1984 Today!
1984 Today!
Episode 103: CJ Hopkins on Thought Crime

Episode 103: CJ Hopkins on Thought Crime

An American author living in Berlin shares his experience of being charged with a crime for a retweet featuring an image of his own (legal) book cover

Charged! Convicted! Sentenced! Then tried?

In this episode, I speak with CJ Hopkins, an award-winning playwright, novelist, and political satirist who lives in Berlin.


CJ’s plays have been produced and have toured at theatres and festivals in London, New York, Edinburgh, Sydney, Toronto, Los Angeles, Atlanta, the Netherlands, and his political satire and commentary have been published by Consent Factory, OffGuardian, ZeroHedge, ColdType, Rubikon, RT.comCounterPunch, Dissident Voice, and many other publications. His dystopian science fiction novel, Zone 23, is also out now.

CJ is in the process of being tried in German court because of retweets he sent on X/Twitter which included an image of his book cover (see below):

The book is a compilation of his essays commenting on what he saw as a fascistic tendency in German politics related to the pandemic, and swastikas are legal for use in "art or science, research or teaching" in Germany, so the image itself was not the basis of his alleged crime.

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Whether you agree with his conclusions, or with his interpretation, what seems fairly clear is that he was implying that the similarity he saw with fascist policies, denoted by the swastika on his book cover, was a bad thing. It is therefore bizarre that the charge against him is “disseminating propaganda, the contents of which are intended to further the aims of a former National Socialist organization,” punishable by “imprisonment for not more than three years or a fine.”

CJ has spent a 30-year career writing with great passion, fluency, and intensity about his opposition to war, fascism, totalitarianism and so forth, with humour and humanity. Whether or not you agree with his perspective, his experience of being charged in this way, and of the process he is being subjected to by the German court, is worrying, and worth hearing.

You can find CJ on X and Substack, and his personal website is www.cjhopkins.com.

Since it’s Christmas, you might not receive the transcript for this episode for another few days, as I’ve been drafted into an industrial-scale kitchen operation for the feeding of the multitudes. ‘Tis the season for forgiveness, so I plead mercy.

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Stay sane out there, my friends. Merry Christmas!