“To say, then, that the Swedish Democrats “caused” the banning of their own film is, paradoxically, to deny agency to those who did ban it.” Denial and Grandiosity by Theodore Dalrymple, City Journal 17 February 2015

How did the Swedish Democrats cause their own election ‎film to be banned? How, indeed, could they have done so? They might have suspected that the film would be banned, but that is not the same thing as causing it to be banned. Only authorities with powers of censorship could do that—and whether they should have exercised those powers is another question. The proper way of putting the matter would have been: “When the authorities banned the Swedish Democrats’ election film.”

The policies of successive Swedish governments did not cause the Swedish Democrats to make their election film, as one billiard ball causes another to go off at an angle when struck; the Swedish Democrats consciously reacted to policies and their consequences that, rightly or wrongly, they abhorred. To say, then, that the Swedish Democrats “caused” the banning of their own film is, paradoxically, to deny agency to those who did ban it.

via Denial and Grandiosity by Theodore Dalrymple, City Journal 17 February 2015.

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