A society which has no limitations on free speech is a society on the slippery slope towards anarchy. In order for moral standards to remain high, certain things must be hidden from public view. Many countries in the west used to understand this both legally and implicitly. However, in recent decades, any sense of balance in this respect, has become totally unhinged.
The truth of the matter is that the vast majority of people believe in some kind of censorship, it’s a matter of where it is applied and how. If we can all agree that one wouldn’t want to see images of a baby being beheaded on a giant television screen in a city centre, we can agree that free speech has its limits.
Here is a proposal on the proper place for such limits.
Today, one witnesses the censorship and attempted censorship of areas that ought to be protected by free speech. This includes: political opinions, whistleblowing of all varieties, disclosure of government secrets in the interests of the greater public good and strongly worded statements designed to agitate individuals into holding their government to account.
Inversely, obscene images, sexual propaganda, images whose intent is to convey disgusting themes, images of medical deformities and images designed to frighten the young, should be fully censored from public view. In this context, public view means the following: public displays/posters/hoardings/billboards, television broadcasts, webpages including social media, magazines, non-academic books and radio.
Not so long ago this was the rule rather than the exception in the wider world, both in Communist states and in the capitalist West. Today though, one would be forgiven for thinking that obscenity is the new virtue and that uplifting materials are the new vice. When television, art galleries, magazines and cinemas are filled with disgusting smut, is it any wonder that stories of perverse crimes fill the newspapers and that general neurosis pervades amongst people with seemingly ordinary lives?
When filth is normalised through the ease of publication and dissemination, society itself is not only condoning but encouraging sickness. It is only through the imposition of stringent censorship of sickening items that one can begin to forge a society based on sound moral and ethical principles.
Enforcing such laws will not be difficult and it will help the economy in so far as it will create jobs requiring moderately high levels of training and skill.
I propose the creation of ‘National Bored of Information’, comprised of a large group of individuals from all professional, personal, religious and ethnic backgrounds.
Anyone who seeks to publish or display items which could be reasonably understood as obscene, will be forced to submit said items to the board for review. If the board deems them acceptable for public consumption, they can be displayed anywhere the creator or legal owner of the images sees fit. If the images are deemed to be obscene, they may only be displayed in a private residence and all public advertising of the images’ existence will be prohibited by law.
Furthermore, if anyone publishes obscene materials without first submitting them to the Board, they will be subject to both a fine and imprisonment upon the securing of a guilty conviction. In all cases, written and oral political statements will be exempted from censorship.
If implemented, these proposals could help turn the tide of the West’s moral decay. Society must become healthy again. The government of any healthy society must use its power to encourage people to engage in healthy political debate, the non-obscene arts, sport, community initiatives and must also encourage them to report and if necessary, stop any crime being committed against an innocent person. This cannot be done in a society which actively or passively encourages the consumption of perverse and diabolically disgusting ‘artistic’ materials.
Free speech has its limits, the laws of almost every country on the planet speak to this fact. The question therefore is, where and when censorship is necessary. In order to enhance democracy and turn back the tide or moral decay, the answer is simple. Artistic expression must face higher levels of scrutiny and political discussions must be protected with ever greater resolve.
For anyone wondering if somehow these proposals go against the will of the people, I’m happy to put them directly to the public in the form of a referendum. I believe that my proposals would win. Apart from the liberal cosmopolitan elite who delight in perversion, yet want to censor the political views of decent ordinary people, the majority of the public are tired of filth being propagated from urban centres into the wider country and they are tired of their voices being silenced by the same class of people who create and disseminate the filth.
The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of The Duran.