It begins with censorship

There is a difference – and this is important – there is a difference between freedom to speak and freedom to talk back. Freedom to talk back is strictly policed - and if you think differently than they think you should, your words are terminated.

Jack Engelhard, | updated: 15:30

OpEds Jack Engelhard
Jack Engelhard
צילום: מתוך האתר האישי

It begins with censorship

The right to speak your mind…that is the sum of it, as to whether you live in a free country or not.

If you live in a country where freedom to talk back is forbidden, then you’re out of luck, or back to the Dark Ages of Book Burnings and Inquisitions.

Are we there yet? I don’t know. I mean I don’t know if we are as safe from censorship this year as we were last year, or from yesterday to today.


Then the operators who run the shop…think, specifically, Mark Zuckerberg… decide that your views ...are a departure from the Dominant Culture, and therefore you are a danger, and because of that your access is being withdrawn and your privileges are being terminated.
Opinions move faster these days than ever before, and just as fast move the Thought Police.

This much is certain – You are being Watched. There is an Eye on you, to make sure that you are in compliance with the Dominant Culture.

What is the Dominant Culture? It is whatever they think is good or bad, right or wrong, and whether you should be punished or not.

Who are THEY? If it is safe to say, anything, then think of them as shopkeepers for ideas, or as hosts to your letters to the editor. Think, specifically, Facebook.

Come, they say; express yourself freely. We are an open forum. This is America. The customer is always right (or so it used to be).

That’s how it begins. But THEN. Then the operators who run the shop…think, specifically, Mark Zuckerberg… decide that your views are not their views. Your views are a departure from the Dominant Culture, and therefore you are a danger, and because of that your access is being withdrawn and your privileges are being terminated.

There is a difference – and this is important – there is a difference between freedom to speak and freedom to talk back. Entirely crucial, this distinction.

Freedom to speak is an obvious liberty, but freedom to talk back is strictly policed, if say, you’ve been targeted through an unfair or unfounded accusation – and dared to respond, as you thought was your right, even your duty, when you know you (and your people) have been wronged.

Why should that person, your accuser, have all the privileges, while for you the Rules and Regulations insist on silence?

When the Jews were reduced to whispers, all signs pointed to the coming Holocaust, as expressed through this column, “When Pharaoh came to town.”

Imagine survivors of the Holocaust, so grateful to be in America, but alarmed at what they see as happening incrementally again.

In the book of memoirs, “Escape from Mount Moriah,” we tell of the newly-arrived young survivor and his thrill and amazement that “in New York people don’t have to whisper.”

Was it so in all of America?  Yes.

Is it still so?

Not when the right and the duty to defend yourself is taken from you through an all-too-familiar Selection Process.

Not when you are terminated for answering false charges against yourself and the religion you practice and follow.

Not when the words spoken today against you and your people echo through the ages.

Not when such words led to book burnings, inquisitions, pogroms and the Holocaust.

Not when the rulers of the Dominant Culture are permitted to legislate your thoughts and master your words.

What’s to be done? Silence is not the answer.

New York-based bestselling American novelist Jack Engelhard writes regularly for Arutz Sheva.

He is the author of the international book-to-movie bestseller “Indecent Proposal.” His latest is the newsroom drama “News Anchor Sweetheart.”  His Inside Journalism thriller, “The Bathsheba Deadline,” is being prepared for the movies. Contemporaries have hailed him “The last Hemingway, a writer without peer, and the conscience of us all.” Website: www.jackengelhard.com





 




 




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