The Plague Of Censorship

Restricting access to books and knowledge is how tyrants try to control the social narrative. This has been proven time and again throughout history. However, this fact has taken a backseat during the current uptick in the culture wars. Cancel culture is not what those who decry it claim it to be. Actual cancel culture is the act of censorship. That is the restriction and banning of knowledge that makes authoritarian leaders uncomfortable.

For example, the recent moral panics about critical race theory, transgender children, and drag queen storytime are not simply causing fear about these topics, but are efforts to ultimately eliminate discussion altogether. Regardless of one’s opinion about such topics, the active campaigns against them should cause thoughtful citizens great concern.

It’s one thing for parents to oversee what their own children learn. It’s a worrisome thing for politicians and pressure groups to censor materials in schools and universities. Authoritarian theocrats wish to enjoy freedom but only when it serves their narrow purposes. Authoritarians advocate the rewriting of history so a sanitized version will become normalized and “safe” for public consumption.

The fact is, that actual history, psychology, the sciences, and so forth are not topics that can be neatly wrapped up in sugary sweet packages. There are inconvenient facts that seem like nuisances. When facts are about topics that cause discomfort, we get nervous about their implications and become willing advocates of censorship. However, it’s healthy to remember that honestly facing uncomfortable facts and scenarios is the way to enhance personal and national strength.

Those of us who belong to minority subcultures have been on blacklists most of our lives. We intimately know the evils of censorship and can spot it a mile away. Censorship often begins with the “sanitizing” of history. It’s easy for leaders to whip up fear over uncomfortable facts. Throughout history, censorship has been the first step in the process of oppressing minority populations. With censorship firmly in place, the process of scapegoating and domestic terrorism becomes much easier.

These days, censorship has become more simple to impliment. Information can be easily hidden by flooding the public with immense amounts of irrelevant information, celebrity gossip, cat videos, along with accursed fabrication, disinformation, and misinformation. When we are exposed to this firehose flood of material, it becomes nearly impossible for us to focus. This may or may not be deliberate, but it is real. This is not to advocate in favor of a different type of censorship–one that censors the Internet. The thing to do is to be aware of attempts to persuade us to speak and act against our own interests.

When the well-being of children is waved in front of citizens, the jackboot of censorship is easy to wear. Meanwhile, when materials are banned, adolescents’ tendencies towards contrarian activity are piqued. The ages old scenario of forbidding the fruit actually makes the fruit more appealing. The better thing to do is to allow kids to read what interests them and then, as parents and guardians, discuss the material with them. When parents and children have authentic, honest conversations together, there is little need for fear and censorship.

A big problem with censorship is that when there is strict, authoritarian restriction of certain information, students receive an unbalanced, incomplete education. This leads to a dysfunctional society and the degradation of a functioning democracy. Censorship is never implemented in the best interests of a nation. It is an insideous form of propagandizing and thought control. Censorship is a pox on the general public. It is especially destructive towards oppressed minorities.

Censorship is the attempt to kill curiosity at it roots. When curiosity dies, improvement of the well-being of humanity suffers. Book banning and censorship are not effective answers to the presence of controversial ideas and materials. Restricting information is inconsistent with basic American values and the intent of the Constitution.

In the end, book banning and censorship defeats their imagined benefits. Halting access to certain information creates the kind of society that is not capable of exercising true discretion. To rely upon authority to sort out what is good and what is bad to learn, is to be intellectually lazy and apathetic. Without eternal vigilance, we quickly lose our freedom.


The Blue Jay of Happiness quotes British lawyer and writer, Sir John Mortimer. “I suppose that writers should, in a way, feel flattered by the censorship laws. They show a primitive fear and dread at the fearful magic of print.”

About swabby429

An eclectic guy who likes to observe the world around him and comment about those observations.
This entry was posted in Contemplation, Controversy, cultural highlights, Entertainment, philosophy, Politics, religion, Science, Youth and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

12 Responses to The Plague Of Censorship

  1. Great and precise post as always! Though I might be repeating myself: education and more education would help a lot.

  2. Pingback: ReBlogging ‘The Plague Of Censorship’ – Link Below | Relationship Insights by Yernasia Quorelios

  3. So we’ll said, but likely will be banned by those who need to read it.

  4. tiostib says:

    An important subject to consider. Well said, thank you.

  5. bronlima says:

    Roald Dahl, books are being revised and changed by publisher. Now back-tracking and will also publish the “classical” original version too.

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