Christopher Hitchens — Free Speech Part 1

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Christopher Hitchens gives a talk in Canada on Free Speech in November 2006. This is the end of the twenty minute speech originally from One Good Move:

Hitchens makes some great points that usually are overlooked, and should be fully and completely remembered (or, in worst cases, realized).

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28 Responses

  1. Patent-free mrsa treatment & Dogs says:

    RIP Christopher Hitchens. RIP free speech in reddit.

  2. dev0n james says:

    I have to agree with mush01.

  3. RecursiveProphet says:

    Hitch has long been one of my heroes, right up there with Chomsky. I think his video on Mother Teresa is even more informative though. Hard to single out just a few-so many were true gems.

  4. mosti1987 says:

    me too. This is one of my first encounters with Hitch. We have our differences, being somewhat leftwing, but I will always admire his journalism and his determination throught his progresses of thought

  5. randall2020 says:

    Hitchens gave this speech in Toronto precisely against such stupid laws. It is not the job of a government to decree an official history. So, you don't have free speech in Canada. Your view about "dealing with nazism accordingly" is just your view and you don't want anyone to express a different one. Well screw you fascist. The holocaust was not more important than other massacres in history. Why should it get special attention? See the whole speech. Canada can kiss Hitchens's ass

  6. Felix Hansson says:

    this is sooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo true

  7. Zerg121 says:

    It seems this speech will continue to be relevant for a long time.

  8. Sean Knight says:

    Lets hope we aren't watching it on bootlegs, hiding it from the governemt in fear of arrest and imprisonment.

    RIP Hitchens.

  9. iPushFatKids says:

    well, you can talk about the nazi crimes openly, but under the prohibition act of 1947 it is not allowed to praise or belittle them. what irving did was publicly saying that the holocaust never happened and that it was just a myth. i would say that the prohibition act, in fact, IS dealing with nazism accordingly to our historic experiences and our constitution. i also want to add that even canada has a law prohibiting "spreading false news" under which another nazi, ernst zündel, was sentenced.

  10. Benjamin Schlichter says:

    If you can't talk about it openly, then how will your country's populace remember what actually happened?

    As an American, we talk about slavery often. It helps us keep the tragic memory of what happened in the forefront. I feel that the Germans and Austrians, by banning speech about Nazism, are doing more to foster its existence than dealing with it.

  11. iPushFatKids says:

    i am austrian and i was a little upset by this 😀 austria has forbidden by law to publicly praise or belittle the crimes of the nazis. irving was imprisoned because he publicly denied the existence of gas chambers. now given austria's historic responsibilities i don't see anything wrong with that. waldheim was an embarrassment and so was haider, but explaining why many were voting for them would lead to an essay about austria's political landscape and her entire history after the war.

  12. WalterLiddy says:

    Canada has no reppealed these laws.

  13. defaultuser85 says:

    Well, I'm Austrian and unfortunate for me I have to agree with Hitchens point on austria. But to be fair, we not only imprison British historians but also politicians who insult the "holy" Koran. It's nice to life in a country with fredom of speech…

  14. Hi Everyone says:

    how do we get the FULL debate??

  15. Jeff R says:

    Does anyone know where we can get the other side of the argument. The irony is overwhelming that we don't have the right to listen to the other side, and a slap in the face to Hitchens and this amazing video?

  16. monkspriestsandhorse says:

    This Hickey speech affirms the fact that it's normal to think differently. Pertinently, for us not to take refuge in consensus is consistent with the anonymous quote that reverberates always in the tip of tongue:


  17. Catcrumbs says:

    @SarahB360 I have no idea whether or not he knew that, but I think it's an important distinction to make.

  18. Sarah Brightmann says:

    @Catcrumbs You really think he didn't know that?

  19. Catcrumbs says:

    HItchens makes a mistake here. The judge was talking about "FALSELY shouting fire in a crowded theatre.

  20. empfeix says:

    @OhmgrownCron no – this country has been never really been free when you look at its history

  21. James says:

    I'm tired of the "fire in a crowded theatre" analogy. Listen, if you think the potential for dangerous behaviour mandates censorship, do me this favour will you? Don't go to your government and protest for free speech limits: go to your government and protest for the banning of fire drills.

    Lets see how fucking committed you are to this premise.

    Anyone seen The Simpsons episode where everyone in the Nuclear Plant goes crazy over Mr Burns' fire drill? We all know what the point of that gag was.

  22. marktrade88 says:

    @mush01 I believe you're right. R.I.P., Christopher Hitchens.

  23. myroseaccount says:

    He is a bullying English public school shite! To quote himself anyone who has ever been anywhere near an English public school has already met him!

  24. 10mintwo says:

    This is the single most important speech this man ever made and one of my favorites of all time by anyone. The self-evident nature of religion's stupidity is obvious. Religion is most assuredly on the wane. Attacks on freedom of speech however, are just as common and obnoxious as they've ever been and in my opinion at least, increasingly prevalent from those who claim to be progressive. We ignore this man's sage wisdom at our peril.

    Goodbye Christopher, you will not soon be forgotten.

  25. turbozed says:

    Probably my favorite Hitch speech. You will be missed.

  26. Craig Simpson says:

    @villeppi Lerl

  27. Declan O'Gallagher says:

    For the love of irony.[ we are watching a video about free speech] there is stuff edited out just after 5mins ?

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