The most dangerous affect of bans on books and teaching by government is its erosion on the culture of free speech. While the United States has the first amendment that prohibits government censorship of nearly all speech, a culture of “this is how we do it here” is more important. One way that culture is expressed is when one says, “I don’t agree with what you are saying, but I will fight for your right to say it.”
This article does a great job of explaining why free speech, and thus the freedom of expression of ideas, is so important to liberty and progress. One thing the article does not address is the consequences of time. The time it took for the national mind to change its views on smoking and gay rights was long, and in today’s Internet time, most will now say too long.
What happens in a society when more citizens lived after the Internet and the compression of time that it creates? I think you see this being played out right now with the issue of trans rights, many will not tolerate change taking as long as gay rights did because the have always lived in a world of instant gratification thanks to the Internet.
I think the current tug of war between nearly all dualism is become so intense due to the Internet’s affect on the expectations of change. Half of society demands fast change, the other half prefers slower change and sees the only way to achieve it is by digging in their heels so they can be comfortable. The extremes demand an all or nothing approach, either all change right now, or no change now or maybe never. Both sides are so obsessed with the outcome they cannot see the consequences of the fight.