Every Banned Book Week we all get together and decry the stupidity that leads to banning books in schools.  But I got to thinking this year.  Is there ever a time when book banning was the right thing to do?

Obviously anyone who tries to get a book banned thinks that they are doing the right thing.  Are they ever right?  Who decides?

The best example from history that I could find is a book called The Mirror of the Polish Crown.  It was published in Krakow in the early 1600s by Sebastian MiczyÅ„ski.  He was a conspiracy theorist and he just knew that the Jews were the cause of all the world’s problems.

Here’s an excerpt from History of the Jews in Russia and Poland, from the Earliest Times until Today by Simon Dubnow.

They banned the book and hot tempers settled down until the book got out anyway and got people all riled up again. Is that any different than banning books now that tell people how to make bombs and carry out terrorist attacks? Is there ever any knowledge that is too dangerous to be put out for public consumption?

4 Replies to “Banned Book Week – Is Book Banning Ever OK?”

  1. The problem for me is where does this all end. If you ban one book because you don’t like the subject matter or the line of thought then what’s to prevent someone with an equally valid axe to grind saying that a book on the topic shouldn’t see the light of day.

  2. Honestly, since these actually instruct how to harm and kill, yeah, in cases like these, I think they should be banned, but the truth is, there’s no controlling that information anymore, especially with the internet 🙁

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