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Friday, September 26, 2014

Manara and the right of free speech

John Locke a cool dude, he liked these things we call rights
I have been attacked by a few people who say that because the government has not censored the Manara covers and in this case Marvel (a private company) decided to cancel the covers that talk of Freedom of Speech and Artistic Freedom are erroneous.  

Implying that our rights legal or natural only apply to the relationship between an individual and his/her government.

This is a dangerously, shallow view that all censorship, and all attacks on our freedoms come from the government.  The social contract between the people and the government involve what are called "Political" rights.  If the government is functioning well it not only will not attack the rights of its citizens and it will also act to protect rights from private individuals, entities or groups who wish to take them away.

The threat of censorship is thus not only from government but also from private ones.
If for example there were a group that wore white hoods and wanted to intimidate people of another skin color from voting.  The government's job would not be to simply sit back and say hey we are not blocking your right to vote, this is cool.  NO the government's job would be to step in and PROTECT the right being imposed on.
Keep in mind numerous private groups such as the precursor to the NAZIs the SA (Brownshirts) have successfully bullied away people's rights bit by bit.
Now I am not calling for the government to intervene in this case.  If the Manara haters were attacking shipments, stealing and burning his works,....I would absolutely call for government intervention.
The Manara haters are however trying to limit what I see, they are trying to intimidate, and coerce so that there views of what is acceptable are forced on me and everyone else.

It is my duty and the duty of all who want to see the widest range of artistic freedom available,e to say...No.  If you don't like it, don't buy it, but there is no need to bully an industry to print only what you want and prevent it from printing something for someone else.  Marvel in this case provided alternative covers, this cover is actually a rare variant.

Further there are already restrictions by the government from use of the comic code on what we can see in comics.  Do you really want to restrict this further?  The Manara Haters are effectively making a new dotted line on the material that will be "ok" with them, around the already existing hard line set by the government.

You start a movement to limit freedom, I'll start a movement to protect it, lets see who hits harder.  Your dotted line, is not "ok" with me.  I want to walk into a store where artists have a full pallet of ideas to work with.  I will not like many comics I see, some may even offend me, but I will have the freedom to choose and they will have the freedom to create.

For more on Manara please read:
Marvel bows down to mob and throws Manara covers into the fire
Weak update from Marvel on Manara's canceled covers
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