An embodiment of the view that one’s mind belongs to the state, that one is accountable to a government authority for one’s intellectual, artistic, aesthetic or sexual values. Censorship legislation, as in New Zealand, typically invokes “the public interest” or “the public good” to justify its existence. These terms are incapable of objective definition. What they invoke in practice are the subjective warps of the promoters of such legislation, particularly their inhibitions about sex. It is no accident that religious fundamentalists and the more virulent types of feminists are jointly at the forefront of the pro-censorship lobby. Libertarianism is implacably opposed to censorship. Laws upholding individual rights, e.g. laws against murder (upholding the right to life), or against child sex (upholding the child’s right to develop as an adult human being) are sufficient to cover any violation of rights in the censor’s current domain, e.g. snuff movies and kiddie porn.
For more detail, please read the Free speech policy of Libertarianz here.
This is part of a continuing series explaining the concepts and terms used by libertarians, originally published in The Free Radical in 1993. The 'Introduction' to the series is here. Tomorrow, 'Collectivism.'