Tag Archives: authoritarian habits

Germany’s Version of ‘Free Speech’

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Some countries in the Free World aren’t as free as they ought to be. Germany springs immediately to mind. It seems they just can’t kick their old authoritarian habit.

Germany already has a harsh “hate speech” law, enacted last year. But Chancellor Angela Merkel sounds like she wants to make it even more harsh (https://townhall.com/columnists/ianhaworth/2019/12/02/angela-merkel-and-german-freedom-of-speech-n2557309). In a speech she gave last week, she said, “Expressing an opinion does not come with zero cost.”

In fact, under Germany’s hate speech law, the cost is a fine of up to 50 million euros. A small price to pay if the government is going to “oppose extreme speech.”

Free speech has to have limits, Merkel says. “Those limits begin where hatred is spread.” Not allowed to hate. “They begin where the dignity of other people is violated.”

Uh-huh. And here’s the catch: In Merkel’s little utopia, the government gets to decide what speech is “hateful” and what speech isn’t. Don’t tell me you don’t trust the government to do that.

American liberals see this and lick their chops with envy. Oh, if we could only do that here! Confound that pesky First Amendment! Dash it all, we’re already doing this on all our college campuses! Why can’t we do it everywhere?

Freedom is not something that our self-anointed big shots like us to have. That’s why we have to protect it, day in, day out. Because otherwise some shadowy characters in Facebook, with the enthusiastic support of Democrats, will censor everybody who isn’t them.

This is America, not Germany. Let’s keep it that way.

 


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