The Library’s on Fire
Published: 2018-06-04

Censorship is like cancer, or a wildfire. Once it gets a spark, it spreads out of control faster than the fire that consumed the library at Alexandria two millennia ago. CODOH’s Castle Hill Publishers, of course, has been censored in a vital way by the final success of the World Jewish Congress in getting to expunge all mention (including the sale of used copies) of the opera omnium of Holocaust revisionism on March 6, 2017. (Opera omnium is Latin for “all works,” and was used in the index librorum prohibitorum of the Catholic Church to signify that all works of a particular author were prohibited for reading by the faithful of the Church.)

But even that Sonderbehandlung (lit.: “special handling”), to borrow a pregnant term from the lexicon of Germany’s World War II concentration camps, didn’t actually mean that “all works” of a proscribed author were banned; it only (at least until 1940 or so) meant that “all works” pertaining to theology or religious matters by the author were banned; unrelated subjects remained free to pass.

But on eBay, once the world’s premier site for the resale of used stuff, opera omnium (a term they don’t actually use) means: anything and everything written by a proscribed person including, presumably, Arthur Butz’s treatise[1] on Hilbert’s space-filling curve (in the subject area of electrical engineering). Thus, a recent effort to sell a used copy of David Irving’s 1989 Goering, concerning the Reichsmarschall of the Luftwaffe of Hitler’s Germany, found his listing expunged by the eBay censors on the grounds that “David Irving is a Holocaust denier.” No matter, it would seem, that the volume in question contained no “Holocaust denial,” even if any of Irving’s other works did.

Index Librorum Prohibitorum (Venice 1564)

The famous book-burnings of Nazi Germany photographed in 1933 and later would seem to have been opera omnium with regard to the authors branded “Jewish” by the regime in power in Germany at the time. This spirit would seem now to have infected the censors at eBay. They, also, would seem now to be prohibiting the works of certain authors opera omnium, perhaps so as to limit the spread of hatred and intergroup mistrust. Well, bully for them and their ostensible purposes.

In the meantime, the library of the world, like the library at Alexandria, is now well aflame, at least in the digital world that has all but rendered physical libraries, and even bookstores, obsolete. Subjects are extinguished, publishers (e.g., Castle Hill Publishers) are obliterated, and authors are banned opera omnium—with extreme prejudice, as from 1940 to 1966, after which the Index was discontinued.

The capacity of humankind to communicate with each other is being throttled—in keeping with the special interests of but a powerful few—even as the technological means for communicating with each other continue their headlong growth. It would seem there are many—or, again, a powerful few—who would keep us isolated from each other, in (induced) ignorance, which gives rise to fear, which in turn spawns hostility.

French economist Frederic Bastiat is said to have written, “When goods don’t cross borders, soldiers will.” A corollary of this, perhaps even more-trenchant, is “When ideas don’t circulate, bullets and bombs will.” The ignorance and fear that censorship engenders prepare a fertile bed for the seeds of hatred and hostility. And this, in turn, serves the evil purposes of those many (or powerful few) who stand to gain power and even veneration from the wars that ensue therefrom.

[1] Arthur Butz may be the father of Holocaust revisionism, at least in English, with his 1976 book The Hoax of the Twentieth Century: The Case against the Presumed Extermination of European Jewry. He is better-known today as a Holocaust revisionist than as the creative and productive scientist of electronics that he also is.


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Author(s): Jett Rucker
Title: The Library’s on Fire
Published: 2018-06-04
First posted on CODOH: June 4, 2018, 9:31 p.m.
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