(First 2 Pages)
Greater liberty (including the freedom of speech and the freedom of movement) is worth nothing in itself, or, at least, is worth very little, if there is no chance for us to exercise our freedoms. If the economic conditions for free travel – for instance – is not ensured, we will be unable to legally make use of this freedom of ours. (Ferenc)
As a society we want our young people to be literate, thoughtful, and caring human beings; but we also attempt to control what they read, think, and care about. We feel the need to “protect” children from dangerous or disturbing ideas and information. Of course, what is dangerous or disturbing to one person or segment of society may be exciting and innovative to others and perhaps just “the truth” to still others. This combination of multiplicity of values and concern for young people keeps censorship alive in school and public libraries.
New technologies are also causing an increase in incidents of censorship. The history of communications technologies, from the written word to modern electronic media, has been written with fear as critics contemplate the direst consequences of each move that takes us farther from the personal one-on-one interaction with another human being in real time and space.
We live in a society in which many national or local legal systems impose particular, often very narrow, restrictions on access to information. Often our concerns with these legal restrictions detract attention from larger social, economic, and political restrictions.
Despite the Supreme Court’s ruling, states are busy crafting censorship laws at home. At least thirteen states have passed legislation since 1995. This year, New Mexico has already passed a draconian censorship law, and bills are pending in 10 other states. (EPIC)
Plato had the right idea 2,100 years before the Constitution was framed. The most efficient way to run a country, of course, is Plato’s suggestion that we breed philosopher kings. These people were going to be bred to be so smart and fair and honest and brilliant that you could put them in charge of a country and they would simply make the best possible decision about what to do. Being very wise and very honest, philosopher kings could easily settle the amount of taxes, what brand of beer everyone should drink and who was…