September 23, 2013

20 Quotes About Censorship, Freedom of Speech

Censorship -- the control of the information and ideas circulated within a society -- has been a hallmark of dictatorships throughout history. In the 20th Century, censorship was achieved through the examination of books, plays, films, television and radio programs, news reports, and other forms of communication for the purpose of altering or suppressing ideas found to be objectionable or offensive. The rationales for censorship have varied, with some censors targeting material deemed to be indecent or obscene; heretical or blasphemous; or seditious or treasonous. Thus, ideas have been suppressed under the guise of protecting three basic social institutions: the family, the church [religion and mostly from Islamic Blasphemy Sharia Law (emphasis mine)], and the state. [source:]

20 Quotes About Censorship and Freedom of Speech
  1. “If liberty means anything at all, it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear.” ~by George Orwell

  2. “I may not agree with you, but I will defend to the death your right to make an ass of yourself.” ~by Oscar Wilde

  3. “If freedom of speech is taken away, then dumb and silent we may be led, like sheep to the slaughter.” ~by George Washington

  4. “What is freedom of expression? Without the freedom to offend, it ceases to exist.” ~by Salman Rushdie

  5. “I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.” ~by Evelyn Beatrice Hall, The Friends of Voltaire, 1906

  6. "We can never be sure that the opinion we are endeavoring to stifle is a false opinion; and if we were sure, stifling it would be an evil still." ~by John Stuart Mill, On Liberty, 1859

  7. “Hypocrites get offended by the truth.” ~by Jess C. Scott, Bad Romance: Seven Deadly Sins Anthology

  8. “This is slavery, not to speak one's thought.” ~by Euripides, The Phoenician Women

  9. “You can't pick and choose which types of freedom you want to defend. You must defend all of it or be against all of it.” ~by Scott Howard Phillips

  10. "If we don't believe in freedom of expression for people we despise, we don't believe in it at all." ~by Noam Chomsky

  11. “A constitution, as important as it is, will mean nothing unless the people are yearning for liberty and freedom.” ~by U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg

  12. “Words to intrigue, inspire, examine, question, praise; Words to help us appreciate our world, our selves, our games; Words to dance our true soul fires gracefully free.” ~by Jay Woodman

  13. “Imagination sees the complete reality, - it is where past, present and future meet... Imagination is limited neither to the reality which is apparent - nor to one place. It lives everywhere. It is at a centre and feels the vibrations of all the circles within which east and west are virtually included. Imagination is the life of mental freedom. It realizes what everything is in its many aspects ... Imagination does not uplift: we don't want to be uplifted, we want to be more completely aware.” ~by Kahlil Gibran

  14. “Without freedom of speech there is no modern world, just a barbaric one.” ~by Ai Weiwei

  15. “Nobody has the right to not be offended. That right doesn't exist in any declaration I have ever read.

    If you are offended it is your problem, and frankly lots of things offend lots of people.

    I can walk into a bookshop and point out a number of books that I find very unattractive in what they say. But it doesn't occur to me to burn the bookshop down. If you don't like a book, read another book. If you start reading a book and you decide you don't like it, nobody is telling you to finish it.

    To read a 600-page novel and then say that it has deeply offended you: well, you have done a lot of work to be offended.” ~by Salman Rushdie

  16. “Goebbels was in favor of free speech for views he liked. So was Stalin. If you’re really in favor of free speech, then you’re in favor of freedom of speech for precisely the views you despise. Otherwise, you’re not in favor of free speech.” ~by Noam Chomsky

  17. "Every human being has a right to hear what other wise human beings have spoken to him. It is one of the Rights of Men; a very cruel injustice if you deny it to a man!" ~by Thomas Carlyle

  18. “If all printers were determined not to print anything till they were sure it would offend nobody, there would be very little printed.” ~by Benjamin Franklin

  19. “When you tear out a man's tongue, you are not proving him a liar, you're only telling the world that you fear what he might say.” ~by George R.R. Martin, A Clash of Kings

  20. “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.” ~by Harry S. Truman

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