As censorship grows in the United States, let’s consider two traditionally literary works that have been harbingers of truth and unfortunately, the future. Fahrenheit 451 and 1984 both paint a picture of a society devoid of individual freedoms and access to books. The greatest concern starts with our youngest readers.
Dr. Seuss Enterprises have begun the process of censorship. First, they are no longer sent to print, now prices skyrocket on eBay and Amazon and ultimately; school / public libraries will begin to remove from shelves. A temporary glimmer of hope is the N.Y. Public Library which stated it will not remove and censor books. If a patron “loses” the book, how could the N.Y.P.L. replace the title when the publisher no longer has permission to print and ship? So what are the implications for our society?
Libraries are an integral part of American society as repositories of free information. Our republic centers on an informed citizenry electing representatives to enact law and executives to carry out such laws that are deemed constitutional by the courts.
I urge you to consider building up a print collection of seminal works, lest the censors effectively ban your ownership for future generations. Will you be able to purchase a new copy of many Dr. Seuss titles for children or grandchildren? What books will be deemed insensitive, next?
In high school, I read Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451 and Orwell’s, 1984. Both struck me as important reminders of the dangers of authoritarianism and the censorship of free speech and ideas. Consider reading our previous post: https://therepublic1776.com/2021/02/18/1984-or-2021/. There may come a time when books of this sort will be censored or banned outright, as they question what may then be the current regime and status quo in America. Consider adding to your home library through the links and if you do so, The Republic 1776 will earn a small commission to help us defray the costs of maintaining this site.
“Orwell portrays a state in which government monitors and controls every aspect of human life to the extent that even having a disloyal thought is against the law. As the novel progresses, the timidly rebellious Winston Smith sets out to challenge the limits of the Party’s power, only to discover that its ability to control and enslave its subjects dwarfs even his most paranoid conceptions of its reach.”sparknotes.com
1984 by George Orwell. If interested in purchase, please follow this link. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. https://amzn.to/3e4xKdk
Guy Montag is a fireman who burns books in a futuristic American city. In Montag’s world, firemen start fires rather than putting them out. The people in this society do not read books, enjoy nature, spend time by themselves, think independently, or have meaningful conversations. Instead, they drive very fast, watch excessive amounts of television on wall-size sets, and listen to the radio on “Seashell Radio” sets attached to their ears.sparknotes.com
Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury. If interested in purchase, please follow this link. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. https://amzn.to/3kJezaj
We know the woke leftists have begun to enact change through a minority voice, amplified by a sympathetic media and federal control. Celebrities and talking heads promote and legitimize such views and actions that were hitherto deemed radical; relegated to bohemian coffee houses and universities.
China’s ascendancy as the preeminent authoritarian state with both economic, military and growing political clout, is barely noticed. It’s censorship is well known, but rarely challenged and the individual freedoms enjoyed in the U.S. are largely absent from the Chinese landscape. Do we want to follow the communist-ruled experiences of the Soviet Union, Cuba and China or the national-socialist, totalitarian regimes of Hitler or Chavez? The choice and information is ours. For now!
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