21 November 2005

Jewish Council is wrong

Now I understand why the Jewish Council is calling for a banning of the sale of Nazi memorabilia.

There are a handful of freaks out there who get off draping their bedrooms with swastikas and feeling proud that they can follow someone who tells them what to do and how to run their lives and everyone elses. Fortunately almost all of the those with these views are almost completely incompetent – remember there was a National Front in New Zealand that couldn’t register as a political party and the British equivalents, the National Front and BNP are almost entirely a rabble of semi-insane losers who can barely organise themselves. A club of mostly useless men (and their vile female companions).

David Harcourt, a Wellington antiques dealer is rightfully defending his right to sell Nazi material. Banning it would of course raise the price for such stuff, and the claim that making money from it glorifies it is nonsense – the same claim can be made for selling t-shirts with Che Guevara on it, or Castro, or the mountains of communist era junk that gets sold in eastern European markets. I bought a few bits and pieces in Bratislava when I was there a year ago, out of curiosity and because, one day, I want to show my children and grandchildren the sort of crap that evil regimes gave to people – to show appreciation, while they oppressed them and denied their individuality.

I shouldn’t have to even state the obvious, the Holocaust was an absolute abomination, particularly as it was so carefully calculated, ordered and ran in what had been considered a civilised, modern Western society. Nazi Germany was one of the most evil regimes to have existed in modern times – but so was the Soviet Union, Ceaucescu’s Romania, Pol Pot’s Cambodia, Mao’s China, Saddam’s Iraq, Hoxha’s Albania, Mengistu’s Ethiopia, Bokassa’s CAR, Amin’s Uganda. Banning anything from any of the above is no better than what those regime’s did – they banned what they didn’t like. The USA does not ban Nazis, in fact they are easy to find, but there are very very few of them, and there is no chance whatsoever that they will gain the means to do evil.

The Jewish Council’s sensitivity towards anything from the Nazi era is understandable – but the answer is not to ban it, but to ignore it. We are not ever served by banning that we find most offensive, but by exposing it for what it is. Banning it and focusing on the misfits who get excited by swastikas gives those misfits, and Nazism more excitement, attention and allure to the few who may also find some thrill in the forbidden. That is the least thing the Jewish Council should be encouraging.

No comments: