“When any government, or any church for that matter, undertakes to say to its subjects, ‘This you may not read, this you must not see, this you are forbidden to know,’ the end result is tyranny and oppression, no matter how holy the motives. Mighty little force is needed to control a man whose mind has been hoodwinked; contrariwise, no amount of force can control a free man, a man whose mind is free. No, not the rack, not fission bombs, not anything—you can’t conquer a free man; the most you can do is kill him.”
—Robert A. Heinlein, If This Goes On, 1940
My 11th addition to this august list, from a fictional character named Pravin Lal from Sid Meier’s wonderful sequel to his Civilization series, Alpha Centauri, the futuristic faction head of the UN on Earth’s journey to the Alpha Centauri system:
“As the Americans learned so painfully in Earth’s final century, free flow of information is the only safeguard against tyranny. The once-chained people whose leaders at last loose their grip on information flow will soon burst with freedom and vitality, but the free nation gradually constricting its grip on public discourse has begun its rapid slide into despotism. Beware of he who would deny you access to information, for in his heart he dreams himself your master.”
— Commissioner Pravin Lal, “Librarian’s Preface”
A video of the in-game movie is here. (37 seconds)
Now, I’m not exactly a fan of the UN, so don’t think that this is some kind of implicit approval of it. The quote stands on its own in spite of its messenger.
I guess I should point out that this game was published in 1999, well before Governor George W. Bush became King.