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Make a bonfire of Dr Seuss

Titania McGrath on how book burning is the only way to defeat fascism

Woke World

This article is taken from the April 2021 issue of The Critic. To get the full magazine why not subscribe? Right now we’re offering five issues for just £10.

Those on the right side of history have always been supportive of state censorship and the burning of books. I recently saw a beautiful Pathé newsreel from 1933 in which early social justice activists are seen in Berlin’s Opernplatz throwing books onto a bonfire. I’m not quite sure what’s going on because I don’t speak German, but I presume they were decolonising a university curriculum or something.

We’ve seen similarly empowering imagery with people burning copies of J.K. Rowling’s books and posting the footage online. The Irish pop duo known as “Jedward” tweeted that Rowling’s novel Troubled Blood would make the perfect kindling for a “romantic fire”.

The estate of Dr Seuss has announced that six of his books will no longer be published because of racially insensitive material

I haven’t actually read the book, because to do so would be to dignify the outrageous transphobic stereotypes that I’ve decided that the book contains. But even if it doesn’t contain such material, the very act of writing a book is hugely offensive to the illiterate community. Which is almost certainly why Jedward got involved in the first place.

Now the estate of Dr Seuss has announced that six of his books will no longer be published because of racially insensitive material. This has led the books in question to leap to the top of the Amazon charts, which just goes to show that people who buy books are generally Nazis.

Defenders of Dr Seuss have pointed out that ethical standards change over time. But just because Dr Seuss was born in 1904, that doesn’t mean that he shouldn’t have had a firm grasp of the values of twenty-first century intersectional feminists. Besides, the anti-lesbian subtext of The Cat in the Hat is unmistakable.

In addition, Amazon has started to remove books that it classifies as “hate speech”, including When Harry Became Sally: Responding to the Transgender Moment by Ryan T. Anderson. As left-wing activists, it is imperative that we encourage multi-billion-dollar corporations to monitor what we are able to read.

So let us go forth and burn books, rename streets, erase the past and re-educate the masses so that they have the correct opinions. It’s the only way to defeat fascism.

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