21 March 2013

Should the German NDP be banned?

I don't know about you, but I'm definitely conflicted over this issue. The far right and the far left are equally abhorrent to me. I have far more in common with my (small or large "c") Conservative opponents - after all, we generally play to the same rules, would usually prefer a victory by the other to one by our own extremists - than I do with my extremist "allies".

That said, is this a step too far? Is the right way to combat the extremists to ban them? I felt at the time, for example, that the Austrians did no-one except the far-right a favour when they imprisoned David Irvine after the had lost his libel case against Deborah Lipstadt and penguin Books. They gave him back credibility among his far-right acolytes. Far better, I thought, to have heaved him back over the border and told him to go away. 

So, are the German-Jewish community and their friends and allies right to want to ban the National Democratic Party or not? If they can be directly linked to acts of violence and to be promoting law-breaking by violent means, there might be a case for that.

After all, albeit from a different background and history, the tendency in the UK is to use the available democratic means to combat the far right and left. But then, we haven't had 13 years of Nazism in our relatively recent past. See what you think, here

By: Brian Goldfarb


SnoopyTheGoon said...

I now my gut feeling is to see the likes of the NDP ground into the dust

SnoopyTheGoon said...

I disagree with banning a party. By banning them you drive their vile message underground and it gives them cred with people railing against the system.

SnoopyTheGoon said...

Brian -- not sure of the point you are making about this. The Austrians tossed David Irving in jail for violating the laws prohibiting Holocaust denial, same as the Germans did with Ernst Zundel. Irving did so knowing the consequences of what he did. It was something of a coincidence that this happened roughly at the same time Irving lost his law suit against Lipstadt and her publisher.
As regards a call to ban political parties only if they can be directly linked to acts of violence, this gets tricky. Witness what's going on in Hungary today, where a fairly far right party has been elected and where members of that party and members of even more extreme parties both promote racist views. It's more than reasonable to conclude that that is why so little is done in Hungary to protect Jews or Roma from persecution and violence.

SnoopyTheGoon said...

Banning things is a leftist favorite. It only makes them more attractive. For example, on a smaller scale my largely-leftist home town recently banned stores from giving away plastic bags to shoppers to carry away their purchases. The stores now sell plastic bags for a few pennies.

SnoopyTheGoon said...

They could never do that in the US, Andrew. But they don't have to. When one party controls the news media, Hollywood and the universities, the other party, i.e. yours and mine, is effectively banned.

SnoopyTheGoon said...

I have to say that I agree with Andrew on this point. It is better to keep these (and some other) kind of people in the open, where they could be watched than to force them into underground activity and make them into martyrs for the cause.

Emotionally, of course, I would prefer them to be ground into dust or, rather, into some other (brown as the case is) substance they came from.