Food for thought: Illegal Books

Facebook suggests “Mein Kampf” as possible reading material to man who has liked books about the 2nd World War. “Mein Kampf” subconsequentally will not be suggested to people anymore. Further down the rabbithole is the question; should or shouldn’t we censor this sort of “literature”. Of course, I find it a bit crude to suggest “Mein Kampf” as possible interest simply based on other likes -but- is it really so strange to think that people may actually appreciate this suggestion? I like the quote “You cannot sedate all the things you hate” which to me seems that it applies to this too.

There’s no problem here. Just a consideration as to how far you’d go to prevent people from feeling discomfort. Should, for instance, this book be available in libraries?

In the Netherlands the suggestion was risen in the 2nd chamber (in 2007) that Mein Kamph should be free available on the market. A small majority of the 2nd chamber disagreed, so you can’t legally get this book in NL. If we disallow this book, why should we have issues with forbidding for instance Qu’ran?

For your amusement; this is the wikipedia list of all banned books known. Mein Kampf is on it too. Surprisingly, wiki states that “The Bible, the Qur’an, and the Torah have all been subjected to censorship and have been banned in various cities and countries.” 

Qu’ran is a book that is written in 2 parts. The first part is the good, loving part. The second part is the bad part. The bad part states that whatever is in the good part, can be forgotten if it helps further the cause of Qu’ran. It litterally is a way of life, a view on how to live as a Muslim, and why Muslims are better than others. It tells Muslims to lie and be violent to others, and serve them with a smile. Watch this for more info and a breakdown: Three things about Islam

If Qu’ran is allowed, then why not Mein Kampf? The Bible not different; there are awful passages and rules in the Bible. What’s the difference? And why is one book worse than the other? Or is it just a persistent hype?

Another quote: “The death of one is a tragedy, the death of a million is just a statistic”. It was Stalin who said this. We know how many jews were killed in the Europe World Wars. But who’s keeping tabs on how many are

killed for religion? Is this hurt a measurement for how harshly a book must be banned?

Should we cater to the ones who have the morbid curiosity to read this, or should we protect those who might potentially be hurt by the notion of it? And if we cater, then when? How soon is too soon? And if we protect, then how long? What’s reasonable?

Link to Dutch article

Notice how "Harry Potter, the Goblet of Fire" is banned in the US. Fun facts, huh.
Notice how “Harry Potter, the Goblet of Fire” is banned in the US. Fun facts, huh.

7 thoughts on “Food for thought: Illegal Books

  1. One of my favorite books, Master and Margarita, was severely censored for a long time, though I don’t think it was ever banned, huge sections were taken out. I’m not a big fan of banning any books. I think it was Mill who said something to the effect of ‘nothing can be lost by listening to the opposition’. If it wasn’t him, it was some other smart dude. But I like it. Simply reading the Quran will not convert you to Islam, just as reading Mein Kampf will not make you a Nazi. I’d go so far as to argue that knowing what we know about Hitler and WWII and the Holocaust now, reading Mein Kampf could in fact make people more aware of the language, logic, and emotion employed when someone is going down a completely dark path. Apparently it sounded good at the time, or there wouldn’t have been any Nazis. If we pretend that everyone back then was completely evil and motivated by things we could never be motivated by, doesn’t it open us up to making similar mistakes? Going down other dark paths? Reading books that helped motivate people to do terrible things may actually make us better, not worse.

    Or as Mad-Eye Moody put it: “Constant vigilance!”

    • I like your insights Samimi and I agree with you. Knowledge can be used wrongly but we shouldn’t let a few bad ones ruin it for us. It may always fall in hands that can’t cope with it, but there will always be more people who do learn and do positive. I don’t think (or want to believe) that humans are inherently evil, rather we can be made evil as we’re malleable. But unless driven to extremes, we won’t go there.

      We do have the occasional psychopath or sociopath, of course, but you know.. There are still more people who mean well 🙂

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