Not all of the food in my grocery store is healthy, but our government makes considerable effort to ensure that none of it is lethal in the short term. Many dishes on offer by the restaurateurs of this town are unwholesome, but if rats roam in one of their kitchens, our health department will shut it down. We do not, in other words, trust the market to punish peddlers of ptomaine poisoning, but instead ask the state to police the vendors of our food.
You might say that our food is censored, and most of us like it this way.
There was a time when we censored published notions just as we censor food, and for analogous reasons. Just as we fear that tainted food will upset a man’s stomach, so men in the past feared that tainted notions would upset a man’s mind. Their fears were not imaginary, since every…
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