Here’s something you don’t see every day — The Chancellor of Germany infringing on human rights. Oh, wait…
Alright, so perhaps this won’t be the systematic slaughtering of millions of people and a legitimate genocide of the Jews, but it’s still not ok.
At a speech at the German Chamber of Industry and Commerce in Berlin, Angela Merkel said that freedom of expression has limits and should be restricted in order to maintain a “free” society.
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So… you have to give up some freedoms to maintain freedom?
Yeah, that’s not how this works.
Merkel said that the “limits” of freedom of expression is “spreading hatred” and violating the “dignity of other people.”
“We have freedom of expression in our country,” Merkel said. “For all those who claim that they can no longer express their opinion, I say this to them: If you express a pronounced opinion, you must live with the fact that you will be contradicted. Expressing an opinion does not come at zero cost.”
“But freedom of expression has its limits,” she continued. “Those limits begin where hatred is spread. They begin where the dignity of other people is violated. The house will and must oppose extreme speech. Otherwise our society will no longer be the free society that it was.”
Source: Daily Wire
Watch till the end. Angela Merkel says: we have to take away your freedom of speech, or else society won’t be free. pic.twitter.com/Y3qROvDQXg
— Ezra Levant 🍁 (@ezralevant) November 28, 2019
What the eff is she talking about?
Speech that incites violence is already illegal. And as for “violating the dignity of the person” well, that’s rather vague. Who determines that?
Does that mean that women who have a problem with biological men dressed as women competing against them in sports are no longer allowed to complain because that would “violate the dignity of the person”?
Does that mean that speaking against unfettered immigration and open borders for any reason makes someone a bigot that should be shunned?
This is ridiculous!
This is the problem with “hate” speech laws — they are too nebulous and shift like sand. What was acceptable yesterday, like basic biology, is now “hateful conduct” and will get you permanently banned from social media platforms.
And note that the bias always goes one way.
It’s perfectly fine for Trump supporters to be called deplorables, neo-Nazis, white nationalists, racists, xenophobes, bigots, sexists, and members of a cult — but God alone help you if you say that the media has a bias towards Democrats and should perhaps choose an alternate career path, perhaps by doing the thing they’ve been telling those with blue-collar jobs to do: Learn To Code. That is also hateful, apparently.
Freedom of speech and expression is a fragile and contentious thing. We must be willing to fight for those whose views we find offensive and abhorrent. But that is how we will grow. It is much better to have those vile views published in the open where they can be countered than hiding in the shadows where they can fester and grow.
Germany has seen firsthand what happens when freedom has been restricted. They saw that both with the Third Reich and during the Cold War. You’d think that the idea of curtailing free speech would be anathema to them, but apparently their historical memory is very, very short.