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Australian philosopher, literary critic, legal scholar, and professional writer. Based in Newcastle, NSW. My latest books are THE TYRANNY OF OPINION: CONFORMITY AND THE FUTURE OF LIBERALISM (2019); AT THE DAWN OF A GREAT TRANSITION: THE QUESTION OF RADICAL ENHANCEMENT (2021); and HOW WE BECAME POST-LIBERAL: THE RISE AND FALL OF TOLERATION (2024).

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Wilkins on internet censorship

Over at his Australia-related blog, The Drought Resistant Philosopher, as opposed to his blog at Scienceblogs, Evolving Thoughts, Aussie philosopher John Wilkins has published an outstanding post on the threat of internet censorship.

"Yes," he says, "I object to the fact that clean feeds are impracticable, will degrade internet performance, and not do what they set out to do (which is protect children), but fundamentally the main reason for not adopting them is that it gives power to governments and their instruments to decide sub rosa what we can and cannot see. Suppose that the present government and all the members of the department of telecommunications are exemplary individuals who not only have our best interests at heart, but do so intelligently and effectively. Can we guarantee that the next government, or a much later bureaucracy, will consist of these people? Not at all, which is why checks and balances are a crucial aspect of democratic government."

Go and have a look at the whole post to see the full development of his argument. This is one of the best discussions that I've seen of this subject to date. Better still, I'm pleased to see how much John has been weighing in of late in opposition to the creeping moralism - even a tendency to theocracy-lite - in current Australian politics.

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