The seed of this article came from this site, I was like many other GPers a poster on GF until banned, whether SB knew what he was creating I don’t know but he is to be praised for this platform which amongst the jokes, the fellowship, the occasional disagreements, allows full and frank disclosure of ideas and views.
Everywhere in the world today there are examples of individuals being de platformed, banned, their views and ideas cancelled. Some resorting to the courts, governments able to lawyer up as of course they are using the taxpayers money to do it.
On a personal note first, food was rationed until June 4 1954, from the age of eight rationing was easing and each Saturday I was charged by my mother with buying supplies from the nearest town, I would go round all the Main Street grocers comparing the prices. My greatest discovery was the Public Library, an avid reader I found that being able to borrow books was akin to entering heaven, after that I did the errands as quickly as possible to spend as much time as possible in the library before catching the one bus per day back home.
In August 2021 Biden capitulated to the Taliban, a few months later I read of the Taliban burning books, destroying computers, forbidding education. Thinking about this prompted me to wonder just how long book burning as a form of suppression has been going on, is it only in recent times? I knew of May 10th 1933 when the Nazis burnt 25,000 books in Berlin which supposedly did not conform to Nazi ideals whilst student groups in 34 other German towns also carried out burnings……. hmmm? Indoctrinated students.
No, research shows this is not a recent happening but a form of mind control of the populace and attempted suppression of ideas stretching back millennia. Just a few examples are of Plato c380BC disliking fellow philosopher Democritus and trying to have all his works burned.
About 600 BC Jeremiah wrote that the King of Babylon would destroy Judah – when the scroll was read out before the King he ordered the scroll to be burnt and decreed Jeremiah imprisoned..
In China Emperor Qin Shi Huang 213. BC ordered all books of history and philosophy from other states be burnt and then went even further he then really went for control – he ordered the burial alive of all intellectuals who did not agree with the ideas of the Qin state. Nothing changes apparently, in October 2019 at a library in Gansu 65 books, banned by the regime, were burnt.
In 1966 hearing that John Lennon had famously said the Beatles were more popular than Jesus the Bible Belt in the USA was apoplectic with religious rage, disc jockeys, evangelists, the Klu Klux Klan begged people to bring their records, magazines, photos, for a mass burning event.
This year 2023 whilst Putin continues his invasion of Ukraine Russian troops are busy burning and destroying books in the libraries of Mariupol with particular effort concentrating on all historical records detailing the history of Ukraine.
Enduring for 2,000 plus years is the account of Rabbi Ben Tradion. The Roman occupiers of Judeah forbade the teaching of the Torah, the Rabbi was arrested and horribly executed by fire with his scroll around him. As the fire burnt the scroll he said “the parchment is consumed but the letters fly up into the air,” Ideas and thoughts cannot be put out by fire.
Now Pandora’s Box has opened with the coming of the internet this IMO is the greatest enemy of all of those who try to stop ideas and thoughts being shared. No surprise we are hearing of Parliament seeking to control the internet, supposedly “for our own good” of course.
I do not disagree that there are unsavoury aspects but to me the good outweighs the bad. I do feel we need to be very much on our guard against all their interference, after all for thousands of years others, particularly whoever is in power, have sought to use manipulation of information, ideas, for their own ends.
Who knows what 2024 will be, surprises I’m sure, whatever occurs I hope we are all here giving our views. An Interesting and hopefully Happy 2024 to all Puffins and especially to our host, Swiss Bob.
© Heavy Weather 2024