are the wealth of a hungry mind. Without unrestricted access to books
and the ideas in them, cognitive liberty does not exist. Books provide access to a variety of thoughts
and opinions; without exposure to works that challenge our beliefs as
well as those which confirm our philosophies, critical thought is a
many other forms of social control, censors attempt to justify book
banning by citing the need to protect children. Unfortunately, these
methods uniformly treat adults as children subject to the restrictions
and reading choices of the governmentally-sanctioned status quo. In
truth, books are routinely banned because censors fear their
psychoactive properties: words can profoundly alter individual
consciousness and social perception.
banning not only restricts the thought processes of adult readers, it
also has the potential to stifle the creative thought of authors. In a free
society, institutionalized attempts at thought control through the
banning of books is an unacceptable constraint on cognitive liberty.
Library Association’s Banned Books Week
Official site for the annual event calling attention to challenged and
19, the Global Campaign for Free Expression
“Named after Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights,
we work worldwide to combat censorship by promoting freedom of
expression and access to official information.”
A current listing of banned books and authors, and where
to find them.
Books in the Digital Age
by Richard Glen Boire,
Journal for Cognitive Liberty & Ethics,
Volume 2, No.1
“For the past 25 years, Index has
reported on censorship issues from all over the world and has added to
the debates on those issues. In addition to the analysis, reportage and
interviews, each Index contains a country by country list of free
speech violations. These lists remain as extensive today as they were in
the early days of Index.”
Coalition Against Censorship
Provides examples of action taken by the NCAC on book-banning and other
forms of censorship.
An extensive, interactive archive of literature and
expression that has fallen victim to censorship; search by date,
subject, country or medium.
of Education v. Pico, 457 US 853 (1982)
Key Supreme Court case on book banning.
"Local school boards may not remove
books from school libraries simply because they dislike the ideas
contained in those books and seek by their removal to "prescribe
what shall be orthodox in politics, nationalism, religion, or other
matters of opinion."
Reading Becomes a Crime: The War on Drugs Goes After Books
By Richard Glen Boire
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