General Question

Mtl_zack's avatar

Should Mein Kampf and other "evil manifestos" be banished?

Asked by Mtl_zack (6751points) February 23rd, 2009

This is insipired by this thread.

Freedom of speech. many people want freedom to express or say what they want, but they refuse to let it be a two way street. It is a two way street. When Voltaire had an interview with someone (I forget who), the interviewer said something very offensive to Voltaire. Voltaire replied “I don’t like what you are saying, but I will defend your right to say it” I’m paraphrasing

Learn from the mistakes of the past. If a “bad” book is banned, how will future generations learn from the mistakes? If another power similar to Hitler gained power, wouldn’t it be easier to know the enemy? Doesn’t it make it a lot easier to tackle a situation like that if you know the pattern it will follow?

These were my views. Express yours please!

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21 Answers

mjchatter's avatar

No books should be banned – if you don’t want to read them then Don’t. And yes.,, Freedom of speech means what you don’t want to hear too!

augustlan's avatar

No. There is as much to be learned from horrible examples as there is in wonderful examples.

Vinifera7's avatar

No. I am not a big fan of fascism.

aprilsimnel's avatar

Why hide what Hitler or any person like him thinks? I want to be able to look my enemies in the face.

Mamradpivo's avatar

No, absolutely not. Knowledge is power and we can’t deny people any knowledge of who Hitler was or how he did what he did.

Spargett's avatar

That’d be using the same logic within those books.

Bri_L's avatar

Nope. Only the authors. Kidding.

Bluefreedom's avatar

No, books should not be banished and they certainly shouldn’t be burned either. The abomination that wrote “Mein Kampf”, and all of his minions, should have been burnt instead of all the books they destroyed in this manner.

La_chica_gomela's avatar

No, they’re an excellent learning tool. Just like if you asked if I thought we should demolish Auschwitz, because of all the the horrors that it represents, I would say ‘no’. People should know what happens in the world. Just because something is ugly doesn’t mean you should cover it up, it means you should look it in the face, so that you can better confront other uglinesses that hide in prettier packaging, or seem “different”. Like how GLBT rights and civil rights and human rights are “different”.

eponymoushipster's avatar

I don’t think banning them will do any go, especially in this day and age. And banning something like Mein Kampf will only make it more desirable to certain sectors. that said, i believe it is banned in Germany, as are any Nazi memorabilia.

whatsmore, i think every child so be required to visit a/the holocaust museum, and see what happened.

i haven’t been to the one in DC, but i’ve visited Auschwitz, and i’ll never forget it.

Bluefreedom's avatar

@eponymoushipster. I visited Dachau many years ago and it was a very sobering and unforgettable experience. I know exactly how you feel.

LocoLuke's avatar

They say that those who don’t know history are bound to repeat it, and doing something like banning these books, as horrible as the ideas in them are, would be akin to forcing people to forget history. As long as people are aware of what those ideas caused, I have no problem with it.

cheebdragon's avatar

Free speech carries with it some freedom to listen.

Jack79's avatar

I don’t think any book should be banned, though perhaps certain books should have different ratings (thinking mainly of adult books here) and of course you should be aware of what it is. I would not like to see “mein Kampf” in the local newsagent’s, but of course it should be available for study at the library, as it is an important document that has influenced the lives (and deaths) of millions of people in the 20th c.

There is no book that I can imagine, no matter how evil, that should ever be burnt (except symbolically of course).

jrpowell's avatar

Abstinence only for the brain. I will pass. It won’t work unless the goal is to make people stupid. Or make stupid babies.

EmpressPixie's avatar

Absolutely not. Thank god for the ACLU.

steelmarket's avatar

Banning would mean that there would have to be a group of powerful “banners”. Censorship and the manipulation of information worries me. Now, should every library be required to have a copy? No, that would another type of manipulation.

cwilbur's avatar

Two points:

1. if Mein Kampf (for instance) is not banned, then people can read it and respond to it intelligently. This particularly includes discussions of why it’s a a dangerous book and what we learned from the last time it hit the bestseller lists. It does more good as an open and available example of what not to do than any attempt at banning it could accomplish.

2. if there’s a group powerful enough to ban Mein Kampf, that group is also powerful enough to ban any other book. Do I want a group that can decide for me what I can and cannot read?

cheebdragon's avatar

**Cough * 1984 * Cough Cough**

ignorantsavage's avatar

banning something is violence and violence always rebounds upon its self no matter how well intentioned. best to let it run its course instead of giving it validity and a enemy. Also there are good things to be learned from anything.

adreamofautumn's avatar

No they shouldn’t. The best way to learn from the past and not repeat the past is to not forget the past.

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