Censorship Quotes

Sayings about Censorship

Sometimes it’s a short step from banning to burning. ~ Howard Zinn

To reject the word is to reject the human search. ~ Max Lerner

If in other lands the press and books and literature of all kinds are censored, we must redouble our efforts here to keep them free. ~ Franklin Delano Roosevelt

That was but a prelude; where they burn books, they will ultimately burn people as well. ~ Heinrich Heine

Damn all expurgated books, the dirtiest book of all is the expurgated book. ~ Walt Whitman

I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it. ~ Evelyn Beatrice Hall

You can cage the singer but not the song. ~ Harry Belafonte

Think for yourselves and let others enjoy the privilege to do so, too. ~ Voltaire

I am thankful for all the complaining I hear about our government because it means we have freedom of speech. ~ Nancie J. Carmody

The worse your daily life, the better your art. If you have to be careful because of oppression and censorship, this pressure produces diamonds. ~ Tatyana Tolstaya

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 weapon against bad ideas is better ideas. ~ Alfred Whitney Griswold

If we don’t believe in freedom of expression for people we despise, we don’t believe in it at all. ~ Noam Chomsky

Nature knows no indecencies; man invents them. ~ Mark Twain

We have a natural right to make use of our pens as of our tongue, at our peril, risk and hazard. ~ Voltaire

Assassination is the extreme form of censorship. ~ George Bernard Shaw

We are willing enough to praise freedom when she is safely tucked away in the past and cannot be a nuisance. In the present, amidst dangers whose outcome we cannot foresee, we get nervous about her, and admit censorship. ~ E.M.Forster

The test of democracy is freedom of criticism. ~ David Ben-Gurion

What progress we are making. In the Middle Ages they would have burned me. Now they are content with burning my books. ~ Sigmund Freud

I believe in censorship. I made a fortune out of it. ~ Mae West

Censorship feeds the dirty mind more than the four-letter word itself. ~ Dick Cavett

Censorship ends in logical completeness when nobody is allowed to read any books except the books that nobody reads. ~ George Bernard Shaw

Vietnam was the first war ever fought without any censorship. Without censorship, things can get terribly confused in the public mind. ~ William Westmoreland

If all mankind minus one were of one opinion, mankind would be no more justified in silencing that one person than he, if he had the power, would be justified in silencing mankind. ~ John Stuart Mill

The paper burns, but the words fly away. ~ Akiba ben Joseph

When a critic sets himself up as an arbiter of morality, a judge of the matter and not the manner of a work, he is no longer a critic; he is a censor. ~ Edward Albee

Freedom of the press is guaranteed only to those who own one. ~ Abbott Joseph Liebling

If you don’t have this freedom of the press, then all these little fellows are weaseling around and doing their monkey business and they never get caught. ~ Harold R. Medina

Lock up your libraries if you like; but there is no gate, no lock, no bolt that you can set upon the freedom of my mind. ~ Virginia Woolf

To limit the press is to insult a nation; to prohibit reading of certain books is to declare the inhabitants to be either fools or slaves. ~ Claude-Adrien Helvétius

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 Steele Commager

The only valid censorship of ideas is the right of people not to listen. ~ Tommy Smothers

Where there is official censorship it is a sign that speech is serious. Where there is none, it is pretty certain that the official spokesmen have all the loud-speakers. ~ Paul Goodman

Imagine a world in which we are all enlightened by objective truths rather than offended by them. ~ Neil deGrasse

Censorship is never over for those who have experienced it. It is a brand on the imagination that affects the individual who has suffered it, forever. ~ Nadine Gordimer

God forbid that any book should be banned. The practice is as indefensible as infanticide. ~ Rebecca West

To choose a good book, look in an inquisitor’s prohibited list. ~ John Aikin

Censorship, like charity, should begin at home, but unlike charity, it should end there. ~ Clare Boothe Luce

The censorship method … is that of handing the job over to some frail and erring mortal man, and making him omnipotent on the assumption that his official status will make him infallible and omniscient. ~ George Bernard Shaw

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

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 all censorships. There is the whole case against censorships in a nutshell. ~ George Bernard Shaw

A free press can be good or bad, but, most certainly, without freedom a press will never be anything but bad. ~ Albert Camus

Every human being has a right to hear what other wise human beings have spoken to him. It is one of the Rights of Men; a very cruel injustice if you deny it to a man! ~ Thomas Carlyle

I thought the work would be very innocent, and one which might be confined to the reason of any man; not likely to be much read if let alone, but, if persecuted, it will be vindication of his rights to buy, and to read what he pleases. ~ Thomas Jefferson

Every burned book enlightens the world. ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

Satires which the censor can understand are justly forbidden. ~ Karl Kraus

Censorship reflects society’s lack of confidence in itself. It is a hallmark of an authoritarian regime. ~ Potter Stewart

The whole principle [of censorship] is wrong. It’s like demanding that grown men live on skim milk because the baby can’t have steak. ~ Robert Heinlein

I don’t believe in censorship, but I do believe that an artist has to take some moral responsibility for what he or she is putting out there. ~ Tom Petty

Censorship blocks something from being read, heard, or seen. If you’ve ever heard the sound of bleeping when someone is speaking on television, that’s censorship.

Censorship Quotes

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