Silencing the voice


Published on

A presentation on Censorship, including a case study on "The Federal Mafia" by Irwin Schiff

Published in: Education
  • Be the first to comment

  • Be the first to like this

No Downloads
Total views
On SlideShare
From Embeds
Number of Embeds
Embeds 0
No embeds

No notes for slide

Silencing the voice

  1. 1. By: Christopher Marzoq<br />Case Study: The Federal Mafia, Irwin Schiff, 1990<br />Silencing the Voice:How Censorship Affects Society<br />
  2. 2. “The fact is that censorship always defeats its own purpose, for it creates, in the end, the kind of society that is incapable of exercising real discretion…In the long run it will create a generation incapable of appreciating the difference between independence of thought and subservience.”<br />- Henry Steel Commager<br />
  3. 3. Why censorship is a negative strategy.<br />
  4. 4. The most frightening book ever written for America.<br />If there were ever a book that was banned in direct violation of the first amendment , it would be Irwin Schiff’s, The Federal Mafia. Others could argue the banning of books that deal with homosexuality, nudity, and obscene topics, but how does one react when the book being banned has to do with economics, and taxes? How do these subjects hurt society even if they are to be considered supposedly false?<br />Questions to Ask Yourself?<br />How can banning books be justified unless it is uniform?<br />Who is too judge what is obscene and what is not?<br />How can the government ban a book that has to do with politics, economics, or science?<br />Why would the government consider banning a book on politics, economics, or science?<br />
  5. 5. Censors knowledge that should be shared<br />Violates 1st Amendment<br />Suppresses Individuality<br />Bad for Business<br />
  6. 6. Censoring books keeps society from the truth.<br />
  7. 7. The effects of censorship on society.<br />
  8. 8. Although the banning of Schiff’s book could cause potential drastic changes to society, and government, should the people still not be allowed to read it? What made America great was our ability to become independent thinkers, and in order to become one we must indulge in information from both aspects of a subject, so our thoughts are not bias. When censorship occurs, it creates a controlled atmosphere of thought, and reduces our ability to become independent thinkers, by suppressing our conscious.<br />
  9. 9. “Wherever they burn books they will also, in the end, burn human beings. ”<br /> ~Heinrich Heine, Almansor, 1823<br />
  10. 10. A visual representation of the effects of banning and some history behind it.**<br />**Internet Connection Required<br />
  11. 11. Banning books have many effects on society:<br />It takes away the incentive for writers to continue pursuing their passion.<br />It sends an unconscious message to society that the government knows best.<br />It is in direct opposition of freedom of thought.<br />
  12. 12. Reasons for books being challenged.<br />
  13. 13. Factors that motivate people to challenge literature.<br />Arguments for banning:<br />Arguments against banning:<br />Conflicts with current Status Quo.<br />Protecting society from rhetoric that would cause damage.<br />The piece of literature is deemed to be too obscene.<br />The current Status Quo is flawed. <br />Robbing its citizens from their natural right to the freedom of speech.<br />Who is too judge for me, or my child, what is too obscene for us?<br />As you can see, there will always be two opposing sides to the argument of censorship. It is important to listen to both sides of the debate because every case of censorship is different.<br />
  14. 14. Organizations that are against censorship:<br />Families Against Internet Censorship<br />Californians Against Censorship Together (CAL-ACT)<br />Libertarnian Party : Against Censorship<br />National Coalition Against Censorship<br />National Association of Scholars<br />Feminists for Free Expression<br />Institute for First Amendment Studies<br />American Communication Association<br />And Many, Many More..<br />
  15. 15. Other common reasons for banning books are …<br />Encouragement of ‘Damaging’ Lifestyles<br />Blasphemous Dialog<br />
  16. 16. Racial Issues<br />Sexual Situations<br />
  17. 17. The reasons presented are because a group has made a decision that controlling others minds would be more beneficial for society, than letting the individual think for themselves and choose the appropriate decision. Why people do this, I do not know, maybe out of paranoia, or maybe because it gives them some sense of power. The reasons only they can answer, but one thing is for certain: when you take away or limit speech, you are suppressing that one trait that distinguishes us from other mammals, the ability to think.<br />“Obscenity is not a quality inherent in a book or picture, but is solely and exclusively a contribution of the reading mind, and hence cannot be defined in terms of the qualities of a book or picture.  “<br />~Theodore Schroeder<br />Think about that!<br />
  18. 18. Dominant Culture vs. Minority Voices<br />Case Study:<br />The Federal Mafia by Irwin Schiff, 1990<br />
  19. 19. -This book is the perfect example of the use of censorship and how the dominant culture, government, uses its influence to silence the minority voice, the author. The Federal Mafia is a rare case to dwell into, being banned from print relatively recent, and the reason for its censorship. Unlike any other book that I have EVER heard of being banned, Irwin Schiff’s book does not contain nudity, language, violence, race, or sexuality issues. His book is about economics, the government, the IRS, and the legal system. Little is known about this book considering it was in print since 1990. To sum it up, this book entails the reasons for voluntary payment of income tax, and shows a step by step procedure for Americans to avoid paying it, and how to do so without being charged criminally.<br />
  20. 20. The evidence he provides is more than enough for the reader to believe his stance. His arguments show how corrupt the IRS, government, and courts really are by providing examples of court decisions, testimonies, and rhetoric within the IRS tax code that support his case. The Federal Mafia is an in-depth book about how the income tax is applied incorrectly, claiming it to be the biggest hoax ever in American history. Irwin Schiff should not be looked at as a con, he believes in what he has presented in his book, and has the evidence to back that up as well. Sentenced to 13 years in prison for tax evasion, Schiff outlines every aspect of his case within the book.<br />
  21. 21. Schiff should be viewed as a hero for standing up for what he believe si n and exerting to his fullest ability to not back down to any tyranny trying to silence him. The Founding Father’s were being defiant when writing the Constitution, and Schiff should be viewed in the same perspective. This has to be the biggest censorship case to date, censored from exposing the truth, yet, no one knows. In his book, he states that the judge did not allow Schiff to present to the jury in his trial why he believed that the income tax was about censorship and silencing the voice. Yet, as I have read the book and agree with his arguments, I find myself unwilling to participate in his reasoning because in the end you are fighting a battle against government, hoping that the government will decide in your favor. Irwin Schiff should be viewed as an American hero for his bravery, persistence, and integrity. I would recommend every student, and anybody who believes in civil liberty, to read this book.<br />
  22. 22. Schiff is currently serving time in prison.<br />His expected release date is October 7, 2016.<br />When released, Irwin Schiff will be 88 years old.<br />He continues to promote his cause, even from his cell.<br />“If all mankind minus one were of one opinion, mankind would be no more justified in silencing that one person than he, if he had the power, would be justified in silencing mankind. ”<br />~John Stuart Mill, On Liberty, 1859<br />Irwin Schiff<br />
  23. 23. fsff<br />Watch this to see why Irwin Schiff was Right!!<br />Free Irwin Schiff !!!<br />
  24. 24. Sources:<br />"Worst Part of Censorship." Web. 10 May 2010. <>.<br /> "Government Censorship." Web. 10 May 2010. <>. <br />"Burned Book." Web. 10 May 2010. < 20censorship.gif>. <br />"Censorship." Web. 10 May 2010. <>. <br />"Drugs - Crack." Web. 10 May 2010. <>. <br />"Racial Tension." Web. 10 May 2010. < pg>. <br />"Freedom of Speech." Web. 10 May 2010. < 06/bannedbooks/Images/bannedbooks14.jpg>. <br />"Irwin Schiff." Web. 10 May 2010. <>. <br />"Federal Income Tax." Web. 10 May 2010. <>. <br />"Book Banning." Web. 10 May 2010. < t_from=PL&playnext=1&index=1>. <br />