Twofish's Blog

August 5, 2006

Beyond the slippery slope

Filed under: china — twofish @ 5:33 am

I gave a talk at wikimania today about the socio-political context of the PRC block on wikipedia.  One of my points is that the typical argument against political censorship involves the “slippery slope” that if you don’t protect civil liberties then everyone is going to end up in from of a firing squad.  This actually raises an interesting question, if the end point *isn’t* a totalitarian hell, then what is wrong with censorship?  Suppose the legal means exist to prevent political censorship from reaching really, really bad situations, does that make it OK?

I think my self-justification against censorship is this.  When I cannot say what is my heart, there is a suffocating feeling.  Being unable to speak, for me feels a lot like being unable to breathe.  It’s not as bad as being in jail, but it is still not a good feeling.

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