Wednesday, February 05, 2014

False Dichotomy of the Day

Simon Jenkins has a really quite good article up on Comment is Fatuous, condemning the banning of  Dieudonné M'bala M'bala, not for what would be a perfectly acceptable reason of having a particularly silly name even for a Frenchman, but because he's, well, more than a little bit anti-semitic.

Go ahead and read it. Much better than the usual inter-sectionality infighting and blatent Marxism than normally fills those virtual pages.

Anyway, the bit I am whining about? This:
The greatest test for those who claim to champion liberty lies in their attitude to its opposite. How far will they tolerate the intolerable? ... Do they see the Pussy Riot performers as prisoners of conscience or as hooligans causing deep offence to Russia's state religion?
Obviously, they're both. If they had been fined a few hundred rubles for any damage they actually did (if they did do any - not all hooliganism is vandalism) to the fabric or fittings of the church, then I'd not be that bothered. They quite deliberately set out to cause deep offence to Russia's state religion (and, more particularly, to Russia's President.) But that is what freedom of speech is about (not that it is a tradition in Russia). So, I am also happy to recognise them as prisoners of conscience. Without any cognitive dissonance.

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