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From the Pen of David Horowitz: December 4, 2009

December 4, 2009


I have seen “South Park” and I found its anti-censorship message morally refreshing (it is beyond my ken that any conservative could find this film offensive on conservative grounds). What are the implications of Bennett’s argument, except that he considers it worth delivering our right to choose what we can see and know to the tender mercies of film censors in order to protect ourselves from the possibility that a cartoon would morally corrupt us? Get real, Bill.

There is a deeper and more troubling flaw in the social model that inspires these modern Savanarolas, however. It is a misconception that again contradicts a cornerstone of conservative thought. If the tobacco, gun and film industries are giant enterprises in a free market system, it means that vast numbers of people want the products they are offering. In a democracy, the people are sovereign. That’s the contract we’ve all signed onto.

If enough people find cigarettes, guns and bad Hollywood pictures morally repulsive, these products will cease to be produced. That’s the remedy the old-fashioned way. Conservatives, more than anyone else, should know (and believe) this. What is truly obscene is that a magazine calling itself conservative would even argue “The Case for Censorship.” Just because liberals do it doesn’t make it right.

Elites of all political persuasions may find democracy offensive to their own sensibilities and ideas. Sometimes, they may even make common cause with their ideological enemies to force on everybody else their ideas of what’s best. But, for the sake of our democracy and ourselves, the rest of us better not humor them.

With Conservatives Like These Who Needs Liberals? from Salon, August 30, 1999

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  1. Brad permalink
    December 4, 2009 5:59 am

    It is a conundrum, to be sure. But, using this Free Market & Democracy rule, which you advocate, and encourage the rest of us to accept, would anything be “outlawed?” And, if so, on what basis?

    • December 4, 2009 11:29 am

      Child pornography and child prostitution should be outlawed. But in general I’m pretty libertarian on these matters. Gambling, prostitution, and drugs should be legal but properly regulated.

      • Brad permalink
        December 4, 2009 12:51 pm

        David, I’m glad to see you personally believe that when it comes to children–prostitution and pornography should be outlawed, but on what basis? However, if that is based upon your “own sensibilities and ideas,” why should the “rest of us…humor them?”

        “Elites of all political persuasions may find democracy offensive to their own sensibilities and ideas. Sometimes, they may even make common cause with their ideological enemies to force on everybody else their ideas of what’s best. But, for the sake of our democracy and ourselves, the rest of us better not humor them.”

        If we are to have standards–whose???

        • December 4, 2009 2:02 pm

          It’s illegal to have sex with children. Thus child prostitution and child pornography should be illegal. What’s there to debate about here? There’s pretty broad cultural consensus on this.

          • Ruy Diaz permalink
            December 5, 2009 4:25 am

            What if the consensus breaks down? Will sex with children be okay then?

            (Note: I agree with Mr. Horowitz in the article. It is just the reasoning behind “there is a pretty broad cultural consensus” I’m criticizing.)

            • December 5, 2009 5:46 am

              Just because the culture says something is morally OK it doesn’t mean it’s OK.

              But what do YOU use to determine that child rape is wrong?

  2. December 4, 2009 6:27 am

    I too am a conservative and die-hard free market capitalist. I agree with everything David says in this short piece. How would this thinking apply to things like prostitution and drug use? If the market wants them…

  3. Seek permalink
    December 4, 2009 6:27 am

    Why does cinema have to be certified as “conservative” before a conservative (like me) will watch. There are plenty of films without any political message at all. I see them. Does that make a traitor to my cause?

  4. Carterthewriter permalink
    December 4, 2009 6:42 am

    What I gather from this disertation is that we the people judge what we decide to do with our earnings, not a bureaucrat.

    If an automaker make a bad product, would you buy the product because it was the patriotic thing to do, obviously not.

    Extremist within both parties want to dictate what you should do through legislative actions that reach beyond the intent of this nations principles.

    What a mess. Let free enterprise work.

  5. Richard permalink
    December 5, 2009 9:00 am

    The basic tenet is that adults are supposed to protectchildren and help them grow up to be well balanced and productive adults. The facts that we have too many sexually deviate adults fixated on imposing their urges on the bodies and minds of our young is troubling. Our society has the right to control the efforts of these adults in subverting the natural impulses of our young for acceptance and love. If we are going to confuse freedom and license then we are talking past each other. Free enterprise does not mean a license to extort and misrepresent. You are to come to the market in a honest manner and state your intentions. Drugs and prostitution are not free market commodities because we do care about our children. We are willing to restrain our unbridles urges to protect our families. Ask Tiger Woods if money and freedom have protected his family? The young people are compelled to go to school. Is that only to help them or does it help us? We protect our children because we have to protect ourselves.

  6. December 5, 2009 11:02 am

    In a free society there must be restraints. The Declaration of Independence listed
    the grievances of King George that oppressed a free people.
    The Constitution was created to spell out the limits of govt., their responsibility
    to protect us from criminals foreign and domestic, and to minimally tax us to
    keep a ‘small’ administration running. The Constitution also enumerates our freedoms,
    as long as we don’t infringe on the freedoms of others. The essence of democracy with
    the rule of law is for a free people to interact on a voluntary basis, with no coercion
    from the govt. or outside groups.

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