The word “censorship” immediately provokes a hostile reaction since traditionally it indicates the intention of authorities, whether clerical or secular, to curtail freedom. The very essence of Western technological civilization is incompatible with censorship, for the latter presupposes an authority to decree what should be allowed and what forbidden —whereas the entire adventure of discoveries and inventions began with a revolt against authority. Any school book can furnish abundant examples of censors making fools of themselves, beginning with Gallileo’s persecutors and ending with judges ordering literary works confiscated for immorality, precisely those works which subsequently enter the classical canon of required school reading.
Nevertheless, although parliamentary systems have guaranteed freedom of scientific inquiry and the right to proclaim political heresies, there has been an effort in our century, as in the past, to retain the concept of an of...
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