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Censorship and National Security

“All censorships exist to prevent anyone from challenging current conceptions and existing institutions. All progress is initiated by challenging current conceptions, and executed by supplanting existing institutions. Consequently, the first condition of progress is the removal of censorship.” These words written by George Barnard Shaw gives only a holistic view of censorship and its result, as it is extremely complex and can be detrimental in some cases to a society, government, and even economy. Censorship is the epitome to failure.

Just recently was the Stop Piracy Online Act (SOPA) and the Protect IP Act (PIPA) headlining national news as Wikipedia completely went black for a total for 24 hours, Google’s homepage depicted the censored title, and protests erupted across the nation. This was all due in the fear that a “censorship revolution” would emerge. Even the Obama administration noted that, “any effort to combat online piracy must guard against the risk of online censorship of lawful activity and must not inhibit innovation by our dynamic businesses large and small.” For enlightenment is a key factor in the progress of a people and country, and censorship limits that free system.

In relation to transcendentalism, censorship produces a conflict with one’s ability to express their “free thought”. The idea of conformity also shows to be a prevalent factor in the use of banning censorship. The use of non-conformity specifically was portrayed back in 2012 on the streets of New York and D.C. in regards to both SOPA and PIPA. As transcendentalist non-conformist they protested civilly but effectively, allowing both acts to be opposed.


The ability of free thought should not be taken for granted. Fortunately, I am under a system in which free thought is “normal”. For me, it’s how I express myself and conduct my everyday life—it has become a part of me. Notably, the first amendment is the essence of U.S, the land of the free and the home of the brave. However, in order to uphold that reputation we must continue to take advantage of it and stand up for what we believe in.




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