Writers silencing writers 4

Jon Rappoport writes at Canada Free Press about writers wanting to silence other writers:

First he quotes the Los Angeles Times:

More than 250 authors, editors, agents, professors and others in the American literary community signed an open letter this week opposing any publisher that signs book deals with President Donald Trump or members of his administration.

Then the open letter:

We all love book publishing, but we have to be honest — our country is where it is in part because publishing has chased the money and notoriety of some pretty sketchy people, and has granted those same people both the imprimatur of respectability and a lot of money through sweetheart book deals. We affirm that participation in the administration of Donald Trump must be considered a uniquely mitigating criterion for publishing houses when considering book deals.

Consequently, we believe: No participant in an administration that caged children, performed involuntary surgeries on captive women, and scoffed at science as millions were infected with a deadly virus should be enriched by the almost rote largesse of a big book deal. And no one who incited, suborned, instigated, or otherwise supported the January 6, 2021 coup attempt should have their philosophies remunerated and disseminated through our beloved publishing houses.

It was in fact Obama who had cages built for children at the southern border, and had children locked in them. And what is that about “involuntary surgeries” being “performed on captive women” by the Trump administration? We haven’t heard that calumny before. What more is there to that story which presumably the lying media told its gullible – or equally dishonest – readers? And who are the scoffers at science? President Trump who succeeded in getting anti-Covid vaccine created in record time, or those who think – as no doubt the letter-writers do – that a man can be turned into a woman and a woman into a man? Finally, President Trump definitely did not “incite, suborn, instigate or otherwise support” a coup attempt.

But even if he had done all those wicked things, there would still be no case to silence him.

Rappoport comments: :

Beloved publishing houses? I’m sure no writer, in the last ten thousand years, has ever used that phrase.

Indeed, almost all writers are, always have been and always will be, in a failed and abusive marriage with publishers.

And writers have been fighting a long hard battle against churches, monarchs, dictators with their heresy-sniffers and censors, for millennia. The battle seemed to have been won in the West with the coming of the Enlightenment, especially in the United States when freedom of speech was enshrined in its Constitution – though from time to time censorship, punishment of authors, book-burning occurred where an idealist guided the destiny of a nation. Or a gang of them did, as now in the United States.

Since the invention of language, writers have fought to win the freedom to WRITE without interference. In the process, they’ve been arrested, charged, prosecuted, convicted, imprisoned, tortured, and murdered. That’s the history of the war.

And now this little venal band of scum—writers—wants censorship.

Here’s a chapter from that history; Giordano Bruno, 16th century Dominican friar, poet, and philosopher. For teaching a theory of reincarnation, for stating the universe was infinite, for discussing the possibility of life on other planets, on February 17, 1600 in the Campo de’ Fiori Square [in Rome], the Roman Church burned him at the stake.

They canceled him. And now –

These contemporary buffoons want to cancel Trump.

Rappoport informs them:

You’re every censor who ever existed.

We recognize them as latter-day followers of Girolama Savonarola, the virtuous preacher who made a great bonfire of books in Florence in 1497. Whether they know it or not.

The point is that to the minds of these 21st century American Savonorolas, you can only publish your books if you are virtuous. What is virtuous is defined by them. They are the priests of an orthodoxy. If you do not conform to it, you are a heretic and must be silenced.

They expect old Joe Biden – the dummy whose hand is the instrument designated to sign virtuous propositions into law – to endorse their prohibition against the publishing of Trump and Trumpian ideas.

And we expect he will.

Posted under Totalitarianism, tyranny, United States by Jillian Becker on Thursday, January 21, 2021

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Giordano Bruno, atheist 8

Giordano Bruno (1548-1600) was a Dominican monk who  fled from his monastery in Naples at the age of thirty-six, wandered through Italy and France, lived for a few years in England – and having repudiated Christianity, embraced the Epicureanism of classical Greece.

The Epicureans, who taught that life was to be enjoyed, were essentially atheist, but were careful not to deny that gods exist in case some intolerant authority punished them for holding and expressing such an opinion. They dared to assert that yes, there were gods of course, but they lived very far away from the human world, occupied themselves with nothing but their own pleasure, and took no notice whatsoever of what humans did, thought, felt, or believed.

When Giordano Bruno was fifty-two, and foolishly chose to express his opinions where the long arm of the Inquisition could reach him, the intolerant Catholic Church burnt him to death for doing so.

This is from The Swerve, by Stephen Greenblatt*:

[Giordano Bruno] found it thrilling to realize that the world has no limits in either space or time, that the grandest things are made of the smallest, that atoms, the building blocks of all that exists, link the one and the infinite. “The world is fine as it is,” he wrote, sweeping away as if they were so many cobwebs innumerable sermons on anguish, guilt, and repentance. … And his philosophical  cheerfulness extended to his everyday life. He was, a Florentine contemporary observed, “a delightful companion at the table, much given to the Epicurean life.” …

Bruno found the militant Protestantism he encountered in England and elsewhere as bigoted and narrow-minded as the Counter-Reformation Catholicism from which he had fled. … What he prized was the courage to stand up for the truth against the belligerent idiots who were always prepared to shout down what they could not understand. That courage he found preeminently in the astronomer Copernicus …

Copernicus’s assertion that the earth was not the fixed point at the center of the universe [as all the Christian churches maintained it was] but a planet in orbit round the sun was still, when Bruno championed it, a scandalous idea, anathema both to the Church and to the academic establishment. And Bruno managed to push the scandal of Copernicanism still further: there was no center to the universe at all, he argued, neither earth nor sun. Instead, he wrote, quoting [the Epicurean poet] Lucretius, there were multiple worlds, where the seeds of things, in their infinite numbers, would certainly combine to form other races of men, other creatures. Each of the fixed stars observed in the sky is a sun, scattered through limitless space. Many of these are accompanied by satellites that revolve around them as the earth revolves around the sun. The universe is not all about us, about our behavior and our destiny; we are only a tiny piece of something inconceivably larger. …

These were extremely dangerous views, every one of them. …

Bruno, however, could not remain silent. “By the light of his senses and reason,” he wrote about himself, “he opened those cloisters of truth which it is possible for us to open with the key of most diligent inquiry, he laid bare covered and veiled nature, gave eyes to the moles and light to the blind . . . he loosed the tongues of the dumb  who could not and dared not express their entangled opinions.”  …

[I]n 1591 he made a  fateful decision to return to Italy, to what seemed to him the safety of famously independent Padua and Venice. The safety proved illusory: denounced by his patron to the Inquisition, Bruno was arrested in Venice and then extradited to Rome, where he was imprisoned in a cell of the Holy Office near St. Peter’s Basilica.

Bruno’s interrogation and trial lasted for eight years, much of his time spent endlessly replying to charges of heresy, reiterating his philosophical vision, rebutting wild accusations, and drawing on his prodigious memory to delineate his precise beliefs again and again. Finally threatened with torture, he denied the right of the inquisitors to dictate what was heresy and what was orthodox belief. That challenge was the last straw. The Holy Office acknowledged no limits to its supreme jurisdiction – no limits of territory, and, apart form the pope and the cardinals, no limits of person. It claimed the right to judge, and, if necessary, persecute anyone, anywhere. It was the final arbiter of orthodoxy.

And its orthodoxy was, by its own definition, the truth.

Before an audience of spectators, Bruno was forced to his knees and sentenced as “an impenitent, pernicious and obstinate heretic”. …

On February 17, 1600, the defrocked Dominican, his head shaved, was mounted on a donkey and led out to the stake that had been erected in the Campo dei Fiori. He had steadfastly refused to repent during the innumerable hours in which he had been harangued by teams of friars, and he refused to repent or simply to fall silent now at the end. His words are unrecorded, but they must have unnerved the authorities, since the ordered his tongue be bridled. They meant it literally: according to one account, a pin was driven into his cheek, through his tongue, and out the other side; another pin sealed his lips., forming a cross. When a crucifix was held up to his face, he turned his head away. The fire was lit and did its work. After he was burned alive, his remaining bones were broke into pieces and his ashes – the tiny particles that would, he believed, reenter the great, joyous, eternal circulation of matter – were scattered.

Thus did the religion of love.

As far as the Catholic Church was concerned, the science of the universe was settled.

 

*The Swerve: How the World Became Modern, by Stephen Greenblatt, W. W. Norton & Company, New York and London, 2011.  Our quotations come from pages 233, 237-241.

Posted under Atheism by Jillian Becker on Thursday, March 9, 2017

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