Combating “Hate”: The Trojan Horse for Precrime

Philip K. Dick’s 1956 novella The Minority Report created “precrime,” the clairvoyant foreknowledge of criminal activity as forecast by mutant “precogs.” The book was a dystopian nightmare, but a 2015 Fox television series transforms the story into one in which a precog works with a cop and shows that data is actually effective at predicting future crime.

Canada is trying to enact a precrime law along the lines of the 2015 show, but it is being  panned about as much as the television series. Ottawa’s online harms bill includes a provision to impose house arrest on someone who is feared to commit a hate crime in the future. From The Globe and Mail:

The person could be made to wear an electronic tag, if the attorney-general requests it, or ordered by a judge to remain at home, the bill says. Mr. Virani, who is Attorney-General as well as Justice Minister, said it is important that any peace bond be “calibrated carefully,” saying it would have to meet a high threshold to apply.

But he said the new power, which would require the attorney-general’s approval as well as a judge’s, could prove “very, very important” to restrain the behaviour of someone with a track record of hateful behaviour who may be targeting certain people or groups…

People found guilty of posting hate speech could have to pay victims up to $20,000 in compensation. But experts including internet law professor Michael Geist have said even a threat of a civil complaint – with a lower burden of proof than a court of law – and a fine could have a chilling effect on freedom of expression.

While this is a dangerous step in Canada, I also wonder if this is where burgeoning “anti-hate” programs across the US are headed. The Canadian bill would also allow “people to file complaints to the Canadian Human Rights Commission over what they perceive as hate speech online – including, for example, off-colour jokes by comedians.”

There are now programs in multiple US states to do just that –  encourage people to snitch on anyone doing anything perceived as “hateful.”

The 2021 federal COVID-19 Hate Crimes Act began to dole out money to states to help them respond to hate incidents. Oregon now has its Bias Response Hotline to track “bias incidents.” In December of 2022, New York launched its Hate and Bias Prevention Unit. Maryland, too, has its system – its hate incidents examples include “offensive jokes” and “malicious complaints of smell or noise.”

Maryland also has its Emmett Till Alert System that sends out three levels of alerts for specific acts of hate. For now, they only go to black lawmakers, civil rights activists, the media and other approved outlets, but expansion to the general populace is under consideration.

California vs. Hate, a multilingual statewide hotline and website that encourages people to report all acts of “hate,” is coming up on its one-year anniversary, reportedly receiving a mere 823 calls from 79% of California’s 58 counties during its first nine months of operation. It looks like the program is rolling out even more social media graphics in a bid to get more reports:

A key question is why states like California are rushing to expand the definition of hate. Officials in the Golden State like Governor Gavin Newsom claimed it was because of a rise in reported hate crimes – up 33 percent from 2020 to 2021. A deeper look at the data, however, shows that Newsom is guilty of cherry picking. From Public:

But convictions of hate crimes have been flat. In 2012 there were 107 hate crime convictions in California. In 2021, there were 109, according to the same data. It’s possible that hate crimes really did rise by 80%, and juries decided not to give prosecutors convictions. …But it’s also possible that convictions stayed the same because there was no increase in prosecutable hate crimes. And it may be that Californian prosecutors simply labeled more crimes as “hate” crimes because they were primed to do so by the media’s 700% – 1,000% increased focus on racism between 2011 and 2020.

I’m likely omitting other states with similar programs, but it’s clear that there is a push across the country. No doubt, these efforts to eliminate hate also have other benefits for the ruling class.

In a state like California or New York, there is the added bonus that the program ends up being a massive giveaway to a key part of the Democratic base – the nonprofit industrial complex that is helping to bring this system into existence.

These programs also help spread fear that hate is around every corner, which could allow for an erosion of rights under the guise of eradicating “hate.”

There’s also the issue of who is providing the definitions for hate that go beyond the laws already on the books for hate crimes. The California Senate Public Safety Committee analysis stated the following about the CA vs. Hate program:

A hate incident is an action or behavior motivated by hate but legally protected by the First Amendment right to freedom of expression.

That leads to the question of why the state is encouraging people to report and is collecting information on legally protected “behavior.” And where does the expanded definition come from? The committee stated the following:

Define hate incidents with language provided by the Anti-Defamation League.

The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) is a non-governmental organization based in the US, whose stated mission is “to stop the defamation of the Jewish people, and to secure justice and fair treatment to all.”

But there’s a little more to it than that. In May 2022, Jonathan Greenblatt, CEO of the ADL, announced that, “Anti-Zionism is anti-Semitism.” He also labeled groups that want equal rights for Palestinians in Israel as “extremists” and likened Israel critics to white supremacists. More from Boston Review:

…the ADL has consistently sought to undermine the left, leveling a charge akin to dual loyalty: that the American left’s calls for redistribution of power, its solidarity with global movements, and its prioritization of people over states threaten the very concept of the state. Indeed the ADL, in addition to its stated mission of shoring up U.S. support for Israel, is deeply loyal to the U.S. state. The second is that the ADL has waged a long, vigorous, and successful campaign, alongside AIPAC, specifically to characterize Arab American political organizing as dual loyalty.

Maybe this isn’t an organization that should be defining hate for US governments. We have the International Holocaust Remembrance Association (IHRA) for that.

In March South Dakota became the 35th state to codify the IHRA’s working definition of antisemitism. The law requires the consideration of the definition of antisemitism when investigating unfair or discriminatory practices.That definition includes the traditional elements of antisemitism but also inserts elements that could move the state of Israel under antisemitic protections. Consider the following from the IHRA’s definition:

  • Denying the Jewish people their right to self-determination, e.g., by claiming that the existence of a State of Israel is a racist endeavor.
  • Applying double standards by requiring of it a behavior not expected or demanded of any other democratic nation.
  • Drawing comparisons of contemporary Israeli policy to that of the Nazis.

A 2022 UK study published in Springer Nature found the following about the IHRA’s definition:

…pro-Israel activists can and have mobilised the IHRA document for political goals unrelated to tackling antisemitism, notably to stigmatise and silence critics of the Israeli government. This causes widespread self-censorship, has an adverse impact on freedom of speech, and impedes action against the unjust treatment of Palestinians. We also identify intrinsic problems in the way the definition refers to criticism of Israel similar ‘to that leveled against any other country’, ambiguous wording about ‘the power of Jews as a collective’, lack of clarity as to the Jewish people’s ‘right to self-determination’, and its denial of obvious racism.

Despite that effect, and despite the 2021 Hate Crimes Act, which provided more money and more programs to collect data on all “hate incidents,” there are still complaints that it all still isn’t enough because they don’t prevent “hate” but only address what takes place afterwards. To fix that, a precrime system will be necessary.

***

Predictive policing – which uses computer systems to help direct the deployment of police to crime hotspots – has been widely discredited as biased and worthless.

The Markup found that predictive policing does not work – at all. It took a look at efforts by Geolitica, known as PredPol until a 2021 rebrand, and its software that ingests data from crime incident reports and produces daily predictions on where and when crimes are most likely to occur. From The Markup:

We examined 23,631 predictions generated by Geolitica between Feb. 25 to Dec. 18, 2018 for the Plainfield Police Department (PD). Each prediction we analyzed from the company’s algorithm indicated that one type of crime was likely to occur in a location not patrolled by Plainfield PD. In the end, the success rate was less than half a percent.

It is also biased, despite efforts to make it less so. MIT Technology Review points out:

…many developers of predictive policing tools say that they have started using victim reports to get a more accurate picture of crime rates in different neighborhoods. In theory, victim reports should be less biased because they aren’t affected by police prejudice or feedback loops.

But a University of Texas study found this method still led to significant errors:

 For example, in a district where few crimes were reported, the tool predicted around 20% of the actual hot spots—locations with a high rate of crime. On the other hand, in a district with a high number of reports, the tool predicted 20% more hot spots than there really were.

While these predictive policing spatial models prove biased, what if to counter those criticisms you begin to roll out programs to “protect” minorities by preventing hate crimes? Could an approach that treats each individual as a collection of data points (including any “hate incidents”) be predictive of a future hate crime?

Efforts to do just that date back to at least the early 1970s. When UCLA tried to set up a center for the study of violence.The Center for the Long-Term Study of Life-Threatening Behavior was intended to re-think human functioning itself in terms of data and was going to compile behavioral data to understand crimes that were “in formation.”

The center never officially opened its doors, however, as it got caught in the backlash against psychosurgery when groups like the Black Panthers and Nader’s Raiders protested against it.

But the rethink of humans as a collection of data points that can predict crimes in formation never really went away, and is now inching closer to becoming a reality. What is Canada’s proposed law other than a method to use data to measure “dangerousness” and preemptively punish suspects?

As MIT Technology Review pointed out above, there are efforts underway to use victim reports to counteract bias, but the University of Texas study was still trying to use them to predict where a crime might occur and not who might commit the crime.

I should point out that it’s unclear what states are doing with all the info collected from reported hate incidents, particularly the details on the alleged perpetrators. I reached out to the California Civil Rights Division weeks ago to get an answer but have yet to receive a response.

There is a clear line of thinking that these hate incidents can be predictive of future crime, however. That’s what the Canadian bill claims. Back in 2019 NYU researchers claimed to use AI to show that “online hate” could be predictive of offline violence. Could all these efforts to gather data on hate “incidents” be laying the groundwork for precrime detention along the lines of what Canada is attempting?

For those who would like to see the adoption of a precrime system, one of the benefits of focusing on individuals and hate crimes is that it could help diffuse the bias criticism of predictive policing from groups typically suspicious of increased law enforcement powers. Indeed, many of the groups helping to implement the hate incident hotlines in US states are nonprofits focused on minority groups.

As the state efforts above show, the definition of what constitutes a bias or hate “incident” are slippery and many interested parties would like to shape that definition. Again, there are already hate crime laws on the books, and I have yet to encounter an explanation for why these laws are so ineffective that it’s necessary to encourage people to rat on one another in order to gather data on hate incidents.

Placed alongside burgeoning censorship efforts, it begins to make more sense. If we look at Canada’s effort to establish official pre-hate-crime law enforcement, it’s one that would mark the official end of free speech and lead to a dystopian society revolving around the fear of being targeted – either by an individual or AI.

Even without official precrime laws on the books, there are already ways that these efforts to combat “hate” are attempting to stifle speech. Naked Capitalism readers don’t have to look far for errors (or intentional targeting) in this system as Google’s AI targeted this site for “hateful content” among other alleged sins.

And there’s the issue with “hate.” It could mean a racist comment or action; it could also now refer to criticism of Israeli policy or a thought crime against the ruling class. It apparently does not refer to elite policy in California, for example, where the gap in life expectancy between the richest and poorest percentiles increased to 15.51 years in 2021 (which seems like the hateful result of hateful policies if you ask me). What happens if Californians begin to make hateful comments about that fact?

We don’t have to only look to fiction like Minority Report for answers. California’s own history provides a great example of the real use of these burgeoning programs to purportedly combat “hate.”

The California Criminal Syndicalism Act of 1919 prohibited speech that suggested the use of violence for political aims. It came at a time when workers were winning important battles in the class war raging across the state. California started locking up Wobblies en masse. As Malcolm Harris describes in his book Palo Alto:

Wobblies filled San Quentin, the Bay Area’s only prison, on bullshit charges that could hold them for up to 14 years. In Southern California, the police teamed with a resurgent KKK to bust the waterfront union, and the IWW was lucky if the cops decided to merely stand by and watch. …By the end of the decade, the state organization was jailed and beaten into submission.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

47 comments

  1. CanCyn

    Thanks for this Conor. I breathed a big sigh of relief when Canada’s new hate legislation was tabled but do worry that it will be enacted sooner or later. I already feel myself stifled when talking to others, worried that if, in whatever specific we’re talking about, my opinion aligns with other notions thought to be extreme or disagreeable e.g. Trump is not a warmonger or Hilary is a greedy money grubber, I will be labelled as a MAGA. I’ve been told that such opinions are outrageous. Now I see that, according to the ADL, I’m an extremist for supporting Palestine. I am reminded of East Germany and the STASI.
    In my family, teasing, funny nicknames and name calling were common ways of interacting and were always received as the humour with which they were intended – probably some of the things we used to say to each other would now be considered hate crimes. See Carlin’s bit on ‘the dozens’. I guess ‘sticks and stones…’ no longer applies.

    Reply
    1. jrkrideau

      The legislation was probably not a great idea but it looks like it was simply replacing similar legislation that the Harper Gov’t repealed.

      If the Harper Gov’t repealed it, one has to go, “Hummm … maybe there is something to this new legislation.

      Reply
    2. chris

      Totally agree. I don’t live in Canada and everytime I see something like this coming from Trudeau and his sympathizers I wonder when it will hit us in the States.

      I’m reminded by the play “I am a Camera” – which was the basis for Cabaret. People could see the culture was sick and things were going in a bad direction well before the troubles began. I wonder what moment we’ll live through which crystallizes all the awful state actions from before it? I also worry what we in the Commentariat should do to avoid tripping censors here. I already refer to the Banderites in Ukraine as “Naughtzis” both as a joke and to make it harder for scrapers to hit on something. That seems to work for FB and other platforms. Is there something of a lexicon we should begin to use here to make it less likely for officials to further burden Yves and Co. with demonetization and censorship? Or is even attempting to get ahead of that a step too far in the direction of the official status quo?

      Reply
      1. CanCyn

        Thanks Chris. I think about speaking in code too but would it make things problematic for newbies to the site? Perhaps not…humans can certainly understand naughtzies while bots cannot – at least until someone adds it to the list of words to look for. And code works for a community like the NC commentariat but doesn’t allow for conversing about our thoughts and exploring our differences in the ‘real world’

        Reply
        1. chris

          Yeah, I know. We’ll be in “he who must not be named” categories soon if we adopt code. But automatically applying the nuisance to our hosts also seems wrong. Because the system we’re up against is to minimize or eliminate any human requirement. That benefits the censors two main ways. First, it means they have an easy excuse when the algorithm is wrong. Second, they don’t have to think about it. “Oh sorry. It did that? Strange. You must have done something wrong. But I’ll make sure our best people look at that issue soonest. Tah!”

          Reply
          1. ambrit

            Another problem here is that effective counter actions to censorship and oppression are soon demonized and then made illegal.
            I go back to the Frederick Douglass quote.
            “Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will.”
            Strangely enough, the rabid gunnuts had it right. Change a word or two and we have; “They’ll get my rights when they pry them from my cold, lifeless fingers.”
            Stay safe.

            Reply
  2. timbers

    Isn’t arming supporting or speaking out in support of foreign nations at war (Ukraine, Israel) a pre-crime? Isn’t much of what government officials and MSM say about Russia a hate crime?

    If the law were rigorously applied to government officials, MSM talking heads, reporters, columnists, the Nulands and Kagans and Blinkens and Bidens and Hillary’s and Trump’s and Truduea’s of the world, the WH press secretaries and official who support Israel and Ukraine and express hatred of Russians were rounded up and imprisoned under this law…I would support it.

    But it’s aimed at citizens who oppose government policies. As usual, Western leaders are projecting their own crimes and vices upon others, to be used against them if the speak what is actually happening that contradicts government agenda. This is not an exception to that. A law for the elite, by the elite, of the elite. Where is the outcry and grass roots support for nonsense like this? Or are we to believe average Joe’s are out speaking about this, fast food workers, managers, sports enthusiasts, folks in the bar down the street, truck drivers and factory workers striking in support of it, and church goers teachers and social workers are demanding this?

    Reply
    1. Synoia

      sn’t arming supporting or speaking out in support of foreign nations at war (Ukraine, Israel) a pre-crime? Isn’t much of what government officials and MSM say about Russia a hate crime?Not when the blob speaks, because the blob only speaks the truth.

      Check the blobs definition,from the hand book “1984”.

      Reply
    1. Carolinian

      In their latest talk Taibbi and Kirn make sport of the Maddow claim that firing Ronna was a blow for free speech. But then who ever said that silos were supposed to be intellectually coherent. Of course making war on an emotion is unlikely to be very successful unless we all take our Soma and zone out–most especially the nuts on cable TV. Perhaps Huxley’s predictive powers were the correct ones after all.

      Reply
    2. digi_owl

      Transhumanist divinity, rapture of the nerds?

      I seem to recall something like that picking up steam right before GFC happened in 2007-08…

      Reply
    3. JonnyJames

      An even more straightforward and concise answer could be: the US is an oligarchy with unlimited political bribery. Both factions of the duopoly represent their paymasters.

      The contrived drama and political spectacle in the MassMediaCartel dictates and frames political discourse. The Rs stab you in the chest, then the Ds stab you in the back to finish you off. It is easy to see the Rs coming, thus the need to focus on the Ds with knives in the rear-view mirror.

      Reply
  3. The Rev Kev

    Thanks for this important post Conor. One of the core principals of a real justice system is trial by jury, That is why the Barons made sure that it was put into the Magna Carta in Chapter 39. More recently, when the US constitution was written, this same right was put in as the 6th Amendment as the American colonists had experienced what life was like without this fundamental right. And I quote-

    ‘Amendment VI
    In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the state and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the assistance of counsel for his defense.’

    These proposed laws are designed to bypass all that so perhaps they are a subset of the Rules Based Order? Maybe they will operate on a 3 strikes system and that each time you contradict the Narrative, that is a strike against your name. So as an example from the past few years-

    You tweet out an opinion that perhaps the new, untested mRNA vaccines are not all they are cracked up to be. – That is strike one!

    You question opening everything up while the numbers are escalating of sick people. – That is strike two!

    You say that Covid should be recognized as being spread by aerosols as backed up by studies. – That is strike three and you are out!

    You now find yourself under house arrest with a tracker tag on and forbidden to use the internet at all. You have no idea who your accusers are and there is no such thing as a day in court where you can defend yourself or prove your allegations. And the main stream media pat themselves on the back that yet another wrongthinker has been removed from public discourse. Oh brave new world…

    Reply
    1. digi_owl

      “forbidden to use the internet at all.”

      Something that gets very awkward very quickly when that is rapidly becoming the only way to file “paperwork” of any kind…

      Reply
  4. Piotr Berman

    “in California, for example, where the gap in life expectancy between the richest and poorest percentiles increased to 15.51 years in 2021 (which seems like the hateful result of hateful policies if you ask me). ”

    I had some idea on that, namely applying Pigovian taxes that aim to discourage unhealthy behavior, and it was documented that being poor is unhealthy. An increase of tax on low incomes would discourage being poor etc. That said, cigarette tax, state lottery and few others may have such effect already…

    Reply
    1. hk

      Eugenicists explicitly invoked that idea before, and their views would be perfectly fine with today’s “liberals(tm)” as long as they do not target any specific race, ethnicity, or gender.

      Reply
  5. Neutrino

    Between Google AI and similar initiatives, I’m probably added to lists and more lists, dossiers, files and targeting memoranda. That would be in addition to whatever else has been around since time immemorial, now supercharged by the friendly internet. Stasi, Cheka, Hoover. Oh, joy.

    The technologies and evils behind those lists do not respect laws, international or otherwise. George Carlin would have to update his observation: It’s a big club and we’re all in it.

    Reply
  6. TomDority

    Apologies, in advance for my forth coming comments below.
    AI, by its ability to lie, fabricate and hallucinate or… “Google’s AI targeted this site for “hateful content” among other alleged sins.” Do these things done by AI represent a hate crime committed by AI.
    How about comments like I hate AI…it’s not humane. AI is is not even human… it’s, well it’s not even an animal or plant It’s deserves hatred but it does not care.
    or
    Maybe some probable cause is being misinterpreted.

    does this qualify ….– I hate myself because I really do stink sometimes, sometimes I swear that I am a privileged woke white guy who can do the most stupid things.
    or I could make a tee-shirt that says – I’m a bad smelling male cracker who goes around saying you can kiss my lily white ass.
    I guess it should take a little more effort to get on that watch list…. maybe someone can Karen me.
    Maybe the best way to combat hate is to point out how ridiculous hate is – maybe humor is the best medicine.
    humor and honesty
    Like Director Spike Lee’s BlacKkKlansman.
    Blazing Saddles
    ….
    ..

    Reply
    1. Synoia

      AI…it’s not human.

      Correct, but it is a nascent God, with all the trappings, of worship; infallibility, and everlasting life however as a baby is not yet fully Divine.

      Reply
  7. CA

    https://www.nytimes.com/2002/06/21/movies/film-review-halting-crime-in-advance-has-its-perils.html

    June 21, 2002

    Halting Crime In Advance Has Its Perils
    By Elvis Mitchell

    Minority Report
    Directed by Steven Spielberg

    IT’S the year 2054. ”You’d think we’d have found a cure for the common cold by now,” sniffs Burgess (Max von Sydow). He’s the director of the Pre-Crime law enforcement unit that causes so much trouble in Steven Spielberg’s atmospheric new thriller, ”Minority Report,” a muscular and dense exercise of skill and verve. He’s also the boss and mentor of the Pre-Crime chief, John Anderton (Tom Cruise).

    Although a few things remain the same in 2054 — people still touchingly wear glasses even though eye-replacement surgery is available — much has changed. Pre-Crime exists to stop crimes before they are committed; Pre-Cogs, a trio of beings who float in a nutrient-rich fluid, can predict when a crime will be committed and know the identity of the perpetrator.

    Thanks to the efforts of Anderton’s team and the Pre-Cogs, there hasn’t been a murder in Washington in six years. And all is right with the world. Anderton stands at a blank video screen and, using hologram-projectors built into his gloves, moves streams of evidence around gracefully; he’s a combination of Michael Tilson Thomas and Tommy, the Who’s blind pinball wizard. Anderton is blind, too — to the morality of Pre-Crime. He buys the motto ”That which keeps us safe also keeps us free,” until he becomes a fugitive himself. Accused of a crime predicted for the future, he is soon on the run.

    Eyes and seeing are central to the heap of metaphors in ”Minority Report”: Anderton has to have his eyes plucked out of his head — in a sequence that brings to mind the clamps holding Alex’s eyes wide open in ”A Clockwork Orange” — to gain deeper insight.

    ”Minority Report” is a little like Barry Levinson’s ”Homicide” series, too. When a crime of passion comes into view, it’s called a redball — as the big murders were on ”Homicide” — but here it’s literally that. A small reddish billiard ball is issued with the would-be criminal’s name carved into it and it rolls down a tube into view of the team. It’s another instance of treating the plot as a game. Brown balls are for premeditated crimes, and when Anderton’s own name comes down the shoot, he dashes off for his life.

    Mr. Cruise does as much sprinting in this picture as he has in his entire career so far…

    Reply
  8. Victor Sciamarelli

    President Biden called President Putin a killer, a crazy SOB, evil, that he had no soul, and he will attack a NATO country if not stopped in Ukraine. Is that hate speech? Is it a “pre crime” leading to the the real crime; war? Imo, everything he said about Russia/Ukraine and Israel/Gaza is, at a minimum, disinformation.
    Besides “pre crime” the article reminds me of the novel 1984 in which “Hate Week” was the time to despise the enemies of the state deemed so by officials of the state. Hate became a prerogative of the ruling class alone.
    Furthermore, false reports of atrocities were part of Hate Week. Biden said he saw pictures of headless babies in Israel. And there were reports of babies in ovens and mass rape; all subsequently debunked.
    I certainly agree with, “No doubt, these efforts to eliminate hate also have other benefits for the ruling class.” The opposite of courage is not cowardice, it is conformity. The intention of cracking down on so-called hate speech is to eliminate courage and reward conformity.

    Reply
    1. CA

      President Biden called…

      [ I wonder if there is any precedent in US presidential history. The point being precluding diplomacy, and controlling public sentiment so that war becomes the only path. Possibly I am naive, but this is startling to me? ]

      Reply
  9. Bill R

    Even though the original Canadian bill did not continue, it is very worrying that it was contemplated.to begin with. For instance, the current government strongly supported the 2014 overthrow of the democratically elected Ukrainian government and current group in power there. Pre-crime could be that you do not support the Canadian government’s stance on that poor country. Pre-crime for the Canadian Conservative Party would likely be anti free enterprise capitalism and believing that global warming is caused in part by Alberta’s burning natural gas to produce the tar sands ‘liquids’.
    Pre-crime would be whatever a police state is against, for instance many right wing Americans believe Biden was not elected in 2020. It is the very short and very slippery slope to fascism.

    Reply
  10. Retired Carpenter

    The utility of “hate crimes” for the PMC+ will be very limited if the Ukraine Gambit fails. They will have to come up with new distractions.
    Happy Easter to All.

    Reply
  11. tiebie66

    There are already plenty of instances where an ‘offending’ behaviour is provoked to then punish it (Ukraine, Gaza). This bothers me the most – that hate will be provoked and the law be used to punish it. Police state here we come. I have no idea how to fight back against these encroachments on liberty. Doing nothing has become dangerous.

    Reply
  12. John Wright

    I believe the runup of the Bush II Iraq war was the most egregious “pre-crime” intervention of recent history..

    Iraq was invaded with much loss of life, many debilitating injuries, and destruction of property and cultural artifacts BECAUSE Iraq ostensibly had “weapons of mass destruction” that MIGHT be used at some time in the future against the USA.

    And there has been little to no subsequent compensation to Iraq for damages done by the USA.

    One can wonder if the ire of the world will eventually be turned against the USA for past actions or to prevent the USA from doing future destructive “pre-crime” actions.

    Reply
    1. JonnyJames

      You forgot ol’ Tony Blair and the UK’s role. Meanwhile, Julian Assange has been in solitary confinement for nearly 5 years, at His Majesty’s Prison, Belmarsh – simply for exposing war crimes. So much for justice…

      Reply
  13. Geof

    Has this awful bill really been shelved? I can’t find evidence that it has. I hope this is not just a linguistic misunderstanding. In Canada, when a bill is “tabled” that means that it is going forward:

    Both the American and the British dialects have the expression “to table a topic” as a short way of saying “to lay a topic on the table” and “to make a topic lie on the table”, but these have opposite meanings . . . The British meaning is based on the idea of parliamentarians gathering around a table with the bill laid upon so that all may point to sections for discussion. The American sense draws on the image of taking a paper that one has been examining and laying it aside, ending any discussion about it.

    Reply
    1. Conor Gallagher Post author

      Oof. I need to brush up on my British English. Have updated piece to reflect proper tabling. Thank you for pointing that out, Geof.

      Reply
    1. JBird4049

      It is a good question.

      This is all groping towards China’s social credit system is it not? One mandates what one cannot do, and therefore what one can do. If I cannot openly dislike or even critique something or someone, what can I do? If I then not allowed to be silent, what am I expected to do besides approving, loving, and eventually worshipping it, whatever it is?

      You best mouth the right words or else lose that job or scholarship, and maybe get a visit from Homeland Security. Be good in school or college, or it might go onto your permanent record. Best nark on your friends or family if they do or say anything suspicious, whatever that means. (Just as with the blacklists and visits from the FBI of the 1950s, which immediately expanded from communism to homosexuality. Interesting, that.)

      The Overton Window is always being nudged in the direction favored by the puppet masters. Patriotism, Wokism, whateverism, the favored ideology de jour, which always excludes the unorthodox or just the different, but frequently not those truly dangerous to the community, if it threatens the powerful elites.

      Reply
    2. ambrit

      I’ll posit that “wokism” is mandating “love.” You will find, deep within your inner being, that divine spark that compels you to throw wide your arms to embrace any and all “officially approved” persons, places, and things.
      As the Queen said to Alice in the “Original Unredacted Young Ladies Primer”: “Sometimes I’ve believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.”

      Reply
  14. Fritz

    Precrime will be whatever the Zionist say it is. If I copy and paste a quote such as:
    “Zionism is the only political ideology I know of that claims that disagreement with it is a hate crime.”
    — John Clark, Ontario Coalition Against Poverty

    If the Zionists declare that a hate crime then it becomes a hate crime.

    If I further post another quote:
    “The Zionists indeed learnt well from the Nazis. So well that it seems that their morally repugnant treatment of the Palestinians, and their attempts to destroy Palestinian society within Israel and the occupied territories, reveals them as basically Nazis with beards and black hats.”
    — Norman Finkelstein

    The Zionist will not only say I have posted another hate crime, they will also declare Mr. Finkelstein a self-hating Jew.

    Reply
  15. MFB

    Craig Murray says that a very similar law banning offensive communications, with jail-time for convictions, has been passed in Scotland. He’s quite worried about it.

    Reply
  16. Luke

    Easy way to define a “hate” crime, if you’re going to have such things as a legal category (most of U.S. history, there was no such thing, I believe appropriately):
    if someone commits a crime against someone of a different race/religion/sexuality, and clearly is aware of that difference at the time of the commission, they’re guilty of a hate crime, with mandatory extra penalties if they are found/plead guilty to ANYTHING.

    Reply
  17. Phichibe

    Excellent essay, Conor. Much to think about. I’ve followed the Canadian changes over the last decade since I track Gad Saad and Jordan Peterson (originally he was sane, I swear). Peterson’s original push into public life was opposing an Ontario provincial law that made it illegal to not use the pronouns of a person’s choice. Peterson is a big fan of Solzhenitsyn and opposed it as coercion. He was right then. (Now, not so much ;-)

    The thought police will overreach. Arguably they have. Still, it’s amazing to watch.

    Cheers,

    P

    Reply
  18. Thorleif

    There has been political talks in Europe about criminalizing criticism of governments incl the EU (-Commission).

    Reply
    1. Polar Socialist

      It’s the malicious part. Complaining that people are noisy or smell bad just because who they are counts as prejudice, pejorative and/or derogatory. Nowadays a.k.a. hate.

      Semantics schemantics, but what other word would you use for speech that belittles or dehumanizes other human beings for the sin of not belonging to the same demographics as the speaker?

      Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *