From Communism's "Enemy of the People" to PC's "Hate Criminal"

Article excerpt

Class war and the class struggle were central to the Marxist-Leninist analysis of society and its institutions. Opponents, real or frequently imagined, were attacked with ferocious zeal and demonised, variously as "counter-revolutionaries", "wreckers" or "enemies of the people". The author of this essay argues that "hate crime" and the "hate criminal" belong to the same order of ideological construct as communism's "wrecker" or "enemy of the people". Laws to combat racism and xenophobia (however defined), hate crime legislation and speech codes, it shall be argued, are an attempt to silence critics of multiculturalism. Criminalising dissent is a direct assault on free speech and the pursuit of truth and thus attacks one of the foundations of the West. Given that many other fundamental freedoms rely on the robust defence and exercise of free speech, attacks on free speech undermine these other freedoms.

Key Words: Censorship; Communism; Diversity; Free speech; Hate speech; Heterophobia; Homophobia; Lenin; Mao; Marxism-Leninism; Mill; Multiculturalism; Property rights; Racism; Rule of law; Self-censorship; Sexism; Soviet constitution; Xenophobia.

Communists, taking their lead from Lenin, expended vast amounts of energy attacking and damning ideological opponents. Western capitalist states were the man external target. Internally, the enemy varied according to the party's goals: peasants or kulaks during the Terror Famine or bigger fish during the Great Terror. As a collection of wealthy and powerful states, and despite the best efforts of fellow travellers, the West was in a position to counter Soviet attacks by highlighting the huge discrepancies between communist party propaganda and the grim realities of Soviet life. Inside the Soviet Union the struggle against the class enemy or enemy of the people was conducted in a far more one-sided manner, given that the state enjoyed a total monopoly in the dissemination of ideas and information. To be targetted as a dissenter in the Soviet Union could mean anything from harsh social ostracism and self-criticism at work to arrest and execution. The enemy of the people was an essential construct in all the party's media campaigns. During Stalin's Great Terror the Soviet people were told that many of the Bolsheviks who had made the revolution with Lenin and Stalin were in fact Western agents of one kind of another or, worse still, that they were in secret contact with the great Satan, Trotskii. In its Chinese variant communist thugs rooted out "enemies of the people" during Mao's Red Terror, compelling innocent people to admit to a whole range of bizarre, ideologically motivated, politically incorrect "crimes".

Political correctness, which became an issue in the West at the start of the 1990s, originated in the Soviet Union, undergoing various mutations on its way from Moscow via Peking to the West's universities and final modification by the new left. One key difference between old and new left was that whereas the old left concentrated on the means of production, the new left abandoned heavy industry, as it were, and set about seizing control of the means of expression. In the post-industrial society this gives the new left real power and influence way beyond its size. One thing both variants of the left retain though is the carefully constructed hate figure. For the old left it would have been the capitalist and his bourgeois lackeys who appeared in grotesque caricature in Pravda cartoons. Two important hate figures for the new left are patriarchy and the white, heterosexual, middle class male: patriarchy occupies center stage in feminist demonology, and for multiculturalism the hate criminal and enemy of the people is the white, heterosexual, middle class male.

Multiculturalism is a cult and article one of the cult is that all evil in the world arises from the white male and his "civilization". His being heterosexual is in itself oppression since the society he has constructed has marginalised and punished homosexuals and women and, moreover, on the basis of the thoroughly erroneous belief that sex and sex differences are biologically and genetically determined, whereas they are, as every enlightened member of the cult knows, socially and politically constructed. …