News from the ‘im morally outraged over everything, including bunnies’ department…
An Italian newspaper recently decided to give away free copies of Hitler’s Mein Kampf to readers who purchased the first volume of their planned 8 volume book on The Third Reich.
Cue the media frenzy to publish sensational articles…
“Italian newspaper under fire for giving away copies of Mein Kampf”
“Italian newspaper draws criticism with ‘Mein Kampf’ giveaway”
“Italian Newspaper Sparks Backlash After ‘Mein Kampf’ Giveaway”
It’s all clickbait.
News companies know full well that any article that says ‘Hitler’ or ‘Mein Kampf’ is going to peak readers interest.
But when you read the articles… there’s really no issue. There’s no content. The articles are like two hundreds words long a piece and all say the same thing.
Il Giornale sold a history book about Nazi Germany with its Saturday edition, and offered readers who purchased the book a free copy of Mein Kampf.
The editor, Alessandro Sallusti, said (in Italian) that the move would let readers “study what is evil to avoid its return”.
The newspaper also stressed that the version it was giving away was annotated with critical commentary by an Italian historian.Source: http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-36508591
So a newspaper gave away a free book that is completely relevant to the book they’re selling? SHOCKING. I AM SHOCKED.
Mein Kampf is a book like any other… there is absolutely no issue in including a historical text to provide people with context concerning the history book they’re about to read. There is no book or piece of art so terrible that people cannot learn from it… and that’s the context Mein Kampf is being offered in (this version includes critical commentary).
However, the move was described as “a vile act” by Renzo Gattegna, president of the Union of Italian Jewish Communities.
The giveaway was “indecent” and “light years away from any in-depth learning or study about the Holocaust”, Mr Gattegna added.
That’s just blatant nonsense. Get this… people can reAD MOrE ThaN ONe BOOK. A history about the Third Reich may very well join dozens of other books on the atrocities of the past on people’s shelves.
You do not know what goes on in other people’s lives.
And the thought that people would have to purchase a huge compendium of books before ever getting Mein Kampf (which is implied in Gattengna’s statement) is absurd… because again, I want to remind you people do in fact read more than one book in their lifetime.
So… To Continue…
It seems Europeans, and maybe people in general, are more interested in arbitrarily censoring media / art than you know… actually behaving well and engaging with that which they despise.
Honestly, if you truly despise something like Mein Kampf, then offer a counter-narrative. Offer people something else to engage with. Offer them un-condescending thought and logic… show them why you’re right and that book / art is wrong.
Simply censoring something does nothing.
Censorship is always a snowball turning into an avalanche… just one big giant slippery slope. If you can censor something you dislike, say Mein Kampf, why not censor everything else you dislike too?
The attacks in Paris were a horrible and tragic event — and you can understand why people are angry and scared about it. But, as always, when politicians are angry and scared following a high-profile tragedy, they tend to legislate in dangerous ways. It appears that France is no exception. It has pushed through some kneejerk legislation that includes a plan to censor the internet. Specifically the Minister of the Interior will be given the power to block any website that is deemed to be “promoting terrorism or inciting terrorist acts.” Of course, this seems ridiculous on many levels.
First, there are the basic concerns about free speech. Yes, I know this is France and it doesn’t value free speech in the same way as the US, but it’s still rather distressing just how quickly and easily the French government seems willing to adopt censorship measures. Second, what good does this actually do? If ISIS sympathizers are expressing their views publicly, doesn’t that make it easier to track them and to find out what they’re doing and saying? Isn’t that what law enforcement should want? Focusing on censorship rather than tracking simply drives those conversations and efforts underground where they can still be used to influence people, but where it’s much harder for government and law enforcement ot keep track of what’s being said.
And you know, it’s all somewhat disturbing. A few years ago I remember reading an article over at the Cato Institute… they were saying that in the European elections being held at the time nearly one-third of all the political parties already elected in Europe or that polls show winning in upcoming elections… fully one-third were either anti-semitic or literal neo nazis.
Antisemitism has been on the rise (or maybe just resurfacing) in Europe for years…
An article from 2014…
“ ‘On the streets, you hear things like “the Jews should be gassed” … we haven’t had that in Germany for decades. Anyone saying those slogans isn’t criticizing Israeli politics, it’s just pure hatred against Jews.’”
And in the New York Post, The National Review’s penetrating editor, Rich Lowry, reported:
“Some of the most cosmopolitan cities in the world — Paris, Berlin, London — have witnessed demonstrations airing hatreds associated with Europe’s darkest crimes” (“Europe’s new Jew-hatred is same as the old,” Lowry, New York Post, Aug. 5, 2014).
My point with all of this is that a book is a book and Europe needs to get a handle on themselves.
Giving a copy of Mein Kampf away with a history book is not going to breed a new crop of neo-nazis or do any harm.
Censoring things does absolutely nothing except create even more societal friction than there was before (not to mention that censorship is immoral). In fact, censoring something generally plays into people’s beliefs and narratives. What better example of the state trying to oppress you and what you perceive to be your social group than them censoring the works you read / believe in?
Honestly this whole thing is stupid. Everything is stupid. Censorship is stupid. Mein Kampf is a stupid book to begin with! My god…
Europe should be a little less worried about reading and a little more worried with its own shit behavior.