The use of Reason and reasonable argumentation, the reclaiming of the idea of Progress and the struggle against dogma. In this post-modern world, reinventing Enlightenment is of the utmost importance.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Enligtenment in danger

For denying that the Holocaust ever took place, for saying that there were no gas chambers in Auschwitz, "historian" David Irving was sentenced to three years imprisonment in Austria. Irving pleaded guilty saying that, since 1989, when he proclaimed his absurd "historical" sentences, he had learned a lot and no longer thought as he did then.

Guess what Mr Irving; in 1989 there was already lots of evidence for the Holocaust. Actually, evidence for the Holocaust dates back to the late forties, you had just to read the files of the Nuremberg trial. Instead you chose not to. You chose to deny the Holocaust. Serves you right this sentence, Mr Irving, I hope you enjoy your time in an Austrian prison.

Meanwhile, some wancker or other immediately came to Irving's rescue. You see, some arseholes dare to say something like this: "We have to re-think Freedom of Speech. If we allow the publishing of cartoons offensive to the prophet Mohamed, then this jail sentence should have not been passed."

Can you believe it? Some people have the nerve to compare a proven fact (The Holocaust) with a matter of faith (the divinity or not of prophets). It’s been sixty years since the Nuremberg Trial. If someone told me, twenty years ago, that anyone could deny the Holocaust and that would be ok, I would dismiss such an utterance as an irrationality. As it seems, today irrationality is taking the upper hand. Apparently, not only in Iran, but also in the West.


Blogger Goncaluskas said...

That the guy is a son of a bitch there is no denying. However, we lost a good opportunity to discredit the right wing by giving him a harsh sentence when he had already admitted he had been wrong.
Obviously he didn't mean it and that is why the judge had no sympathy. However by sentencing him so harshly you will give him more support than he would have had if you just let him go. Basically we are making him a martyr.

7:56 AM

Blogger daviduskas said...

I don't think like that. He mocks the Holocaust he must pay for it. The victims demand so. Three years is not such a harsh sentence from my point of view, especialy because we know that he did not mean it when he said that he was wrong.

Let us see. Let us wait and see. Maybe you're right, if we take into consideration what some wanckers are already stating in mainstram media.

8:20 AM

Blogger daviduskas said...

Besides, the main thing here is that the Holocaust is "tabu" and should/must remain so. If we start discussing it, if we put it into "perspective", then there's a strong chance that it will happen all over again. Let us not forget that.

8:25 AM

Blogger Goncaluskas said...

The Holocaust is not tabu. It is a well documented historical fact that people should not forget about.
On the other other hand, that historical fact has given "carte blanche" for the Israelis to commit a number of atrocities themselves, often with the help of the US and their jewish lobbies.
It is this second aspect that enrages the arabs and right wing militants alike, the fact that Israel still uses their victim status to get political leverage and support.

8:30 AM

Blogger daviduskas said...

The fact that millions of people, mostly jews, were exterminated in a "scientific" way is undisputable. That the "final Solution" was a program aiming at the total erradication of an entire nation of the face of Europe is also undisputable.

That's what I mean when I say it is tabu. It's tabu because you cannot even discuss it. Just to discuss it would be to shed doubt into this fact. To act so, would amount to saying that there are many versions for the Holocaust, therefore, who his so say that it actually happen? It's post/modern ralativism, and in this case, it can't hold. Sorry, this is where I draw the line.

I don't give a fuck if Israel to this day uses the Holocaust as an "excuse"; you should charge Hitler for that.

I happen to think that it is no excuse at all. After all, sixty years on most of the actors are dead.

If you want to critisize Israel's foreign policy you don't need the Holocaust; these are different realities. They use it for political levarege? Just say so, just tell the world so. But no. Right wing militants and arab fanatic leades insist on playing Israel's game.

8:52 AM

Blogger Goncaluskas said...

Cabral, are you there? can you moderate the debate?

9:10 AM

Blogger A. Cabral said...

yes, yes, here goes...

I don't think the Holocaust is a tabu either, and the issue was that this guy was deliberately going against historical fact, i.e. lying outright. How can you say millions have not died with the evidence of the mass graves? How can you say Auschwitz didn't have gas chambers?

I agree that the Israelis use the Holocaust for sympathy as if it could forgive their wrongs. But I believe the case here has a different motivation, this Irving guy is a neo-nazi seeking to rewrite history and clear Hitler of his crimes, and that includes not only the genocide of the jews, but also the gays, the communists, the polish, the russians...

As you know I always believed that the cartoons should not have been re-published, although I do not think we need a law for that. Instead, we need public denunciation and the states bringing the relevant newspapers to task about their insulting behaviour. Thus, I think a public trial and condenmantion of a nazi liar is a great thing! We cannot allow the right to poison public debate, and we cannot either get bogged down in an endless debate with them as if the two sides were equal.

9:21 AM

Blogger Goncaluskas said...

So you are basically saying he should be jailed mainly because he has deliberately lied in favour of an ilegal political stance?

9:22 AM

Blogger A. Cabral said...

He was using a mantle of historical credibility to lie about a political current, about its crimes. If there is libel law when you lie about what someone has done, should it not be a crime to lie about what happenned to a whole people? Is it not even more serious? Particularly, if it creates this view that the nazis are victims of a world conspiracy, that they are the good guys...

Imagine it in a Portuguese context, you would start hearing that Salazar was a very nice guy, that PIDE didn't torture or kill and that the 25 of April was a coup by left extremists who invented a history of oppression to take control of the country away from the good fascists...

9:28 AM

Blogger Arrebenta said...

Ó, Pacheco, vai levar na ventoinha!...

Associando-nos a uma corrente de protesto, iniciada, no Kombate, "The Braganzzzzza Mothers" irá enviar um pedido aos seus blogues mais lidos, para que se associem ao movimento: o processo é simples: envie, por sua vez, o convite aos seus amigos, e eles que mandem, cada um com o seu sotaque próprio, o Pacheco levar na ventoinha.

11:00 AM

Blogger sonia r. said...

Guten Abend!
Fiz de propósito!!!!!!!


6:52 PM

Blogger sonia r. said...

Guten Morgen!!!!
Acorda Daviduskas.


3:39 AM

Blogger theresa said...

A person who would deny the holocaust is a dangerous person indeed. He has authored books on the subject and makes false claims. He reports these false claims as history. In my opinion, this is not freedom of speech. Rather, I would say it is fraud. It is my belief that fraud is a punishable crime.

10:39 PM

Anonymous David Duff said...

"[T]oday irrationality is taking the upper hand" and I gather that you believe that anyone guilty of what you deem to be "irrationality" should be thrown in jail. An interesting concept.

Some people believe this, against all the evidence: "We believe these truths to be self-evident; that all men are created equal ..." Lock 'em up, that's what I say! And anyway, they're damned rebels!

9:55 AM


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