A court in Barcelona has ordered that a number of books be burnt, apparently for being written by Hitler and his henchmen. The symbolism of this would seem to have escaped them.
There is more background to this case than I can dig up, and all the links I have found are in Spanish, but the essentials of the case are these: a man called Pedro Varela who runs a bookshop in Barcelona has been jailed for selling Mein Kampf. He is not a pleasant character. The world would be a better place if he took a more relaxed attitude to diversity in his fellow man (and if he learnt a bit more history) but to lock him up for it seems a bit much. He doesn't appear to have practised or incited violence, and he is convicted only of spreading genocidal ideas, which refers again to the selling of books.
One important point in this is that the Supreme Court declared that Holocaust denial was not a criminal offence, though they took years to make the decision. On the other hand, the Law of Historic Memory brought out by Zapatero's government is a blatant attempt to legislate the truth, which is not a good sign in a democracy.
The exact reason for the destruction of the books is not clear from the article. There is a possiblility of some other motive than they themselves are illegal (there is a reference to his 'haber editado y distribuido en España sin autorización de sus titulares' which I find opaque- specifically the last two words), but the order for destruction only applies to the books related to the case, and the case is about spreading hate, not copyright or anything like that.
I don't defend Nazi ideas, neo or palaeo, as I don't defend communist ideas and the exaltation of leftwing tyrants, and I don't defend the spokesmen of the Basque terrorist movement. But I do defend the right of the people who hold them to exist, to think and speak, for the entirely selfish reason that if their right to do so is not respected, how long will mine be? And also because I like arguing with them. If it weren't for such stupid, unpleasant peoplr, how would I get to think that I'm good and clever?
(More for my own reference than the readers, I link also to this short article with a very long comments thread in which the 'home team' defends its heroes by shouting abuse and threats at those who disagree with them. Despite a few intelligent contributions, it descends into a slanging match between totalitarians who have made no attempt to listen to each other, and would just love to have the power to switch the other side off.)
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