Vol. 30, No. 1 (Spring 2005)
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