Censorship & Totalitarianism

Tony Fox tonyfox at beeb.net
Tue Jun 20 15:53:59 EDT 2000





> Just for the sake of argument, how do the people on this list see
> censorship? Wholly wrong? Sometimes right? Do you see *any* books as being
> "worthy" of censorship or do you favour absolute free speech? If not, do
you
> expect ... let's call it "good taste" ... making a sort of self-regulating
> policy? i.e. if someone publishes a book that glorifies behaviour most of
us
> see as untenable, do you trust the public to shun that book or do you
trust
> the publisher to reject the ms or what?
>

What a lot of bones this question has in it!

When you consider some of the things which are published (either physically
or on the net ) I have to be perfectly honest and say that I would happily
light the match (don't jump on me yet, there's a but coming along soon). For
instance, the TV is advertising a new "revelation" about Princess Diana and
the Queen which is to be published in one of the tabloids and frankly my
hands are itching for the matches. I am truly disgusted that they cannot
leave the woman in peace - in fact I'm hopping mad - BUT ideas don't go away
because of censorship  they just go underground and the pressure of refusing
to let an opinion be expressed is like corking a bottle of fermenting wine.
The cork will explode - that's the nature of the beast.

Much as it pains me to say this I think that censorship should generally be
avoided and that we should then vote with our feet ie as in the case above I
will not buy the paper.

The exception to the rule would be if you intended to profit from crime ie
if you publish child pornography on the web you should be removed form the
internet service provider because this is a crime, or if you incite people
to riot
your work should not be published - not because of censorship but because of
the application of the rule of law.

Chris

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