Front Page Mag: Philip K. Dick’s story “The Minority Report,” made into a movie in 2002 directed by Steven Spielberg and starring Tom Cruise, takes us to a nightmarish Washington, DC, in the year 2054, where police arrest people based on crimes that psychics say they’re going to commit in the future. That dystopia could come to Britain 35 years early if the Tony Blair Institute for Global Change gets its way. According to the Guardian, the Institute has recommended that “a new law allowing for hate groups to be designated and punished before they turn to violence is needed in order to tackle far-right extremists.”
“Before they turn to violence” — that is, even if there is no indication that they will ever be violent.
The Guardian notes that the authors of Narratives of Hate: The Spectrum of Far-Right Worldviews in the UK, the Tony Blair Institute report calling for this, “acknowledge that the issue of linking violent and nonviolent extremism is contentious and steps would need to be taken to protect free speech.” more …
Opinion: Sign at the Holocaust Museum, Washington DC:
First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out — Because I was not a Socialist.
Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out — Because I was not a Trade Unionist.
Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out — Because I was not a Jew …
Those words were spoken by Martin Niemöller, a German Protestant pastor who supported Adolf Hitler and Jewish hatred — until he was sent to a concentration camp.
“In my native Teklenburg, there were many farmers who were in debt to Jewish moneylenders and livestock traders,” he told a German TV host in 1963. “At that time, the mood in this area was not systematically anti-Semitic, but it was intuitively and traditionally so, and I never questioned it.”
Niemöller’s sermons reflected his strong nationalist sentiment. He felt that reparations, democracy and foreign influence had led to damaging social fragmentation and an overemphasis on the individual in German society. Niemöller believed that Germany needed a strong leader to promote national unity and honor.
Niemöller cheered the rise of the National Socialist Party, voting for Hitler and openly echoing his nationalistic, pro-Christian, exclusionary rhetoric. “Niemöller remained an outspoken anti-Semite throughout the 1930s, justifying his prejudices by referring to Christian teachings that the Jews were guilty of deicide, the killing of Jesus,” the Holocaust Museum says.
Pressured by other German Christians, he became concerned that the Nazis were politicizing the church, excluding non-Aryans. In 1933, he founded the Pastors Emergency League (PEL) to address the issue. A year later, he and two Protestant bishops met with Hitler to discuss their concerns — “a turning point in Niemöller’s political sympathies,” the Holocaust Museum said, explaining why:
At the meeting it became clear that Niemöller’s phone had been tapped by the Gestapo (German Secret State Police) and that the PEL was under close state surveillance. Following the meeting, the two bishops signed a statement of unconditional loyalty to the Führer. In contrast, Niemöller had come to see the Nazi state as a dictatorship, one which he would oppose.
Niemöller’s sermons attacked the Third Reich’s attempts to control the church. The Nazis obviously didn’t like this very much. They sent him to Dachau, a German concentration camp.” source
The final sentence in Niemöller’s famous quotation provides the lesson for those who remain silent.
… Then they came for me and there was no one left to speak for me.