The Power of Censorship

Powerful Essays
Rewriting History: The Power of Censorship The history of the world has undoubtedly been dominated by an endless struggle for power. However, after a brief glimpse into the pages of history it should not take long to realize that the trick to maintaining power lies in the control of information. Even the most fearsome military generals of the past acknowledge the power of the mind and ideas over lethal force. Former Soviet leader Joseph Stalin once said “… [Ideas] are more powerful than guns. We would not let our enemies have guns, then why should we let them have ideas.” Stalin’s quote personifies the main concept of this literature review which will be discussing the history of government censorship and its effects that are prudent today. Several tactics will be examined that relate to the commanding regime’s attempts at influencing the public with an array of propaganda. The main topic will cover the struggle of historians’ to accurately depict epic battles in Europe and Asia, to the conflicts in the deserts of the Middle East. Some of the most interesting questions about censorship’s role in the power of the government are ironically, what questions the government allows to be asked. In fact, Michael Scammell quickly points out that “one of the first words to be censored by the censors is the word censorship”. This literature review will be focusing on the ability of historians to establish and efficiently report an accurate message to the masses. Herein lays the philosophical debate of where to draw the line between the dangerous reality of the world and the public’s right to the truth. Moreover, the goal of this study is to answer questions that pertain to just that, to seek out information qualitatively and determine; how censorship can be justified? What is the relationship between propaganda and censorship? Which methods do censors use? What are the intended and unintended effects of censorship? The right to wield the sword of


References: De Baets, Antoon. Censorship of Historical Thought. Westport: Greenwood P, 2002. 1-36. Lupis, Alex. "Freedoms Found & Lost." Russian Life (2007): 28-39. Orwell, George. 1984. Penguin Books, 1949. 42. "Schools Fail Free Speech 101." USA Today 12 Feb. 2007. 20 Feb. 2007.

You May Also Find These Documents Helpful

  • Better Essays

    CENSORSHIP Abstract Censorship is a means by which families and governments can filter exactly what the user is able to access. Some argue that censorship is necessary given all the questionable content in the world while others believe that censorship is a violation of free speech and expression. There are some that even feel as if “the powers that be” use censorship as a means of controlling the world. We will explore from different aspects what censorship is, how we are affected by it, and…

    • 1547 Words
    • 7 Pages
    Better Essays
  • Better Essays

    Censorship

    • 2801 Words
    • 12 Pages

    Censorship: To censor, or not to censor? What is Censorship? Censor-ship- The practice of officially examining books, movies, etc., and suppressing unacceptable parts. This is the Merriam-Webster definition of censorship. However some may argue that this vague definition sheds little light on the many cases of censorship. People against censorship such as English scholars would argue that censorship is far more complex than the definition that Merriam – Webster has offered. Those against censorship…

    • 2801 Words
    • 12 Pages
    Better Essays
  • Good Essays

    Censorship

    • 1946 Words
    • 8 Pages

    Blakely Honors English Comp. II April 23, 2010 Censorship; A Child’s Daily Vitamin It can be alleged that American children are addicted to television. However, some television programs repeatedly expose children to obscenity-laden language and casual sex related situations. The influence that this type of viewing poses on school-age children must be monitored. The argument surrounding media censorship and children has been widely disputed. Censorship, by the Merriam-Webster Dictionary definition…

    • 1946 Words
    • 8 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    Censorship

    • 1234 Words
    • 3 Pages

    Censorship Censorship is a highly controversial topic regarding the arts, controlling the freedom of expression of artists to convey what is deemed acceptable within society. Ai Weiwei falls victim under the power of the regime and the influence of censorship guidelines within China, limiting the display of his art due to the important messages he raises. Andres Serrano has experienced attempted censorship on his provocative image, Piss Christ, and has been attacked for producing offensive art.…

    • 1234 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    Censorship

    • 643 Words
    • 3 Pages

    Censorship? You have to be kidding me! Censorship is used by government and other ordinary people to basically get rid of things they don’t like and things they think harms society. Censorship puts the people who censor in control. The person who censors is almost like a dictator with all power. Censorship eludes to a fascist government where the government controls what you see and what you do and what you hear. The government basically controls you. Censorship puts all power into the hands of…

    • 643 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    Censorship

    • 697 Words
    • 3 Pages

    Censorship is the control of information and or ideas from an individual or a group. Music, movies, books, television, mail, news, radio, art, theatre and the internet are censored. Some things that can be found though these varies things can be harmful if it gets in the wrong hands. Censorship is a good way of controlling what some people consider to be bad or offensive, and some people feel that censorship is a way that the government can control us as a society. Censorship in my opinion is…

    • 697 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Powerful Essays

    Censorship

    • 1965 Words
    • 8 Pages

    Phil Turner Philosophy 02/14/2012 Censorship Should the government censor media, literature, and the internet? Censorship has been a major controversy in the United States even before it was country. In 1734 a New York newspaper printer, John Peter Zenger, publicly bashed the current ruler at the time and was imprisoned. He was defended by Alexander Hamilton who made his famous speech “truth can 't be libel.” This case led to freedom of speech to be added to the Declaration of Independence…

    • 1965 Words
    • 8 Pages
    Powerful Essays
  • Powerful Essays

    Censorship

    • 1672 Words
    • 7 Pages

    Look at the Arguments for and Against Censorship “Congress shall make no law…abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press” (Roleff, Barbour, and Szumski 5). Controversy surrounds the topic of censorship. Americans generally believe in the freedom of speech and expression, but some citizens of the liberal USA support censorship. Globally speaking, censorship is not really a topic of discussion, it just exists. Librarians have struggled with censorship over the years and the development of new…

    • 1672 Words
    • 7 Pages
    Powerful Essays
  • Powerful Essays

    Censorship

    • 1827 Words
    • 8 Pages

    Censorship, Education, and Ignorance in Fahrenheit 451 Adam La Fleur English 1oth Grade Mr. Tyler November 13, 2012 What does censorship mean in the book Fahrenheit 451 and what role does it play in the society? Censorship is the suppression of speech and public communication on a society because the government thinks it is bad for their people. Ray Bradbury illustrates that the government of this time uses censorship to control their people to believe that books should be burned and…

    • 1827 Words
    • 8 Pages
    Powerful Essays
  • Better Essays

    Censorship

    • 2022 Words
    • 9 Pages

    English 111 October 27, 2013 Censorship Have you ever been listening to the radio and heard a “beeeeep” in some parts of the song you’re listening to? You know, the annoying sound that interrupts the song? The sound is a familiar one among those of us that listen to the radio, in particular Rap/hip-hop music stations. This noise is heard because it’s used to bleep out/censor the word that was previously there; the word was most likely ‘bad’ or offensive. Censorship is a growing concern for our…

    • 2022 Words
    • 9 Pages
    Better Essays