Does the use of censorship have a place among the struggle towards socialism and/or within a future socialist society?

October 2021 Forums General discussion Does the use of censorship have a place among the struggle towards socialism and/or within a future socialist society?

Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 117 total)
  • Author
    Posts
  • #81756
    SocialistPunk
    Participant

    After recent events on the party forums this subject and it's implications may end up being discussed at the next party conference and/or ADM meetings. As such it is a relevant and important topic for discussion on an open socialist forum.

     

    Quote:

    Censorship is the suppression of speech or other public communication which may be considered objectionable, harmful, sensitive, or inconvenient as determined by a government, media outlet, or other controlling body. It can be done by governments and private organizations or by individuals who engage in self-censorship. It occurs in a variety of different contexts including speech, books, music, films and other arts, the press, radio, television, and the Internet for a variety of reasons including national security, to control obscenity, child pornography, and hate speech, to protect children, to promote or restrict political or religious views, to prevent slander and libel, and to protect intellectual property. It may or may not be legal. Many countries provide strong protections against censorship by law, but none of these protections are absolute and it is frequently necessary to balance conflicting rights in order to determine what can and cannot be censored.

     

    So even within today’s so called free society, censorship in one form or another still goes on.

    It is clear from a basic definition of censorship, that it has/is exercised on SPGB forum sites including this one.

    I do not think it necessary to give specific examples, but they involve the editing, removal or even total disallowance of relevant posts and comments of forum members including SPGB party members under the vague rules of moderation.

    I wish only to discuss the merits and/or problems associated with the use of such practices within a socialist environment and to ascertain if such censorship would be continued within socialism, should it ever come about.

    My stance is that restriction of free speech and expression would have no place in a socialist society and therefore has no place on any socialist platform.

    #91358
    Anonymous
    Inactive

     Well socialist punk I do believe you have a ‘hot potato’,I have to admit I did not think you would receive any response while a member of the SPGB was on suspension.I have not received a serious comment about censorship from anyone apart from yourself and another member. It is for you to decide why so few members wish to discuss censorship.My own opinion is that socialists should oppose censorship Censorship is the friend of power and dictators. In a socialist society power of censorship will not exist.  And this is what the SPGB once advocated, when I was a member in a previous life, and which I still agree with: "The Socialist Party of Great Britain is wholeheartedly in favour of the fullest freedom of speech. This is because we hold that out of full and free discussion of today's social problems only one valid conclusion can emerge: that Socialism alone will provide the framework within which they can be solved.Full free speech means exactly what it says: any and every view should be allowed expression so that it can be examined and shown to be wrong. One of the more obnoxious views current these days is racialism, the idea that some human beings are inferior to others and ought to be treated as such." Socialist Standard January 1979Judging by the lack of support I have received,  I believe there is a consensus in the party in favour of censorship and it is for this reason I have reluctantly resigned from the SPGB. 

    #91359
    SocialistPunk
    Participant

    It is a sad day indeed when a socialist feels the need to leave the party.But your case my friend is the most worrying of all I have come across, as it has highlighted a very dangerous route the SPGB of today is treading."Censorship is never over for those who have experienced it. It is a brand on the imagination that affects the individual who has suffered it, forever." Noam Chomsky

    #91360
    SocialistPunk
    Participant

    What has happened to the SPGB today?Is no one going to stand up and show me where I am wrong?I joined this forum to find out the health of the party in the second decade of the 21st century. What do I find, party forums where members relevant posts can be deleted, edited and even disallowed. Wriggle and squirm all you want, pretend not to see, turn your backs, palm the difficult decision off to someone else if you feel that way inclined.But like it or not, censorship is being practiced within the SPGB forums!At least be honest!?"Full free speech means exactly what it says: any and every view should be allowed expression so that it can be examined and shown to be wrong."Or do these words, from The Socialist Standard of all places, mean nothing?

    #91362
    SocialistPunk
    Participant

    Hi BrianThank you for acknowledging this topic, much appreciated.However I do have some questions.1) I was under the impression the SPGB advocated open debate. It is the only way to get to the bottom of a subject, so to speak. Minds can be enlightened and changed with debate, can they not? It is the basis of democracy and thus socialism.2) I am not a SPGB party member and so have no way of taking part in such a discussion other than on this open forum. I was also under the impression that most people on this forum, the silent majority are not party members. Some may be thinking of joining and censorship may be an important issue for them. It is for me. How else are they to get a taste for socialism and what it stands for? 3) Without going into detail, I have outlined examples of censorship on the party forums. All I ask now is a simple question, whether or not it is acceptable to engage in cencorship in a socialist environment? That could be answered easily. If I am wrong, show me. If I am right then the party needs to address the problem, that is where conference would be needed.Simple.

    #91361
    Brian
    Participant

    Until the specifics of this issue is discussed at Conference the jury is out.  Any discussion until then would only add fuel to any misunderstandings it has created.

    #91363
    Brian
    Participant

    The WSM doesn't just advocate open debate, we also put it into practice, albeit that everybody follows the rules and code of conduct under which that discussion is conducted.  If however, its found that these protocols and procedures are found wanting we'll change them after discussion has taken place on the necessity for or not for change.Currently, the discussion is still taking place within the confines of the party structure and like I said the jury will be out until it reaches Conference when it will become open debate.  In the meantime its essential the whole of the party membership is provided with all the information required to reach a decision and possibly a solution to this issue.   Until we receive that information discussion by party members on this particular matter is deferred on this forum.Nevertheless, and despite the fact that for the time being we have decided collectively to stay mum this does not stop non-party members from speaking their mind on this forum on the subject matter of censorship in a general sense.   I would not advise any non-party member to start rehashing old ground which would most definitely place the moderators in an unenviable position. 

    #91364
    SocialistPunk
    Participant

    I hope I am understanding the previous post correctly.SPGB party members (democratically I presume) have decided to self impose a ban on openly discussing the issue of the use of censorship on party forums?A self imposed ban on discussing the issue of censorship!?

    #91365
    Anonymous
    Inactive

     

    Brian wrote:
     Currently, the discussion is still taking place within the confines of the party structure and like I said the jury will be out until it reaches Conference when it will become open debate.  Nevertheless, and despite the fact that for the time being we have decided collectively to stay mum  

      

    SocialistPunk wrote:
    I hope I am understanding the previous post correctly.SPGB party members (democratically I presume) have decided to self impose a ban on openly discussing the issue of the use of censorship on party forums?A self imposed ban on discussing the issue of censorship!?

      Discussion within the confines of the party!ALL the business of the SPGB is open. When did this change? I request that the 'discussion taking place within the confines of the party' be brought to the attention of all members of the world socialist movement and all interested members of the working class. Why was I not part of the decision of the party  'to collectively stay mum'? When and where was this topic discussed and decided? 

    #91366
    Anonymous
    Inactive
    Brian wrote:
    Currently, the discussion is still taking place within the confines of the party structure and like I said the jury will be out until it reaches Conference when it will become open debate.  In the meantime its essential the whole of the party membership is provided with all the information required to reach a decision and possibly a solution to this issue.   Until we receive that information discussion by party members on this particular matter is deferred on this forum.Nevertheless, and despite the fact that for the time being we have decided collectively to stay mum this does not stop non-party members from speaking their mind on this forum on the subject matter of censorship in a general sense.   I would not advise any non-party member to start rehashing old ground which would most definitely place the moderators in an unenviable position.

    What on earth are you talking about, Brian?  I'm not aware that this "discussion" […] "will become open debate" unless a branch has already placed, or intends to place, such an item on the Conference agenda. Neither do I know of any collective decision "to stay mum".The reason why most people choose not contribute to this discussion (judging by conversations I have had with several members) is that a) the suggestion of censorship within the SPGB is quite preposterous and b) they are bored to tears with a theme which has been dragging on for weeks and weeks and weeks.  That, in itself, should provide ample evidence for those who fear that opinions are in some way being stifled.  Free speech reigns here, as elsewhere in the party, providing the basic rules of the forum are observed.

    #91367
    Anonymous
    Inactive

    Hi gnomeI think your remarks are provocative and insulting. How do you know members are not interested and are bored with the subject? By your own admission you have only spoken to a few. I have received many emails of support., from both members and non members.How can you say censorship within the SPGB is preposterous without supplying evidence to support your claim. I have been censored and suspended on two occasions for a total of 22 days.

    #91368
    DJP
    Participant

     

    TheOldGreyWhistle wrote:
    I have been censored and suspended on two occasions for a total of 22 days.

    You could have avoided having posting rights temporarily suspended by abiding by the rules and not calling for members and volunteers to resign or be expelled from the party. Rest assured anyone else making similar posts will get the same treatment. END OF STORY.

    #91369
    Anonymous
    Inactive
    DJP wrote:
     

    TheOldGreyWhistle wrote:
    I have been censored and suspended on two occasions for a total of 22 days.

    You could have avoided having posting rights temporarily suspended by abiding by the rules and not calling for members and volunteers to resign or be expelled from the party. Rest assured anyone else making similar posts will get the same treatment. END OF STORY.

     I can live with that but why have you waited until now to tell me that?If that is case then I would point out that we have a rule book and I seem to remember some comrades calling for the suspension of whole branches. It is called democracy: If someone is acting undemocratically you have the right to call for their expulsion. Or is this another thing that has changed in the SPGBMoreover. when I  was asked to resign – on this forum –  the member involved was never censored.  Why not?By the way. Why do you use capital letters for END OF STORY. I was going to appeal to Admin but I forgot. You are Admin. So this is a one sided discussion in many respects

    #91370
    Young Master Smeet
    Participant

    Interestingly, this is how the OED defines Censor (n.):

    OED wrote:
    1. The title of two magistrates in ancient Rome, who drew up the register or census of the citizens, etc., and had the supervision of public morals. a. transf. One who exercises official or officious supervision over morals and conduct.b. spec. An official in some countries whose duty it is to inspect all books, journals, dramatic pieces, etc., before publication, to secure that they shall contain nothing immoral, heretical, or offensive to the government. More explicitly dramatic censor, film censor.†a. A person who judges or criticizes.Obs. b. esp. One who censures or blames; an adverse critic; one given to fault-finding.

    Obviously, the verb to censor comes from the name of the ancient office (I clipped out a few definitions that I don't need).   Now, it will be clear, that there will be need for the type of censorship implied by "One who censures or blames; an adverse critic; one given to fault-finding." even if that is not a formal position.  Obviously, we're not talking here about someone sitting down and vetting all publications pre-emptively, in the totalitarian sense, but in the sense of someone reminding people with a common purpose that there are rules and expected behaviours.  Such people could even have authority, in the sense of knowing what they are talking about and being held in esteem and respect by their peers for such knowledge.  they could also have democratic authority, in that they may be elected to such purpose.I'd imagine most workplaces and organisations would have a censor, or a censorship function, just as the Socialist Party has a variety of mechanisms for dispute resolution.Of course, the ancient Roman office was a strike against the Tribunate, to try and claw some power back for the Patricians as they were being forced to surrender access to the consulship to Plebeians. To get away with it, though, they nexploited the need to define who was a citizen and who could take part in elections.

    #91371
    Anonymous
    Inactive
    Young Master Smeet wrote:
      Such people could even have authority, in the sense of knowing what they are talking about and being held in esteem and respect by their peers for such knowledge.  they could also have democratic authority, in that they may be elected to such purpose. 

    I would not, if I were you, put your trust in 'such people'. Every 'such people' the working class has ever trusted has led us into the shit.What if 'such people' are unfair and unbalance in their administration. Would we be allowed to point that out?Are you in favour of censorship? 

Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 117 total)
  • You must be logged in to reply to this topic.