Germany has taken its war on “hate speech,” also known as free speech, to the people.
Already Germany has pretty strict laws against citizens using Nazi symbols and denying that the Holocaust happened. Apparently, lawmakers miss the irony of going full Gestapo on citizens for free speech, as offensive as it may be.
But they are not stopping there. The German government has raided the homes of 36 people accused of hateful posting on social media.
Most of the raids concerned politically motivated right-wing incitement, according to the Federal Criminal Police Office, whose officers conducted home searches and interrogations. But the raids also targeted two people accused of left-wing extremist content, as well as one person accused of making threats or harassment based on someone’s sexual orientation.
“The still high incidence of punishable hate posting shows a need for police action,” Holger Münch, president of the Federal Criminal Police Office, said in a statement. “Our free society must not allow a climate of fear, threat, criminal violence and violence either on the street or on the internet.”
In order to keep our society free, we must severely restrict the freedom of the people. War is peace, hate is love, and so on and so forth.
You would think that given Germany’s history they would understand the utmost importance of open discussion and debate.
There was a time when children were turning in their parents for what was said in their own homes against the German Nazi government. People were afraid to speak their minds, have political discussions, or debate important issues because there were so many spies around who would gladly turn them into the government.
That is why the Nazis were able to take their insane philosophy so far. People were restricted from talking about it and criticizing the government.
With the internet, the government can simply hear and see for themselves what thought crimes are being committed, especially when people decide to post them on social media. But why shouldn’t people be allowed to be offensive on social media? Sometimes only by poking and prodding do we get to the crux of an issue. There is a place in society for all types of discourse, and when the government gets to define what constitutes “hate speech” they will simply label their enemies’ language as such.
By “right wing extremist” what German authorities really mean is anyone who questions the immigration policies of the Europe, or thinks differently than the general population. Literally simply insulting someone, or talking trash can make you liable for five years in prison in Germany. According to section 130 of their criminal code (emphasis added):
(1) Whoever, in a manner that is capable of disturbing the public peace:
1. incites hatred against segments of the population or calls for violent or arbitrary measures against them; or
2. assaults the human dignity of others by insulting, maliciously maligning, or defaming segments of the population,
shall be punished with imprisonment from three months to five years.
1. with respect to writings (Section 11 subsection (3)), which incite hatred against segments of the population or a national, racial or religious group, or one characterized by its folk customs, which call for violent or arbitrary measures against them, or which assault the human dignity of others by insulting, maliciously maligning or defaming segments of the population or a previously indicated group:
a) disseminates them;
b) publicly displays, posts, presents, or otherwise makes them accessible;
c) offers, gives or makes accessible to a person under eighteen years; or
(d) produces, obtains, supplies, stocks, offers, announces, commends, undertakes to import or export them, in order to use them or copies obtained from them within the meaning of numbers a through c or facilitate such use by another; or
2. disseminates a presentation of the content indicated in number 1 by radio,
shall be punished with imprisonment for not more than three years or a fine.
And while the German government wages this war against citizens on one front, they force companies like Facebook and Google to wage it on another front. Facebook could be fined over $50 million, based on a new German law, for each time they fail to remove “hate speech” within 24 hours.
It’s hard to see this as very different from the restrictive nature of German society during the Nazi era, at least when it comes to freedom of speech. It has become dangerous for an individual to speak their mind lest it is labeled hate speech simply for going against the mainstream. And it has become expensive for companies to not play along with the government’s game of oppression against the people. Look to history to see what these conditions can lead to.
The rest of the world would do well to take a good look at what Germany is doing. Any efforts to curb “hate speech” in America will take on the same arbitrary standards defined by the government which will endanger any opponents to the government guilty only of free speech.