Censorship and freedom of speech are hot button issues these days. It used to be that censors didn’t have to spend very much effort presenting their argument against free speech. “Say that again and I’ll boil you alive,” although tactless, is effective. But now that people can express their thoughts anonymously – and because they have been corrupted by concepts such as “rights” and “the First Amendment”—speech that threatens the established authorities is becoming increasingly difficult to suppress.

So how do you stop free speech? It’s not so difficult once you get creative. The most important thing an elite must do is convince people that any idea they don’t like is hate speech. Bonus points if they believe speech can equate to violence. Once the hoi polloi begin censoring themselves, you’ll have far more time to devote to what really matters in life: acquiring wealth and power.

It will also help a great deal if the people you rule over are no longer capable of critical thinking. Tackle this quandary in three easy steps. First, portray intellectualism in a negative light in the media. Second, produce endless amounts of mind-numbing media products. (The less stimulating the better.) Third, redesign the education system so it no longer teaches English or mathematics. Before long people won’t even have the capacity to perceive what is disagreeable about the status quo you have cultivated and profit from.

Just remember: As enthusiastically as you would like to persecute every last dissident who shares quotes about freedom of speech online, you’ve got to let a few of them get away with it. It’s easier to rile up your dogs on command when a shadowy threat is still at large somewhere.

Quotes About Free Speech and Censorship


Noam Chomsky on free speech


“The smart way to keep people passive and obedient is to strictly limit the spectrum of acceptable opinion, but allow very lively debate within that spectrum.”

 Noam Chomsky


Mark Twain quote on free speech


“Censorship is telling a man he can’t have a steak just because a baby can’t chew it.”

– Mark Twain


Lord Acton quote on free speech


“Everything secret degenerates, even the administration of justice.”

– Lord Acton


Voltaire quote on free speech


“It is dangerous to be right when the government is wrong.”

– Voltaire


P.D. James quote on free speech


“I believe that political correctness can be a form of linguistic fascism, and it sends shivers down the spine of my generation who went to war against fascism.”

 P.D. James


Aryeh Neier quote on free speech


“Those who call for censorship in the name of the oppressed ought to recognize it is never the oppressed who determine the bounds of censorship.”

– Aryeh Neier


Peter McGlouchlin quote on free speech


“Political correctness is a sinister device constructed by the left to cause the negative outcomes of left-wing ideology to never be subject to criticism.”

– Peter McGlouchlinEasy Meat: Inside the British Grooming Gang Scandal


Sam Harris quote on free speech


“We (as a society) have to be committed to defending free speech however impolitic, or unpopular, or even wrong because defending that is the only barrier to violence. That’s because the only way we can influence one another short of physical violence is thru speech, thru communicating ideas. The moment you say certain ideas can’t be communicated you create a circumstance where people have no alternative but to go hands on you.”

– Sam Harris, Making Sense with Sam Harris, #67 – Meaning and Chaos


Ann Althouse quote on free speech


“Why does the left hate free speech? Because they don’t know how to talk about the substantive merits when they are challenged. Having submerged themselves in disciplining each other by denouncing any heretics in their midst, they find themselves overwhelmed and outnumbered in America, where there is vibrant debate about all sorts of things they don’t know how to begin to talk about. They resort to stomping their feet and shouting ‘shut up’… when they aren’t prissily imploring everyone to be ‘civil.’”

– Ann Althouse


Ray Bradbury quote on free speech


“There is more than one way to burn a book. And the world is full of people running around with lit matches.”

– Ray Bradbury


Winston Churchill quote on free speech


“Everyone is in favor of free speech. Hardly a day passes without its being extolled, but some people’s idea of it is that they are free to say what they like, but if anyone else says anything back, that is an outrage.”

– Winston Churchill


William F. Buckley quote on free speech


“Liberals claim to want to give a hearing to other views, but then are shocked and offended to discover that there are other views.”

– William F. Buckley


Hugo Black quote on free speech


“Only a free and unrestrained press can effectively expose deception in government.”

Supreme Court Justice Hugo Black


Theodore Roosevelt quote on free speech


“It is unpatriotic not to tell the truth, whether about the president or anyone else.”

– Theodore Roosevelt


George Orwell quote on free speech


“Don’t you see that the whole aim of Newspeak is to narrow the range of thought? In the end we shall make thoughtcrime literally impossible because there will be no words in which to express it.”

– George Orwell, 1984


Johan Norberg quote on free speech


“The right to speak freely does not include the right to be taken seriously.  And it certainly doesn’t include the obligation that others must supply you with a platform.”

– Johan Norberg


Jordan Peterson Quote


Stossel: “If somebody wants to be called Ze or Zir, why not?”

Peterson: “I don’t care what people want to be called, that’s fine.  But that doesn’t mean I should be compelled by law to call them that.  The government has absolutely no business whatsoever ever governing the content of your voluntary speech.”

Stossel: “But if I personally said I’d like you to call me Ze or Zen?”

Peterson: “We could have a conversation about that.  Just like I would if you asked me to use a nickname for example.  But there’s a big difference between privately negotiated modes of address.  And legislatively demanded compelled speech.”

– John Stossel interviewing Jordan Peterson