La Belle Vie
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3 Days, 3 Quotes Tag: Day 3

Day 3: Government & The Church

When any government, or any church for that matter, undertakes to say to its subjects, This you may not read, this you must not see, this you are forbidden to know, the end result is tyranny and oppression no matter how holy the motives.” — Robert A. Heinlein

What do you think, given the kind of world we live in today—are we any more civilized now than we have been at any other time, in history?

6 Comments

  1. Heinlein was right, Alex. Censorship is, in my opinion, wrong. The difficulty is, though, in balancing that view with the belief that certain communication, like incitement to violence, slurs and so on are wrong. It’s a very delicate balance.

    • La Blonde says

      Indeed, Margot. It’s one of my favourite quotes of his. And yes, censorship is a hot-button topic in any generation, which never seems to go away or be solved.

      I think the problem is accountability. We, as individuals, have to take responsibility for what we say, write, and our actions, just as much as any kind of governing body should.

      Freedom of speech, Heinlein I think said, comes with the greatest responsibility. Or maybe that was Churchill? 😀

      • Whoever it was, Alex, that makes sense. We do need to be accountable for what we say, write, and do. So do governments, religious leaders, companies, and so on. Every right is balanced with a responsibility. And, in my opinion, you can extrapolate that far beyond censorship. For instance, my right to drive is balanced by my responsibility to do so safely, soberly, and so on.

        • La Blonde says

          Exactly, Margot, you understand. Sad to say, though, so many don’t. And don’t believe they have to take responsibility for anything. Whether that’s a failure of the education system(s) or, society at large, is the question.

  2. Well, I grew up in then communist Czechoslovakia. Freedom of speech was something my parents didn’t have, and despite being very young, I still remember that tension and paranoia.
    I think being able to express ourselves without fearing for ending in jail is important. Equally, with that freedom of expression comes a responsibility to own our actions and stay accountable.
    At least that’s my take. I could be completely off.. 😊 Great quote. 😊

    • Alex says

      That must have been quite the experience to have lived through such an era, Vera. And I’m sure it’s educated and informed a great deal of your life, as a result. And yes, as you say, quite rightly, we owe it to ourselves to take and understand accountability in order to maintain our ‘freedoms’ and not let them be taken away from us.

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