It turns out Nazi punching is an old American tradition

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It turns out Nazi punching is an old American tradition

Postby SolarpunkFan » 2017-02-26 07:12pm

In 1937, a judge quietly asked Meyer Lansky to form a squad of Nazi-punching gangsters to raid Bund meetings

Meyer Lansky was an infamous and ruthless gangster -- albeit one so personally charming that his life is chronicled in a book called But He Was Good to His Mother -- and no friend of New York State Judge Nathan Perlman; nevertheless, as the Nazi-supporting German-American Bund staged more and more toxic rallies in New York City, Perlman quietly asked Meyer to form a squad of Jewish gangsters to disrupt their meetings.

Lansky turned down Perlman's offer of cash to carry out the beatings, and likewise the offer from his good pal "Lucky" Luciano to bring Italians along, insisting that this was a duty that the Jewish criminal underground would shoulder voluntarily and alone.

Lanksy and his paleo-antifas were apparently devastatingly effective, delivering savage beatings at Bund meetings -- even infiltrating them with club-wielding fifth columnists who'd rush the stage at the same moment as the outsiders were beating down the doors.

Judge Perlman had charged Lansky not to kill anyone in his activities, and apparently Lansky never did. Lansky and Bugsy Siegel also formed a Nazi-punching training organization that taught other people how to beat up Nazis.

I must confess here that I am ambivalent about Nazi-punching; I freely acknowledge the atavistic, visceral pleasure in doing so, and I also understand the arguments about free speech and its consequences. But because of the former, I'm suspicious of my sympathy to the latter -- it always seems too much of a happy coincidence when the thing your lizard brain insists will make you happy seems to coincide neatly with the rationale your higher intellect is able to construct to justify it.

And as a practical matter quite separate from moral questions, I worry that Nazi-punching is often tactically wrong, giving the enemy both legal and rhetorical ammunition.

But that doesn't mean that I don't enjoy reading Lansky describing his adventures, in an Inglorious Basterds sort of way.

"Here’s Meyer’s description of one of these events:

“We got there that evening and found several hundred people dressed in brown shirts. The stage was decorated with a swastika and pictures of Hitler. The speaker started ranting. There were only about fifteen of us, but we went into action.

We attacked them in the hall and threw some of them out the windows. There were fistfights all over the place. Most of the Nazis panicked and ran out. We chased them and beat them up, and some of them were out of action for months. Yes, it was violence. We wanted to teach them a lesson. We wanted to show them that Jews would not always sit back and accept insults.”

... “The Nazi scumbags were meeting one night on the second floor. Nat Arno and I went upstairs and threw stink bombs into the room where the creeps were. As they came out of the room, running from the horrible odor of the stink bombs and running down the steps to go into the street to escape, our boys were waiting with bats and iron bars. It was like running a gauntlet. Our boys were lined up on both sides and we started hitting, aiming for their heads or any other part of their bodies, with our bats and irons. The Nazis were screaming blue murder. This was one of the most happy moments of my life.”"
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Re: It turns out Nazi punching is an old American tradition

Postby Stewart M » 2017-02-26 10:42pm

It is a deep shame that I did not know this until now. Thank you.
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Re: It turns out Nazi punching is an old American tradition

Postby The Romulan Republic » 2017-02-27 01:06am

Going to work this into your 1930s Batman fics somehow?

Anyway, its an interesting bit of historical trivia, but it disturbs me that so many people seem to be casually accepting of political violence now- yes, even towards Nazis.

They're scum, of course, but if it because the accepted norm to deal with loathsome people via street violence rather than the political and legal system, that to me is a sign that our society is breaking down, that people see our political disputes as something that can only be resolved with bloodshed, and that we are on the track towards widespread civil violence.

Which is exactly what the serious Nazis want.

Violence in self-defence, of course, is an entirely legitimate right.
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Re: It turns out Nazi punching is an old American tradition

Postby Dartzap » 2017-02-27 02:58pm

Nobble the grassroutes of any movement, 'right' or 'wrong' and you go a long way to reducing its impact in the mid to long term: Exhibit A: Battle of Cable Street. Pretty much put the kibosh on the fascist elements in London prior to WW2. I might be wearing some rose tinted glasses about that though, as some of my ancestors were there.

Technology has rapidly evolved our means of communication since the 30's, but what hasnt changed is that people who have found themselves a cause to invest in will always find a means of justifying or rationalizing things which might seem...dubious when examined from the comfort of hindsight. Give it 80 years, and the historians will have figured out who won. Probably.
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Re: It turns out Nazi punching is an old American tradition

Postby The Romulan Republic » 2017-02-27 03:04pm

Personally, I can't help but draw comparisons to the increasing frequency of political threats and violence replacing political discourse in the years running up to the Civil War. Though maybe that's just me being cynical. Or me having spent too much time reading histories of the Civil War period recently.

Edit: And it seems that we're still trying to sort out who won that one. Seeing as the current cabal in the White House, and their base, can to some extent be seen as the ideological successors of the Confederacy.
"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 Stewart M » 2017-02-27 07:32pm

The Romulan Republic wrote:Going to work this into your 1930s Batman fics somehow?


I suspected this sort of thing. I referenced the Italian mobs' role in monitoring the Bund in the first chapter years ago, but I didn't know any specifics. Regrettably, it's probably too late in the story to include more in detail. Pity.

Of course, criminals do violent stuff. That's not new. What I find most interesting is that the idea was introduced by a judge (i.e., an authority who took a vow to uphold the law). That would be an enormous twist to the game if we saw something similar today.
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Re: It turns out Nazi punching is an old American tradition

Postby Joun_Lord » 2017-02-27 08:38pm

Stewart M wrote:Of course, criminals do violent stuff. That's not new. What I find most interesting is that the idea was introduced by a judge (i.e., an authority who took a vow to uphold the law). That would be an enormous twist to the game if we saw something similar today.


Remember this is 1930s New York, around the same time as when Jimmy Walker was Mayor (and if that sentence confuses you, you might be a fan of classic tv shows). Walker was a mayor who was notoriously corrupt, disregarded the law when it suited him, and was friendly with criminal elements. A corrupt law maker using their shady connections to break the law probably wasn't super uncommon. Hell probably ain't super uncommon today, you occasionally here of politicians like Senator Leland Yee who despite being an anti-gun politician who said nobody in California should own assault weapons and complained about video game violence desensitizing people was arresting for corruption and attempting to sell automatic weapons and shoulder launched missiles from a Philippine's Muslim extremist group to undercover FBI agents. Probably more but that one sticks in my mind just because of the goddamn irony of it.

On topic, I agree with Romulan. I've gotten flack for this but still, I don't think even Nazis are bad enough to be to be physically assaulted over just words. Words that hurt only feelings, not words being used to craft laws, not words directing skinheaded inbred morons who I might have shared a zip code with to physically assault people, just words. Hurtful, hateful, disgusting words that completely are outside the realm of human decency but still words.

I hate Nazis. No way around that. People might be recently shocked and appalled by shitbags like Dick Spencer but I grew up around assholes like him but worse. Proud Neo-Nazis, white supremacists, good ol'boy Confederate cunts. Fucking bastards with 88 tattoos long before Dale Earnhardt Jr, bastards with bumper stickers saying "keep your confederate money boys, the south will rise again", unapologetic and unashamed white pride motherfuckers not proud that white people invented the vibrator and corn flags (to keep people from using vibrators) but completely full of hate. People that made wearing surplus military gear and old cavalry boots while having a buzz cut a real bitch because they assumed you were one them.

But despite my hate I don't want to hurt them unless they are hurting myself or others. Not my feelings or somebody elses, but physical harm, harm to ones rights, pretty much defending yourself against true harm.

I mean I'm not against violence for a good cause. Defending yourself or others, great cause. Protecting fundamental human rights, damn good cause. Somebody saying nasty shit isn't a good cause. Somebody saying nasty shit in a legal manner, thats a different story, when someones nasty words have legal consequences on you and you have no legal options to stop it, violence might and probably will be what you have to turn to.

I think my shitty muddled point is violence should be done as a last resort and not over just hurtful words. I don't like peoples feelings being hurt but I like people being physically hurt less and physical hurt should really only be employed to stop other physical hurt.

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

Postby Simon_Jester » 2017-03-02 08:47pm

I'm just going to say this.

There comes a point where you can't disown someone for tolerating violence in their politics, even if you would not support the violence personally.

The Battle of Cable Street occurred at a time when men very much like the British Union of Fascists were in the process of establishing tyranny in several major European nations. When this was already going on very publicly and openly.

Jews and socialists who rioted against Mosley's fascists were in a very real sense engaged in collective self defense. Because by this time, they already knew what would happen to them if Mosley or someone like him took over in Britain. Namely, the machinery of the state would be used to oppress and kill Jews, and socialists, and any other favored whipping boys of a fascist government.

Can we argue this is counterproductive? Yes.

Can we justifiably say "they were wrong, I oppose their actions" and write them off and pretend they're not on the same side as 'us?' I don't think so.

If Meyer Lansky organizes a bunch of Jewish gangsters to disrupt a Nazi rally in New York... which side would you rather be on? If you have to pick one. And if you stand there saying 'both sides are equally bad' and don't pick one, what happens? The consequences of refusing to take sides can be a bad thing.

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

Postby SpottedKitty » 2017-03-03 12:09am

Simon_Jester wrote:And if you stand there saying 'both sides are equally bad' and don't pick one, what happens? The consequences of refusing to take sides can be a bad thing.

<nod> There's a quote I come across every now and then, which seems even more fitting these days. And I've just discovered with a quick google search that it might be attributed to either Ambrose Bierce or Aneurin Bevan;
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Re: It turns out Nazi punching is an old American tradition

Postby The Romulan Republic » 2017-03-03 05:26am

Because anyone who doesn't condone political violence is an indecisive Centrist?

It seems to me that using that quote in this context is tantamount to saying, by implication, that "If you don't support political violence, you're not a real liberal/liberal enough".

This is an attitude which I've seen cropping up elsewhere of late, and it is a very disturbing to think that elements of the Left are beginning to equate commitment to the cause with a willingness to use force, and support for legal and democratic solutions with weakness or disloyalty.

I worry about a day coming, not too far off, where I will be seen as a DINO, or worse, a closet Trumper, because I don't support beating or shooting the other side.

Simon_Jester wrote:I'm just going to say this.

There comes a point where you can't disown someone for tolerating violence in their politics, even if you would not support the violence personally.


While I appreciate your desire for a more united and inclusive Left in America, that need not and should not extend to accepting political violence.

Might it be possible to work with someone who tolerates political violence under certain circumstances? Perhaps. But that does not mean that we have to keep silent our own objections to such tactics, because to do so is to give our own tacit approval to them. And we have thankfully not yet reached the point where blood in the streets is the lesser evil.

The Battle of Cable Street occurred at a time when men very much like the British Union of Fascists were in the process of establishing tyranny in several major European nations. When this was already going on very publicly and openly.

Jews and socialists who rioted against Mosley's fascists were in a very real sense engaged in collective self defense. Because by this time, they already knew what would happen to them if Mosley or someone like him took over in Britain. Namely, the machinery of the state would be used to oppress and kill Jews, and socialists, and any other favored whipping boys of a fascist government.

Can we argue this is counterproductive? Yes.

Can we justifiably say "they were wrong, I oppose their actions" and write them off and pretend they're not on the same side as 'us?' I don't think so.


Their is a point at which violence becomes justified, but if we are to have a remotely functional society, the bar for that has to be set very high, because their are always people who feel that violence is justified to advance their goals.

I won't comment on the Battle of Cable Street because I'm not very familiar with that specific incident, but I very much doubt that the circumstances then were identical to the circumstances now.

I would also point out that if something is counterproductive, if it is doing damage to a cause this important, then we should be able to say that it is wrong. And, at the same time, that one can say that an action is wrong, and oppose it, without utterly condemning the person doing it.

You seem to be conflating acceptance of the individual person who committed the act with acceptance of the act itself, which is seriously misleading.

If Meyer Lansky organizes a bunch of Jewish gangsters to disrupt a Nazi rally in New York... which side would you rather be on? If you have to pick one. And if you stand there saying 'both sides are equally bad' and don't pick one, what happens? The consequences of refusing to take sides can be a bad thing.


One can oppose both sides without equating them. Again, you are conflating two different issues- in this case weather one opposes the act, and weather it is equivalent to another offence. I would condemn a man who commits a vigilante murder of a serial killer, but that does not mean that I would consider the two killers' crimes equivalent. Both are criminals, but one is a worse criminal than the other.

Your question also presupposes that their are only two sides, which is rarely the case in a complex social/political question.

But I recognize that this is becoming more of a contemporary political discussion than a historical one, and is perhaps better suited to another thread in another forum.

As far as the incident described in the OP is concerned, I would say that from the descriptions quoted, it was an organized campaign of violence against political rallies, and that it was done more for payback and to send a message than for any defensive purpose, and if that is the case, I would consider it unjustified. It would in fact be terrorism by the textbook definition, plain and simple.

Perhaps more disturbing is the fact that a judge orchestrated it, however. A judge's duty is to uphold the law, and this judge's actions were diametrically opposed to that. Even if one considered the violence itself justified, it is a terrible abuse of a judge's position to orchestrate such actions.
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Re: It turns out Nazi punching is an old American tradition

Postby K. A. Pital » 2017-03-06 12:49pm

TRR wrote:I would also point out that if something is counterproductive, if it is doing damage to a cause this important, then we should be able to say that it is wrong.

It is not necessarily counterproductive. Meekly accepting your fate can be as counterproductive - if not moreso - as punching a fascist in the face.
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Re: It turns out Nazi punching is an old American tradition

Postby Ralin » 2017-03-06 06:51pm

The Romulan Republic wrote:Because anyone who doesn't condone political violence is an indecisive Centrist?

It seems to me that using that quote in this context is tantamount to saying, by implication, that "If you don't support political violence, you're not a real liberal/liberal enough".


It's not implying anything. It's flat-out saying that past a certain point that you aren't a real liberal if you don't support justified political violence because that makes you useless for all practical purposes.

I worry about a day coming, not too far off, where I will be seen as a DINO, or worse, a closet Trumper, because I don't support beating or shooting the other side.


It's entirely possible that we're approaching a day when not supporting beating or shooting Trump-supporters WILL make you a closet Trumper in every sense that matters. That was the point.

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

Postby The Romulan Republic » 2017-03-06 09:58pm

K. A. Pital wrote:
TRR wrote:I would also point out that if something is counterproductive, if it is doing damage to a cause this important, then we should be able to say that it is wrong.

It is not necessarily counterproductive. Meekly accepting your fate can be as counterproductive - if not moreso - as punching a fascist in the face.


Who said anything about "Meekly accepting your fate"?

Two false dilemmas are being implied here: first, that the only options are "violent resistance" or "no resistance"; and second, that one either condones violence, or opposes it in all circumstances.

I have argued against the use of preemptive, retaliatory, or terroristic violence. I am explicitly (see my very first post in this thread) not arguing against the right to use force to the extent that it is necessary in self-defence.

Do people actually read my posts, or just skim them and then make assumptions about what it is that I'm saying?

Ralin wrote:It's not implying anything. It's flat-out saying that past a certain point that you aren't a real liberal if you don't support justified political violence because that makes you useless for all practical purposes.


I'll let SpottedKitty speak for themselves on this point, if they choose.

However, I will point out that from the context of their post, they were speaking not about a hypothetical future scenario, but in the context of the situation right now, in the present day.

"There's a quote I come across every now and then, which seems even more fitting these days." (emphasis mine).

And if you are saying that we have at present reached the point where political violence is justified, and not only justified but obligatory, to the point that all other forms of political action are ineffectual...

That is the position of a fanatic and a terrorist. I don't think that it is your position, but since SpottedKitty's post, to which I responded, was specifically referring to the present circumstances in America, your hypothetical defence takes on a much more sinister implication.

It's entirely possible that we're approaching a day when not supporting beating or shooting Trump-supporters WILL make you a closet Trumper in every sense that matters. That was the point.


Now, I am not an absolute pacifist, but I do respect the philosophy, and those who equate "conscientious objector" with "collaborator" are arguing a despotic position themselves. Never trust the man who says "You're either with us or against us".

I will acknowledge, theoretically, that it is possible that we might in the future reach a point where armed revolt (which is what the course of action you describe amounts to) is justified. However, I think that we are some ways further from that point than you probably believe, and that we are more likely to reach that point because of people eager to spill the blood of those whose politics they object to pushing us toward it, under false claims of "necessity".

Its interesting to see so many liberals these days who decried Right wing militia tactics, and argued against any wars overseas, so eager to jump to murdering their fellow citizens as the only option. Even if you believe war is sometimes necessary (a position I would not dispute), surely you will agree that their is a moral obligation to pursue all alternatives to war first?

I also don't think, in purely pragmatic terms, that the American Left would be best served, at present, by essentially becoming a terrorist/revolutionary movement. At this point, all this would do is cost us support while legitimizing police state tactics against us.

If you ask what point we're at now: I think we're at the point where we are potentially beginning a rapid slide toward despotism and/or civil war, but have not progressed further down that path than we have at other times in the past without it ending in warfare or dictatorship (and while warfare is not an inevitable consequence of using political violence as a tactic, it is always a potential consequence, and one that cannot be disregarded). I think we are at the point where we are not facing an imminent threat, such as extermination or slavery, that would render war the "lesser evil". And I think that we are still at the point where their are multiple legitimate legal and political avenues to pursue (elections, legal action, impeachment, etc.).

I also think that we are at the point where a lot of people are very angry and frustrated, and going out and bashing some heads sounds like a quick, simple, emotionally satisfying solution to them. And therein lies the danger.
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Re: It turns out Nazi punching is an old American tradition

Postby Flagg » 2017-03-06 10:30pm

SolarpunkFan wrote:In 1937, a judge quietly asked Meyer Lansky to form a squad of Nazi-punching gangsters to raid Bund meetings

Meyer Lansky was an infamous and ruthless gangster -- albeit one so personally charming that his life is chronicled in a book called But He Was Good to His Mother -- and no friend of New York State Judge Nathan Perlman; nevertheless, as the Nazi-supporting German-American Bund staged more and more toxic rallies in New York City, Perlman quietly asked Meyer to form a squad of Jewish gangsters to disrupt their meetings.

Lansky turned down Perlman's offer of cash to carry out the beatings, and likewise the offer from his good pal "Lucky" Luciano to bring Italians along, insisting that this was a duty that the Jewish criminal underground would shoulder voluntarily and alone.

Lanksy and his paleo-antifas were apparently devastatingly effective, delivering savage beatings at Bund meetings -- even infiltrating them with club-wielding fifth columnists who'd rush the stage at the same moment as the outsiders were beating down the doors.

Judge Perlman had charged Lansky not to kill anyone in his activities, and apparently Lansky never did. Lansky and Bugsy Siegel also formed a Nazi-punching training organization that taught other people how to beat up Nazis.

I must confess here that I am ambivalent about Nazi-punching; I freely acknowledge the atavistic, visceral pleasure in doing so, and I also understand the arguments about free speech and its consequences. But because of the former, I'm suspicious of my sympathy to the latter -- it always seems too much of a happy coincidence when the thing your lizard brain insists will make you happy seems to coincide neatly with the rationale your higher intellect is able to construct to justify it.

And as a practical matter quite separate from moral questions, I worry that Nazi-punching is often tactically wrong, giving the enemy both legal and rhetorical ammunition.

But that doesn't mean that I don't enjoy reading Lansky describing his adventures, in an Inglorious Basterds sort of way.

"Here’s Meyer’s description of one of these events:

“We got there that evening and found several hundred people dressed in brown shirts. The stage was decorated with a swastika and pictures of Hitler. The speaker started ranting. There were only about fifteen of us, but we went into action.

We attacked them in the hall and threw some of them out the windows. There were fistfights all over the place. Most of the Nazis panicked and ran out. We chased them and beat them up, and some of them were out of action for months. Yes, it was violence. We wanted to teach them a lesson. We wanted to show them that Jews would not always sit back and accept insults.”

... “The Nazi scumbags were meeting one night on the second floor. Nat Arno and I went upstairs and threw stink bombs into the room where the creeps were. As they came out of the room, running from the horrible odor of the stink bombs and running down the steps to go into the street to escape, our boys were waiting with bats and iron bars. It was like running a gauntlet. Our boys were lined up on both sides and we started hitting, aiming for their heads or any other part of their bodies, with our bats and irons. The Nazis were screaming blue murder. This was one of the most happy moments of my life.”"

Yeah, a bunch of thugs attacking people for their (odious) political beliefs, what's your point? I mean I'm not going to cry over spilled Nazis, but it's not like the American Nazis had much, if any, political pull and you have the right to hold any political beliefs you want.

But rah, tough guys beating up Nazis! :roll:
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Re: It turns out Nazi punching is an old American tradition

Postby Ralin » 2017-03-07 07:01am

Flagg wrote:Yeah, a bunch of thugs attacking people for their (odious) political beliefs, what's your point? I mean I'm not going to cry over spilled Nazis, but it's not like the American Nazis had much, if any, political pull and you have the right to hold any political beliefs you want.


Weren't you advocating criminalizing hate speech and arguments for curtailing the rights of minorities just the other day? Because holding a political belief like Nazism and talking about it tends to go pretty hand in hand.

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

Postby Flagg » 2017-03-07 09:25am

Ralin wrote:
Flagg wrote:Yeah, a bunch of thugs attacking people for their (odious) political beliefs, what's your point? I mean I'm not going to cry over spilled Nazis, but it's not like the American Nazis had much, if any, political pull and you have the right to hold any political beliefs you want.


Weren't you advocating criminalizing hate speech and arguments for curtailing the rights of minorities just the other day? Because holding a political belief like Nazism and talking about it tends to go pretty hand in hand.

I don't think I was, but my memory is shit. I do believe in criminalizing public hate speech, but I believe you have the right to hold hateful views and express them in private circle jerk clubs as long as there is no incitement of violence. But I also believe in criminalizing people beating the shit out of racist morons unless they start the fight.

I really TBH don't even understand the point of this thread.
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Re: It turns out Nazi punching is an old American tradition

Postby The Romulan Republic » 2017-03-07 09:03pm

Something I'm going to point out again, because its gotten buried in the larger discussion on the merits of political violence and when it is acceptable/obligatory as a tactic, is that this is a case of a judge using their position to try to circumvent the law. Even in a case where I might consider violence justified, I'd be very concerned (and I hope we all would be) about the implications of a judge, who's pretty much sole purpose is to interpret and uphold the law impartially, taking such action. Its a betrayal of their duty, of the public trust, and a conflict of interest. I'd actually have less objection, I think, to a private citizen organizing such acts than a judge.
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Re: It turns out Nazi punching is an old American tradition

Postby SolarpunkFan » 2017-03-08 12:10am

Flagg wrote:*Snip.*


Sorry. This post was impulsive of me. I feel like I should say more but I don't really know what else to say. :oops:
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Re: It turns out Nazi punching is an old American tradition

Postby Flagg » 2017-03-08 06:01am

Simon_Jester wrote:I'm just going to say this.

There comes a point where you can't disown someone for tolerating violence in their politics, even if you would not support the violence personally.

The Battle of Cable Street occurred at a time when men very much like the British Union of Fascists were in the process of establishing tyranny in several major European nations. When this was already going on very publicly and openly.

Jews and socialists who rioted against Mosley's fascists were in a very real sense engaged in collective self defense. Because by this time, they already knew what would happen to them if Mosley or someone like him took over in Britain. Namely, the machinery of the state would be used to oppress and kill Jews, and socialists, and any other favored whipping boys of a fascist government.

Can we argue this is counterproductive? Yes.

Can we justifiably say "they were wrong, I oppose their actions" and write them off and pretend they're not on the same side as 'us?' I don't think so.

If Meyer Lansky organizes a bunch of Jewish gangsters to disrupt a Nazi rally in New York... which side would you rather be on? If you have to pick one. And if you stand there saying 'both sides are equally bad' and don't pick one, what happens? The consequences of refusing to take sides can be a bad thing.

I think you can hold 2 views on the subject. Like, I hate Nazis and if they as an organization are committing acts of violence against people, then the group being targeted and like minded fellows defending themselves and splitting open the swastika brigades empty skulls is fair game. As is disrupting their rallies.

But at the same time, if the Hitler Humpers are not committing acts of violence, holding public rallies to spread their hate, and holding what amounts to the saddest/funniest adult Cub Scout meetings and not plotting violence, I just assume leave the scumbags alone aside from some government monitoring like what's been done to the KKK for decades.

I mean if NAMBLA is allowed to exist, eh... :?
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Re: It turns out Nazi punching is an old American tradition

Postby U.P. Cinnabar » 2017-03-08 12:42pm

SolarpunkFan wrote:
Flagg wrote:*Snip.*


Sorry. This post was impulsive of me. I feel like I should say more but I don't really know what else to say. :oops:


"Things fall apart/The center cannot hold/Mere anarchy has been loosed upon the world/The blood dimmed tide is loosed, and evreywhere/The ceremony of innocence is drowned/The best lack all conviction/While the worse are full of passionate intensity" certainly seems appropriate at this juncture.
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Re: It turns out Nazi punching is an old American tradition

Postby The Romulan Republic » 2017-03-08 05:46pm

Yeah. When your own words are inadequate to express your thoughts on the situation, you can always quote one of the greats. Why do you think I have a Lincoln quote as my sig?
"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 Q99 » 2017-03-10 02:10am

The Romulan Republic wrote:Going to work this into your 1930s Batman fics somehow?

Anyway, its an interesting bit of historical trivia, but it disturbs me that so many people seem to be casually accepting of political violence now- yes, even towards Nazis.

They're scum, of course, but if it because the accepted norm to deal with loathsome people via street violence rather than the political and legal system, that to me is a sign that our society is breaking down, that people see our political disputes as something that can only be resolved with bloodshed, and that we are on the track towards widespread civil violence.

Which is exactly what the serious Nazis want.

Violence in self-defence, of course, is an entirely legitimate right.


The thing is, Nazis and Fascists are specifically trying to use political discourse as a way to destroy political discourse. They aren't there to listen or learn, they're there to jam the signal and advocate killing people.


And, there is a thing called the 'backlash effect,' where it's noted if someone is told something false, and then you tell them it's false, it often just increases their conviction of it. In short, it's purposefully using psychological levers to spread falsehoods- with aims that do involve killing people. I mean, let's not forget the endgame here is killing people, and their intended use of their debate is to get to that endgame.

So yea, it's a sign things are breaking down- but messing that up is quite arguably self-defense, and disrupting fascists seems to be a more successful way of preventing the breakdown than simply arguing against them. Because it's not about facts or accuracy, it's about dealing with people trying to use the mechanisms of democracy against democracy, and that is very hard to do within the system.


I'm remind of Martin Luthor King on riots- he didn't use or advocate violence himself... but also didn't condemn the riots either, instead explaining why they happened. Our system doesn't always change for the better on purely peaceful means.

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

Postby The Romulan Republic » 2017-03-10 02:20am

None of which addresses the point that the serious, hard core Nazis want a violent response. They want a race war. They want to be able to say "See the blacks/Muslims/Jews/liberals are oppressing us".

Now, if someone actually engages in violence, and its necessary to use force to defend oneself or others against an immediate physical threat, then I have no complaints.

But otherwise... why give the fuckers what they want? Mock them or ignore them if they act inside the law. Sue them or report them to the police if they act outside the law. Use force if you need to to protect yourself. Tailor your response to the situation, rather than just saying "Nazi bad, punch Nazi". Which, I'll admit, has a certain visceral appeal to it, but I don't think its generally the most productive response.

Edit: I'll add that history has shown time and again that it is difficult and costly, at best, to suppress an ideology with force. Force does have its place, in certain circumstances. You can use force to oppose force, you can even dismantle an organization with force. But trying to crush an ideology by force tends to be ineffective. You end up creating martyrs, rallying points for the movement you're trying to suppress, and in the case of Nazis, fuelling a climate of political violence is, again, pretty much given them the society that they want.
"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 Q99 » 2017-03-10 02:12pm

The Romulan Republic wrote:None of which addresses the point that the serious, hard core Nazis want a violent response. They want a race war. They want to be able to say "See the blacks/Muslims/Jews/liberals are oppressing us".


I don't think they do. Or rather, I think they want to be able to say it, but not actually face any solid opposition, because facing the threat of force has proven pretty effective at getting them to back down. They want violence, but when they say they want a confrontation, what they really mean is they want the violence to come from them and them not to suffer the reprisals for it.

The UK had a fascist resurgence in the 70s, and one of the tactics that the anti-fascists used against them was literally charging at them and getting them to run. Hurting them wasn't the point, but scaring them sure as heck was, and it worked, it worked pretty well.

Anti-Nazi League- "In 1977 the SWP also formed regional fighting groups, initially in Manchester and then elsewhere, known as "squads" to both safeguard the ANL's broad, populist activities, though aggressive stewarding, and also to fight the National Front street gangs whenever the opportunity arose. Although the SWP leadership eventually turned against this "dual track" approach to anti-fascism – expelling many leading "squadists" in a purge in late 1981 – it is said to have proved an effective strategy during the ANL's early years from 1977 to 1979."



'Hard core' being another key word there. There's a few people who are down for that, but it's not many, a lot will scurry away. A few people looking for a fight is not a movement.

Remember also, one of the big tenants of fascism is 'we're strong and only we can protect you, but only if you do everything we say.' Scaring them breaks their image in a way it doesn't for most ideologies, because it is the ideology of a fragile bully. Standing up to them both shows that they aren't strong and they can't do what they say.

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

Postby Simon_Jester » 2017-03-10 08:33pm

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.


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