The Censorship Of Fahrenheit 451

Oh, this is awkward.

Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451, once the darling of every small-town activist librarian aghast at the idea of not making Tropic Of Cancer and Fear Of Flying mandatory reading for nine-year-olds, turns out to have had a few, ahem, controversial aspects to it. In particular, the book railed against a society where abortion is encouraged and children are shuttled off to anonymous daycare.

Don’t remember that part? That’s because you probably read the censored version.


In the famous words of a young Canadian songstress, isn’t it ironic?

Eric Lawler has written something valuable on the subject of Ray Bradbury’s uncomfortably prophetic novel. It’s worth your attention.

Oh, and speaking of censorship: WordPress unpersoned the Chateau Heartiste. I’ve gotten a few emails warning me that I, too, could be banned. This would be a good time to make it plain that I do not host with WordPress and that I have a contract guaranteeing the integrity of this site for at least another… 17 months. I also take a complete backup every night. What a victory for crimethink!

In the interest of fair-and-balanced linking, I want to give you both the Heartiste cache and the anti-Heartiste FAQ from SlateStar. I’m currently hearing that the site is being rebuilt from cache and will be live again in the near future.

As you’d expect, there are plenty of people celebrating the closure — left-wingers who appreciate the silencing of Heartise’s message, and right-wing types hoping against hope that the purge will stop just short of them. The latter group is wrong. I assure you that each and every voice on the Internet to the right of, say, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez will eventually be deplatformed, de-banked, unemployed, and placed in the proverbial basket of deplorables. That includes Steve Sailer, Vox Day, Donald Trump, Joe Biden, and your humble author. I don’t mind. Freedom’s just another word for nothing left to lose — and the reverse is true, as well.

39 Replies to “The Censorship Of Fahrenheit 451”

  1. AvatarDirty Dingus McGee

    I noticed a few days ago the Chateau was gone. Wasn’t really surprised, but was disappointed none the less.

    Wrong think WILL be punished.

    Reply
  2. AvatarShrug

    Speaking as someone whose views are close to Bernie on the political spectrum, the marketplace of ideas is too precious to sever it from the collective consciousness in order to appeal to some false notion of “equality.” Censoring books is stupid. They exist expressly so that people can get a variety of viewpoints and come away with the one that makes the most sense. Taking that away is foolhardy at best, and it’s irreparably damaging to society as a whole.

    Reply
    • AvatarCJinSD

      In case you missed it, this means you’re on the wrong side. You’ve been fooled by left wing false altruism, but they can’t afford to assume everyone will be as easily mislead as you were. That’s why competing ideas can’t be expressed.

      Reply
  3. AvatarPaul Alexander

    Temporariness seems to have been purposely baked into the internet along with the ability to be directly censored without redress. I think this a part of a larger project from the powers-that-be to create a world of people without roots. Without roots, we are vulnerable and our need for a sense of security becomes paramount, leading to a obsession with placating those that can provide the veneer of security and policing those in our spheres that might upset the powers that be. This is also why the idea of online communities are fairly ridiculous, they only exist at the whims of those ‘keeping the lights on’.

    There’s currently a slow motion Fahrenheit 451 happening across the country but the books aren’t being burnt. Both public libraries and those on college campuses are being further and further defunded in a race to the technological bottom. There’s been a concurrent trend of city libraries becoming essentially internet cafe while at the same time people have gradually drifted away from reading long form. As a result, libraries across the country have begun selling off their books, and the rarer the books the better as they’re more valuable. Also, more and more books are going out of print and there are less companies to print the books. And nobody seems to be paying attention.

    Hope you and Mark are still doing well Jack

    Reply
  4. AvatarTyler

    I maintain that F451 is the best of the major dystopian works. Not only because Bradbury was a superior storyteller and stylist but because he alone among his peers understood that this was the future we would *choose*, not one that would be forced upon us. And in terms of sheer accuracy in his predictions: read the climax of Fahrenheit, then go watch the Boston Marathon bomber drone footage, and tell me RB didn’t know exactly where all this was headed.

    Do they still read The Giver as originally published? I recall some chilling infanticide in that one.

    Reply
    • Avatarsafe as milk

      “Do they still read The Giver as originally published? I recall some chilling infanticide in that one.”

      they do here. i had some intense discussions with my daughter when she was in sixth grade about that one.

      Reply
  5. Avatar-Nate

    Literacy in America has been declining for some time now, I wonder how many will actually notice this censor ship .

    I’m a voracious reader and find any sort of censorship appalling .

    -Nate

    Reply
  6. Avatarstingray65

    It is amazing that the supposedly “educated” and “privileged” people (aka snowflakes) are the very people who can’t handle being exposed to uncomfortable ideas or facts. This sensitivity becomes even more ridiculous today, because it has never been easier to avoid them. All snowflakes need to do is not watch the “bad” channels (aka Fox News, Rush Limbaugh), or not read the “bad” books (aka Mark Twain, Jordan Peterson), or stay away from “bad” websites/social media feeds (aka Alex Jones). Instead the snowflakes need to have “bad” things banned, burned, deplatformed, or otherwise made unavailable for anyone to see or debate, and if possible make sure the “evil” authors, contributors, re-tweeters, and other enablers suffer career ending and financially ruinous punishment or physical injury.

    This is the very definition of fascism, and it is happening right now on college campuses, mainstream media or social media headquarters, and Democrat party offices near you.

    Reply
    • AvatarHotPotato

      If you’re putting the badness of Alex Jones in quotes, you are, as Forrest Gump might say, not a smart man.

      Reply
  7. AvatarMrGreenMan

    We won’t have much time to worry, and the Devil knows that, when the time is short, he has to do everything all at once, so these the clampdown is going to accelerate. With the assault on the South Carolina governor’s houses, we’re going to transition to the next stage of the Spanish Civil War soon, and people are just going to start killing each other.

    You can’t square some of these things – e.g.,

    a) a person’s body is inviolate, and, therefore, they should be able to act with absolute sovereignty over it, and thus it’s an extreme offense to tell a woman she has to bear her child to term
    b) governments are constituted to protect the weak and unprotected, and therefore, the most unprotected is the child in the womb, therefore, protecting that child as the weakest among us trumps all other concerns

    You can’t square those worldviews, and they are ceasing to be able to live together under one roof.

    Reply
  8. Avatarhank chinaski

    CH has resurfaced on Gab and may rehost through Epik.
    Speaking of, do you wipe the IP logs of your readers?

    I wonder what Ray would say of HBO’s version of 451.

    ‘Irony’ is also Biden leading in the polls… an even older, whiter (well, not orange) man who also has a hairline that advances as he ages.

    Reply
    • Avatardejal

      I can see a day where it will be a federal crime to wipe I/P logs.
      I does make you wonder what happens to deplatformed web sites content and comments.

      Does anyone really think that everything magically disappears behind the scenes after the web site itself does? Or even when a web site moves to another host?

      Reply
      • Avatarviper32cm

        Under the right circumstances it probably already is. Never one to allow “a tool for prosecutors” to go to waste, certain (most, all?) US Attorneys are using the record/document destruction provisions of Sar-Box to prosecute acts outside the context of financial crimes. The penalty for a violation is upward of 20 year IIRC. A few years ago there was a criminal prosecution under that provision of Sar-Box against a fisherman in Florida that dumped some undersized fish (illegal catches) overboard before returning to shore. Thankfully, the Supreme Court reversed the conviction, but what should scare the shit out of everyone is that it was not a unanimous decision.

        Additionally, I believe an associate of the Boston Marathon Bomber was prosecuted under the same provision of Sar-Box for deleting his browser history.

        Reply
        • Avatardejal

          Another item I have no doubt being abused is Welfare Fraud. The Federal government sponsors a standard file format where a financial institution receives a file containing TIN/EIN #s and Name + Addresses. It’s called “Multistate Financial Institution Data Match” Which is to be matched against the accounts in the financial institution.

          Sounds legit, right? Some states do it under Child Support, some general welfare. I find it quite odd when I see businesses in files being returned back to the states where the EINs matched. I always figure it’s the states doing illegal trolling for bank account amounts they couldn’t otherwise easily access without a court order. If you are on welfare why do you have a business? Why would a state be giving you money?

          This information must be reported once a quarter.

          Reply
  9. Avatarsafe as milk

    they censored ray bradbury? jacobins, all of them.

    my thirteen year old daughter, who is a dedicated writer, recently read and loved 451. we have butted heads on some issues because i laugh at some of the sjw virtue signalling that she takes very seriously. to her credit, she has one me over on some issues but at thirteen, she hasn’t seen enough of the world to understand the depth of my cynicism. i don’t discourage her from the indoctrination as, i have confidence that she will outgrow most of it. i don’t need to give her additional fuel for teenage rebellion and, as benjamin disraeli supposedly said, “A man who is not a Liberal at sixteen has no heart; a man who is not a Conservative at sixty has no head.”

    Reply
    • AvatarCdotson

      My fourteen year old daughter isn’t overtly political but takes SJW issues very seriously. She hates them with passion unbridled and ruthlessly ridicules people with such stupid priorities. I chalk it up to her and most of her friends being homeschooled.

      I never understood the quote you cited. I’ve never been liberal and I’ve been rather political since 5th grade, with the closest to liberal I’ve been being a dalliance with libertarianism between becoming disaffected with neocons and the conservatard establishment and discovering dissidentism. The sprog appears to be following my path. The world is, always has been, and ever will be overseen by heartless bastards. If liberals are conservatives who haven’t been mugged yet, conservatives are liberals that were mugged by reality. Thus, they’ve had their heart broken; this doesn’t mean they grew a brain. Never-liberals FTW!

      Reply
      • AvatarJohn Marks

        You have to remember it was Disraeli (supposedly) being quoted. In the 19th-c., the word Liberal had a different meaning than it does now. (As it did in the 18th-c.)

        E.g., Edmund Burke, the spiritual father of modern Anglosphere “Conservatism,” in his own lifetime was regarded at least in part as a “Liberal” because he supported Catholic Emancipation. (Hard to believe that that could have been an issue people disagreed about, but it was not resolved in Burke’s time. In fact, Edward Elgar, as a Catholic, could not attend University in the UK, and that was in the 1870s.)

        So, a British Liberal in Disraeli’s time has very little overlap with a US Liberal of 1968 or 2019.

        jm

        Reply
  10. AvatarArBee

    “…We’re going to transition to the next stage of the Spanish Civil War soon…”

    I’ve been thinking that for a while now. Will AOC step into the role of La Pasionaria?

    Reply
    • Avatardejal

      Never heard of La Pasionaria, but looked L.P. up. This wiki line seems fitting as AOC says those who don’t want to work don’t have to.

      “In October 1987 Ibárruri solicited financial assistance from Congress. She had not contributed to the national social security program and therefore had no pension. Congress granted her a monthly perquisite of 150,000 Pesetas (approximately 1,715 of 1987 Canadian dollars).”

      Reply
  11. AvatarNewbie Jeff

    Newbie Jeff here… (Jack, first read you at R&T which brought me here… can’t say enough how much I enjoy reading you and S.S… are you guys buddies?)

    … excellent point on differentiating the totalitarian dystopia vs. the self-inflicted one, but I’m not totally counting out the 1984 version. After all, people were actually congregating in the streets to scream their hatred of Trump to the sky (not sure if they had a mandatory 2-minute requirement, though). With the state of the American Left today, I could easily see a Ministry of Tolerance established by a Democratic supermajority. Minitol would of course police speech and expression that it unilaterally deemed to be harmful or uncomfortable or inappropriate, showing up at perpetrators’ homes kicking down their front doors and occupying public sectors scanning for tolerance-offenders.

    Reply
    • AvatarEric L.

      Thank you. The point is not that the forthcoming dystopia won’t be brutal or full of elements from 1984, but that, if it does come to that, we’ll have created it ourselves. Putin is not going to randomly show up in DC with a bunch of nukes, setting himself up as America’s first god King.

      Still, I think a continued slide towards Brave New World is the most plausible outcome.

      Reply
  12. AvatarDaniel J

    As a capitalist, I see know issue. Free speech on webhosted sites really isn’t free. If sites are losing money over hosted content, they can take down the content. The backlash could be that people who do make them money leave or the readers leave over the issue.

    At the same time, there are willing web hosts willing to host these ideas and speech, they should be able to do so. Just conservatives flocked to Chik fil a when the far left tried to boycott them.

    Reply
    • AvatarCJinSD

      As a capitalist, do you see an issue with forcing a Christian baker to take part in a gay wedding ceremony?

      Reply
      • Avatardejal

        All the bakery had to do was call themselves artists and they take artistic commissions. I’ve never heard
        of artists being compelled to create art in the US. Wedding cakes are art.

        That would make peoples heads spin. Any artist of the “Fight the power!!!” variety would then also be compelled to create art they didn’t want to create.

        How about writing for a living? I come to you with a story with a certain slant and you don’t like the subject matter.. You say “Homey don’t play that.” I take you to court for denying me service.

        Reply
  13. AvatarRonnie Schreiber

    How prohibitively expensive would it be to own your own internet server?

    The amount of censorship is increasing so quickly it’s hard to keep up. Twitter suspended the head of the Heritage Foundation. That’s as establishment conservative as things get. If that’s not a shot across the bow of the right, I don’t know what is. The left wants to call anything to their right “alt-right” and then it’s just a hop skip and jump to calling me and Ben Shapiro “white nationalists”.

    Perhaps once Atty. Gen. Barr gets done cleaning out the FBI and CIA, maybe Trump’s DOJ will go after the tech oligarchs with antitrust actions. https://spectator.us/twitter-virus-mind/

    Reply
    • AvatarEric L.

      https://lawler.io/about/

      I pay $5 a month to Digital Ocean plus $50 a year to Gandi for the privilege of owning lawler.io.

      I could do it for just the cost of a ~12Wh Raspberry Pi + internet router + internet subscription, if I wanted to ditch the cloud hosting.

      Reply
    • AvatarFelis Concolor

      Dvorak was on this a decade ago when he harangued his readers to create their own cloud services.

      Now that terabyte drive prices are down to cereal box prize levels, there is no excuse for anyone to trust their personal data to 3rd party storage/mining services. Read up on the Danger Hiptop/Sidekick fiasco to understand why.

      I bitch about Micro SD card prices if they’re over 15c/GB: desktop hard drives have that beat by an order of magnitude with their $25/TB cost, and the hardest choice one will make is over which cloud server package one uses with their hardware. Storage solutions are cheap enough to add a multidrive hot-swap bay for added peace of mind.

      While I was an indirect casualty in a recent battle of this online culture war, I haven’t yet fully gone dark to the SJWs and PC Police. Seeking out and discovering the numerous alternative channels and platforms being developed is as exciting to me as was the promise of NAPLPS, TCP/IP and trellis coding several decades ago.

      I was born into a world with no Internet; I shall live to see the creation of many.

      Oh yeah, there is now a site to air one’s grievances regarding online censorship and active deplatforming attacks: https://whitehouse.typeform.com/to/Jti9QH

      Reply
    • Avatarstingray65

      Ronnie – don’t know about you, but Ben Shapiro is already regularly called an anti-Semite. Of course so it Trump, but he actually isn’t Jewish, only a big supporter of Israel and with Jewish son-in-law and daughter advisers.

      Reply
      • AvatarRonnie Schreiber

        Leftist Jews have literally said that I’m a “traitor to the Jewish people” and that I’ve “abandoned Jewish values” because I voted, reluctantly actually, for Donald Trump. Since they raise the topic, I’ll ask pointed questions about their own Jewish affiliations, practices, and beliefs. That usually results in ‘how dare you?’ responses full of indignation and protestations that they don’t have to defend their “Judaism” and that I have no standing to say what is or is not authentically Jewish. They can call me a Nazi but if I dare say that they aren’t good Jews, well that’s somehow indecent. Unfortunately, most non-orthodox Jews have minimal knowledge of Judaism, and likely believe that it’s some kind of cross between the Universal Declarations of the Rights of Man and whatever the Democratic party’s platform is at that moment, because that’s what they’ve been taught by Reform (and more than a few Conservative) rabbis, who themselves wouldn’t be able to identify authentic Jewish concepts if they bit them on their tuchases.

        Reply
    • AvatarDaniel J

      Ronnie,

      It may be censorship, but Twitter, Facebook, or WordPress is not Public domain in the context of free speech nor is it a platform I or most of the world, own.

      I am on photography forums and other hobby forums and when moderators or owners of the sites censor, free speech is cried. As the owners of the websites always say, it’s my house and my rules.

      I have zero issue with this. Now if uncle Sam steps in, that’s a whole ‘nother issue.

      If people on the right want to be heard, they’ll have to find the proper outlets. Just as libertarians have fee.org.

      The sad part is, people on the fringes want echo chambers. People in the middle want various views. And on top of it all, the left is controlling the narrative.

      Reply
      • AvatarRonnie Schreiber

        I don’t really disagree with you but the big social media companies are now the equivalent of being utilitoes like the gas or electric companies and nobody would tolerate a utility company shutting off power to people based on their politics, would they?

        Furthermore, as Prof. Reynolds makes the case in his new book ,excerpted at that link, Facebook, Twitter et al may also meet the standards for regulation under anti-trust statutes. The left has used the unconstutional administrative state to implement its agenda, regardless of who holds power. Maybe it’s time for those on the right to start playing by the other team’s rules.

        Reply
  14. AvatarEric L.

    I originally mentioned, and later edited out, that it was Jack’s quoting of Fahrenheit 451 that inspired me to re-read Brave New World and Fahrenheit 451. Thank you for the stimulating quotes and outbound link!

    And, um, now my wife is stalking your Instagram. She didn’t seem to care at all about John playing with Victor Wooten, but was unreasonably excited about being reminded about that lame skatepark nestled in Spaghetti Junction. She’s pulled the aliases off too many figures from your writing, making me uncomfortable. Danged public social media networks.

    Reply
  15. AvatarDaniel J

    Interesting take on censorship that’s fairly recent:
    https://fee.org/articles/yes-twitter-can-censor-conservatives-even-though-it-shouldnt/
    Just for the TLDR crowd, the law protects Facebook and Twitter as the are platforms and not publishers, where publishers have editorial control over what could be illegal or fraudulent activities.

    But the article points out, that once Facebook and Twitter start censoring, aren’t they taking on the role as publisher and editorializing? Why should the be protected by the law anymore than a publisher?

    Reply
  16. AvatarBen Johnson

    I appreciate CH as a balance against the fleshy hag-beast that our society has become, but I have to admit that the persistent (((conspiracy))) red-herring chasing makes me doubt that the picture is complete over there. I hope it all comes back, but I’m afraid that this recent push may cause a reaction over the edge.

    Reply

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