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Zinoviev's theorem about the incompatibility of censorship with rule of law

What matters above all is not whether a law is bad or good. What matters is whether or not the law exists. A bad law is nevertheless a law. Good illegality is nevertheless illegal. I shall take it upon myself to prove the mathematical theorem that any society with a rule of law, no matter how bad that law may be, allows the existence of an opposition. The very existence of an opposition is a sign that the society lives by the law. And the absence of an opposition is an indication that a society is lawless.

But let us look more closely at the question. Let us take a certain text A. Let there be a legal system B, according to which this text is assessed to be hostile to the given society (as an "anti" text). Consequently the author of A is prosecuted. And if, for example, I say "N asserts that A," I am not asserting A, I am asserting that N asserts A. What then, from the point of view of society B, is the nature of a text of the type "N asserts that A"? Is that an "anti" text? Fine, but how will the prosecutor look, when in court he accuses me of asserting the text "N asserts that A"? Will he be seen as a man pronouncing an "anti" text? No? But why? Where is the formal criterion which lets us make this distinction? Admittedly I have used the word "asserts" once, and the prosecutor has used it twice. But if such a law is adopted, all I have to do is pronounce in advance the following text: "M asserts that N asserts A."

I have only cited one logical progression. But there are many more. Construct for me a code B of laws which permit texts to be assessed as "anti", and I will undertake, for any text which is so assessed, to construct a text which can not be assessed according to code B, but which all the same will be understood as an opposition text. Every rigorous law is 'a priori' a possibility of opposition.

A.A. Zinoviev, The Yawning Heights, translated from Russian by Gordon Clough, New York, 1979, p. 306