Some politically left people are hard line against killing anyone for any reason, especially in Europe these days. Some of those make allowances for self-defense or waging defensive war or whatever. These attitudes are very much lacking in the USA. We are all about the murder. The states that do manage to abolish the death penalty often find that reversed by the vagaries of democracy within a few years. I can’t speak for Canada, but it seems like they also might be more into murder than, say, Germany is these days. Don’t know about other countries either.
But even with our comparatively bloodthirsty attitudes, with the tall talk we make about willingness to pull the trigger on those we regard as evil, where are the bodies? US lefties have an incredibly meager body count to our name, compared to right wingers. I sit here and say, yes, I will proudly and easily kill nazi sumbitches, put a knife in their soulless faces. I can think that, I can say that, I can dream about it. But at the end of the day, the vast majority of politically motivated violence comes from right wingers.
I have no problem attributing that to inherent goodness. When you were a little rough with an animal or a sibling, and mommy rebuked you for it, did you feel bad? Did you feel like you’d been justly reprimanded, that you would do what you could in life, from that day forward, to not be a bad person? I have no problem saying that is a good thing. Good people should not want to hurt people, let alone kill them. The extent to which the evils of white supremacists make me want to shred their bodies with nail bombs or just break their faces? Is the extent to which they have made me a worse person than I’d otherwise be.
And could I do those things? If the scumbags get the war they’ve been gagging for since 1860, let’s hope that we all can do what needs to be done – and with gusto, why not? But in these times of peace, whatever turmoil is happening, the people generating corpses right now are right wingers. Might be that changes at some point, but I think those particular numbers will always be on their side.
They valorize cruelty. They despise compassion. This informs much of what they do and say in life. Indeed, a common reason for people born into red states to become politically opposed to their own culture is from suffering the cruelty they inflict on their own. If I saw a man in pain, mortal terror in his eyes, I might take my knee off his neck. But white supremacists don’t do that. Right wingers don’t do that. They want to hurt and to kill.
I can say I’d kill every last Rittenhouse with a smile on my face and piss on their corpses, but at the end of the day, would I? The numbers suggest that we just aren’t like that, and whatever violence is ultimately necessary to do in the defense of goodness and humanity, the fact it isn’t our first recourse is surely directly connected to our own goodness and humanity – whatever we have left of that – and it might be a good thing.
There’s a separate topic that came out of the discussion that spawned this post. Is guns bad? I don’t like them. I have liked them in cinema an awful lot, but the reality is unpleasant. Have you ever had a suicidal or homicidal thought, however fleeting, in your life? How should you then feel about having a “make person instantly die” button in your fucking hand? Like standing at the edge of a cliff with somebody. I don’t like how it feels. If you can’t dig my position, eat shit. Step on up for a ban. I’m generous with those.
Or you can listen to my follow up statement.
If you’re somebody who has never felt like I feel, or who managed to suppress that long enough to become comfortable with firearms, and you use them responsibly? I have no problem with that, or even with saying that it is possible for you to be a good person. I’m not saying that comfort with guns inherently makes you a bad person. I personally believe no private citizen should ever be legally allowed to have an assault weapon, will side-eye the fuck out of you if you say otherwise, but that’s a difference of opinion I’m willing to hold without thinking of you automatically as a bad person.
But you have to admit, it’s easier for bad people to get cozy with killing machines, which again, might have something to do with the great disparity between murders by fascists and murders by their opposition. I hope you won’t take offense to the statement of some plain facts here, and will spot me a roscoe when the soup goes down, comrade. Thank you.