In a free society, one must be able to be free to present odious ideas.
The criminalization of Holocaust denial has damaged the Jewish people and damaged Western civilization.
(And it's just plain stupid as well.)
How so? For one, the idea that Jews can control what people think or say is disturbing, promotes the global Zionist conspiracy theory and also, because fundamentally, debate is a very Jewish thing. It is very un-Jewish to silence conversation and debate. As the old saying goes, two Jews-three opinions.
Civilized people will reject crazy historical revisionist and conspiratorial theories based on evidence.
Why turn Holocaust-denying crackpot antisemites into free speech heroes?
This is the utterly perverse result of trying to shut down speech, "even" crazy and ugly, Jew-hating speech.
The notion, born and bred in the minds of insecure and mostly liberal Jews, that Jews would be well served by the state regulating conversation and thereby thought-is, in fact, antithetical to the learned realities of the Jewish experience in the Holocaust.
The state apparatus, civil and criminal, was the primary way in which anti-Jewish actions began in Germany. Jews were denied their civil rights, their weapons were taken away and most important of all to remember-that Weimar era Germany had exceptionally stringent hate speech and incitement laws on their book and we all know now how that worked out for the Jews, and subsequently, the West.
The hate speech activists, remain unconvinced by reality, as per Sam Schulman:
"Nobody on the free speech side can comprehend how deeply and sincerely
the hate-speech censors believe that banning hate speech will reduce the
amount of hate in society, that controlling speech is the path to
better, happier thoughts. This conviction is so deep-seated in its
advocates that the question of its accuracy is rarely even considered."
But in my view, this summary of motivation is only partial. Hate speech bans, laws, crimes and prosecutions are clearly more sinister than about 'reducing hate'.
They are about control and power.
So Schulman points out:
"Rather than measure the good that such laws may do, advocates of speech
criminalization focus on the harm that hate speech and Holocaust denial
do. That they have an interest in showing this is obvious, but much of
the work on the harm of hate speech is thoughtful and persuasive. Yet so
confident are they that silencing and punishing people for speaking in a
hurtful way is necessary that they feel no need to present data to
answer whether it is effective."
Thus, when one thinks about the most aggressive hate speech lobbyists, this is clearly true.
But what is this approach is merely the strategy, and not the desired outcome?
What if we postulate that focusing on harm is just another sophisticated intellectual tool in the leftist toolbox?
And what if silencing and punishing people for creating hurt or hate is just the ruse?
What if it was much more simple to explain: a totalitarian desire to crush dissent and control a given populace, starting with thoughts, leading to articulation of ideas and ultimately-to behaviour?
That is the real danger, and that is why the push back on behalf of "hate speech" advocates is so vociferous.
To admit anything about their tactics would give away the whole game.
Schulman concludes the following:
"Twenty years of policing speech about the Holocaust has produced a
perverse result. In the two countries in which Holocaust denial is
freely available to anyone, the level of Holocaust denial and what might
be termed Holocaust skepticism has changed very little."
What is truly perverse about the "hate speech" debate and debacle, is the abject lack of comprehension, even among highly intelligent, well-read and freedom-loving individuals, about what this is really about.
Hurt feelings and hate are just the ruse; just a sinister honey trap to entrap large swaths of basically good people with basically good inclinations.
But be warned: this struggle, the leftist Hate Speech Kampf, is strictly about control and power.
It will always be thus and is becoming more dangerous each passing day as the leftist-jihadist alliance on this fundamental, philosophical outlook and goal becomes ever more deep-rooted and solidified and the existential stakes for civilized nations grows higher and higher.