1. Gannon
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    Gannon Contributing Member Contributor

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    Censorship Quotes

    Discussion in 'The Lounge' started by Gannon, Oct 3, 2008.

    Censorship Quotes

    " If your library is not 'unsafe', it probably isn't doing its job."
    -- John Berry, Iii, Library Journal, October 1999

    "Without free speech no search for truth is possible... no discovery of truth is useful... Better a thousandfold abuse of free speech than denial of free speech. The abuse dies in a day, but the denial slays the life of the people, and entombs the hope of the race."
    -- Charles Bradlaugh

    "There are worse crimes than burning books. One of them is not reading them. "
    -- Joseph Alexandrovitch Brodsky, 1991, Russian-American poet, b. St. Petersburg and exiled 1972 (1940-1996)

    "Everyone is in favor of free speech. Hardly a day passes without its being extolled, but some people's idea of it is that they are free to say what they like, but if anyone else says anything back, that is an outrage."
    -- Winston Churchill

    "You see these dictators on their pedestals, surrounded by the bayonets of their soldiers and the truncheons of their police. Yet in their hearts there is unspoken - unspeakable! - fear. They are afraid of words and thoughts! Words spoken abroad, thoughts stirring at home, all the more powerful because they are forbidden. These terrify them. A little mouse - a little tiny mouse! -of thought appears in the room, and even the mightiest potentates are thrown into panic."
    -- Winston Churchill

    "The fact is that censorship always defeats its own purpose, for it creates, in the end, the kind of society that is incapable of exercising real discretion..."
    -- Henry Steel Commager

    "Burning is no answer."
    -- Camille Desmoulins' reply to Robespierre, January 7, 1794, on burning his newspaper, Le Vieux Cordelier

    "If librarianship is the connecting of people to ideas – and I believe that is the truest definition of what we do – it is crucial to remember that we must keep and make available, not just good ideas and noble ideas, but bad ideas, silly ideas, and yes, even dangerous or wicked ideas."
    -- Graceanne A. Decandido

    "Don't join the book burners. Don't think you are going to conceal thoughts by concealing evidence that they ever existed."
    -- Dwight D. Eisenhower, speech at Dartmouth College, June 14, 1953

    "Every burned book enlightens the world."
    -- Ralph Waldo Emerson

    "This is slavery, not to speak one's thought."
    -- Euripides, Greek tragic poet (480 or 485 B.C. - 406 B.C)

    "If the human body's obscene, complain to the manufacturer, not me."
    -- Larry Flynt

    "They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety."
    -- Benjamin Franklin, Historical Review of Pennsylvania, 1759

    "If all printers were determined not to print anything till they were sure it would offend nobody, there would be very little printed."
    -- Benjamin Franklin, 1730

    "Books won't stay banned. They won't burn. Ideas won't go to jail. In the long run of history, the censor and the inquisitor have always lost. The only sure weapon against bad ideas is better ideas. The source of better ideas is wisdom. The surest path to wisdom is a liberal education."
    -- Alfred Whitney Griswold, Essays on Education

    "[O]ne man's vulgarity is another's lyric."
    -- John Marshall Harlan, Supreme Court justice, 1971

    "Where they have burned books, they will end in burning human beings."
    -- Heinrich Heine

    "I cannot and will not cut my conscience to fit this year's fashions."
    -- Lillian Hellman, subpoenaed to appear before the House Un-American Activities Committee, 1952

    "To prohibit the reading of certain books is to declare the inhabitants to be either fools or slaves."
    -- Claude Adrien Helvetius, De l'Homme, Vol. I, sec. 4

    "The sooner we all learn to make a decision between disapproval and censorship, the better off society will be... Censorship cannot get at the real evil, and it is an evil in itself."
    -- Granville Hicks (1901-1982)

    "Fear of corrupting the mind of the younger generation is the loftiest form of cowardice."
    -- Holbrook Jackson

    "Did you ever hear anyone say 'That work had better be banned because I might read it and it might be very damaging to me'?"
    -- Joseph Henry Jackson

    "Civil government cannot let any group ride roughshod over others simply because their consciences tell them to do so."
    -- Robert H. Jackson

    "Children deprived of words become school dropouts; dropouts deprived of hope behave delinquently. Amateur censors blame delinquency on reading immoral books and magazines, when in fact, the inability to read anything is the basic trouble."
    -- Peter S. Jennison

    "Books and ideas are the most effective weapons against intolerance and ignorance."
    -- Lyndon Baines Johnson, February 11, 1964

    "Dat veniam corvis, vexat censura columbas. - Censure acquits the raven, but pursues the dove."
    -- Decimus Junius Juvenalis (Juvenal), Satires, II. 63. Roman rhetorician and satirical poet (1st to 2nd cent. A.D.)

    "Quis custodiet ipsos custodes? - Who will watch the watchers?"
    -- Juvenal

    "We are not afraid to entrust the American people with unpleasant facts, foreign ideas, alien philosophies, and competitive values. For a nation that is afraid to let its people judge the truth and falsehood in an open market is a nation that is afraid of its people."
    -- John F. Kennedy

    "The burning of an author's books, imprisonment for an opinion's sake, has always been the tribute that an ignorant age pays to the genius of its time."
    -- Joseph Lewis, Voltaire: The Incomparable Infidel, 1929

    "Censorship, like charity, should begin at home; but unlike charity, it should end there."
    -- Clare Booth Luce

    "One cannot and must not try to erase the past merely because it does not fit the present."
    -- Golda Meir, Israeli political leader (1898-1978)

    "And yet on the other hand unless warinesse be us'd, as good almost kill a Man as kill a good Book; who kills a Man kills a reasonable creature, Gods Image, but hee who destroyes a good Booke, kills reason it selfe, kills the Image of God, as it were in the eye."
    -- Milton, Areopagitica, 1644

    "To forbid us anything is to make us have a mind for it."
    -- Michel de Montaigne, Essays, 1559

    "You have not converted a man because you have silenced him."
    -- John Morley


    "Senator Smoot (Republican, Ut.)
    Is planning a ban on smut
    Oh rooti-ti-toot for Smoot of Ut.
    And his reverent occiput.
    Smite. Smoot, smite for Ut.,
    Grit your molars and do your dut.,
    Gird up your l--ns,
    Smite h-p and th-gh,
    We'll all be Kansas
    By and By."​
    -- Ogden Nash, "Invocation," 1931

    "Censorship of anything, at any time, in any place, on whatever pretense, has always been and always be the last resort of the boob and the bigot."
    -- Eugene Gladstone O'Neill, American playwright (1888-1953)

    "All of us can think of a book... that we hope none of our children or any other children have taken off the shelf. But if I have the right to remove that book from the shelf - that work I abhor - then you also have exactly the same right and so does everyone else. And then we have no books left on the shelf for any of us."
    -- Katherine Paterson, American author of childrens books (1932-)

    "A censor is an expert in cutting remarks. A censor is a man who knows more than he thinks you ought to."
    -- Dr. Laurence Peter, Peter's Quotations: Ideas for Our Time. New York: Morrow, 1977, p. 97

    "Free societies...are societies in motion, and with motion comes tension, dissent, friction. Free people strike sparks, and those sparks are the best evidence of freedom's existence."
    -- Salman Rushdie

    "What is freedom of expression? Without the freedom to offend, it ceases to exist."
    -- Salman Rushdie

    "Censorship ends in logical completeness when nobody is allowed to read any books except the books that nobody reads."
    -- George Bernard Shaw, Irish playwright and critic (1856-1950)

    "All censorships exist to prevent anyone from challenging current conceptions and existing institutions. All progress is initiated by challenging current conceptions, and executed by supplanting existing institutions. Consequently the first condition of progress is the removal of censorship."
    -- George Bernard Shaw, Preface to Mrs. Warren's Profession

    "Censorship reflects a society's lack of confidence in itself. It is the hallmark of an authoritarian regime..."
    -- Justice Potter Stewart, dissenting Ginzberg v. United States, 383 U.S. 463 (1966)

    "Once a government is committed to the principle of silencing the voice of opposition, it has only one way to go, and that is down the path of increasingly repressive measures, until it becomes a source of terror to all its citizens and creates a country where everyone lives in fear."
    -- Harry S. Truman, message to Congress, August 8, 1950

    "Censorship is telling a man he can't have a steak just because a baby can't chew it."
    -- Mark Twain

    "Adam was but human - this explains it all. He did not want the apple for the apple's sake, he wanted it only because it was forbidden. The mistake was in not forbidding the serpent; then he would have eaten the serpent."
    -- Mark Twain

    "All these people talk so eloquently about getting back to good old-fashioned values. Well, as an old poop I can remember back to when we had those old-fashioned values, and I say let's get back to the good old-fashioned First Amendment of the good old-fashioned Constitution of the United States -- and to hell with the censors! Give me knowledge or give me death!"
    -- Kurt Vonnegut, author

    "The dirtiest book of all is the expurgated book."
    -- Walt Whitman

    "There is no such thing as a moral book or an immoral book. Books are well written or badly written. That is all."
    -- Oscar Wilde, The Picture of Dorian Gray, 1891

    "The books that the world calls immoral are the books that show the world its own shame."
    -- Oscar Wilde, The Picture of Dorian Gray, 1891

    "An idea that is not dangerous is unworthy of being called an idea at all."
    -- Oscar Wilde

    With thanks to http://quotes.forbiddenlibrary.com/
     
  2. star_fire
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    star_fire Contributing Member

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    i once did a paper on censorship. when the students at my catholic elementary school began to read harry potter, the parents went on a rampage. letters to the school were sent to the principal to remove the books from the library for magical references and violence. fortunately, the books were not removed. book banning and censorship in my opinion is wrong. we need to be exposed to different viewpoints, even if they are violent or vulgar.
     
  3. Shadow Dragon
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    Shadow Dragon Contributing Member Contributor

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    "Everyone is in favor of free speech. Hardly a day passes without its being extolled, but some people's idea of it is that they are free to say what they like, but if anyone else says anything back, that is an outrage."
    -- Winston Churchill


    This one is my favorite among them. I absolutely hate government censorship, and media that is afraid to challenge it.
     
  4. Rei
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    Rei Contributing Member Contributor

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    star_fire, the behaviour of those parents is proof of the fear people who want censorship have, not to mention lack of confidence in themselves as roll-models. Even if Harry Potter did teach and encourage all those things these parents believe it does, it completely undermines the parents' authority and a lack of faith in their children to understand right and wrong. True, the characters do break a lot of rules, and some kids could be encouraged to break rules after seeing how things went for the characters. But instead of not letting them read it, a responsible parent who is concerned can find a casual way to talk about it with them to make sure their kids understand why the characters did what they did and when it's okay to go around the rules.
     
  5. ValianceInEnd
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    ValianceInEnd Active Member

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    Wow, a lot of truths here. I'm sick of today's hyper "politically-correctness" crap. It's censorship of the mind.
     
  6. Still Life
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    Still Life Active Member

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    I remembered watching a Japanese film called
    University of Laughs, about two men: a censor and a comedian who just wants to get his play approved for stage. Though I was laughing almost nonstop (until the revelation at the end) I recalled feeling at the time that both sides couldn't help doing what they did. They were living two ideals.

    Just curious, but why do you (or others here) feel that we need to be exposed to things that are violent and vulgar?
     
  7. Rei
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    Rei Contributing Member Contributor

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    It's not that we need to be exposed to violence and vulgarity. Then again, how can you understand the good if you never see the bad, or understand the reason for rules if you never see what happens when they get broken? Besides, if we allow any censorship, where does it stop?
     
  8. star_fire
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    star_fire Contributing Member

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    like rei stated, we don't need to be exposed to violence or vulgarity. but let's face it, we all are at some point in our life. it's inevitable.
     
  9. Rei
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    Rei Contributing Member Contributor

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    There are thousands of things that people have/do that we don't need. That's one thing that humans have a lot of, things we don't need to survive. It's not about what we need. It's about what we can and cannot do, and whether or not it can effect us is in a devistating way.
     

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