Philosophy 1301 w/ Colby Glass

Censorship is the concealment of information. It may take the form of banning books, suppressing information, declaring documents "top secret," or simply not telling what you know. The result in every case is the denial of information to others.

Censorship is usually about power. Information is power and the most common form of controlling information is to keep it from others. It is a way of controlling people by keeping them "in the dark."

Censorship is often used by governments to control their own people. Censorship is a common tool of egocentric or ethnocentric people who think they have the only correct answer and want to force all others to be like themselves.

Censorship is diametrically opposed to the concept of intellectual freedom, the idea that intelligent people, exposed fully to all points of view, will choose the right answers for themselves.

For a better understanding of censorship and the media in the United States, read the following books... or at least take a look at the excerpts I have placed on the Web:

20 Years of Censored News, by Carl Jensen -This is the place to begin. You will be aghast at the huge stories the major media has simply ignored, or actively suppressed.

Manufacturing Consent: The Political Economy of the Mass Media, by Edward S. Herman and Noam Chomsky -Herman and Chomsky propose a theory of how the mass media ends up ignoring or suppressing news which the public would expert to be headlines.

Lies My Teacher Told Me, by James W. Loewen -the part the education system and textbook creators play in suppressing major portions of our history is spelled out by Loewen with several historical examples given in depth.

A People's History of the United States, by Howard Zinn -Once you have read Loewen, you will be wondering what ELSE you weren't told in school. Zinn spells it all out for you. This book will change the way you see your country, your fellow citizens, and yourself.

The opposite side of censorship is PROPAGANDA. Censorship is negative; it keeps from us a story better not told in the opinion of the censor. Propaganda is positive; it tells us a story. If you have not been there yet, take a look at our page on PROPAGANDA.

Links on Censorship

CENSORSHIP --page of links
Index On Censorship .. "bi-monthly magazine for free speech, widens the debates on freedom of expression with some of the world's best writers. Through interviews, reportage, banned literature and polemic, Index shows how free speech affects the political issues of the moment"
See in particular the current instances of censorship in the U.S.A.

Please send comments to: Colby Glass, MLIS

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