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Hate-crimes as the expression and proof of liberal rule

by Lawrence Auster

The creation of the legal category of “hate-crime” illustrates, as well as any fact can do, that liberal ideology has become the all-ruling force of our society, progressively taking over and displacing normal and traditional concepts. Traditionally, a crime consists of two elements: the intention to commit the criminal act, and the criminal act. Those are the two things that a jury must establish in order to convict a person of a crime. The only required psychological component of a defendant’s guilt is mens rea—the guilty thought, the guilty intent to commit the crime. The precise nature and quality of this intention does not matter, insofar as the determination of his guilt is concerned, only that he had the intention to commit the crime.

The category of “hate-crime” improperly adds to the normal idea of criminal intent the idea of “hate.” If you “hate” the ethnic, religious, or sexual group to which your victim belongs, and if such hate was part of your motivation, your crime is much worse and is punished more severely than if such “hate” was absent. Determining whether such “hate” obtained in a given crime involves looking into the thoughts of the defendant in a manner that does not happen in normal criminal law. “Hate-crime” defines as criminal certain kinds of thoughts, which has never been the case in the Anglo-American legal tradition. It makes certain kinds of intentions more criminal, and more punishable, than other kinds of intentions. Thus, even as our society keeps letting off with light punishments people who have committed terrible murders, it makes a huge deal of, and punishes more severely, people who have committed crimes who also had “hate” in their mind when they committed them. In 1989 a hostess at a dinner party I was attending made a lasting impression on me when she remarked that racism is now worse than murder. With the establishment of the category of hate-crimes, that statement has become literally true.

As I have often said, the highest and ruling principle of modern liberal society is non-discrimination. Under liberalism, discrimination is the worst thing there is, the ultimate evil that must be rooted out and eliminated at all costs. Hate-crimes statutes carry to a new level this liberal ideology. They show how, to a very significant degree, America is no longer a free country, but an ideological state. Just as Communist regimes are ruled by Communist ideology, liberal society is ruled by the ideology of non-discrimination. Of course this ideology is not imposed equally on everyone, but mainly on whites, men, Christians, heterosexuals, wealth producers, and so on—the “privileged” groups who according to liberal ideology are the main or only source of hate and discrimination