ŠĒ• Sydney Morning Herald
The Bavarian Government is going to republish Adolf Hitler’s Mein Kampf after a ban of more than 67 years. The case shows why in suppression anything, including books and even names just leads to the creation of a conspiracy. People want to know why something is suppressed, or who is hiding, when the opposite of suppression, that of openness often leads to the same ends that suppression was attempting to do.
For me we shouldn’t ban things that are distasteful or offensive, we should mock the ideas, subject them to ridicule. To suppress them just gives them credence.
The truth is that in this digital world, there’s no such thing as suppression any more. Just ask the state government of Bavaria, which has decided to republish Adolf Hitler’s 1925 work¬†Mein Kampf¬†before the book’s copyright expires in 2015.
Rights to the book are owned by the Bavarian finance ministry, though publication of the work has been banned in Germany since 1945.
So why offer formal state publication to this book, from which the German people, on the whole, have spent the past 67 years firmly distancing themselves?
Because the book is so widely available – you can find the whole thing with a few keystrokes – that the only purpose being served by formal suppression is the conferment of an illicit thrill for those who track it down.
To publish the book in all its ugliness and stupidity and leaden prose, its fascinatingly silly perorations on racial purity – ”the titmouse seeks the titmouse,” intones the Fuehrer, at one point, in all seriousness – this is, in the present environment, the best way to strip the work permanently of its appeal to residual fans.
Deprived of its titillating suppression order, this banned book becomes ‚Ä¶ a book. A bad book, at that, for all sorts of reasons – most of which become thuddingly clear upon cracking it open. Similarly treated, a conspiracy theory becomes a theory, just like any other – nothing more.