Europe Never Learns

In the 1920s, the National Socialist German Workers Party was banned by the government of Weimar Germany. Throughout the 1920s and 1930s, the Nazis were prosecuted numerous times for “hate speech”. Rather than hinder the Nazis, this merely helped them in every way imaginable. Through the courts, the Nazis were given a platform to spread their views to a far wider section of the public than they otherwise would have had access to. Through their prosecutions, they were able to cultivate an image of themselves as martyrs and political prisoners, drawing people to their side in droves. Today, Europe is making the exact same mistake that it made with the Nazis.

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Europe is a continent facing a major demographic crisis. With very low native birthrates and high birthrates for the immigrants that continue to flood into the continent – along with a staggering economy – the far-right is experiencing a major surge all over the continent. Anti-Semitism in particular is at its highest level since before World War II, with European Jews too afraid to even put their kids in public schools. Neo-fascist parties continue to surge in Greece, in Hungary, in Slovakia, and across the rest of Europe. Naturally, this has lead to increasing calls for more Orwellian thought control measures to be taken (which is, of course, the same reaction that Europe has had to the likes of ISIS) and for far-right political parties to be banned in order to “protect democracy” (yes, they truly do see absolutely no irony in calling for political parties to be banned in the name of “democracy”). In effect, Europe is repeating the exact same mistakes that it made prior to World War II, right down to attempting to ban and silence the speech of the far-right – and it is, of course, only backfiring in the exact same way that it did during the rise of the Nazis. The unending support for censorship from the Jewish lobby inevitably backfires as well, reinforcing anti-Semitic conspiracy theories that Jews run the world’s governments and seek to silence any perceived threat to them or to Israel (while the Zionist lobby is attempting to get all criticism of Israel outlawed as “hate speech” in Europe, Canada is currently trying to outlaw all criticism of Israel as “hate speech” as well).

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The European solution to any problem is always government bans – especially in the realm of speech. Pretty much everyone outside of the US firmly believes that “hate speech is not free speech”.  In fact, even the staunchest, most hardcore “libertarians” and “free speech activists” outside of the US still tend to fully support “hate speech” laws and it’s also not uncommon for “free speech activists” outside of the US to demand that people be arrested for expressing certain opinions. For example, at Britain’s “Rally for Free Expression“, “free speech activists” spoke about the need to ensure that “hate speech” remains outlawed. The concept of US-style free speech is absolutely unfathomable to Europeans and others. In addition, most of them genuinely make no distinction between speech and action – “racism” is an action, even when it’s nothing more than speech.  Racist speech is an act of racial discrimination and violent speech is an act of violence.  “Hate speech” is not merely speech, but a form of violence.  The line between speech and action outside of the US is extremely blurred, if not outright non-existent.

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As I have said before, one would be hard-pressed to find anyone outside of the US who supports full US-style freedom of speech – someone suggesting US-style freedom of speech outside of the US would be treated the same as (if not worse than) someone suggesting that murder and rape should be legalized. The concept of defending freedom of speech even for people that you profoundly despise does not exist outside of the US and neither does the idea that someone can disapprove of something without seeking to make it illegal. In Europe, more or less everyone believes that anything they don’t like should be banned by the government, whether it’s smoking, burqas, child beauty pageants, advertisements that depict women with unrealistic body sizes, or just opinions that they find “not acceptable”.  To give one something of an idea of the sort of ban-happy mindset that pervades Europe, when people dressed as clowns began to carry out attacks in France, the immediate reaction was to ban anyone from dressing up as a clown.

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Europeans generally expect the government to ban things that it disapproves of and they can’t even imagine the government disapproving of something without banning it. So, when they see “hate speech” coming from the US, their natural response is to believe that the US government approves of “hate speech” since it’s not banning it. Most non-Americans simply assume that the US also has “hate speech” laws and react with stunned disbelief and disgust upon finding out that it doesn’t.

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But the United States does not have a problem with Nazis and fascists gaining power – not only because America is far less drawn to racism and authoritarianism than Europe is, but also because, when a crazy idea is discussed freely and openly, then that idea is also refuted freely and openly. But, when that idea is only discussed in secret, then, the first time that one hears it being presented, they are necessarily alone with the person presenting it and they do not hear the other side. That makes it much, much easier to convince people as to the validity of the idea. They’ve never heard it articulated before, and they have no idea how to counter the points being made. It also gives those who promote whatever banned idea a sort of “persecuted prophet” complex. In their minds, the fact that the state is attempting to suppress their views becomes confirmation that they have found some sort of dangerous truth.  In addition, the state taking away any peaceful, non-violent methods of venting their anger and frustration is much more likely to drive them to resort to violence in order to vent their boiling rage and get their message across.

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The ideology behind banning certain kinds of speech is a twisted form of doublethink: a large majority of the public doesn’t like the speech, so the speech must therefore be banned… so that a large majority of the public is not swayed by it. But it makes sense when you consider the nature of Europe. This is, for the most part, a continent of very weak, impressionable people – and, on some level, they are very much aware of it. They’re perfectly fine with the government regulating their thoughts because they genuinely believe that they are weak enough to be swayed by Nazis. In fact, over half of Austrians believe that the Nazis would be reelected if the party was allowed to run again today – and they are undoubtedly right.

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And the government knows it, too. Whereas, in the US, the government allows Nazis to speak out openly because it knows that the American public would never actually support Nazis, the governments of Europe are very much aware of how racist and how impressionable the vast majority of their population is. After all, if Nazis were truly so unpopular, then what “danger” could there possibly be in allowing them to be heard? European governments ban Nazis because they know that those Nazis actually stand a chance at gaining strong support and taking over. But, as it turns out, banning Nazis is the best possible thing for those Nazis. The more an idea is suppressed, the stronger it becomes. And there are no ideas that have been more suppressed in modern times than the ideas of the Nazis.

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Sunlight is the best disinfectant. Aside from giving Nazis a “forbidden fruit” allure, government suppression also allows them to create vast underground networks where they go unchallenged and where their ideas are not refuted in open debate. As a result, they grow much stronger and, since they are underground and off-the-radar rather than out in the open, they are also much harder to monitor.  In the United States, freedom of speech is offered infinitely more protection than anywhere else in the world (much to the chagrin of the United Nations, the international community, and the “human rights” lobby).  If I wanted to, I could legally write an article about how all Jews should be exterminated like parasites and I could even legally encourage people to go out into the streets and slaughter Jewish civilians (although I highly doubt that Thought Catalog would publish such an article).  The US government knows very well that, if such an article were to be published, it would be far better to allow it to be exposed to the vast swathes of the Internet where it would no doubt be widely mocked and ridiculed (and I’d assuredly also be repeatedly accused of being a Hal Turner-type government informant working to make neo-Nazis look like a bunch of lunatics).  In Europe, however, I would get arrested merely for writing online statements that “reject immigration and multiculturalism” or for saying that I feel “disgusted” by same-sex marriage. Effectively, any idea that the governments of Europe disapprove of is outlawed and thus is not discussed in the open, thus driving it underground where it only festers and becomes much stronger as a result.

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Aside from “protecting vulnerable minorities” (in typical “social justice” fashion, minorities are patronizingly seen as nothing more than pitiful, helpless little pets who need white people to protect their feelings), the standard go-to argument in Europe and outside of the US in general is that freedom of speech leads to things like the Holocaust. In a place like Europe – where emotion reigns supreme and logic does not exist – this would appear to make sense on the surface. But, in actuality, government suppression of speech is what leads to things like the Holocaust.

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There was certainly no freedom of speech in Nazi Germany. After the Weimar government repeatedly attempted to silence the speech of the Nazis, the Nazis took over and promptly proceeded to silence the speech of anyone whom they deemed to be a threat. This obviously left no room for anyone to speak out about what the Nazis were really doing or to question them in any way. And, when you have that kind of repressive environment, then things like the Holocaust are able to happen. The people of Nazi Germany did not know about the Holocaust – and, if the Holocaust had been known about by the public, then it would never have been supported. Nazi Germany is certainly not the only example of a genocidal government putting out “hate speech” itself and silencing all opposition – that’s exactly what happened during the Bosnian War and during the accompanying genocide as well by a Yugoslavian government that had strict and severe “hate speech” laws, to name just one additional example.

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Likewise, if Hitler had openly come out and said that he wanted to exterminate all Jews, he would have been widely condemned and he would never have gained any popularity. People like Hitler gain popularity by hiding their true motives and by making themselves appear sensible and reasonable to the public. This is what makes things like, for example, Canada’s law against “advocating genocide” so absurd – it assumes that the public consists merely of braindead, glassy-eyed automatons who mindlessly accept absolutely anything that they hear. The idea that someone can publicly say “let’s gas all the Jews” and gain widespread support for it is so patently absurd that it’s hard for anyone (in America, at least) to even entertain the vague possibility that such a thing could ever genuinely happen in real life.  If a politician has genocidal intentions, then wouldn’t it be much better for all of us if that politician openly stated their genocidal intentions rather than keeping it a secret and thus possibly standing a chance at actually getting elected?  In the words of Woodrow Wilson: “I have always been among those who believed that the greatest freedom of speech was the greatest safety, because if a man is a fool, the best thing to do is to encourage him to advertise the fact by speaking. It cannot be so easily discovered if you allow him to remain silent and look wise, but if you let him speak, the secret is out and the world knows that he is a fool.” If anything, the most extreme and outrageous bigots actually harm the cause of bigotry and advance the cause of non-bigotry by making bigots seem completely insane and unreasonable. When bigots are required by law to hide their bigotry, not only are they forced to make themselves appear reasonable (which is much more appealing to the public and thus far more dangerous), but people also would not even know who the bigots are and thus would have no way of knowing which people to avoid. When bigots can speak out openly, however, people are forced to confront the realities of bigotry head-on and people can see just how ugly and how disgusting bigotry truly is, thus uniting people against it. Take, for example, the Westboro Baptist Church, a group whose disgusting anti-gay demonstrations at funerals have probably done more to unite people against homophobia and to advance the cause of gay rights than anyone else ever could.

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Having a law against “advocating genocide” (which people have even tried to get the Canadian Prime Minister himself charged with) makes about as much sense as having a law against “advocating slavery” or “advocating nuclear war” – such things are already universally seen as being utterly reprehensible by almost everyone. At first glance, of course “advocating genocide” is disgusting, but having an entire specific law against it simply means that the government does not trust the people to decide for themselves that genocide is bad – and, if you can’t trust the people to reject genocide, then what can you trust them with? Freedom of speech is not just about the freedom to say things, but also about the freedom to hear things and to decide for oneself about things.  Yet, to a government that treats its citizens like idiotic children with no agency, any reprehensible ideas must be outright banned from ever being discussed lest those mindless, moronic masses be driven into a Jew-gassing frenzy. And, rest assured, the governments of Europe do indeed see their citizens as idiotic little children – perhaps even more so than Canada’s government does.  Genocides are always perpetrated either by the government, with the approval of the government, or after the government has collapsed. Since Europeans were dumb enough to follow the government during the Nazi era, they therefore need the government to protect themselves… from following the government.  This is the level of logic at work here.

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Laws regulating speech also play another notable role in Europe: attempting to make Europe’s seething racism somewhat less open and obvious to outsiders. After all, the governments of Europe have absolutely no problem passing laws that discriminate against Muslims, such as banning their religious garb or banning them from praying in the streets – yet they will not hesitate to imprison people for criticizing Islam or even for criticizing sharia law.  Why the odd double-standard?  It couldn’t possibly be because Europe prefers to pretend like its extreme and widespread racism doesn’t exist rather than confronting it head-on… could it?  Silencing speech allows people to feel like they’re doing good and “fighting racism” without actually doing anything to address the underlying causes of racism.  It’s a very European approach to dealing with problems: simply pretend that the problem doesn’t exist and just hope that it goes away. “Hate speech” laws have only made racism in Europe even worse, so, of course, Europe is now trying to make its “hate speech” laws even stricter. Because, after all, emotion and feelings are far more important than logic and reason. And, rest assured, there is not a single logical argument for government control of speech – all pro-censorship arguments are based entirely on petty appeals to emotion and logical fallacies.

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Apparently, European society is so deeply “civilized” and “enlightened” that all it takes for a new genocide to occur is for a far-right politician to be allowed to speak out openly (and, in many countries, even “hateful” comments made in complete privacy can get you arrested).  If a society needs strict censorship of speech to prevent itself from supporting Nazis, then there is clearly something very wrong with that society to begin with – something which no amount of censorship is ever going to correct.  And, if democracy requires all sorts of plug-ins and add-ons to make it work – such as banning certain political parties – then it is not truly democracy at all.  The “human rights” lobby’s main goal has always been the total eradication of democracy – they are the sort of dictators who see themselves as dictating “for the greater good” of the idiot masses who apparently just can’t stop themselves from committing genocides. The way that “human rights activists” see all humans – as evil, vicious savages who will eagerly commit genocides if someone even says something slightly politically incorrect – is, ironically, so profoundly anti-human that even someone as deeply misanthropic as I am finds it to be nothing less than outright absurd. “Human rights” indeed.

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Take, for example, the “human rights” lobby’s reaction to David Icke, a kooky conspiracy theorist known for his absurd belief that shape-shifting lizard people run the world (yes, really). The “human rights” lobby has repeatedly attempted to block him from speaking. In the words of prominent Canadian “human rights” lawyer and censorship fanatic Richard Warman: “He has taken all the conspiracy theories that ever existed and melded them together to create an even greater conspiracy of his own. His writings may be the work of a madman, or of a genuine racist. Either way they are very dangerous. There is an unpleasant anti-Semitic undertone in his work that must be brought to public attention. If he’s unstable then so are his followers, who hang on his every word. What benefit can there be in allowing him to speak?” To the ultra-elitist, ultra-Orwellian “human rights” lobby – a lobby very heavily influenced by Soviet ideology – humans need absolutely everything that they see and hear to be strictly regulated by the state because humans are simply not capable of deciding anything for themselves. In essence, the principle goal of the “human rights” lobby is to make the entire world into something along the lines of North Korea.

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What people who advocate for censorship never consider is that such censorship can and will be used against them in the future. Leftists will not be in power forever and all power is always wielded subjectively.  Russia and other countries are now passing laws against “gay propaganda” – and the very same people who advocate for the censorship of “hate speech” are, of course, outraged.

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But, when you advocate for the censorship of any views, you lose the right to complain when your views are censored. “Human rights activists” and other useful idiots continually seek to expand the scope of government censorship – whether it’s trying to pass “hate speech” laws that make offenders “guilty until proven innocent” (reversing the onus of proof is particularly popular among the “human rights” lobby and the “human rights” law in Australia, in particular, was intended to silence all criticism of the unpopular government as “hate speech”) or trying to outlaw all criticism of feminism. These people genuinely believe that the censorship that they advocate will never, ever be used against them. But that is never how censorship works. Professor Alan Dershowitz once said: “Once a government gets into the business of banning one type of bigoted speech, the circle of censorship inevitably expands.” Allowing the government to censor any speech sets an extremely dangerous precedent. All censorship always opens the door for more censorship – just look at how the United Nations, every year, tries to expand the definition of “hate speech” in its “international law” to include all criticism of religion (numerous countries already ban all criticism of religion as “hate speech”). Or just ask Sweden, which is now banning all criticism of politicians or immigration.

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Censorship is, to quote the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), “like poison gas: a powerful weapon that can harm you when the wind shifts.” For a good recent example, Japanese politicians have proposed using new “hate speech” laws in Japan – which the United Nations and “human rights activists” and other useful idiots have repeatedly demanded (even though much of the “hate speech” in Japan could simply be prosecuted as harassment and/or intimidation) – in order to silence anti-government and anti-nuclear protests since, in the words of Japanese politician Sanae Takaichi, lawmakers need to work “without any fear of criticism” (laws against “hate speech” in Japan could, ironically, also be used to shut down the very same pro-North Korean schools that Japanese racists want to be closed, thus giving the racists exactly what they want). Orwellian newspeak and doublethink are staples of the “human rights” lobby, as exemplified by “human rights advocate” Yoshifu Arita’s statement: “I would venture to say that we need to restrict hate speech in order to protect freedom of speech.” Of course, many of the very same people who are demanding that Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and his Liberal Democratic Party take steps to outlaw “hate speech” are also outraged at his stated intentions to change the Japanese Constitution and limit freedom of speech by making certain vaguely-defined kinds of speech “contrary to public order” and consider this to be the sign of a coming police state – even though “hate speech” has been used as a justification for Abe’s plans. The level of mental gymnastics from pro-censorship advocates truly is a sight to behold.

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Likewise, Thailand (a country which also supposedly guarantees freedom of speech through its constitution) now justifies censorship by labeling all criticism of its government as “hate speech”. There is absolutely no objective criteria for determining what is “hate speech” and, if you’re convinced that society and the government are fundamentally racist, then the last thing that you want to do is to give those very same “racists” the power to silence certain speech since that power will be used to silence people like you and/or people that you support. When you give the government the power to silence speech that it deems worthy of being silenced, you are putting an incredible amount of blind faith in the very same government that, more than likely, you despise (and, even if you don’t despise the current government, there will undoubtedly be a government in the future that you despise, and that government will have the very same subjective censorship powers). It is very common for “human rights activists” to argue that “hate speech” is not merely speech, but a form of violence. This cheapens actual violence and harms victims of actual violence in much the same way that third-wave feminists labeling assorted things “rape” trivializes actual rape and harms actual rape victims.

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Nazis and fascists may very well take over Europe – and, when they do, they will undoubtedly use those very same “hate speech” laws to silence anti-Nazi and anti-fascist speech (the right wing in Europe has been quite open about wanting to ban Islam, for instance), just as countries all over the world silence any opposition to their governments by labeling said opposition as “hate speech” and/or “incitement”, whether it’s directed at gay activists in Russia or at pro-Palestinian activists in Israel. After all, “hate speech” laws were pushed heavily by the Soviet Union, which was the driving force behind the inclusion of “hate speech” restrictions in United Nations “international laws” such as the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, and the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination – with the motive of the Soviet Union, of course, being to limit freedom of expression to the strongest extent possible (at one point, the West was very much opposed to such restrictions on speech, but the Soviets won in the end and now the West strongly supports “hate speech” laws). And, where the Soviet Union once succeeded in getting “hate speech” laws passed internationally, the Islamic world is now succeeding in getting all criticism of religion outlawed internationally – and, once again, they’re achieving this through the putrid, totalitarian, un-democratic abomination that is the United Nations while “human rights activists” and the international community pressure the US to outlaw criticism of religion as well. Showing the truly dangerous and toxic nature of the UN, dictatorships around the world use it to pass “international laws” against various kinds of speech – whether it’s “hate speech” or “defamation of religion” – and these “international laws” eventually make their way into real laws (as mandated by the UN) around the world, becoming universally accepted over time.

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I don’t think that I should even have to state just how profoundly dangerous this is. To quote Glenn Greenwald, few ideas have done as much damage throughout history as empowering the government to criminalize opinions it dislikes. The leftists who relentlessly push for the expansion of “hate speech” laws will inevitably see those very same laws used against them by right-wing governments. Time and time again, people who campaign for censorship find themselves being targeted with the very same censorship that they campaigned for – just ask The Guardian, a newspaper which campaigned for years for government censorship and even for total government regulation of the press (a motion which was also supported by Liberty, the UK’s so-called equivalent of the ACLU), only to later find their offices raided by that very same government that they wanted to give massive censorship power to. I have absolutely no sympathy for such people – they get what they deserve.

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Quite frankly, the future of Europe doesn’t look too bright, just like the future of Israel and China and India and the human race in general. But know this, Europeans: your authoritarian ways will be your ultimate downfall, even when you’re using authoritarianism in a highly ironic attempt to stop the spread of authoritarianism. You have given the world socialism and communism and fascism and just about every single other wretched, authoritarian ideology in existence – and you are naturally drawn to such ideologies, so it is absolutely no surprise that you are gravitating back towards fascism.

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Like Israel, you are a society that is currently in your last days and you are becoming more and more extreme in a desperate bid to survive. You are repeating the exact same mistakes that you made prior to World War II, right down to your ceaseless attempts to censor “dangerous” ideologies. When your continent is once again taken over by fascists (and/or Russia and/or Islam), I will unfortunately not be the least bit surprised. I just hope that the US will not find itself afflicted by your sick, twisted brand of authoritarianism.  The United States is the last remaining vestige of freedom of speech in the world, as it is the last remaining country in the world without any laws against “hate speech” or anything comparable.  If the day ever comes that the United States decides to follow the rest of the world and succumb to government suppression of speech, then the Soviets – and the Nazis – will have truly won.

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One thought on “Europe Never Learns

  1. Pingback: Why Censoring Speech Creates Extremists And Causes Atrocities Instead Of Stopping Them | Thought Catalog

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