Hate Speech – The New Censorship

In the wake of the Christchurch Mosque terrorist attack there is a lot of politician posturing about ‘hate speech’ and how it has to be stopped or else more atrocities will occur. I have long said that our words dictate our thoughts and our thoughts direct our actions. We need to use better language when we think; in that way we will do better deeds. But this focus on hate speech is something else.

“But if thought corrupts language, language can also corrupt thought.” George Orwell, 1984

Hate speech, it seems, only refers to one class of person, one direction of the hatred. From ‘us’, to ‘them’. Only they can be the victim of hate speech. How they speak about us is never an issue, never a problem. Rather it is a legitimate protest against the many wrongs we have perpetrated against them. They can say no wrong, we on the other hand, better watch our words. Or else.

“It’s a beautiful thing, the destruction of words.” George Orwell, 1984

The laws are being shaped to make sure there is no dissent. Even the truth can be considered hate speech and thus inciting racial hatred and possibly leading to an atrocity and atrocities, human tragedy aside, are bad for business. Bad for politicians unless they can leverage the loss to some advantage; make positive political capital from the problem. It pays then to have a class of people you can vilify, or at the very least, wag a finger at; warn the moderate majority about.

Is it hate speech to state the truth? To say something like how in some cultures it is acceptable to murder your daughter for the heinous crime of dishonouring the family name by merely being in the company of a non-relative male. Or how you find the enforced female clothing choice of some cultures to be representative of a misogynistic, medieval mindset. Can you say how you find the practice of hurling homosexuals off the top floor of multi-story apartment blocks hideously offensive? Or is that inciting hatred?

“The masses never revolt of their own accord, and they never revolt merely because they are oppressed. Indeed, so long as they are not permitted to have standards of comparison, they never even become aware that they are oppressed.”  George Orwell, 1984

Will this new focus on eradicating hatred by controlling what is said extend to them? Will they be stopped from saying nasty things about us? Will they be taken to task next time they march down the street, en-masse and brandishing placards calling for the beheading of disbelievers? Probably not. Why? Because it neither fits the agenda nor is it needed to achieve the objective. So what is the agenda and what is the objective?

“We know that no one ever seizes power with the intention of relinquishing it.” George Orwell, 1984

Senator Anning was recently assaulted by a 17 year old male who smashed an egg on the back of his head. A cowardly attack from behind, yet he has been applauded by many, including leading media figures. The instinctive reaction of his victim to strike back and the actions of others to neutralise and apprehend this offender have been vilified while there has been a Go-Fund Me account started that has rapidly gained $50,000+ in donations. It seems it is acceptable to commit assault and battery providing it is against a specific class of person. A bit like how it was in Berlin in the 1930s, or even Coniston, Northern Territory in 1928. How is that any different to what is happening here, today?

“Don’t you see that the whole aim of Newspeak is to narrow the range of thought? In the end we shall make thoughtcrime literally impossible, because there will be no words in which to express it.” George Orwell, 1984

There can be no dissent, no opposing point of view expressed, nothing that defies the canon, the official line we must all, it seems, toe. We seem to be so easily offended, nay, outraged! Outraged by anything and everything yet we have no problem watching vacuous realty TV shows that are anything but reality, scripted and planned to the last vicarious, vain, vitriolic frame. Is this really how it is from now on? Is this how we are to live in the 21st Century? George got it so right, way back in 1948 when he wrote his classic novel, ‘Nineteen Eighty Four’. I don’t think he intended it to be used as a How To guide…

“Now I will tell you the answer to my question. It is this. The Party seeks power entirely for its own sake. We are not interested in the good of others; we are interested solely in power, pure power. What pure power means you will understand presently. We are different from the oligarchies of the past in that we know what we are doing. All the others, even those who resembled ourselves, were cowards and hypocrites. The German Nazis and the Russian Communists came very close to us in their methods, but they never had the courage to recognize their own motives. They pretended, perhaps they even believed, that they had seized power unwillingly and for a limited time, and that just around the corner there lay a paradise where human beings would be free and equal. We are not like that. We know that no one ever seizes power with the intention of relinquishing it. Power is not a means; it is an end. One does not establish a dictatorship in order to safeguard a revolution; one makes the revolution in order to establish the dictatorship. The object of persecution is persecution. The object of torture is torture. The object of power is power. Now you begin to understand me.” George Orwell, 1984

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