Thursday, January 15, 2015

What's Next? Thoughtcrime?

Yesterday I wrote a brief post on how the French government, despite massive outpourings in defense of free speech in the wake of the Charlie Hebdo massacre, is moving to severely curtail that right for those with whom it disagrees.

The Toronto Star has an editorial strongly condemning the French action, using the following examples to bolster its expression of odium:
...the French authorities have arrested comic Dieudonné M’bala M’bala and more than 50 others including several minors for voicing unpopular views of their own.
Not accused of any acts of terrorism,
they ran afoul of France’s tough laws against glorifying terrorism, promoting anti-Semitism and indulging in hate speech. They were arrested for saying what they think.
What was Dieudonné's 'crime'?
He posted — briefly, before deleting it — a Facebook notice that declared “as far as I’m concerned I feel like Charlie Coulibaly,” a reference to the gunman Amédy Coulibaly who killed a police officer and four people at the supermarket. Offensive as that posting was, does it rise to the level of a crime?
The BBC reports that people have already been jailed for making drunken threats against police, for posting a video mocking one of three murdered officers and for shouting “long live the Kalash” assault rifle at police in a shopping centre.
Canadians should not feel complacent over the fact that this crackdown on rights is happening a continent away, given the profoundly anti-democratic bent of the regime we currently groan under at home.

Can facecrime and thoughtcrime be far behind?


  1. Replies
    1. That's right, Karen. I had entirely forgotten about that 'ugly' episode. Thank you for the timely reminder!

  2. When images of the boot on the face are used, wouldn't it be appropriate to give some credit to Jack London

    1. Thank you for pointing that out, Anon. The imagery is so closely associated with Orwell that I was unaware of London's influence on him.