Saturday, February 27, 2010

Return to the Dark Ages

Related:
Why the Netherlands is not fit to be part of Europe.

The following article highlights the extremely worrying developments in Europe regarding freedom of speech. It provides some context for the Geert Wilders trial that is presently under way in the Netherlands. After reading this, I wasn't so sure about certain victory for GW anymore...


by Jared Taylor , American Renaissance, March 2001

Americans think of Europeans as essentially like themselves. They believe European societies are like their own—rooted in the rule of law, freedom of religion, democratic government, market competition, and an unfettered press. In recent years, however, Europeans have given up an essential liberty: freedom of speech.

It is true that in the United States prevailing orthodoxies on some questions are ruthlessly enforced but it is still legal to say just about anything. Not so in much of Europe. In the last decade or so countries we think of as fellow democracies—France, Germany, Switzerland and others—have passed laws that limit free speech for the same crude ideological reasons that drove the brief, unsuccessful vogue of campus speech codes in the United States.

Today in Europe there are laws as bad as anything George Orwell could have imagined. In some countries courts have ruled that the facts are irrelevant, and that certain things must not be said whether they are true or false. In others, a defendant in court who tries to explain or defend a forbidden view will be charged on the spot with a fresh offense. Even his lawyer can be fined or go to jail for trying to mount a defense. In one case a judge ordered that a bookseller’s entire stock—innocent as well as offending titles—be burned!

Just as Eastern Europe is emerging from it, Western Europe has entered the thought-crime era, in a return to the mentality that launched the Inquisition and the wars of religion. It is a tyranny of the left practiced by the very people who profess shock at the tactics of Joseph McCarthy, an exercise of raw power in the service of pure ideology. The desire not merely to debate one’s opponents but to disgrace them, muzzle them, fine them, jail them is utterly contrary to the spirit of civilized discourse. It is profoundly disturbing to find this ugly sentiment codified into law in some of the countries we think of as pillars of Western Civilization. At the same time, these laws cannot help but draw attention to the very ideas they forbid. Truth does not generally require the help of censors.

There are two subjects about which Europeans can no longer speak freely. One is race and the other is Nazi Germany. “Anti-racism” laws generally take the form of forbidding the expression of opinions that might stir up “hatred” against any racial or ethnic group. In some countries, it is now risky to say that genetic differences explain why blacks have, on average, lower IQs than whites or to say that non-white immigration should be prevented so as to preserve a white majority. There are probably parts of every issue of American Renaissance that could be banned in some European country, and we have an obvious interest in opposing censorship of this kind.

Far more prosecutions have taken place, however, in connection with what is called “Holocaust revisionism” or “Holocaust denial.” This appears to cover any skepticism about the generally-accepted view that the Nazis had a plan to exterminate Jews and managed to kill some six million, mostly by gassing. There is considerable variety in the laws that forbid disagreement on this matter, but the Jewish Holocaust has become the one historical event on which people in France, Germany, Switzerland, Spain, Holland, Poland, Austria, Lithuania (and Israel) can be legally compelled to agree. It is still legal to dissent from Holocaust orthodoxy in Italy, Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Britain, Ireland, and Croatia, but there is powerful pressure in some of these countries to join the censors. Third Reich Jewish polices are of no special interest to AR, but it is outrageous that any point of view on any question be forbidden.

In the United States there is widespread complacency over this blatant thought control practiced by our closest allies. This complacency proves the utter lack of integrity of those who make principled free-speech claims for Communists, pornographers, rap “artists,” and flag-burners, but who will not lift a finger to stop the persecution of “racists” and “Nazis.” Liberals get dewy-eyed over the First Amendment only when it suits them, and are quietly delighted to see their opponents dragged off to jail because of their opinions. Indeed, several thousand Europeans are arrested every year who, if they were leftists, would be lionized as “prisoners of conscience.” Indifference, even joy, over their fate is the contemptible sentiment that prevails across the political spectrum even in America.

Read more here.

6 Opinion(s):

VI said...

To place this in perspective. This article was written in 2001. Never mind George Orwell, even Jared Taylor would not have predicted how things would change. This article is more relevant than ever.

Exzanian said...

Great article...Even though I know, and you know, and everyone with half a brain knows that 6 million jews were exterminated in the gas chambers, I still grant anyone the fundamental right to deny it...They should not be muzzled; flat earthers have rights too...The evidence should stand or fall on merit.

WHITEADDER said...

Somehow I doubt that I would get arrested in Germany if I would trompet out that the holocaust killed 12 million jews. The six million are just the minimum yardstick below the sheeple should not dare to contemplate or ask any embarassing questions.

Charles said...

No event in human history has been studied as thoroughly and carefully than the Holocaust. Thousands of thesis and dissertations papers have poured over mountains of data, from physical evidence and anecdotal testimony to captured German war documents. Virtually everyone with a PhD in History will stake their career on the fact that millions of Jews were systematically exterminated by Nazi Germany. One can no more "revise" this fact than one can revise the existence of gravity. Wannsee Conference records prove that Nazis planned the extermination of Jews as, "The Final Solution." German concentration camp records prove that it was carried out.

Whenever we stand up to those who deny or minimize genocide we send a critical message to the world. As we continue to live in an age of genocide and ethnic cleansing, we must repel the broken ethics of our ancestors, or risk a dreadful repeat of past transgressions.

Holocaust deniers ply their mendacious poison everywhere, especially with young people on the Internet. Deniers seek to distort the truth in a way that promotes antagonism against the object of their hatred, or to deny the culpability of their ancestors and heroes.

Museums and mandatory public education are tools to dispel bigotry, especially racial and ethnic hatred. Books, plays, films and presentations can reinforce the veracity of past and present genocides. They help to tell the true story of the perpetrators of genocide; and they reveal the abject terror, humiliation and degradation resulting from prejudice. It is therefore essential that we disclose the factual brutality and horror of genocide, combating the deniers’ virulent, inaccurate historical revision. We must protect vulnerable future generations from making the same mistakes.

A world that continues to allow genocide requires ethical remediation. We must insist that religious, racial, ethnic, gender and orientation persecution is wrong; and that tolerance is our progeny's only hope. Only through such efforts can we reveal the true horror of genocide and promote the triumphant spirit of humankind.

Charles Weinblatt
Author, "Jacob's Courage"
http://jacobscourage.wordpress.com/

FishEagle said...

@ Charles Weinblatt, thank you for a passionate comment. I agree with most of it, although not all.

In response to your comment, "As we continue to live in an age of genocide and ethnic cleansing, we must repel the broken ethics of our ancestors, or risk a dreadful repeat of past transgressions. "

That just hasn't been working so well so far. Genocide still continues. As we speak white South Africans are targeted. I have to ask myself why we are so unsuccessful in 'repelling the broken ethics of our ancestors.' It's very clear that despite the detailed studies of the Holocaust, people still don't understand it at all.

In response to your comment, "We must protect vulnerable future generations from making the same mistakes."

In that short sentence you summed up everything that is wrong with the modern, developed world. You have no faith. You don't have confidence that something as terrible as genocide won't take place again and you know it's because there is no clear understanding about it. The only way to gain understanding is through research and debates. Legislating against opposing theories about the Holocaust will achieve exactly the opposite to the intended. Genocide will just continue unless we gain a much better understanding of history.

FishEagle said...

To add on to my last comment, it's about time that you started investigating people's character in literature instead of just portraying tenderness towards the victims, for example by giving a Jewish love story as a back drop to the events of the Holocaust. It means YOU have compassion. I don't think Jews really care. The Germans envied the Jews and that's the reason why the Holocaust happened. It's so simple, yet this aspect is NEVER investigated in popular literature. So, the Holocaust is just going to be repeated.