I want to state, for the record, my own view of what is called “hard-core”
pornography. I regard it as unspeakably disgusting. I have not read any of
the books or seen any of the current movies belonging to that category, and I
do not intend ever to read or see them. The descriptions provided in legal
cases, as well as the “modern” touches in “soft-core” productions, are
sufficient grounds on which to form an opinion. The reason of my opinion is
the opposite of the usual one: I do not regard sex as evil—I regard it as
good, as one of the most important aspects of human life, too important to be
made the subject of public anatomical display. But the issue here is not
one’s view of sex. The issue is freedom of speech and of the press—i.e., the
right to hold any view and to express it.
It is not very inspiring to fight for the freedom of the purveyors of
pornography or their customers. But in the transition to statism, every
infringement of human rights has begun with the suppression of a given right’s
least attractive practitioners. In this case, the disgusting nature of the
offenders makes it a good test of one’s loyalty to a principle.