of a broader war for power amid a growing political realignment that is not Left versus Right, but rather insider versus outsider. Thanks to social media, the outsiders are threatening to replace who’s in the Tower, and the insiders have never been more scared.

– David Sacks

Orwell’s 1984 and Today reports:

Totalitarianism will never win in the end—but it can win long enough to destroy a civilization. That is what is ultimately at stake in the fight we are in. We can see today the totalitarian impulse among powerful forces in our politics and culture. We can see it in the rise and imposition of doublethink, and we can see it in the increasing attempt to rewrite our history.

– Larry P. Arnn

From Congress Escalates Pressure On Tech Giants To Censor More, Threatening The First Amendment:

The power to control the flow of information and the boundaries of permissible speech is a hallmark of an authoritarian regime. It is a power as intoxicating as it is menacing. When it comes to the internet, our primary means of communicating with one another, that power nominally rests in the hands of private corporations in Silicon Valley.

– Glenn Greenwald

And in Why Are People Celebrating Free Speech Crackdowns?

It is really disheartening to see how people are so inward-looking at only supporting of voices of those who agree with them, rather than recognizing the country that our founders envisioned for all of us…this is something I take to heart in a very deep way like every other service member that we take an oath to uphold our constitution, to support and defend it, which supports including the freedom of speech of every single person in this country, whether we agree with that speech or not. Whether that speech offends us or not.

– Tulsi Gabbard

Realize if you support the suppression of people you disagree with, then you have set the precedent and given power to politicians and companies. The power to suppress and silence you. It always happens. It already has.

So many naïve people will wake up someday and be surprised when their beliefs are banned, their voices silenced. The wielders of power will simply say, “You gave us the power to do so. You supported us even when we quit hiding our intentions.”

Will people snap out of their childish thinking, or choose not to awaken until the nightmare becomes real?

Categories: Critical Thinking | Tags: , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

How Many Times Must We Fight the Book Banners?

A school district in California has banned To Kill a Mockingbird, The Adventures of Huckleberry FinnOf Mice and Men, among others. How many times must we fight this battle?

Each of the books in question deal with difficult subject matter from our country’s complicated and painful history, including systemic racism. Blocking engagement with these important books is also avoiding the important role that schools can and should play in providing context for why these books inspire and challenge us still today. – Tom Ciccotta

And over at Penguin Random House, employees try to get Jordan Peterson’s new book banned — based on lies about the author. In fact, grown adults were crying that the book is being published. Johnathan Kay writes:

People are dying from Covid, losing their businesses, and these spoiled brats transform into babies because their employer is publishing a book they don’t like.

Indeed, the fact such people work at a publisher — supposed protectors of the freedom of speech — is disturbing.

Categories: Books | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

Beware of the Book Burners

Jarrett Stepman writes:

A well-educated person should read deeply and broadly…Reading authors with opinions both contemporary and ancient can be a profoundly illuminating experience. It becomes quite clear that the advancement of time has led to many positive changes—and more than a few bad ones as well…’Decolonizing’ bookshelves represents a further closing of the American mind, but now intellectual shallowness is being paired with self-righteous zealotry. It’s a frightful combination.

“You don’t have to burn books to destroy a culture. Just get people to stop reading them.” ― Ray Bradbury

Categories: Books | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

Publishers Hire “sensitivity readers” to Censor – I Mean Edit – Books

Is it just me, or is there a large slice of the population who no longer recognizes censorship when they see it? Read more here.  Between banning books and revising history, seems to be a lot of this going around.

Maybe we’re all busy with our causes, activism and politics, that we are blowing right by the fundamentals?

Being offended doesn’t give one the right to censor.  Censorship itself is what everyone should find offensive.

Categories: Writing | Tags: , , | 2 Comments

Is Banning Books “inclusive”?

Recently, a Virginia school banned The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn and To Kill a Mockingbird because of “racial slurs.” Both books have been the subject of on and off bans for decades. A mother claimed, by reading these books, “We’re validating that these words are acceptable…” and there are “psychological effect” on the children.

Ridiculous.

One of the reasons that these books have endured is because they show how life was or address race issues. Contrary to causing “psychological effect(s)” on children, books are supposed to be read and studied with discussion. This is how school is supposed to work — and critical thinking.

“There is other literature they can use,” the parent argued. Like what? Some book that rewrites history or tries to discuss issues by being afraid to discuss them? The buzzword “inclusive” was thrown out there in trying to find books that didn’t offend anyone. Good luck with that.

Yes, I support every parents’ right to control what their child reads, learns or sees, but that doesn’t mean their position should be forced on others. Rather, we should decide not to be offended and try thinking and discussing these books with the students who read them.

Raising generations of children who are sooner offended by anything, instead of trying to think through something, will be a mistake we will all someday regret.

Categories: Books | Tags: , , , , , | 4 Comments

Warnings from Mars

Ray Bardbury’s classic dystopian tale, Fahrenheit 451, is well known as a cautionary tale on censorship and the suppressing of knowledge. It is not his only warning on this danger. In The Martian Chronicles, in the chapter “April 2005 – Usher II,” this scene unfolds:

How could I expect you to know blessed Mr. Poe? …All of his books were burned in the Great Fire…He and Lovecraft and Hawthorne and Ambrose Bierce and all the tales of terror and fantasy and horror and, for that matter, tales of the future were burned. They passed a law. Oh, it started very small…[like] a grain of sand. They began by controlling books of cartoons and then detective books and, of course, films, one way or another, one group or another…there was always a minority afraid of something, and a great majority afraid of the dark, afraid of the future, afraid of the past, afraid of the present, afraid of themselves and shadows of themselves.

These warnings, I think, must be taken seriously. Even now, I read of censorship on certain websites, politicians who openly call for suppression of certain views and venues, repeated attempts to control the internet. People who don’t think the suppression of their rights can occur in our age, need to wake up and listen to what Bradbury wrote decades ago.

It all can begin small. Like a grain of sand.

Categories: Books, Fiction, Modern History | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

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