Idiots draw guns, for the worst reasons, geniuses draw the world, for the best reasons.
All too many in the Anglosphere condemns Freedom of Expression, though. The Financial Times’ Tony Barber judged that the massacre of famous French cartoonists, writers and thinkers was well deserved. He found « stupid» and « irresponsible » some of the covers of Charlie Hebdo.
(There were so many protests from readers, that the FT withdrew the passage later; notice that, from my point of view, the Financial Times has been a great apostle for the destruction of civilization, so it’s coherent that it would editorialize that assassinating thinkers is justified. For more on some of the despicable opinions of Mr. Barber, see below.)
The wounded police officer who was deliberately assassinated, ran to the rescue of Freedom of Expression. He was Ahmed Merabet, a Muslim of Tunisian descent.
Father of two, he had just qualified to become a detective. He rushed to Charlie Hebdo and pulled his weapon, but was shot before he could use it.
THING AFRESH HURTS ALWAYS:
The Delphi Oracle, followed by Socrates, enjoined to: “Know Thyself!” . An ebullient Socrates insisted that: “The Unexamined Life Is Not Worth Living.”
However, man is a social animal. Society is how Homo thinks. To know oneself is to know ourselves. Socrates is always presented by Plato in a social context, debating.
Examining oneself, is examining the society one belongs to. Criticizing oneself ferociously, is criticizing one’s society ferociously.
The central point of thinking anew is that it hurts. Islam is aware of that point: Jihadism is first an effort upon oneself, to improve oneself. (Jihadism such as attacking others, and chopping people’s heads off is only fourth on a list of five type of Jihadism!)
Why does it hurt? Because it requires lots of energy to change one’s neurological networks. PPP
As Homo is a social animal, thinking anew will hurt socially. The majority of French people has been hurt, at one point or another, has been hurt by French satirical newspapers. There are several, and the satirical mood extends throughout out French newspaper and French society. There was long a virulent streak of critique in French society. A law of 1881 strictly protects freedom of press and caricature.
Violent French caricature was centuries old, by the time that the Marquis de Sade depicted with relish the leaders of the West as sadistic torturers and killers.
Actually I have tracked ferocious satire and critique down to at least the Sixteenth Century. Not just Rabelais, but, when an attempt was made to kill Henri IV, one of many, a writer immediately published a book lauding the would-be assassin (who had been executed already) and calling for a repeat, ASAP. Nowadays this sort of Freedom of Expression would be viewed as going to far. Anywhere in the West. But the Enlightenment was made of it.
The New York Times and Wall Street Journal presented the terror attack in Paris as front page, with several articles. With main picture of the assassination of the police officer (a second or so before the picture I put).
However the San Francisco Chronicle (Silicon Valley) mentioned it only in a very small corner of its “Top of the News”. The main stories were about a judge allowing Foie Gras back (after a ten year ban), and the Golden Gate closed for the repairs during weekend.
The New York Times reproduced a few very mild Charlie Hebdo cartoons, adding that others, more famous, could not be reproduced as: “The New York Times has chosen not to reprint examples of the magazine’s most controversial work because of its intentionally offensive content.”
How does the New York Times knows it’s “controversial”, and “offensive”? Is that the opinion of the Islamist State?
Simply put, this is censorship. This is the New York Times crowing about censorship. But not just that. It is much worse than that. It goes down two circles of horror, as Dante would say.
The New York Times pontificates that the victim, Freedom of Expression, is “controversial”, “intentionally offensive”.
If the victim was from rape, the New York Times, thanks to its saurian brain, would know it’s not “cool” (“cool” is the ultimate expression in Silicon Valley) to accuse the victim to be “controversial”, “intentionally offensive”. It would not be “Politically Correct”.
That’s what “Political Correctness” is all about: faking thinking. Actually attacking Freedom of Expression is worse than rape or simple murder, even mass murder, as it enables ALL forms of violence, lethal or not.
Attacking Freedom of Expression is a direct attack against civilization. Indeed, civilization is all about minds meeting and debating: there is both its attraction and its advantage.
Neither meeting, nor debating, can be without Free Expression.
Censorship is why the New York Times has put me officially on a watch list, for years and blocks so many of my comments, that I am reading the paper less and less. [Although a NYT subscriber for decades] I am officially ”not trusted”. If the New York Times officially does not trust me, why should I trust it?
A dictator dictates. This is exactly what the New York Times does. It dictates what it thinks its commenters should say. I said recently something technical about Stoic Philosophy, following an ignorant article in the New York Times. I was censored. Because it’s an outrage to roll out information showing the NYT does not know what it is talking about.
And there is a difference between my comments and the NYT propaganda: when I said, for example in 2003, that the New York Times was lying about Iraq, I had detailed arguments (later proven right, as the NYT invented facts about Iraq, repeating just what Bush wanted it to say). The New York Times has never told me ONCE why any of my comments was blocked. I actually believe that such a behavior violates one the foundations of democracy, equal speech, and ought to be illegal.
After all, the New York Times is officially recognized, as all newspapers are. This makes it, to some extent, as all employees of newspapers and magazines, officially recognized agents of the state.
As such, it, and all newspapers and magazines, as state sanctioned professional organizations, ought to enforce democracy. In particular, not violate it.
All the work of Charlie Hebdo, and other satirical media was, and is, meant to be controversial and offensive.
Socrates was controversial and offensive. He died from it. He died, for it.
Self-satisfied censorship is exactly why the USA is intellectually second rate, and always will be, as long as this attitude persists.
A FEW MORE REFLEXIONS:
The next day a French born policewoman was killed deliberately in a terrorist incident involving a similar, heavily armed terrorist (she was hit three times, in the back).
Bernard Maris, also assassinated at Charlie Hebdo, was long a member of the group “Attaque”, and was stridently anti-liberal. He wrote columns in the press, including CH. A prominent shareholder of Charlie Hebdo, Maris was also a member of the Banque de France board (since 2011). So progressive, anti-plutocratic forces lost a strong advocate.
Recent attacks in the West by Qur’an inspired terrorists were from individuals who had been actively prevented to go to join the war in Syria. One may therefore wonder if that is a good strategy. Instead Denmark helps to recondition those who have been there illegally.
Recently Daesh/Islamic State executed more than 100 of its own foreign fighters. They had committed the crime of wanting to return home. So obviously, they had come to disagree with the whole Islamist terror thing.
One can deduce from this that it may be better to not be so strident, and effective at preventing disgruntled youth to go fight there. Or just to go there.
Instead, why not let them examine the situation for themselves? Those who go help the like of the Islamist State ought to be seriously prosecuted, but only if they commit serious crimes. They should also be supported if they want to be re-instated in the West. (Some of the most experienced Secret Service types share this opinion.)
Here some more of the Financial Times prose on Charlie Hebdo: “Charlie Hebdo has a long record of mocking, baiting and needling French Muslims. If the magazine stops just short of outright insults, it is nevertheless not the most convincing champion of the principle of freedom of speech. France is the land of Voltaire, but too often editorial foolishness has prevailed at Charlie Hebdo.”
Financial Times’ Barber pursued: “This is not in the slightest to condone the murderers, who must be caught and punished, or to suggest that freedom of expression should not extend to satirical portrayals of religion. It is merely to say that some common sense would be useful at publications such as Charlie Hebdo, and Denmark’s Jyllands-Posten, which purport to strike a blow for freedom when they provoke Muslims, but are actually just being stupid.”
At least two of the people assassinated at Charlie Hebdo were “Muslim”: the police officer who rushed to the rescue of Freedom of Expression, and one of the authors and journalists of Charlie Hebdo. Apparently those two did not feel threatened by Charlie Hebdo, but, instead, collaborated with it so bravely that they risked their lives.
Claiming, as the Financial Times does, that provoking dangerous fanatics is provoking all Muslims, means that the Financial Times view all Muslims as dangerous fanatics. That’s sheer racism.
OBAMA IS NOT CHARLIE:
This is from a speech the president delivered to the United Nations General Assembly in 2012:
“The future must not belong to those who slander the prophet of Islam. But to be credible, those who condemn that slander must also condemn the hate we see in the images of Jesus Christ that are desecrated, or churches that are destroyed, or the Holocaust that is denied.”
Notice the total confusion: the Holocaust was the deliberate assassination of more than a dozen million people for so-called “racial” reasons (it’s not just the so-called “Jews” who were killed). Destruction of property, or desecration and slander, especially of people dead for more than a millennium, do not compare.
By saying that saying something not kosher about the so-called “Prophet” is the same as killing millions, Obama has clearly gone to the Dark Side. Or maybe his speechwriters, and he had no idea, or comprehension about what he was reading like a parrot.
Obama is supposed to defend Freedom of Expression. Instead he defended fanaticism of the worst type. So Charlie slandered, in the eyes of some beholders, and of Obama, a guy long dead, and Obama said, it was like killing millions. So now the bullets fly.
Who is culprit? These ignorant youth, who were orphans, or the much respected Nobel Peace Prize, much adulated throughout the West? Who is the most despicable?