A Nauseating Phrase
For Any Lover Of Liberty
By Anthony Flood
". . . was arrested on charges of violating a law that makes denying X a crime."
Denial: a mental act, expressed in oral or written words, asserting the nonexistence or nonoccurrence of a thing or event.
If a thing exists, and I deny that it does, or if an event occurred, and I deny that it did, I may either be ignorant of the existent or occurrence, and therefore nonculpably mistaken; or I may be cognizant of the existent or occurrence, and therefore a deliberate deceiver.
In the case of the latter, I may be guilty of communicating a falsehood to whom I contractually owe the truth, and in that case the false communication is tantamount to a violation of rights, which is actionable in any legal order worthy of the name liberal or libertarian.
As everyone knows, however, those accused of the contemporary crime of "denial" do not enjoy the privilege of defining themselves. That is, they do not, in fact, call themselves "deniers."
The writers, scientists, and scholars who for decades have been repressed, hounded, threatened, beaten, tried, fined, and jailed on the charge of what is called "Holocaust denial" are in every instance doubters of aspects of a complex historical narrative - no more, no less.
In no case is the alleged "denier" a party to a contract that obliges him to communicate truthfully to the other party facts known to the "denier." That is, in no case is the "denier" guilty of having done anything that ought to be a crime by the standards of Western jurisprudence.
Of course, this counts for less than nothing. Illiberal forces have triumphed in several countries to have it declared officially, sanctions attaching, that a certain narrative is off-limits to rational discussion. They will not rest until they are victorious globally, which means also in the United States.
The protected narrative is not, of course, off-limits to those who wish to press it into the service of their own domestic and international political initiatives. In fact, the latter suffices to explain the former.
Doubters of the existence of God, the divinity or resurrection of Jesus, or the inspiration of the Bible are no longer the criminals they once were in the West. Rather, they figure prominently in what passes for "da kulcha," which reserves pedestals for thugs while confining "deniers" to a netherworld, whose denizens "decent, ordinary" people need not concern themselves.
Where are those obnoxious, in-your-face, iconoclastic radicals, now that we really need them?
More significantly: where are our hell-bent-for-leather investigative journalists? Their continuing, and deafening, silence amounts to aiding and abetting the persecution of investigators who are willing to pay any price for the truth.
We love to quote Voltaire, don't we? But where, oh where, are those willing defend to the death Zundel's, and Rudolf's, and Irving's right to say what so many find disagreeable?
This is where the mettle of what's left of the West is being tested. Not flag-burning, not breast-feeding in parks, but the verbal expression of mental reservation concerning what happened in history. So far, we're failing miserably.
Posted by Anthony Flood on Thursday November 17, 2005 at 12:34pm.
The Ongoing Attack on the Right to Inquire: My Post on
There is most certainly an elite--multi-national but with an identifable Jewish segment (which does NOT speak for all Jews)--that has targeted writers who have been the most effective in doubting key aspects of a complex historical narrative concerning the fate of the Jews at the hands of the Nazis during World War II. It's Zundel one day, Rudolf (note spelling) the next, David Irving only yesterday. Those who use the law to silence them merely expose their intellectual bankruptcy. Truth has never needed such surly bodyguards.
Doubters -- men who merely utter and print sentences -- are branded "deniers" in grave tones that recall medieval heresy trials. The implication is that to doubt is to blaspheme, and blasphemers are to be suppressed. This is the line adopted by millions who do not have a conventionally religious bone in their bodies.
An explanation may be found in the role the sacred narrative plays in rationalizing various policies, whether aggressive wars abroad or "diversity" programs at home. Whatever serves to undermine confidence in the official story threatens to upset domestic and international applecarts--especially those that dispense, not applesauce, but billions of tax dollars in reparations, educational programs, etc. (See "The Holocaust Industry" by son of Holocaust survivor Norman Finkelstein.) Revisionists violate no one's rights, but they certainly harm interests. Those whose interests are harmed are shamelessly using the full might of the State to violate rights in order to further those interests.
When witnessing the consequent persecution -- people being whisked away from their families and shipped out of the country for trial abroad, losing their freedom, their livelihoods, their homes, their books -- folks who were such Voltarean libertarians only the other day suddenly come down with a terminal case of "Legal Positivitis."
Legal Positivism asserts that there is no "natural right" on the basis of which one may sensibly oppose a positive statute. The statute IS the law. Period. "You don't like the law, change it; until you do, it stands, and the penalties apply." The same people who once objected to that kind of defense of the Old South's Jim Crow laws have made their peace with it when it involves "defaming the memory of the dead."
History is always winnowing out the heroes from the villains. THIS is the test for libertarians, civil and otherwise. Forget breast-feeding in parks, nose rings or religious head gear in public schools, and all the other "controversies" that clutter our daily news. This battle is about the equal liberty of all, not just some, to use their bodies, minds, and other property to ask questions and communicate answers about complex historical matters.
The new wave of physical attacks on those who affirm this liberty is heating up. Does one have the right to mount a reasoned challenge to Received Opinion, a challenge subject to reasoned, public refutation, without fear of interference by authorities, or not? That is, which of the following two values in our hierarchy of values is to be preferred to the other when they clash? Feelings? Or the right to inquire into the truth of a matter? Our answer will determine what kind of people we are.



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