Europe or European Culture has more freedom than the USA? (Discuss)

Discussion in 'Archive: The Senate Floor' started by WormieSaber, Nov 6, 2011.

  1. GrandAdmiralPelleaon Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 28, 2000
    star 6
    I'm saying you're concerned about rather bloody trivial inequality compared to the inequality that is being kept in place every day around you. The freedom to say the Holocaust never happened is pretty low on my list of priorities for bettering the world. I'm trying to explain to you *why* these laws are there, and you just keep coming back with very abstract principles of equality and freedom that have little bearing on the situation as it stands and are about as useful as male nipples. Oh no, I can't deny the Holocaust. I fail to see how this is destroying society. Meanwhile, there are plenty of unequal situations that are destroying society. You live in the Netherlands, how about the "rheumatism treatment isn't refundable but curing homosexuality is a refundable treatment". Now there's some fun codified and very odd legal inequality. Priorities!

    You just keep evading my point. Do you understand or don't you understand why these things were forbidden in the first place? Do you understand why we put collaborators into jail and denied them their civil rights (e.g. voting)?

    There's a far bigger portion of the electorate that is latently fascist then there are fundamentalist hacks. In equivalent situations, both types of symbols can be equally deadly. However, Europe did not experience the 3th Kalifate but the 3th Reich. Are you clear on the reason this is done yet?

    Yes, and knowing some people from the AEL they are at times idiots. They're trying to draw false equivalents between laws and would prefer if the Muhammed cartoons were also banned to the Holocaust cartoon being legal. They knew the law, they overstepped it, they got punished. Cry me a river. Preferably next to a monument commemorating certain events that happened in Europe somewhere around the middle of the 20th century.


    It's an illustration of positive and negative freedoms. Freedom of Speech is an abstract freedom because not everybody's speech is as important, nor can everybody take advantage of it in the same way. In that way, even if you can speak out, it doesn't necessarily mean it's going to have any impact. So what's the difference in that situation between having or not having free speech. You think that homeless guy you pass on the street has much use for "freedom of speech"?


    Let me reiterate for the last time, I'm not here to defend these laws in principle. I'm trying to make you see what the difference is, why they are there and what the difference is between the USA and Europe on that point, namely, the USA doesn't have to worry about it because they don't have that history. If the USA ever gets taken over by a fascist dictatorship that purges a great deal of it's own citizens and afterwards leaves the rights and symbols of said dictatorship and her followers untouched, we'll have a comparable situation and you may get to score a point on this one.
  2. Katana_Geldar Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 3, 2003
    star 8
    Why is the concept of freedom such an issue there anyway? I'd rather accept that we have freedom (and compared to other systems, the west does have) and then get on with more important things. America always seems rather insecure to me.
  3. SuperWatto Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Sep 19, 2000
    star 6
    GAP, I know why these laws are there. I know what the historical difference is between Europe and the US. I know.

    I reject the notion that historical atrocities should be hushed up in any way. I reject the idea that symbols can be held responsible for crimes. I reject the idea that you can make exceptions in freedom of speech for historical atrocities. I think these ideas are, literally and figuratively, backward - designed to come back and bite you in the ass.
  4. Katana_Geldar Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 3, 2003
    star 8
    So Watto, what about orginisations such as the Westboro Baptist Church? It incenses me to no end that hate groups such as that can lean on the "free speech" crutch and do whatever they want.
  5. SuperWatto Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Sep 19, 2000
    star 6
    Well, there's intellectual property. I'm sure some artists could unite and sue the Westboro Baptists for performing and mutilating their songs in public.
  6. Katana_Geldar Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 3, 2003
    star 8
    What's the point in that? They can just write their own songs...

    Is it wrong of me to want to see something done about groups like this that spread hatred and lies?
  7. Lowbacca_1977 Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jun 28, 2006
    star 6
    Conversely, I fully support Westboro Baptist Church's first amendment rights to say what they want to say when on public land. They can't "do whatever they want", they can say whatever they want. There's a big difference.
  8. Jedi_Keiran_Halcyon Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Dec 17, 2000
    star 6
    Ah yes, the old, "Nazis don't deserve the same freedoms and rights as everyone else because they are terrible people who subscribe to a horrid ideology and so must be marginalized by us good people and no I don't see the massive irony here, why do you ask?"
  9. GrandAdmiralPelleaon Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 28, 2000
    star 6
    I see in rushing to make your point you forgot to read? You do understand that the part you're quoting is about the fact that "free speech" is called such, but some people just have "more speech" than others. Compare it to your cute "citizens united" ruling, where money is now free speech. Which makes the whole trick just painfully obvious ...

    It was referencing your rather dense interpretation of how "free speech" should work. How about you re-read the thread and try and understand the argument I'm making? It's rather sad when intelligent people jump all over something in the name of an abstract ideal without taking the world as it is into account. Not saying you shouldn't try and strive to change things, but a little reality check now and then can't hurt. As I said, lifting a ban that was imposed for historic reasons and with good cause just so we can all say we respect every ounce of free speech (which we don't either way) is pretty damn low on my list of priorities. If you feel the need to go out campaigning to do so, by all means. Go ahead. It'll be funny to watch, at least.
  10. SuperWatto Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Sep 19, 2000
    star 6
    GAP, the fact that you don't find it important is irrelevant to the discussion.

  11. GrandAdmiralPelleaon Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 28, 2000
    star 6
    It's completely relevant, unless you want to discuss some sort of fairytale Europe. Ask yourself, why have no proposals been introduced in any Parliament to repeal such laws. Thank you.

    EDIT: By the way, I find it rather odd that you feel the need to reply to around 5% of what I've posted in this thread but fail to formulate any argument about any of the rest. You seem to want to discuss some sort of abstract aspect of European liberty. I really did expect more from you.
  12. DarthIktomi Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    May 11, 2009
    star 4
    Just saying Muslims pick the strangest things to be offended by, and only certain things.

    For the record, the whole thing with Arab groups distributing Holocaust denial material strikes me as bizarre, simply because there were no Muslims involved in the Holocaust. Wasn't it mostly Germans?
  13. Katana_Geldar Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 3, 2003
    star 8
    No, but it affects the Jews and deniers say the Jews make it up.
  14. SuperWatto Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Sep 19, 2000
    star 6
    ... and the fact that those deniers aren't allowed to deny it in public is great propaganda for them. It allows them to sell their Zionist conspiracy rhetoric so much more easily.

    I don't see why that's any less of a danger than letting neonazis use swastikas instead of eagles.

    GAP, what exactly am I evading? You keep going on about the same thing, just like me. Is it your stance towards my "sensitivity approach"? I'm sorry, but that's the approach the law dictates; holocaust denial is lumped in with group discrimination (at least, over here). If it's historical, fine - that only proves that these laws are there because of the sensitivity.


  15. GrandAdmiralPelleaon Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 28, 2000
    star 6
    See, that's the main point you keep pushing and that's just wrong. Do you really think after '45 all the fascists just went "Oh well, we lost, time to become good democrats again". Those laws were put in place to hinder a very definite and existing political current. You might think that's not very democratic, but that's really not the point. I'll play the devil's advocate and explain the reasoning: Just because it's only a possibility to get a majority to agree to killing all Muslims in Europe ... really doesn't mean we should allow them to get to that point. Or that we should even allow it to get thus far. Hell, have you looked at what Wilders has been saying lately? MOE-Immigrants? Middle and Eastern European Immigrants are evil now, yea. REPORT THEM. That's his exact message.

    Really?

    As for it being great propaganda, yea, that's just not true. That only works for about 1% of the populace. It's a fear that's just not really put in reality and only sophistically relevant to the argument.

    What you keep evading is the rest of the argument. You keep saying the "abstractness" isn't a problem, which just ignores any and all historical context. Culture does not exist in a vacuum. Nor does any context of laws. You know, I'll turn the argument around, why is it imperative that this freedom exists? And don't come back with some sort of slippery slope argument, because we all know it doesn't work that way. No law is every absolute.
  16. LostOnHoth Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Feb 15, 2000
    star 5
    It seems clear to me just reading some of the 'genocide denial' statutes which have been introduced into Europe that Holocaust denial is categorised as a form of hate speech and/or incitement to commit racism, antisemitism and xenophobia, which are specific exceptions to the rights of freedom of speech which citizens in those countries might otherwise enjoy. My understanding is that in the United States, "hate speech" is protected under the First Amendment, so long as it doesn't fall into one of the recognised exceptions such as "obscenity",
    "fighting words", "incitement to commit crimes" etc etc.

    I can see both sides of the argument and I kind of agree with Holocaust denial laws on some levels but also kind of disagree with them on others. I guess it boils down to the nature of the "denial" itself, and whether such denial is just a form of racism and hate speech (dressed up as Holocaust revisionism) or whether it is in fact actual academic historical revisionism examining some of the claims made by historians in relation to the nature and scope of the Holocaust. I subscribe to the views published by Norman Finkelstein in his book "The Holocaust Industry" that certain Jewish factions exploit the Holocaust as a means of deflecting criticism of Israel as a serial human rights abuser by reminding the world that Jews are the victims rather than the aggressors. Whilst this is not Holocaust denial or revisionism in any way, shape or form, I could see such views falling foul of some of these 'Holocaust Denial' statutes given the spirit of the legislation which is not designed to punish denial per se, rather it treats denial as a form of racism and hate speech.

    Given the genocide which occured in Europe during WWII and the international human rights framework which followed (the UDHR being just the beginning) I can see why there are laws which punish Holocaust denial.

    Does this make America more or less "free"? I guess it gives US citizens more freedom to be racist, xenophobic and hateful. [face_flag] ;)
  17. Jedi_Keiran_Halcyon Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Dec 17, 2000
    star 6
    I guess it's just that, as an atheist in a country where a majority of the population, when asked to choose between an atheist or a Nazi, would actually stop to think about it (and a good number would actually say something like, "at least Nazis believe in SOMETHING"), I'm not a fan of laws that say, "Let's make an exception to this basic freedom because the majority disapproves."
  18. anakinfansince1983 Nightsister of CT, SW Saga and Lucasfilm Ltd

    Manager
    Member Since:
    Mar 4, 2011
    star 8
    Honestly, I would rather people like the Westboro Baptist Church, Holocaust deniers and Rick Santorum continue to have a free speech platform so they can expose themselves for what they are. Shutting them up would keep the rest of us from having to listen to their insanity, but it wouldn't make the insanity disappear--and if their insanity does any damage, we wouldn't have the blatant warning provided by their words.

    And the press here is free to not publish anything it doesn't want to publish, so there's that. Free speech must have a platform in order for the insane views to be widespread.
  19. DarthIktomi Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    May 11, 2009
    star 4
    True. But if they were smart, they'd focus on how South Africa's apartheid government was Nazi sympathizers, and South Africa was one of the first countries Israel rushed to form an alliance with. Which is far, far more damning. Because then you're basically just looking at six million corpses (actually a lot more, but we'll just focus on the Jews) and telling the sociopath who did it "Thank you, sir! May I have another?"

    Of course, the Israelis seem to labor under the delusion that Arabs were behind the Holocaust too. At least every Israeli I know. You've met one of them on this very forum a while back.