Monday, May 09, 2005

I wrote a little something for the Dems

Hadn't done much with the college dems this term. Today I finally wrote our statement on Bias for Bias Response Team week. Critique away. Make it better, it is due on the 11th.

George Bernard Shaw once wrote, “All censorships exist to prevent anyone from challenging current conceptions and existing institutions. All progress is initiated by challenging current conceptions, and executed by supplanting existing institutions. Consequently the first condition of progress is the removal of censorships. There is the whole case against censorships in a nutshell.” After such eloquence and brevity there is little left to say, except perhaps to argue the value of progress or the meaning of censorship.
Progress is at once humbling and edifying. Humbling, because one is forced to look around and say, “The way things are right now, this present reality, is not the best we can do.” Edifying because the question that follows the previous thought is, “What can I do to make things better?” Progress is, at its essence, the shaking up of the status quo and a yearning for something better for oneself and for others. Yet, it is apparent throughout history that the status quo has a way of cementing itself and limiting the forces of change. They realize, “One’s mind, once stretched by a new idea, never regains its original dimensions.” This they can not abide, and so they move to place a vice-grip upon the mind.
This is where censorship comes in. Those who are afraid of ideas not their own, and who have power to do something about it, will try and stop, that is censor, these ideas. This is rarely done these days by physical intimidation, more often now by greeting the ideas with canned partisan responses, or knee-jerk reactions, or with high concepts that justify low thought, like “Conventional Wisdom” “The Party Line” “Political Correctness” or “Patriotism.”
And so, we of the College Democrats affirm free speech on campus, and freedom from physical or partisan intimidation. We also affirm the responsibility of all students to hear people out, think before they critique, get the facts, and pay attention to the world around them.

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