Censorship

Growing U.S. Support for Book Banning and Book Ratings Systems

Is the trigger warning crowd to blame?

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ENB

American support for banning books jumped by more than 50 percent between 2011 and 2015, according to a recently released Harris Poll survey. Conducted last March, some 28 percent of the 2,244 U.S. adults surveyed answered yes to the question "Do you think that there are any books which should be banned completely?" (up from 18 percent in 2011). "While it's still a minority perception … I felt that from 18 to 28 percent in just four years was rather surprising growth," Harris Poll Research Manager Larry Shannon-Missal told Library Journal. 

To be fair, the poll wording is somewhat confusing, jumping from talking about the content of school libraries to books more generally in a way that may have influenced some responses. On the school-library front, a full 71 percent expect librarians to keep age-inappropriate books out of the hands of students. In addition, 60 percent think books containing explicit language should be kept from school bookshelves entirely, and 48 percent say the same about violent books. Those surveyed were also largely in favor of shielding students from books containing witchcraft or sorcery (44 percent), sexual activity (43 percent), drug or alcohol use (37 percent), and vampires (36 percent). That all seems pretty standard. More unsettling, perhaps, is the fact that 33 percent of Americans don't think school libraries should stock a copy of the Koran, while 29 percent want to keep out the Torah or Talmud and 13 percent would ban the bible. About a quarter think students should be kept from any books that question the existence of a divine being, while about 20 percent want to keep out books discussing creationism.  

Taking things outside the school walls is where this poll gets really icky, though. In addition to the 28 percent who say, yes, books should sometimes be banned completely in America, another 24 percent said they were "unsure" about the answer to this question. And 71 percent support books being rated in the same vein as movies, with 35 percent "strongly" in favor of this plan. 

Interestingly, there was less support for banning movies (16 percent), TV shows (16 percent) or video games (24 percent) outright. Deborah Caldwell-Stone, deputy director of the American Library Association's Office for Intellectual Freedom (OIF), suggested that this speaks to the enduring power of books, but I can't help but think some comes from how much Americans think they would be personally affected by each ban. Ban the Koran? Yeah, yeah, sure. But you can have my Walking Dead and Skyrim when … etcetera. 

Peter Hart of the National Coalition Against Censorship said he would like to see results to more nuanced questions about censorship. More from Library Journal:

"We thought it would be helpful to ask questions that would try to draw people out a little bit," [Hart said.] "You say that you are in favor of banning any kind of book—well what about…The Great Gatsby? How do you feel about The Diary of Anne Frank? Or Beloved?… Who knows what someone has in mind when they're answering that question? A terrorist how-to guide? Are they thinking literature?"

[…] Censorship and institutionalized ratings are easy answers to difficult questions, said Caldwell-Stone. "I think it circles back to the fact that we don't talk about these issues from a civic standpoint," she told LJ. "We don't talk about the Bill of Rights anymore, and our commitment to educating students about civics has really declined in the last few decades." However, she noted, "There's always that other old adage that there should something in every library to offend someone."

Library Journal editor Lisa Peet notes that "the survey's results would seem to show a rise in conservative attitudes toward censorship, especially in the context of school libraries." True, true, but I wonder how much of the rise in conservative censorship views can be attributed to millennials of the left? Alas, Harris offers no generational breakdown for most of the book-banning survey questions. Millennials were, however, slightly more likely than Gen X'ers to support a book rating system, and only slightly less supportive than boomer or senior counterparts.  

Republicans, meanwhile, were still almost twice as likely as others to believe some books should be banned completely, with 42 percent support, compared to 23 percent for Democrats and 22 percent for political independents. College graduates were somewhat less likely than those with a high-school education or less to support book bans (24 percent, versus 33 percent). 

NEXT: State Secrets

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  1. I think the bit about not teaching civics is key here. As much as students complained about that course, they at least came out with some basis for understanding our system of government. Many of them now, however, have never encountered any of that and probably really have no idea why you can’t ban books. Add to that the coddled children whose parents never let them experience anything challenging in their lives and you have a recipe for a whole generation that will see nothing wrong at all about forcing others to do your bidding.

    1. Uh, I think you need to audit a modern social studies course, especially for middle/high school.

      Something like *half* the course is WW2, with some very flattering (really, downright hagiographic) portrayals of key progressive figures and strongly pushes the notion that the state is the *first* responsible party to look to whenever there’s a problem.

      Oh yeah, they do talk about the different branches of the American federal government (and completely gloss over if not outright ignore the role of state governments) – the Democratic, the Republican, and the . . . . oh I forgot the third one.

      1. I know i post sporadically here, but this past Fall I student taught 10th grade World History and I have to say my attitude regarding how they teach Civics is mixed. They do outright ignore the role of state governments. I did get to teach a lesson on Natural Rights and had a great debate with my lowest achieving class on what happened with Eric Gardner and how it tied to taxation and such/police brutality. It was difficult trying to teach them how the Bill of Rights got ignored over the years. Trying to teach all the contradictions in govt was very tough.

        1. With all due respect, I wish to focus attention on the actual topic of the article here.
          The author asks the following question: “Is the trigger-warning crowd to blame?” This question exposes the author’s bias against a “crowd” she considers might be “to blame” for a tendency she apparently does not like. But let’s face up to the facts: certain forms of speech do insidiously trigger feelings of discomfort among students and professors alike in our great educational institutions, and those forms must be eradicated if we to create a safe and civil environment for campus life. There is speech that triggers beastly, lascivious urges that lead to such horrors as unwanted sexual touching during a date (including so-called “classical” texts by outrageous figures like Ovid and Alexander Pope). Even worse, there is unseemly, provocative satire of a “personal” nature that evokes feeling of disrespect for some of our most distinguished educators. All such speech must clearly be suppressed if we are to build a better, kinder, limper America, and the author’s insinuations to the contrary should be examined most carefully. Fortunately, prosecutors in New York have taken a lead in changing our attitudes about what some people still humorously call “free speech,” and hopefully others throughout the nation will soon take their cue and further that tendency. See the documentation of America’s leading criminal satire case at:

          http://raphaelgolbtrial.wordpress.com/

      2. This is interesting. During my schooling in the late 1970’s, we didn’t even get to the 20th century until maybe the last 2 of 3 weeks of the school year.

        1. I absolutely hated history all the way through high school. The first history class I like was in college ( US history, 1900 – present ). Taught by a history PhD with a gift for storytelling

          By the way this was at DeVry, Columbus Ohio

          I will go back to my Scotch now. That is all.

    2. We could go on all day about what they should teach in school. That won’t help.

      If you look throughout history, you’ll see that by and large, people are just stupid. Possibly too stupid to appreciate liberty.

      It may sound smug, but I was a terrible teenager and didn’t pay attention in school. That didn’t stop me from figuring out how the government works. There are people, that despite having grown up in an era when civics was taught, who still don’t understand a goddamned thing about the way the gub’ment is supposed to work.

      Liberty will never be accepted and practiced by the masses. All we can do as libertarians is act as sludge in the engine that trucks us down the road to serfdom.

      People want to be ruled.

      1. People want to be ruled.

        No king but king Jesus.
        (All others are corrupt, and therefore unworthy.)

  2. “I hate it that Americans are taught to fear some books and some ideas as though they were diseases.”

    -Kurt Vonnegut

    1. Fahrenheit 451 == Prog Heaven

      1. I think you just proved Kurt Vonnegut right. Remember that nearly twice as many Republicans were in favor of banning books as Dems or Independents.

        “Conservatism, though a necessary element in any stable society, is not a social program; in its paternalistic, nationalistic, and power-adoring tendencies it is often closer to socialism than true liberalism; and with its traditionalistic, anti-intellectual, and often mystical propensities it will never, except in short periods of disillusionment, appeal to the young and all those others who believe that some changes are desirable if this world is to become a better place.” -FA Hayek

        I hate hearing Republicans claim, again and again, that they are against Big Government. Support the Republicans if you hate Big Government, and so on. Meanwhile, their actions show they support it as much or more than Liberals, special interest groups, and anyone else in Washington. They start endless wars, sell arms to unstable countries, or buy tanks the Army doesn’t want, and grow fat off defense “contributions.” They prefer Big Government when it comes to immigration, women’s rights, civil rights (Guantanamo, Patriot Act), drugs, prison reform, and that’s just getting started. You don’t last long in Washington today if you won’t submit to BG. And the only real way to change that is for Independents or 3rd Parties to gain some political power.

  3. I don’t think that “book ban” is an accurate phrase to describe a government opting to not stock a certain book in its own building, i.e. a library.

    1. There were two separate questions, books in school libraries and complete bans

    2. Since the survey and article did address “some books [?] be[ing] banned completely” in the last paragraph, it seems the article did talk about banning books.

    3. A public library does not belong to the government. Its merely *run* by it.

      1. Not all public libraries are run or funded by the government.

        1. Then its not a public library.

          Its a *private* library open to the public.

    4. As long as people keep assuming the government has their own anything, liberty will continue to be unattainable.

      1. All your liberty are belong to us

  4. OT From TragicPeevishness’ Keep On Trumpin’ department:

    http://thinkprogress.org/elect…..er-police/

    However, Trump said the answer was to give more “strength and power” to the police.

    “But at the same time we have to give power back to the police, because we have to have law and order,” he said. “We have to give strength and power back to the police. You’re always going to have bad apples .. [but] the police have to regain some control of this crime wave and killing wave that we have in this country.”

    According to a Wall Street Journal and NBC poll released Sunday, Trump is by far the most popular Republican candidate for president. He is, according to the poll, the first choice of 19 percent of GOP primary voters, while 15 percent back Wisconsin governor Scott Walker and 14 percent support former Florida Governor Jeb Bush.

    1. Will you please not do that…now we are going to get 5 more Trump articles today.

      1. Aack! Sorry! Here, how’s this one to break the curse? The comments are priceless, too.

        http://www.cbc.ca/news/technol…..-1.3177098

        A hitchhiking robot that captured the hearts of fans worldwide met its demise in the U.S.

        The Canadian researchers who created hitchBOT as a social experiment say someone in Philadelphia damaged the robot beyond repair on Saturday, ending its brief American tour.

        1. of course in its ‘brief’ American tour it traveled a distance equal to crossing Germany before it was vandalized – but no one wants to mention that.

          Also – its not a damn robot.

          1. “No, its $17 I got from the scrap metal place…”

            /Philly denizen

          2. I’m just laughing at how proud non-Americans are at being tame and compliant. At least when people might be watching.

        2. “Hitchhiking Robot Could Have Been Terrorist Bomb”

        3. fuck all canadian researchers…just sayin…

        4. was it carrying one of three acceptable forms of hitchhiking currency?

  5. Many ( most? ) people want freedom for themselves but not others.Look at all the people that drink beer ,wine and liquor yet believe pot and other drugs should be illegal,

    1. Or those that oppose police brutality but believe that only cops and the military should possess firearms.

  6. It comes down to the “5% of the population buys 90% of books” statistic. Most people in this country haven’t read anything but a bible since high school or college and thus are easy prey for the media or preachers who sensationalize “deviant books”. Remember, there’s a large portion of our country who think the word “damn” is a curse word…

    1. Cites plz.

      I would swap “celebrity focused magazine” for Bible and “The View” for preachers, were I talking about Chicagoland…

      1. Have you ever lived in the south? The Bible Belt is not a misnomer. Lots of deeply religious people who believe the bible is the only book they need to own.

        Most of the rest are Star magazine types though, yeah.

        1. You’re full of shit. Lived in the rural South and Appalachia my entire life and never heard anyone say anything of the sort. Most people here are like anywhere else. Ask them if they’re a Christian and they will say yes despite hardly ever going to church and living life how they want.

          Books and actually reading them are pushed on kids here just like everywhere else but since most people here spend most of their time working, doing chores, or kid related stuff they find it hard to sit down and read texts on economics, philosophy, politics, etc.

          So if they are religious and they do find time to read, then they will read about what is most important to them. It’s not that hard to figure out, perhaps if you weren’t trying to lift yourself up by putting yourself above others, you would have figured that out.

        2. You are totally full of shit.

          1. Not you, Schu

        3. “Lots of deeply religious people who believe the bible is the only book they need to own.”

          LOL, do you have a cite for that? Because I’ve lived in the South my whole life and I’m not aware of this huge chunk of the population that owns a Bible and no other books. I’d be absolutely astounded if Cook Books didn’t out number Bible’s 5 to 1 in your average Southern household.

    2. As others alluded to, there are AT LEAST as many Americans who NEVER read a book, but they don’t miss the Kardashians and the Bachelor etc. Plenty of people read a bible, then read Vonnegot or some other stuff. Hell, even the most Deist of the founders, Jefferson was very knowledgable about the bible.
      (And I am not even a bible believer!)

      1. Hell, even the most Deist of the founders, Jefferson was very knowledgable about the bible.

        So much so that he curated his own edition of it. He was also no slouch on the Koran.

        1. I own that edition. It is really quite instructive in establishing a context for what he thought was important,

      2. I don’t need a book, I have a book.

    3. “Most people in this country haven’t read anything but a bible since high school or college”

      LOL, that’s a total fucking lie.

  7. It comes down to the “5% of the population buys 90% of books” statistic. Most people in this country haven’t read anything but a bible since high school or college and thus are easy prey for the media or preachers who sensationalize “deviant books”. Remember, there’s a large portion of our country who think the word “damn” is a curse word…

    1. It *is* a curse word, and the Bible is a more challenging book than much of what the 5% reads.

      1. Few people ever read the Bible. If they read at all, they read sentences and sentence fragments out of context. If more people read it they might be inclined to ban parts of it that disagree with their folk religion.

        1. Bible literacy is much more common among the unwashed redneck (and blackneck) masses than you might think.

          It’s the hipsters, not the good old boys, who can’t tell an apostle from an epistle.

      2. Yeah, “damn” is kind of the curse word in some ways. But curse words are largely acceptable to use today. “Fuck” and “shit” aren’t curse words, just profanity.

        1. Kind of? To damn is to literally curse someone or something.

          1. I should have bolded “the”. What I meant is that “damn” is really the essence of what a curse word is.

  8. It comes down to the “5% of the population buys 90% of books” statistic. Most people in this country haven’t read anything but a bible since high school or college and thus are easy prey for the media or preachers who sensationalize “deviant books”. Remember, there’s a large portion of our country who think the word “damn” is a curse word…

  9. It comes down to the “5% of the population buys 90% of books” statistic. Most people in this country haven’t read anything but a bible since high school or college and thus are easy prey for the media or preachers who sensationalize “deviant books”. Remember, there’s a large portion of our country who think the word “damn” is a curse word…

  10. It comes down to the “5% of the population buys 90% of books” statistic. Most people in this country haven’t read anything but a bible since high school or college and thus are easy prey for the media or preachers who sensationalize “deviant books”. Remember, there’s a large portion of our country who think the word “damn” is a curse word…

    1. You are The God of the Squirrels.

    2. Uhm, it is.

      And its a damn sight more ‘cursy’ than ‘fuck’.

    3. Damn, Schu.

    1. But I doubt you’d get arrested if you had some kiddie porn or something printed out as a string of 1s and 0s.

  11. Ban the Koran? Yeah, yeah, sure. But you can have my Walking Dead and Skyrim when … etcetera.

    Eh. This is always the way it is – ban what *I* think is bad and leave alone what *I* think is OK. All we need to do is keep stirring up the pot of ‘what to ban’ and there’ll be a natural detente among the banners – ‘if you don’t seriously move to ban my stuff I won’t seriously try to ban yours. We’ll just make a lot of noise and keep the gravy train of ‘offended activism’ rolling for our respective camps’.

    Nothing is worse for an advocacy group than *winning*. As, for example, the Author’s Guild is in the process of finding out.

  12. violent books

    It’s coming right at me!

      1. http://www.amazon.com/Encyclop…../dp/076415

        The preemptive execution of this book is essential to ensure the saftey of our benevolent LEOs.

        1. http://www.amazon.com/Encyclop…..0764157000

          Let’s try again…

  13. Those surveyed were also largely in favor of shielding students from books containing witchcraft or sorcery (44 percent)

    What?! Ban “Harry Potter” and “The Power of Positive Thinking”?!

    1. There have already been high profile protests over the former.

      1. I trust those protesters were met by powerful hexing.

        1. The most powerful hex of all – Apathia.

          1. “Retreating in disgust is not the same as Apathia.”

          2. “Fucketh Offeth!”

      1. Dianetics is alright because I enjoy the fun action of the Mission Impossible movies.

      2. Dianetics cure you much better than Krishna. Indeed.

  14. I support bans if and only if I am the wielder of the banhammer and the sole arbiter of what is to be permitted.

    If not, Piss off.

  15. Jesus. How long does it take to ask if anyone knows who else banned books?

    1. Roger L’Estrange?

    2. Your mom?

      1. THANK YOU!

        Usually I have to do this one…

    3. Anthony Comstock?

      1. None of these are an answer to the question I asked.

        1. He, who shall not be named?

        2. He, who shall not be named?

    4. I know right, that should have been comment #1. I can’t believe you mammals screwed this one up so bad.

      1. but mammals became the dominant species because of our prodigious screwing.

      2. Well, if you weren’t so busy sunning on that rock and eating crickets, you might have made it!

    5. Longer than you are willing to wait?

    6. Tipper Gore.

  16. In addition to the 28 percent who say, yes, books should sometimes be banned completely in America, another 24 percent said they were “unsure” about the answer to this question.

    Delete the world and reboot it from the base code. This iteration is too full of errors to proceed.

    1. We lost the base code, we have to do live patches.

  17. Is the trigger warning crowd to blame?

    They should have been polled on the actual books they would ban. For example, I do not think Lady Chatterly’s Lover or The Importance of Being Earnest would be banned (even by those who knew what they about), and I do not think Fifty Shades of Grey would be banned, but God and Man at Yale and The Moon is a Harsh Mistress would be banned because ideas.

    1. I’d ban them all for the lulz

      1. “Save teh treez!!”

    2. They should have been polled on the actual books they would ban.

      This. “Name one book you would ban and explain why. Also, have you ever read it?”

      1. Johnathan Livingston Seagull – for being a crime against humanity by way of it’s painful, scarring tedium. Yes, I’ve read it, that’s why I want to ban it, to save others from the pain.

        1. Ah, yes. The most commonly found object in any US yard sale.

        2. Was that the one where Jesus was barnstorming across America?

      2. Also, have you ever read it?

        Well, no, but I heard it was racist and misogynist and there may be lion hunting.

        1. why do doctors hate lions?

    3. “Do you think that there are any ideas which should be banned completely?”

        1. Yes, I do recall hearing about McKarthyism. I’m just sick of “this time it will be different” when it has repeatedly failed.

          1. You mean political witch hunts?

            1. Thats funny because as much as a block-head as he was, it turns out he was right that the Soviet Union was spending lots of money to influence Hollywood and other important folks in our country. It doesn’t mean that the government should ever have the power to keep people from working just because of their political views (hear that Union thugs?).

  18. “Is the trigger warning crowd to blame?”

    I blame the Twilight series.

  19. If words are violence worse than actual violence, then of course we should ban books filled with violent words. I’m not surprise, and there isn’t much that can be done about this trend. The ideas that spawned this don’t get you laughed out of a room anymore, and the people who want to control those around them are going to latch onto these ideas as soon as they hear them. It the same reason ‘punch up not down’ gained popularity so quickly. People want an excuse to not treat others equally. They want to use tactics that violate the Golden Rule, and now we have plenty of acceptable justifications being spouted everywhere. Oh well, what can you do.

    1. Heroes of ideas are more heralded than heroes of action these days. RIP ROWDY RODDY

  20. OT: I guess I missed Dunphy or Pseudo-Dunphy getting run off – what happened?

    1. IIRC he basically exposed himself as a Tulpa sock by arguing with himself and forgetting to change handles.

      1. HAHAHAHAHA!

        On a more serious note – is Tulpa descending into some serious (more serious) mental problems? It seems like it is getting worse since his sockery got exposed a while back.

    2. Wait… What thread was this? I love seeing that idiot fuck himself in the face.

      1. I saw Bo was posting again yesterday, hope the fun continues !

    3. Again?! Missed it. Did see Dunphy a couple times but it clearly wasn’t the Dunphy of old.

  21. OK, I’m going to ask how they make sure they get a representative sample. How do they reach people who don’t have land lines, for example?

    Or is it a lot of calls like this:

    “Hello, who is this? No, I don’t want to buy anything…oh, a poll…well, you sound like a nice young man, and it’s good to have someone to talk to…the ladies at my bridge club can be kind of boring, you know, and my daughter doesn’t call me enough…censorship? Oh, dear, I don’t like the sound of that…oh, you mean school libraries, well, of course, the books in school libraries should be age appropriate, assuming kids nowadays really read books any more, what with the Internet and all those video games…my grandson is always playing that game where you shoot people, you know the one I mean? Well, anyway, what did you say? Oh, yes, are there any books I would ban…well, I certainly wouldn’t want *Mein Kampf* in the school libraries, it shouldn’t be presented to kids without context, and I certainly wouldn’t want them reading those 50 Shades books…I mean, I love those 50 shades books, but I wouldn’t want children to be reading them…oh, you’re hanging up already? Well, bless your heart, have a nice day, too.”

  22. Why do we have to RE-LEARN the value of freedom of expression EVERY FUCKING GENERATION?!?!

    Why is true freedom of thought/ expression/ speech/ association NEVER just taken for granted?!?

    1. Because the feelz are easier to sell. It’s easy to play of the pain of being on the recieving end of mean words, since the emotion arises earlier than any rational defense against it.

    2. Because freedom isn’t the natural state of humanity. (Notice, I didn’t say for individuals!) Throughout history there are always those who, for whatever reason, decide they know better or want more stuff without having to work or trade for it, or good old FYTW.
      That is why I am a libertarian, not an anarcho-capitalist.

    3. Maybe because whoever is in charge wants to keep it that way, and dissenting opinion is a threat.

  23. Republicans… were still almost twice as likely as others to believe some books should be banned completely

    C’mon, Team Red aficionados! Light the Buttplug Beacon and tell us how this is wrong or misleading.

    1. Alright, I will give it a shot. This was an online poll. That was done by people who were part of Harris Polls pool of people doing surveys. There is no way to verify that the people who chose the responses they did were being honest. It isn’t beyond the realm of possibility that some Team Blue folks are skewing the results to show the world what these hick, bible-thumping red-necks are all about.

      In all fairness, I don’t necessarily believe this was significant reason. But it is possible. And for the record, I am on Team Red (not because of the politicians) because I think there is more room for libertarian thought than on Team Blue. And I am not quite ready to give up altogether.

      1. I used to think like this, but have given up on team red.

        Of course that means team red is probably going to have a libertarian moment now that I’ve abandoned them.

      2. I tend to lean towards team red because while team red is bad, team blue is BAD(!!).

  24. Ban anything by Immanuel Kant, because his writings just make people feel stupid.

    1. Attempting to fully, or even partially comprehend Prolegomena to Any Future Metaphysics resulted in me falling into a three day drunken stupor. Of course, I have a plethora of excuses for indulging in three day drunken stupors.

    2. I’ve fallen and I. Kant get up…

  25. Only poems praising Dear Leader should be allowed in schools.

  26. Let’s ban government schools and allow the market to decide which books are kept in which school libraries.

  27. Do they break down responses by sex?

    1. Yes – in almost all categories, women were slightly more supportive of censorship

        1. Them womyns sure are totalitarian.

  28. We seem well on our way to banning any book with a Confederate flag on the cover (or hiding it under the counter like “Playboy.”)

  29. “Republicans, meanwhile, were still almost twice as likely as others to believe some books should be banned completely.”

    This may be a matter of semantics. When conservatives do it, it’s called “banning”; when liberals do it, it’s called “selection”.

  30. So the answer to your question is no. Most book banners are conservatives. Glad you cleared that up for yourself.

    1. True, true, but I wonder how much of the rise in conservative censorship views can be attributed to millennials of the left?

      Remember folks, despite being functionally illiterate, Tony fucking loves science!

      1. Yeah, that leaves figuring out what “conservative censorship views” means. What would the relationship between “conservative censorship views” and the young left be? Is it like “the left wants to ban books, so, fellow Conservatives, let’s ban more books – naturally of the left – than they”. Perhaps “conservative censorship views” are simply those relatively accepting of censorship, regardless of political affiliation.

    2. “. Most book banners are conservatives.”

      Yeah, because 42% Republican translates to most in your mind.

  31. Fundamentalists of any stripe are inherently conservative. They’re also insecure and closeminded. They will inevitably seek to suppress the expression of ideas inimical to their own. It matters not whether they lean right or left: they’re prudish and repressive by temperament.

    So yes, conservatives are far more likely than others to favour book banning. But conservative is not synonymous with right-wing. The quicker we move away from the incomplete paradigm that associates conservatism with right-wing thought and realize that conservative tendencies permeate all extreme ideologies, the more effective we’ll be in analyzing and responding to these sorts of issues.

    1. You mean they want to conserve their ideological foundation, because otherwise they’d become something fundamentally different. What philosophical system would strive to destroy itself instead of maintaining itself? Speaking of “conservative” here seems at best misleading. as it usually refers to perpetuating some social status quo, norms that are already in effect. Ideology can exist even when no rules are applied in social life: a construct merely of thoughts. Revolutionaries (progressives?) probably are fundamentalists, but they are not conservative, until they cease to be revoluionaries.

      1. To the contrary, I find it fascinating (and infuriating) how often puritanical mores seem to go hand in hand with ostensibly revolutionary movements. I consider SJWs, for example, to be every bit as puritanical as the radical right-wing fundamentalist Christians among whom I grew up, even if they express their suffocating moralism and self-righteousness in different vocabulary.

        From what I’ve seen, liberating movements tend to be more evolutionary than revolutionary.

        1. Key word “ostensibly”.

          I’m not sure about equal puritanism, but it’s a good thought. What I find remarkable is inconsistency. (Mansplaining, no femsplaining. Regulating/restricting male sexuality, not regulating/restricting female sexuality.) There’s no apparent neutral principle for any of these standards (which deal with epistemology and morality). Nor are standards, once set, applied the same. Next to nobody embraces democracy without exception, nor is choosing democracy a neutral step.

          As for evolution and revolution, I’d like to know at what point decadence and corruption set in. Does evolution lead to revolution, and do all things fall to corruption? Did SJWs start out puritanical, or did that develop and develop internally (“carrying the germs of its own destruction”)?

  32. Incidentally, there is only one trigger warning suitable for would-be book banners:

    “Excuse me, sir or ma’am, it is my obligation to inform you that my finger is currently resting on the trigger of this firearm, the business end of which is pointed in your direction. If you proceed with your intention of banning this constitutionally protected expression of free speech, I will have no choice but to actuate the trigger of said firearm.”

  33. It’s no surprise that if people had control over others, that they would engage in acts of aggression against others, to include violence.

    That’s why people become politicians and bureaucrats, because they hide behind standing armies and police, because they themselves would be too scared to rob someone themselves because of the consequences they would face.

  34. up from 18 percent in 2011″

    Who says that Obama hasn’t been effective in office?

  35. Please ban more books douchebags, maybe kids will rebel and start reading more of them.

  36. Because book banning is often used interchangeably with selecting the inventory of public libraries, it would be more useful to say “make illegal” when that is what they mean in the survey. It’s also more honest.

    To be fair, the poll wording is somewhat confusing, jumping from talking about the content of school libraries to books more generally in a way that may have influenced some responses.

    It almost seems this confusion was intentional.

    And maybe that many people DO want to make some books illegal. But phrasing it that way provides more clarity. Also, it could have the effect of encouraging people to think of the actual ramifications of their position. Do they necessarily want people to go to jail over owning a book?

    1. Soooo, what’s the penalty for having a banned book in ones possesion?

      1. The phrasing is too vague. I can ban a book from my house by donating it to Goodwill or throwing it away and, if I have kids, I can ground them for possessing it. But I can’t make it illegal.

  37. So anyway, back when I was in high school, the librarian had a shelf in her office of “banned” and questionable books. Students needed permission to access them. However, out in the main stacks I remember seeing a permabound copy of Paul Ehrlich’s “The Population Bomb”.

    How much more damage did “The Population Bomb” inflict on students than did “Ice Station Zebra” and “Catcher in the Rye”? Quite a lot I suspect.

  38. I am genuinely confused. Book burning and censorship is conservative? The PMRC wars in the 80’s was headed by progressive democrats.
    Is the PMRC an exception?
    Can someone offer more insight, pretty please?

    1. I wanted to get Tipper up on her tippy toes with her pants down around her ankles…so much for censorship.

  39. Relatively, what would be the response to “making (some) ideas illegal” have been?

  40. I try to ban Kevin J. Anderson from my bookshelf, but the bastard slipped in through some Dune novels that I’m not likely to read again.

  41. a full 71 percent expect librarians to keep age-inappropriate books out of the hands of students

    What is age-inappropriate?

    My guess is the typical idiot thinks “Books with sexual content” but the average bureaucrat thinks “economics, history, science fiction…”

    1. I’d far rather my kids read about folks making love, which is, you know loving and legal, than about people killing each other, which is less than loving and in most cases quite illegal.

  42. The great unwashed and emotionally-driven majority have always looked to an authority to protect them from the beliefs and ideas of those they do not accept. The idea of First Amendment freedom of speech, to them, only applies to their freedom of speech, not those who don’t agree with their point of view.

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