This is THE letter that I waited for months ! One hundred and fifty intellectuals who denounce the culture of censorship that now reigns in the West !
The magazine Harper’s has released yesterday a load to the bottom of the train against the Thought Police that has been raging for some time. We should not be surprised that people like J. K. Rowling or Salman Rushdie, who themselves have tasted this medicine, to sign this letter.
But if I told you that the feminist Gloria Steinem, and thinker Noam Chomsky also sign this document, which says that the left must also accept to discuss opinions that are not your own… will you be also dismayed that while that me ?
In my review of Monday, I told you that I’m an atheist, but yesterday, when I saw this letter, I almost had faith : finally, a miracle !
THE LAW OF SILENCE
I would like to reproduce here the whole of this Letter on the subject of justice and open debate, so this is brilliant. But here are the essential…
“The free exchange of information and ideas vital to a liberal society, becomes every day more restricted. While we have become used to this situation from the radical right, the culture of censorship is spreading so widely in our culture : an intolerance to opinions to the contrary, a wave of public humiliation and ostracism, and a tendency to reduce policy questions are complex to a moral certainty blinding. “
“Editors-in-chief are dismissed for having published texts controversial ; books are removed from circulation because of a supposed lack of authenticity ; journalists are banned from writing on certain subjects ; teachers are the subject of an investigation for quoting literary works in the classroom, a researcher is sacked for circulating an academic study ; and leaders of organizations are referred to have simply made errors of clumsiness.
Result : we have consistently reduced the limits of what can be said without risk of retaliation. It already pays the price, when authors, artists, journalists are afraid of losing their livelihoods if they move away from the consensus, or do not show enough zeal to follow the current.
The best way to combat ideas harmful is by using arguments, persuasion and transparency, not trying to silence them or attempting to make them disappear. We need to protect the possibility of disagreement in good faith without that anyone has to suffer the dire professional consequences. “
Phew ! It’s loud!! Very strong.
Who has co-signed this letter which marked a turning point, a sort of refus global in the field of freedom of expression ?
Margaret Atwood (author of The handmaid’s tale) ; Steven Pinker ; Kamel Daoud ; Francis Fukuyama ; Malcolm Gladwell ;
Michael Ignatieff ; Garry Kasparov ; Wynton Marsalis ; J. K. Rowling; Salman Rushdie ; Gloria Steinem ; Noam Chomsky, and 138 other personalities, intellectuals and artists.
I found this letter, courageous, critical, relevant, essential.
I have a dream : that such a letter be published in Quebec, signed by Mathieu Bock-Côté, Denise Bombardier, Denys Arcand, as well as by Laure Waridel, Aurélie Lanctôt, editors of The Press, or Guy A. Lepage.
Ben what ? Well I have the right to dream.