Tuesday, July 12, 2005


It struck me last night that Hate Crime is very like the thoughtcrime in Orwell's dystopian 1984. While vaguely googling that today I found the the Thoughtcrime entry in Wikipedia - the free encyclopedia - includes a neat summary of my opinion. Suddenly I feel less alone.

Some people believe governments may be currently enforcing laws that implement a de-facto kind of thoughtcrime legislation. Prime among the laws accused of this are hate crime laws that mandate harsher penalties for people who commit crimes out of racism or bigotry. Opponents of those laws claim that all crimes are committed out of an element of hate, so that defining a specific subset of laws as 'hate crimes' is meaningless, and that these very laws in fact imply the inequality of citizens before the law ('castes' of special sub-groups benefiting from privileges other groups do not, e.g. ethnic or sexual 'minorities') and that the government should outlaw actions, not thoughts or states of mind.

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