Censorship: the Landmine in the War Against Democracy

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Censorship: the Landmine in the War Against Democracy

By | April 2008
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Democracy is beautiful, but democracy is not easy to achieve. Within every individual whom resides in a democratic society, lies the responsibility to protect and use the rights that they are given. In America, the 1st Amendment right to free speech is the most essential of our basic entitlements, because it allows us to express our approval or disapproval of anything pertaining to our morals. Coinciding with that right to speak out is the right to protest, in which the cases of verbal dissent can evolve into physical action. Both of these fundamental rights were reserved for “we the people,” so that citizens of this country will contain the tools necessary to ultimately decide and hold more power than the political body of authority in which they appoint. When either of these components are not easily obtainable by citizens who make up society, the validity of democracy is threatened. When an authority figure begins to dictate what is to be said, seen, or heard Fascism becomes prevalent, which means your rights are no rights. Those who obey rules blindly with no individual conscience become dangerous even though their intentions are toward a greater collective good. That element of obedience combined with an authority figure’s ability to silence society in any way undermines autonomy and is unacceptable. Ideally, everyone would agree on what is classified as art/expression and what is viewed as obscene and vulgar, but utopia is yet to be discovered. In order to avoid being a biased, misinformed soldier for authority, it is extremely important to individually analyze and critique the media you digest rather than ignorantly concurring with someone else’s morals. Within the passage, I will apply Yale psychologist Stanley Milgram’s extensive research on human obedience, and his descriptions of various socio-psychological aspects that contribute to obedience to authority in his study titled “The Perils of Obedience.”

From a historical perspective we...

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