Tuesday, December 28

To a year full of freedom of expression!

Inspired by an article I read a while back but bookmarked and re- read again I thought to write this post wishing everyone who blogs, tweets, talks, writes, to have a censorship free year when a word said or written is accepted, listened to, or acknowledged rather than dismissed, silenced or never given the chance to be spoken. 

The author, Bernard Kouchner writes of the power of the Internet and what it means especially in authoritarian and oppressive countries where Internet becomes a useful tool in the hands of people who shed light on everything that goes on in their respective countries.

And so this is more of a dedication post to all those out there who write fearless of what might happen to them for actually writing or saying things they say and write. Keep up the work and don't give up! 

It is not much, but I thought I share some very inspirational quotes I came across while reading up on what has been said about freedom of expression by many different thinkers, scholars, writers over the course of our history. 
We have a natural right to make use of our pens as of our tongue, at our peril, risk and hazard.  Voltaire,Dictionnaire Philosophique, 1764
The peculiar evil of silencing the expression of an opinion is, that it is robbing the human race; posterity as well as the existing generation; those who dissent from the opinion, still more than those who hold it.  If the opinion is right, they are deprived of the opportunity of exchanging error for truth:  if wrong, they lose, what is almost as great a benefit, the clearer perception and livelier impression of truth, produced by its collision with error.  John Stuart Mill, On Liberty, 1859
A free press can be good or bad, but, most certainly, without freedom a press will never be anything but bad.  Albert Camus
What progress we are making.  In the Middle Ages they would have burned me.  Now they are content with burning my books.  Sigmund Freud, 1933
Happy New Year everyone! Maybe one day will have a monument like this one (picture on the right) erected in Baku dedicated to something more than just a highest flag pole (while someone else will erect a replica 6 months or a year later, few meters higher), fanciest fountains (when there are still places across the country that don't have running water) and other multiple "money waste" projects. Or maybe it will be suggested by someone from one of the  regional executive committees for the President's next year birthdays instead of a cake? Who knows... Azerbaijan is a country full of surprises!

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