Section 7 of B.C.'s human rights act [which] makes it an offence for any person to publish "any statement, publication, notice, sign, symbol, emblem or other representation" that so much as "indicates discrimination or an intention to discriminate" against a protected group, or "is likely to expose a person or group or class of persons to hatred or contempt." No actual discrimination or hatred has to occur for an offence to occur. And, as pointed out on these pages over the past few weeks, truth is not a defence.Did you know you were living in a totalitarian society where you can't speak the truth if there is any chance someone or some group who is privileged, by the state, to be considered more socially or culturally marginal than you, claims to be hurt by what you say or write? Were you aware that to think is to discriminate and, effectively, to hate evil? and that to be human is to be inescapably resentful in some degree, to feel alienated by someone who is closer to the sacred center of attention than are you? Did the British Columbia NDP government that passed the above-quoted section of the Human Rights Act - which should be considered unconstitutional and long ago thrown out (but it's still here) - ever win an election on the question of whether British Columbia should be a totalitarian state where you cannot express (and hopefully make productive) your inevitable human resentments of others?
No, because the people who pass such legsialation are not themselves aware that they are full of hate and contempt, especially for those they declare - with much passion - full of hate and contempt: e.g. the Archie Bunker stereotype, the "bigoted white male Christian", the "reactionaries" who act as what Rene Girard called "mimetic doubles" for our heroic "progressives". No, our left-liberal elites think they're secular, but they have a very powerful religion, of a Gnostic variety, that responds to the great and gut-wrenching uncertainties of our conflict-ridden human existence by looking for guarantees of self-righteousness. They're against hate and contempt, you see. They must be on the side of the holy. They're right, and you contemptible one are not, unless you "think" and chirp like them. It's oh so Utopian and feel-goody.
To understand how their religion works, we have to understand their utter dependence on the figure of the victim, around which their self-righteous consensus develops. They are, to put it bluntly, a variety of death cult, of human sacrificers, only less honest about it than were, say, the Aztecs, or less aware of how their need for victims - in order to appear politically self-righteous in supposedly defending victims - tends to lead to the production of the needed victims, if only (but it is not only) most obviously by the stigmatization of "right-wing religious bigots" (which in turn creates a desire for a class of people to go through life as the putative victims of "right-wing religious bigots". In extreme cases the cult of "human rights" leads "freedom fighters" to make victims of "their" own people to put on display before the world media, always in need of victims of modern Western States, in order to champion a cause.
What would be a simple example of this religion's mindset? Well consider this excerpt from another opinion piece in today's National Post, regarding the scandal of the Canadian "human rights" police. Barry Cooper tells the story of a Christian who apparently thought he had the right to a critique of homosexuality (not of the personhood of homosexuals, which as a Christian he must consider divine), long a part of a Judeo-Christian culture for reasons that we could debate (if we lived in a free society):
Last November, Lori Andreachuk, QC, a Lethbridge divorce lawyer and chair of an Alberta human rights panel, decided that, by writing a letter to the editor, Stephen Boissoin exposed homosexuals to hatred and contempt, which violated the Alberta human rights act.But Barry - and this is my example and point illustrating the Gnostic and victimary religion that motivates the "Human Rights" world view of today's liberals - this insane question is not at all incidental to the mindset of those who promote and prosecute thought crimes. It is a perfect example of how the central revelatory event of the religion of White Guilt - i.e. the Holocaust - allows one to lose all sense of differences and scale: everything is reduced, or inflated, to the central truth: that Western Society, as exemplified by the middle-class and professional-led Nazis, can, when taking its "norms" and "prejudices" seriously, result in the absolute and unquestionable victimization of the perfectly innocent "Jew" by the perfectly evil "Nazi", and with the more or less active co-operation of every "normal" person and profession in the country. That did happen in 1930s-40s Germany, so does that mean we in contemporary Canada can't be trusted to do any better with our freedoms? But if we can't, how can we be protected from our "protectors" and their ideas about who is a victim and who a victimizer?
[...the]entire ["Human Rights"] process is skewed. Most obviously in that complainants get a free ride and defendants pay full legal freight. The taxpayers of Alberta paid for Levant's interrogation. A lawyer from the Alberta Attorney General's office was present at the Boissoin-Lund panel.
This meant that, unlike the procedure in a genuine court, even if the defendant wins, he loses -- money, if nothing else -- and even if the complainant loses, he wins by ensuring that potential critics will think twice about speaking up.
Worse, the common-law rules of evidence do not apply so that the most bizarre and unconnected phenomena can be introduced as if they were relevant. These tend to involve the "feelings" of the defendant. In principle, human rights panels are inquisitorial bodies operating in what is usually an adversarial legal context, but they lack the balance that characterizes both systems taken on their own terms.
Incidentally, the government lawyer at the Boissoin-Lund panel asked me one of the strangest questions I have ever answered in many cross-examinations as a so-called expert witness. "How," he asked, would I "distinguish" Boissoin's letter to the Red Deer Advocate from Hitler's Mein Kampf? I resisted the temptation to give the reply that came immediately to mind and provided a more or less civil answer.
Once the guarantee of the righteousness of the "victim" is determined by simply invoking memory of the Holocaust, all that remains for the neo-fascists of the "human rights" police is to insure that every worthy or potential victim of Western norms can now be clothed in the dress of the "Jew" and everyone who is in a position of normalcy, authority, power, or success in the Western world can be labelled a "Nazi". Many will have noted the leftist glee with which the Israelis and Americans have become the new Nazis. Those who have developed the power and means to lead and feed the world are now often the epitome of evil. Nazi antisemitism has given way to new left antisemitism. Mimetic doubles.
And so, the poor bugger who writes a "homophobic" letter to the editor can be fined and possibly jailed, be banned from speaking on given issues, because there is no essential difference - at least not in our human rights law - between his little Christian text and Mein Kampf. All sense of empirical discrimination - i.e. reference to facts and calm reasoning about the degree of one's reliance on the victim figure - is thrown out the door in a religious rush to the New Utopia. It is a passion that only creates a need for more victims in the guise of defending them.
I would like to be a bit more reflective about all this, but I'm damn angry (not that I ever get too angry) and I want to get this post up now, so I will conclude by quoting a better mind, Tom Bertonneau on the authors Howard Schwartz and Eric Gans:
The politically correct university is not only, as Schwartz notes, a "psychological regression" (159) into infantile narcissism, it is likewise a cultural atavism, a relapse into archaic, indeed sacrificial, forms of communal organization that belong more properly to the Stone or Bronze Age than to the twenty-first century of the Christian Era. I return here to the work of Gans, who argues in Signs of Paradoxthe Holocaust represents a cultural turning point in the Western moral imagination, by verifying in a massively empirical way the essential Christian revelation that communal solidarity based on persecution and victimization is evil. "Our ideal moral certainties are re-grounded in the opposition between (Nazi) persecutor and (Jewish) victim" (188). But it is really a good deal more complicated than this, because:Bertonneau, Gans, and Schwartz are liberating thinkers, devoted to the true liberation of each and every individual, regardless of sex or race, from group passions and resentments. But I have my doubts if anyone in British Columbia would dare publish them, given the expensive frustrations the new Nazis of the Candian "human rights" commissions could throw at you for revealing an ugly religion - their religion - for what it is.The descent of the absolute into the empirical world is the moment of its undoing. As soon as we posit an absolute difference between victim and persecutor, the underlying symmetry of their relation reasserts itself. When the SS torturer becomes the villain of the war film, he is turned into a sacrificial figure, a scapegoat, [a] structural equivalent of the Jud Suss in Nazi cinema. In the already tiresome clarity of this asymmetry, culture has been abandoned to youth; adults are too world-weary to participate wholeheartedly in the eternal and now transparent structure of victimary resentment. Group resentment has replaced individual resentment - the point of essential difference between the high and the popular - as the primary object of cultural deferral. (188-189)Gans remarks howa long-lost Dionysian frenzy reappears in the ecstatic forms of postwar popular culture, in its music and dance, the audience of which more than that of any other popular form incarnates "the people." These central dramas of the youth-culture are not coincidentally the most subject to black and other minority influences. The rhythms and chord progressions of popular music dissolve individuality in a real or imaginary group movement that is the historical heir to sacrificial ritual. They create, in an imaginary context, the resentful unanimity of the sparagmos [ripping apart and distribution of the sacrifice or victim]. (189).Schwartz's "Revolt of the Primitive" and Gans's atavism of a minoritized "youth culture" are, I believe, aspects of the same epochal cultural transformation. The primordial mother is the ringleader and youth (always in a rainbow coalition of sexually ambiguous misfits) are her press gang. Schwartz interprets the phenomenon more pessimistically than does Gans, who notes, but does not particularly stress, the sacrificial character of the new, resentment-driven forms of collective identification. Yet Gans does admit that "what is new in our era is the promotion of non-integrative local theories - as though they were the only theories conceivable and it were no longer possible for the human community to think of itself as a whole" (198). He also notes how "feminism and other minority approaches, which maintain their link with universal thought only through the unacknowledged mediation of the Christian centralization of the victim, are fast driving out other forms of cultural interpretation" (198). Gans' "non-integrative local theories" are nevertheless deeply troubling, not least because their most recent prototype appears to lie exactly in the ferocious biological dualism of Hitlerian anti-Semitic policy, as "non-integrative" as you can get. Paradoxically, of course, the proliferating new ubermenschen find their superiority to all others in their own alleged victimization, which then becomes the pretext to victimize all who would deny the in-group's special (mother-authorized) victim-status. The lese, as it were, proves the majesty. Where the lese does not exist, which means just about everywhere, it is necessary to invent it. There is much burning of the Reichstag. Schwartz catches the same paradox, noticing that the eidos of women in the regime that they now obviously control is a contradictory one, simultaneously a picture of "passive, hopeless victim" and "exemplars of the primordial mother" (158).
As Barry Cooper says, in the conclusion to his article, "Grow Up, People". Now is the time to demand our politicians pay attention to the growing outcry, so far limited largely to cyberspace, and insist they remove from all human rights legislation the ability of the state to police "hate speech". One may argue for retaining a criminalization of an incitement to violence, but in a free society we are best protected from hate by everyone having the freedom to speak out and show the hateful what they are, in full light of day. The state cannot really protect us, for it is the biggest threat. We must each, as individuals, sign a covenant to act as guarantors of each other's freedom. As the Mark Steyn and Ezra Levant cases make clear, we as a civilization presently have no sane understanding of what human rights really are. And if the Mainstream Media are any indication, we have little will to stand up and defend them, in face of state evil. If you need a better understanding start by reading Cooper and O'Neill in full, two of only a few opinion pieces you will find in the Canadian papers; digest their arguments and then sit down and do your civic duty and write your provincial and federal politicians and tell them to fire the censors, now! They have no right to impose their religion and need for victims on the rest of us. They are not the good guys. You are, if you act now, in defense of freedom which is always the surest guarantee of our ability to minimize human violence. There is not some all-wise figure in the government, some Gnostic elect, who know how to do it better than millions of Canadians, liberated to speak their minds, to defend each other, in daily life.