In Defense of Censorship

The inevitability of censorship
At the beginning of this essay, I claimed that censorship is both beneficial and inevitable. So far, I have only defended the first claim. From what I have said so far, it will be clear that censorship is necessary if a society is to keep from falling into utilitarianism and atheism. However, suppose one were to embrace, or at least resign oneself to, these positions. Couldn’t an atheist, utilitarian community survive without censorship? At one time, such a question would be theoretical, but today there are a number of such communities embracing the entire populations of Europe and Canada. When we examine these societies we find, rather than utopias of free expression, regimes which police public expression to a degree that would have been inconceivable in the Middle Ages. These countries have draconian laws against “racism” and “hate speech” which in practice forbid practically any expression of disapproval for wedge minority groups or any expression of cultural or ethnic pride by the majority group. Some have outlawed criticism of Islam or homosexuality. Most bizarrely of all, it is a crime in some European countries to deny that the Nazi Holocaust ever happened. This certainly seems peculiar. Why should censorship be necessary at all? After all, the social dynamics I described above would all seem to favor the established positions, so these governments needn’t fear free debate for any reason I’ve given so far. Also, the governments in Europe and Canada largely control the schools and the media, so this would give them an enormous advantage in any public debate.

It would seem that human beings have some inclinations which can’t be satisfied in the atheist/utilitarian/cosmopolitan/androgynist framework of contemporary Europe. The most relevant in this case is the tendency to love and favor one’s own group, be it religious, cultural, geographical, or ethnic. For half a century, Europeans have been brainwashed to believe that all races and cultures are identically good (except for their own race and culture, which are worthless), and that the most evil thing that anyone can do is to show preference for one’s own kind and their ways. In spite of this, the tendency to love and loyalty for one’s own group is so strong that it keeps popping up even against the wishes of the ruling class. We see this above all in clashes between the ruling class and lower-class whites over the issues of mass immigration and the Islamization of the European continent.

As a conservative, I might be expected to object to the European form of censorship, or at least use it to gloat over liberalism’s hypocrisy. On the contrary, I realize that European governments have the same imperative as all governments: to maintain their own legitimacy. If a state can’t do this, all is lost. This is why every state regards it as a crime to publicly challenge the government’s authority and to incite insurrection. This would be an attack on what Eric Voegelin called the “existential representation” of the people. However, most societies also have what Voegelin called a “cosmological representation” and a “transcendental representation”, i.e. the state is legitimated in the eyes of the people by reference to an alleged order of nature or of morality. In such societies, an attack on this idea of natural law or divine order or whatever is an attack on the authorities that these beliefs legitimate. In medieval Europe, one could not publicly deny that Jesus Christ rose from the dead. In contemporary Europe, one cannot publically deny that Hitler killed six million Jews. In both cases, we are dealing with civic myths. By “myth”, I don’t mean to say that these events didn’t take place (in fact, I think they both did); I mean that they both serve the purpose of legitimating the social order. In the Middle Ages, kings held their authority from God, the same God that was revealed through His Son. Remove the revelation, and you remove the Divinity. Remove the Divinity, and the king’s authority is reduced to raw power. The European Union, on the other hand, claims its reason for existence in the viciousness of the European nationalism which it is meant to fight. Just as Christ’s passion and resurrection disclosed the true nature of God and our relationship to Him, so the Holocaust supposedly disclosed the true hateful nature of every form of European group loyalty. In the official view of European history, Nazism is read backwards into the entire history of the West: from Roman patriotism, to Catholic universalism, to French absolutism and Prussian militarism. All of it is pure evil. Therefore, the EU must destroy the peoples of Europe and fashion a homogeneous race of impeccably tolerant liberal cosmopolitans. If anyone questions this narrative, say by praising some aspect of the European past, he is implicitly questioning the European Union’s claim to authority. This is the one thing that no state, whatever its stated beliefs, can tolerate.

8 Responses

  1. […] As with other free markets, the product that wins is not the best but the cheapest.  In my essay on censorship, I explain why this will always be the […]

  2. ‘The scientific community has rules—rigidly enforced—regarding what may and may not be said while engaging in scientific discourse. One may not fabricate or misrepresent data. One may not attack the character of a fellow researcher in order to discredit his theory. One may not accuse him of forging or plagiarizing data without strong evidence. One may not criticize a theory by asserting that negative social or political consequences would follow from its acceptance. One may not criticize a theory for its disagreement or agreement with a religious or political authority. One may not draw philosophical conclusions from empirical data, or vice versa. If a scientist violates any of these rules, his professional reputation, and usually his career, will be destroyed. ‘

    I’ve worked in several science labs. These rules are not on the radar. Science is a business. Businessmen don’t like scandal, but it’s all about surviving.

    Scientists do what they feel will promote their interests. Debates get politicized, reputations get smeared, philosophy is used or disregarded according to convenience – science is nothing like what you have described.

  3. ‘The impious can always seize the public space away from a religion by ridicule. Even if their jokes, slanders, and innuendos don’t add up to an actual argument against the religion’s claims, these stunts often succeed in fostering attitudes of suspicion and cynicism that are incompatible with faith.’

    You’ve got the right idea here. In the modern West, there are two major sacred cows – the State and Political Correctness. Blaspheme either and you’ll be clapped in irons, but you can throw plates of spaghetti at Christians and claim to be preaching for the Flying Spaghetti Monster all you like.

  4. Hello zhai2nan2,

    I did indeed mean science when it functions as it should, and there is still a large amount of science that has not been politicized. I work in theoretical astrophysics, and none of my colleagues would dream of breaking these rules (or at least, getting caught breaking them).

  5. Am doing the assignment for “Discuss the arguments for the need for censorship in society?”. My main idea is governance related n for the supporting ideas is acting in defense.n we have to give the details n the examples….pliz help me….

  6. This comment has been removed in accordance with the published commenting policy.

  7. Every time the Bible states “Thou shall not,” that is a form of censorship, albeit good censorship.

    The only bad censorship is censorship of the truth, and this is the kind of censorship that’s rampant today, the kind that comes with its own commandments. You know the ones: “Thou shall not question the holocaust.” “Thou shall not demonstrate white racial pride.” “Thou shall not discriminate against people of color,” and so on and so forth.

  8. In defense of censor-S***?! Are you ******* kidding me?

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