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Bob Bain

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On Censorship [Nov. 11th, 2008|04:27 pm]
Bob Bain
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borrowed from this Livejournal entry 10th. November posted by wzdd

and also reproduced here in Science Blogs

where it's possible to find a more recent entry on censorship

Posted on: November 10, 2008 9:44 PM, by John S. Wilkins who seems to believe that..

"If the Labor Party wishes to restrict our abilities to view material it deems offensive and wrong, it had damned well better do that out in the open. It's bad enough that we have an unrepresentative censorship board appointed by the government of the day and which is not accountable to Parliament for its decisions, nor to the public. That is a historical revenant of the older paternalist hegemony. Now we get more bureaucratic control over our lives?

I'm not a libertarian, but there must always be a presumption of freedom over the preferences of others, or else freedoms get whittled down, bit by bit, in satisfying political, religious and powerful interests. Much of this censorship suits, for example, the traditional media, for it means they have more control over what people are exposed to, and hence can manipulate the market for their own purposes. This suits the political parties, who rely on media support for getting their messages out. That suits the religious interests, who can ensure that political parties do not go too far from what they consider acceptable, by threatening to block anything they dislike.

And this is fundamentally antidemocratic. It will end up in an authoritarian state, or in chaos, or both. Australians have far too much of a tendency to let authority figures decide what they can do, unlike our near neighbours the Kiwis, who seem to be ruggedly subversive. I suspect it's our English heritage - the classes that formed our nation were the end product of centuries of cultural selection for conformism and submission. It's time we behaved like grownups and took our lives into our own hands."

Video from Senator Ludlam's YouTube channel. Senator Ludlam is Australian Greens Senator for WA ( video from the Australian Senate this afternoon around 2.30 pm).