The Volokh Conspiracy

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Hate Speech

"Would Censorship Have Stopped the Rise of the Nazis?"

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Greg Lukianoff (President of FIRE) and Prof. Nadine Strossen (former President of the ACLU) have an excellent post on this subject; here's the beginning, though it's worth reading in its entirety:

Given the recent panic over what Elon Musk buying Twitter may mean for hate speech regulation on the platform, I thought it would be important to explain that arguments for hate speech codes are deeply flawed. As we have previously argued in this series, hate speech laws have proven to backfire in predictable and unpredictable ways. In this and the next entry, we'll be addressing oft-cited arguments that hate speech laws would have prevented historical atrocities.

Assertion: The rise of Hitler and Nazism in Germany is an instructive example of why we should censor hateful and extremist speech.

Greg Lukianoff: Richard Delgado, an early champion of speech codes and now more famous as a founding scholar in the field of Critical Race Theory, cites the Rwandan genocide (more on this in the next entry), along with Weimar Germany, as cautionary tales against free-speech purism. The problem is that neither historical precedent supports the idea that speech restraints could have prevented a genocide.

As I explained in my review of Eric Berkowitz's excellent book, "Dangerous Ideas: A Brief History of Censorship in the West, from the Ancients to Fake News," Weimar Germany had laws banning hateful speech (particularly hateful speech directed at Jews), and top Nazis including Joseph Goebbels, Theodor Fritsch and Julius Streicher actually were sentenced to prison time for violating them. The efforts of the Weimar Republic to suppress the speech of the Nazis are so well known in academic circles that one professor has described the idea that speech restrictions would have stopped the Nazis as "the Weimar Fallacy."

A 1922 law passed in response to violent political agitators such as the Nazis permitted Weimar authorities to censor press criticism of the government and advocacy of violence. This was followed by a number of emergency decrees expanding the power to censor newspapers. The Weimar Republic not only shut down hundreds of Nazi newspapers — in a two-year period, they shut down 99 in Prussia alone — but they accelerated that crackdown on speech as the Nazis ascended to power. Hitler himself was banned from speaking in several German states from 1925 until 1927.
Hitler poster Nazi propaganda

In this 1920s cartoon by Philipp Rupprecht, Hitler is depicted as having his mouth sealed with tape that reads "forbidden to speak." The text beneath this image reads, "He alone of two billion people on Earth may not speak in Germany."

Far from being an impediment to the spread of National Socialist ideology, Hitler and the Nazis used the attempts to suppress their speech as public relations coups. The party waved the ban like a bloody shirt to claim they were being targeted for exposing the international conspiracy to suppress "true" Germans. As one poster explained:

Why is Adolf Hitler not allowed to speak? Because he is ruthless in uncovering the rulers of the German economy, the international bank Jews and their lackeys, the Democrats, Marxists, Jesuits, and Free Masons! Because he wants to free the workers from the domination of big money!

Considering the Nazi movement's core ideology, as espoused by Hitler in "Mein Kampf," rested on an alleged conspiracy between Jews and their sympathizers in government to politically disempower Aryan Germans, it is not surprising that the Nazis were able to spin government censorship into propaganda victories and seeming confirmation of their claims that they were speaking truth to power, and that power was aligned against them.

Indeed, censorship that was employed ineffectively to stop the rise of the Nazis was a boon to the Nazis when it came to consolidating their power. The laws mentioned earlier that allowed Weimar authorities to shut down newspapers, and additional laws intended to limit the spread of Nazi ideology via the radio, had their reins turned over to the Nazi party when Hitler became chancellor. Predictably, the Nazis used these preexisting means of censorship to crush any political speech opposing them, allowing for an absolute grip on the country that would have been much more difficult or impossible with strong legal protections for press and speech….

NEXT: "The Need to Maintain Objectivity and a Professional Distance from [One's] Clients" in Court Filings

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  1. Oh, hell yes!
    Turn it upside down.
    Censorship (and its twin, propaganda) was what the National Socialists used to suppress the Jews and rise to power.

    1. You seem to approve fighting fire with fire, but that's whistling past the graveyard.

      As soon as Hitler won and got critical mass, censorship was the name of the game.

      Do not build tools of tyrants, then they cannot be abused.

    2. Assertion: The rise of Hitler and Nazism in Germany is an instructive example of why we should censor hateful and extremist speech.

      Heck no to woke. The rise of Hitler is an example of why we should kill tyrants, their oligarchs, and their families down to the last kitten. To deter. The assertion is ridiculous, toxic wokism. The Jews should have saved themselves, not by taking on the German Army, but only a few individuals, the 20 families that put Hitler into power. Some of the families were American in the US. Kill them too. They were not lying, they wanted to kill all the Jews. Such killings are justified by self defense.

      I am with Saddam. When you have a person, you have a problem. When the person is gone, there is no problem. So why take a chance?

      1. Hutus and Tutsis conflict was long standing over land and cattle. One side had land, the other had cattle, just in the Range wars. The proper response of the Tutsis was to hear that Hutu DJ, and rush the radio station with machetes, and chop her to pieces on the spot. To deter.

  2. Wow, that's pretty dispositive evidence of the point that censorship doesn't work.

    Let the proponents of silencing hate speech provide their own example of it working well.

    1. It, like silicone breast implants and black mold and asbestos, is another profit vector drumbeat by lawyers to buy yachts with in their official capacity of societal parasites. Something Jimmy McGill would be proud to have thunk up.

      1. I would like to see the hierachy of the lawyer profession attacked for its Hate America hate speech. If you kill them, they will be replaced by grateful competitors. Just beat their asses.

    2. They can't; doing so would break the censorship barrier and publicize the hate speech they claim is so harmful.

    3. They can point to the 2020 election. Censorship was instrumental in tricking voters.

      1. In 2004 Orwellian propaganda was instrumental in tricking voters.

        1. Kerry was an unlikable candidate who never faced a tough election in his life. Just like Hillary.

          Try fielding candidates who actually like Americans.

          1. George W Bush was who Washington and Ike warned us about in their farewell addresses.

            1. I'd like evidence that either Gore or Kerry were any different from George W Bush in that regard.

        2. In 2004 Orwellian propaganda was instrumental in tricking voters

          Boy, you're really gonna hate 2000.

    4. Examples of silencing hate speech working well would include Nazi Germany and the USSR. No Streisand Effect in either example. Lots of torture and bloodshed though.

  3. "...excellent post on this subject; here's the beginning, though it's worth reading in its entirety"

    Got a link for where to read its entirety?

    1. It's linked by the underlined word 'backfire' in the OP.

      1. That is a related, earlier post on the subject. I'm looking for the post quoted by prof. Volokh.

        1. Plugging a snippet of the quoted text into your search engine of choice quickly leads to a subsequent post on the same site.

  4. For the longest time I've believed that information should be absent of any constraint whatsoever, because ridiculous arguments will fail based on their self-evident preposterousness, and that the public at large is generally clever enough to distinguish nonsense and pseudo-nonsense from real evidence, and would dismiss the crazy with maximum haste.

    I no longer believe that the hoi polloi can make these sorts of judgments. They will believe (in mass) that some political party eats babies and runs a child sex trafficking ring out of a basement in a pizza parlor. Or, they'll get sucked into "Q", again in mass, out of a belief that it's primary purpose is to save children.

    And there are countless other examples of the amazing ability of large numbers of human beings to believe nonsense and fail to apply the bare minimum of critical assessment, and then get all riled up to the point of being consumed and controlled by nonsense and ready to engage in violence.

    But does my change in the confidence of the average person's judgment make be believe that information should be controlled? It does not. We'll just have to live with these side effects, as bad as they are, because restricting information is worse. Maybe we'll evolve out of it somehow. The instantaneous information age is still a fairly young thing.

    1. Doug, I can't believe that you believe that I believe one party eats babies. That is ridiculous and just an ad hominem attack on conservatives. It commits the Exception Fallacy.

    2. Who's going to be the arbiter of rightspeech and wrongspeech? Oh I see, you are.. of course.

      1. Are you replying to Doug? If so, I think you need to re-read his last paragraph.

        1. Have you met Amos?

    3. It's not so much that the truth is guaranteed to triumph in free debate, so much as that's the only contest in which it has any inherent advantage. It's just not guaranteed to be a decisive advantage if untruth has other weapons.

      But once censorship and allied techniques are permitted, any advantage the truth has goes away, and any advantage lies might have that allow even a chance of winning a free debate become almost insurmountable.

      I think what we're facing right now is that our information economy is already subject to a significant amount of censorship. Manipulated search results, censored platforms, universities and media dominated by one ideological perspective, and thus suppressing its opposite. And the censors are fighting any effort to lift the veil of censorship and restore anything resembling a free debate.

      And back in 2020, I started to suspect that a lot of the really stupid conspiracy theories you see circulating aren't spontaneous stupidity. They're decoys, chaff being spread to hide truths that couldn't be otherwise contained. Flood the zone with enough stupid lies about something, if a bit of truth escapes it will be dismissed as just another lie.

      We're currently in an information war, have been for a couple decades now, and it's really heating up now. I've no idea how it's going to turn out, but I'm not terribly optimistic.

      1. Brett, leave it to you to come up with, "conspiracy theories are the real conspiracy."

        1. I have no idea who QAnon is, but after seeing a lot of stuff that came from QAnon devotees, I cannot help but conclude that QAnon may, indeed, be a false flag operation, to distract conservatives, and to try to convince them to not act and to "trust the plan" when protest and writing congresscritters had its strongest chance of working.

          1. Occam's Razor says that Q was a thirty-ish guy living in his parent's basement who posted the Q-anon stuff in between online arguments about graphic novels and extended masturbation sessions.

      2. The reason lies get traction these days is because people think tricking voters with lies is clever and laudable.

        Harry Reid and Obama did it. They’re not sorry and their fans are happy it worked.

        1. Nice people! Not like Trump!

      3. And back in 2020, I started to suspect that a lot of the really stupid conspiracy theories you see circulating aren't spontaneous stupidity.

        So why do you purport to believe in the stupidest conspiracy theories?

      4. I mentioned before, the CIA agent who created QAnon deserves a promotion, several promotions even.

    4. I no longer believe that the hoi polloi can make these sorts of judgments.

      Nor can anyone else. I wish I had a nickel for every person who tells me he sees right through deceptive marketing, and is anxious about the millions of supposed suckers who lack that skill.

      If you find yourself thinking like that, consider it proof you are outside the target demographic. When the marketers come for you, they will tempt you with deceptions purpose-built to flatter that very prejudice, and suck you in that way. The Volvo brand was built on delivering that kind of marketing to folks with graduate degrees.

    5. Doug Heffernan — There is a way to improve the quality of information without restricting it. Government restrictions become plausible only when publishers are too few, and thus inappropriately powerful and influential.

      The answer—proved already by long experience, but currently in eclipse because of internet giantism in publishing—is diversity and profusion among private information providers. Each of those might restrict its own content offerings, to be sure. But because of competitive pressures and market opportunities, the market as a whole fills with competition and various of content. Tens of thousands of such publishers acting independently in pursuit of their own interests answer collectively the publishing market's quality challenges.

      Passage of Section 230 is what created the conditions which enabled the giantism. Its terms uncoupled the previously unavoidable link between a publishing institution's ad sales capacity, and the amount and cost of its editorial effort. Previously, before Section 230, those had to increase or decline together.

      After Section 230 set publishers free to publish everything without reading anything, increased cost of editing effort no longer constrained ad sales. There was no practical limit on how large or monopolistic an internet publisher could grow. Network effects favored giantism, and nothing else stood in the way. That is how today's internet became today's critical thinking catastrophe.

      The solution really is a private free-market in ideas. Diversity and profusion among private publishers who read everything prior to publishing is the way that was accomplished previously. It can happen again, much better. The internet is a publishing medium much more efficient than ink-on-paper.

      Repeal Section 230 unconditionally, as the first step.

      1. SL: "Government restrictions become plausible only when publishers are too few, and thus inappropriately powerful and influential.

        The answer—proved already by long experience, but currently in eclipse because of internet giantism in publishing—is diversity and profusion among private information providers."

        OP: "The Weimar Republic not only shut down hundreds of Nazi newspapers..."

        I look forward to your thousand word essay on 'How repealing Section 230 would have saved the Weimar Republic'.

        1. Absaroka, instead you get my long essay on the idiocy of historical counter-factuals.

          1. The German restrictions are more 'historical factual' than 'historical counter-factual'. When the historical experience - the experimental results, one might say - contradict your theoretical predictions, you should try to come up with at least some kind of hand waving explanation for the discrepancy.

        2. Absaroka, please at least try to engage. Tell me why you object to the notion of diversity and profusion among private publishers. Or at least explain why you suppose you can have that, and have internet giantism at the same time. Or explain why internet giantism is preferable to diversity and profusion.

          Can you think of anything substantive (by which I mean founded in experience and not in ideology) to say about the state of internet publishing, and its effects on the public life of the nation?

          1. Sigh. What I object to is you looking at the diverse and profuse press in Germany during the Nazi rise to power and inferring from that 'a diverse and profuse press prevents totalitarianism'.

            That's aside from ignoring that it is easier than ever to get diverse opinions in today's world. I was reading Freddie DeBoer's thoughts on Ukraine just a few minutes ago. That wasn't a viewpoint I could easily get in the halcyon days of Walter Cronkite.

            But no matter - whatever the issue, repealing section 230 is always the answer!

    6. But does my change in the confidence of the average person's judgment make be believe that information should be controlled? It does not. We'll just have to live with these side effects, as bad as they are, because restricting information is worse.

      Great! So, next election, you're voting against Democrats (the censorship party), right Doug?

    7. "I no longer believe that the hoi polloi can make these sorts of judgments."

      But you can, of course.

      "And there are countless other examples of the amazing ability of large numbers of human beings to believe nonsense and fail to apply the bare minimum of critical assessment, and then get all riled up to the point of being consumed and controlled by nonsense and ready to engage in violence."

      Very true. Just look at all the Americans who support socialism, increased government power and centralization, censorship, etc. Totally insane and contradicted by all historical evidence.

  5. You know, instead of re-litigating the past, which I understand will not change it, why not deal with the present day Nazi's who are censoring the United States. As the Washington Post reports:

    "The Republican-led Tennessee legislature passed a bill Wednesday that would require public school librarians to submit to the state a list of book titles for approval, as a GOP lawmaker suggested burning books that are deemed inappropriate.

    During a contentious debate on the bill in the House, state Rep. John Ray Clemmons (D) asked state Rep. Jerry Sexton (R) what he would do with the books that he and the state consider inappropriate for libraries.

    “You going to put them in the street? Light them on fire? Where are they going?” Clemmons asked.

    “I don’t have a clue, but I would burn them,” Sexton replied.

    And in case the historically ignorant don't understand, the story continues with this:

    "Book burning is emblematic of authoritarian regimes, and it was notably carried out in Nazi Germany. One of the most prominent examples in history occurred May 10, 1933, when students in German universities set fire to more than 25,000 books that were deemed “un-German,” according to the U.S. Holocaust Museum. The action came after some 40,000 people gathered to hear Joseph Goebbels, chief propagandist for the Nazi Party, deliver an address declaring “No to decadence and moral corruption,” according to the museum."

    So why aren't Forums like this not livid with criticism of this garbage. Oh right, these are Republicans and so-called conservatives. If the issue had been burning conservative oriented books in a college library there are not enough electrons in the universe to support the postings in condemnation.

    1. Lets see, hundreds of thousands of cases of deplatforming and censorship every day by leftoids across the world or some hick politicians arguing over a few books to include in the school curriculum. Durr I wonder which party is the bigger censor?

      1. I'm not seeing how removing a few books from the school library means much, when I've got my own library at home my school kid has access to. I'd be more concerned about Amazon banning stuff, making it really hard for ANYBODY to get. And, yes, Amazon DOES ban books.

    2. present day Nazi's who are censoring the United States

      You really are an intellectual force to be reckoned with.

    3. When you mention book burnings, and go first to the Nazis rather than China's Qin dynasty or Cultural Revolution, or the burning of the Library of Alexandria annex, or the Iranian purges, or the decades of Soviet removal and destruction of western books - all of which were far more significant - it begins to look like you are just looking for an excuse to scream "You NAZIS!"

      Not to mention your utter inability to distinguish between banning of books for everyone (as in your and all of my examples) and banning books from being in a public school library.
      Just as a cheap example, porn - explicit novels centered or sexual acts - do not belong in public school libraries.

      Do you disagree? Do you think that anyone that holds that opinion is a Nazi?
      If you do agree that explicit porn should not be in public school libraries, then what's the objective standard for deciding what is or isn't allowed to be included that prevents one from being a Nazi?

      1. When explicit porn is found in public school libraries I will be right with you to help take them out.

        When zealots try to remove books they do not like, but which are considered acceptable and beneficial by those whose background and education qualifies them to make those decisions, well, . . .

        1. The fight is about explicit porn. The porn is bad enough that parents attempting to read text passages from the books have been prevented from doing so in school board and city council meetings, because of the offensiveness of the material.

          If it's something that shouldn't be shared in a public meeting, perhaps it doesn't belong in a school library or curriculum, either.

          1. To quote Republican Congressman Joe Wilson, "You lie!"

            1. So you deny that people were forbidden from reading material in public meetings because the material was considered inappropriate for those meetings?

            2. It happened in Florida's Orange County at a school board meeting. It happened in Virginia's Loudoun County.
              It happened in Virginia's Fairfax County.
              It happened in Georgia's Cherokee County.
              It happened in Indiana's Carmel Clay school board meeting.
              It happened in Texas at an Austin school board meeting.
              It happened in Oregon at a Lancaster county school board meeting.

              In other words, Mr Nieporent, you are lying - again - trying and failing to deny something you simply don't want to admit actually happened.

        2. Congrats, you just called yourself a Nazi...?

          So, where's the objective line between evil Nazis banning books they don't like, and you agreeing with me to ban books we don't like?
          Is it just that someone with an "education" (What sort? How much? Does there need to be data, or does a degree alone confer the right?) that is allowed to make decisions? What about voters? What about parents? What about school boards? Do you think any of them should be involved in these decisions?
          Do you think that when school boards in Florida and Kentucky decide to remove from schools books you do like?

    4. Build your own library

      1. If I'm going to pay for a library or a curriculum with my tax dollars, then I have every right to decide what should be in that library or curriculum. And when one considers that schools and libraries have limited budgets and space, they necessarily have to make decisions about what they can or cannot carry.

        And yes, I learned long ago that I need to build my own library. I learned long ago, and have that lesson reaffirmed often, that I cannot trust the library to carry that which I like. It could be something as innocuous as a book about programming that's no longer in print, such as Leo Brodie's "Starting Forth", or books like Robert Heinlein's fiction, which are no longer in fashion, or it could even be controversial borderline-fringe books languishing in obscurity, such as anything by Ludwig von Mises, or "The Discovery of Freedom" by Rose Wilder Lane -- there is a whole world of books that aren't in public libraries or school curriculums.

        And that even includes a lot of stuff that I can argue should be included!

  6. Arguing free speech helps tyranny is like arguing more arson stops fires. These guys are on a nother planet.

  7. The only thing that stops Nazis is acute lead poisoning. We learned that lesson in 1945.

    1. I hereby declare you to be a Nazi, which we now know anyone can do to anyone with whom they disagree. Is it OK to give you that lead injection now?

  8. Killing baby Hitler in his cradle would have stopped the rise of the Nazis.

    The trick is to kill the right baby.

    1. The trick is to kill the right baby.

      The baby with the mustache and bad comb-over...duh. Those are dead giveaways.

      1. The baby who wants to grab everything for itself and has no sense of boundaries...that should narrow it down.

  9. I doubt Florida's bigoted Republican censors, or Tennessee's drawling conservative book-burners, or Texas' poorly educated right-wing book-banners are going to be swayed by this article.

    1. Neither are the ninnies of the left, like you, going to be persuaded. You zealots want the ideas of your opponents to be silenced.

      1. I believe that right-wing racists, conservative misogynists, superstitious gay-bashers, and Republican immigrant-haters have rights, too.

        1. No you don't. Otherwise you'd be on the forefront defending their presence in places like Youtube, Twitter, and FascistBook.

        2. Up against the wall, mother______. You're under arrest for being a leftwing extremist homosexual.

    2. Which is why it's so odd the usual defenders of speech are all ups in woke arms to censor now.

      Hmmm. Must have been about power all along.

      1. [P]olitical correctness is more than a ridiculous set of opinions; it’s also—and primarily—a tool of...coercion. Not only does it tilt any political discussion in favor of one set of arguments; it also gives the ruling class a doubt-expelling myth that provides a constant boost to morale and esprit de corps, much as class systems did in the days before democracy. ... [I]t determines the current polarity.... Where you stand depends largely on whether you believe that antiracism is a sincere response to a genuine upsurge of public hatred or an opportunistic posture for elites seeking to justify their rule.

        (source)
        “Liberals’” opinions may be ridiculous, but they're very clear-eyed when it comes to acquiring / maintaining political power.

    3. Let's get something straight: are people getting put in jail for owning or publishing a book? Are police or agitated mobs breaking into houses to pull books out to be destroyed? If not, then the government is not censoring anyone. They are merely setting the curriculum.

      And before you say we can't do that, I can't help but wonder: what do you think about teaching Young Earth Creationism in biology?

      Incidentally, the Right isn't the only side throwing out books. The Left has been known to throw perfectly good books into the dumpster, claiming they are works of "colonialism".

  10. So what though? Can the left learn from history? What stops them from doing what they always do: make up an emotionally satisfying story and then decide to believe it?

    It would have worked if it were them doing it, because they’re smart! Don’t you know how smart they are? Smarter than old man Weimar ever was.

    Besides, it’s different now because… smartphones or something! They can actually succeed in censoring this time!

    And anyway, what’s the alternative? Being fair to deplorables? Please…

  11. Before debating whether to censor National Socialists, or other kinds of totalitarian socialists, let's identify the totalitarian socialists whose banning we're debating.

    Who are the National Socialists and equivalently evil persons who are being unleashed by Elon Musk?

    1. Obviously, Nazis are anybody they'd like to punch.

      Conveniently, once you can censor Nazis, the people you're censoring can't dispute that they're Nazis where anybody will hear it.

  12. A more relevant question: Could the Weimar Republic have stopped the rise of Nazism by passing an "anti-Nazi law" and using it to prosecute anyone who said there were two sexes, or that marriage is between a herr and a frau? That would certainly have discredited Hitler!

  13. In this and the next entry, we'll be addressing oft-cited arguments that hate speech laws would have prevented historical atrocities.

    As always, historical counter-factuals are vain, pointless, time-wasters. They look tempting only because people today are accustomed to speculate about consequences tomorrow. To do that is reasonable. The future remains unknown. The power of acts in the present to influence future outcomes is justly presumed—however inaccurate the presumptions might prove.

    With future prediction commonplace, and even indispensable as part of ability to plan, it is not surprising that folks sometimes mistake the activity to identify hypothetical alternative futures as an invitation to likewise illuminate the past. They suppose it tacitly, then proceed with activity to invent a hypothetical alternative past.

    The cases are not comparable. There is no alternative past, except in fiction. There never can be. There is an unknown past, because the record of the past will never be complete. There is not any meaningful alternative past, invented on a premise to alter some known part of the past record.

    The very notion of history depends on acceptance of a premise that whatever is known to have happened is what could happen. In the cognitive toolkit of the historian, power to discern and exclude non-factual alternatives is one of the most useful. Allow imaginative alteration of known historical facts, and consequent hypotheticals reverberate. They proliferate through time forever, in mutually contradictory waves.

    To suppose otherwise is to suppose time travel, with all its flourishing paradoxes, mysteriously bounded within discrete narratives. Of course, romances premised on time travel into the past have long been indulged as entertainments. They serve as diversions, or as calisthenics for the imagination. Nobody supposes anything of consequence can be inferred from them.

    Whenever you are invited to contemplate a historical counter-factual, do so with time travel and its paradoxes in mind. On that basis, the experience will do you no harm, except maybe the time lost indulging the impulse.

    1. I don't believe anyone's saying that the Weimar Republic wouldn't have fallen to the Nazis had they had free speech -- they are merely saying that banning Nazi speech didn't prevent the Weimar Republic from falling to the Nazis.

      To say that we cannot look at the past to learn from it is folly -- while the past doesn't really repeat itself, as others have said, it sure can rhyme.

      Essentially, what your argument boils down to is "we cannot learn from the past, so we might as well ignore it, and if a policy should have worked but didn't, we should try it again, only this time, try harder."

  14. I'll be frank. There are a lot of problems with this piece and the arguments.

    1. Huh. Yet you weren't able to express what any of those problems were, nor the problems with the arguments.

      Odd, that ....

      1. It's "problematic." That's a new word for blasphemy. All you need to say.

  15. Reason gets everything backwards since its incredible dalliance with Trump Derangement Syndrome.
    NAZIs rose to power USING CENSORSHIP.
    Just like China’s communists stay in power USING CENSORSHIP.
    And just like America’s socialist nitwits and brooding communists are aggregating power USING CENSORSHIP.
    Jeesh, catch up already!

  16. When I saw this title, I mulled over in my mind that censorship would not deter German fascism but would instead foster it, foment it even.

    Damn. I just skimmed the article and I agree wholeheartedly. My feelings exactly.

  17. The Nazis did not control the German Government and therefore had no power to censor anyone until Hitler was named Chancellor by President Paul von Hindenburg on January 30, 1933, after the more centrist "grand coalition" had failed to form a government. Hitler formed a coalition with another right wing party Deutschnationale Volkspartei in order to form a government. The Nazi's quickly took over the cabinet. Following the Reichstag Fire on February 28, 1933 President von Hindenburg issued a number of decrees effectively consolidating the Nazi's Power.

    Despite many people believing the Nazis set the fire, it not actually clear they did. Marinus van der Lubbe, a Dutch "council communist" was arrested at the scene and took credit for setting the fire. He was tried and convicted. After the war there were a lot of legal moves that ultimately resulted in a posthumous pardon, on that basis his actions were justified because the Nazi government was immoral.

    At the time Hitler was named Chancellor Communists held 81 seats in the Reichstag the third most of any party. A lot of Germans, possibly a majority, believed in what has been called 'The Stabbed in the Back Myth". That Germany had not lost the Great War but had been forced into an unfair and humiliating treaty by international politicians and bankers, The Treaty of Versailles.

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