Skip to main content

View Diary: Free Speech Debate: Who thinks this is wrong? Neo-nazis raided in Germany (110 comments)

Comment Preferences

  •  What about McCarthyism (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    johnny wurster, Sychotic1, DeadHead

    and persecution of those with Communist sympathies in this country?  We tend to see that as a great injustice, or at least I do.  But its proponents felt strongly that THEY had to be extremely careful to ward off the evils of Bolveshism here. Is everything purely situtational, or are there any absolute principles here?  

    "The extinction of the human race will come from its inability to EMOTIONALLY comprehend the exponential function." -- Edward Teller

    by lgmcp on Mon Feb 18, 2013 at 11:34:23 AM PST

    [ Parent ]

    •  interesting point (4+ / 0-)

      Even in the former Warsaw Pact, Communism has not been banned the way neo-Nazis are banned.  Unlike Nazism, Communism is not explicitly based on race hatred, on antisemitism.

    •  the idea of an absolute principle (9+ / 0-)

      I think is something that only exists in our head and in the imaginations of, well, absolutists. Aren't there exceptions to free speech in the U.S. too, like threatening to kill the president or screaming fire in a movie theater? Same with the whole 2nd amendment discussion right now: Is your right to bear arms absolute? Should individuals have nuclear weapons? Tanks? Assault rifles? So in my view no rights are absolute in the real world, and different countries and cultures have different views and debates on where to draw the line. In Germany, I can't spew Neo Nazi hate speech, because of my country's history, something that a vast majority of Germans agrees on. Then again, I can drink a beer in the street, a freedom I don't have in America.

      Ecology is the new Economy

      by citisven on Mon Feb 18, 2013 at 11:57:51 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Events never exist in a vacuum (3+ / 0-)

        but that doesn't mean we can simply abandon the effort to tease out common threads of meaning.

        A vast majority of Americansagreed in decades gone by, agreed strongly that no one should be allowed to spread Communist opinions.  Many still feel that way.   McCarthyism happened "because of [our] country's history".   Personally I find the things done in the name of "Red scare" to be unjustified, but a "vast majority" felt otherwise and still do.  

        It's easy enough to diss Nazis.  It's like dissing the Westboro Baptist Church -- everybody can get on board.  But when you substitute some OTHER flavor marginalized opinion, you have to worry about the abstract principles involved.  Another example is that times are not so long ago when Gay Pride events were routinely suppressed.  It seemed mighty clear to most people that openly advocating "perversion" was well worthy of legal consequences.  

        Do I think Germany should change it's law?  No, actually, I'm fine with it.  But I do think there are real complexities that merit real attention.    

        "The extinction of the human race will come from its inability to EMOTIONALLY comprehend the exponential function." -- Edward Teller

        by lgmcp on Mon Feb 18, 2013 at 12:13:35 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  nevertheless (5+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          lgmcp, translatorpro, citisven, Just Bob, Smoh

          the national socialists are the only group singled out in the grundgesetz. no one outlawed die Linke, of which I am a member, or even the salafists.  so long as one is not advocating violent overthrow, they can really say what they.

          The National Democrats (Die Nationaldemokratische Partei Deutschlands), the successors to the National Socialist, are legal (for now, until more is uncovered about their support of the Zwickau terrorist cell - they are on the verge of being banned)

          just no hitler salutes, swastikas or ss flags

          BTW, just to make it more complicated, political parties also get subsidies - so if you pay taxes, you indirectly financially support the NPD, something they exploit and people are rightly pissed about, at least in my circles.

          Don't be a dick, be a Democrat! Oppose CPI cuts! Support Social Security and Veteran Benefits!

          by Jeffersonian Democrat on Mon Feb 18, 2013 at 12:31:57 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  I don't remember the Communists in the US (8+ / 0-)

      killing 6 million people based on beliefs regarding "ethnic cleansing". Believe me, the Germans are very careful about what they are doing here, and I'm pretty sure they proceed with extra caution because they have to consider their image domestically and abroad. Some years ago I translated a series of confidential documents for the German police involving English Nazi-themed lyrics which are really revolting. You have never heard such hate-filled, white-supremacist garbage in your life, I'm betting, and I doubt the persecuted "communists" in the McCarthy ever had anything of the kind. That work made me feel physically ill, so I had to stop after a while.

      I'm an expat living in Germany, so my perspective is from inside, and not outside of the country.

      „Wer kämpft, kann verlieren. Wer nicht kämpft, hat schon verloren.“ - Bertolt Brecht

      by translatorpro on Mon Feb 18, 2013 at 12:10:34 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site