Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Violence Against Nazis, the Klan, and the Like

For the record, I'm no pacifist (well...a colleague of mine who was a scholar of pacifism once told me I was a pacifist...just not a very good one...)  I'm 100% down with meeting violence with violence when more-or-less necessary. I absolutely think that one should be prepared to mix it up with bad guys in defense of the innocent... But not just because you think it's cool to wear black and play at being European. Violence does tend to lead to bad things, including more violence. If you've got other reasonable options that can preserve justice and dignity, I'm inclined to think that you should probably take them.
   My objection to Antifa isn't that they meet force with force--sometimes that's the only real option. My objection is that they're anti-liberal left-fascist asshats themselves who tend to initiate violence against people, shut down legal speech and assembly, characterize everyone they disagree with as fascist, and make bad situations worse. And "they're better than the Klan" is neither obviously true nor a significant point in their favor. Everybody's better than the goddamn Klan. That point carries virtually no weight with me. And the Klan isn't really the Klan anymore. The 21st-century Klan is more of a curiosity, a vestige of its former, eviler self.
   And, while we're on the subject: if shit ever were, God forbid, to get really real in the relevant respect, it's my expectation that people like me will be the ones out there doing the fighting, and the black-clad hipster lefties will be nowhere to be seen.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

On the point of the Klan being a curiosity, my understanding is the number of Klan members in the Us is in the low thousands. That gives you a whopping .0001% of the population. As for adherents of white supremacy, in a recent, by which I mean taken last month, NPR/PBS/Marist poll, the percentage of people claiming to support white supremacy is higher among Latinos and African Americans than whites. This is almost certainly polling error, but that just highlights that the support for this is not measurable in any statistically disciplined sense.

There is a sense in which white nationalism is the new politics of transgression, but if we compare the support of it to the old politics of transgression, Satanism, the most recent Satanist rally had something like 3x as many attendees than Charlottesville. We should not feel at all uncomfortable with the strength of the taboo against white supremacy.

But there is no obvious break on anti-racist moral panic, and Antifa and the support of it you see among progressives is obvious proof. This is frankly the much bigger risk in play, because it is not insured against culturally. The fact that the MSM is being dragged kicking and screaming to cover this by obviously damning video evidence is incredibly concerning.

9:15 PM  
Blogger Winston Smith said...

Ha! I, too, hypothesized awhile back that the alt-right was rather like a contemporary version of the *faux* Satanism of the '70s-'80s--mostly a combination of recreational transgression and farbling the unctuously pious.

9:59 PM  
Blogger Grung_e_Gene said...

Low #'s are all well and good but, 1 white supremacist and his car are all that was needed to kill Heather, hurt 30 others, and in times past blow up a building in OKC.

10:46 PM  
Blogger Winston Smith said...

They're bad, and I wish we had zero rather than almost zero--but doesn't it seem like the threat is being pumped up quite a bit?

Of course one person *can* do significant harm--but fewer is better.

The Dallas shooter was a black supremacist--of which there are apparently quite a few in the U.S. He killed *five* people in a much more premeditated way, and there was a lot less freaking out about that.

11:04 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I would note that white supremacist/neo-Nazi groups are also heavily monitored by the FBI. It's not like the risk of violence is even remotely neglected. It's just objectively not that high.

Also, and really not related, Timothy McVeigh wasn't meaningfully a white nationalist from what I remember. He was retaliating against the Waco, TX screwup, railed against US foreign policy, and was basically just an anti-government nut.

11:48 PM  
Blogger Winston Smith said...

Yeah, I'm certainly not saying that it's not worrisome to have a bunch of heavily-armed crazies running around wanting to kill everybody of certain races...

But were they to start looking like they were going to act rather than just talk, 'Merica would come down on them like unto the very fist of God.

12:10 AM  
Blogger Random Michelle K said...

See, I *am* a pacifist, but that's a personal thing. I recognize that there are times when force must be used, but I will not use force myself, so thus I have no right to call for the use of violence in any situation.

So that colors my perceptions, just so we're clear.

I don't think that in these situations there is ANY call for violence. None. No one's lives were in danger from a bunch of fuckwits braying about white supremacy and how awesome the Confederacy was (read some freaking ORIGINAL SOURCES you MORONS). Was it offensive? Of course it was. But if they are not taking violent action then there is no call to respond with violence.

Even calling for violence doesn't deserve a response until action is actually taken. Does it mean we should be unprepared? Of course not. We should know what steps can and should be taken to protect those who are threatened. We should speak up about how wrong these idiots are. But it is not correct to respond to words with fists and feet.

8:23 PM  
Blogger Winston Smith said...

100% agree, MK.

8:59 PM  
Blogger Random Michelle K said...

Well where's the fun in THAT? ;)

9:05 PM  
Blogger Winston Smith said...

LOL right?

9:15 PM  

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