Good folk, the Swiss

A Nazi salute is not illegal racial discrimination provided it is intended as a personal statement, Switzerland’s top court ruled on Wednesday.

The Federal Tribunal’s ruling, entitled “Hitler salute in public not always punishable,” said the gesture is a crime only if someone is using it to try to spread racist ideology to others, not simply declaring one’s own conviction.

Sounds about right. However vile your opinions are you should be allowed to express them. But perhaps not to attempt to convert….akin to incitement to violence possibly?

But much more importantly:

The Swiss were shocked by a mass march on August 1, 2000 when a neo-Nazi mob booed and humiliated then-Finance Minister Kaspar Villiger during his speech on the Ruetli and, according to the anti-racism commission, Adolf Ogi, who was Swiss president at the time, “had to apply for special protection during a national celebration, which was paid for privately”.

That’s the correct way to treat politicians. They want protection from the howling mob then they can pay for the protection themselves.

14 comments on “Good folk, the Swiss

  1. Isn’t the point of expressing a political opinion to convert those around you to your view though?

    This would seem to make it fine for the local AH appreciation society to go around saluting but not for the local Nazi party to do the same. So I guess the question is are some political ideologies so abhorrent that expressing them should be a crime? And obviously Switzerland is going to make those somewhat less criminal than its German-speaking neighbours.

  2. ‘That’s the correct way to treat politicians. They want protection from the howling mob then they can pay for the protection themselves.’
    Politicians are citizens and part of the states job is to protect citizens from howling mobs.

  3. “Politicians are citizens”

    That’s the mistake we’re making. Treating politicians as if they’re even human is problematic.

  4. “That’s the correct way to treat politicians. They want protection from the howling mob then they can pay for the protection themselves.”

    Are you losing your marbles, Tim?

  5. Sounds about right. However vile your opinions are you should be allowed to express them. But perhaps not to attempt to convert….akin to incitement to violence possibly?

    Sorry but what? The market place of ideas. Of course any idiot should be allowed not merely to express an idea, but also to convert. If the idea is sound, it will spread. If it isn’t, it won’t.

    The Court is trying to count angels on the head of a pin. How can you possibly distinguish between the two?

  6. Non-verbal “speech” should still be free.

    Also don’t accept the incitement to violence crap either. People–unless coerced– have a choice. Some scumbag saying” you should murder him/her/them” can be told NO. We do it to salesmen all the time.

  7. Bit odd to be praising Switzerland for this, given that it’s one of the most fascist, racist, anti-Semitic countries in Europe. Sure, they’re right on this one, but most likely for entirely the wrong reasons.

    Bear in mind that the Swiss only object to the socialism in National Socialism.

  8. My God you’re an ar$e Dave. Do you have the slightest bit of evidence to support a single one of those claims?

    Or are you just being an ar$e?

  9. That’s the correct way to treat politicians. They want protection from the howling mob then they can pay for the protection themselves.

    Even people like Bobby Anwar?

  10. I lived in Zurich for a while, not impressed with the Swiss much. Crikey, most of the women were real two-baggers.

    The Swiss more than any other country profited from the Nazis.

  11. But perhaps not to attempt to convert….akin to incitement to violence possibly?

    No. Whether its recognized or not, whether your government protects it or not, you, as a human being, have the right to free speech.

    That right also includes the freedom to try to convert others to your way of thinking.

    As long as your not actually inciting violence, which (violates other’s rights) you should be free to preach your filth.

    Racism takes many forms, from the ‘purge the other’ to ‘we don’t associate with your kind’.

    And a couple of other things associated – has repression ever eliminated the thing being repressed (rather than made people cling to it even harder)? Do you really want your government to have the authority to parse intent in these situations? Because from our experience over here, they’ll just take the interpretation that bolsters state power everytime.

  12. “We’d like to persuade you to vote for a party that wants to systematically exterminate group X” is also incitement to violence.

  13. I don’t agree.

    I doubt if a country where those with money for howling mobs win, would be that much fun. Indeed that seems to be exactly the case in Ukraine where US “N”GOs paid $5 bn for howling mobs to promote democracy by overthrowing the elected government.

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