The following post is from 6 years ago. I cannot think of a better time to re-share my thoughts on banning books and censoring information, especially in light of YouTube’s announcement yesterday [see pic] that they will be removing ALL “anti-vaccine” content from its platform. I just saw a Tweet from Dr. Ron Paul saying,
Very shocked that @YouTube has completely removed the Channel of my Ron Paul Institute: no warning, no strikes, no evidence. Only explanation was “severe or repeated violations of our community guidelines.” Channel is rarely used. The appeal was automatically rejected. Help?Ron Paul
September 30, 2015 · Shared with Public
Censorship has always fascinated me–who gets to decide what someone else can read? Why? By what authority can one person tell another what they are “permitted” to know? I reject the legitimacy of censorship out of hand. No one has such authority, and history proves those who wish to control what others consume, are, without exception, eventually exposed as the bad guys.
Growing up in South Africa, many things–music, literature, art–were outright banned and censored, from ANC symbols, to most international music, to the movie “Black Beauty” solely because of its title, to certain words in newspapers, yes, literally blacked out on the page like you see in dystopian movies (and, say, in the 9-11 Commission Report), words like “Casspir” (the South African equivalent of “BEARCAT,” the armored trucks now being seeded by the Federales into peaceful communities across America, including more than 20 in New Hampshire) because if you banned the mentioning of the vehicles being used to fight illegal border wars, well then, reporting becomes problematic and difficult to do, and therefore, perhaps, journalists will stop writing about such pesky things, neh?
Under apartheid, South Africa had the “Jacobsen’s Index of Objectionable Literature” which contained a “Complete List of All Publications in Alphabetical Order, Together with Authors, Prohibited from Importation Into the Republic of South Africa, and All Other Banned Literature.” The list is long, and difficult to find online. I have ordered a hard copy of “A Culture of Censorship: Secrecy and Intellectual Repression in South Africa,” secondhand for $0.02 plus shipping from Amazon, which reminds me of two things: 1. How soon we forget our histories; and 2. Thank god for the free market. If only said book could be delivered by an aerobot drone to my door, but alas, the FAA has been spending its time on such important issues as licensing paper airplanes for flight.
South African author, Nadine Gordimer wrote in 1968, republished in The New York Times Books section in 1998: “All the work, past, present and future, of an individual writer can be erased by a ban on his spoken and written word. The ban not only restricts his political activity, which is its avowed intention, but negates his creativity–he becomes a non-person, since his form of communion and communication with the society in which he lives is cut…. And so long as our society remains compartmentalized, our literature will be stretched on the rack between propaganda, on the one side, and, on the other, art as an embellishment of leisure.”
Some people wonder why I take issue with so many things I see happening in my adopted country, and, frankly, why I refuse to shut up about it, to give up, to cave in, to just say, Nah, this crap is too hard to change, the difference we can make too infinitesimal, so why try? It’s because I have *lived through a police state* before, and America is lock-step marching there.
This is not hyperbole. I will grant you: America is doing its police state right, “better,” more subtle, more comfortable, of course, it’s what America does, after all. This police state is hidden behind both the “propaganda” arm, and mostly, the “embellishment of leisure”: The sports, the reality TV, the Christmas carol commercials to consumers in September, the debates, the joke of it all.
The bread and circuses, the tinny music piping from the organ grinder while the monkeys dance, while MILLIONS of peaceful people rot in prisons for voluntarily inhaling a plant, while MILLIONS are peaceful people in far away lands are being murdered under the cloak of the Stars and Stripes, while MILLIONS of people are being displaced by state-funded terror raining down from the skies.
Why does #BannedBooksWeek matter? It matters because it creates an opportunity to talk about the bad guys. And, I am afraid to inform you, the US government is a bad, bad guy, he’s the boyfriend who beats you then tells you he can’t live without you–or you can’t live without him?–and you go back.
Me? I decided a decade ago that I wasn’t taking the Fed Gov back, that I would take my chances with a smaller wife beater (the state of NH), and see what kind of difference I can make on a local level.