Roger Scruton, apart from his extensive academic and literary achievements, worked to found underground free universities in several Central European countries during Soviet rule. He knows what he is talking about. He says this in the context of the latest dangerous foolishness from Italy: “You can’t imprison thought with law,” he said. The proposed law “is the criminalization of intellectual criticism on the subject of gay marriage. It’s a new intellectual, ideological crime, as was anti-communism during the cold war.”
“To me, this Bill on homophobia is reminiscent of the Moscow trials, and those of Maoist China, where victims confessed their crimes enthusiastically before being executed.
When political activists accuse opponents of “hate,” he said, there is a “moral inversion”. “If you oppose the normalization of homosexuality you are a ‘homophobe’. If you believe in Western culture, you are an ‘elitist’. Accusations of ‘homophobia’ means the end of a career, especially for those who work at a University.”
He compared this process of political manipulation to the process described by George Orwell in his classic political satire 1984. The “Newspeak” of the bill is an example of the use of langauge to create a “spell”.
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