The MacLamity

The News That Stays News, Reported Live

Tuesday, January 18, 2005

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For me, nothing shows how the EU's statist solutions lack imagination better than the desire to ban Swastikas. The U.K., who managed to block such a ban two years ago, has, thanks to Prince Harry, lost most of the capital necessary to block it. But it's crucial that it go into place. The crudeness of the ban is entirely appropriate as a response to the crude and enormous problem of Germany in 1946, when Nazis made Swastikas and Swastikas made Nazis. Banning them was a symbolic attack on a symbol that had power. But, fifty years on, it results in pathetic bureacratic maneuvers -- like the impounding of Philip Roth's "The Plot Against America" at the Frankfurt Book Fair -- against a problem which is best dealt with by freedom of debate and intellectual engagement.