Friday, February 05, 2010
Who’s the real kangaroo?
The Wilders trial is not a “kangaroo court” as people are fond of parroting throughout the Blogosphere. A kangaroo court, properly defined, is a court proceeding that abuses the law. But the Dutch prosecution are not abusing their laws. They are in fact choosing to uphold them against Wilders, who can easily be construed as breaking at least the first statute of Dutch “hate speech” law as recounted by a commenter on a recent Jihad Watch thread:
(1) insulting a group of people because of their race, religion or belief, sexual tendencies or their physical, mental or intellectual abilities.
Wilders may try to insist that he is not insulting Muslims—that, indeed, is very likely why he regularly says “I have nothing against Muslims”. Merely professing it, however, is one thing; engaging in large public projects, as he has been doing, that through their communications have the effect of insulting a group of people because of their religion is quite another. Of the latter, Wilders would face a formidably steep climb to try to extricate himself from that charge. I doubt that Dutch law allows someone an out due to their protestation that they never intended to have the effect which their speech actions otherwise massively and centrally foster.
In addition, I think it would not take much for the prosecution to demonstrate that Wilders is guilty of the second statute Dutch “hate speech” law—
(2) inciting hatred against, or dicrimination of people, OR violent behavior against people or their property because of their race, religion/belief, gender or sexual nature, or their mental, physical or intellectual disabilities
—if, again, his protestations that he is not intending to incite are legally irrelevant, and if the effect of his speech actions in fact incites hatred against a people and/or their religion.
The Wilders trial is not a “kangaroo court”. It is a normally and fully legal proceeding. The “hate speech” statutes on which this proceeding is based, however, might be characterized as “kangaroo laws”, but even that does not seem entirely accurate, for the fault of the government and their prosecutors here is their stolidly stubborn sincerity for the cause of PC MC values, in which they believe sincerely. They are not cynically Macchiavellian despots, and to reduce them to that caricature, as most members of the anti-Islam movement tend to do, betrays a nihilistic or quasi-Gnostic or apocalyptic pessimism about Western authority structures. And it also underestimates the sincerity of PC MC and its contiguity with the goodness of progress, which is one major reason why it has been so successful in becoming mainstream and dominant throughout the West.
What is happening to Wilders is perfectly legal. What needs to be done, then, is to change the law and abolish these “hate speech” statutes—and this requires a paradigm shift of Western worldview. If the West could shift in the last 50 years, it can shift again.
This concept of “hate speech” is common in Europe. Aside from being massively guided by PC MC, it is an effect and a reaction to the Holocaust and to Hitler’s madness that caused horrible destruction and war on European soil. Those two statutes (and many more similar ones throughout Europe) are implicitly set up to prevent “another Holocaust” by bottling up, at the source, the kind of demonization of a people the Nazis generated. Those who have drafted and passed these types of “hate speech” laws throughout Europe sincerely believe that excessive criticism of Islam (not to mention of Muslims) is the nearest thing in our time to generating racist hatred that could lead to horrible crimes against this People perceived to be an ethnic group and therefore that much more vulnerable to the ever-present proclivity of whites toward acting out their innate bigotry and racism against non-whites—here, the most privileged and protected non-white group of all today: Muslims.
That Leftist and PC MC Europeans cannot see that it is Muslims and Islam, in fact, who represent the closest thing to another Hitler (if not far worse than Hitler), is a supreme irony, and actually, strangely, repeats a trope that has bedevilled the modern history of Western warfare. I have penned an essay on this before (see The Four World Wars: An Interesting Dynamic). I shall summarize it now:
When the First World War broke out, military strategists assumed that the war would be conducted as previous recent wars had; but their miscalculation of the radical changes new technology brought—including railroad networks and most acutely the machine gun—cost perhaps the bulk of the millions of lives lost as the war ground into a deadly stalemate of attrition lasting years.
As Europe was drifting toward war again in the decades after the First World War, again they thought of war as being like the preceding war and had little imagination to think outside the box. The European poverty of imagination in that context was two fold:
a) they could not imagine that an evil leader could arise and through his demagogic propaganda mobilize an entire nation to begin conquering neighboring nations and to begin mass internments, tortures and exterminations of whole classes of people—and they persisted in stubborn denial even after Hitler’s words and actions showed this was an all too real potential;
b) in terms of military strategy, again—once they finally (a few years too late) decided to fight Hitler—thought this war was going to be fought like the last, and so Hitler’s new tactics and tank technology caught them by surprise and gave him an advantage for the first two to three years after war was declared, prolonging his evil regime and expansion and costing millions of innocent lives.
The Third World War again was a war no one could have imagined, and which would not be fought like the last—referring to the Cold War. In the late 40s and into the 50s and early 60s, the West developed a fairly flexible handle on waging that unique war, through the deployment of counter-propaganda, espionage, proxy wars to stem the global revolution Russia was seeking to foment, and C.I.A.-assisted assassinations and coups in strategic places. But the devolution of the West into PC MC irrationality from the 60s forward seriously hampered our prosecution of that war, for PC MC promotes the view that there was no real international Communist threat and that anti-Communists were scare-mongers fabricating that threat in order to pursue their own wicked agendas. Just as with WW2 it took the nearly superhuman efforts of one man, Churchill, to guide the West to a proper response to the pertinent threat of the time, so PC MC America might never have provided the crucial guidance that led to the eventual collapse of the center of international Communism, the U.S.S.R., had it not been for that one man, President Reagan.
Now, as the West is drifting toward a Fourth World War, we are once again making the colossal mistake of framing its future contours according to the template of the past—in this case, envisioning that it would be like WW2, and that the enemy would be “another Hitler”—i.e., a white racist demagogue. Negatively, PC MCs also use the Cold War for a template, in terms of perceiving any potential enemy as emanating from the West in the form of “right-wingers” consanguine with the “McCarthyites” of that phony war: for, just as they manufactured an enemy back then, so they are doing now with Muslims, so the logic goes. And it is Muslims who fit the bill in our time as an ethnic people most potentially to become victims of such racist demagoguery. In their anxiously sincere and sincerely benighted concern to prevent “another Hitler” and “another Holocaust”, then, these PC MC Fighters of the Last War, thinking inside their self-limiting box, are ignoring the unique shape of this new war as it is shaping up: the very same “victims” they worry about are, in fact, our looming adversary. This time, there will be no nation-states attacking others. This time, there is a trans-national diaspora of people who have infiltrated by the millions who carry their militant supremacism around in their heads through their guiding ideology we call their religion, who are able to deploy a myriad styles of guerilla warfare which their culture has been practicing for centuries, and who are inspired by a fanaticism frighteningly deadly, surpassing the suicidal-homicidal fanaticism of the Japanese Kamikazes not only qualitatively, but also quantitatively such that ordinary grassroots Muslims can be, and have been by the thousands all over the world, utilized to mass-murderously suicide-bomb.
But the PC MCs, and most especially European ones who have built up an institutional and legal framework for misunderstanding the next war that looms up on us, do not see this, and in fact see any intimations of this—any identification of Islam as the threat—as itself a threat to the public order that has a stake in preventing “another Hitler”. Wilders, being a popular politician whose popularity could lead to demagogically inspired collective abuses against Muslims, fits the bill perfectly as a demonstration by the State of why it has these “hate speech” laws in the first place.
If anyone is playing the “kangaroo” here, it would be Wilders himself—if he is that canny and clever, that is (and it seems he is). It would be Wilders who is brilliantly exploiting his own attackers and turning their trial of him into a show trial which he himself is manipulating, in order to show—through the spectacle of his legal martyrdom under the law—how unfair, unethical and dangerous these “hate speech” laws are when they serve to prevent our societies from identifying, analyzing and condemning the new enemy materializing and aggrandizing all around us. If this is what Wilders is doing, then all the apparent incoherence of his position—centrally based on his absurd trope, “Islam is dangerous, but I have no problem with Muslims”—is redeemed.