Censorship Nannies Out In Force
By Elisha Dorfsmith
“A society that does not recognize that each individual has values of his own, which he is entitled to follow, can have no respect for the dignity of the individual, and cannot really know freedom.” –F. A. Hayek
“Censorship is telling a man he can’t have a steak just because a baby can’t chew it.” –Robert A. Heinlein
National tragedies always tend to bring about a knee jerk reaction from the public and social nannies with every imaginable pet issue work overtime to capitalize on the high emotions that are present to try to make the “solution” revolve around their pet cause.
After the recent Connecticut school shooting, the usual anti gun groups and activists started pushing their agendas and of course, President Obama joined the chorus calling for more gun control. That was to be expected, but beyond the gun control debate other “problems” were pointed out by obsessive “do-gooders” and the solutions to those problems unsurprisingly revolved around censorship or a ban of some kind.
Here are just a few examples:
After last week’s shooting, Connecticut Senator Joe Lieberman wasted no time in connecting the killer to violent video games and began hinting at video game censorship.
Within hours, several editorials were published hinting that the government should set their sites on violent movies.
Even before the shooting, Connecticut was calling for a ban on toy guns.
While hardly new, the calls for increased censorship have been getting stronger and louder in recent years. Politically correct and religious nannies often find themselves fighting on the same side, working to create a world that meets their personal standards and utopian vision. And of course, lawmakers understand that appealing to people’s emotions is good for their careers so it doesn’t take a psychic to see where all of this is headed.
Our 1st and 2nd Amendment rights are clearly under a massive and growing attack. The momentum is decidedly with the censorship/ ban it nannies. Where bills like the “Patriot Act” and NDAA effectively stripped Americans of our 4th and 5th Amendment rights, new legislation has already been (and will continue to be) introduced to strip us of our 1st and 2nd Amendment rights. The Bill of Rights is being shredded before our eyes, along with the rest of the Constitution, and many Americans are cheering because they think this will make them safer.
“Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.” –Benjamin Franklin
I have been a used book/ media dealer, selling on ebay and Amazon for over 10 years and I have noticed an obvious shift in people’s attitudes as they increasingly refuse to tolerate anything they find uncomfortable.
While ebay does have a long list of books they will no longer allow me to sell (Anarchist Cookbook for example), people are going out of their way to report many of my listings as “violent”, “subversive”, “pornographic” etc. even if they comply 100% with ebay’s policies.
Having items reported used to be a rare occurrence but these days it happens to me on a weekly basis. Besides the inconvenience of having to prove that my listings are legal and that they follow ebay’s rules, I find it very disheartening that we have a society that believes they have a right to dictate to adults what is allowed to be read, watched, or listened to.
I ship a lot of my books around the world and I have to be extremely careful about which books I send to certain countries. Books we all take for granted due to the 1st Amendment in the USA can unintentionally cause the receiver (and sometimes the sender) to face legal trouble and even prison. Because of this I have had to cancel and refund orders for “Christian” books to Indonesia, “Subervisive” books to Australia, and “obscene” books to Middle Eastern countries.
Is this really what we as a society would like to turn the United States into? Are we going to allow busybodies and our government to make our personal choices for us? Should everything that offends someone be banned?
If the censorship nannies have their way and we are no longer allowed to choose what we can read, write, watch or listen to, can we really consider ourselves to be free? If you value your freedom you must fight for freedom and liberty for ALL.
“He that would make his own liberty secure must guard even his enemy from oppression; for if he violates this duty he establishes a precedent that will reach to himself.” –Thomas Paine