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Did you know governments tried to ban people from reading books when the printing press was invented? A revolutionary technology giving people decentralized freedom of thought and expression. Sound familiar?

By Papa Lou | Educational Papa | 21 Apr 2021


What is censorship?

Censorship has never been well received in western society (only speaking from my experience).

In a nutshell, censorship denies that facts have occurred, are relevant to a conversation, or, in some cases "is the practice of presenting false or incomplete facts" [1]. While we all have seen censorship try to influence public opinion, sway people's beliefs that one disagrees with online, or ban users from public forums based on their opinion, we once saw the outright banning of the distribution of thought and ideas. Books.

That's right BOOKS. When the printing press was brought to Europe from China, to be further developed into the 15th century by Johannes Gutenberg [2], it revolutionized the way people communicated. Think about it. Before then, a centralized unit, mostly clergy of the high courts, distributed the knowledge that people could read. It was written by hand, and only the wealthiest people could afford to read.

 

The printing press enters the chat.

Come to the printing press, and now reading and access to knowledge was decentralized, people could write columns in the local newspaper, read controversial subjects in books, and have conversations with others about the things they read. All on a much more massive scale than before.

Guess what happened? Empires tried to ban the books from reaching public hands.

 

Book banning.

In 1521, the Holy Roman Empire of the German Nation banned the writings of Martin Luther [3].

In 1560 there were more royal decrees in neighboring countries to burn all protestant books. A noted case is from Hans Hablützel, the bookseller from Aarau [3].

The threat to mass knowledge distribution was so vast, that the printing presses in many countries were again centralized and seized by the empires to control the flow of information.

The list can go on, all around the world. England, Italy, France, etc. The point is, governments felt threatened and tried to ban the public from decentralizing their mode of information and communication, and it came to bite them in the end.

Fast forward to the war victories over Napolean in the Wars of Emancipation of 1813-1815 which led to demands of revoking the censorship press laws, which then gave way to a booming period of enlightenment [3].

 

Crypto.

So what does this have to do with crypto?

A new form of currency, technology, and digital interaction gains steam and threatens the centralized means of wealth censorship. Censorship of the unbanked, censorship of the 99%, etc., and what happens? Governments try and ban cryptocurrency, or circumvent the avalanche of progress that is cryptocurrency. As a result, we see the boom of just that, digital wealth, and progression to a more decentralized future of financial independence.

Keep HODLing.

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