The First Amendment recognizes that language and consciousness are inherently connected: limit one and you necessarily limit the other. “Language,” wrote John Stuart Mill, “is the light of the mind.” As Mill recognized, and others before and since have similarly acknowledged, there is indeed an intimate relationship between language and consciousness. “Human consciousness,” writes anthropologist Curtis Smith, “is almost synonymous with language.” (Curtis G. Smith Ancestral Voices: Language and the Evolution of Consciousness (Englewood Cliffs: Prentice-Hall, 1985), p. 45.) Language plays a central role in how we, as human beings, navigate within our own minds, and give order to our thoughts.

Limiting language or expression is one way to limit consciousness, just as limiting consciousness is one way to limit expression. As stated bluntly by Richard M. Restak, Clinical Professor of Neurology at George Washington University School of Medicine, “We can only express what we are capable of thinking.” (Richard M. Restak, The Mind (1988), p. 204.) 

See Also
Book Banning
Intellectual Freedom
Internet: Censorship  


Amicus Brief: Forced-Drugging Violates First Amendment
The Center for Cognitive Liberty & Ethics filed an amicus brief in a federal case in which a defendant is being forcibly injected with mind-altering drugs. The brief argues that such drugging is a form of cognitive censorship and manipulation that violates the First Amendment.

ARTICLE 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.”   

Bernstein v. US Department of State
Legal case that established that computer code is protected "speech."

The File Room
An extensive, interactive archive of literature and expression that has fallen victim to censorship; search by date, subject, country or medium.   

National Coalition Against Censorship
Provides examples of action taken by the NCAC on book-banning and other forms of censorship.

Full online and searchable text of George Orwell's dystopian novel 1984 in which the inextricable link between language and consciousness was chillingly dramatized In Orwell’s novel, the Oceania government diligently worked to establish “Newspeak” a carefully crafted language designed by the government for the purpose of making unapproved “modes of thought impossible.” 

On Cognitive Liberty (Part II)
Series of essays by Richard Glen Boire which elaborate on the individual's fundamental right to cognitive liberty and autonomy of mind. Includes a section on how cognitive liberty is essential to give the First Amendment's free speech guarantee meaning.

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