LETTER : Can ideas ever be banned?

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The Independent Online
I READ with interest Ronald Dworkin's article "Should wrong opinions be banned?" (28 May). Censorship is only ever proposed by those who are either unsure of their arguments or believe that the population at large is too gullible to be able to tell the difference between scented and odious opinions.

Instead of worrying about people's opinions, the question, as Bishop Berkeley so clearly saw, is to be able to think.

And thinking is certainly in short supply within the German state legislature. If history has taught us anything it is that you cannot ban opinions or ideas by legal decree. They are generated by social conditions and circumstances.

If alienated German workers are experiencing fear, anger and resentment, it is because of the unemployment, insecurity and social discomfort they face. This is fertile soil for the growth of racist and fascist ideas.

Richard Lloyd

Harpenden, Herts

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