Censorship in a Free Society
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This paper argues that censorship is incompatible with a functioning democracy and carries out a fundamental examination of democracy to see why this is so. The paper shows how censorship emerges in non-democratic regimes and how it easily descends into modes of oppression. The paper also shows how censorship is replaced by social responsibility in democratic societies in order to thwart the abuse of freedoms. The paper goes on to argue that to inculcate responsibility is the only way forward and presents the "war on terrorism" and the Internet as test cases for the thesis.
From the Paper:"The argument against censorship assumes that everybody in society is a responsible adult. Locke's philosophy of natural rights is the basis to the Constitution. If we examine this philosophy carefully we find that it depends on the autonomous individual, one who is capable of making decisions for himself, and is indeed an end in himself (Jasper 161). This may be correct from a philosophical point of view, but it ignores the reality of minors and irresponsible adults. Children need to be guided, and therefore they also need to be protected from material that is harmful to the building of character. The proper sphere for this sort of action is the family. Parents must determine what their children consume from wider culture. This may seem like an uphill struggle when the wider culture is saturated with harmful material. But if all parents acted responsibly then it is likely that society sets guidelines towards cultural production, i.e., there is instituted a form of self-censorship in the cultural industries. The same argument may apply to other social spheres, e.g. professional and corporate. Only if the elders act responsibly does a culture of responsibility prevail."
Sample of Sources Used:
- Conroy, Thomas J. and Jarice Hanson. Constructing America's war culture: Iraq, media, and images at home. Boston: Lexington Books, 2008.
- Ermolaev, Herman. Censorship in Soviet literature, 1917-1991. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield, 1997.
- Jasper, James M. Restless Nation: Starting Over in America. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2002.
- O'Connor, Katie. "Censorship Debate." Associated Content. May 05, 2006. <http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/30788/censorship_debate.html?cat=9>
- Larson, James F. The Internet and foreign policy. James F. Larson, 2004.
Cite this Argumentative Essay:
Censorship in a Free Society (2010, September 05) Retrieved December 03, 2023, from https://www.academon.com/argumentative-essay/censorship-in-a-free-society-129154/
"Censorship in a Free Society" 05 September 2010. Web. 03 December. 2023. <https://www.academon.com/argumentative-essay/censorship-in-a-free-society-129154/>