I never had a good memory for proverbs and quotes. However, this one (in bold below) by “Heinrich Heine” stuck in my mind when I heard it some 15 years ago while visiting north Germany (Wikipedia excerpt):
Among the thousands of books burned on Berlin’s Opernplatz in 1933, following the Nazi raid on the Institut für Sexualwissenschaft, were works by Heinrich Heine. To commemorate the terrible event, one of the most famous lines of Heine’s 1821 play Almansor was engraved in the ground at the site: “Dort, wo man Bücher verbrennt, verbrennt man am Ende auch Menschen.” (“Where they burn books, they will ultimately also burn people.”) In the original text, Heine had been referring to the burning of the Quran during the Spanish Inquisition.
I’ve been trying to figure out a way to express the same idea but in relation to the Internet and the fact that it is being deep packet inspected and throttled and filtered and fire-walled. I’m not so sure I figured it out yet but I came up with this line:
“Where they destroy packets, they will ultimately also destroy people”
I like it. Any ideas on how to improve it?