Write On- Not Allowed–Decree 72

Category:George Orwell Category:Nineteen Eight...

Category:George Orwell Category:Nineteen Eighty Four (Original text : George Orwell, 1984. This self-made image is based on a picture that appears in an old acreditation for the BNUJ.) Picture of George Orwell taken from File:GeoreOrwell.jpg. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I forget sometimes how utterly lucky I am. I can write what I want, when I want, and publish it. My readers are my critics, my own set of morals keep me writing the truth. I have my own code. It is all mine. How wonderfully lucky am I!

But as I live my life in freedom, it’s easy to forget what a gift this is.

Banned books, banned writing, banned thoughts, banned bloggers, it is not  Orwell’s 1984 when I write this post, it is  Sept  2013.  Language Police in Canada and thought police in Vietnam are active now.

We live in a time of freedom, modern thought… or do we?


Decree 72 now states that blogs, social media sites, etc,  are only for personal information.  You are

not allowed to quote, gather or summarise information from press organizations or government websites”

It’s a way to make sure the reader gets only “correct and clean information on the internet

Translation:   the reader will get only what we think they should read.

What’s even more frightening about this loss of freedom, is that those that use Facebook, etc, and comment about something they read in the news will be violating Vietnamese law and since it is a law, the government of Communist Vietnam can force those companies to turn over the addresses and private information of users.  History clearly shows us what happens next when the thought police bang on your door in the middle of the night. Hello Big Brother.  But isn’t this 2013? 

It’s a dangerous world we live in. Our freedom is so fragile.  It is a treasure we take for granted. It can be taken away by any country, any time. This time it’s Vietnam,  next time?

As writers we need to protest.  Petitions are nice, but a stronger weapon exists, we must always write with honesty and integrity, and when we see a wrong, we need to write about it, no matter how small or large our audience is. There is nothing more powerful than the pen and now with the power of the internet, there is no weapon more stronger to affect change in this increasingly dangerous world.

About susan sheldon nolen

It’s rare to catch me without coffee, a form of camera, or my beloved wire fox terriers. I love the history, the art, and it’s a massive part of my life, as I either paint, write, or get interrupted by my dogs, reminding me of the real world. I hope you enjoy your time here. It’s such a privilege to have readers.
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