Germany declares the end of the era of free speech

Kevin Parlon

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The government who threw open the doors of Europe to the world and who then complained the rest of Europe was too slow in helping clear up its mess is now demanding free speech be abolished. In a speech this week Merkel spoke out about the dangers of EU citizens being allowed to speak out. The EU is a police state in the making. If you can't see this you deserve everything that's coming your way. If you tolerate this then your children will be next.

 


Lumpy Talbot

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Ah yes. Approved free speech and unapproved free speech. Which misses the point of free speech in a democracy by a country mile. Free speech as a principle doesn't exist so that you only hear that which you approve of, it is there as a principle to ensure that the free speech you don't approve of is also protected.

That means hearing things you sometimes don't like and didn't envisage but it is the same with marriage and kids and most people survive those appalling challenges by people whose speech you've no hope of controlling so I don't see why democracy needs to be protected from hearing things it may not like.
 

Kevin Parlon

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Ah yes. Approved free speech and unapproved free speech. Which misses the point of free speech in a democracy by a country mile. Free speech as a principle doesn't exist so that you only hear that which you approve of, it is there as a principle to ensure that the free speech you don't approve of is also protected.

That means hearing things you sometimes don't like and didn't envisage but it is the same with marriage and kids and most people survive those appalling challenges by people whose speech you've no hope of controlling so I don't see why democracy needs to be protected from hearing things it may not like.
The people who are shaping the EU despise the idea of the people who make up the EU being able to speak; It's as simple as that. They think it's a bad idea.
 

Lumpy Talbot

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Well I wouldn't overinterpret it. They are predominantly bureaucrats and they don't like it when their processes are departed from. To them the EU is a future sunlit upland, with lots of bureaucracy involved for them to work on, which is grand.

They don't get why everyone doesn't necessarily see the end product in the same way they do. There have been some ham-fisted and half-hearted attempts at projecting the EU as a 'nationality' but we're an awful long way from the chap in Ballaghadereen and the fellow in the street in Trieste declaring themselves proudly European before Irish or Italian.

The bureaucrats get fussy when things don't go smoothly to plan. That's why we keep them where we keep them. I don't think the EU apparatus has the strength in depth to adopt an authoritarian approach. It has just had a large newspaper whapped across its nose and at least Macron recognises the danger, it seems.

I suspect the EU will take a different tack from here. In engaging with citizens it must avoid clash and collision at all costs lest it end up looking like Carrie Lam and the Hong Kong SAR regional government.
 

Dame_Enda

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Through most of human history, governments have been trying to muzzle speech they don't like. Both Left and Right have done it to each other, as James Joyce discovered when Ulysses was banned. Germany has a far more sinister history of this with the Nazis and the DDR. Merkel grew up in East Germany.

The German view of free speech is substantially the same as that of the Irish Establishment when it comes to trying to close down debate on migration. However unlike Ireland, Germany has a strong old style non-fascist nationalist party for the first time in generations. This will probably limit the zeal of Merkel to follow through on censorship on migration. The real censorship that is going on in Germany right now isnt as much on migration as it is on Israel-Palestine. There has been a wideranging and systematic campaign of censorship against the BDS movement, which is characterised by rampant no-platforming and police harrassment. Even the AFD are strongly pro Israel, despite some controversial comments they made about the Holocaust monument, which AFD rising star Bjorne Hocke called "a monument to shame". Of course that term was accused of being anti semitic - though it could also be argued he was pointing out that the Holocaust was shameful.

In Ireland in contrast, Palestine is frequently spoken about in Dail Eireann. Senator Frances Black has introduced a bill to ban trade with the Israeli settlements in the West Bank, and FG are blocking it using a money-message. Such a bill wouldnt have the slightest chance of getting the light of day in the German Bundestag, and that is an example of how differences do still exist within the EU on what is and isnt a legitimate use of free speech. Likewise France has a law (known as the Copé law after former UMP leader Jean Marie Copé) which criminalises BDS. The US is also attempting to ban BDS, and many states like Florida have laws denying state contracts to companies participating in it. In contrast, BDS is probably quite popular in Ireland.

So remember this, once you throw the boomerang of censorship, its quite possible you will find yourself unexpectedly censored too.
 

ShoutingIsLeadership

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The government who threw open the doors of Europe to the world and who then complained the rest of Europe was too slow in helping clear up its mess is now demanding free speech be abolished. In a speech this week Merkel spoke out about the dangers of EU citizens being allowed to speak out. The EU is a police state in the making. If you can't see this you deserve everything that's coming your way. If you tolerate this then your children will be next.

What a load of hyperbolic nonsense.

We don't have free speech. There are already restrictions. For example, I can't say what I think of redacted and how he got his money.

I doubt if somebody can lawfully go on tv in Berlin and call for Jews to be gassed.
 

toughbutfair

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The Nazi gene is strong. While Merkel isn’t racist , she wants to control everyone. This is why the UK left. They beat the Germans twice and aren’t going to let Germany control them.
 

recedite

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Its not particularly controversial to say free speech ends at the point here it becomes hate speech. That is a norm in any western society.
Its slightly worrying that she went seamlessly from "hate speech" to "extreme speech". Which is totally different, because "extreme" is a very subjective thing. What is an "extreme" view at one of her champagne dinners might be a fairly standard view at an AfD meeting. However we have to bear in mind that this interview has been translated by somebody else. I don't know about the rest of you, but my German is nowhere near good enough to pick out the exact word she used, or its exact meaning, straight from the horses mouth.
 

blinding

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What can possibly go wrong with the Germans losing the Run of Themselves Again .

We have been down this road with the Germans before . No German will be deciding what I say .
 

AyaanMyHero

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What a load of hyperbolic nonsense.

We don't have free speech. There are already restrictions. For example, I can't say what I think of redacted and how he got his money.

I doubt if somebody can lawfully go on tv in Berlin and call for Jews to be gassed.
Yep, we understand and accept the laws that have been in place for some time.

But when anyone says these laws are no longer enough, it can make one anxious. This is especially so if you are a curious thoughtful type or if you are not the type of person that automatically follows the herd or if you are a vigilant type.

Nobody is trying to stop the herd nattering away as they go on their merry way. But the herd will be wise if they have ears for those on the lookout for the upcoming cliff.

Your post claims the OP is exaggerated but gives us no reason to believe you are very aware of the topic at all.
 

McTell

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OP

The government who threw open the doors of Europe to the world and who then complained the rest of Europe was too slow in helping clear up its mess is now demanding free speech be abolished. In a speech this week Merkel spoke out about the dangers of EU citizens being allowed to speak out. //

Merkel has been on her sell-by date since 2008

Proof of the pudding will be whether new arrivals or the natives are allowed to say "more".
 

Kevin Parlon

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I love that you quoted a left wing slogan made famous by a left wing band though.

I am a huge fan of irony.
I know all the lyrics to the song including the line about shooting fascists and used it conscious of its context. If there's any irony here it's your unconscious revelation that you actually think someone of the left would automatically be opposed to free speech.
 
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Kevin Parlon

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What a load of hyperbolic nonsense.

We don't have free speech. There are already restrictions. For example, I can't say what I think of redacted and how he got his money.

I doubt if somebody can lawfully go on tv in Berlin and call for Jews to be gassed.
Yes, we do have free speech. Free speech != defamation or incitement and never has. Merkel's comments are very clearly indicating an intent to change.
 

Kevin Parlon

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No, that is a claim you and your ilk regularly make though. A case of projection further enhancing the irony.
Yeah whatever you're having yourself.
 

rainmaker

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The EU is a police state in the making. If you can't see this you deserve everything that's coming your way.
She wasn't discussing or addressing the EU, she was in Germany discussing Germany.

This is what happens when you inform yourself about the world from Tweets.
 

Tacitus

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It is really amusing to see how some people are reacting so hysterically about Merkel saying something decidely non contoversial.

All she said was that free speech has it limits once it becomes hate speech or violates human dignity (see the first article of the German constitution).

she was in Germany discussing Germany.
That is very much the case, I watched her entire speech and she did not speak about Europe in this context.
 


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