In light of Wikipedia, Google, Modzilla Firefox, and many other leading free spirited activist’s protest yesterday over the United States Congress passing a censorship law that would regulate the internet, I feel I would be irresponsible as a legal content blogger on bankruptcy law not to address the philosophical issues raised by the protest, and how the subject of the potential tyranny of censorship might apply to bankruptcy as well.
The Tyranny of Censorship
To quote Wikipedia, “Censorship is the suppression of speech or other public communication which may be considered objectionable, harmful, sensitive, or inconvenient to the general body of people as determined by a government, media outlet, or other controlling body. Tyranny refers to a despotically ruled state or society.”
Even though the vote by Congress on proposed law is a political issue, the significance of the issue should make dialog on the topic philosophical. Changing how America addresses its independence made possible by revolution from despotic rule should transcend politics.
Very few would not argue that the cutting edge for American independence evolved from individuals standing up for their rights to the formal passing of the Bill of Rights. The Bill of Rights separates us as Americans from all other societies in a philosophical way. By the passing of individual rights, we said as a society that we can govern ourselves by cooperating within a nation as individuals, not as self serving collective groups.
No group within our society has the right to undermine the Bill of Rights, regardless of their perceived intention. That includes our political representatives and their lobbying counterparts. Collectivism is the emphasis on collective rather than the individual action or identity. This recent attempt to undermine the individual right of free speech on the internet should be construed as a collectivist attempt to censor what certain individuals might think and say to defend their individual rights.
If Congress wants to suppress the masses by limiting its use of the free speech forum of the internet, all the controlling body has to do is pass a law that circumvents the Bill of Rights. To allow Congress to pass a law circumventing the Bill of Rights, in itself, might be construed by many as allowing Congress to practice a form of tyranny.
How the Tyranny of Censorship can Relate to Bankruptcy
How all of this censorship talk relates to bankruptcy comes from my reading a blog by a debtor who filed a Chapter 7. He claimed to be castigated by his fellow Americans for exercising his Constitutional right to file for bankruptcy protection and rebuild his credit. One of the bloggers called him a “thief.” This rhetoric should have been expected from a group whose self interest is epitomized by the name of their website, fatwallet.com.
If we allow every self interested group to control what each and every one of us say and think through censorship, and that includes any loosed tongued censorship through the use of rhetoric, we have lost any regards for individualism in America. That especially goes for bankruptcy discussions on the internet.
No one has to feel like they have to go to debtors prison because a group of self serving tyrants says they need need to. To the contrary, the Constitution guarantees your individual rights whether any particular group of despots thinks so or not.
- Stop Sopa … Stop Pipa … Stop Censorship … Strike (laurelrusswurm.wordpress.com)
- #SOPAstrike – Strike Aginast SOPA & PIPA (betterinbulk.net)
- Internet Censorship (ourlovelywords.wordpress.com)
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