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Re: <nettime> a letter to the editor
Florian Cramer on Thu, 23 Feb 2006 16:54:30 +0100 (CET)


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Re: <nettime> a letter to the editor


Brian (and others):

> It would be useful to gather a selection of one-liners, plus 
> the complete documents from which they are excerpted, and 
> put them in a little time-capsule for three to five years, 
> before republishing - a time short enough so that we would 
> all still feel the sting of how foolish most of this 
> discussion has been.

I agree, but from the exact opposite angle. ;-) Let's talk about it
again in a few years and see how we will view the matter then.

I tend to see s a fallacy here of assuming that the enemy of your enemy
is your friend, or better: sharing your political goals. The people who
burned down the embassies in their outrage about "blasphemy", demanding
that the Danish government shut down the newspaper are no good allies
for your cause. They weren't demonstrating against the war in Iraq,
against Western colonialism in the region, or against immigrant policies
in Denmark, but against the satirical depiction of Muhammad. I consider
it a form of intellectual respect to the protesters to take their
demands as what they are, and not read anything into them what one
rather would like them to be. On these grounds, I tend to view the
protests as reactionaries reacting to reactionaries.  The protesters
are, all the more with the backing of regimes like Saudi Arabia, at
least as bad allies for a multicultural cause as the state-organized
"anti-imperialist peace demonstrations" in Eastern European countries
before 1989 were no good allies for Western pacifists. 

That's all I am saying. And that one can find it inacceptable to impose
a censorship onto oneself in order not to hurt someone's religious
feelings somewhere in the world. I see no contradiction in calling the
Danish paper xenophobic and still insist on the right to "blasphemy".
Multiculturalism is misguided when it makes concessions on those grounds
and embraces reactionary demands just because they come from a minority
culture. 

Concepts like "free media" are cheap, or rather: worth nothing when you
grant them only to the people whose political views you share. If
Nettimers disagree, they should be honest and voice their political
support of, among others, a censored Internet that bans hate speech and
sexist pornography, for example.

So please flame Geert for his Psiphon posting, covering an activism
against "countries considered repressive, such as China, North Korea,
Iran and Saudi Arabia" by "volunteers in more open countries".  Tell
him, like Gita did, to "clean the shit in your own home first". (And
since I am unsubscribing from this list, please reply to me by personal
mail.)

-F

-- 
http://cramer.plaintext.cc:70
gopher://cramer.plaintext.cc


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