“Censorship is telling a man he can’t have a steak because a baby can’t chew it.”
– Mark Twain*
“Censorship is telling a man he can’t have a steak because a baby can’t chew it.”
– Mark Twain*
Let’s start with an extreme case. A case that has been roiled in emotion for decades. A case that triggers people into making all sorts of comments.
At quora.com, there is an interesting Q and A. The subject is the Nazi holocaust.
The question is: Why is holocaust denial a crime in some countries?
One answer is offered by Olaf Simons, who states he is an “historian at the Gotha Research Centre.” Here is an excerpt:
“Anyone who tells you it [the holocaust] is ‘not real’ (because he has found something to support his doubt) is manipulating you with a political agenda.”
That’s quite a far-reaching assertion. It’s obvious that a) someone might come to the conclusion that the holocaust didn’t happen and b) he has no political agenda. Whether that person’s conclusion about the holocaust is true or false is beside the point. And even if that person did have a political agenda, why should his comments about the holocaust be suppressed?
Olaf Simons takes his argument further: “Holocaust denial is different. It is telling you that all the historical victims are actually cheating the public. It denies families the right to mourn the loss of grandmothers and grandfathers, mothers and fathers, friends and loved ones. It is an attempt to deny Jews the right to remember their collective history – and usually the right to have a Jewish state as a consequence of this, their history. All the Holocaust denier has to do is claim his right of free speech and tell the Jew, who has lost his family, that he is simply a liar. That is the point where we as societies must intervene…”
Doubting or denying the holocaust “denies families the right to mourn” their loss. I’m talking about a person who claims the holocaust didn’t exist. A person who would make an argument against the holocaust by presenting what he believes is evidence. This approach is against the law in Germany and other countries. I fail to see how such an argument denies victims the right to mourn.
Because you believe you are a victim, because you know you are a victim (use any formulation you want to), someone else who claims you’re not a victim actually prevents you from mourning your loss?
I think we can look at groups all over the world, down the long trail of history, who have been persecuted, and we’ll see that no one prevented them from mourning, even in the most dire of circumstances.
In fact, there were occasions where someone denying the persecution ever happened would have been the least of the victims’ worries—because the violence against them was continuing for decades. And still they mourned.
There is, of course, another reason given for banning holocaust deniers. Their speech, even if not intended to provoke, could incite others to commit crimes against the victims.
This is the “one thing leads to another” argument. On that basis, countries and organizations could ban all sorts of language. The slippery slope has no limit.
And on a lesser note, if, for example, I started a site based on the idea that 9/11 was an inside job, and that site became popular enough, a social media giant might ban me or lower my exposure, because I was spreading malicious gossip against the US government, and by implication, giving succor to terrorists. Or I was denying the families of people killed on 9/11 the right to mourn—the right to “mourn properly.”
There are all sorts of reasons for denying the right to free speech.
And there are all sorts of reasons for closing out reasonable debate.
Look at what has been happening on American college campuses. A group wants to bring in a controversial speaker, so students (and paid agitators) riot. College is supposed to be the place where all sides of an issue can be aired and analyzed. Instead, we get violence. What are these college students learning? What are they not learning?
They’re not learning the power of their own minds. If they were, why would they be angry? Why would they be afraid to listen to a person with whom they profoundly disagree?
If someone wants to stand at a podium in a college hall and say Donald Trump is the greatest president in the history of the United States, so what? If someone wants to say Hillary Clinton is a genius and Bernie Sanders is a fool, so what? If someone wants to say college students should stage a revolution by refusing to pay off their loans, so what? If someone wants to say all college freshmen should study Karl Marx and only Karl Marx, so what? Is the sky going to fall?
Suppose a professor tells his students, “You’re all assigned to go to the talk tonight and listen to a speaker who is going to argue that Donald Trump is exactly what American needs now. Take notes. Come to class tomorrow prepared to argue rationally, for or against. And I don’t want you spouting generalities. I want specifics. I want thought.”
Suddenly, many students are going to realize they can’t argue rationally. They don’t have the tools. And that makes them nervous. They move into the role of agitators, because they’ve got nothing else. Suddenly, they’re against free speech.
Instead of making people smarter and sharper, instead of bullet-proofing them against propaganda and anti-logic, instead of educating them so they’re immune to slogans and obvious fallacies, instead of educating them to live in a society where free speech is elevated beyond shouting matches, we are seeing myriad excuses for disallowing free speech.
There is no limit to the excuses. Tomorrow, someone is going to dream up a new one.
Numerous players these days are saying political content on the Internet has to be monitored. They have their covert agendas. But beyond that, there is no reason to monitor political speech. If people can’t deal with competing politics, they need to fortify their IQ. They need to become smarter. That’s the answer.
If we live in a sewer of propaganda, we need to climb out of the sewer.
I could go on with the topic of free speech for another 10,000 words, but I’ll end off, for the moment, with this. Look for the “special case” argument. The strategy: a group has been oppressed, and they deserve compensation and justice, AND part of justice is ensuring that language is never used to criticize the group, because they are special, owing to the amount of persecution that has been visited on them. This particular group is different. They must be served. They must never be discussed in terms that, even vaguely, could be construed as negative.
No free speech in that case.
But wait. There is another group, and it, too, is special.
And another group.
And pretty soon, free speech is walking around with canes and crutches and sitting in wheelchairs and tubes are hooked up to it.
Even worse, people are focused on the issue of free speech as if it consists of nothing more than nasty remarks; and the burning question is, who has a right to be nasty, and in what situations, and for what reasons?
Whereas, the intent and hope for free speech was that it would rise higher and elevate into conversation that actually sought the truth, and examined basic principles on which that truth would stand.
In a free society.
Where fear of an idea didn’t exist.
Read More At: JonRappoport.wordpress.com
The author of three explosive collections, THE MATRIX REVEALED, EXIT FROM THE MATRIX, and POWER OUTSIDE THE MATRIX, Jon was a candidate for a US Congressional seat in the 29th District of California. He maintains a consulting practice for private clients, the purpose of which is the expansion of personal creative power. Nominated for a Pulitzer Prize, he has worked as an investigative reporter for 30 years, writing articles on politics, medicine, and health for CBS Healthwatch, LA Weekly, Spin Magazine, Stern, and other newspapers and magazines in the US and Europe. Jon has delivered lectures and seminars on global politics, health, logic, and creative power to audiences around the world. You can sign up for his free NoMoreFakeNews emails here or his free OutsideTheRealityMachine emails here.
“Real books disgust the totalitarian mind because they generate uncontrollable mental growth – and it cannot be monitored.”
John Taylor Gatto, A Different Kind Of Teacher, p. 82.
“So often, a visit to a bookshop has cheered me, and reminded me that there are good things in the world.”
– Vincent Van Gogh
“If we encounter a man of rare intellect, we should ask him what books he reads.”
― Ralph Waldo Emerson
Whether you are a reader, student, a teacher, a writer, a researcher, an editor, a scholar, or someone who loves books, you have undoubtedly experienced the feeling of being swept away by words. Individuals of all types, who use the written word as a form of expression, often showcase in one way shape or form, a new world, a different world, one of possibilities, one of vision, one of depth. Such instances often leave the reader feeling thankful for having experienced what they just did.
In similar fashion, the author of the following book, Mangel, paints a historical picture with such clarity and precision that it allows the reader to journey through the pages of time as if we were right there with other readers, even sampling actions and thoughts at times.
A History Of Reading by Alberto Manguel is an intriguing and in depth overarching overview of most circumstances that involve reading throughout the pages of history.
The book is essentially a conjunction of two different elements: part personal diary and part scholarly research.
Cogent and incisive, Manguel does not hesitate in delving into the full spectrum that encompasses a bibliophile’s delight, weaving through countless historical instances which home in on crucial events around the history of books and reading.
For instance, the author not only covers absorbing anecdotes, individuals and the origins of reading, but also curious ventures of prominent individuals who had prodigious libraries of all types, one of which insisted on having his library travel with him.
“In the tenth century, for instance, the Grand Vizier of Persia, Abdul Kassem Ismael, in order not to part with his collection of 117,000 volumes when travelling, had them carried by a caravan of four hundred camels trained to walk in alphabetical order.”
A bibliophile to boot, no doubt!
Beyond that, the book also features intriguing anecdotes of a wide range which infuse into the reader full range of emotions that readers of all types experience. Regarding this topic, the author states:
“The act of reading establishes an intimate, physical relationship in which all the sense have a part: the eyes drawing the words from the page, the ears echoing the sounds being read, the nose inhaling the familiar scent of paper, glue, ink, cardboard or leather, the touch caressing the rough or soft page, the smooth or hard binding; even the taste; at times, when the reader’s fingers are lifted to the tongue.”
Manguel also does a fine job of making sure the reader gets a taste of what it would have been to be a reader throughout other distinct time periods.
Additionally, Manguel covers the Library of Alexandria, book thieves, reading the future, ancient librarians, and much more.
Another noteworthy historical point of consideration examined was the relentless censorship that governments have undertaken of books. Such immoral instances show the inherent fear governments have of educated individuals due to the salient self-sufficiency and power that books can impart.
As the author soberingly contemplates:
“As centuries of dictators have shown, an illiterate crowd is easiest to rule; since the craft of reading cannot be untaught once it has been acquired, the second-best recourse is to limit its scope. Therefore, like no other human creation, books have been the bane of dictatorships.”
Given that we are in an age where censorship of the written and spoken word is increasing across social media platforms and through many media outlets as well, such words should be ruminated upon deeply. Modern society is once again entering into an crucial age of censorship, and in this new age the excuse for it is the meme of “Fake News”, which is being bandied about relentlessly . This is leading to an unprecedented tidal wave of censorship by those in power. And as history shows, it’s probably going to get much worse.
Manguel speaks about this same issue:
“Absolute power requires that all reading be official reading; instead of whole libraries of opinions, the ruler’s word should suffice.”
And the ruler’s words, in modern times, comes mostly through the mainstream media.
Nothing frees a mind more than a book, for it allows readers to be self-sufficient and be able to be free to the fullest extent of the word. That’s why historically, books have always been dangerous.
With that said, the book covers much more than mere censorship, and censorship is only a fraction of the totality collated by the author. The book still covers a kaleidoscope of information to satiate the curious reader.
Regardless though, books are to be enjoyed, and the ironic part is that, reading a book about reading made me want to read even more than ever before. And perhaps, this book can do the same for you.
 Alberto Manguel, A History Of Reading, p. 193.
 Ibid., p. 244.
 Ibid., p. 283.
 Ibid., p. 283.
This article is free and open source. You are encouraged and have permission to republish this article under a Creative Commons license with attribution to Zy Marquiez and TheBreakaway.wordpress.com.
About The Author:
Zy Marquiez is an avid book reviewer, researcher, an open-minded skeptic, yogi, humanitarian, and freelance writer who studies and mirrors regularly subjects like Consciousness, Education, Creativity, The Individual, Ancient History & Ancient Civilizations, Forbidden Archaeology, Big Pharma, Alternative Health, Space, Geoengineering, Social Engineering, Propaganda, and much more.
His own personal blog is BreakawayConsciousnessBlog.wordpress.com where his personal work is shared, while TheBreakaway.wordpress.com serves as a media portal which mirrors vital information usually ignored by mainstream press, but still highly crucial to our individual understanding of various facets of the world.
April 15, 2017
I discuss the reasons for the youtube creator adsense apocalypse and how demonetization may be incentive for those channels to get out of their comfort zone and start seeking sponsorships.
April 6, 2017
Independent media pioneer SGTReport.com is now the latest victim of the Google / YouTube “demonetization” censorship attack that’s explicitly targeting alternative media.
“You Tube is changing the rules of the game, it’s not longer a level playing field. Not only are they flagging more and more videos as ‘not advertiser friendly’, for the past few days they have turned off ALL of the advertising on my videos,” writes SGT Report. “They want to kill my channel and they want me to go away. I need your help.”
SGT Report, along with many other independent media outlets, is now asking for Patreon donations as Google / YouTube demonetizes their videos, forcing them to look for alternative sources of operating revenue. But here’s the thing: SGT Report isn’t a Jiahid recruitment hub. They don’t promote terrorism. They simply have an independent point of view on politics and current events. For this reason alone, Google has demonetized them by labeling their videos “extreme.”
Under fire for making money off “extremist” videos featuring Jihadi terror tactics, Google has used the issue to deliberately conflate the term “extremist” to block revenues from videos that merely offer an independent point of view on current events.
In effect, Google has now decided that any website which supports President Trump is “extremist” and must be demonetized, censored or outright banned from its search results. To the Left-leaning tech giants, you see, any content that isn’t “progressive” is automatically considered “extremist,” even though advertisers who are horrified over Jihadi video content are often thrilled about supporting independent media.
This may explain why GoodGopher.com, the independent search engine that indexes independent media, is becoming increasingly popular. Good Gopher indexes thousands of “alternative media” websites while protecting the privacy of users with no search term tracking of users.
As part of an investigation into Google censorship, Natural News has spoken with several other independent media publishers and has confirmed they are all being targeted by Google / YouTube with demonetization censorship.
One independent publisher which did not want to be named — they are afraid Google will further punish them for speaking out against censorship — told Natural News their revenues have plummeted 80% since YouTube began its recent demonetization sweep.
All News Pipeline, a popular “current events analyst” site that warns readers about the coming financial collapse, details the war on the independent media in this article that decries the fake “fake news” label being used to silence independent journalism. ANP has also been targeted with censorship efforts from Google and YouTube, and the site relies on revenues from advertising storable food (Food For Liberty) and other preparedness items.
Another independent publisher and pioneer in citizen journalism, Truth Stream Media, is turning to Amazon affiliate links to help boost its revenues. Yet even this is nothing but a stopgap measure, as TSM’s founders fully realize that Amazon is owned and operated by globalist Jeff Bezos, whose products (Echo, Kindle, Alexa) surveil customers in their own homes. Bezos is also owner of the Washington Post, a fake news publisher that deliberately and repeatedly fabricates fake news to smear the Trump administration. TSM is no doubt seeking better revenue sources that don’t enrich globalist organizations like Amazon.
Natural News remains unaffected by the Google demonetization efforts, as we stopped publishing Adsense ads several years ago and never monetized YouTube videos. We also removed Google analytics code from our websites several years ago so that Google could not spy on our readers. A few weeks ago, Google blacklisted the entire Natural News website, removing 140,000+ pages from its index, based entirely on a fabricated technical excuse. After six days of punishment by Google, Natural News content was restored without explanation. This was clearly a “warning” from Google that if we don’t stop growing and reporting the truth, we will be silenced by any means necessary. (Google, Facebook, Twitter and Yahoo have all essentially declared a “war on truth” in order to silence voices they can’t control.) You can support Natural News, if you wish, by shopping for lab-verified organic superfood and household products at the Health Ranger Store.
To accomplish the demonetization effort, YouTube’s servers use voice recognition technology to scan the audio of each video, translating audio into text transcripts. That text is then algorithmically compared to a manually chosen list of keywords and phrases that Google’s Left-leaning “social justice engineers” have decided are “extreme.”
Instead of merely focusing on terror-related keywords like “Jihad” or “bomb-making,” Google has added keywords likely to flag independent, pro-America media outlets and Donald Trump supporters. Those keywords appear to include “patriot” or “storable food” or even “AR-15.” Other keywords are being flagged by the system in an effort to protect the monopoly profits of the pharmaceutical industry, which explains why terms such as “vaccines” and “mercury” are also being flagged by YouTube for demonetization censorship. (Yes, Google now censors discussions of science and medicine if the opinions of the scientists don’t conform to the corrupt medical establishment.)
No doubt, Google will soon add words related to “climate change denialism” to its list so that any person who speaks words critical of the climate change hoax will also be financially punished and run out of business. At the same time, words of intolerance and hatred toward white people are openly allowed. Words that call for violence against Donald Trump are richly rewarded, and attacks on Christian religion seem to be applauded by tech giants like Google and Facebook. The Left, you see, is writhing with hatred and intolerance toward anyone who doesn’t immediately agree with them. This is deemed “tolerance” by the intolerant Left.
See my related article: HATRED is tolerance; conformity is diversity; consensus is fact.
As published on GovtSlaves.info, another independent media site likely to be targeted by Google, these censorship algorithms have brought an “Orwellian” brand of censorship and oppression to the web:
The chief executive of News Corp, parent company of The Sun and Times Newspapers, has warned that digital algorithms at Facebook and Google have “left us perched on the edge of the slippery slope of censorship”… Thomson said: “The word Orwellian is flagrantly used and abused. But when it comes to the all-powerful algorithms of Google, Amazon and Facebook, otherwise known as GAF, Orwellian is unused. The institutional neglect has now left us perched on the edge of the slippery slope of censorship.”
The upshot of all this is that Google has gone full Orwellian and is using the crisis of Jihadi video revenues to unleash a punitive demonetization scheme that’s intended to bankrupt anti-establishment voices. Like all Left-leaning technology companies, Google hates Christians but celebrates Islam. Google despises Trump supporters but celebrates Hillary Clinton, one of the most corrupt criminal minds in the history of U.S. politics. Google loves transgenders but hates straight white people. The list goes on…
Now, Google is translating its twisted political biases into censorship algorithms in order to silence the voices it doesn’t like by denying them revenues. This is clearly deliberate and intended to exert a kind of Orwellian thought control over the entire population by forcing content creators to make a choice: You can either go along with the Google progressive delusions and be richly rewarded, or you can exercise independent views and be bankrupted.
Through this scheme, Google doesn’t even have to overtly block videos that espouse conservative or libertarian views… it can simply demonetize them and let the reality of revenue loss achieve censorship on its own. No one can produce content for free, after all. Sooner or later, you run out of money to fund yourself.
If Google gets it way, we are soon going to wake up and find ourselves living in a society where conformity is mandated, and non-conformity means financial devastation. Few publishers of original, independent-minded content can survive in an environment where the tech giants all conspire to silence the independent media through revenue demonetization. This only leads to a society rooted in conformist delusion, where obedience is demanded, independent thinking is punished, and free enterprise isn’t free unless you agree to censor your own thoughts, ideas and words to appease the totalitarian tech giants.
In effect, Google…
April 3, 2017
A.B. 1104 read: “It is unlawful for a person to knowingly and willingly make, publish or circulate on an Internet Web site, or cause to be made, published, or circulated in any writing posted on an Internet Web site, a false or deceptive statement designed to influence the vote on either of the following: Any issue submitted to voters at an election, and Any candidate for election to public office.” Luckily, it just got killed. The Resident discusses.
March 30, 2017
The first hearing for Assembly Bill 1104, “The California Political Cyberfraud Abatement Act,” was planned for Tuesday, but was canceled at the 11th hour at the request of the author, California Assemblyman Ed Chau (D-Monterey Park).
Under the proposed legislation, it would be unlawful to knowingly and willingly publish or circulate on the Internet a “false or deceptive statement designed to influence the vote” on either a ballot measure or political candidate.
In his analysis of the bill, Chau says the proposal would expand The Golden State’s political cyberfraud law to “provide protections to candidate campaigns in addition to the current law protections for ballot measures.”
“This bill is an important step forward in the fight against ‘fake news’ and deceptive campaign tactics,” Chau, who heads the California Privacy and Consumer Protection Committee, said.
The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), a digital-rights advocacy group, wrote a critical review of the bill, saying it was “so obviously unconstitutional, we had to double check that it was real.”
The EFF argued the bill would violate free speech rights, making it illegal to “be wrong on the internet.” Anyone who made the “slightest hint of hyperbole, exaggeration, poetic license, or common error” on a candidate or ballot measure would be violating the law, according to the civil liberties advocate.
They also note that the bill does not leave room for satire or parody, meaning The Onion would be considered illegal under the bill. Even quoting or retweeting an incorrect statement would be illegal.
“At a time when political leaders are promoting ‘alternative facts’ and branding unflattering reporting as ‘fake news,’ we don’t think it’s a good idea to give the government more power to punish speech,” said Dave Maas, an investigative researcher for the EFF.