Sunday, March 25, 2007

David Irving: nobody was gassed in Auschwitz


Only recently released from jail in Austria for ‘holocaust denial’, the weirdo British historian is at it again. (Irving searches for the ‘controversial Zyklon-B inlet holes’ on the roof of the morgue (Leichenkeller I) of Crematorium II at Birkenau [Auschwitz II] – while on his semi-clandestine trip to Poland, March 4, 2007).

In an Italian documentary screened last Friday night, David Irving claims that Jews (and others) were not gassed to death in Auschwitz, in the south of Poland. He says he has forensic evidence to prove it.

Apparently, Irving has been in Poland recently making the film.

He has said the stuff about the gas chambers before, of course, and his claim that no genocide happened at Auschwitz – it was merely a concentration camp, not a death camp - was central to his libel trial against Deborah Lipstadt.

When summing up the evidence during the trial the judge noted:

‘…the case advanced by Irving was that no convincing evidence exists that gas chambers were at the material time in existence at Auschwitz and that there is no evidence that such chambers were commissioned. Further, said Irving, there is no convincing evidence that any Jew at Auschwitz lost his or her life as a result of being gassed (though he conceded from the outset that many died as a result of the epidemics which, due to the appalling lack of hygiene, regularly swept the camp).

…In the course of the trial Irving modified his position: he was prepared to concede that gassing of human beings had taken place at Auschwitz but on a limited scale. However, he continued to assert that it was not a death factory (totesfabrik).

Irving lost the trial.

He was always considered a bit of a nutcase. But many used to think he was a superb archivist of WW II Nazi material. During the trial, however, it was revealed that Irving frequently mistranslated, or simply fabricated, much of that historical material. So now he is exposed as a bad historian, as well as being a nutcase.

This was only revealed because Irving was allowed to make his outrageous claims. Shutting him up – or banging him up in Austria for holocaust denial – makes it harder to refute the claims that the holocaust never happened.

The EU has recently mooted the idea that holocaust denial should be made illegal everywhere within the union. But what are they afraid of? The only way to beat bad ideas is with better ideas – not by shutting them up.

Free speech must be absolute – even for people like David Irving.

See the ramblings of Irving yourself in his recent Auschwitz travel diary (hat tip: europejczyk). Quote: ‘I don’t like Poland, as the following entries will betray.’ What a twat!

46 comments:

Chad said...

word. until that's the case, european self-righteousness is hypocrisy.

now, back to disco polo!

varus said...

I totally and whole hartedly agree. The idea of prosecuting someone for their believes (no matter how repungent and crazy) is against every tenet of our society. To teach children in a school such theories would of course be a different matter, howver simply to have and voice your private opinion is surly your right. If we ban this (even in such a limited way, specific to one lie) then are we not losing are battle against extremism. We will have become the thought police that we fought to irradicate from Europe (Communism/Nazism).

Anonymous said...

If zionist watch dog groups like the anti difamation league read this post, Beatroot will be considered an anti-semite :)

beatroot said...

Actaully, anon, you are completely wrong – as most anons usually are.
Deborah Lipstadt, the Dorot Professor of Modern Jewish and Holocaust Studies at Emory University in Atlanta agrees with me. Look what she said in an interview recently about the proposed EU ban.

I’m opposed to Holocaust denial laws for three reasons’, she says. ‘First because I believe in free speech. Governments should make no laws limiting free speech, because it is never good when that happens. Second, because these laws turn Holocaust deniers into martyrs. Look what happened to David Irving when he was released from jail in Austria – he became a media darling, given room to spout his misinformation. We should ignore them rather than chasing them down.

‘And thirdly, and most importantly, such laws suggest that we don’t have the history, the documentation, the evidence to make the case for the Holocaust having happened. They suggest we don’t trust the truth. But we do have the evidence, and we should keep on developing it and deepening it, and we should trust it.’


http://www.spiked-online.com/index.php?/site/article/2824/

europejczyk said...

To BR: I'm afraid, "anon" in this particular case - unfortunately - is not too far away from being right. In a country with a free speech tradition, such as the UK, the USA, or the Scandinavian countries, your and Deborah Lipstadt's point of view will find wide acceptance. (BTW, as someone who has been working for years in political education, I agree first and foremost with D. Lipstadt's 3rd argument.)

In countries that show a tendency to prosecute more and more minor cases of Holocaust denial, such as Germany or France, however, it is dangerous to defend in public a HDer's right to free speech, look at the witch hunt against the highly venerated Abbe Pierre, who dared to defend his old personal friend Roger Garaudy. There is one important exception: if the individual who speaks out in favor of a HDer is her/himself Jewish. S/he even can bluntly deny the Holocaust without getting into legal trouble. (Want examples?)

Writing or speaking about the Holocaust in public other than using a certain ritualized language (the best examples are given by German TV moderators), is kind of navigating in a minefield full of "denial" and "antisemitism" mines. The threshold of susceptibility of their firing devices is very low, and as far as I can see, philosemites set it still lower than real Jews. So let us wait and see, if ADL or JDL or some philosemitic "Jew-hugger" will denounce your blog for being antisemitic. It is IMHO by far the best blog about Poland today, and I'd miss it much, if it were shut down.

beatroot said...

And I’d miss you too, Euro..But they wouldn’t dare shut down the beatroot – that would be rootveg-ist!

I take your point about France. All that recently about Armenian genocide deniers! Do they really think that will stop some Turks from thinking these things? And do they expect that this will do anything but confirm in these peoples’ minds that they are right? Irving and their like revel in their victim status – victims of the International Zionist Conspiracy.

But nobody could construe that I have denied the holocaust just because I think others have the right to do so.

varus said...

For sure, to deny the holocaust is a terrible think, but to deny peoples rights to do this is many times more tragic for society. This may be alarmist - but it could be seen as the thin edge of the wedge. Once such laws are on the statutes, it is easier to place other laws that dictate what the correct version of an event may or may not be.

europejczyk said...

If you want firsthand information about David Irving's visit to Auschwitz and the sites of the Aktion Reinhard death camps, go googling with ("David Irving" AND Auschwitz). You will be directed to his Web site and there you'll find a link to his travel journal. His report shows him as a person who not only sees exclusively what he wants to see, but who arrogantly refuses to accept information that is against his beliefs. BTW, he reveals himself as a nasty little Pole-hater - nearly everything in Poland is bad and nearly everybody in the country is a story-teller, if not a liar. No one debunks him better than he himself in his travel journal!

Renegade Eye said...

Hitchens got heat for supporting Irving's free speech. It was part of a laundry list of issues he got on.

It is good to see someone progressive support Irving's free speech.

Michael Farris said...

I'm so glad that Irving dislikes Poland, it's a great reccomendation!

steppx said...

the new proposed law regarding *holocaust or genocide denial* is truely scary.
Beat is right...and for once Im in agreement with many of those on this thread.
There are clearly cases...Rwanda, the Balkans, where much debate remains to be had.....reading transcripts from Arusha one gets a fair idea of how much argument...and genuine informed argument....is going on regards the war there. To install an Orwellian law denying people the right to come to their own conclusions is simply frightening.

AN Irving cant be taken seriously by anyone with half a brain...ergo, he shouldnt even get this much ink. But ms. Lipstadt's third reason is, indeed, the final word.

Mr K said...

“…Irving cant be taken seriously by anyone with half a brain”

Yeah, but there are a lot of people everywhere with less than half a brain, and that’s why Mr. Irving’s claims – as ridiculous as they are – must be confronted. Obviously they must be confronted with historical facts and not with laws silencing dissenting voices.

Michael Farris said...

Just to chime in on-topic, holocaust denial laws are misguided and likely to backfire, creating an impression among some that maybe there's something to it (which Irving does his best to exploit).

I think the quickest and most effective way to discredit Irving is to give him a forum.

Having read his Poland travelogue I can't remember reading something and taking such an intense, visceral dislike to an author (which I think would happen no matter what he was writing about some of my strongest negative reactions were when he wasn't writing about WWII at all).

geez said...

Hitchens is "progressive?" Was maybe, but is?

Since when? Did he have a change of heart?

geez said...

And if you give an idiot a forum, he'll find x number more idiots to join him even if his idiocy is apparent to most folks in the forum.

beatroot said...

If we are all in agreement that a ‘holocaust denial’ law would be a thoroughly Bad Thing then why is many in the EU so out of touch with ordinary people?

And it’s not just anyone who denies the holocaust that would be punished under the new draft law. This is what it says – proposed by the German presidency:

"Each member state shall take the measures necessary to ensure that the following intentional conduct is punishable: 'publicly condoning, denying or grossly trivialising of crimes of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes as defined in'... the Statute of the ICC."

So questioning, say, the ‘official’ version of what went on in the Balkans (Serbs bad, everyone else victims) would break the law.

It would be a very dangerous precedent if this law ever got through. Free speech is going out of fashion.

beatroot said...

And Gees – you seem to have some sympathy for closing down free speech (even bad speech).

give an idiot a forum, he'll find x number more idiots

The ‘idiots’ are already out there. And if you banned him saying something they would find each other anyway. Irving has some little friends in Austria, a country which has always banned questioning the holocaust. And I bet they feel empowered by their victimhood by the ‘Zionist conspiracy’ to shut them up. . Banning bad ideas does not make them go away….they just fester…

Damo said...

Censorship of Free Speech by the Irish and British State media denied the most militant and most persecuted members of the Republican movement in Ireland (Republican in Ireland means something very different to the Bush & co. brand) representation on the airwaves for many a year under the infamous Section 31 clause of the Broadcasting Act which banned what they called 'terrorists' like Gerry Adams from being heard on the radio and TV. After finally being repealed in '93 as part of the Peace Process, Sinn Fein and the I.R.A.'s access to the media played a pivotal role in helping them enter a protracted dialogue with their enemies which resulted yesterday in two former arch-enemies, Sinn Fein and the D.U.P. agreeing to power-sharing arrangements in Northern Ireland.

A good example methinks of how rational debate can help take the armalite out of politics.

Similarly banning Irving and his bonehead followers certainly has a tendency to push their followers into believing they are a persecuted righteous lot.

One has to have hope for persuading racists, anti-semites to become tolerant and respectful towards those who they don't agree with or understand. The truth of testimonies from survivors of genocidal situations have helped Rwandan society, for example, to make some progress towards reconciliation amongst both Hutus and Tutsis.

Refuting Irving and all suppressors of free speech is a job for the patient and non-violently inclined. Last weeks events in Wroclaw with the scary Polish National Rebirth (Polish section of fascist International Third Positionists) spewing out their hate speech nevertheless needs to be met with overwhelming public condemnation, so as to let boneheads know they may be missing 5 cans out of a 6-pack being in such a weird-looking minority with dumb collocations on their placards.

It's just a pity that someone didn't find out Irving was going to Oswieciem so that he could be given a guide by a survivor!

varus said...

Damo,

i agree with what you are saying,
but during the 80's (at least in Britain, not sure about your neck of the woods) you had the surreal situation of Gerry Adam's words being read out by an actor and so his message was still going out. I'm not sure you can link yesterday's agreement to free speech. It was more the realisation that the tactics were failing and that the PIRA's actions were going against public consensus, even amongst Republicans and Nationalists. Also actions like at Omagh in '98 by RIRA really kicked the teath out of the Republican claims for righteousness.

Damo said...

It wasn't supposed to be a clear analogy of if you allow this then that will definitely happen - rather, a loose comparison of the futility of oppressing those who are viewed as on the margins. It was only BBC that allowed the dubbing, in Ireland it was a lot more strict right up to '93.

For sure there are a number of reasons why the Republican movement realised that they should change the Morrison policy of 'the armalite in one hand and the ballot box in the other', and this is not the thread for me to write any more about it.

Suffice to say that my comment was merely meant to demonstrate that anybody who has a political viewpoint or tactic that we disagree with should be allowed to voice that perspective and in that way deal with rational refutations of same - in relation to Irving, as many acknowledge above, his incarceration just fuelled the ignorance of his nutty followers that the truth of Owsieciem et al. is part and parcel of a grand conspiracy.

As a matter of interest, does anyone have more info. about Irving's visit, i.e. whether he had meetings in universities, whether he was invited by a particular group or he came of his own volition?

geez said...

I'm not convinced that idiots are all that adept at finding each other. A few will in a closed environment but with the internet opening things up, idiotism can and is becoming big business.

See here

geez said...

The link seems to produce "an internal error" but I reached it directly at:

http://www.splcenter.org/intel/news/item.jsp?site_area=1&aid=248

A snippet:
According to international website registry records and d'Aubignosc's own statements on the white supremacist online forum Stormfront, he is the chief website manager, or "webmaster," for several high-profile white nationalist organizations, including the British National Party; the French white nationalist group Le Mouvement Social et Patriotique; and the National Front, a far-right anti-immigrant political party in France. The National Front's leader, Jean-Marie Le Pen, personally tasked d'Aubignosc with creating a pan-European white nationalist web presence at a meeting last year in Paris, according to a statement d'Aubignosc posted online under his code name, Indutiomar, which is apparently a reference to the first century Celtic general Indutiomarus.

D'Aubignosc also administers a multinational "whites only" dating service called Eurodatelink and a network of white nationalist electronic newsletters for readers in 16 European countries, as well as the United States and Canada. D'Aubignosc promotes this network, dubbed Altermedia, as "World Wide News for People of European Descent."

But d'Aubignosc's most vital role in the global white nationalist
movement . . .

beatroot said...

Defending all free speech is important. To do that we have to draw a thick line between words and actions. The liberals and conservatives both appear to believe that a bad word or statement is the same as an action - violent or discriminatory.

If I said 'kill all people with red hair' and someone went and killed someone with red hair, my words would not in anyway be the cause of the death.

Those who want to restrict speech freedoms believe that humans are machines waiting to spring into action on the stimulous of hate speech, or whatever. That is a very low view of human beings.

So the 'idiots' tag for these people is falling into that trap. Someone who killes someone with red hair would probably have done something similar even if I had not called for red hair genocide in the first place.

varus said...

Beatroot said: "If I said 'kill all people with red hair' and someone went and killed someone with red hair, my words would not in anyway be the cause of the death."

But what you said can be seen as incitement. If you said 'i think all people with red hair should be killed' then this would be your private opinion. The UK tightened it's laws recently rith regard to this issue, as some people such as Abu Hamza continuley incited violence.

Free spech and incitement are not the same, as some times despite what you may wish to think, 'idiots' do "spring into action on the stimulous of hate speech, or whatever."

beatroot said...

UK tightened it's laws recently rith regard to this issue, as some people such as Abu Hamza continually incited violence.

It was that piece of nonsense legislation I had in mind. Freedom of speech is under attack as never before in Britain.

Basically, Hamza was imprisoned (for seven years!!!) for talking bullshit. He said some weird and whacky things but he ultimately not responcible for any act of violence at all. The people who committed acts of violence are 100 percent for that.

When words are spoken they go into our brains. How our brain processes those words is completely up to us. So speech – unless is presents a clear, immediate threat to people (shouting fire in a crowded room, for instance) cannot harm anyone.

Actions not words are what people should be imprisoned for.

varus said...

So, you don't believe in the idea of incitement - that is it is not possible to incite someone else to do a crime. Is that even so if you are a teacher or religious leader who people resepect and follow. Does this mean that Pope Urban II bore no responsibility for the First Crusade?

Words can be dangerous, the question is how do we measure their effect and where do we draw the line without over-reacting.

Mr K said...

“When words are spoken they go into our brains. How our brain processes those words is completely up to us.”

I couldn’t agree with you more. In the USA all the law suits against tobacco companies, and recently against fast food restaurants, should be dismissed. I don’t feel sympathy for makers of cigarettes and fattening food, but they don’t force anybody to smoke or eat food loaded with saturated fat. But a lot of people are stupid and have tendency to harm themselves and then blame someone else for their misery.

geez said...

believe that humans are machines waiting to spring into action on the stimulous of hate speech

Certainly not all or even most, but too many people, while not machines, are much too easily manipulated by demagogic appeals to hate and violence. With mass media, especially the internet, this appeal is broadened and intensified many times over. Thus in modern society, I'm afraid there are many equivalents, quite clear and immediate in terms of endangerment, of shouting fire in a crowded theater.

BEING HAD said...

Hey, I don't like Poland either. But I agree with the twat label. However, this was not a nice Passover present. I know this BS still exists, but still, it really takes the wind out of you.

beatroot said...

Being Had
You don’t like Poland because you had trouble with some corrupt cops, I believe from your Web sites. I don’t think Irving has had that problem.

Varus
So, you don't believe in the idea of incitement - that is it is not possible to incite someone else to do a crime. Is that even so if you are a teacher or religious leader who people respect and follow.

Ultimately, that is the logical conclusion of what I am saying, yeah. Even if it is someone you respect who is telling you to do something then it is the responsibility of the recipient of that message, and who acts on it, that has to take the consequences.

Geeeeees
I'm afraid there are many equivalents, quite clear and immediate in terms of endangerment, of shouting fire in a crowded theater.

No there are not. If someone shouts ‘fire’ in a crowded theatre there is AN INSTINCTUAL desire to get the hell out of their. Cognition and moral choices don’t come into it. Whereas words and messages are processed by the individual and moral choices are made.

Totally different thing.

And I agree with Mr K: blaming Macs for getting fact is an abdication of individuals as conscious (that word again) beings able to make choices.

WE are not attack dogs or dupes, and it is profoundly misanthropic to suggest otherwise.

geez said...

WE are not attack dogs or dupes, and it is profoundly misanthropic to suggest otherwise.

Well, WE'll see if those attack dogs (or dupas as the case prolly is)who threatened you over your stance vis-a-vis Simon Mol have more bark than bite.

Effectively, entire nations have degenerated into an attack dog mode on more than one occasion. If it's misanthropic to criticize and want to place certain limitations upon the injurious impact of relatively small (but growing) groups, then the same appelation should hold vis-a-vis nations like Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union. Better to nip, I'll say, real misanthropy in the bud than to allow it to grow. You're not opposed to Monsanto's Roundup are you, BR?

beatroot said...

Well, WE'll see if those attack dogs (or dupas as the case prolly is)who threatened you over your stance vis-a-vis Simon Mol have more bark than bite.

I think that was a bit stupid thing to say, mate....

beatroot said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
beatroot said...

…in fact that was a really stupid thing to say (I got incandescent again)….you are now suggesting that someone should think twice in case they upset one of your ‘idiots’.

The implication of what you are saying is:

Words are sooooo powerful that we have to watch what we say because if someone don’t like what we are saying then they might come and GET US.

Well, if that is the case then what you are suggesting is that WE SHOULD ALL SHUT UP….just in case..

Good night democracy and free speech.

Think about what you write here sometimes… Even brining that crap into this discussion was a pretty weird use of free speech on this blog...(note I don't delete your comments...)

europejczyk said...

I would like to come back to the origins of this thread: D. Irving and Holocaust denial (short: HD).
The cases of Austria, France, and Germany show that laws that penalize HD tend to develop a life of their own. Lawmakers continuously tighten the laws. The intensity of prosecution of HD increases steadily and is parallelled only by the prosecution of outright felonies. Austria, e.g., has 4 special hotlines for reporting severe crimes to the Ministry of Justice. One is exclusively reserved for HD and other cases of "Wiederbetaetigung" (NS revival) .

In states that make HD a criminal offence, the state persecution apparatus (political police, secret services, prosecution attorneys, and judges), supported by media and mainstream politicians, tends to prosecute more and more minor cases of HD. A man in the former GDR part of Germany, e.g., was finally sentenced for having said in an assembly that they had been told lies about the perpetrators of Katyn and the number of dead at Auschwitz, that this number was not 4 millions as stated at Nuremberg, but approx. 1 million, as he recently learned when visiting Oswiecim. A Berlin teacher was fired after a media uproar, because he said in class that, at Auschwitz, prisoners did not only die in the gas chambers, but also from malnutrition, unhygienic conditions, lack of medical care, and overwork. (He received, however, a court decision that this statement was not HD.)

In France, a - right-wing - politician and prof of Japanese studies, asked at a press conference in 2004, said that he is well aware of the fact that millions of Jews died during the Holocaust, that gas chambers were used for killing, but that, as a non-specialist, he does not know the details, and that the issue should be left to the experts in the field, and that their discussion should be free. The court ruled that, though the defendant did not explicitly deny the Holocaust, his remarks, however, could sow the seeds of doubt in the minds of uninformed individuals about the historically established facts, and sentenced him to a heavy fine and some months prison with probation. (The defendant appealed, the sentence is not yet final.)

And let's look last but not least at our protagonist, David Irving: Had he, for instance, in 1989 at his speech given to a group of university students raped one of the students - and not talked rubbish about the non-existence of gas chambers at Auschwitz - he would have gone free when arrested by the police in 2005, because rape, after 10 years, comes under the statute of limitation in Austria, whereas HD (as "Wiederbetaetigung")is statute-barred not before 20 years.

I think that the above mentioned cases speak for Deborah Lipstadt's argument against criminalizing HD. It is, in fact, a difference between the stupid waffle of Irving and his like, or remarks that would quite pass in an academic discussion, and the speech of a fanatic religious leader who incites his listeners to go and burn a mosque, church, or temple and kill the "infidels." There, IMO, free speech has to have its limits. Julius Streicher rightly swung at Nuremberg. (Though BR, in a certain sense, is right: to murder or not to murder, in every case, was an individual decision of the SS man, and in all war crime trials, also in the USSR, the perpetrators were sentenced according to their actions, not to their beliefs or to what they said.)

beatroot said...

Great post, Euro

But the important point in this is: people do not just casually go out and attack someone because they heard someone say: ‘go punch a mulim/jew.red head…..

Racism, hatred, stereotypes are created from ideologies, cultural prejudices etc etc etc

So the initial statement: go kill muslim/jew etc is not the important factor. I hear these things and don’t want to attack anyone. Just as virtually everyone who reads this does not either….

But the few that do will do anyway: either for ideological reasons or just plain insanity.

So the initial statement - the words – are not the main variable in any subsequent action.

Therefore speech must always be free.

europejczyk said...

Let me quote you, BR: "So the initial statement: go kill muslim/jew etc is not the important factor. I hear these things and don’t want to attack anyone. Just as virtually everyone who reads this does not either…."

I agree with you in principle. But you and me, and all those who read this blog, are in a detached position before our computers. But imagine you were in a crowd of hundreds or thousands. Maybe music and/or monotonous prayers already created an atmosphere of "togetherness." You then have before you the charismatic leader speaking - I wonder how I might have reacted if I'd been at the Berlin Sportpalast in 1943 when Joseph Goebbels shouted his infamous "Wollt ihr den totalen Krieg?" (do you want total war?) and received a roaring "Ja!" (yes!) from a hundred thousand throats.

Psychologists tell us that individuals behave differently, if they are alone or in a small group, or if they are in a crowd. I'm not an expert in these matters, but I feel that there is truth in their statement. The "fire in a theatre" paradigm exactly fits here - and is therefore a no brainer in the discussion about criminalizing or not HD (though a favorite of advocates of punishing HD.)

beatroot said...

Euro
For the senario you present to be criminal there would have to be a very highly charged atmostphere, plus someone in authority speaking, plus the near proximity of (say) Jewish people, in a situation where there was already high tension.

In that circumstance, then 'Kill Jew' would be a legally questionable thing to do.

But those situations are very rare, and that is not about WORDS but situation.

Speech, per se, should never be banned.

geez said...

you are now suggesting that someone should think twice in case they upset one of your ‘idiots’.

Think about what you write here sometimes…


Think about your statements above.

Besides, you seem to have missed my point entirely. I'd have no problem if you zapped the comments of the racists/fascists or mine. It's your blog. But I think you are encouraging and emboldening the racists/facists by giving them a wider forum to solidify their own -- and to foment additional -- hatred. A good argument just ain't going to change them. And even if you convince 2 out of 3 fence-sitters, there's that 1 you don't who increases their number ala:

Just as virtually everyone who reads this does not either….

geez said...

people do not just casually go out and attack someone because they heard someone say: ‘go punch a mulim/jew.red head…..

And if certain people keep hearing it over and over all over the place? Obviously, violence isn't ever typically casual, except maybe at a hockey game (or in the stands at a soccer game).

beatroot said...

Come on. What you are saying is that internet has made things worse because now characters like 'warsaw guy' have another forum...blah blah.

Very conservative attitude. It reminds me of the old conservatives who wanted to ban sex and violence from the TV because it was turning folk violent and ...er...sexy!

And I don't know if you have noticed, but people like warsaw guy can't actually articulate any kind of thoughts except very basic ones. hardly a threat to democracy, are they?

geez said...

I don't specifically recall WG but was referring to folks like anon(s?).

Yea, I'll take the conservative label on this count. Let's see, TV has given little girls Brittney and Paris to emulate. And gangstas have Scarface, the Sopranos and the Black Donnhelys... Never thought I'd read the BR defending TV.

Maybe these guys are not a threat to democracy on a wide scale. But they are a real threat to individuals and groups and as such are a threat to the democratic rights of those threatened. While you obviously have balls "publishing" the stuff you do, there are other people who are not as ballsy as you who are silenced because of idiot fringe types. And a lot of these people are not targeted because of what they say but because of who they are.

beatroot said...

Iggy
One of the draw backs of free speech is that some of that speech is not going to be agreeable. But that, in my small way, gives me the chance to expose these people for what they are.

Anonymous said...

I think that Holocaust denial and generally expression of ideas, even grossly miguided, should be legal, but incitement to violence, if that violence was at least attempted, should not. Consider a Mafia boss telling someone of his extended family: "I want X dead". He doesn't need to threaten any punishment if his suggestion isn't followed, nor give any financial reward if it is. The emotional factors (sense of belonging, loyalty etc) can in many cases be enough. Same for a religious sect leader.

And what about other forms of expression? Posters with X's photo and address, saying "kill the paedophile!"

I don't think that the issue is as simple as "no punishment for speech". Hardly anybody acts rationally all the time, and people who want to get someone else's hands dirty try to pick the ones who are most likely to obey. And even a rationally acting person can be misled by false information.

Pratt said...

“When words are spoken they go into our brains. How our brain processes those words is completely up to us.” I couldn’t agree with you more. In the USA all the law suits against tobacco companies, and recently against fast food restaurants, should be dismissed. I don’t feel sympathy for makers of cigarettes and fattening food, but they don’t force anybody to smoke or eat food loaded with saturated fat. But a lot of people are stupid and have tendency to harm themselves and then blame someone else for their misery.

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