How punk rock is censorship?
No one in their own conscience believes themselves to be capable of censorship. Certainly not the censorship they imagine, handed down across the decades like civil libertarian lore. No one wants to reflexively suppress ideas they find repugnant. No one wants to ban pornography, violent video games, to obscure perfectly natural nudity, or edit out swear words. They would never, in the words of Allan Bloom, “bolster corrupt or decaying regimes.” Even the sympathies that attend account-suspension and other combat tactics against “disinformation” seem half-hearted and barely real. These are the self-soothings of people with no apparent communal obligations beyond carpooling, let alone any serious beliefs. People, in other words, who would not last long in punk.
Punk is not, in spite of popular conceptions, a mere label. You cannot affix it upon select attitudes as one would affix a USDA label on meat. You cannot attach it to utterly anodyne activities (like voting Democrat; or Republican for that matter) like a proxy baptism. Punk is a peopled collective. And like all peopled collectives on the face of the earth, it is rife with conflict, dissension, and chaos that is not limited to performance. It is brought together under the shared conviction of its rightness. But punk is not, at the same time, a constitutional order with articulated rights. Punk’s “ethics” are duties by another name. Application of those duties manifest differently within the collective. The community and the individual are sometimes at variance in this process. This puts the burden on the community to achieve its own cohesion and to clarify the ethical standards. Under such solemn auspices, censorship is punk as f—k.