- ". . . 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,
- 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
- 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
- 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.