05 March 2007

Downplaying The Evil of Holocaust (Denial)

I am far from being the most fervent supporter of the infamous laws against Holocaust Denial and, as a matter of fact, have repeatedly come out against the legislation in question, as I see it as an infringement on freedom of speech and detrimental to our side in the discussion. Nevertheless, I am growing increasingly sick and tired of this sort of "comments", routinely put forth in the heated debate:

I deny that Rafe Mair exists. Are they going to put me in jail now?
I also deny everything that the following commentators are about to say. And yes, I do know what they're about to say.
These mind-bogglingly childish remarks betray an abject lack of understanding of the issue at hand on the part of their authors as well as serve to downplay the significance and magnitude of the Shoah.

First of all, this legislation exists exclusively in specific countries, which, to be more exact, were directly implicated in the perpetration of the genocide, and was implemented under extraordinary circumstances, in order to stave off a possible repetition of the montrous atrocity. The laws didn't just fall from the sky and were not enshrined in the books "on a whim" - they were put into place for a good reason, under the circumstances that perfectly warranted such undoubtedly harsh measures. Does this point really require so much brainpower to understand?

Denial of the Holocaust, at the very least in these countries, has traditionally been associated with the Neo-Nazi movement, which has always been going the extra mile to restore the moral legitimacy of the Nazi party in the eyes of the innocent observer. "The Shoah, after all, didn't take place, so what's wrong with bringing back that fantastic old-time movement?" In order to swiftly undermine their wicked plans, it was necessary to take ruthless action. Furthermore, many repentant deniers acknowledged the fact that they had known all along that the Holocaust was a fact, and their ultimate objective was to simply turn around the sharp daggers in the backs of Holocaust survivors, purely for pleasure.

In short, many critics of the laws, in their vigor to present themselves as fierce defenders of the right to free speech, miss the point completely. It is not necessarily the form - denial - itself that matters, it is the substance, the underlying meaning of this denial that we take exception to. Asserting that McDonald's doesn't exist, out of ignorance or for the fun of it, is not the equivalent of pressing that Nazis did not commit a full-blown genocide, that all these survivors are basically unabashed liars and that, by inference, Nazism was not as evil as it is presently portrayed and, to all intents and purposes, deserves a second chance.

Not that lefties have ever been capable of discriminating between two things.