I can really go either way on the question of “Which is worse, Nazis or Communists?” On the one hand, Communists definitely seem to have killed more people over the course of the 20th century than did Nazis (or even Nazis in particular, plus fascists in general). On the other hand, there does seem to be something more coldly vicious about Nazism–Communists were at least trying to create a better world, however misguided (or downright fanatical and cruel) there methods were.
But, IF I were in fact arguing for state suppression of speech–which I am not–I might even argue that we should therefore prioritize suppressing Communism, precisely because it’s less obviously evil, and good and decent people might wind up supporting such ideas. (Arise, ye slaves, no more in thrall–A better world’s in birth! Hell, who can argue with that?) But those people, who would never support anything as obviously wicked as Nazism, might thereby put into a power a Stalin or a Mao or a Pol Pot.
In reality, I’m not in favor of state suppression of ideas, and I tend to think arguments along the lines of “Which is worse, Nazis or Communists?” are not really very helpful. Both are off-the-scale bad (and by “Communists” I mean Stalin and Mao and Pol Pot; just as by “fascists” or “right-wing dictators” I mean Hitler, and not Franco or even Mussolini–although I’m no fan of Mussolini or Franco or even António Salazar). I oppose Nazis and Communists (and all sorts of other dictators) and I resolutely refuse to choose between this or that version of dictatorship, as if we must choose between some “better” or “worse” form of tyranny.
The statement that drew me into this thread was this:
Because, to me, that doesn’t sound like an argument for “You, personally, should not be a Nazi”, which of course I agree with. No one ought to be a Nazi. But, I find it very strange that someone would agree with the PZ Myers quote, but turn around and say they aren’t arguing for state suppression of Nazism. According to that bumper sticker statement above, at least since 1977 the government of the United States has been “actively pro-Nazi”. (Of course the government of the United States has, by the logic of PZ Myers, also been “actively pro-Communist” and “actively pro-Christian Reconstructionist” and “actively pro-misogynst”–and at the same time, “actively pro-feminist” and “actively pro-liberal” and “actively pro-libertarian” and “actively pro-conservative” and “actively pro-democratic socialist” and “actively pro-secular humanist” and so on and so forth.)
I don’t want the government of the United States to be “actively pro-Nazi”! But, I strongly reject the idea that, by not engaging in state suppression of the expression of Nazi ideas, that the government of the United States is thereby “actively pro-Nazi”. (I am aware that at times the U.S. government has genuinely been “actively pro-Nazi”, in things like “Operation Paperclip”. I don’t approve of that, even though I do approve of SCOTUS’ decision in National Socialist Party of America v. Village of Skokie.)
As to the point that countries like Germany, which suppress certain expressions of Nazism, are still liberal democracies: Some of the arguments in this thread have really not filled me with much confidence that advocates of such suppression won’t then turn around and say “See, we suppressed Nazis, and that was fine–now let’s suppress Nazis, and fascists, and religious fundamentalists, and misogynists, and… and… and…”. With me personally at least, such arguments are really not helping your case. They do seem like a slippery slope. Again, the statement “Not censoring Nazis is not a neutral stance, it is actively pro-Nazi” seems less like any kind of principled argument for suppressing Nazism in particular, as being a unique evil unlike all others, and more a sweeping claim along the lines of “If you’re not with us you’re against us!” or “There is no neutrality!”–precisely the sort of logic that I associate with tyranny of one kind or another.
As for Parler–fuck 'em. I’m sure Parler is and will be a wretched hive of scum and villainy, I won’t be signing up with them, and if they go out of business–IF they fail in the market, as opposed to being shut down by the U.S. government–I won’t shed any tears for them.