Thursday, March 06, 2008

Censorship Àla Carte

Were you a dictator, or merely an appointed bureaucrat or official charged with preserving a status quo by abridging, repealing, policing, or suppressing the written and spoken word of your worshipping but delusional private citizens’ troublesome thoughts and deeds, you would have a gilt-edged menu from which to select the best, tried-and-true methods to preserve the peace – your own peace of mind or that of your master.

In Vladimir Putin’s Russia, it is simply a matter of creating an atmosphere of spine-dissolving fear and obedience and the passage of a law or two to make it “unpatriotic” to question or criticize federal policies. At hand are battalions of riot police and secret police to knock a few heads together, or to arrest loudmouths and sentence them to long spells in Soviet-style mental “hospitals.” Failing that, they can be shot in elevators or kidnapped from their offices or residences, never to be heard of again.

Unpatriotic Russians, such as Alexander Litvinenko, who defect to the decadent West from which to slander you and your government can be poisoned, murdered, or maimed with impunity. Remember Anna Politkovskaya? Weak-willed “democracies” are not likely to insist that you or your agents be hauled into court to face indictments or charges of murder committed in their own capitals.

In China, the same alternatives are available at nominal cost, with the added perk of having the assistance of Western companies, such as Microsoft, Google, Yahoo, and others to police, detect, gag, and arrest troublemakers with an efficiency that would be the envy of Caligula, Hitler, and Stalin. The unpatriotic can be shipped to reeducation camps to labor for the good of the country and incidentally be “struggled” until they get their minds straight.

In Venezuela, you can gag the press and opposition simply by denying them access to newsprint and the airwaves. Those who insist on taking to the streets to express their ingratitude and dissatisfaction with your beneficent and humanitarian regime can be dealt with by your loyal supporters, the army, and the riot police.

In the Middle East, you own the airwaves and the press, so there would be little problem with blasphemers and other sinners. Those who speak out, or behave in any immodest or traitorous manner, can be lashed, stoned to death, have their hands cut off, and the like. It is a little known fact that the Nazis borrowed a page from Islam and beheaded persons they accused of treason. (The only thorn in your side would be Israel.)

A free press, and freedom of speech, after all, are not prescribed by Allah’s will, and are nowhere mentioned in the Koran or in Mohammad’s (bpbuh!) works. (And if you are a Christian dictator, there is nothing in the Bible about them, either.) In point of fact, as Islam’s learned scholars will tell you, they are proscribed by implication in the sacred texts. Such notions are the tools of infidels to suppress and offend Islam and to cast an unflattering light on one’s minions, who are insulted in their characterization of being helpless, mindless manqués.

Here, too, one can extend the range of one’s fidelity to Allah and his Prophet by becoming what the infidels, in their perverted amusement, call “libel tourists” to sue writers and speakers in their own countries for slandering in print your faithful and gentle jihadists. You will need mountains of petro-dollars to indulge in this pastime and the tacit approval of their oil-rich eminences the Royal Family, guardians of the faith. The principal aim is to bankrupt writers and publishers, or to instill fear in them of the possibility of bankruptcy. After all, Mohammad never insisted that Dar-al Harb must be a theater of blood, violence, looting and rapine. It can be conquered and their occupants made to submit by exploiting the infidels’ own laws and courts.

Britain is the chief resort and playground of such libel tourists. Of all the countries within Dar-al Harb, Britain is the most important after America. Italy, Germany, and Spain, for example, are “in the bag,” as is the European Union. Tremendous progress in the reconquest of the West is being made all over the British Isles. Its infidel jurists are beginning to accept that there is no “Bill of Rights” in Islam. The back is stiff but it is bending by measurable degrees in the direction of Mecca, not to mention in the direction of Brussels and the super-state of the European Union. (Allow one the pun of thanking its politics for “Labouring” diligently for its submission to Islam and to that super-state, which is a willing accomplice to Islamic ends.)

Even one of the prominent servants of Satan there, the Archbishop of Canterbury, has conceded the inevitability of Sharia law (and the poor dog was mercilessly beaten up on by other worshippers of false gods, but to no perceptible avail) that would somehow “coexist” with its atheistic secular law (which is rapidly deteriorating into police-state style law, which is fine with Islam, which thrives on such politics, viz., Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and other repressive regimes). The press there no longer equates Islam with totalitarianism or thought control or violence; it has done you the favor of prohibiting inflammatory terminology, e.g., referring to suicide bombers and violent conspirators as merely “Islamic extremists,” and not “Islamists,” and if one flouts the prohibition, one can be charged with “insensitivity” and interviewed (what a quaint, misleading term for the “third degree”) by the authorities if enough Muslims complain.

(To beg a question, is Islam any less thoroughly “radical” or “extreme” than Christianity, if consistently practiced? Both creeds offer eternal personal salvation at the price of suspending one’s mind, denying the evidence of one’s senses, and heeding the authority of persons who have been dead for hundreds, or even thousands of years. If you are an ambitious Muslim dictator, Islam, of course, is the true faith, while Christianity, Judaism and other faiths are merely false and punishable digressions. But there’s no reason you and a Christian dictator can’t get along.)

One instance will illustrate how mushy a target Britain has become. A British broadcaster, Channel 4, aired a libelous and filthy “documentary” called “Underground Mosque,” produced by a mercenary company, Hardcash Productions. This “documentary” revealed that Islamophobic “journalists” infiltrated British mosques and recorded, without any leave, permission, or warning, the sermons and prayers of humble clerics as they addressed their congregations. The “documentary” claimed these faithful holy men preached blood and violence to their votaries, and predicted the ultimate conquest of Britain through fair means and foul.

Naturally, Muslims who viewed this program were offended, and complained to the Crown authorities, who investigated and made public their concerns. Channel 4 countered with a suit, citing libel. But, what chance has this colony of infidel insects against unlimited Saudi petro-dollars that brim from British-Muslim legal war chests? Furthermore, Muslims have “hate laws” on their side, passed by an obliging, compliant and very confused Parliament, and endorsed by such notable infidels as Prince Charles, Gordon Brown, Tony Blair, and Ken Livingston.

You can bet that Channel 4 won’t be airing any more offensive programs!

Here is another choice and very funny morsel on the censor’s menu: In Malaysia, a poor, deluded woman, Kamariah Ali, chose apostasy over her faith and joined a lunatic cult called the “Sky Kingdom,” which held its services in a giant teapot and claimed a desire to “reach out” to Muslims in the name of peace. This is the woman’s second offense. Of course, the Koran and Mohammad prescribe death to anyone who is born into the Islamic faith but who abandons it for any reason. The Malaysian authorities were lenient the first time and simply jailed her for twenty months. The outcome of her new trial may not be so merciful. The teapot and its surrounding garden of icons and curious sculptures have been demolished.

Censorship in North America is making slow but observable progress. “Hate crime” laws have been passed in a number of the United States and in Canada, and present the dictator and bureaucratic preserver of public decency and sensitivity with numerous cocktails of suppression. For example, at New York City’s Pace University, in October and November of 2006, a student got into an argument with some Muslim students, and subsequently removed two copies of the Koran from the school library and put them in toilets. The Muslims considered that an act of desecration, and so Russian immigrant Stanislav Shmulevich was at first charged with a hate crime. The student later entered a plea of disorderly conduct and was sentenced to three hundred hours of “community service.”

It is interesting, and encouraging, that the first thing the authorities thought of was to charge Shmulevich with a hate crime, that is, with unlawfully expressing his contempt for Islam. In the “good old days” of freedom of expression, Shmulevich’s action would have been treated as petty larceny, and no formal, legal cogisance granted of the hurt feelings or offended esteem of Muslims. Some day, when the rot has eaten away at objective law far enough, people like Shmulevich will be faced with hate crime as a capital crime and certainly not allowed to plead “disorderly conduct.” They will have to answer to a Minister or Secretary of Public Piety.

Of course, “hate crime” legislation can favor not only Muslims, but homosexuals, Indians, women, the obese, the disabled and any other group whose members can collectively claim “offense” and “emotional distress” should someone publicly disagree in any form with a group’s claims to uniqueness. An ambitious dictator or moral bureaucrat would be wise to patronize these groups and get them on one’s side. They make great social blocs and fine street fighters.

Self-censorship by private individuals and organizations and the press will prove to be a boon to you in your quest for power, not to mention such bizarre laws that regulate and punish political action committees for overzealous money collection. There is a Constitution that may obstruct one’s means and goals, but no one in the U.S. seems to take it literally or seriously, or even to understand it anymore, especially the Supreme Court. So, don’t sweat the Constitution.

In Canada, censorship is making better progress than in its southern neighbor. There, the government subsidizes many film, book and sound production projects through tax credits awarded to companies whose films, books and recordings stress “Canadian” content. Such is the just fate of “freedom of speech” in a welfare state with touchy nationalist aspirations.

The government there, according to the Toronto Globe and Mail, is amending the income tax law to deny such credits to any material its “Heritage Minister” deems explicitly “sexual in nature, that denigrates a group, or is excessively violent without an educational value.” The Minister and his appointees and associates will be the sole judges of what is “contrary to public policy.” A Toronto lawyer said that the government “feels it must invest public funds wisely….They don’t view this as censorship because they say anyone is free to make the film or show or book, but not with their money.” Of course, no one in Canada has been sharp enough to issue the retort, “Whose money?” or even to question what the Canadian government is doing in the “angel” business.

It can only be hoped that Canada and its southern neighbor progress to the point that no one will be free or even able to produce a movie, book or recording without a government subsidy. That would save you statists much grief and anxiety; nothing could be said without your having said it first.

The menu of censorship is quite long. Take time making your selections from it. It is rich in practical, effective modes of action. And don’t worry about the prices. The bill will be footed by those it was necessary to silence.

And never forget your ultimate goal: to secure for you and your adherents the exclusive right to practice freedom of speech.


Charles said...

Amazing how the power of principled thought can provide such clarity when applied consistently to "the big picture". Excellent post.

JayCross said...

Mr. Kline,

This is a bit off-topic, but I was wondering if you could review "Into The Wild" the way you reviewed "I Am Legend." It is a powerful true story full of philosophical questions. Also, for what it's worth, I think Christopher McCandless (main character) and Howard Roark would have gotten along.