[Marxism] Cartoon-Krieg

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Wed Mar 1 07:23:51 MST 2006

Politics as War by Other Means
by Lila Rajiva

Jyllands-Posten stood Clausewitz on his head.  Its now infamous cartoons of 
Mohammed are not so much speech as acts.  Acts of provocation and 
belligerence.  They are the latest round of politics as war by other means.

Make no mistake.  Jyllands-Posten is not in the business of promoting the 
freedom of speech.  Nor are the European governments that rallied to its 
defense.  What they claim is the license to injure the oppressed and 

The Sunday editor of Jyllands-Posten rejected the cartoons about the 
resurrection of Christ that Danish illustrator Christoffer Zieler submitted 
in April 2003: "I don't think Jyllands-Posten's readers will enjoy the 
drawings.  As a matter of fact, I think that they will provoke an 
outcry.  Therefore, I will not use them."1  Austria sent David Irving to 
prison for violating the law that criminalizes denying, trivializing, 
approving, or justifying the Holocaust.  At least ten other European 
governments have similar laws on the books.2  The cultural and political 
elite of Europe do not hesitate to suppress speech, in deference to the 
dominant group (as in the case of Zieler's Jesus cartoons) or with a view 
to upholding their pretense to anti-fascism (as in the case of prohibition 
of Holocaust denial).

The issue is not free speech.  The issue is power.  Who has it and who doesn't.

When the Jews were powerless, where did Jyllands-Posten stand?  In the 
1930s, the paper was infamous for its support for Italian fascism and 
German Nazism.  In 1933, it all but argued for the introduction of a 
dictatorship in Denmark:

     Det lige så kostbare som skadelige kriseforlig har skabt en sådan lede 
ved hele det parlamentariske styre, at sikkert et stort flertal af danske 
vælgere ville hilse en Mussolini, der ville og kunne handle 
samfundsmæssigt, og derfor måtte sætte politikerne på porten.

     The crisis agreement [the January 1933 deal -- Kanslergadeforliget -- 
between the Social Democratic-Radical government and the Agrarian Party 
(Venstre), which devalued the Danish currency, made public investments, and 
forbade both strikes and lockouts], which is as costly as it is harmful, 
has created such a loathing for the whole parliamentarian regime that a 
large majority of the Danish voters certainly would welcome a Mussolini, 
who could and would act in a socially responsible way and therefore would 
have to give the politicians their marching orders.3




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