Censorship Quotations

Censorship Quotations
  1. "Beware of one who flatters unduly; he will also censure unjustly. "
    -- Arabian Proverb
  2. " A man's first care should be to avoid the reproaches of his own heart, and his next to escape the censures of the world."
    -- Joseph Addison
  3. " It is folly for an eminent man to think of escaping censure, and a weakness to be affected with it. All the illustrious persons of antiquity, and indeed of every age in the world, have passed through this fiery persecution."
    -- Joseph Addison
  4. "If your library is not 'unsafe', it probably isn't doing its job."
    --John Berry
  5. " Those expressions are omitted which can not with propriety be read aloud in the family."
    -- Thomas Bowdler
  6. " This film is apparently meaningless, but if it has any meaning it is doubtless objectionable."
    -- British Board of Film
  7. " You can cage the singer but not the song."
    -- Harry Belafonte
  8. " Your own mind is a sacred enclosure into which nothing harmful can enter except by your permission."
    -- Arnold Bennett
  9. "Without free speech no search for truth is possible... no discovery of truth is useful... Better a thousandfold abuse of free speech than denial of free speech. The abuse dies in a day, but the denial slays the life of the people, and entombs the hope of the race."
    --Charles Bradlaugh
  10. "There are worse crimes than burning books. One of them is not reading them. "
    --Joseph Alexandrovitch Brodsky

    Writers Who Changed the World - Rache...
  11. " The condition every art requires is, not so much freedom from restriction, as freedom from adulteration and from the intrusion of foreign matter."
    -- Willa Cather
  12. " Censors tend to do what only psychotics do: they confuse reality with illusion."
    -- David Cronenberg
  13. "Everyone is in favor of free speech. Hardly a day passes without its being extolled, but some people's idea of it is that they are free to say what they like, but if anyone else says anything back, that is an outrage."
    --Winston Churchill
  14. "You see these dictators on their pedestals, surrounded by the bayonets of their soldiers and the truncheons of their police. Yet in their hearts there is unspoken - unspeakable! - fear. They are afraid of words and thoughts! Words spoken abroad, thoughts stirring at home, all the more powerful because they are forbidden. These terrify them. A little mouse - a little tiny mouse! -of thought appears in the room, and even the mightiest potentates are thrown into panic."
    --Winston Churchill
  15. "The fact is that censorship always defeats its own purpose, for it creates, in the end, the kind of society that is incapable of exercising real discretion..."
    --Henry Steel Commager
  16. " One of the curious things about censorship is that no one seems to want it for himself. We want censorship to protect someone else; the young, the unstable, the suggestible, the stupid. I have never heard of anyone who wanted a film banned because otherwise he might see it and be harmed."
    -- Edgar Dale
  17. "Burning is no answer."
    --Camille Desmoulins' reply to Robespierre, January 7, 1794, on burning his newspaper, Le Vieux Cordelier

  18. "If librarianship is the connecting of people to ideas – and I believe that is the truest definition of what we do – it is crucial to remember that we must keep and make available, not just good ideas and noble ideas, but bad ideas, silly ideas, and yes, even dangerous or wicked ideas."
    --Graceanne A. Decandido
  19. " The readiest and surest way to get rid of censure, is to correct ourselves."
    -- Demosthenes
  20. " Few persons have sufficient wisdom to prefer censure, which is useful, to praise which deceives them."
    -- Francois De La Rochefoucauld
  21. " The censure of those who are opposed to us, is the highest commendation that can be given us."
    -- Seigneur De Saint-Evremond
  22. "Every burned book enlightens the world."
  23. " No government ought to be without censors; and where the press is free, no one ever will. Chance is the pseudonym of God when he did not want to sign."
    -- Anatole France
  24. "If the human body's obscene, complain to the manufacturer, not me."
    --Larry Flynt
  25. "If all printers were determined not to print anything till they were sure it would offend nobody, there would be very little printed."

    Freedom of Speech
  26. " Censorship is never over for those who have experienced it. It is a brand on the imagination forever affecting the individual who has suffered it."
    -- Nadine Gordimer
  27. " We do not fear censorship for we have no wish to offend with improprieties or obscenities, but we do demand, as a right, the liberty to show the dark side of wrong, that we may illuminate the bright side of virtue -- the same liberty that is conceded to the art of the written word, that art to which we owe the Bible and the works of Shakespeare."
    -- David Wark Griffiths
  28. "Books won't stay banned. They won't burn. Ideas won't go to jail. In the long run of history, the censor and the inquisitor have always lost. The only sure weapon against bad ideas is better ideas. The source of better ideas is wisdom. The surest path to wisdom is a liberal education."
    --Alfred Whitney Griswold, Essays on Education
  29. "[O]ne man's vulgarity is another's lyric."
    --John Marshall Harlan, Supreme Court justice, 1971
  30. "Where they have burned books, they will end in burning human beings."
    --Heinrich Heine
  31. "To prohibit the reading of certain books is to declare the inhabitants to be either fools or slaves."
    --Claude Adrien Helvetius, De l'Homme, Vol. I, sec. 4
  32. "The sooner we all learn to make a decision between disapproval and censorship, the better off society will be... Censorship cannot get at the real evil, and it is an evil in itself."
    --Granville Hicks
  33. "Fear of corrupting the mind of the younger generation is the loftiest form of cowardice."
    --Holbrook Jackson
  34. "Did you ever hear anyone say 'That work had better be banned because I might read it and it might be very damaging to me'?"
    --Joseph Henry Jackson
  35. "Civil government cannot let any group ride roughshod over others simply because their consciences tell them to do so."
    --Robert H. Jackson
  36. "Children deprived of words become school dropouts; dropouts deprived of hope behave delinquently. Amateur censors blame delinquency on reading immoral books and magazines, when in fact, the inability to read anything is the basic trouble."
    --Peter S. Jennison
  37. " I find the pain of a little censure, even when it is unfounded, is more acute than the pleasure of much praise."
    -- Thomas Jefferson
  38. " Would you approve of your young sons, young daughters -- because girls can read as well as boys -- reading this book? Is it a book that you would have lying around in your own house? Is it a book that you would even wish your wife or your servants to read?"
    -- Mervyn Griffith-Jones
  39. "Books and ideas are the most effective weapons against intolerance and ignorance."
    --Lyndon Baines Johnson
  40. " It seems not more reasonable to leave the right of printing unrestrained, because writers may be afterwards censured, than it would be to sleep with doors unbolted, because by our laws we can hang a thief."
    -- Samuel Johnson
  41. " No member of society has the right to teach any doctrine contrary to what society holds to be true."
    -- Samuel Johnson
  42. "We are not afraid to entrust the American people with unpleasant facts, foreign ideas, alien philosophies, and competitive values. For a nation that is afraid to let its people judge the truth and falsehood in an open market is a nation that is afraid of its people."

    Let Freedom Ring II
  43. "The burning of an author's books, imprisonment for an opinion's sake, has always been the tribute that an ignorant age pays to the genius of its time."
    --Joseph Lewis, Voltaire: The Incomparable Infidel, 1929
  44. "Censorship, like charity, should begin at home; but unlike charity, it should end there."
    --Clare Booth Luce
  45. " They can't censor the gleam in my eye."
    -- Charles Laughton
  46. " The upshot was, my paintings must burn that English artists might finally learn."
    -- D. H. Lawrence
  47. " The crime of book purging is that it involves a rejection of the word. For the word is never absolute truth, but only man's frail and human effort to approach the truth. To reject the word is to reject the human search. "
    -- Max Lerner
  48. " We live in oppressive times. We have, as a nation, become our own thought police; but instead of calling the process by which we limit our expression of dissent and wonder "censorship," we call it "concern for commercial viability." "
    -- David Mamet
  49. " If some books are deemed most baneful and their sale forbid, how, then, with deadlier facts, not dreams of doting men? Those whom books will hurt will not be proof against events. Events, not books, should be forbid. "
    -- Herman Melville
  50. " It is useless to close the gates against ideas; they overlap them. "
    -- Klemens Von Metternich
  51. " As good almost kill a man as kill a good book; who kills a man kills a reasonable creature, God's image; but he who destroys a good book, kills reason itself, kills the image of God, as it were in the eye. "
    -- John Milton
  52. " To forbid us anything is to make us have a mind for it."
    --Michel de Montaigne, Essays, 1559
  53. "You have not converted a man because you have silenced him."
    --John Morley

  54. " Here we have bishops, priests, and deacons, a Censorship Board, vigilant librarians, confraternities and sodalities, Duce Maria, Legions of Mary, Knights of this Christian order and Knights of that one, all surrounding the sinner's free will in an embattled circle. "
    -- Sean O'Casey
  55. "Censorship of anything, at any time, in any place, on whatever pretense, has always been and always be the last resort of the boob and the bigot."
    --Eugene Gladstone O'Neill
  56. "All of us can think of a book... that we hope none of our children or any other children have taken off the shelf. But if I have the right to remove that book from the shelf - that work I abhor - then you also have exactly the same right and so does everyone else. And then we have no books left on the shelf for any of us."
    --Katherine Paterson
  57. " Art is never chaste. It ought to be forbidden to ignorant innocents, never allowed into contact with those not sufficiently prepared. Yes, art is dangerous. Where it is chaste, it is not art. "
    -- Pablo Picasso

    An American Flag and the ...
  58. " When truth is no longer free, freedom is no longer real: the truths of the police are the truths of today. "
    -- Jacques Prevert
  59. "Censorship ends in logical completeness when nobody is allowed to read any books except the books that nobody reads."
    --George Bernard Shaw
  60. "All censorships exist to prevent anyone from challenging current conceptions and existing institutions. All progress is initiated by challenging current conceptions, and executed by supplanting existing institutions. Consequently the first condition of progress is the removal of censorship."
    --George Bernard Shaw
  61. " Art made tongue-tied by authority. "
    -- William Shakespeare
  62. " Give every man your ear, but few thy voice. Take each man's censure, but reserve thy judgment. "
    -- William Shakespeare

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  63. " He who would acquire fame must not show himself afraid of censure. The dread of censure is the death of genius."
    -- William Gilmore Simms
  64. " Censure is the tax a man pays to the public for being eminent."
    -- Jonathan Swift
  65. " I am, of course, confident that I will fulfill my tasks as a writer in all circumstances -- from my grave even more successfully and more irrefutably than in my lifetime. No one can bar the road to truth, and to advance its cause I am prepared to accept even death. But may it be that repeated lessons will finally teach us not to stop the writer's pen during his lifetime? At no time has this ennobled our history. "
    -- Alexander Solzhenitsyn
  66. " Woe to that nation whose literature is cut short by the intrusion of force. This is not merely interference with freedom of the press but the sealing up of a nation's heart, the excision of its memory. "
    -- Alexander Solzhenitsyn
  67. "Censorship reflects a society's lack of confidence in itself. It is the hallmark of an authoritarian regime..."
    --Justice Potter Stewart, dissenting Ginzberg v. United States, 383 U.S. 463 (1966)
  68. "Once a government is committed to the principle of silencing the voice of opposition, it has only one way to go, and that is down the path of increasingly repressive measures, until it becomes a source of terror to all its citizens and creates a country where everyone lives in fear."
    --Harry S. Truman, message to Congress, August 8, 1950
  69. "Censorship is telling a man he can't have a steak just because a baby can't chew it."
  70. "Adam was but human - this explains it all. He did not want the apple for the apple's sake, he wanted it only because it was forbidden. The mistake was in not forbidding the serpent; then he would have eaten the serpent."
  71. "All these people talk so eloquently about getting back to good old-fashioned values. Well, as an old poop I can remember back to when we had those old-fashioned values, and I say let's get back to the good old-fashioned First Amendment of the good old-fashioned Constitution of the United States and to hell with the censors! Give me knowledge or give me death!"
    --Kurt Vonnegut
  72. " If we can't stamp out literature in the country, we can at least stop its being brought in from outside. "
    -- Evelyn Waugh
  73. " Right now I think censorship is necessary; the things they're doing and saying in films right now just shouldn't be allowed. There's no dignity anymore and I think that's very important. "
    -- Mae West
  74. "The dirtiest book of all is the expurgated book."
    --Walt Whitman
  75. "There is no such thing as a moral book or an immoral book. Books are well written or badly written. That is all."
    --Oscar Wilde, The Picture of Dorian Gray, 1891
  76. "The books that the world calls immoral are the books that show the world its own shame."
    --Oscar Wilde, The Picture of Dorian Gray, 1891
  77. "An idea that is not dangerous is unworthy of being called an idea at all."
    --Oscar Wilde
  78. " I think you can leave the arts, superior or inferior, to the conscience of mankind. "
    -- William Butler Yeats


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