Leftist Netherlands developing rationale to suppress all speech offensive to Muslims—and to leftists

R. Janssen writes:

I’m a great admirer of your work from the Netherlands. The Dutch establishment has now begun a propaganda offensive to defend the persecution of Dutch cartoonist Gregorius Nekschot [discussed at VFR here and here]. Their positions are:

A fundamental right is “relational.” It is limited by the rights of others or other interests. People who don’t understand this only use it to discredit certain groups.

All fundamental rights can be limited in the name of public order, health and vices.

Freedom of speech is no different from freedom of religion. The criterium is: does it contribute to public debate?

Freedom of speech can be limited by libel laws (only to be used by certain groups, of course. It doesn’t prevent other from being called “racist,” “phobic” etc.)

As you can see, there are many loopholes for the enemies of freedom.

LA replies:

Thanks for this. Yes, in the name of “relational” rights and the maintenance of public order, they’re planning to eliminate the most basic individual rights, including speech. Europe is moving full speed toward totalitarianism, while the Americans know nothing about it. Though apparently most Europeans also know nothing about it—or don’t care. They’re too busy thinking about their next five week vacation.

- end of initial entry -

Bill Carpenter writes:

We also see rights as limited by other rights and by the basic requirements of civil order. For example, we permit defamation lawsuits, impose time, place, and manner restrictions on public speech, limit the speech of public employees, and suppress pornography. To be a rights absolutist, regardless of the nation’s traditions of ordered liberty, is to be a kind of liberal.

By contrast, to discard your traditional rights in order to cater to an immigrant minority is to surrender your nationhood and your existence as a people. That is what is happening when the traditionally free Dutch press is subjected to prosecution for traditionally permissible political/religious commentary.

Many of our traditional rights depend on universal compliance with traditional cultural norms. It is suicidal for a nation to admit immigrants who do not share, or who oppose, those traditional cultural norms.

R. Janssen replies:

Those basic requirements of civil order that Mr. Carpenter mentions exist of course in any civilized country. But today those time, place and manner restrictions are being stretched to the absurd.

To give an example: a well known professor of philosophy has argued that drawing certain cartoons in a multicultural society is the equivalent of shouting “fire” in a theater.

You probably don’t speak Dutch, but you can spot the weaselword “relationeel” in the fifth paragraph (fourth word). It’s not really a word in Dutch either. Just to give you a flavour of what we are up against. They bend the rules and make up words.

To summarize the professor’s article: Since other fundamental rights can be limited, so can freedom of speech. According to article 9 of the European Treaty freedom of speech may be limited “to protect the good name of others.” The criterion is: does it contribute to the public debate? The cartoons of Nekschot don’t contribute anything because they are racist and hateful. Ergo, his arrest is justifiable.

Not surprisingly, according to lefties, right-wing speech hardly ever contributes to anything.

Posted by Lawrence Auster at May 28, 2008 03:01 PM | Send

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