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First they came...

Discussion in 'The Pub' started by NiteKreeper, Sep 24, 2011.

  1. This quote has been mentioned or alluded to a fair bit around here, so I thought it was worth a thread in it's own right.
    It's attributed to Pastor Martin Niemoller and is of course about the rise of the Nazis, but please let's not have one of "those" discussions.
    Instead, think about the deeper meaning...
    This is simply the Wikipedia version; there are others:

  2. The problem now is that those who remember this are very old, or gone on, and those who don't, roll their eyes at any mention of it. To compare what someone is saying or doing these days, to what the nazis did, is the instant intellectual kiss of death - most of your target audience just switches off. That's deeply unfortunate, because what happened should not be forgotten.

    [edit] How it happened - the mechanics of it, the way it unfolded long before the war. The way Hitler and his thugs took over Germany should be taught - because you see echoes of it all around you.

    Getting rid of a totalitarian regime is difficult. The trick is not to let it happen in the first place. The trick to that, is that people should be aware and awake and not believe everything they're told. We should be be a wee bit suspicious of government. Authority should be questioned.

    "Those who would give up their freedom for security, deserve neither."
  3. especially since the methodology of identifying a group or idea and demonising anyone who dares speak against it, is alive and well, even on motorcycle forums
  4. I agree but that was exactly my point: it's not about Nazis, or Jews, or anything past...
  5. There is a solution to tyranny and that is either

    Alexander Solzhenitsyn -

    Oh how we burned in the prison camps, later thinking: what would things have been like if every police operative, when he went out at night to make an arrest, had been uncertain whether he would return alive? If, during periods of mass arrests, people had not simply sat there in their lairs, paling with terror at every bang of the downstairs door and at every step on the staircase, but had understood that they had nothing to lose and had boldly set up in the downstairs hall an ambush of half a dozen people with axes, hammers, pokers or whatever was at hand? The organs would very quickly have suffered a shortage of officers and transport and, notwithstanding all of Stalin’s thirst, the cursed machine would have ground to a halt.


    Alex Jones

    The answer to 1984 is 1776

    The modern totalitarian state rejects liberal values and exercises total control over the lives of its subjects by enacting law upon law upon law

    freedom is eroded the same way an elephant is eaten - 1 small bite at a time
  6. First she came, then I ........oops wrong thread :demon:
  7. Is that the sound of George Orwell spinning in his grave? :-s

    Alex Jones is a paranoid who demonstrates that Liberalism has always had an extremely uneasy relationship with democracy. He's wrong in so far as it is not the elaboration of law that creates totalitarianism, but its suspension via a declaration of a state of emergency.
  8. Australia is the only Western country without a bill of rights. 'Former Australian Prime Minister John Howard has argued against a bill of rights for Australia as transferring power from elected politicians to unelected judges and bureaucrats'.

    Considering Howard introduced legislation like this http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Australian_sedition_law

    I think we can see the danger of his ilk.
  9. But yet we have more or less the same rights covered in those bills as all the nations that do have them. Funny how those things work.
  10. Free speech we do not have, sedition law is an example of that.

    Other countries have constitutional protection against arbitrary search, arrest, detention; in Australia "detention for named individuals: without evidence; and without criminal involvement; the detainee may be interrogated by Australian Security Intelligence Organisation (ASIO); disclosing that an individual has been so detained or interrogated is, in almost all circumstances, a crime."

    In 2009, the Barnett government was narrowly defeated in attempting to introduce 'stop and search' laws that would allow the police powers to stop and search people without the need for any suspicion or cause.

    Other countries have constitutional freedom of assembly and association; in Australia there is varying legislation by state targeted at outlaw motorcycle gangs, NSW law in particular - "The provisions make it an offence to participate in a criminal group, defined as three or more people who have as their objectives either to obtain material benefits from serious indictable offences or to commit serious violent offences".

    SA law - "the Attorney-General may declare an organisation an outlaw organisation if satisfied that members of the organisation associate for the purpose of organising, planning, facilitating, supporting or engaging in serious criminal activity and the organisation represents a risk to public safety and order", and the legislation includes provisions such as "the old law of consorting will be replaced with a new law of criminal association that prohibits telephone calls as well as meetings in the flesh;".
    http://www.aic.gov.au/publications/current series/rip/1-10/02.aspx

    In the 1950's menzies attempted to outlaw the Australian communist party
  11. The legislation would allow police to search people for weapons and drugs in areas such as Northbridge without having to prove grounds of suspicion.

    Last night Liberal backbencher Peter Abetz spoke in support of the legislation and used the example of Hitler.

    He said the dictator gained support because he provided people security in a time of anarchy.

    The Opposition's Mark McGowan today seized on the comments in State Parliament.

    But Mr Abetz says he was not endorsing Hitler, only highlighting the importance people place on security.

    "When it comes to the crunch, people prefer to be safe than to have freedom," he said.


    scumbag abetz
  12. Wow clearly they have NFI
  13. The problem is not that this statement is false. It is plainly true. What's wrong about it is the assumption that we have "come to the crunch", whatever that may mean. The choice between freedom and safety is therefore a false one.

    I'm not sure that it indicates the rising tide of totalitarianism, though. I don't think the Niemoller quotation Nitekreeper posted describes totalitarianism as all. It describes an acquiescence to fascism via a refusal to opposes fascism's militant particularism with the politics of democratic universalism. Totalitarianism is a different issue. As much as civil liberties are encroached upon (and this is a bad thing in and of itself), it doesn't amount to totalitarianism in the absence of some form of militant particularism taking control of the state.

    Thing is, if a militant particularism did accede to control of the state, no bill of rights will stop them. The first thing they'd do is suspend it. Civil liberties need to be defended, not as a bulwark against totalitarianism, but for the more mundane reason that they help prevent the police taking liberties where they shouldn't.