Life as an Extreme Sport

Freedom of Expression, As Long As You Don’t Deny the Holocaust

As Europe argues for the right of free expression and ability for newspapers to publish whatever they want, the right wing British historian and Holocaust denier David Irving has been sentenced to three years in jail for saying that there was no gas chamber at Auschwitz, and that Hitler had no direct knowledge of the systematic slaughter of Jews. Apparently free expression and speech only goes so far, and doesn’t extend to denying the Holocaust.

The thing is, laws like this (besides being slightly hypocritical – say what you want, as long as it doesn’t offend our sensibilities about World War II) just encourage people to disappear underground, and continue saying whatever tasteless thing it is that they want to say. It’s much better to allow people to be stupid in public than encourage them to breed stupidity in the shadows.