Some would claim that the left is behind all censorship efforts, using political correctness to stop people from using offensive speech.

Some would claim that the right is behind all censorship efforts, using family values to stop people from using offensive speech.

Both statements are simultaneously exactly correct and exactly incorrect. The fact is that neither the left nor the right have a monopoly on censorship. Neither end of the political spectrum has any love for free speech or the First Amendment.

Demonizing the left for censorship while giving the right a walk only encourages conservative censors. Demonizing the right for censorship while giving the left a walk only encourages liberal censors. When it comes to the First Amendment, the only Good Guys are the ones who encourage free speech, and the only Bad Guys are the ones who encourage censorship.

been listening to too much political crap on the airwaves lately...had to get that off my chest...

I think it's too easy to politicize(1) censorship. The various political meme groups will jump on any bandwagon to propogate their particular brand of power hunger...

I view censorship as a simple young against old battle. The people responsible for censorship, the older generations, were brought up in a completely different age to us. They find concepts abhorrent that we wouldn't think twice about; pornography, difficult issues etc. etc. Likewise, later generations will consider us stuffy and conservative. (Isn't that a sobering thought? :-)

It amazes me that so many people consider themselves the last, best hope against the civilisation destroying evil of an uncut film or seeing an erect penis. What exactly qualifies you to decide what society, in all it's myriad forms, can and can't watch/read/hear? I think a rule should apply to people who seek power over others (either through censorship or political power): If you're seeking power, you should be denied it.

Watching Porn in the UK gives a little insight into the way things are censored here in Britain. We're subject to a lot of censorship; A Clockwork Orange and The Exorcist have only recently been released or rereleased uncut. Whether our society has been "eroded" or "cheapened" due to these films? I think not.

This is, of course, one side of the argument. There's evidence that watching porn at an early age can be harmful, There were stories of teenagers establishing their own Fight Club's after watching the film.

Who's responsible for censorship? Mostly people who should never be allowed that privilige.


(1) is politicize a word?

Jet-Poop has a point when it comes to the U.S of A, but around most of the world, it's quite obvious who is responsible for censorship. In countries where religion plays a major part in politics, for example, nearly always the religious, right-wing parties (for it mostly goes together) are almost entirley responsible for censorship.

Take Israel, for example. There is no law against advertisements featuring people with exposed shoulders. However, religious people will not step on a bus with such an ad. on it. So they are effectively censoring such adverts. Also movies, etc. I have never heard of any left-wing attempt at censorship in Israel. Admittedly, this is because the right is so extreme, that it pushes the left further left. But that is not the topic here. What matters is that the right is entirly responsible for censorship.

I guess it all depends on the balance of power within the country, and how fanatical the sides are. I'm sure that the left in Israel would be more tolerant in many cases than the left in the States, just because in Israel, freedom of speech is more of a debatable issue, with very strong opposition, and it is less taken for granted.

Those who stand idly by, who do nothing as the basic freedom of speech and expression are taken away, are the ones responsible for censorship. Whether the movement originates in the far left or the far right, by the young, middle-aged, or elderly, the secular or the sacred, it is the complicity of the idle that gives it power.

It matters little when a vocal minority seeks to oppress thought and expression if the majority is strong enough to protect the rights of everyone in the society. But if the majority is meek and seeks to shy away from the debate due to the fear of persecution, it is powerless. Those who sit on their hands and choose appeasement, rather than taking a stand and possibly stir up tension and debate, are ultimately responsible in the alienation of their own rights.

Who is to blame for censorship? It's not Tipper Gore, it's not some little old lady in the house on the corner. It is the idle, those who refuse to stand up for their own rights when they are threatened.

Ultimately censorship comes from those who have power. The purpose of censorship is to maintain that power by either preventing the spread of 'radical' ideas or to appease another power group which could otherwise threaten the in power group. (i.e. Banning an art exhibit because right wing Christians/Jews/Muslims/Oil Corporations/any other group you can name, stands to be hurt by, or otherwise is opposed to, the content of that art exhibit.)

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