Who’s next for the chop?

Communists are resolutely opposed to censorship and any restrictions on freedom of speech as a matter of principle. We fight to extend democracy to its utmost limits, as it creates the best conditions for the flowering of revolutionary and communist consciousness. Therefore, allideas, opinions and viewpoints should be fought over openlyand in full view of the masses.

There is now an alarming trend in the capitalist ‘democracies’ towards creepingcensorship, a form of state repression that dares not speak its name. Criminally, this covert censorship is sometimes encouraged by those who think of themselves as on the left. Witness the quiet satisfaction which accompanied the ‘banning’ of Christopher Bland’s The g-factor, which defended “scientific racism.”

The same fate is befalling the French intellectual, Roger Garaudy, former communist turned catholic, now a muslim. He is facing a prison sentence - under German-type ‘anti-hatred’ laws - for writing a book called The Founding Myth of Israeli Politics which questions the actual number of Jewish victims at Auschwitz. More dangerous - perhaps- is the fact that he questions the validity of the entire Zionist state, from its bloody inception in 1948.

Whatever the merits or faults of this book, the ideas in it should be debated openly, not shrouded in secrecy and shame. If The Founding Myth is genuinely anti-semitic, let us read it for ourselves and condemn it. If, on the other hand, it helps to undermine Zionist mythology, then it should be studied seriously.

Either way, communists condemn any attempts to imprison Garaudy. If he is jailed, who will be next?

Eddie Ford