Absolute freedom of expression would have it that we can express our views, no matter how offensive they may be to others, and we can do so without fear of legal repercussion or professional penalization. Some will contend that while freedom of expression is important, there should be limits to what we can say or publish in the public realm.
Yet one historical fact that many seem to be unaware of is that Hitler himself was censored by the administration that preceded his own. Nazi propaganda were censored and Hitler himself, as the “Minister of Propaganda” was punished for publishing hate literature, thus temporarily silencing Hitler (and even contributing to the illusion that he was being persecuted). Two things about this case are quite notable. First, censorship didn’t stop Hitler. Secondly, not only did it fail to deter him, but it may actually have been beneficial to allow the Nazi party to express its views, instead.
For the longest time throughout the process of Nazi propaganda publication, the Nazi party did not have much power and was not very great in numbers. Had ‘the people’, as well as other powerful individuals, become aware of the group’s views and goals, the damage done could possibly have been minimized (or better).Transparency tends to dispel myth and repel blind allegiance to government.
The most difficult enemy to combat is the invisible enemy. It is difficult to fight a war against an enemy whose intentions are hidden – an enemy who is invisible. Resistance to Hitler’s party might have been more forceful if Germany and the rest of the world had been aware of its dangers, and the people who voted him into power (approximately half of German voters) might have known better than to do so.
An accurate understanding of historical precedent shows that even in cases that appear to serve as evidence for the opposite view, there is, in fact, no justification for censorship of any kind.