- Suppression of dissent
Suppression of dissent occurs when an individual or group which is more powerful than another tries to directly or indirectly censor, persecute or otherwise oppress the other party, rather than engage with and constructively respond to or accommodate the other party's arguments or viewpoint. When
dissentis perceived as a threat, action may be taken to prevent continuing dissent or penalise dissidents. Governmentor industry[Brian Martin, " [http://www.uow.edu.au/arts/sts/bmartin/dissent/intro/DNAleaflet.html Suppression of dissent] : what it is and what to do about it ". Science, Technology & Society, University of Wollongong.] may often act in this way.
Types of suppression
"Direct action" tries to silence the dissenter via factors or influences in a forthright manner, often coercive. "Indirect action" tries to silence the dissenter via intervening factors or influences, but not in a forthright manner. "Self-censorship" occurs when individuals are concerned about risking their employment status, standing in an academic course and/or ability to live without threat. It is a
social action. Some dissenters fear direct actions taken against them. Self-censorship makes direct and indirect suppression unnecessary. [Brian Martin, " [http://www.uow.edu.au/arts/sts/bmartin/dissent/intro/DNAleaflet.html Suppression of dissent] : what it is and what to do about it ". Science, Technology & Society, University of Wollongong.]
Areas of suppression
ociety and speech
Suppression of dissent is undesirable in society for a variety of fundamental reasons.
Freedom of speechis a for a free society. Dissent is absolutely essential to allow all points of view to be given and considered. Censorshipplays a central role in the control of speech and other forms of human expression, often by government intervention (through criminalization or other regulation). It is most commonly applied to acts which occur in publiccircumstances, and most formally involves suppression of ideas by criminalizing or regulating expression. This differs from self-censorship, though. Self-censorship is when an individual censors and/or classifies his/her own speech to avoid offending others, and without authority requiring them to do so. But, especially in some authoritariancountries, the fear of secret policeorganizations and possible government backlash against individuals may result in an indirect suppression of dissent via self-censorship. Sanitization (removal) and whitewashing (from whitewash) are almost interchangeable terms with censorship that refer to a particular form of censorship via omission, which seeks to "clean up" the portrayal of particular issues and facts which are already known, but which may conflictwith the official point of view. In democratic countries, self-censorship is also a possible phenomenon, particularly in times of crisis.
In greater society the typical example of suppression of dissent is when a company fires a
whistleblower. Cultural suppressioncan exhibit facets of dissenting suppression, especially when used as part of social controland the promotion of another more powerful culture over a minority's culture. The devious use of governmental power, political campaign strategy, and resources aimed at suppressing (i.e. reducing) the total vote of opposition candidacies in voter suppressionis a typical governmental occurrence of suppression of dissent. Sometimes laws are enacted to suppress dissent, South Africa enacted the Suppression of Communism Actto ban organizations that supported communism(and other activities).
academia, the peer reviewprocess is occasionally cited as suppressing dissent against " mainstream'" theories (part of an overall system of suppression of intellectual dissent). Robert Anton Wilson, in "The New Inquisition" (New Falcon Publications, 1991), called this an inquisitionof the editors and reviewers of scientific journals, of leading authorities and self-appointed "skeptics", and of corporations and governments that have a vested interest. [R. Börner, " [http://www.suppressedscience.net/physics.html The Suppression of Inconvenient Facts in Physics] ". 2004.] Some sociologists of science argue that peer review makes the ability to publish susceptible to control by elites and to personal jealousy. Reviewers tend to be especially critical of conclusions that contradict their own views, and lenient towards those that accord with them. At the same time, elite scientists are more likely than less established ones to be sought out as referees, particularly by high-prestige journals or publishers. As a result, it has been argued, ideas that harmonize with the elites are more likely to see print and to appear in premier journals than are iconoclastic or revolutionary ones, which accords with Thomas Kuhn's well-known observations regarding scientific revolutions.
To express the notion of intellectual dissent suppression, a situation has these features [ Brian Martin, C. M. Ann Baker, Clyde Manwell and Cedric Pugh (editors), Intellectual Suppression: Australian Case Histories, Analysis and Responses, [http://www.uow.edu.au/arts/sts/bmartin/pubs/86is/elites.html Elites and suppression] . (Sydney: Angus & Robertson, 1986), pp. 185-199.] :
# a power structure, with some vested interests groups with power and privilege.
# views or techniques, methodologies, procedures, and processes in which dissent from is possible.
# an alternative source of power (e.g., an alternative power structure)
Generally, science is presented as a "noble search" for truth, in which advancement depends on inquiring about established ideas and concepts. [Brian Martin, " [http://www.uow.edu.au/arts/sts/bmartin/pubs/93nw.html Stamping Out Dissent] ; Too often, unconventional or unpopular scientific views are simply suppressed". Newsweek, 26 April 1993, pp. 49-50] Reportedly, scientists do not see an occasional error as a flaw in science -- they maintain that science is a self-correcting system, and that with substantial evidence, any true investigation into encountered anomalies will result of a change in basic assumptions within the ruling theory of science. But for many dissenters, this is declared as a painful myth. [Brian Martin, " [http://www.uow.edu.au/arts/sts/bmartin/pubs/93nw.html Stamping Out Dissent] ; Too often, unconventional or unpopular scientific views are simply suppressed". Newsweek, 26 April 1993, pp. 49-50] From various experiences, disagreement with the dominant view comes with danger or risk (personally and professionally). Some researchers and scientists refrain from looking over carefully theories which demonstrates science's undesirable or negative qualities. [ [http://www.unsafescience.com/aids.html unsafescience.com, aids] ] Often, a portion of representatives within the prevailing scientific view attack the critic's ideas that go against the dominant ruling theory. Representatives may also attack the critic personally by various methods, including (but not limited to):
* deleting parts of writing, [ [http://www.uow.edu.au/arts/sts/bmartin/dissent/intro/DNAleaflet.html Suppression of dissent: what it is and what to do about it] ]
* obstructing publications, [ [http://www.uow.edu.au/arts/sts/bmartin/dissent/intro/DNAleaflet.html Suppression of dissent: what it is and what to do about it] ]
* forced withdrawal of research grants, [ [http://www.uow.edu.au/arts/sts/bmartin/dissent/intro/DNAleaflet.html Suppression of dissent: what it is and what to do about it] ]
* denying work in a particular field, [ [http://www.uow.edu.au/arts/sts/bmartin/dissent/intro/DNAleaflet.html Suppression of dissent: what it is and what to do about it] ]
* ostracization from social circles [ [http://www.uow.edu.au/arts/sts/bmartin/dissent/intro/DNAleaflet.html Suppression of dissent: what it is and what to do about it] ] , and
* dissemination of rumors. [ [http://www.uow.edu.au/arts/sts/bmartin/dissent/intro/DNAleaflet.html Suppression of dissent: what it is and what to do about it] ]
Academic freedomis the freedom of teachers, students, and academic institutions to pursue knowledge wherever it may lead, without undue or unreasonable interference.
Free energy suppressionis a conspiracy theoryclaiming that certain special interest groups are suppressing alternative views in science. Groups most often implicated in such activity are the oil industry, petroleum national governments, entrenched tenured faculty, the pharmaceutical industry, and additionally, automakers. The most common perceived motive is preservation of the economic status quoand sustained increase of fuel (and drug) prices (as well as preservation of the demand for fuel/drugs.)
Responses to various acts of
#Do not act against the suppression.
#Use unofficially recognized or controlled methods.
#Use officially recognized or controlled channels.
#Put into service relevant
legislation, policies, and regulations.
organisations (such as trade unions).
#Prepare and conduct a publicity campaign.
Doing nothing against the acts of suppression often allows the state of being suppressed (and associated existing errors and fallacies) to continue. Furthermore, doing nothing does not give rise to support for the dissident views. If
critics decide to "toe the mark" and "keep out of sight", the critic may be re-accepted by the opponent. This passive agreement without protest means that other dissents are likely to encounter the same difficulties. [Brian Martin, " [http://www.uow.edu.au/arts/sts/bmartin/dissent/intro/DNAleaflet.html Suppression of dissent] : what it is and what to do about it ". Science, Technology & Society, University of Wollongong.]
Use of unofficially and officially recognized or controlled channels has been used as a means of alleviating the state of suppression (and associated existing errors and fallacies), such as
protesting, demonstrating, striking, civil disobedience, or other similar actions to attempt to directly enact desired changes themselves. Using formal channels against decisions, using internal procedures, bringing appeals to the appropriate committeeor commission, and launching legal actions has also been used to enact desired changes. Proposing legislation, policies, and regulations has been used to help alleviate the situation. If such exist, dissenters have used these to alleviate the situation, also.
Free speechand publication banning
Science journalismand scientific freedom
Bullying, ostracism, and harassment
Defamationand personal attacks
Plagiarismand scientific fraud
* Dr. B. Martin's [http://www.uow.edu.au/arts/sts/bmartin/dissent/ Suppression of dissent] : Documents and contacts
* Brian Martin, " [http://www.uow.edu.au/arts/sts/bmartin/dissent/documents/ss/ Suppression Stories] ".
Fund for Intellectual Dissent, 1997. ISBN 0-646-30349-X
Tim Field, " [http://www.bullyonline.org/ Bully OnLine] ". ("ed". a large resource on workplace bullying and related issues)
cience and academia
* John Biggs and Richard Davis, (editors) " [http://www.uow.edu.au/arts/sts/bmartin/dissent/documents/sau/sau00.pdf The subversion of Australian universities] ". 2002.
* Brian Martin, " [http://www.mindfully.org/Reform/Suppression-Of-Dissent.htm Suppression of Dissent in Science] ". Research in Social Problems and Public Policy V. 7, pp. 105-135 1999 ("ed". Edited by William R. Freudenburg and Ted I. K. Youn (Stamford, CT: JAI Press, 1999))
* Brian Martin, " [http://www.scientificexploration.org/jse/articles/pdf/12.4_martin.pdf Strategies for dissenting scientists] ". Society for Scientific Exploration. Journal of Scientific Exploration, Volume 12 No 4. 1998. (PDF)
* John Crace, " [http://www.guardian.co.uk/Archive/Article/0,4273,4193905,00.html Free and fair] ".
Guardian Unlimited, May 29, 2001.
* Robert R. Kuehn, " [http://www.uow.edu.au/arts/sts/bmartin/dissent/documents/Kuehn04.pdf Suppression of Environmental Science] ". American Journal of Law and Medicine, 30 (2004): 333-69. Boston University School of Law, 2004.
* [http://www.archivefreedom.org/ Archive freedom.org] , Addressing the Need for Freedom in Scientific Research
** [http://www.archivefreedom.org/freedom/consequences.html The Consequences of Being Blacklisted from Posting to ArXiv.org]
* [http://www.spaceandmotion.com/physics-censorship-nobel-prize-laureate.htm Academic Censorship: Physics Preprint Archive]
Commentaries, essays, and books
Wendy McElroy, " [http://www.independent.org/newsroom/article.asp?id=1207 World War I and the Suppression of Dissent] ". April 1, 2002.
* Howard Zinn, " [http://www.iww.org/en/culture/articles/zinn13.shtml The Socialist Challenge] ". Chapter 13, People's History of the United States. Founding Convention of the IWW: IWW free speech struggles.
Lewis Lapham, " [http://books.google.com/books?vid=ISBN1594200173&id=9MxEvrkh0yQC Gag Rule: On the Suppression of Dissent and Stifling of Democracy] ". Penguin Press, ISBN 1-59420-017-3.
* Reece Walters, " [http://www.edgehill.ac.uk/Faculties/HMSAS/cscsj/chesterconf/pdfs/55_Chconfweb.pdf The War on Terror and the Suppression of Dissent] ". Lecturer in Criminology, University of Stirling. (
* Brian Martin and
Truda Gray, " [http://www.bullyonline.org/action/backfire.pdf How to make defamation threats and actions backfire] ". School of Social Sciences, Media and Communication, University of Wollongong. ("ed". this was a paper for the Public Right to Know conference;
* William De Maria, " [http://www.uow.edu.au/arts/sts/bmartin/dissent/documents/DeMaria_wbs.html Whistleblowers and secrecy] ; Ethical Emissaries from the Public Sect [or] ". Freedom of the Press Conference, 11 November 1995.
* " [http://www.aclu.org//safefree/general/17274prs20030508.html ACLU Releases Report on Suppression of Dissent in a Post 9/11 America] ".
American Civil Liberties Union, 5/8/2003.
** " [http://www.aclu.org/safefree/resources/17281pub20031208.html Freedom Under Fire: Dissent in Post-9/11 America] ". American Civil Liberties Union.
* Aby, S. H., & Kuhn, J. C. (2000). [http://books.google.com/books?vid=ISBN031330386X&id=ItoS0uwUsCsC Academic freedom: a guide to the literature] . Bibliographies and indexes in education, no. 20. Westport, Conn: Greenwood Press.
Jules Boykoff, "Beyond Bullets: The Suppression of Dissent in the United States," AK Press, forthcoming 2007.
Jules Boykoff, "The Suppression of Dissent: How the State and Mass Media Squelch USAmerican Social Movements," Routledge, 2006.
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