Quotations about   silencing

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In this age of censorship I mourn the loss of books that will never be written, I mourn the voices that will be silenced — writers’ voices, teachers’ voices, students’ voices — and all because of fear.

Judy Blume (b. 1938) American writer
“Censorship: A Personal View,” Introduction, Places I Never Meant to Be: Original Stories by Censored Writers (1999) [ed. Blume]
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Added on 13-May-21 | Last updated 13-May-21
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And what is an authentic lunatic? He is a man who has preferred to become what is socially understood as mad rather than forfeit a certain superior idea of human honor. In its asylums, society has managed to strangle all those it has wished to rid itself of or defend itself from, because they refused to make themselves accomplices to various flagrant dishonesties. For a lunatic is also a man whom society has not wished to listen to, and whom it is determined to prevent from uttering unbearable truths.

Antonin Artaud (1896-1948) French playwright, actor, director
Van Gogh, the Man Suicided by Society [Le Suicidé de la Société] (1947) [tr. Watson]
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Alternate translation:

And what is an authentic madman? It is a man who preferred to become mad, in the socially accepted sense of the word, rather than forfeit a certain superior idea of human honor. So society has strangled in its asylums all those it wanted to get rid of or protect itself from, because they refused to become its accomplices in certain great nastinesses. For a madman is also a man whom society did not want to hear and whom it wanted to prevent from uttering certain intolerable truths.
Added on 3-Mar-21 | Last updated 3-Mar-21
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If the newspapers of a country are filled with good news, the jails will be filled with good people.

Daniel Patrick Moynihan (1927-2003) American politician, diplomat, sociologist
“Moynihan’s Maxim”

Also referred to as "Moynihan's Law." Quoted in The Illustrated Weekly of India (16-22 Oct 1988).
Added on 21-Jun-16 | Last updated 21-Jun-16
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Everybody favors free speech in the slack moments when no axes are being ground.

Heywood Broun (1888-1939) American journalist, author
New York World (23 Oct 1926)
Added on 17-May-16 | Last updated 17-May-16
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To refuse a hearing to an opinion because they are sure that it is false, is to assume that their certainty is the same thing as absolute certainty. All silencing of discussion is an assumption of infallibility.

John Stuart Mill (1806-1873) English philosopher and economist
On Liberty, ch. 2 (1859)
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Added on 11-Aug-10 | Last updated 8-Feb-21
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