Thursday, February 09, 2006

Holocaust Palmer v. Muslim Cartoon Palmer

Palmer today:

The cartoon images of Muhammed may have been offensive. They may have been shocking to some. Perhaps publishing them was in bad taste. Maybe it was even a sin. But no one should be harmed for publishing them, nor should the Danish government either punish the publishers or apologize for their publication.

Palmer a year ago:

The ban on the swastika, images of Hitler, and other emblems of the National Socialist German Workers’ Party was imposed after the defeat of the Third Reich. And quite rightly, in my opinion, for it wasn’t merely a matter of “free speech,” but of preventing a brutal criminal conspiracy that had murdered millions from regrouping and taking back power. Banning it in, say, Canada or the U.S. would have been unjustified, as there was little chance that such people would organize to take over power here. (Ditto for restraining the speech of “holocaust deniers,” who should be allowed to peddle their crackpot views, which are about as plausible as denying the occurence of World War II.) But in the countries of Europe that had suffered through National Socialism, the ban was justified, on libertarian grounds, viz. a form of self-defense against known criminals.

Res ipsa loquitur.