Best 382 of Censorship quotes - MyQuotes
There should be no censorship of mail.
The shocking death of Hypatia ought to have merited a good deal of attention in the histories of the period. Instead it is treated lightly and obliquely, if at all. In history, as in life, no one in Alexandria was punished for her murder. There was a cover-up. Some writers were highly critical – even to fervent Christian eyes this was an appalling act. But not all: as one Christian bishop later recorded with admiration, once the satanic woman had been destroyed, then all the people surrounded Cyril in acclamation for he had ‘destroyed the last remains of idolatry in the city’. The affected myopia of Christian historians could be magnificent: as the historian Ramsay MacMullen has put it, ‘Hostile writings and discarded views were not recopied or passed on, or they were actively suppressed.’ The Church acted as a great and, at times, fierce filter on all written material, the centuries of its control as ‘a differentially permeable membrane’ that ‘allowed the writings of Christianity to pass through but not of Christianity’s enemies’.
William O. Douglas
The framers of the constitution knew human nature as well as we do. They too had lived in dangerous days; they too knew the suffocating influence of orthodoxy and standardized thought. They weighed the compulsions for restrained speech and thought against the abuses of liberty. They chose liberty." [Beauharnais v.Illinois, 342 U.S. 250, 287 (1952) (dissenting)]
And that's the most horrible thing about censorship: To avoid falling afoul of the censors, we question ourselves and censor ourselves and make a big deal out of things in our heads. We do the work of the control freaks for them, out of a desire to avoid them.
In this age of censorship I mourn the loss of books that will never be written, I mourn the voices that will be silenced--writers' voices, teachers' voices, students' voices--all because of fear. How many have resorted to self-censorship? How many are saying to themselves, "Nope ... can't write about that. Can't teach that book. Can't have that book in our collection. Can't let my student write that editorial in the school paper.
If your written words become literal nails to crucify you with, then you have done your job well. You provoked a reaction, whether it is positive or negative is irrelevant. Writing that evokes no reaction is a body without a soul.
When the Washington Post telephoned me at home on Valentine's Day 1989 to ask my opinion about the Ayatollah Khomeini's fatwah, I felt at once that here was something that completely committed me. It was, if I can phrase it like this, a matter of everything I hated versus everything I loved. In the hate column: dictatorship, religion, stupidity, demagogy, censorship, bullying, and intimidation. In the love column: literature, irony, humor, the individual, and the defense of free expression. Plus, of course, friendship—though I like to think that my reaction would have been the same if I hadn't known Salman at all. To re-state the premise of the argument again: the theocratic head of a foreign despotism offers money in his own name in order to suborn the murder of a civilian citizen of another country, for the offense of writing a work of fiction. No more root-and-branch challenge to the values of the Enlightenment (on the bicentennial of the fall of the Bastille) or to the First Amendment to the Constitution, could be imagined. President George H.W. Bush, when asked to comment, could only say grudgingly that, as far as he could see, no American interests were involved…
If you have to be careful because of oppression and censorship, this pressure produces diamonds.
A word to the unwise. Torch every book. Char every page. Burn every word to ash. Ideas are incombustible. And therein lies your real fear.
And no matter how much the gray people in power despise knowledge, they can’t do anything about historical objectivity; they can slow it down, but they can’t stop it. Despising and fearing knowledge, they will nonetheless inevitably decide to promote it in order to survive. Sooner or later they will be forced to allow universities and scientific societies, to create research centers, observatories, and laboratories, and thus to create a cadre of people of thought and knowledge: people who are completely beyond their control, people with a completely different psychology and with completely different needs. And these people cannot exist and certainly cannot function in the former atmosphere of low self-interest, banal preoccupations, dull self-satisfaction, and purely carnal needs. They need a new atmosphere— an atmosphere of comprehensive and inclusive learning, permeated with creative tension; they need writers, artists, composers— and the gray people in power are forced to make this concession too. The obstinate ones will be swept aside by their more cunning opponents in the struggle for power, but those who make this concession are, inevitably and paradoxically, digging their own graves against their will. For fatal to the ignorant egoists and fanatics is the growth of a full range of culture in the people— from research in the natural sciences to the ability to marvel at great music. And then comes the associated process of the broad intellectualization of society: an era in which grayness fights its last battles with a brutality that takes humanity back to the middle ages, loses these battles, and forever disappears as an actual force.
The punishing of wits enhances their authority.
A. J. Liebling
Freedom of the press is limited to those who own one.
Whenever you stand up For your conscience, Be prepared to be hated By the wicked. But never, ever, let that scare you; For whenever you Stand up for God, By him, You are loved. TRUTH by Suzy Kassem THE SPRING FOR WISDOM, 1993
Dwight D. Eisenhower
Don't join the book burners... Don't be afraid to go in your library and read every book.
I suggested, further, that the following might be sculpted: a large box filled with sixty moonshine jugs--piled high, toppling over, corks popping, liquor flowing. Disorder to match the clutter and chaos of our marvelous language. Words upon words, piled high, toppling over, thoughts popping, correspondence and conversation overflowing.
Political correctness is euphemism for "fear to speak truth to authority
If, to expose the fraud and imposition of monarchy ... to promote universal peace, civilization, and commerce, and to break the chains of political superstition, and raise degraded man to his proper rank; if these things be libellous ... let the name of libeller be engraved on my tomb." [Letter Addressed To The Addressers On The Late Proclamation, 1792 (Paine's response to the charge of "seditious libel" brought against him after the publication of The Rights of Man)]
Some books can only be written when winners turn into loosers
The tens of thousands of books, the remnants of the greatest library in the world, were all lost, never to reappear. Perhaps they were burned. As the modern scholar, Luciano Canfora, observed: ‘the burning of books was part of the advent and imposition of Christianity’. A war against pagan temples was also a war against the books that had all too often been stored inside them for safekeeping – a concept that from now on could only be recalled with irony. If they were burned then this was a significant moment in what Canfora has called ‘the melancholy experiences of the war waged by Christianity against the old culture and its sanctuaries: which meant, against the libraries’. Over a thousand years later, Edward Gibbon raged at the waste: ‘The appearance of the empty shelves excited the regret and indignation of every spectator, whose mind was not wholly darkened with religious prejudice.
From this state of bewildered scepticism the student may take a leap of faith. And the leap is never backwards into the old curriculum, the old canon, the old belief in objective standards and settled ways of life. It is always a leap forward, into the world of free choice and free opinion, in which nothing has authority and nothing is objectively right or wrong. In this postmodern world there is no such things as adverse judgement – unless it be judgement of the adverse judge. It is a playground world, in which all are equally entitled tot their culture, their lifestyle and their opinions. And that is why, paradoxically, the postmodern curriculum is so censorious – in just the way that liberalism is censorious. When everything is permitted, it is vital to forbid the forbidder. All serious cultures are founded on the distinctions between right and wrong, true and false, good and bad taste, knowledge and ignorance. It was to the perpetuation of those distinctions that the humanities, in the past were devoted. Hence the assault on the curriculum, and the attempt to impose a standard of 'political correctness' – which means, in effect, a standard of non-exclusion and non-judgement – is also designed to authorise a vehement kind of judgement, against all those authorities that question the orthodoxy of the left.
Persecution for opinion is the master vice of society.
Jorge Luis Borges
Censorship is the mother of metaphor.
FIGARO. I’d say that the nonsense that finds its way into print only matters to the people who would like to ban it; that without the freedom to criticize, praise is meaningless
Information is the oxygen of the modern age. It seeps through the walls topped by barbed wire, it wafts across the electrified borders. ... The Goliath of totalitarianism will be brought down by the David of the microchip.
[T]here is another side to this Christian story, one that is worlds away from the bookish monks and careful copyists of legend. It is a far less glorious tale of how some philosophers were beaten, tortured, interrogated and exiled and their beliefs forbidden; it is a story of how intellectuals set light to their own libraries in fear. And it is above all a story that is told by absences: of how literature lost its liberty; how certain topics dropped from philosophical debate – and then started to vanish from the pages of history. It is a story of silence.
Look, I get it. Loose stools are grosser than solid ones. But the censor is using the context of her own life history with all her hang-ups to answer the question, "Is there a defensible ratio of fiber to water in this stool?
Why did they devise censorship? To show a world which doesn’t exist, an ideal world, or what they envisaged as the ideal world. And we wanted to depict the world as it was.
J. Andrew Schrecker
The powers that be no longer have to stifle information. They can now overload us with so much of it, there's no way to know what's factual or not. The ability to be an informed public is only going to worsen with advancing deep fake technology. Incriminating audio and video will hold even less weight than it already does. A government doesn't have to lie to its people or censor its enemies when no one believes a thing to begin with. We're entering the post-information era.
Books can be immensely powerful. The ideas in them can change the way people think. Yet it was the Nazis and Stalin's officers who committed terrible crimes, and not Mein Kampf or the Communist Manifesto - and of course, the Manifesto contained many key ideas that are still relevant and important today, long after Stalin has gone. There is a crucial distinction between the book and its effect - it's crucial because if you talk about a book being harmful rather than its effect you begin to legitimise censorship. Abhorrent ideas need to be challenged by better ones, not banned.
In a society run by terror, no statements whatsoever can be taken seriously. They are all forced, and it is the duty of every honest man to ignore them.
The first casualty of war is truth, and the war on drugs is no different
If we really saw war, what war does to young minds and bodies, it would be impossible to embrace the myth of war. If we had to stand over the mangled corpses of schoolchildren killed in Afghanistan and listen to the wails of their parents, we would not be able to repeat clichés we use to justify war. This is why war is carefully sanitized. This is why we are given war's perverse and dark thrill but are spared from seeing war's consequences. The mythic visions of war keep it heroic and entertaining… The wounded, the crippled, and the dead are, in this great charade, swiftly carted offstage. They are war's refuse. We do not see them. We do not hear them. They are doomed, like wandering spirits, to float around the edges of our consciousness, ignored, even reviled. The message they tell is too painful for us to hear. We prefer to celebrate ourselves and our nation by imbibing the myths of glory, honor, patriotism, and heroism, words that in combat become empty and meaningless.
Self-censorship happens not only in China, or Iran or ex-Soviet places. It can happen anywhere. If an artist penetrates a certain taboo or a certain power through their work, he or she will face this problem. I'm always saying that commercial censorship is our foremost censorship globally today. Why do we still pretend we are free?
All writers and their readers should stand up and voice their opposition to financial services companies censoring books. Authors should have the freedom to publish legal fiction, and readers should have the freedom to read what they want.
There's lot of social censorship now, especially in this era of ubiquitous social media.
When a critic sets himself up as an arbiter of morality, a judge of the matter and not the manner of a work, he is no longer a critic; he is a censor.
I believe in any kid’s ability to read any book and form their own judgments. It’s the job of a parent to guide his/her child through the reading of every book imaginable. Censorship of any form punishes curiosity.
It is called the First Amendment. ...Simple words marching in seried ranks. Compact, concise. To the point. Clear and pure. It's freedom's music.
... the Chinese have become very good at coming up with puns, alternative words, and memes. For example, they talk about the battle between the grass-mud horse and the river crab. The grass-mud horse, caonima, is the phonogram for "mother-fucker" - what the netizens call themselves. The river crab, hexie, is the phonogram for "harmonisation" or "censorship". So you have a battle between the caonima and the hexie. When big political stories happen, you find netizens discussing them using such weird phrases and words that you can't understand them even if you have a PhD in Chinese.
Yuval Noah Harari
In the past, censorship worked by blocking the flow of information. In the 21st century, censorship works by flooding people with irrelevant information. People just don't know what to pay attention to, and they often spend their time investigating and debating side issues.
The fact is that in any open society people constantly say things that other people don’t like. It’s completely normal that should happen. And in any confident, free society you just shrug it off and you proceed. There is no way of creating a free society where nobody says anything that others don’t like. If offendness is the point at which you have to limit your thoughts then nothing can be said. There might be people who might be offended by various kinds of literature. I myself, I am not very fond of, let me not mention Chetan Bhagat, I wasn't going to say that, so I have not. And yet, I believe such writer have a right to publish, and of course to live. The point is behind these ideas of offendness and respect there is always the threat of violence. Always the threat is if you do that which disrespect or offends me I will be violent to you and so the real subject is not religion, its violence.
Censorship exists to protect corruption.
Compare with Greek art, modern classical art is lacking in warmth and immediacy; it has a derived, retrospective, and, even in the Renaissance, a more or less classicistic character. It It is the reflection of a society which, filled with reminiscences of Roman heroism and medieval chivalry, tries to appear to be something which it is not, by following an artificially produced social and moral code, and which stylizes the whole pattern of its life in accordance with this fictitious scheme. Classical art describes this society as it wants to see itself and as it wants to be seen. There is hardly a feature in this art which would not, on closer examination, prove to be anything more than the translation into artistic terms of the aristocratic, conservative ideals cherished by this society striving for permanence and continuity. The whole artistic fromalism of the Cinquecento merely corresponds to the formalized system of moral conceptions and decorum which the upper class of the period imposes on itself. Just as the aristocracy and the aristocratically minded circles of society subject life to the rule of a formal code, in order to preserve it from the anarchy of the emotions, so they also submit the expression of the emotions in art to the censorship of definite, abstract, and impersonal forms.
Exile as a mode of genius no longer exists; in place of Joyce we have the fragments of work appearing in Index on Censorship.
If you have an internet service provider that's capable of slowing down other sites, or putting other sites out of business, or favoring their own friends and affiliates and customers who can pay for fast lanes, that's a horrible infringement on free speech. It's censorship by media monopolies. It's tragic: here we have a technology, the internet, that's capable really of being the town square of democracy, paved with broadband bricks, and we are letting it be taken over by a few gatekeepers. This is a first amendment issue; it's free speech versus corporate censorship.
This could seem counterintuitive for many dictators running communist or socialist single-party states, but a thriving private tech industry can contribute invaluable tools to help you implement a controllable internet. The reason is fairly simple: the technologies that transform internet applications into more personalized, efficient and enjoyable experiences are usually the same ones that increase the capacity to monitor its users.
It was, for him, an object lesson in the importance of the “better out than in” free speech argument—that it was better to allow even the most reprehensible speech than to sweep it under the carpet, better to publicly contest and perhaps deride what was loathsome than to give it the glamour of taboo, and that, for the most part, people could be trusted to tell the good from the bad.
Dwight D. Eisenhower
Don't join the book burners!
I agree that it's a shame some books have to suffer ratings that clearly are invalid. However I can't think of a way to prevent it, and I didn't see any ideas in the thread either (I did skim though). I hope you'll appreciate that if we just start deleting ratings whenever we feel like it, that we've gone down a censorship road that doesn't take us to a good place.
Michel De Montaigne
To forbid us anything is to make us have a mind for it.