HATE CRIME, LIE CRIME.

 

REFURBISHING JUSTICE IN LIGHT OF WEAPONS OF MASS DESTRUCTION.

Paul Krugman points out that, in today’s USA:”The rise of right-wing extremism is being systematically fed by the conservative media and political establishment.” (NYT, June 12, 2009). I concur, and propose a little addition to the world legal system.

***

Those who play with hatred, play with fire. Indeed.

People love to talk about love, and love love. Who would not? It is the first emotion, the only one babies know for months on end.

But love then meet Malthus, or more exactly finite resources, and thus it has been for millions of years. The herbivores get eaten, but who eats man? Well, most land predators learned, long ago, to try to stay away from people. People controlled people’s numbers, and soon the entire planet. This is the tragic nature of man. Both God of Goodness, and Devil of Eradication.

Sometimes, the only key to survival of the group is to be carried by suicidal hatred. It was true when fighting the numerous large predators of the past (eliminated since), and it was even more true when fighting man.

So man has a strong predisposition to the most extreme lethal hatred. Man has a strong disposition to take extreme pleasure in hatred, and adverse circumstances wake that up. Because only thus did the species survived. After all, our ancestor, Homo Erectus, eliminated at least 14 other species of hominids.

The number one job of civilization has been to keep that cruelty in check. Sometimes, this fails spectacularly (example: the Nazis).

The old religion of Zoroaster, which preceded the earliest signs of Judeo-Christo-Islamism, had the interesting concept of opposing as main divine categories, truth and lie (rather than good and evil). The uncreated creator (Ahura Mazda) would be born out of discovering truth.

When one goes back, and look, at, say, Nazism, it is very clear that it would never have happened if everybody had known the truth in Germany.

Lies can be of two sorts. The first sort is logical and factual, and those can be corrected readily. The other sort is much more devastating, it’s the emotional lie, where something emotionally false is allowed to guide the logic. And guide the discovery of the logic.

If someone, say, feel that a certain type of people are repugnant, based, say, on physical appearance, that then lead them to find facts and logics, somewhere, somehow, to support that emotion. Now it becomes really difficult to extricate, because people often find either true facts with a twisted logic, or false facts with correct logic, or a mix.

This malignancy of the mind occurred because the physical genesis of said mind was guided by wrong, powerful repugnance. If the repugnance itself is not based correctly upon truth, one builds a mind that hate, for wrong reasons.  

How does civilization defend from this? Well, until 1945, civilization had no studied the problem. But the existence of means of mass destruction and massive stealth led the Allies to forge ahead, and invent “hate crimes”. Some of the top Nazis were basically executed for this. And that was very good.

Then the democracies found they could use the concept of hate crime at home, and thus found a new category of behaviors to repress (pedophilia was also a new criminal category). Things improved. Violent racists and haters of all kinds ended in jail more readily, others learned to behave. Now we have a brown president, obviously very bright, and the rights of those with different gender or disposition are better respected. But things could go in reverse fast, as the support for torture has shown.

Because of the existence of WMD, at home or abroad, it is more important than ever to reinforce the category of hate crime, make it more pervasive, increasingly repressing more rigorously all types of emotion with increasingly adverse consequences for humankind (just as an emotion is repressed in pedophilia). All are capable of hatred (whereas pedophilia is the province of a few), so it is urgent to do something more in the way of prevention.

Maybe the systematic telling of lies potentially conducive to hate crimes ought to become a new behavior subject to criminal prosecution. It is not just the fact that crimes have been committed because of hatred, or that threats are made with hatred, that should be repressed, but distortions of reality conducive to hatred.  

This should cover logical, factual, but also emotional lies (increasingly emotional actors are used on right wing media: Limbaugh, Beck, etc…)

And that repression of egregious lying should apply internationally too. Heads of States should not be allowed to get away with blatant lies, such as holocaust denials. The United Nations ought to be able to prosecute severe, systematic infractions to truth. 

Thus talk show hosts playing with hatred and lies would have to explain themselves in front of a judge. Progress. 

Then we can all celebrate Noh Ruz, the Persian New Year, in honor of Ahura Mazda, for real…

***

Patrice Ayme
http://patriceayme.com/

http://tyranosopher.blogspot.com/

***

 

Notes: 1) Some may say that this is way too repressive, an intrusion of Big Brothers into the mind, and that, ironically, intellectuals such as the present author would be the first victims. Yes, but only if the process was abusive.

Not so, if it were properly applied. Then, actually, it would be protective, because genuine intellectuals live off the truth. Unpopular truth is still the truth, but the mob is its enemy. The idea would be to make judges into allies of truth, and not just (as it is now) when grave consequences have already occurred.

As long as there is reasonable doubt as to their veracity, controversial points of view potentially leading to hatred, or mayhem, ought to be allowed to survive. In other words the same right to reasonable doubt that protects physical individuals ought to be extended to ideas and emotions.

An example: some European countries already repress lying about two holocausts (the Armenian and Jewish holocausts of the 20C). The existence of these two holocausts is established beyond a reasonable doubt. To deny them is to deny history itself, hence it is a refusal so extensive of reality, that it allows to prevent learning anything from them, and entices to repeat the same sort of feat. Since denying they ever happened allows to have had them, without any adverse consequences whatsoever for their perpetrators, or their spiritual descendants.

Thus the Bosnian Serb Colonel General Ratko Mladic was shown recently happily dancing among a crowd, fully recognizable, literally leading the dance. He is considered responsible of the death of many thousands, and is the world’s most wanted fugitive, and his non rendition is an obstacle to the candidacy of Serbia to the EU. The spectacle of Mladic leading the dance entices hatred, both active and reactive. 

The denial that it committed an Armenian holocaust remains a major obstacle for the admission of the Turkish republic in the EU, since that republic denies that two-third of the Armenian population was destroyed in the early years of said republic… Of course, the French do not celebrate a tally of all the dead caused by Napoleon’s ill considered actions, everyday… Or of the French intervention in the German Thirty Year War… And one can make some very educated French very angry when mentioning Napoleon’s millions of dead.

It is of course unlikely that the French would invade Spain and march on Moscow, again, whereas more massacres against Armenians or Kurds could well happen. 

One should not stop there: there has been more than two holocausts, so this, condemning just two of them, although a good start, is a bit unbalanced… A fuller list of holocausts ought to be agreed on by the UN, and States ought to be asked to recognize it, and take responsibility when appropriate (that would be basically a generalization of what the European Union is asking from Turkey about the Armenian holocaust).

2) Twice more Americans approve of torture than a few years ago (comparing 2002 with 2009). This, too, is a measurable symptom of rising hatred, and of an abandonment of civilization. And a proof that relentless propaganda of lies and hatred can degrade civilization. (As Hitler approached power in Germany, the Nazis degraded many of the red lines of civilization, for example about anti Jew hatred).

3) Wrong emotions build wrong brains, because neuronal dendritic architectural build-up is guided by astrocytal activity. Astrocytes, although they make networks, as neurons do, are chemically sensitive (thus emotionally sensitive). In that precise physiological sense, chemically based emotions dominate electrically based logics. 

4) Hitler wrote entire chapters on what he called the “Big Lie Technique”. That was how to manipulate the masses, he said. “People

do not expect big lies, because all they know, in normal life, are little lies. So they are not ready for the big ones. Thus they will believe them.” (I am para-quoting Hitler from memory, being not reverential enough to find and dig in my copy of “Mein Kampf”.)

That is how Hitler misled Germany to play its part in the killing of 73 million people (the latest -2009- evaluation of the number of dead from W.W.II): ever bigger lies.

5) Pat Buchanan, a well known US writer, politician and media personality claims that UK & France caused holocaust & WWII. He wrote books on this, and was given giant audiences by appearing on TV, pretty much not contradicted, as he exposed that theory on the “useless war”, W.W.II.

More crazy and criminal than that in the world of propaganda is difficult. The problem is that saying such a huge pro-Hitler enormity should fall under the realm of the law. Because what of young people who know nothing on the subject? And because otherwise, this crazy pro-Nazi propaganda is given support by the Main Stream Media. The fact that Buchanan occasionally say unconventional things which are correct sometimes, makes it worse…

***

6 Responses to “HATE CRIME, LIE CRIME.”

  1. K couch Says:

    Interesting analysis. I will offer that hatred is partly based in fear & self-loathing, rarely self-acknowleged. The logic flows in this manner: if one believes the object of one’s hatred or group hatred- is “worthy” of this hatred, then surely what is internally self-loathed must not be that dreadful. A way of self-legitamacy.

    Society finds comfort, i.e., self-legitamacy, in clustering amongst like-thinkers/behavior/ethics. When the open flow of ideas & information is suppressed, all of society suffers. Yet society often struggles for homeostasis; congruity.

    I personally would not wish to have a human judge determine truth. “Power corrupts and absolute power, corrupts absolutely”. Forgive me as I forget the reference.

    Whether one believes in Christ as the Savior or Christ as the Prophet or disbelief in Christ- Allah, the Koran, etc, no matter. “love thy neighbor as thyself” What a remarkabley difficult, yet simple solution.

    To love thy neighbor, one must first understand love of self, forgiveness of faults and desire for self-improvement- not narcisstic behavior- true love of self. “Ah- there’s the rub”.

    Like

    • Patrice Ayme Says:

      Thanks, K. Interesting point of view. I do agree that the subtle mechanism you describe can well apply, and even to people such as Hitler (maybe). My take on it all, though, is that the capability to express hatred, an overwhelming emotion, was not just an evolutionary advantage, but an evolutionary necessity: the force is strong!

      That does not mean I approve of it, although, hmmm… I was going to say, not anymore than I approve of gravity. But I do approve of gravity (except when I am falling, I am rock climber, and I sprained an ankle a few months ago). But, in truth, without gravity, we would have no planet.

      I would dare respectfully advance that, without hatred, well, we may have no ecology. Put rabbits on an island without predators, and soon, there will be no more rabbits (after the last blade of grass has been eaten). This observation is at the heart of my theory of evil.
      PA

      Like

  2. ben masel Says:

    ben masel

    To repeal the 1st Amendment (0+ / 0-)
    First get 2/3 in each Chamber of Congress.

    Now comes the hard part, ratification in the Legislatures of 38 States.

    Like

    • Patrice Ayme Says:

      ben maset: good point, I guess I did not look at it that way. Thanks for the observation.

      But, in practice, the first amendment is already not fully applied, nor applicable, in its rawest form. There is a whole body of law there, which distinguishes “PROTECTED SPEECH” from “unprotected speech”. The first amendment is not about saying whatever anywhere.

      The case of pedophilia is blatant: adults cannot say whatever to, and about children, end of the story. No need to involve 38 states. It was pretty much a worldwide decision.

      Making threats of bodily injury, for example, is not covered by it. Calls such as “Mort au tyran!” (famous from the French revolution) uttered nowadays in the even distant, or virtual, presence of presidents Sarkozy or Obama, will land anyone in jail. That is just as true in France as in the USA. two countries which have never been freer than now, precisely because they have never been more policed than now.

      I got a sort of death threat over the Internet, for example. In theory I can go the police, and, although the writer used a European adress, the culprit could very well be in big trouble.

      Muslim extremists made threats against a French high school philosophy professor a few years back, and they were tracked down through various electronic accounts, with the help of Morocco, Tunisia and the USA, before being finally arrested.
      PA

      Like

  3. Rick Cass Says:

    Though understanding the harm arising from these deniers, least of which is where to draw the line. making these kinds of speech illegal and punishable causes many problems, the least of which is drawing the line between legal and illegal speech, a more problematic one being who draws the line. Unfortunately, the cure is in a truly vibrant discussion in public about these issues. But this lack is one of the most salient lapses in a civilization heading toward a black hole. The cure must lie in a new enlightenment, despite all evidence against the probability of such.

    Like

    • Patrice Ayme Says:

      Rick: there are already restrictions against absolutely free speech. For example against hate speech, or threat speech… Try to threaten the president’s life, or anybody’s life, or make discourses towards children with an offensive adult content, and the arm of the law will crack down…
      I am proposing a mild extension of this.
      PA

      Like

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