October 17 2014
The Title In Pornography, Obscenity And The Case For Censorship, Irving Kristol focuses his essay on the growing pornography industry and its acceptance as part of the American culture. Kristol is a well-respected conservative that wrote columns for the New York Times and Daily Telegraph. Although this piece was written and published in the early 1970s, this topic remains controversial and debatable among politicians and media. He presents his views using simple, effective analogies and pushes the reader to consider the detrimental consequences of allowing obscene, uncensored entertainment to be established as a social norm. He states “for almost a century now, a great many intelligent, well-meaning and articulate people have argued eloquently against any kind of censorship of art and entertainment. In this piece, he reaches out to the liberal audience; his goal is to enlighten and persuade them to support “liberal censorship”. Within the decade, politicians have strong opinions on censorship and the boundaries and limitations of the first amendment. Many believe that any form of censorship is an infringement of their first amendment rights. In today’s society, the censorship of entertainment and art is frowned upon. Irving Kristol realizes this fact and attempts to shed light on the unspoken truths that he believes to be terrorizing the American civilization. In his piece, he shares that explicit material is becoming easier to have access to. He describes New York’s Times Square as a marketplace for printed filth. Kristol shares the reality of what “no censorship” country has really produced. Although many politicians wanted no censorship, what they received is not entirely what they expected to achieve from their efforts. Instead, they observed homosexual rape on stage, fornication, and pornography on the streets of major cities. All of which is to be considered as freedom of speech and expression of art. Throughout this essay he aims to demonstrate how lack of censorship is silently affecting individuals throughout America.
Kristol believes that exposure to obscene forms of entertainment is changing and disrupting the American Civilization over time. Kristol provides an example of an ill man that is overwhelmed by sickness and faces death. He makes the point that the image of the man dying and severely ill should not be made public and most would agree. He applies this reasoning as how sexual behavior should be in the same way made private. He continues to describe this by claiming when the behavior excludes human relationship, that behavior is reduced to a mindless animalistic behavior. The entertainment pornography brings is depriving humans of reaching their full potential and reduces humans to sexually obsessed animals. His concludes his efforts by trying to demonstrate the necessity for censorship, specifically “liberal censorship”
Irving Kristol understands that full censorship of obscene art and entertainment is highly unlikely, but reaches out to the liberal audience in hope that they will realize the necessity for limited censorship. He considers limited censorship to provide a means or a start to repressing and discouraging behavior that is harming individuals throughout America. His efforts to demonstrate the harmful effects of uncensored, explicit material is clearly understood throughout his essay.
Irving Kristol addresses a controversial topic that politicians have given much attention to in recent years. Censorship is a highly debated topic in US courts and continues to be a pressing dilemma with no resolution in sight. As a conservative, he holds a strong stance for censorship of explicit content. Kristols tone in this essay almost immediately comes off authoritative and he demands action and results. To get his point across, Kristol presents arguments in the form of scenarios and analogies. The first problem with his essay stems from his