torsdag, april 17

Total ytringsfrihed er ikke farlig, total magt er

Vise ord fra Joseph C. Ben-Ami, direktør for den canadiske tænketank Canadian Centre for Policy Studies.

Aylden, som han referer til er tidligere ambassadør, og menneskerettghedskommizar. Han har åbenbart begået et indlæg til støtte for begrænsninger af ytringsfriheden, som jeg ikke har kunnet finde. Men det er også ligemeget, for Ben-Amis ord kunne være rettet til enhver af de hjemlige tilhængere af det - i virkeligheden totalitære ønske, fra Siedenfaden og Ellemand og nedad i rækkerne.
Yalden finally waded into the debate by drawing a connection between historical events and what he calls “unfettered” free speech in a column published by the National Post. “After two disastrous world wars and the horrors of the holocaust,” he writes, “we are surely obliged to judge rather differently the anything-goes theory of free speech”. In other words, if only there had been laws limiting free speech, creatures like the Nazis might never have come to power and there might never have been a Holocaust.

This is a popular and seductive theme that proponents of hate speech laws return to again and again to justify their positions.

It’s also wrong.

Yalden wants readers to believe the Nazis were able to come to power and perpetrate the Holocaust in part because of “unfettered” free speech when in fact the opposite is true. Suppression of civil liberties in Germany, especially free speech, was essential to the Nazi’s successful acquisition and consolidation of power.

It’s a myth that Weimar Germany was a bastion of freedom and civil rights before being taken over by the Nazis. The Weimar Republic was no respecter of civil liberties and the rule of law – at least not consistently. Weimar “liberals” shut down newspapers when it suited them, they spied on political parties, they used plainclothes police or other surrogates to break up political meetings, they outlawed political parties – including the Nazis for a time, and they not only tolerated armed militias but in many instances encouraged their existence and activity while the judiciary turned a blind eye.

There is a lesson to be learned here, but it’s not the lesson that Yalden and his ideological compatriots are teaching. National Socialist Germany is not an example of what happens when hate is tolerated – it’s an example of what happens when hate is empowered. The uncomfortable fact is that the Nazis didn’t invent the apparatus of power or culture of repression in Germany, they merely took control of, and perfected, an apparatus and culture that had already been created and used by “liberals” to combat extremism.
(via Small Dead Animals)

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