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Banned Books - Essay Example

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Name Date Course Section/# Silencing Ideas Censorship of books and ideas has been evidenced in our world since time immemorial. As such, since the beginning of the formation of thought and ideals, since the first transcripts of those ideas recorded on blocks of wood, papyrus, and/or scrolls, governmental structures or leadership mechanisms have sought to silence certain ideas…
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Banned Books
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Download file to see previous pages Likewise, key examples will be illustrated that show some of the common trends and underlying causes for both past and current censorship that exists in the world. Furthermore, the reader will be able to understand key trends and underlying motives that encourage power structures to take such a drastic approach to seeking to stamp out a given idea/set of ideals. Perhaps one of the most famous examples of censorship is that which surrounded the Soviet Union and the communist party control that dominated nearly every aspect of public and private life. As a means of near total control over such a society, censorship was readily employed to direct and influence the way in which “foreign” ideas were injected into the society (Plamper 528). To accomplish this, the communist party employed a rigid structure whereby incoming literature and books would need to be approved by the relevant authorities prior to reaching widespread distribution. This structure of censorship is perhaps the most extreme example that our world has witnessed within the past 100 years; however, it is not the only example of a society that has employed censorship, to а great effect, in order to mould and direct, the social evolution of its populace. Similarly, censorship exists currently in a number of nations; however, the lion’s share of censorship in the current world is derived from a fear of the spread of a foreign religion within a host country and/or region. This is evidenced by strong censorship laws that exist in many Islamic countries. These laws ban everything from the distribution of religious material to “immoral” texts that can include anything from “unislamic” attitudes, styles of dress, forms of music and a host of other culturally derived points. A few of the countries that exhibit a high degree of censorship with regard to books and literature are Saudi Arabia, Eritrea and the Islamic Republic of Iran (Information Providers 100). A similar situation exists within what most readers might consider a highly democratic country – Germany. However, Germany’s case is somewhat different than the other nations that have thus far been listed in this brief analysis. Germany has placed a ban on many of the Nazi era publications and propaganda pieces to include Adolph Hitler’s Mein Kampf. According to pertinent government institutions and officials this has been done in order to allow the populace a reprieve from the painful and harmful vitriol that was common and circulated around Germanу a few brief decades ago. Germany of course is the aberration to the rule in that this is a nation that enjoys a wide array of democratic freedoms, elections, freedom of expression/thought and a wide range of freedom of speech and freedoms of the press. However, as a function of the dangers that Nazism has presented the nation, they have chosen to implement a ban on all such material in the hope that doing so will seek to hasten the healing of many war-era wounds that were caused as a direct effect of the policies and actions implemented by the Nazis government. Although the United States supposedly enjoys freedom of the press and freedom of thought, the United States itself has experienced a long and sordid past with relation to censorship. This censorship has primarily been concentric around education in that certain individuals, teachers, parents and/or government ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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