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Community Standards Fail When Communities Fail

From Fancies and Fuckeries:

“Community standards as we all know are densely hypocritical, fluently contradictory, and more then often severely corrupt. Going on the basis of using an example of road rules, everyone knows that speeding kills, that it is a thoughtless act, and finally an offense, yet one only has to look at the figures for those booked speeding per year to realise that our community standards towards road safety are incredibly low. Using community standards to measure anything is the most shallow and thoughtless method of regulating anything.”

I count myself lucky that when I was about 18, my mother received a small fellowship to spend four weeks at University of Indiana studying James Madsion. Says Madison about the danger of majority rule:

“A pure democracy can admit no cure for the mischiefs of faction. A common passion or interest will be felt by a majority, and there is nothing to check the inducements to sacrifice the weaker party. Hence it is, that democracies have ever been found incompatible with personal security or the rights of property; and have, in general, been as short in their lives as they have been violent in their deaths.”

I wonder what Madison would have to say about the Miller Test, most especially its first prong:

Would the average person, applying contemporary community standards, find that the work, taken as a whole, appeals to the prurient interest.

I’d venture there’s a good chance he’d say that using community standards to measure anything is the most shallow and thoughtless method of regulating anything. I’m quite sure he say it’s terrible, dangerous imposition on freedom of speech.

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