It turns out Nazi punching is an old American tradition

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Re: It turns out Nazi punching is an old American tradition

Postby Q99 » 2017-03-11 03:11am

Simon_Jester wrote:Basically, actual fascism* is a political ideology that gains most of its power from the way that it connects politics and force. Very few other ideologies are anywhere near as intimately tied to the use of force. Umberto Eco's profile on the ur-Fascism (here I see a more complete version than I've ever been privileged to read before) is helpful in explaining the mindset involved.

What it comes down to is that fascist movements always revolve around the idea that force should play a role in politics. That they, the fascist political movement, deserve to triumph because they are more forceful, that violence is necessary and that the fascists are the masters of violence. That their enemies are only a threat because of treachery and conspiracy and economic manipulation and a web of cultural deceits that keep the The People from simply brushing them aside, like a muscular arm brushing away a mass of cobwebs.

Thus, they deal heavily in the currency of violence, and when this currency is used against them, it greatly weakens them.

Ideally, such things are not necessary, but in an ideal world there wouldn't be such a thing as a fascist government in the first place.
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*This is a separate thing from "otherwise normal politicians with distressing tendencies that kind of remind us of fascism" Such politicians are clearly still bad, but are very much not the same thing, and it is neither desirable nor appropriate to use exactly the same tools on them that you use on a fascist movement.


Well said!

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Re: It turns out Nazi punching is an old American tradition

Postby Flagg » 2017-03-11 11:07am

Simon_Jester wrote:Basically, actual fascism* is a political ideology that gains most of its power from the way that it connects politics and force. Very few other ideologies are anywhere near as intimately tied to the use of force. Umberto Eco's profile on the ur-Fascism (here I see a more complete version than I've ever been privileged to read before) is helpful in explaining the mindset involved.

What it comes down to is that fascist movements always revolve around the idea that force should play a role in politics. That they, the fascist political movement, deserve to triumph because they are more forceful, that violence is necessary and that the fascists are the masters of violence. That their enemies are only a threat because of treachery and conspiracy and economic manipulation and a web of cultural deceits that keep the The People from simply brushing them aside, like a muscular arm brushing away a mass of cobwebs.

Thus, they deal heavily in the currency of violence, and when this currency is used against them, it greatly weakens them.

Ideally, such things are not necessary, but in an ideal world there wouldn't be such a thing as a fascist government in the first place.
______________________

*This is a separate thing from "otherwise normal politicians with distressing tendencies that kind of remind us of fascism" Such politicians are clearly still bad, but are very much not the same thing, and it is neither desirable nor appropriate to use exactly the same tools on them that you use on a fascist movement.

So you're advocating Nazi-Womping as a means of dealing with them in general right from the start as a sort of pre-emptive strike or are you advocating Nazi-Womping in response to their violent acts against <insert non-threatening demonized minority here> ?
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Re: It turns out Nazi punching is an old American tradition

Postby Simon_Jester » 2017-03-11 06:56pm

It's like bugs in your house. If there's one flying bug in your house, you swat it, no problem, no need to freak. If you're seeing lots of flying bugs of the same species every damn day and you have reason to think they're getting into the pantry and leaving bug-poop all over your kitchen and so on... you call the exterminator.

Fascist movements (e.g. Nazis) will tend to cross a lot of lines if allowed to go unchecked. Eventually they cross a line at which point womping them is an appropriate response. Exactly where that line is depends on context. In the context of, say, 1930s Britain, the line may be in one place. In the context of 1970s Britain or 2010s America, a different place.

It depends.

[Yes, this is a vague answer, I'll be happy to clarify when I have more time]
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Re: It turns out Nazi punching is an old American tradition

Postby The Romulan Republic » 2017-03-12 11:54am

Simon_Jester wrote:It's like bugs in your house. If there's one flying bug in your house, you swat it, no problem, no need to freak. If you're seeing lots of flying bugs of the same species every damn day and you have reason to think they're getting into the pantry and leaving bug-poop all over your kitchen and so on... you call the exterminator.


You know, I'm not saying the two are actually equivalent, because obviously hating someone for their ideology or especially their acts is different than hating them for being born the "wrong" colour, but...

Equating a group you don't like to vermin who need to be exterminated is a really Nazi thing to do.

Fascist movements (e.g. Nazis) will tend to cross a lot of lines if allowed to go unchecked. Eventually they cross a line at which point womping them is an appropriate response. Exactly where that line is depends on context. In the context of, say, 1930s Britain, the line may be in one place. In the context of 1970s Britain or 2010s America, a different place.

It depends.

[Yes, this is a vague answer, I'll be happy to clarify when I have more time]


True, as far as it goes, though I suspect we'd have somewhat different views on where that line is.

I don't know... when I hear this sort of rhetoric, justifying political violence... I can't help but get some very unpleasant 1850s vibes.
"Our progress in degeneracy appears to me to be pretty rapid. As a nation, we began by declaring that "all men are created equal." We now practically read it "all men are created equal, except negroes" When the Know-Nothings get control, it will read "all men are created equal, except negroes, and foreigners, and Catholics." When it comes to this I should prefer emigrating to some country where they make no pretence of loving liberty -- to Russia, for instance, where despotism can be taken pure, and without the base alloy of hypocracy." - Lincoln.

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Re: It turns out Nazi punching is an old American tradition

Postby Simon_Jester » 2017-03-12 01:04pm

The Romulan Republic wrote:
Simon_Jester wrote:It's like bugs in your house. If there's one flying bug in your house, you swat it, no problem, no need to freak. If you're seeing lots of flying bugs of the same species every damn day and you have reason to think they're getting into the pantry and leaving bug-poop all over your kitchen and so on... you call the exterminator.
You know, I'm not saying the two are actually equivalent, because obviously hating someone for their ideology or especially their acts is different than hating them for being born the "wrong" colour, but...

Equating a group you don't like to vermin who need to be exterminated is a really Nazi thing to do.
:banghead:

Are you trying to convince me you're not worth listening to? This is one of the most content-empty objections to what I said that you could possibly have come up with. It's an exercise in huffing, puffing, dropping your monocle, and crying "I object to your tone, sir!"

Yes, actual fascists are toxic, they are parasites on the political process, they are a threat to the political process. They are exactly as welcome as cockroaches in my apartment.After all the time you've spent talking about how 'worrying' things are, you should know that. If you have a problem with that, I'm not going to apologize to you.

Fascist movements (e.g. Nazis) will tend to cross a lot of lines if allowed to go unchecked. Eventually they cross a line at which point womping them is an appropriate response. Exactly where that line is depends on context. In the context of, say, 1930s Britain, the line may be in one place. In the context of 1970s Britain or 2010s America, a different place.

It depends.

[Yes, this is a vague answer, I'll be happy to clarify when I have more time]
True, as far as it goes, though I suspect we'd have somewhat different views on where that line is.

I don't know... when I hear this sort of rhetoric, justifying political violence... I can't help but get some very unpleasant 1850s vibes.
That's an awfully 'fuck context, I have a pretext for disagreeing with my fellow left-winger' stance.

You know what I'm getting at, you're not a complete historical illiterate. There are times and places where there exists a genuine threat of democracy being overthrown and society being cast into tyranny. Not "too many brown people around," not slaveowners complaining about losing their slaves, real tyranny. "Tyranny" is not just a word we use when hyperventilating about Republican politicians.

Proportionate to the level of threat of this happening, there will arise a good and understandable reason to relax restrictions on violent efforts to stop the political process itself from being violently overthrown.

Either acknowledge the validity of the point and stop throwing around passive-aggressive "you're right but I don't like your tone" crap, or provide a substantiative criticism of the point and stop throwing around passive-aggressive "you're right but I don't like your tone" crap.
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Re: It turns out Nazi punching is an old American tradition

Postby Flagg » 2017-03-12 02:09pm

Simon_Jester wrote:It's like bugs in your house. If there's one flying bug in your house, you swat it, no problem, no need to freak. If you're seeing lots of flying bugs of the same species every damn day and you have reason to think they're getting into the pantry and leaving bug-poop all over your kitchen and so on... you call the exterminator.

Fascist movements (e.g. Nazis) will tend to cross a lot of lines if allowed to go unchecked. Eventually they cross a line at which point womping them is an appropriate response. Exactly where that line is depends on context. In the context of, say, 1930s Britain, the line may be in one place. In the context of 1970s Britain or 2010s America, a different place.

It depends.

[Yes, this is a vague answer, I'll be happy to clarify when I have more time]

No, I get what you're saying. It's like the KKK burning crosses on the vacant lot across the street every fucking weekend and you go through every legal route to get them to stop but they refuse. And you finally get a civil court to tell them they have to stop and pay big money if they don't, but that entails more court so you finally lose it and burn KKKamp down. And the cops are called, tell the KKKunts that it's a civil matter, so they sue, win, and now instead of them owing you $50,000 they now owe you $49,530.
:lol:
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Re: It turns out Nazi punching is an old American tradition

Postby Simon_Jester » 2017-03-12 02:31pm

More or less.

It comes down to details of context, of how much danger there is from the actual fascist organization, of how much danger there is from fascism in the surrounding countries (low in most places today, VERY high in 1930s Europe), and so on.
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Re: It turns out Nazi punching is an old American tradition

Postby The Romulan Republic » 2017-03-12 02:47pm

Simon_Jester wrote: :banghead:

Are you trying to convince me you're not worth listening to? This is one of the most content-empty objections to what I said that you could possibly have come up with. It's an exercise in huffing, puffing, dropping your monocle, and crying "I object to your tone, sir!"

Yes, actual fascists are toxic, they are parasites on the political process, they are a threat to the political process. They are exactly as welcome as cockroaches in my apartment.After all the time you've spent talking about how 'worrying' things are, you should know that. If you have a problem with that, I'm not going to apologize to you.


Are you capable of understanding that their is a distinction between opposing and condemning someone, and explicitly treating them as non-humans who need to be exterminated? If your "tone" is "these people are vermin who need to be killed", then yes I object to it, and I will not apologize for that.

Moreover, using that kind of rhetoric in a discussion about Nazis is pretty much a way of saying you fail irony completely.

And the only one I see "huffing and puffing" here is you, with your over the top, self-righteous outrage at my criticism. While neither of us is under any obligation to be polite to the other, you are the one here who just opted to respond to criticism with hostility.

That's an awfully 'fuck context, I have a pretext for disagreeing with my fellow left-winger' stance.


I object to the insinuation that I am being disingenuous, that I am looking for a pretext to disagree with others on the Left.

I also object to your repeated insinuations that I am being hyperbolic when I object to you describing people, even loathsome people, as vermin to be exterminated. But don’t worry- you’re not the first poster to trade on my reputation for hyperbole to discredit me, rather than refuting my argument.

You know what I'm getting at, you're not a complete historical illiterate. There are times and places where there exists a genuine threat of democracy being overthrown and society being cast into tyranny. Not "too many brown people around," not slaveowners complaining about losing their slaves, real tyranny. "Tyranny" is not just a word we use when hyperventilating about Republican politicians.


Yes, I am aware of all that, and I believe that I already acknowledge that there are circumstances where the use of violence can be justified. Repeatedly.

I also feel that we are not yet at one of those times and places in contemporary America, but that their is a real possibility of overheated rhetoric driving us more quickly toward that point, while it is still avoidable. And that a scenario that would likely result in a great many people losing their lives, with no guarantee of it actually improving the situation in the long run, is to be avoided if possible.

That this is apparently now seen as a controversial or even offensive stance is, frankly, terrifying.

Incidentally, it wasn't just the slave-holders in the South who were using overheated rhetoric and violence that escalated tensions. They may have been the primary guilty parties, but there were people in the north who dialed up the hostility as well. Now, when it came down to it, when the South seceded and fired on a Union fort to preserve and expand slavery, then the government was entirely within its rights and duty to respond with force. And its likely that in that case, the South really wouldn't have altered course without a war, or at any rate, that the point where an alternative solution could realistically have been reached passed decades earlier. But the point of the comparison was that we are now, like then, facing a situation where people on both sides of the political spectrum increasingly view the other side as enemies to be fought and destroyed, and that should be concerning to anyone who values the democratic process or the rule of law.

Proportionate to the level of threat of this happening, there will arise a good and understandable reason to relax restrictions on violent efforts to stop the political process itself from being violently overthrown.


If their was an immediate danger of the political process itself being violently overthrown, as you put it, I would be a lot more open to the use of force (though still not and never as a terror tactic against civilians).

Let's cut through the bullshit and get right to the point: Do you or do you not feel that we are in such a situation in America now, and if not, at what point would you feel that we were?

Either acknowledge the validity of the point and stop throwing around passive-aggressive "you're right but I don't like your tone" crap,


I have acknowledge that your points are valid to the extent that I feel they are valid.

And your choice of words matters, because it affects both your meaning, and how others perceive it. As someone who has frequently been criticized for their tone (including by you in this very post), believe me, I know.

or provide a substantiative criticism of the point and stop throwing around passive-aggressive "you're right but I don't like your tone" crap.


Substantive criticism like that we are not yet in a state of armed revolt, and recklessly advocating on behalf of political violence might push us closer to it? Or that you can criticize, even condemn someone and oppose them without portraying them as sub-humans who require extermination? And that using such rhetoric in a discussion about Nazis shows a stunning lack of self-awareness, to put it mildly?

I mean, just stop and think about what you’re saying for a moment. You are getting outraged at me for objecting to your description of a group of human beings as subhuman animals that need to be exterminated. Hell, you could have just said “I didn’t mean it literally”, but no, you chose to double down and defend that position. Is this really a position you want to stand your ground on?
"Our progress in degeneracy appears to me to be pretty rapid. As a nation, we began by declaring that "all men are created equal." We now practically read it "all men are created equal, except negroes" When the Know-Nothings get control, it will read "all men are created equal, except negroes, and foreigners, and Catholics." When it comes to this I should prefer emigrating to some country where they make no pretence of loving liberty -- to Russia, for instance, where despotism can be taken pure, and without the base alloy of hypocracy." - Lincoln.

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Re: It turns out Nazi punching is an old American tradition

Postby The Romulan Republic » 2017-03-12 02:58pm

And you know, I can't help but note how you're always lecturing me about how the Left shouldn't be fighting itself, how we should be willing to compromise. And yet you're not willing to concede so basic a point for the functioning of a democratic society as "Maybe we don't actually need to assault/kill people, and condemn anyone on the Left who disagrees?"

Or are you one of those people for whom "compromise" really just means "you should agree with me"?
"Our progress in degeneracy appears to me to be pretty rapid. As a nation, we began by declaring that "all men are created equal." We now practically read it "all men are created equal, except negroes" When the Know-Nothings get control, it will read "all men are created equal, except negroes, and foreigners, and Catholics." When it comes to this I should prefer emigrating to some country where they make no pretence of loving liberty -- to Russia, for instance, where despotism can be taken pure, and without the base alloy of hypocracy." - Lincoln.

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Re: It turns out Nazi punching is an old American tradition

Postby Simon_Jester » 2017-03-12 03:04pm

The Romulan Republic wrote:
Simon_Jester wrote: :banghead:

Are you trying to convince me you're not worth listening to? This is one of the most content-empty objections to what I said that you could possibly have come up with. It's an exercise in huffing, puffing, dropping your monocle, and crying "I object to your tone, sir!"

Yes, actual fascists are toxic, they are parasites on the political process, they are a threat to the political process. They are exactly as welcome as cockroaches in my apartment.After all the time you've spent talking about how 'worrying' things are, you should know that. If you have a problem with that, I'm not going to apologize to you.
Are you capable of understanding that their is a distinction between opposing and condemning someone, and explicitly treating them as non-humans who need to be exterminated? If your "tone" is "these people are vermin who need to be killed", then yes I object to it, and I will not apologize for that.
If your entire position didn't reduce to you hilariously overreacting to my analogy because you're looking for a fight, I might be more sympathetic.

That's an awfully 'fuck context, I have a pretext for disagreeing with my fellow left-winger' stance.
I object to the insinuation that I am being disingenuous, that I am looking for a pretext to disagree with others on the Left.
Oh, you're as ingenuous as the day is long. I'm not questioning your honesty.

It's just that you are quite honestly and sincerely seizing on opportunities to disagree with left-wingers over details of their tone.

I've got a lot of experience in my life with people who spend their own entire lives truly believing that they are constantly being wronged and insulted by everyone around them. They're not being disingenuous. They really mean it. They really think that every time anyone says anything in their presence that can be interpreted as an insult or a slight, it must be an insult or a slight, and that they 'have to' respond to it or some unnamed mysterious disaster will befall them.

They don't even think about it, it's like a reflex action. As soon as a pretext is given for them to blame someone, or criticize someone, or start disagreeing with someone, they just do it.

They're counterproductive, they're almost universally hated, they're a plague on everyone around them. But by God they're honest! Just because they spend their whole lives crippled by having their head inserted firmly up their butt doesn't mean they're being dishonest.

I wish I weren't worried about you turning into that. I like having meaningful conversations with you about meaningful things. But then random bullshit like this happens.

I also object to your repeated insinuations that I am being hyperbolic when I object to you describing people, even loathsome people, as vermin to be exterminated. But don’t worry- you’re not the first poster to trade on my reputation for hyperbole to discredit me, rather than refuting my argument.
That's my point, you don't have an argument in this particular case. Yes, I randomly chose one possible analogy out of many. No, it doesn't mean much. Your attempt to do a Freudianesque analysis and point out deep irony is an exercise in futility.

I mean hell, you know why I used the bugs analogy? It went like this: "Hm, how will I answer Flagg's question? [space out for a sec] Hey, Flagg used to live in Florida. They have lots of bugs in Florida. I remember a hilarious Dave Barry column on all the bugs they have in Florida. Oh crap, bugs, I remember when I had bugs in my apartment."

So I started thinking about bugs. Then I wrote a paragraph or so on bugs in one's home as a comparison point.

And then you come along with an utter lack of a sense of humor and try to go for the throat over it.

So yeah, I'm accusing you of doing the whole hyperbolic hyperventilating thing. Because exactly this, exactly like this, is how you got that reputation in the first place.

You know what I'm getting at, you're not a complete historical illiterate. There are times and places where there exists a genuine threat of democracy being overthrown and society being cast into tyranny. Not "too many brown people around," not slaveowners complaining about losing their slaves, real tyranny. "Tyranny" is not just a word we use when hyperventilating about Republican politicians.
Yes, I am aware of all that, and I believe that I already acknowledge that there are circumstances where the use of violence can be justified. Repeatedly.
Yeah, and it was the meat in a "But I loathe your horrible tone sir!" passive-aggressive bullshit sandwich. Forgive me for noticing the bread and the choice of condiments, too.

You don't get a lot of credit for grudgingly acknowledging the point in the middle of a pile of badwill aimed at the person who made it.

Let's cut through the bullshit and get right to the point: Do you or do you not feel that we are in such a situation in America now, and if not, at what point would you feel that we were?
I'd say the worst bits of the Depression-era US are close to the line. Almost any country in 1920s or 1930s-era Europe is on the far side of that line, where anti-fascist violence was justified by the circumstances. Because you can pretty much carve on the tombstone of the Weimar Republic, "they didn't punch nearly enough Nazis."

Either acknowledge the validity of the point and stop throwing around passive-aggressive "you're right but I don't like your tone" crap,
I have acknowledge that your points are valid to the extent that I feel they are valid.

And your choice of words matters, because it affects both your meaning, and how others perceive it. As someone who has frequently been criticized for their tone (including by you in this very post), believe me, I know.
I'm criticizing you because you intentionally started a squabble that is far more over tone than it is over substance. Again.

If you really, really want to argue over whether we're the Judean People's Liberation Front or the People's Liberation Front of Judea, go right ahead... but I wish you'd stop. It'd make it a lot easier to take you seriously and treat you with respect.
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Re: It turns out Nazi punching is an old American tradition

Postby The Romulan Republic » 2017-03-12 03:32pm

Simon_Jester wrote:If your entire position didn't reduce to you hilariously overreacting to my analogy because you're looking for a fight, I might be more sympathetic.


Oh, you're as ingenuous as the day is long. I'm not questioning your honesty.

It's just that you are quite honestly and sincerely seizing on opportunities to disagree with left-wingers over details of their tone.

I've got a lot of experience in my life with people who spend their own entire lives truly believing that they are constantly being wronged and insulted by everyone around them. They're not being disingenuous. They really mean it. They really think that every time anyone says anything in their presence that can be interpreted as an insult or a slight, it must be an insult or a slight, and that they 'have to' respond to it or some unnamed mysterious disaster will befall them.

They don't even think about it, it's like a reflex action. As soon as a pretext is given for them to blame someone, or criticize someone, or start disagreeing with someone, they just do it.

They're counterproductive, they're almost universally hated, they're a plague on everyone around them. But by God they're honest! Just because they spend their whole lives crippled by having their head inserted firmly up their butt doesn't mean they're being dishonest.

I wish I weren't worried about you turning into that. I like having meaningful conversations with you about meaningful things. But then random bullshit like this happens.


That's my point, you don't have an argument in this particular case. Yes, I randomly chose one possible analogy out of many. No, it doesn't mean much. Your attempt to do a Freudianesque analysis and point out deep irony is an exercise in futility.

I mean hell, you know why I used the bugs analogy? It went like this: "Hm, how will I answer Flagg's question? [space out for a sec] Hey, Flagg used to live in Florida. They have lots of bugs in Florida. I remember a hilarious Dave Barry column on all the bugs they have in Florida. Oh crap, bugs, I remember when I had bugs in my apartment."

So I started thinking about bugs. Then I wrote a paragraph or so on bugs in one's home as a comparison point.

And then you come along with an utter lack of a sense of humor and try to go for the throat over it.

So yeah, I'm accusing you of doing the whole hyperbolic hyperventilating thing. Because exactly this, exactly like this, is how you got that reputation in the first place.


Believe it or not, I really wasn't looking for a fight in this case. Hell, until recently, you were one of the people on this board who I considered basically reasonable.

Simply put, I saw something that I disagreed with very strongly, and said so and why. I don't believe that the terms I used were hyperbolic, on the whole, nor was I attempting any deep analysis. It was a fairly straightforward response.

If that is picking a fight, then pretty much any debate is picking a fight.

I'd be more willing to accept that your choice of words was meant humorously rather than literally, however (even though I find absolutely nothing humorous about them), if you hadn't dug in and defended them with things like "Yes, actual fascists are toxic, they are parasites on the political process, they are a threat to the political process. They are exactly as welcome as cockroaches in my apartment.After all the time you've spent talking about how 'worrying' things are, you should know that. If you have a problem with that, I'm not going to apologize to you." Which indicates that this is a serious position, rather than just admitting that it was an exceptionally poor choice of words.

And I do think it was a poor choice of words, and that that matters. It was a needlessly inflammatory and provocative post, and frankly, you had to have known how I, or anyone else who holds similar views on this subject, would likely respond.

As I said, your tone, and your choice of words, matters. You presumably know this, because you criticize me on this point all the time.

Yeah, and it was the meat in a "But I loathe your horrible tone sir!" passive-aggressive bullshit sandwich. Forgive me for noticing the bread and the choice of condiments, too.

You don't get a lot of credit for grudgingly acknowledging the point in the middle of a pile of badwill aimed at the person who made it.


Its a valid point in and of itself, and I have no problem acknowledging that, but I question how applicable it is to the current circumstances in the United States.

I do object to the accusation of being passive aggressive. I thought I was fairly direct in my criticism. :)

I'd say the worst bits of the Depression-era US are close to the line. Almost any country in 1920s or 1930s-era Europe is on the far side of that line, where anti-fascist violence was justified by the circumstances. Because you can pretty much carve on the tombstone of the Weimar Republic, "they didn't punch nearly enough Nazis."


Hmm. I take it, then, that you do not feel the current United States qualifies?

I'd probably mostly agree with this, with the caveat that I am not familiar enough with the state of every country in Europe at that time to reach a conclusion about all of them. I'd have to take it on a case by case basis, following further research.

Any country that went fascist internally (as opposed to due to foreign invasion) should probably have experienced more armed resistance to such a takeover than it did, yes.

I'm criticizing you because you intentionally started a squabble that is far more over tone than it is over substance. Again.

If you really, really want to argue over whether we're the Judean People's Liberation Front or the People's Liberation Front of Judea, go right ahead... but I wish you'd stop. It'd make it a lot easier to take you seriously and treat you with respect.


I would say that "Should the Left adopt the use of political violence, and should others on the Left be obligated to agree with that", is one of the most substantive possible discussions we could have.
"Our progress in degeneracy appears to me to be pretty rapid. As a nation, we began by declaring that "all men are created equal." We now practically read it "all men are created equal, except negroes" When the Know-Nothings get control, it will read "all men are created equal, except negroes, and foreigners, and Catholics." When it comes to this I should prefer emigrating to some country where they make no pretence of loving liberty -- to Russia, for instance, where despotism can be taken pure, and without the base alloy of hypocracy." - Lincoln.

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Re: It turns out Nazi punching is an old American tradition

Postby Simon_Jester » 2017-03-12 03:59pm

We are at the point where political violence is not justified, but where trying to flail at everyone who questions the "political violence is unjustified" stance is also not justified.

We haven't crossed the "Nazi line," the point at which we're actually worried about fascism taking over the country and putting a halt to democratic processes. But we've definitely crossed the "people are going to die who shouldn't have had to die" line, we've crossed the "the fascists and proto-fascists are starting to think they might have a shot at taking over" line.

And we've crossed the "it's time to start seriously asking if we've crossed the Nazi line yet, even if the answer is 'no' " line. My main thesis that may become grounds for controversy in your eyes is, quite simply, that we need to respect that conversation. It is time to stop alienating people for the 'crime' of thinking that their lot in America is so horrible that maybe violence is the only way anyone will ever take them seriously. It's fine to disagree with that, but not fine to treat it as an obvious-stupid position that turns the person who believes it into an evil creep that should be ignored.

It is pointless to engage in internal bashing of this kind.
___________________

As to the continued fuming about my tone... I will say only this:

TRR wrote:And I do think it was a poor choice of words, and that that matters. It was a needlessly inflammatory and provocative post, and frankly, you had to have known how I, or anyone else who holds similar views on this subject, would likely respond.
And yet, you are the only one who has done so. This is why I view it as you personally doing something counterproductive, not me personally doing something that is objectively provocative.

My goal in that post was to answer a straightforward, factual question, directly asked by Flagg. It's as simple as that. You were the one who decided we needed to spend ten posts going back and forth about my choice of analogy.
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Re: It turns out Nazi punching is an old American tradition

Postby The Romulan Republic » 2017-03-12 04:10pm

Simon_Jester wrote:We are at the point where political violence is not justified, but where trying to flail at everyone who questions the "political violence is unjustified" stance is also not justified.

We haven't crossed the "Nazi line," the point at which we're actually worried about fascism taking over the country and putting a halt to democratic processes. But we've definitely crossed the "people are going to die who shouldn't have had to die" line, we've crossed the "the fascists and proto-fascists are starting to think they might have a shot at taking over" line.

And we've crossed the "it's time to start seriously asking if we've crossed the Nazi line yet, even if the answer is 'no' " line. My main thesis that may become grounds for controversy in your eyes is, quite simply, that we need to respect that conversation. It is time to stop alienating people for the 'crime' of thinking that their lot in America is so horrible that maybe violence is the only way anyone will ever take them seriously. It's fine to disagree with that, but not fine to treat it as an obvious-stupid position that turns the person who believes it into an evil creep that should be ignored.

It is pointless to engage in internal bashing of this kind.


The problem with this is that when we seriously entertain the question of weather that line has been crossed, some people are going to answer yes. Some of them may act on that. And in either case, it will ratchet up the tension higher, which will make it easier for our opponents to see us as a deadly enemy that must be met by force, and in my opinion their is a very real risk of such rhetoric actively pushing us closer to the line than we otherwise would be.

I'll accept that their may be no easy answer to this dilemma, but I would appreciate it if you would at least address this concern.

As to the question of "tone", and your choice of words, I stand by my criticism, but since it is clear that you will not acknowledge any error on your part, and its just going 'round in circles at this point, I will, with your permission, leave it at that.

Edit: I think, as I've said before, that we are presently in a situation where their are still numerous non-violent options, but where their is a great deal of fear, hostility, and frustration permeating the Left, with the result that an increasing number of people see "Go out and break some heads" as a quick, simple, and viscerally satisfying solution, rather than the escalation of conflict and breakdown of our legal and political framework that it is. My feeling is that people need to cool off for a while and give the political and legal opposition a chance to work its way through the channels rather than undermining it by taking violent action preemptively.

If the situation continues to get worse to the point where large groups of innocent people are facing an imminent threat to their life/liberty, and the legal and political channels have failed, then we can revisit this discussion.
"Our progress in degeneracy appears to me to be pretty rapid. As a nation, we began by declaring that "all men are created equal." We now practically read it "all men are created equal, except negroes" When the Know-Nothings get control, it will read "all men are created equal, except negroes, and foreigners, and Catholics." When it comes to this I should prefer emigrating to some country where they make no pretence of loving liberty -- to Russia, for instance, where despotism can be taken pure, and without the base alloy of hypocracy." - Lincoln.

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Re: It turns out Nazi punching is an old American tradition

Postby The Romulan Republic » 2017-03-12 04:22pm

I'll add that part of the reason I push back so strongly on this issue is that I feel that their is tendency right now (and perhaps a general human tendency) to err on the side of violence rather than peace. So I feel that their is more need to defend the alternative, in order to counterbalance that.

Edit: I do think that in theory, their is some merit to people on the Left arming themselves, learning self-defence, participating in self-defence groups, etc. The problem is that I don't really see how to promote that kind of thing without escalating tensions, or without some people inevitably acting on it outside of self-defence.

The dilemma, in short, is "How does one prepare for the possible of conflict in a manner that deters it, rather than risking initiating it?"
"Our progress in degeneracy appears to me to be pretty rapid. As a nation, we began by declaring that "all men are created equal." We now practically read it "all men are created equal, except negroes" When the Know-Nothings get control, it will read "all men are created equal, except negroes, and foreigners, and Catholics." When it comes to this I should prefer emigrating to some country where they make no pretence of loving liberty -- to Russia, for instance, where despotism can be taken pure, and without the base alloy of hypocracy." - Lincoln.

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Re: It turns out Nazi punching is an old American tradition

Postby Simon_Jester » 2017-03-12 04:30pm

The Romulan Republic wrote:
The problem with this is that when we seriously entertain the question of weather that line has been crossed, some people are going to answer yes. Some of them may act on that. And in either case, it will ratchet up the tension higher, which will make it easier for our opponents to see us as a deadly enemy that must be met by force, and in my opinion their is a very real risk of such rhetoric actively pushing us closer to the line than we otherwise would be.

I'll accept that their may be no easy answer to this dilemma, but I would appreciate it if you would at least address this concern.
My address to it is simple.

You are giving this as a reason why we shouldn't even be willing to talk to and listen to people who think violence might be a reasonable response to near-future right-wing politics in America.

Has it occurred to you that refusing to listen to radicals on your own side is actually not a good way to convince them they should stop being radicals? If you take someone who is convinced their group is in danger of being crushed down into the pavement, that mainstream politics offers no answers for them, and tell them "you should be ashamed of yourself for even thinking that mainstream politics offers no answers for you..."

You are putting on your "mainstream politics" hat, and offering them no answers. They will draw the logical conclusions.

If you aren't willing to reach out a hand to them and promise to fight for them metaphorically, they have all the more reason to fight for themselves literally. Indeed, it was exactly this that led to things like violent anti-fascist demonstrations in Europe in the 1930s, or for that matter the 1970s. Socialist parties learned that they could not, on the whole, depend on the police or the 'mainstream' non-socialist parties to protect them from fascists. They decided to protect themselves, but the only way they could do so was by force.

If you want to create a strong, healthy, peaceful coalition that represents a broad base, you're not going to get it by rejecting the legitimacy of everyone you think is less peaceful than yourself. The resulting coalition may be very, very peaceful indeed, but it will not be healthy or strong.
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Re: It turns out Nazi punching is an old American tradition

Postby The Romulan Republic » 2017-03-12 04:39pm

I feel like we're talking past each other here.

I'm not saying we should never discuss it. I'm saying that while I acknowledge that their may not be an easy answer to this question, their are serious risks to having that discussion. Risks that I think you are being somewhat blaze and dismissive about.

Do we need to address those peoples' concerns, to be "willing... to fight for them metaphorically"... Absolutely. But that doesn't meant conceding to every radical position one encounters.

I've been beating the progressive drum on these forums, criticizing the Democratic establishment, all through the last election and since Trump's election. I'm the last person to be blind to the needs of the Democratic Party to take a stronger stand on certain issues. Yet because I don't condone violence, or because I don't agree that literally all politicians are the same, or that every Democrat is just as bad as Trump, I'm then categorized as an establishment shill. That sort of environment is not a recipe for building the strong coalition you need to accomplish anything substantial, regardless of the methods used. It is a recipe for either apathy, or anarchy.

Reaching out has to go both ways.
"Our progress in degeneracy appears to me to be pretty rapid. As a nation, we began by declaring that "all men are created equal." We now practically read it "all men are created equal, except negroes" When the Know-Nothings get control, it will read "all men are created equal, except negroes, and foreigners, and Catholics." When it comes to this I should prefer emigrating to some country where they make no pretence of loving liberty -- to Russia, for instance, where despotism can be taken pure, and without the base alloy of hypocracy." - Lincoln.

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Re: It turns out Nazi punching is an old American tradition

Postby Simon_Jester » 2017-03-12 07:48pm

Before I can even begin to address this post...

Yet because I don't condone violence, or because I don't agree that literally all politicians are the same, or that every Democrat is just as bad as Trump, I'm then categorized as an establishment shill
By who? By me? By someone else?
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Re: It turns out Nazi punching is an old American tradition

Postby The Romulan Republic » 2017-03-12 07:57pm

Simon_Jester wrote:Before I can even begin to address this post...

Yet because I don't condone violence, or because I don't agree that literally all politicians are the same, or that every Democrat is just as bad as Trump, I'm then categorized as an establishment shill
By who? By me? By someone else?


Not referring to you specifically, but rather to the people you are referring to, the ones you think we should be reaching out to. Sorry if that was unclear.

My point is that we're dealing increasingly with an environment where if you don't check all the right ideological boxes, you're seen as the enemy. And that that is not conducive to any kind of productive discussion. Its all well and fine to say that I need to address these peoples' concerns, that we shouldn't be arguing with one another, but at one point does that become impossible without conceding on every single point?

Because weather one supports assault or murder as a legitimate political tactic is, to me, a fairly fundamental question, not a trivial disagreement that isn't worth bickering over.
"Our progress in degeneracy appears to me to be pretty rapid. As a nation, we began by declaring that "all men are created equal." We now practically read it "all men are created equal, except negroes" When the Know-Nothings get control, it will read "all men are created equal, except negroes, and foreigners, and Catholics." When it comes to this I should prefer emigrating to some country where they make no pretence of loving liberty -- to Russia, for instance, where despotism can be taken pure, and without the base alloy of hypocracy." - Lincoln.

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Re: It turns out Nazi punching is an old American tradition

Postby Simon_Jester » 2017-03-12 08:00pm

Did you miss the part where I said that I'm not calling for "fine, think violence is a good idea if you want," but rather for an end to "NO, VIOLENCE ALWAYS BAD, DON'T EVEN THINK ABOUT THINKING ABOUT THIS." Because that does fall under bickering over relatively small differences.

The gap between someone who can imagine a situation where violent resistance to actively fascist political groups might be necessary in the next five years, versus someone who cannot imagine it, may have more to do with their respective imaginations than it has to do with their actual views.
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Re: It turns out Nazi punching is an old American tradition

Postby The Romulan Republic » 2017-03-12 08:20pm

Simon_Jester wrote:Did you miss the part where I said that I'm not calling for "fine, think violence is a good idea if you want," but rather for an end to "NO, VIOLENCE ALWAYS BAD, DON'T EVEN THINK ABOUT THINKING ABOUT THIS."


That is a deliberate straw man of my position.

And if you are going to argue in bad faith, I see no reason to waste any further time or effort discussing it with you.

Because that does fall under bickering over relatively small differences.


Yeah, maybe, if that was even close to my actual position.

The gap between someone who can imagine a situation where violent resistance to actively fascist political groups might be necessary in the next five years, versus someone who cannot imagine it, may have more to do with their respective imaginations than it has to do with their actual views.


So now we're down to cheap insults?

Oh, I can imagine it. I also think that you are taking a position which makes it more likely that we will reach that point. Something that you seem unable, or unwilling, to really address except by attacking my tone and strawmanning my arguments.
"Our progress in degeneracy appears to me to be pretty rapid. As a nation, we began by declaring that "all men are created equal." We now practically read it "all men are created equal, except negroes" When the Know-Nothings get control, it will read "all men are created equal, except negroes, and foreigners, and Catholics." When it comes to this I should prefer emigrating to some country where they make no pretence of loving liberty -- to Russia, for instance, where despotism can be taken pure, and without the base alloy of hypocracy." - Lincoln.

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Re: It turns out Nazi punching is an old American tradition

Postby Simon_Jester » 2017-03-12 08:23pm

The Romulan Republic wrote:
Simon_Jester wrote:Did you miss the part where I said that I'm not calling for "fine, think violence is a good idea if you want," but rather for an end to "NO, VIOLENCE ALWAYS BAD, DON'T EVEN THINK ABOUT THINKING ABOUT THIS."


That is a deliberate straw man of my position.

And if you are going to argue in bad faith, I see no reason to waste any further time or effort discussing it with you.
That was a description of my position, not an attempt to provide a nuanced analysis of your position.

This is like the third time, this afternoon alone, that you've bristled at me because you took something I said as evidence that I am an evil liar out to insult you and say mean things about you.

If you can't stop being so goddamn touchy, then quite frankly I welcome you ceasing to argue with me.

The gap between someone who can imagine a situation where violent resistance to actively fascist political groups might be necessary in the next five years, versus someone who cannot imagine it, may have more to do with their respective imaginations than it has to do with their actual views.


So now we're down to cheap insults?
And that makes four.

What the hell are you doing?
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Re: It turns out Nazi punching is an old American tradition

Postby The Romulan Republic » 2017-03-12 09:03pm

Simon_Jester wrote:
The Romulan Republic wrote:
Simon_Jester wrote:Did you miss the part where I said that I'm not calling for "fine, think violence is a good idea if you want," but rather for an end to "NO, VIOLENCE ALWAYS BAD, DON'T EVEN THINK ABOUT THINKING ABOUT THIS."


That is a deliberate straw man of my position.

And if you are going to argue in bad faith, I see no reason to waste any further time or effort discussing it with you.
That was a description of my position, not an attempt to provide a nuanced analysis of your position.


Oh, come on.

We were talking about my views on political violence, and how you feel I should converse with those who support it. And when I pointed out that this is not a small, insignificant quibble, and that compromise goes both ways, you responded with how we need to stop saying "NO, VIOLENCE ALWAYS BAD, DON'T EVEN THINK ABOUT THINKING ABOUT THIS." Which is basically the same caricature of my position that you previously advanced, only more melodramatically stated. So of course I concluded that that it was a dig at my position. Their is a context here.

This is like the third time, this afternoon alone, that you've bristled at me because you took something I said as evidence that I am an evil liar out to insult you and say mean things about you.


I have not, at any prior point in this discussion, called you a liar. Seriously, go back and check. If you can prove me wrong, I'll gladly concede it and apologize to you.

Although frankly, I think that to some extent you are arguing against my reputation and your expectations of me, rather than what I'm actually posting.

And that makes four.

What the hell are you doing?


I was referring to the jab about lack of imagination. Granted, it was a fairly petty jab, and I probably should have just let it slide.

To make one last attempt to get this back to the actual issues, I have four questions that I do not feel have been adequately addressed:

1. At what point, broadly speaking, do you feel that political violence is justified as a tactic/strategy?

2. Do you acknowledge that accommodating the viewpoints of those who are more inclined toward political violence risks escalating tensions and legitimizing acts of violence? Again, I'm not saying "We can never speak of it". But do you recognize that this is a legitimate concern?

3. How do you think one should address the concerns of those who feel that it is, or may be, necessary, short of simply conceding the point or refusing to debate the matter at all (which amounts to tacit approval)?

3. Do you acknowledge that those of us who object to political violence have at least as much right to express our positions on the subject as those who advocate for it, or do you feel that it is only we who should remains silent for the sake of Left wing solidarity?
"Our progress in degeneracy appears to me to be pretty rapid. As a nation, we began by declaring that "all men are created equal." We now practically read it "all men are created equal, except negroes" When the Know-Nothings get control, it will read "all men are created equal, except negroes, and foreigners, and Catholics." When it comes to this I should prefer emigrating to some country where they make no pretence of loving liberty -- to Russia, for instance, where despotism can be taken pure, and without the base alloy of hypocracy." - Lincoln.

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Re: It turns out Nazi punching is an old American tradition

Postby Simon_Jester » 2017-03-13 04:54am

The Romulan Republic wrote:
Simon_Jester wrote:That was a description of my position, not an attempt to provide a nuanced analysis of your position.
Oh, come on.

We were talking about my views on political violence, and how you feel I should converse with those who support it. And when I pointed out that this is not a small, insignificant quibble, and that compromise goes both ways, you responded with how we need to stop saying "NO, VIOLENCE ALWAYS BAD, DON'T EVEN THINK ABOUT THINKING ABOUT THIS." Which is basically the same caricature of my position that you previously advanced, only more melodramatically stated. So of course I concluded that that it was a dig at my position. Their is a context here.
I'm not caricaturing what you said in this thread. If you said something elsewhere or elsewhen that can be interpreted as something I'd caricature in this way, I can't remember when specifically you said it, or to whom. I didn't go out of my way to pin this opinion on you. If you identify with extreme anti-violence positions to the extent of being against people who are less anti-violence than yourself, that is your problem. If you're offended that something I say can be interpreted as a parody of SOME person being against people less anti-violence than themselves, that is also your problem.

I am not going out of my way to cultivate a fight here, except by the very act of even bothering to carry on a conversation with you and respond to your previous statements directed against my words... Which seems to doom me to a fight by default.

Even trying to have a conversation with you in which this doesn't happen seems like an incredibly exhausting and unrewarding exercise. Because I have to be extremely careful to be intensely literal-minded, pick my words carefully so that they cannot possibly be seen as grounds for offense, ignore your tone while constantly minding my own, and even then I must resign myself to occasionally being misunderstood and having you start 'calling me out' for something I didn't do, didn't intend, or that just plain doesn't mean what you think it does.

If I didn't feel some obligation to keep trying to address people so long as I remain on this forum I'd have given up on this exchange already, and as it is you've done a fair amount to convince me to spend less time interested in this forum.

So we're now up to... what, five times in the past 24 hours or so that you've gone bristly and hostile on me because you decided to be offended by something I said, that wasn't particularly pointed at you.

This is like the third time, this afternoon alone, that you've bristled at me because you took something I said as evidence that I am an evil liar out to insult you and say mean things about you.
I have not, at any prior point in this discussion, called you a liar. Seriously, go back and check.
Make that six.

Did you even read the rest of the sentence? The word 'liar' is not the key word here. The words 'evil,' 'out to insult you' and '[out to] say mean things about you' are at least as important.

Please, for the love of sanity, stop and actually think this through. I'm usually one of the last people to say "this guy is so thin skinned I can barely stand to even try to talk with him anymore," and even I'm saying it here.

And that makes four.

What the hell are you doing?
I was referring to the jab about lack of imagination. Granted, it was a fairly petty jab, and I probably should have just let it slide.
:banghead:

That was not a jab at you, you berserk chihuahua of a man. A difference in the imaginations of two individuals does not automatically mean the person who imagines stranger things happening is somehow superior.

And yes, "berserk chihuahua" WAS a jab at you, I'm going to be honest about it, because you keep yapping at me at random for things I didn't do or that don't mean what you think they mean and the one recurring element is that you always, always think your political or intellectual territory, or your reputation, is under attack.

To make one last attempt to get this back to the actual issues, I have four questions that I do not feel have been adequately addressed:

1. At what point, broadly speaking, do you feel that political violence is justified as a tactic/strategy?

2. Do you acknowledge that accommodating the viewpoints of those who are more inclined toward political violence risks escalating tensions and legitimizing acts of violence? Again, I'm not saying "We can never speak of it". But do you recognize that this is a legitimate concern?

3. How do you think one should address the concerns of those who feel that it is, or may be, necessary, short of simply conceding the point or refusing to debate the matter at all (which amounts to tacit approval)?

3. Do you acknowledge that those of us who object to political violence have at least as much right to express our positions on the subject as those who advocate for it, or do you feel that it is only we who should remains silent for the sake of Left wing solidarity?
1) In broad, when the authorities cease to act as protection against politically motivated violence. Which I interpret to include things like racist lynchings and homophobic beatings-to-death. And also cases where the authorities do not prevent a politically powerful organization from violently breaking the law to suppress its opposition.

2) I would argue that while there is a risk, there is an equal and opposite, countervailing risk associated with shoving such people permanently outside your tent. The enemy won't bother to differentiate between you and them; if you are a socialist and a communist burns down the Reichstag, the crackdown will hit you about as hard as it hits the arsonist. You have a much better chance of convincing people to not do anything stupid if they're listening to you... which requires showing enough respect for their opinions and good will that you're worth listening to.

3) (1) provides a straightforward guideline for discussing the issue. I would use that as my guide in discussing the matter with them, or with anyone.
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Re: It turns out Nazi punching is an old American tradition

Postby The Romulan Republic » 2017-03-15 10:41am

Simon_Jester wrote:1) In broad, when the authorities cease to act as protection against politically motivated violence. Which I interpret to include things like racist lynchings and homophobic beatings-to-death. And also cases where the authorities do not prevent a politically powerful organization from violently breaking the law to suppress its opposition.


I can see the argument for this, but find it overly broad. Perhaps most importantly, where does one draw a distinction between individual (even high-profile) cases of political violence, or of apathy, collusion, incompetence, or simply failure to convict by the legal system towards it, and systemic failure?

For example, would you consider the statistically higher rate of shootings of African Americans by police (who are often not convicted for it) to constitute a justification for political violence under the definition provided above?

I also make a distinction to some extent between violence for defensive purposes (which while normally limited to defence against immediate threats, would by necessity include offensive operations in a state of full-scale war), and violence for the purposes of sending a political message/intimidating ones' opponents (which is pretty much terrorism by definition), or "eye for an eye" retaliation.

Though I recognize that in practice, those lines can become exceedingly fuzzy. Which is part of why I set the bar so high, and treat violence as a last resort to be used only in the most severe circumstances and when all others have failed.

2) I would argue that while there is a risk, there is an equal and opposite, countervailing risk associated with shoving such people permanently outside your tent. The enemy won't bother to differentiate between you and them; if you are a socialist and a communist burns down the Reichstag, the crackdown will hit you about as hard as it hits the arsonist. You have a much better chance of convincing people to not do anything stupid if they're listening to you... which requires showing enough respect for their opinions and good will that you're worth listening to.


Oh, I agree that their are risks both ways. I simply feel that at least equal weight needs to be given to the risks of condoning, even inadvertently, such actions, as to the risks of shutting out those who support them.

This also touches on a larger issue, which is that I feel that any political movement or organization has an obligation to restrain, or, failing that, expel, its most radical elements. An obvious example of one that failed to do this in modern America is the Republican Party, which allowed, and indeed actively abetted, the radicalism of the Tea Party in order to whip up the base and vilify their opponents, until things reached a point where the party leadership lost control of their own party and ended up falling into line behind a nominee who was endorsed by the Klan and in all likelihood a rapist colluding with a foreign government to win the election. In other words, how we ended up in the current situation where previously rational people on the Left are seriously discussing weather we need to resort to political violence.

I could also point to Bernie or Bust as a movement which, by undermining Clinton's chances in a close race, ended up aiding Trump, doing more to damage progressive causes than Clinton ever could, and damaged the credibility and reputation of the Sanders progressives by association.

The greatest danger to any political movement is being highjacked from within. And after spending the last decade condemning the Republicans for not calling out their own extremists more often, I can hardly turn a blind eye to similar behaviour on my side.

3) (1) provides a straightforward guideline for discussing the issue. I would use that as my guide in discussing the matter with them, or with anyone.[/quote]

Very well then, see above.
"Our progress in degeneracy appears to me to be pretty rapid. As a nation, we began by declaring that "all men are created equal." We now practically read it "all men are created equal, except negroes" When the Know-Nothings get control, it will read "all men are created equal, except negroes, and foreigners, and Catholics." When it comes to this I should prefer emigrating to some country where they make no pretence of loving liberty -- to Russia, for instance, where despotism can be taken pure, and without the base alloy of hypocracy." - Lincoln.

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Re: It turns out Nazi punching is an old American tradition

Postby Simon_Jester » 2017-03-16 12:57am

The Romulan Republic wrote:
Simon_Jester wrote:1) In broad, when the authorities cease to act as protection against politically motivated violence. Which I interpret to include things like racist lynchings and homophobic beatings-to-death. And also cases where the authorities do not prevent a politically powerful organization from violently breaking the law to suppress its opposition.
I can see the argument for this, but find it overly broad. Perhaps most importantly, where does one draw a distinction between individual (even high-profile) cases of political violence, or of apathy, collusion, incompetence, or simply failure to convict by the legal system towards it, and systemic failure?

For example, would you consider the statistically higher rate of shootings of African Americans by police (who are often not convicted for it) to constitute a justification for political violence under the definition provided above?
I don't know, and I think it's colossally arrogant of me to decide that I can be the one to draw that line.

My personal opinion is that the situation isn't bleak enough to make violence the only recourse, and moreover that violence should only be used if tactically effective, regardless of whether it is justified.

But any serious attempt to address this issue in detail would be a huge tangent discussion in its own right, and it would be meaningless and arrogant to have such a discussion without consulting members of the groups that are being targeted.

I will note that on some level, politically motivated violence over race issues in America is a fact; race riots are a thing that actually happens when the African-American community feels that the police have gone too far. And on some level, the threat of violence can be a factor that brings extra attention to the issue; the Rodney King beating comes to mind as an example. We wouldn't remember the man's name a quarter century after the fact if it weren't for the subsequent riots.

I also make a distinction to some extent between violence for defensive purposes (which while normally limited to defence against immediate threats, would by necessity include offensive operations in a state of full-scale war), and violence for the purposes of sending a political message/intimidating ones' opponents (which is pretty much terrorism by definition), or "eye for an eye" retaliation.

Though I recognize that in practice, those lines can become exceedingly fuzzy...
Yes. Which, for me, is why I much prefer to talk about specifics. It's not like I have some abstract mathematical formula that I can look at and say "X equals twelve lynchings, Y equals this, Z equals that" and calculate the level of violence that is justified.

And (this is a big part of my point) any attempt on my part to make that judgment when I personally am not involved or threatened has serious limitations. When someone tells Malcolm X he is dangerously close to inciting political violence by saying something like "In 1964, it's the ballot or the bullet..." well. If that someone is a black person, that is grounds for a political conversation. If that someone is white, though, Malcolm X is being exceptionally polite if all he does in response is shrug and say "well, you would say that, wouldn't you?"

I am tired of being in the position of being a beneficiary of the status quo, lecturing its victims on the need for moderation.

2) I would argue that while there is a risk, there is an equal and opposite, countervailing risk associated with shoving such people permanently outside your tent. The enemy won't bother to differentiate between you and them; if you are a socialist and a communist burns down the Reichstag, the crackdown will hit you about as hard as it hits the arsonist. You have a much better chance of convincing people to not do anything stupid if they're listening to you... which requires showing enough respect for their opinions and good will that you're worth listening to.
Oh, I agree that their are risks both ways. I simply feel that at least equal weight needs to be given to the risks of condoning, even inadvertently, such actions, as to the risks of shutting out those who support them.
It really does depend on what sort of violence we're talking about.

Riots caused by reactions to a specific event? Isolated lunatics deciding to 'fight the man' by shooting at the officials of the state? Bombings by guerilla groups with a cell structure and a manifesto? These are all very different things, the circumstances they flow out of are different, the context is different, and the conditions under which it makes sense to approach the parties responsible and try to get them to join a moderate movement are different.
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