Cross-posted from ModernityBlog:
Imagine, for a moment, that you are a writer, maybe a journalist, a trade unionist, a community activist, a plain letter writer or just a normal person
Imagine that you express your views on politicians and people in the public domain in a vigorous fashion.
Nothing offensive, no swearing, no abuse, just factual comment, backed up by evidence and a few pointed questions.
Suppose you do that.
You write letters, you make comment on society or life, would you expect a knock on your door while you’re still in your night-clothes?
Of course, not.
Still less would you expect to find Policemen knocking on your door questioning you about your writings.
That is unless you lived in a Fascist or Stalinist State.
The Policemen knocking at the door was always dreaded by citizens of those repressive regimes.
Citizens knew they had to watch their words.
They knew they could not express their contempt for their leaders or those in authority. They knew an unguarded word could lead them to a camp or Gulag. So the citizens of these awful regimes do, and have, tended to censor themselves, to be extra careful what they say and what they write, lest Policemen come knocking at their door.
And why should the Police become involved?
They shouldn’t be, unless it is a criminal matter, or there is criminal intent and activity.
The State should not intervened to control legitimate criticism, or intellectual discussions and political activities will become stifled as a result.
We do not want the days of self-censorship and stupefying debate to return, that should not happen in modern democracies.
We should not fear the knock at the door, as Seismic Shock experienced.