For nearly three thousand years of human history, books have been the reservoir for preserving knowledge, but This not only made him admired, but also made him admired, censored or destroyed by fire. In order to turn off the power of wrong thoughts.
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In this new century, When we thought the old practices of fanaticism had been abandoned, events make us think we were wrong, In February of this year, an evangelical pastor in the United States sent dozens of books by authors he deemed malicious and “satanic” to American youth, among them works Harry Potter, Twilight Origin of SpeciesAnd Among other things.
In the same way, in one of the states of the Federation, an educational institution decided to remove the book from the academic curriculum moose, from art Spiegelmann, A graphic novel about the Jewish Holocaust.
This indicates that some books still cause alarm, because the attack on certain texts has been historically consistent since antiquity, but The intensity of the investigation has intensified since the modern era. The attackers can be identified from the authors of the same state and Certain groups of power have the goal of denying the truth and eradicating the past.
The destruction of the Library of Alexandria by the Roman forces of Julius Caesar It is something that historians have considered a real crime, this library that I created Alexander the Great This was considered the center of knowledge of antiquity It was burned to the ground during the Roman conquest of Egypt.
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Already in the fifteenth century, The church that has been turned into an important force becomes the guardian of morality, For this reason, in 1487, Pope Innocent VIII commanded bishops the task of monitoring the publication of immoral books.
Church and political power considered both The printing press is like a book, powerful weapons. For this reason, establishes the first Indicator Librorum Prohibitumthe famous index of forbidden booksAnd It was the place where all work that church watchers considered to be contrary to religion and royal powers ended up.
But this was not the only attempt to destroy the knowledge contained in the books, During the Protestant Reformation in the 16th century, both sides proceeded to confiscate works by authors who did not conform to the doctrines of either religion.Then they are condemned to fire to prevent the spread of malicious thoughts.
Since the existence of the Index and after state censorship, all that was considered to be the propagator of dangerous theories has been banned, from the works of Copernicus to Galileo Galilei The works of the French encyclopedists, and already in modern times such titles as spirit of law Montesquieu. the origin of the species, Darwin or the works of the Marquis de Sade, the works of Baudelaire, Henry Miller or Ulysses, by James Joyce.
But the event of the last century marked humanity, as political fanaticism once again reached its limits. On May 10, 1933, in Berlin and other German cities, a large bonfire was created where books by Karl Marx, Lenin, Erich Marie Remarque, Brecht, Freud, H.G. Wells, the Torah and the Talmud were burned. Among the other authors who saw their works on fire, while the diabolical Nazi propaganda minister, Joseph Goebbels He was flirting with young people to wake Germany from the influence of unhealthy business.
Along the same lines, brutal military dictatorships in Latin America confiscated and destroyed hundreds of works simply because they did not represent what they considered Western culture and morals.
Despite the risks, the book continues to represent the light of thought Helen Keller When he discovers the horror of Nazi barbarism: “You can burn my books and the books of the best minds in Europe, but the ideas in them have been filtered through millions of channels and will continue to stimulate other minds.”
Banned books in Ecuador
Banning some books was also a common practice in the country, both in the colonial era and in the republic, and here we review some cases.
Between the sixteenth and eighteenth centuries, the printing press was gradually introduced in all lands that were colonies of Spain, and in present-day Ecuador the first of them was installed in 1735.
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in these areas Church and property Hispanics sought strict control over the books they sought to print, as both the printing press and the book were considered powerful weapons. That is why the colonial power decided to issue a Ownership Certificate Approval to install a printing press To print a book, you must have a special command called print which stands for print.
Some Book Censorship Practices in Ecuador
- 1874. The Church imposes strict control over the work John Montalvopermanent dictatorshipso that She has to enter the country secretly to avoid being confiscated.
- 1882-1883. John Montalvo Publish your work The Seven Theses the same as Its reading was banned in 1884 by Archbishop Jose Ordonez. The argument of the religious reference was in it They tarnished the reputation of the clergy.
- 1892. Archbishop of Portoviego Peter Schumacher And in a pastoral speech, he censored several liberal publications and called for them to be banned from entering the country, considering them harmful to faithful Christians.
- 1963. During the military dictatorship, communism was declared outlaw, bookstores selling works Karl Marx, Federico Engels, Lenin, Che Guevara, Fidel Castro Everything was closed with a sign on the left, and the books were confiscated and destroyed.
- 1975. The book is published CIA notesfrom the previous agent, Philip Agee. The book contains information on Ecuadorean officials who collaborated with the US spy agency and played a role in the military coup against the presidency. Carlos Julio Arosimena It was immediately banned in the country and could only be read in secret editions.
- 2013. An Ecuadorean judge has banned the circulation of a book by a Spanish priest about bloody revenge among the indigenous people of the Yasuni Amazon Reserve, which was vehemently rejected by the government and intellectuals on Thursday.
- September 2019. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs website published the book CIA v. Latin America, Ecuador casefrom the previous agent, from Jaime Gallarza and Francisco Herrera, Arguing that the state portfolio “cannot serve ideologies.” (me)
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