I am not in favor of censorship of any kind. I am a vocal supporter of the 1st amendment.
Yes, censorship is evil. With that said…
History has shown that when these forms of censorship occur it is undermined in great, creative ways. The fact that you are operating under a censors thumb, the work against it is more subtle and well thought out because it has to be.
Shakespeare operated under censorship. As did Oscar Wilde and G. B. Shaw.
Look at the Hayes code. It created an entire sets of genres to stick it to the censors. Censorship also brought Porn into the mainstream. Yep, the influence of Porn and it’s rise since the 1970s is because of censorship. A Clockwork Orange, Texas Chainsaw Massacure, Midnight Cowboy were all X rated movies. There was a Tony award winning play that was converted to a film that was rated X as well. Throw into this mix another X rated movie. Deep Throat. A movie that pushed the boundaries of censorship and was, by court order, removed from movie theaters in NYC. What did that do. It threw fire in the flames of censorship. The fact that it was censored and struck down from playing in NYC made national news. Free publicity an X rated movie couldn’t buy. As It traveled around the country, it got huge crowds to see what the buzz was about. Much more so than if it had been left alone.The very act of seeing it became subversive. It was a massive hit.
Some office of the most profitable films of all time are Star Wars and Gone With the Wind. GWTW leads the pack at about 70x ROI.
Even by the most conservative accounting Deep Throat is a 630x ROI. Making it the most profitable film of all time. That is a record which will likely never be broken.
Think about that, in an age of censorship, gave us the most highly profitable film of all time. And not by a little, by a light years. The undermining of censorship often creates the greatest works it is meant to keep in check.
Look at the Victorians, a time when they suppressed archeological finds from Hirclanium and Pompeii. There were artifacts found that were sexual in nature, from sculpture to sex toys. They are in a collection at the British Museum and were never advertised, however they can only be seen by appt, which means you have to know they are there in the first place to make an apt to see them. That is suppression. That is censorship.
Some of the wildest, “nastiest”, melt your eyeballs porn came from the age of Victorian censorship. Few things today can even come close to it. It was “illegal” but still got printed and sold, because there was a huge market for it, because it had been censored.
We will always face the threat of censorship. There will always be those who think “the know better”. And there will always be those who will figure out even more creative ways of fighting it. Of subverting it. Of again, hoisting it on its own petard.
So while I concur that censorship is a societal evil and should never be allowed. Getting around the censors, beating them at their own game, creates stories, art, etc that likely never would have happened and certainly not in the creative ways it did had it not been for censorship. It clearly makes the point that censorship is absurd. And the best means of censorship is no censorship. Censorship collapses under its own weight.
There is less drive to truly create something “out there” when there is no “out there”.
It is a proven human axiom, that when you tell people you can’t write about that or see that, some will go to extraordinary lengths to tell that story and read that story by trying up the censorship rul s in knots. Sure, some sheeple will just fall in line. But others will do just the opposite, driven to not just tell their story, but to stick it to the censors at the same time.
Breaking new ground when there is no impediment to breaking it, is simpler. But for those that come to break it up more, it is less interesting. Someone braking new ground through a system that, in theory is not supposed to be able to be broken, causes other creators to go, I’m gonna break this unbroken ground near yours.
So which is fundamentally more creative and risky choice, to further break up already broken ground, which we see a lot of today. Or break truly unbroken ground, even if primarily driven by spite against the censorship?
Yes we can get more stories without censorship, but I’m not convinced we get better stories.
I abhor censorship, but, when we do, it makes sticking it to the censors all the sweeter.