The Best Type of Censorship

Newly literate and still awed by the printed word, the Russian governors are terrified of ideas. If only they knew what out governors know: that in a huge egalitarian society no idea which runs counter to the prevailing superstitions can successfully penetrate the national carapace. We give our solemn critics every freedom, including the one to fail to be heard. And fail they do: silence and indifference neutralize the irritant more effectively than brainwashing.

“Satire in the 1950s,” Gore Vidal

3 thoughts on “The Best Type of Censorship

  1. That’s why fiction works so well in suggesting if not empowering social change. Fiction done well can be both subversive and compelling, like many of the great Russian authors *cough* Nabakov *cough*

    • I wonder what it says about our peers if the Russian authors are not remembered. Or, if they are, it is with the same contemplative tone that we’d talk about a truly complicated author–like James Joyce. The fluff, it seems, is where the attention is… Too much attention? I don’t know. Some days, I think so.

  2. I think the late Vidal is wrong in the extreme on this. Because the prevailing superstitions are ever-changing as a result of new ideas.

    Also, America is or was an egalitarian society? News to me.

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