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JSPES, Vol. 30, No. 1 (Spring 2005)
pp. 99-118

From Communism's "Enemy of the People" to PC's "Hate Criminal"

Frank Ellis, University of Sheffield

Class war and the class struggle were central to the Marxist-Leninist analysis of society and its institutions. Opponents, real or frequently imagined, were attacked with ferocious zeal and demonised, variously as "counter-revolutionaries", "wreckers" or "enemies of the people". The author of this essay argues that "hate crime" and the "hate criminal" belong to the same order of ideological construct as communism's "wrecker" or "enemy of the people". Laws to combat racism and xenophobia (however defined), hate crime legislation and speech codes, it shall be argued, are an attempt to silence critics of multiculturalism. Criminalising dissent is a direct assault on free speech and the pursuit of truth and thus attacks one of the foundations of the West. Given that many other fundamental freedoms rely on the robust defence and exercise of free speech, attacks on free speech undermine these other freedoms.