The minister and the censorship

“We will not tolerate censorship!” Since he was appointed Minister of Culture, Ernest Urtasun has said it and repeated it.

Oliver Thansan
Oliver Thansan
11 March 2024 Monday 04:21
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The minister and the censorship

“We will not tolerate censorship!” Since he was appointed Minister of Culture, Ernest Urtasun has said it and repeated it. He himself doesn't let one go. The suspension of a festival in Huesca; the cancellation of a play in Quintanar de la Orden (Toledo); That the Montserrat City Council (Valencia) cancels its subscription to a magazine... everything deserves an indignant tweet from the minister. He has even announced the creation of a general directorate of Cultural Rights with the aim of adopting “a firm stance against any form of censorship” and proposed an ad hoc State pact. We can only applaud.

In another order of things (or not), something curious happened last Tuesday at the Autonomous University of Barcelona. An Anthropology professor, Silvia Carrasco, could not teach her class. The reason? They were prevented by fifty students (and some other teachers) by brandishing a banner with the phrase “Aturem la transfòbia”.

They had been summoned by a certain Socialist Youth Organization (OJS), which a few days before had tweeted a video demanding, through the mouth of a young woman surrounded by masked men and in the name of “the needs of proletarian youth,” “the immediate expulsion of the teacher.” of Anthropology of Education, the greatest exponent of transphobia.” They were referring to the books that she writes (such as La coeducation kidnapped), the conferences that she organizes and the debates in which Silvia Carrasco participates, who, moreover, does not address that topic in her classes. In short, she completely censors. What did the minister tweet? How strange, it seems like he didn't tweet anything.

Now that I think about it, all the cases of censorship against which the minister has directed his vigilante darts came from the extreme right. Could it be that only Vox censors? Was it Vox who prevented the presentation in Vic of the book The Transgenderism Scam, who forced the interruption of Nobody is Born in a Wrong Body by threatening to burn down the bookstore...?

No: it was the left, which is in full authoritarian drift. Which, by the way, depresses me (in principle, they are mine) and I have tried to understand. The explanation given by both Daniel Giglioli (Criticism of the Victim) and Susan Neiman (Izquierda no es woke) agrees that, upon being politically defeated, first in Europe with the fall of the Wall, more recently in the United States with Trump's victory , the left has taken refuge in moral superiority. And being good, generous, a defender of just causes... produces great (narcissistic) satisfaction, politically sterile, perhaps, but comforting.

And what does this ethical requirement consist of? In sending humanitarian aid to Ukraine or Gaza, teaching Spanish or Catalan to immigrants...? Well it seems not. Groups like OJS have found a much better way to demonstrate their moral elevation: preventing classes, demanding expulsions, threatening to burn bookstores. Without the minister lifting a finger.

At this point, the Minister will forgive me for asking me if his fight is to safeguard freedom of expression, attacking whoever endangers it, or rather to keep his party in power, attacking whoever They dispute the government. I will not be so naive as to reproach a politician for sacrificing his principles – in this case, the defense of freedom of expression, which is only credible if it includes those who do not think like one – on the altar of power. But I do find it useful to ask if he isn't throwing stones at his own roof. What do you think is the reason for the left's loss of votes in half the world?... Many people want, we want, to be able to debate – with respect, but without fear – issues that legitimately concern us. If the left turns a deaf ear, if it tries to muzzle us (see the terrifying Title IV, “Infringements and sanctions”, of the trans law), if it remains silent in the face of harassment and calls criticism a “phobia”… many voters will reject it. turn your back.

Meanwhile, those of us on the left who want discussions, colloquiums, books, conferences, light and stenographers, critical thinking... we are feeling more and more orphaned.