Sunday, 28 June 2015

Comment On J.M.Cole's "What Authoritarian Regimes Don't Want You To See"

"...because the authorities think they know what is best for their citizen-subjects, or because they fear that the population might get infected with dangerous ideas if they are exposed to them."
A good point always worth making, but it was only ten days ago that you yourself were lamenting the ability of television political shows to put out material which you would rather the Taiwanese electorate didn't see because you thought it better for them not to be exposed to it. You would be correct to claim that character assassination is one thing and expressions of popular discontent are quite another, but any attempt to censor either presupposes the same fallacious assumption that the authorities know what is best for "their" citizen-subjects.

Whatever claims they may make as to knowing what the "public interest" is or is not, political authorities always know* what is in their own best interest.

*I should have said "always believe they know..."

Update: Cole responds: "No; the point that I made 10 days ago was that political talk shows were avoiding substance by spending days talking about trivialities — not that people should not be exposed to such trivialities."

Oh but the "I know what's best for them" attitude was abundantly clear by the tone in which the piece was written and by implication - but nontheless readers may judge for themselves.

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