Is Censorship Justifiable? Essay

928 words - 4 pages

The freedom to express is essential to the democratic way of life. Today, that freedom is under attack. Both private groups and public authorities everywhere are working to remove various forms of media; newspapers, films, music, and books from public reach, thus silencing these forms of expression. Liberalism is under attack when censorship is put into place, yet, it is understandable why these measures have to be put into place when considering some of the radicals that rebel just for the sake of rebelling.Censorship, in fact, is not a new process in this world. It has been around for centuries in different forms and applications. Ancient rulers used the rules of censorship to prevent knowledge from getting to their subjects. The ancient roman emperor Augustus - (27 BC - 14 AD) led his subjects by an iron hand, ordering all opposition to be squashed claiming that the loss of liberty was a small price to pay for peace. Education materials are also censored to ensure the people only learn what is good for the ruler. Another example, in a more modern setting, is Hitler, who would go kill anyone who did not censor their thoughts appropriately and showed any hint of being anti-Hitler. Even religious establishments engaged in censorships, to keep their knowledge to themselves so as to keep themselves and their teachings in high demand.What exactly, then is censorship? It is the practice of suppressing or deleting anything that is considered undesirable. This leaves a very wide scope, subjecting anyone to the act of censoring. Government authorities who ban a certain book due to its questionable material, would be enforcing censorship, and in the same way, a mother who confiscates a magazine from her teenage son would also be censoring.Motives for censorship differ across the board. In my opinion, what makes censorship justifiable is really the motive behind it, and how the reduced material available would then affect the people the censorship was meant for.To some extent, censorship is justifiable. It is the backbone behind peace in the country. Without censorship, a lot of opposition would exist, raking up unnecessary feelings of rebellion and even causing civil wars. There are many forms of censorship. Entertainment- movies, plays, and music- are controlled by governments to make sure that their people are not exposed to undesirable influences. The Japanese do not let movies pertaining to the horrifics of World War II in South East Asia to be aired. Books are also censored. News items are released only when the government is ready and only as worded by the government. The theory behind censorship is that people cannot always decide what is good for themselves or for the country.In almost every country there is a board of censors whose duty it is to screen through all...

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