The Holocaust Taboo as Prohibition
Prohibition is force imposed by superior agents on an action such as possessing drugs or expressing thoughts. More-strictly, it is legal force such as that imposed on persons possessing cocaine, or expressing doubts about certain institutions of official history, such as the Holocaust, in most of the countries of Europe. Prohibition is so widespread geographically and culturally that its (relative) absence is far more-notable wherever that may (fleetingly) exist than its presence. Despite its disastrous interlude (1919‑1932) of alcohol Prohibition and its leading role in the War on Drugs, the United States today remains the largest polity in which freedom of speech holds out against the tide of repression that has engulfed so many countries that until recently appeared as though they might cohere (as they falsely claim they do) with the United States in their protection of this essential human right.
The evils engendered by prohibition of drugs (including alcohol) are becoming more and more apparent to the public through the mainstream media on which so many of us still rely for the information on which we base our opinions in matters of public policy. Holocaust history, of course, remains utterly sacrosanct, punished swiftly and severely not only in the places where it is literally a crime to express certain opinions on the subject, but even where, as in the United States, it has not yet entered the criminal statutes. But Prohibition of Holocaust Revisionism, quite aside from the costs imposed by judges on offenders, works quite similar evil effects on the societies subject to it—effects comparable not just in nature, but also in magnitude to the effects, most of them unseen to its innumerable victims, worked by prohibition of drugs.
At bottom, it is simple tyranny, a crime whose name carries its own indictment. This tyranny is not that of a king, despot, or dictator, nor is it quite as pervasive as the tyranny of an informed, but domineering, majority. It is, rather, a tyranny of agents—agents who in the case of drugs might be moralists, jailers, police, and politicians eager to pander to the mass of these agents, whoever they might be. The bulk of this constituency, as is usual in such cases, is dupes whose own actual interests are impaired, rather than advanced, by the agenda they are gulled into supporting. The prohibition of Holocaust revisionism relies on a very similar constituency, like that of drug prohibition one that has been cultivated, deliberately and otherwise, over the decades since Harry Anslinger and Adolf Hitler (respectively) were in power. The moralists, in particular, may in the case of Holocaust revisionism be more-concentrated among Jews, but fundamentalist Christians add a powerful noise to the process as well, and they might also to the process of prohibiting the substances some people (including themselves) might wish to consume from time to time. Joining these are those many (including mostly dupes) who wish to protect or advance the cause of Israel, the “Jewish state” formed in the wake of the Holocaust and still today relying on it to excuse or camouflage the depredations to which it subjects not only its own Arab population but the countries that surround it—no matter how far away these might be.
It is simple tyranny. The argument could begin and end with that realization, but some ancillary details might serve to drive the point home for anyone not yet fully convinced.
The French economist Frédéric Bastiat was perhaps the first to bring to the fore the concept of The Seen and the Unseen—analogously the 7/8ths of any iceberg that is concealed to anyone above the surface of the water, that floats below the surface beneath every iceberg. Prohibition might be seen as a light gauze that overspreads our houses, buildings, streets, parks—everything and everywhere we go. During the day, it slightly mutes the sun, a welcome effect in some places, unwelcome in others, but everywhere dimming its light. At night, it obscures the moon somewhat, and many of the stars. That is, supposedly affecting only those “addicted” to “illegal” drugs and those who supply these addicts, it in fact imposes effects on all of us. Perhaps it leads us to shun certain people because they could be addicts, or much-worse and more-dangerous, they might even be “dealers” so far as the long arm of the law is concerned. And as to considered thought, we might suddenly find ourselves on the “wrong” end of this sort of calculus.
It might lead us to suspect and investigate our own children, if not for their health, then for their safety from that law that can not only subject them to the corrupting cruelties of the prisons, but forever foreshorten their access to regulated professions, subsidized housing, the military—life itself as it is doled out to us by the regulatory State. It leads into covert, risky dealings on our own accounts as we might on one dolorous occasion or another seek the solace of chemical relief on our own behalf or that of a loved one. And if any of these may ensue, it will lead us to adopt in this, as in so many other proscribed things, protective “coloring” that not only seeks to protect ourselves from the opprobrium (not to mention the denunciation) of others, but that also deflects any ministrations that might otherwise come forth from a society of close others animated by the desire and ability to render aid in a parlous interlude. It irresistibly demands duplicity and hypocrisy, if not on our own parts, then on the parts of those around us about whom we care the most.
So much for helping one another, or enjoying the help of those around us. Prohibition is a cancer on society, as society is conceived as the innumerable ways in which we cooperate with and help each other. Laws are interposed. And guns. And jails. Is this any way for us to get along with each other?
This legislation, formal and otherwise, of blasphemy of thought or chemical influences on thought/feeling is quintessentially Medieval—a great leap backwards for mankind. Along with kindred oppressions such as criminalization of “hate speech” or “micro-aggressions,” masquerades as an attempt to legislate morality, or comity at the very least, and it is risible even as advertised, to say nothing of the ring it metaphorically places through the nose of our masses for ready grasp by hands eager to lead us all in directions of their subversive choice. It is but one more of so many conspiracies to hijack the institutions of government to serve, in this case, a very-specialized opinion. And while notionally producing “security” for its intended beneficiaries, it grievously slights security for all of us, as the atrocities that made Charlie Hebdo famous the world over attest.
The delineation of “forbidden thought” bears much comparison, also, to a prohibition of the recent past (in Western countries—it remains alive and well in many parts of the world) called, clinically, homosexuality. The very countries today caught up in the mania to criminalize certain opinions regarding history have every one of them risen above the hoary tradition of criminalizing homosexuality, and even expression of such orientation in dress, mannerisms and even more-explicit behaviors. That these are quite the same countries might afford the inveterate optimist occasion to hope that they might rise above the Inquisition on historical heresy that they are currently caught up in. But in this matter of history, the agencies in play are constituted much-differently from the ones concerned in the matter of sexual orientation. The differences turn on such weighty matters as guns, tax revenues, school curricula, and even nuclear weapons, not to mention that old standby, religion. The constituency of drug criminalization is similarly constituted, without the “right to exist” of any particular country being part of it.
The layers of “gauze” today suffocating the masses of all the world are surely made up of much more than those concerning drugs and historical persuasions, even as we occasionally congratulate each other on having thrown off some layer or other represented by racism, sexism and other oppressive isms.
But the other layers have been in place for a long time, while the ones concerning drugs and this particular historical matter are truly new members of the vicious gang of excuses we find for tormenting and delegitimizing one another. If we hope over time to throw off some more of the old demons, might we at least now set about opposing the accretion of (these) new ones?
Freedom of thought. Freedom of dreaming. Freedom of speech.
Do you want them? Help yourself.
But they’re no good unless everyone has them.
Additional information about this document
|Title:||The Holocaust Taboo as Prohibition|
|First posted on CODOH:||July 8, 2016, 8:17 p.m.|