Letter – Nazis useful

Re: "Nazi skinheads crawling out of shadows," July 26 - 1

Nazis useful

Re: “Nazi skinheads crawling out of shadows,” July 26 – 1

I must say that I was somewhat perplexed by Simon Nattrass’s recent article on the increasing presence of ‘Nazis’ in Victoria. The fallacious assumption that every so called ‘Nazi’ is motivated by hate seems simplistic to me. Certainly, those who feel compelled to follow a flawed ideology such as National Socialism are more than a little confused. But to ascribe evil intent to each of these individuals to the point of stating that society should not “tolerate” them is hypocritical, especially from anyone who claims to be an advocate of “tolerance.”

As for all these alleged Nazis in Victoria, they might just serve a useful purpose. John Stuart Mill once wrote that “The peculiar evil of silencing the expression of an opinion is, that it is robbing the human race … If the opinion is right, they are deprived of the opportunity of exchanging error for truth: if wrong, they lose, what is almost as great a benefit, the clearer perception and livelier impression of truth, produced by its collision with error.”

Advocating intolerance of some to achieve tolerance of others is intellectually dishonest and dangerous.

Jeremy Maddock,Victoria