Monday 20 October 2008

If We Do not Allow the Right To Deny, Then where Will Truth Be Found?

The Results of last week's poll LOOK close...

7 against encouraging widespread interracial baby making, 8 against...

But I'll admit, at least three of those for, were mine...
I felt I had to at least make it LOOK like some of you were up for a bit of ethnic cuisine.

Anyway. Tricky topic this week. Truth. And whether or not we really are handling it the right way regarding a defining point in our historical perception.

I'm going to warn people now that the topic is the holocaust. I'm not going to apologise, but people might note that a post was run last week which was aimed at questioning some of the totems of Zionism and I want people to read this post on its own merits and not see it as part of an anti-Semitic agenda. It isn't. Anti-Zionist, yes. And written in the belief that Zionism and western apologism for it due to the facts of centuries of Anti-Semitism have a lot to answer for, having created a world where Islam and the Middle East haven't had a fair deal due to a systematic global injustice.

And I want to call into question what I believe is one of the most damaging illogicalities in the facade of western liberalism, a cornerstone so paradoxical that its very unreason allows the enemies of democracy to use its own weapons against it.

The illogicality which allows Nazis to be the defenders of free speech. The illogicality which allows Nazis to say 'They HAVE got something to hide. Otherwise they'd let us say it. Their free speech is a sham'.

Catholics have learned the hard way. If you say something is true, but don't allow the power to question it, then true or not, people may doubt that it is. In 1837 a scholar named Bauer published a book arguing that Jesus had never existed. That he had simply been made up over the years, that his story bore all the hallmarks of a dieing and rising God of Asia Minor, that none of the Gospels were from their time, that Peter never died in Rome, it was all a myth.

And for so long this view held sway, the ultimate Atheist position. That Jesus himself was made up. Having been denied the power to deny for so long, the total deniers seemed plausible. People believed it. It became a covert scholarly assumption. That Jesus was made up.

Except, of course we now know the truth is somewhere in between. Peter did probably die in Rome, three out of four Gospels are probably written when they claim to be, by the people who claimed to write them, Jesus was around, he was crucified and we have the written version of least one eye witness- John.

Over the years scholars have come to the facts; we're able now to know which bits of the NT are true and which bits may just have been embellished. Because we've thrashed it out, discussed it, historians have pieced together the truth and discovered the man behind the myth.

A man not so very different, maybe, from the Jesus we imagine. Just probably not the Son of God. More a John Lennon/Che Guevara type.

The Potato Famine. A lot of non-Irish people get tired of hearing about it, I'm aware. And many of them try deny the true scale of the thing. Or some of the historical truths about it. And there is a real truth to it. The figures are stark and when I say that the Irish population still hasn't reached pre-famine size, you'll get my point. But people are free to debate the figures, free to play slide rule with the figures of died and emigrated, free to discuss to what degree the authorities were complacent, unprepared, genocidically negligent, prejudiced or whatever interpretation you want to make.

People are free to look at the data and make the interpretations. If anyone is going to stand up and say 'It never happened', they'd be laughed at. Look at the evidence.

And that's all you need to say.

And as a result, we can make a balanced judgement. That a cynical government made a primarily economic decision about a section of its population it didn't value so highly due to their suspect 'Unenglish' religion that effectively meant it washed its hands of the problem, seeing it as maybe a hard but necessary step in the modernisation of Ireland.

The rest is myth.

And now we come to the holocaust.

A pillar in the hagiographical legendarium that forms the origin myth of the post war geo-political consensus of the west.

The whole world of politics is based on proving that we have moved on from the worst we ever did. The generally accepted consensus touted, is that that was the worst we ever did and it is in creating a world where that can never happen again, is what was guaranteed at the end of the Second World War.

So the real point of holocaust denial laws, is to reinforce that point. That's the real point they don't want questioned. That it was the worst we ever did, that just as bad never happened since, and that it couldn't happen again. And a side effect of course, is it allows the damaging foreign policy produced against the Arab nations and now bearing bitter fruit, can be given a justification it is tacitly forbidden to question on logical grounds, because it has been given an emotive justification to which the power of faith is attached. To question it, is the heresy of the modern age.

Because it's all about the statistics.

Now let's be honest. The Holocaust deniers are arguing a stupid case. There exists an overwhelming amount of evidence against them.
To say the holocaust never happened, is ridiculous. It's like saying the Irish Famine never happened.

But this is the point. David Irving says only 30,000 died in Auschwitz. That the Gas Chambers were never Gas Chambers, that in fact they only used pesticides in the showers and everyone came back out. He also says he'd checked and no human body could fit in the ovens.

Now, my view on this is that I can't really make a comment, not having been to Auschwitz.

All I can say is that documentary evidence of the Wannsee conference plus considerable eyewitness testimony from British and US soldiers who entered concentration camps at the close of the war (I don't believe we should take as Gospel anything the Russians claimed) is enough to convince me that vast numbers of people, many of them Jewish, died in the camps.

The problem is, in the starkness of the law as it now exists in Germany and they're trying to subtly push across the EU, you can't ask questions.

And the standard versions of what happened, are the type propagated in works like William Schirer's atrocious 'Rise and Fall of the Third Reich'. This is a work which solemnly assures us Goering started the Reichstag fire, which consistently uses highly subjective language in its physical descriptions of Nazi leaders, just to remind you, in case you forgot, these are the bad guys, and we still treat it as objective history. It isn't. It's a Boy's Own history written by a newspaper columnist to make Americans feel good about themselves and what they fought.

We're pretty sure the official version of the Reichstag fire was correct, though it makes less exciting reading. We also know that massacres such as the Katyn massacre, now turn out, according to files released on the collapse of the Soviet Union, to have been done by the Russians.

How many more were done by the Russians? Imagine when the Russians got to Auschwitz? How many of those the Nazis persecuted were on the Russians list of favoured peoples? Jews? Gypsies? Homosexuals? Poles? White Russians?

Is it a co-incidence the Russians liberated the most notorious of the camps?

Six Million died?
Yes, that's true. That figure I'm sure is right. But Six Million Jews didn't die. I've heard a more accurate figure of Two Million. I believe that. Because a lot of other people died in those camps.

The problem is, by banning the idiocy, they ban the objectivity. We aren't permitted to truly discuss the subject. Get perspective on it. We aren't permitted to challenge it, because then other totems start crashing down. Like why it is the totem it is.

Let's start with the first. What a closer version of the truth, if the facts are allowed to be analysed properly PROBABLY shows.

The first point is that although Stalin had almost three times as long, he managed to dispose of five times as many people. And whilst we might say that this was often more by the necessity to deal with huge miscalculations, the same is of course, largely true of the holocaust. The Wannsee conference wasn't until 1942. The extermination programme wasn't the original plan. It became the plan when the possibility of turning the Jews into a race of helots farming the conquered Russian steppe had failed to materialise.
Try as they might, the holocaust deniers cannnot really deny that the Nazi state was one of the most appalling regimes of our time. However, they have one point in their favour. And the key point is in the addition of 'one of' to the sentence above.

One of.

As in, it's guaranteed a top slot. But it shouldn't just get that top slot because it's the only one that we crushed to smithereens and the only one we can dance around about and feel all altruistic because it's the only one we toppled.

We used Stalin to topple it. The Americans played Ping Pong with Mao Tse Tung's poster boys and no one did much about those warehouses full of spectacles in Pol Pot's Cambodia.

No one cares about what the Turks did to the Armenians and no one much cared about Rwanda either.

But the holocaust convinces us, we have our trust in the right system. We beat the holocaust.

It's the conscience of the Western World. It convinces us there was nothing unethical at all about the unholy alliance of Churchill, Roosevelt and Stalin. That it really wasn't just a battle for survival in a world gone crazy where we flipped a coin and chose between bad guys. Of course one was going to lose.

And we can pretend that if a similar thing came along, we'd do the same again. Get real. We could only do it that time, because we only invented nukes when it was all over.
Nukes meant that was it. We just had to sit there and watch them. A world of curtains, iron and bamboo.

The world that came into birth wasn't a world where tyrants had finally been defeated, but where tyrants set behind fences. That was the bargain struck in 1945. We got to keep a bit of the world 'free'.

But this conscience came at a price. The price was whatever the keepers of this conscience demanded. No matter how unjust their demands were. The price of the moral highground, was to permit an injustice.

And herein lies the problem.

Because at the heart of Western foreign policy, is a total contradiction. The west dismantled its colonial empires, whilst at the same time actively promoting the setting up of a European colony in the Middle East. It condemned South Africa, yet tolerated much the same antics of Israel. And over time this glaring contradiction has stared the Middle East in the face.

The fact that at the heart of the World Order lies a glaring injustice against them, and they do not get a fear hearing. It really is true, that the world is against them.

This is the true significance of the holocaust denial laws. It's not aimed against leather wearing repressed homosexuals who deny the bleeding obvious. It's aimed against people who might otherwise put things into context and start asking the question 'Why the hell DOES Israel get away with, literally, murder? And are we surprised Muslims hate the West? Christ, WE created the problem.'

We need to remove the barrier on free speech on this subject.

The war was sixty years ago and the peace is fractious. If anything is wrong in our world view and the totems we hold dear, now is the time to get our heads round it.

The poll's in the sidebar.

Have your say!


Anonymous said...

We know the holocaust happened, the evidence speaks silently but with a voice like thunder. To make it illegal to question it though is counter-productive as you say. It just feeds the paranoia of the conspiracy theorists, as well as being a denial of free speech.
If people were allowed to question it then it would be relatively easy to prove to the doubters that it happened. Those who refuse to believe it for ideological reasons are never going to believe it no matter what is put in front of them, and regardless of what the law says. The only way those people are going to believe it would be by having a changed mind/heart, and that is something only they can do.

They're already trying to control everything we say, and it has to stop.

Anonymous said...

I guess the reason they originally introduced the law was because just after the war things were as democratic as they could be given the situation in West Germany, but it was an occupied country and the allies were not willing to have Nazis wiggle out of what they had done.

Maybe those laws are no longer necessary, especially as from what someone I know (S) tells me European law and warrants effectively extends them to the rest of Europe.

Maybe you should go further though.

What about making sure no one ever introduces legislation that protects other ideas from criticism or ridicule, like religious ones for instance.

From what the same person says section 5 of the UK Public Order Act can do much the same thing depending on how it is enforced. Apparently if someone says something that is likely to get someone religious upset enough to breach the peace (like their religion is wrong in some way) then that is an offence to say it.

Steps out of comfort zone… How’s that for political and controversial?

Anonymous said...

Freedom of speech is such a modern convention...

I once read an excellent freedom of speech diatribe/article/thesis in the Face magazine. But they ruined it by making their point at the end by quoting in the interests of free speech from the internet from this guy who was basically comparing details of his zoophiliac escapades o man I wish I'd never read that particular sentence they quoted in the name of "freedom" as it's stuck in my head ever since :-/

Anonymous said...

It's like walking on eggshells, but great post.. I have to agree with you. I kept looking for you to overstep the mark and say something I'd be really offended by but nup. You said it really well.

Anonymous said...

I'm all for a bit of ethnic cuisine
especially if the bird looks like the hot mamma on your previous post

But alas, whether we are all different colours or all made from the same mix of colours in the human gene pool- hierarchies will always appear. Racism or prejudices can be based on so many things - colour the most obvious one, but no less subtle 'family' ties and or income & wealth - even taste in music.

After all I presume there are some women you may obviously want to shag because of their 'gorgeous' looks regardless of skin colour, but you draw the line if they listen to this music or that.

Oh by the way whether soccer or any other sport, allegiance to a club is almost the most basic tribal form of racism regardless of colour.

Anonymous said...

PS - Just because one has 'jewish' genes and supports Zionism, does not ensure one will be treated as an equal ...

Are you one hundred per cent jew,
Are you 75% jew
Are you 50% jew
Are you twenty five percent jew
are you 1/8th jew
are you 1/16th jew

stand in line

Are you from a well known family?
Are you from a wealthy family?
Are you from an educated family?

And of course are you from a 'true' or more 'pure' jew family.

Well Nazism & Zionism are mirror images of each other - but I could be wrong.

Anonymous said...

You raise some fascinating questions here.
Despite the fact that I think many of the holocaust questioners are some of the most horrendous human beings on the planet, wouldn't it almost be easier to let them openly humiliate themselves, rather than rendering a tinge of legitimacy to their position by smothering it so utterly?

Anonymous said...

Ginro- It's the conspiracy theorists I worry about.

Most people don't realise just hpw much this Illuminati/Masons right wing paranoia conspiracy theory stuff, is basically the Protocols of the Elders of Zion myth in a new mask.

And yes, its easy to prove the doubters wrong. Where did all those people go is a good start. Unless they were all abducted by aliens.

Moggs- Well, I've often wondered whether Christians are entitled to have it made illigal to question the persecutions of Diocletian.

The fact is, the truth might hurt from time to time. Some people still haven't got over discovering that their ancestors were chimps.

Gledwood- Zoophilia is not something I particularly want to say as a freedom extended. Even I draw a line somewhere.

But really, the definition of freedom should be drawn as wide as it can be.

Kate- I was conscious whilst writing it of the need to walk a very fine line. It's such a taboo subject.

But the fact remains, the treatment of anything sensitive regarding Israel and Jewish history as unquestionable, is highly dangerous.

And looking at the list of violations of UN security council resolutions, there is one country running riot. Running riot in the two fingers they stick up to the ethics of the United Nations. and yet has the full backing of those who control the biggest nuclear arsenal on the globe.

It's a problem. And the root of many more.

Quasar- All things being equal, my eye is naturally drawn to ebony limbed women more often than it is to lighter girls.

Well, yes, in Brum the asian community generally support the blues and we unite in hating the NF beloved Villa.

Zionism is the finest tribute a victim ever gave their abuser.

Princess P- My feelings too. The fact is, if you want to have a good laugh, goggle some of the creationist websites. These guys sit there making public tits of themselves claiming they can prove man and dinosaurs walked hand in hand.

And we laugh at them. They're funny. I rather think if left to their own devices, these holocaust deniers would be in the same boat.