We have to defend Kim Dotcom against efforts to associate him with Nazism simply because he possesses a copy of Mein Kampf.
It is a form of censorship when a person is being demeaned because of the philosophy espoused in a book he happens to own. [It should be noted that Dotcom is Jewish and forthrightly anti-Nazi.]
There is a sorry history of New Zealanders being penalized for possessing “extreme” political books. In 1921 Walter Nash (later to become Prime Minister) was convicted for importing “seditious” left-wing literature, and in the 1930s several Kiwi activists were imprisoned for possessing socialist books.
Many in the mass media have simply repeated the British tabloid-like slander against Dotcom. Some have tried to have it both ways, defending Dotcom’s right to own Mein Kampf, but then saying it is “creepy” to do so. A question for them: are museums also “creepy” for having Nazi memorabilia – and that from other brutal dictators?
People shouldn’t be discouraged from reading books like Mein Kampf. Knowing how fascists think is useful for identifying and countering neo-fascist groups today, like Golden Dawn in Greece. The question we have to answer is not whether these groups specifically identify with Hitler’s Nazi Party but whether they have a similar philosophy and practice. I haven’t got a full assessment of the Ukrainian groups like Svoboda and the Right Sector, often labeled as neo-fascist, but their uniformed armed militias, thuggish tactics and ethnic chauvinism does ring some bells. There is a sickening video on Youtube of an invasion of a Kiev TV station where a gang, including a Svoboda MP, beats the CEO and forces him to write a resignation letter. [Mind you, Putin’s people can also act like thugs.]
Like the “communist” smears of the McCarthy period, the “Nazi” smear against Dotcom is calculated to discourage people from looking at his message.
It is too early for me to make a proper assessment of the Internet Party because it has yet to determine so much of its policy. However, the policies for internet freedom, greater public access to the internet, and an end to state surveillance are ones I support. The party is right on with its call for New Zealand to withdraw from the Five Eyes spy network – and something the Internet Party, Mana and the Greens can unite behind.