Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Danes not knowing what democracy is!

So apparently more than 50% of the Danes have no idea of what democracy is all about. I think it speaks for itself:

[This is freely translated by me. Apparently there is no english sources at this.]

Danes does not equivocal take freedom of expression as an non-infringing principal of the democracy.

True, 46% of the Danes says that freedom of expression always should be superior to the religious founded rules and traditions.

But a small majority rejects that position, as 42% of the Danes think that "it depends on the situation", and further 8,5% says that freedom of expression "never" should be superior to religious founded rules and traditions.

That is what a poll, carried out by Rambøll Management for Morgenavisen Jyllands-Posten, shows.

And then it goes on with what the Danish muslims thinks. It shows that only 10% think that freedom of expression always should be superior to the religious founded rules and traditions. 51% says that freedom of expression "never" should be superior to religious considerations. And it goes on with opinions from different leading persons in media.

Also, the same poll shows that Danes who think it was the right thing to bring the Mohammed drawings has fallen from 57% in March to 47%. Not sure what the written question was about, as it's a little tricky questions if it is formed as it has been written here.

Todays internet polls shows more disturbing things (but these internet polls probably has a big marginal error):

In the question of if it was the right thing for Jyllands-Posten to bring the 12 drawings 2,7% think it was right and 92,7% think it was wrong. But this is a tricky question. However in the question of whether freedom of expression should be superior to the religious founded rules and traditions the poll shows that 9,5% says always, 34,0% says it depends on the situation and whole 50,9% says never.

This is seriously going the wrong way. It's a very dangerous development. This can only be changed if something really BIG happens in Denmark. And that something is probably a major terror-attack, sadly.


civilian-at-arms said...

Also, the same poll shows that Danes who think it was the right thing to bring the Mohammed drawings has fallen from 57% in March to 47%.

This very day I had a colorful conversation with a genuine Danish gentlemen and we briefly discussed the Muhammad cartoons. He went on to tell me that JP and JP's editor were "fascists" and that he was not convinced that it all wasn't a conspiracy cooked up to make Denmark look bad. It should never have happened. He also mumbled something--and I kid you not--about the Zionists.

And where does this conversation veer to next? How unsafe Denmark is becoming because of the "immigrants."

His English was a little choppy so I didn't think it wise to try and explain this strange contradiction to him.

But there you go.

DS said...

He most be one of the real Danish lefties. Luckily, only a very little part of the population thinks there is a conspiracy about JP (of what I know of). But sadly it seams like these ideas actually thrive in Denmark. Danes aren't very dramatic with these things, so I hope it doesn't reach a crazy level (it probably will in the Danish arab communities though), but anti-Semitism is on the rise again in Denmark...

I think the question is a little tricky. Because while Danes think JP has the right to post whatever they like, many Danse doesn't think it was wise and couldn't see a purpose with it (though it actually just was a response to Kåre Bluitgen's questioning about self-censorship).

Cubed © said...

A famous American jurist, Judge Learned Hand, once said, "You do not have the right to shout 'fire' in a crowded theater [if there is no fire]."

There are a lot of things about Hand that I don't like, but he was right about this.

The question revolves around the meaning of "rights." It takes too much space to derive the meaning of a "right" here, but it is very easy to do a pretty good job of saying how to violate rights, and you can get a basic idea of what a right actually is if you know how it is violated:

A "right" is violated in one of two ways; first, by the initiation of the use of physical force (it is not a violation to use it in response to the initiation of physical force), or in the use of the intellectual equivalent of physical force, which is fraud or deceit.

In the case of a crowded theater, for someone to shout "fire" when there is no fire, is deceit, and it can result in grave consequences.

For the Danish cartoonists to draw unflattering pictures of Mohammad is not fraudulant, nor does it involve the initiation of the use of physical force, therefore it is not a violation of rights to do so.

The problem with Islam, as is the problem of any totalitarian society, is that the essential importance of art, in all its forms, is recognized, and it is so important, that it must be controlled.

Art is the selective recreation of reality according to the artist's values.

The most important function served by art, be it cartoon drawings, sculpture, music, or whatever, is to communicate the artist's values in a non-verbal way.

If an artist values human life, if he values freedom, if he values prosperity, if he values happiness, he will produce one kind of art.

If he despises these things, he will produce another kind of art.

In totalitarian societies, the ability to art to communicate values is recognized, and so art is controlled. In the old Soviet Union, for example, art was limited to works that presented the Collective in a positive way, and anything which promoted the importance of the individual was, at the very least, trivialized. Some artists were imprisoned for stepping over the line.

In the most literal Islamic communities, art portraying any animal life whatsoever, especially human beings, is forbidden. The excuse for this is that by portraying higher life-forms, the artist is competing with Allah, and trying to do what only Allah can do (create life).

That excuse is absurd, of course; the real reason for forbidding the portrayal of (especially) humans is that some value contrary to those held by Islam, might somehow sneak into the minds of the viewer, and possibly cause him to question some tenet of Islam - and we all know that to question Islam in any way is to commit a sin, for which the punishment can be death.

If you want to look for a reason why Muslims had temper-tantrums when the very bad man who was Mohammed was accurately portrayed as a bad man, look no further than the unparalleled ability of cartoons to communicate values.

That, and not simple "disrespect" or is what alarms these people.