The rest of the story…


Everywhere I turn the last day or two, someone is posting that spectacular video of a Nazi getting punched in Seattle — and really getting walloped, ending up flattened and unmoving on the sidewalk. The puncher knew what he was doing.

I approve of Nazi-punching. I know, it’s violent action, but when you’re dealing with people advocating for genocide, a little ramping up of the response is appropriate and necessary. Not whip-out-a-gun-&-shoot escalation, not run-’em-over-with-a-car execution, which is what they have done, but we can’t avoid a sock-’em-in-the-jaw response to fighting words and extreme provocation. And yes, I think it’s fair to regard parading about in Nazi gear is extreme provocation.

The Stranger also has more background on the incident.

  • Obviously, the man is wearing an armband with a Nazi swastika on it, on public transportation,
    in Ballard and center city. He’s spoiling for a confrontation.

  • He harassed a black man on the bus.

  • He was wandering around, yelling at random people — it was characterized as “Alex Jones” style yelling.

  • Other people were alarmed enough that they called the police.

  • He threw a banana at someone and called them an ape.

  • When the police arrived, nothing was done because the Nazi would not press charges, nor would anyone else complain.

It’s fair to say he was trying to provoke a reaction. He got one. I’m actually a little more troubled by this than I am by the punching:

When the man in the armband began to recover, he rolled over onto his hands and knees and reached up to someone for help, but “nobody wanted to help him,” Duff said. Soon, police officers patrolling the area arrived to the scene and the crowd dispersed.

“Everyone was so joyous,” Duff said. “It was like a bonding for the community.”

No. Don’t be joyous. Punching Nazis is an unpleasant, necessary action, not something to celebrate and bond over. Let’s take this seriously: we have a genuine problem with a subset of the citizenry advocating for racism and normalizing deportation and mass murder, and we have to take a range of actions, most of them political and social, against them…and sometimes that may involve physically subduing them. Let’s not do it because it’s fun. Do it because we want to suppress violence.

Also, boy do I miss Seattle. I need an excuse to get back there and recharge…but unfortunately it’s not going to fit into my travel plans for a while.

Comments

  1. slithey tove (twas brillig (stevem)) says

    Caution: There’s also the “backlash effect”. The ‘naughtsees’ will point to this “incident” as evidence that they are only being defensive against all the violent lefties, who punch indiscrimantly anyone with clean-cut 💁 hairdo.

  2. Reginald Selkirk says

    He threw a banana at someone and called them an ape.

    At least he seems to understand evolutionary cladistics. But what would Ray Comfort think?

  3. Saad says

    Loud man causing public disturbance throws object at person after racially harassing them, gets punched in face.

    What’s the big deal?

  4. feministhomemaker says

    As a woman who has experienced many instances of men rationalizing why it is okay to hit other men and to physically subdue women; and as a woman who understands the important aspect of patriarchy that entails performance masculinity, I see danger in your wholehearted defense of violence, albeit limited in scope, against Nazi’s who are being grossly hurtful in their displays and words but not actually being violent themselves, at least not at the level of punching.

    Please consider lessons white women learned from the way we addressed sexist inequality and injustice in the 60’s and 70”s and onward until we learned about intersectional theory and practice. Just because we thought it obvious that we should fight back against male violence, we did not consider the ways in which how we did that might actually support and institutionalize even more directly than before white supremacy and racism. White women did that because we were not deeply concerned about those injustices being ourselves free from the most direct harms they caused and being unconnected to the communities who were directly harmed. It took years of black women and latinas resisting us, resisting white women’s own racism,ignorance and cluelessness before we began to make progress.

    As men, please do not make that same mistake. Learn from women. Consider how the resistance you defend against one clear injustice might have an effect you are not considering because you are not subject to the harmful effects yourself or you are not aware of them. Anytime you have people, especially men, supporting male violence, supporting situations that can reasonably be expected to include performance masculinity, unreservedly encouraging a violent response to non violent “provocations” I think our hair should stand on end and make us ask–is this going to further something else we don’t want? Will this have unthought of consequences for women and other marginal groups? Is this going to deepen the embeddedness of assumptions we have about who is a real man, who isn’t, who is “benefitting” from men defending us? There are so many ways in which this plays out like all the times I experienced men being violent on my behalf and then angry I wasn’t grateful for it.

    Please consider if this is really the advice you want to give. Instead, consider the advice given in the recent issue of Ms. Magazine for how to interrupt nazi’s or any other abuser we see in public space. My issue just arrived and I do not have a link to it, sorry. And I have read other suggestions for how to support specific people being harassed in public. It isn’t as simple as just knocking someone out. You have to consider the person you are defending and her or his needs.

    Just saying.

  5. consciousness razor says

    Punching Nazis is an unpleasant, necessary action

    What do you think that means? If an action is claimed to be necessary, then I take it something can’t be accomplished without that action (allegedly, according to that claim). It is needed for X, not just one of the multitude of sufficient things for X. Certain things are impossible (or practically so), unless the necessary conditions for those things obtain. You may think, if you’re using it in a moral context, that necessary actions are the same as “obligatory” ones, which is to say that you must do it in order to be doing the right thing. As unpleasant as it may be, there is simply no other way.

    So, although I think it’s thoroughly senseless, you might be saying punching Nazis is necessary, because for example kicking them wouldn’t suffice (for what, I do not know). But so is “subduing” them in any other way. So is using any sort of peaceful means of dealing with the situation, as well as contacting law enforcement, because “we want to suppress violence.” And so is every other action that you could possibly take, because whatever it is that we’re supposed to be accomplishing in this type of situation, none of them will do the job except for punching Nazis.

    We must punch, or we’re doing it wrong. There seems to be a suggestion that what we’re aiming to do is minimize violence, when we use that type of violence. Never mind if that even plausibly describes what is really going on; it’s also supposed to be true that this is the only way to do so. That’s apparently what I’m reading, as hard as it is to believe.

    But we’re not celebrating or bonding or anything of the sort — of course not. We have to step back and calmly infuse it with a great sense of urgency and somehow an air of seriousness. “Let’s take this seriously,” as you say…. The thing is, when I try, I just can’t fucking see a way to actually do that. Perhaps the response is just going to be that I shouldn’t take your message or assessment seriously, but in that case I think I’m still going to be lost, unless a whole lot things are miraculously cleared up for me.

  6. says

    I don’t know If I can wholeheartedly support such a response, but on a scale of 1-10 this registers as a deafening “f*ck’em” on my scale of things to get upset by. Let’s face it, this guy was looking for a fight. If he didn’t understand that, then he was even dumber than the swastika suggested.

    Actually, I can support this. What they’re advocating is so atrocious that a punch in the face is a mild response.

  7. AussieMike says

    I’m torn because punching can easily lead to death. Here in Australia there have been a string of what has been dubbed “coward” punching. Usually a king hit, and mostly by drunk aggressive tossers who target an unsuspecting person from behind or someone who takes issue with their loud obnoxious personality. These have lead to a series of deaths where the unsuspecting victim is unconscious before they even hit the ground and dies from severe head trauma when their head hits the cement. Some times it takes hours or even weeks to die. If they don’t die they live the rest of their life with brain damage.

    The worst case here is the Nazi gets punched as in the video, the punch is more effective or as effective as the Nazi puncher hoped, the Nazi is unconscious before they hit the ground, Nazi smacks head on the pavement, Nazi is in a coma and dies when life support is removed later or dies on the ground or soon after. The Nazi puncher is then jailed for murder.

    Like firing a gun, one must assume that punching will kill at the worst and not just wound or humiliate. Not withstanding the grotesqueness of Nazi’s and Fascists, and the need to see them gone, or a persons right to defend themselves against a physically aggressive Nazi, are we ready to risk careers and families (at least at this point) to punch a Nazi? To punch a Nazi, be prepared to kill a Nazi.

  8. feministhomemaker says

    I am already hearing the genderized slurs, slurs that prop up patriarchy, for those who do not accept the jump to respond with violence against Nazi’s. Why not question why your response is so wholehearted in support of punching nazi’s who have not actually thrown a punch or been physically violent in public?

    I hear no concern on the part of men who support violent response for what consequences may result that they have not considered. Even though these are men who have acknowledged being unaware of other injustices that affected women who they knew and support. So if you know you have a tendency to be unaware of what is happening to women why support a response that is typical of men in a society that encourages masculinity displays and violence to defend honor, etc. without talking about possible down sides, things it might prop up you don’t want to support, ways it might harm others you want to defend, not hurt? If you want to give the advice that violence is ok as a response to Nazi’s, you must also be having this other conversation about possible effects you would not want if you care about other injustices like sexism and male violence, you know patriarchal culture.

    Women have gone through this. Why not learn from us? Have the conversation!!!!

    I tried copying the photo of the Ms recommendations but it does not paste here.page 56 fall 2017 issue. I have seen other recommendations specific to interrupting racist harassment and it considers what the victims want and need, things white folks trying to be helpful may not consider or know. So caution is clearly appropriate, something I encounter no where in this rush to accept violence as a response to public displays of naziism, with some now calling those who don’t accept it Whimps, having no balls, etc. Please, don’t be unaware. Use everything you have learned about harassment and abuse in other areas, other injustices you say you resist, and put it all together! Consider what you may not have considered! Don’t make women have to resist our male allies because they didn’t consider how what they wanted to do to help may actually hurt us! White women are only just now repairing the damage we did by NOT CONSIDERING other injustices, damage that takes a long time to repair, to build trust back up. PZ, are you not a male? Have you not acknowledged being unaware around the issue of injustice toward women, the ways patriarchy plays out on women that you did not notice? Why would you assume advice for men (yes, and others, I know you did not limit it but you also know men are primed to hear it!) to engage in violence when provoked, even if specific to nazi’s, would have no consequences for women that might be bad? Just consider this. Start the conversation. Learn from women.

  9. Rowan vet-tech says

    My step mother is Jewish. My steep sisters are Jewish. My fiance is Jewish. If I am face to face with someone declaring their desire to murder my family you’d better bet that I am going to punch them. I will punch Nazis and I will feel no remorse. I’m not going to wring my hands over it.

  10. Rob Grigjanis says

    AussieMike @8:

    I’m torn because punching can easily lead to death.

    Exactly. I think a lot of people get their ideas about punching from watching Western saloon brawls, or Batman.

  11. Saad says

    I would be against punching Nazis if their rhetoric/speech/public assemblies were treated by the American government the way they are treated by the German government.

    Pop quiz time for ethnic cleansing apologists free speech fetishising liberals:

    Do you feel the same way about gangs of men showing up in various cities shouting about their desire and intentions for child molestation in public where children live and play? Explain your answer.

  12. blf says

    Yet again, the battle of Cable Street, is appropriate and any future version will hopefully be as effective (it basically shut the nazis down). Everyone was involved, e.g., “Rubbish, rotten vegetables and the contents of chamber pots were thrown at the police by women in houses along the street” (my added emboldening).

  13. Marcelo says

    Saad, #12

    Pop quiz time for ethnic cleansing apologists free speech fetishising liberals:
    Do you feel the same way about gangs of men showing up in various cities shouting about their desire and intentions for child molestation in public where children live and play? Explain your answer.

    Somebody please put Seth Andrews in contact with this question and ask him to respond… I’m really sickened by its unapologetic defense of freeze peach for all ideologies. He even had a whole podcast titled “Punching Nazis” and he concluded that that action was really, really bad.

  14. Marcelo says

    Sorry, “his”, not “its”. English is not my first language, insert the usual disclaimer here.

  15. Ed Seedhouse says

    I am still inclined to go with Asimov’s “violence is the last refuge of the incompetent”. To me that doesn’t mean “never be violent” but to recognize that, while violence may occasionally be necessary, it is pretty well always because one has been incompetent at some point.

    Punching may seem like a small act of violence, but as has been pointed out, punches can kill. Approving it except under the most pressing of circumstances seems to me, therefore, to be morally if not logically equivalent to saying it is O.K. to kill certain people. I don’t think it is O.K. to kill people, except to directly save one’s own life or someone else’s life.

  16. emergence says

    My thoughts;
    – I can’t really say that I feel any sympathy for the guy who got punched. If there’s anything objectionable about punching a Nazi, it’s not that the Nazi deserves respect. It’s mostly just concerns floating in the back of my mind about negative consequences.
    – What people have done to Nazis so far pretty much just inflicted pain on them without causing death or long-term injury. Even if Nazis who go around harassing people deserve it, that’s as far as it should go.
    – I’d still prefer it if people did this sort of thing either to stop a Nazi from assaulting someone, or even as retaliation against a Nazi for assaulting someone.
    – I can think of a good number of unpleasant things you can do to a Nazi who goes around heckling people and throwing bananas without punching them. For example, you could dump garbage on them, pour your drink on them, spit on them, or whatever.

  17. Raucous Indignation says

    My father was put in the position to shoot the actual original Nazis. At the age of 22. He never fully recovered from that experience. So when I see an American punching someone with a goddamed swastika armband, I wonder why the rest of the people there aren’t punching him too.

  18. Siobhan says

    @9 feministhomemaker

    I am already hearing the genderized slurs, slurs that prop up patriarchy, for those who do not accept the jump to respond with violence against Nazi’s.

    That’s weird because no one in this thread has hurled slurs at you. I might find you tedious, revisionist, or simply mistaken, but you’re pre-emptively poisoning the well here. Not everyone who disagrees with you even relishes the idea of violence, but like Saad says, American law enforcement has been lethally incompetent at dealing with white supremacists. At some point you need to acknowledge the cause of vigilantism: a lack of trust in public systems. It doesn’t help that white supremacists have been actively infiltrating law enforcement for years.

    I’d much rather be doing things with my time than preparing for the possibility of interpersonal violence, but as long as police apathy (or perpetration) continues to be a thing, that’s the hand I’m stuck playing. You’ll forgive me if I find the finger-wagging a bit tiring, especially when paired with bad faith snipes like this.

  19. rietpluim says

    feministhomemaker Note that this is not about fighting Nazi’s. We’re not at war with them, at least not literally. This is about Nazism getting socially accepted, even becoming mainstream, making the world less safe for many people (as the increasing number of incidents since Trump was elected suggests). In the end, this is about showing Nazi’s that they do not have the free pass they think they have, and to show the world that this the rise of Nazism is not okay, and that it should never be accepted, not even for a bit.

  20. says

    PZ,

    this is at least the second time you have called for punching Nazis. Lets consider the possible legal consequences.

    Assuming someone followed your advice, resulting as in AussieMike’s comment #8 in the death of the Nazi. Your repeated calling for assaults creates a pattern. If I am not mistaken, a pattern legally creates intent, in this case for abetting manslaughter. (I am neither American nor a lawyer, so of course I might be wrong.)
    According to Wikipedia, abetting a crime in the US is punished like the original crime.

  21. kupo says

    Take this guy’s description of events with a grain of salt. He also told The Stranger he was high on 800mg of THC. If the guy was 1/10th that high he’d probably be sensing euphoria from cleaning out a port-a-potty.

    That said, I see no reason not to celebrate victories against literal Nazis.

  22. says

    I have reached the point where I support Nazi punching and the state punishing it as well.

    Not that it truly matters but I don’t think simply wearing Nazi regalia is enough to constitute fighting words/provocation in the legal sense. Fortunately (?, lack of a better word) the jackass threw a banana making the qualm moot.

  23. Zeppelin says

    Nazis are literally many people’s mortal enemies. As in, if they had the ability, they would kill them. So let’s try and keep that in mind when discussing situations like this.
    If you’re any of those people, assaulting a Nazi is equivalent to assaulting a person waving a gun and yelling “I’m going to kill all of you!!!”, just on a longer time scale. And since in the US you can’t rely on the institutions who are supposed to hold the monopoly on violence actually using it against Nazis, that leaves you with the job. I’d say assaulting a Nazi is, at worst, slightly naughty in an anarchic sort of way, like putting up posters without permission.

  24. anbheal says

    I’m also uncomfortable with the liberal embrace of punching people in the face…..but….well…..context is everything. I was tourguiding some friends and their kids around the Yucatan, and their teenage daughter thought her parents were dorks and her twin brothers were insufferable, so she spent quite a bit of time exploring about with me. One afternoon in Playa, as she lagged behind me to window shop, a drunken dick started getting really creepy with her, very lewd suggestions, standing much too close. I could hear him, the exact words in Spanish and English, and I’m sure I needn’t go into detail. I’ve had a few girlfriends who would have smacked the shit out of him, screaming at him to choke on donkey dicks, then shouting for the police, but this 15-year-old girl wasn’t that woman yet. Her shoulders were hunched, her gaze cast downward, trembling, and he kept at her, suggesting viler acts. I strode over. I just happened to be wearing a Rocky Marciano t-shirt (I grew up in Brockton, he dated my aunt, he’s a big deal there). The asshole saw it, made some dismissive comment about “oh, Rocky boy thinks he’s a tough guy, what are you gonna do, Fake Rocky, protect your little girl’s pussy?” He put up his dukes, and pretended to shuffle with some Sugar Ray footwork. Half my age, but I’m fourteen stone these days, and I know that momentum equals mass times velocity.

    So I bullrushed him, slammed him up against a wall, clocked him with a good one-two to the jaw and temple, and down he went. He had not committed any physical violence. Just verbally terrorized a 15-year-old foreigner.

    I stand by my taking it to a physical level, wholeheartedly. Not out of any White Knight protectiveness toward the gentler sex, just out of the pure certainty that when you threaten to rape my good friend’s underage daughter, that allows me to smash you in the mouth. Period.

    I decided I better report the incident, a gringo having assaulted a local, so we walked to the nearest Tourist Police stand on the main drag, and I explained what happened. The two cops asked: “the guy by the parking lot in front of the surf shop? Filthy? Black jeans and the same heavy metal t-shirt? Probably drunk?”

    “Yeah, that’s him.”

    They both smiled broadly and clapped my shoulders, “ah senor, no problems, don’t worry, you can punch him any day, maybe we erect a statue to you. But if his finger so much as brushes her shoulder, you tell us, and we’ll punch him with these, many more times.” They were twirling their batons.

    Context. What the law defines as violence, officially, and what constitutes violence, are not always aligned. The cops also mentioned that the guy gets slapped and kicked and punched and knocked down a lot, because of what he says, but they cannot act until he actually touches someone. As for throwing bananas, if it actually hit someone, than that’s de facto assault and battery, and an ass-whuppin’ is what he’s got comin’.

  25. vucodlak says

    @ slithey tove (twas brillig (stevem)) 1, and feministhomemaker 4

    What you and all the “oh don’t punch a Nazi because then they might get mean*” crowd don’t seem to understand is that there is no such thing as non-violent act from a Nazi. Being a Nazi is, in itself, a promise to exterminate everyone who isn’t a Nazi. That’s all it is.

    Oh, being mean to Nazis might make them meaner to marginalized groups? I’ll accept that premise when you explain to me what, precisely, they’re going to do that’s worse than the torture, slavery, and extermination they’re already promising.

    Allow me to give an example of what every single Nazi stands for, of what they mean by their rhetoric and with their flags and symbols:

    See, a lifetime ago I was hanging out with a friend of mine, who I’ll call R. We stopped at a gas station, and the next thing I know, we’re surrounded by neo-Nazis (who were something of an infestation around the area where I grew up). Specifically, they were surrounding my friend R, who was pumping gas.

    I got out of the car. I was sure they were going to beat the shit out of R, but I didn’t want to start anything, and they were ‘just’ calling R names. R was an openly gay Latino man; I’ll let you imagine what the Nazis were saying. Still, I didn’t actually do anything, as there were five of them versus only two of us, and I was scared.

    Suddenly, the Nazis tried to grad R. He fought like hell; I tried to pull and punch them off of him, but like I said, we were badly outnumbered. The fight was a foregone conclusion even before a couple of the Nazis pulled guns.

    They took us to a trailer just down the street from the gas station. I walked, since all I had was a bloody nose/lips, but they had to half-drag R. He’d fought much harder. I’m a white man; Nazis hadn’t really made a target of me, before, and I hadn’t appreciated the depth of the danger we were in.

    When they got us in the trailer, they took us into separate rooms. Two of them duct-taped me to an old bedframe at gunpoint while the other three took R next door.
    I don’t want to go into details about this, but I feel it’s important that “don’t use violence!” crowd understands what Nazis are. Still-

    CONTENT NOTE: GRAPHIC DESCRIPTION OF TORTURE FOLLOWS

    They beat me with some kind of hose. I was lucky, in that they mostly avoided hitting me in the face. They liked the sound it made when it hit my fat stomach and ‘tits’ with it. They liked the sound I made when they pulled my pants down and hit my genitals with it.

    They pepper sprayed me. Eyes, genitals, mouth. For the last, they stuck the can in my mouth and gave me shot; I vomited all over myself. I thought I was going to die, then. Being strapped down on my back, kept choking on the vomit. I couldn’t get it out of my mouth and throat.

    They stuck a gun to my head, taunted me with it. They stuck it in my mouth, chipping my teeth and cutting the roof of my mouth. They pulled the trigger. Obviously it wasn’t loaded, but they thought the way I screamed was hilarious.

    They put things in me. They pissed on me. I pissed myself at least once. They kicked me.

    Eventually our friends found us, rescued us. That was a violent affair in itself, but the Nazis were still alive and well at the end of it.

    I was lucky. The Nazis hadn’t done anything to me that wouldn’t heal, when our friends found us, saved us. R wasn’t so lucky.

    I’d heard him screaming through the wall. I’ve never heard anything that horrible in my life. I didn’t want to believe those sounds were coming from him, or any human being, but I knew they were. I couldn’t do anything but lay where they’d strapped me and sob; even my tormentors stopped for a bit, when R started screaming.

    My friends rushed him to the hospital. I couldn’t believe that he was alive when I saw him. I was pretty well out of my mind by the time our friends found us, but I still remember what R looked like.

    His face was gone. Just gone. There was just a mess of tissue, melted like. I don’t know how else to describe it. They’d used acid or something, and R’s face was gone. They’d broken several of his bones and his back, too, though I didn’t learn that until later.

    R died by his own hand about six months later, shortly after leaving the hospital, but it was ultimately the Nazis who killed him.

    I can still hear his screams. I could be 120 years old and suffering from senile dementia, and I think I will still hear those screams.

    That, feministhomemaker, is what makes my hair stand on end. I want to be clear that I absolutely don’t condone the use of torture in any circumstances, not even against Nazis, but a sock in the jaw is the least those scum should expect any time they go goose-stepping out their doors to spread their message of genocide. Nazis should NEVER feel safe to be Nazis.

    Oh, and for what it’s worth, half of the people who rescued us were women, including the leader (who was my mentor). I am alive today because she was not squeamish about answering Nazis with violence. Of course, she was Russian, and had grown up listening to her grandmother’s stories about WWII. She knew it didn’t take “male violence” to fight Nazis, just as she knew what happened to those who don’t fight Nazis.

    I apologize if this post was even less coherent than my usual effort.

    *Yes, I know that’s an extremely uncharitable interpretation, but I don’t give a damn. THEY MEAN TO KILL US ALL. It’s their clearly stated reason for being, and history is filled with examples to show that it’s not just ‘heated rhetoric.’

  26. vucodlak says

    I wanted to add (because I’m not sure that I was clear) that the reason I share that story is to say that the Nazis of today are NOT different from the originals in any way that matters. Give them a bit of power over someone else, and they’ll commit atrocities.

    Fight them. Don’t sink to their level; never use torture, or commit genocide. Don’t make the mistakes of the past, either, by committing the wholesale slaughter of nearby civilians in an effort to hurt them. But if you see a Nazi, like the one in the OP, who is plainly a Nazi, then fight. Or it will all happen again.

  27. rietpluim says

    Nazi skinheads would crash every party in the area I used to live, and pick someone to beat up. A guy whose hair was too long, or someone obviously left wing, or too gay, or whatever the reason was. They’d just provoke him until he snapped, and use that as a excuse to beat him up so severely that he was literally bleeding from every hole in his body. Every. Fucking. Party. Their leader had an impressive record of violent crime. Never spent a second in jail.

    Being a Nazi should be enough reason to be removed from society for eternity.

  28. Tethys says

    Speaking of the rest of the story, here is a follow-up news item from todays Seattle times that has a few more details. Police respond to viral nazi punching video

    Humans are taught that they have highly complex behavior, and in some respects we do, but socially we are very much like dogs or elephants or any other social group of animals. Social communication does not require language. Act up, make threats, and cause mayhem? A bit of judicious physical correction is a very appropriate and efficient technique used to render the threat harmless and create risk aversion. . If the crowd had proceeded to stomp the Nazi, that would have been violence. Instead they used the social behavior of showing appreciation by cheering after the Nazi had been rendered silent.

    Hurting the nazi is not the point of punching him. It’s a physical STFU, and it seems to have been effective at changing the malavolent social behavior. According to the police involved

    “He declined to provide info about incident & left after removing his armband,” Seattle police said in a tweet about the incident on Monday.

  29. F.O. says

    A few have stated that punching has not only physical, but also a social effect.
    While I have no problem with the moral implications of punching genocide apologists, or with violence when used to protect from an immediate threat (such as in the case of Charlotteville), I feel uncertain about the *effectiveness* of violence.
    As others have noted, if you accidentally kill a nazi, you make a martyr.

    I wonder about spitting.
    It would achieve the same social effect of the punch and it doesn’t make martyrs.
    I wonder how legal is it.

  30. Azkyroth, B*Cos[F(u)]==Y says

    I wonder how legal is it.

    Legally spitting on someone is considered “battery”, the same as punching someone, putting something bad-tasting in food one anticipates someone stealing, or literally deliberately breathing on someone. Because the law must always dictate the worst possible outcome in any situation.

  31. handsomemrtoad says

    To 12: Saad:

    RE: “Do you feel the same way about gangs of men showing up in various cities shouting about their desire and intentions for child molestation in public where children live and play? Explain your answer.”

    The thing to do in that circumstance is CALL THE COPS. Announcing an intention to commit a crime, is itself a crime. Do NOT try to punch the person, especially if you suspect that he WANTS to provoke you to react that way!.

  32. Siobhan says

    @34 handsomemrtoad

    The thing to do in that circumstance is CALL THE COPS.

    They’re hardly going to arrest their colleagues.

  33. Tethys says

    Multiple people called the police about the threatening nazi. It’s just that he was napping when the police arrived, and nobody including the nazi wanted to file charges. Nazi martyrs aren’t a thing, and the slight chance of them hitting their heads is offset by the public benefit of having them take a public sidewalk nap after being told to stfu via a fist. If he had hit his head I think people would have made sure he got picked up by an ambulance despite being a vile jerk.

  34. Holms says

    Obviously, the man is wearing an armband with a Nazi swastika on it, on public transportation,
    in Ballard and center city. He’s spoiling for a confrontation.

    He harassed a black man on the bus.

    He was wandering around, yelling at random people — it was characterized as “Alex Jones” style yelling.

    Other people were alarmed enough that they called the police.

    He threw a banana at someone and called them an ape.

    The penalty for these things is usually a charge of disorderly conduct (or similar).

    When the police arrived, nothing was done because the Nazi would not press charges, nor would anyone else complain.

    The crowd not pressing the police to chrage the nazi is understandable, as they were very likely satisfied that the matter had been dealt with. The real surprise is that the nazi didn’t press charges of assault against his assailant, as such charges were completely justified.

    #10
    One side of my parentage is Polish/Hungarian Jewish, making *me* half Jewish… and I completely oppose your stance. Violence is only justified for self defence against a proximate physical threat.

    #20
    But feministhomemaker was not claiming to have been insulted in that manner personally at all, let alone in this thread. Rather, it seems clear to me that she was saying she had seen such slurs in the general conversation surrounding this incident.

    #30
    …Are you suggesting killing nazis?

    #34
    Disagree with them, confront them with vocal opposition (but stopping short of assault), counterprotest their marches, shame them publicly, call police on them if they engage in provocation / harassment… that sort of thing.

  35. daryl says

    Yelling abuse randomly at strangers in the street is a symptom of mental disorder. The “Nazi” did not need a punch. He needed help, and even more help as he tried to recover from being knocked down. Wearing a swastika armband is not an infallible sign of Nazism anymore than wearing a Napoleonic hat by a psychotic is a sign that the wearer is the man himself. Americans seem to be experiencing a fad for seeing Nazis under their beds. It’s no longer fashionable to be paranoid about Papists, Jews, gays, Reds. Now it’s Hitler’s sundry brood, real or imaginary.

  36. pacal says

    To me it is painfully obvious that this jerk was trying to provoke a violent response by his behavior and verbal abuse. So I can’t get terribly upset that he was flattened by a punch. Behave like that and guess what people may punch you. So my sympathy for him is close to zero. however these people love to see themselves has martyrs and victims and so they frequently deliberately set out to provoke incidents that will enable them to feed the propaganda line that they are the true victims.

    So a standard tactic of Neo-Nazis douches is to deliberately provoke via disorderly behavior and verbal slime physical attacks so they can be portrayed has victims. I am amazed how often, over and over again people fall for this.

  37. Holms says

    #39
    Uhhhhh if someone wants to advertise to the world their political affiliation by wearing its emblem and shouting their talking points at people, I’m going to take them at their word. And no, I don’t think an abusive man must automatically be assumed to have mental issues that require me to help him, since there is a much much more likely explanation: he really is a fan of nazism, and is therefore an arsehole.

    Americans seem to be experiencing a fad for seeing Nazis under their beds.

    Sure, some are a bit over-eager to call people nazis at the slightest sign of political difference. On the other hand, this guy was openly flaunting his affiliation with nazism.

  38. says

    In the 1930s, the Nazis were able to convince the majority of Germans (even at the height of the Nazi era, only a third of Germans were party members) that their violence was legitimate because their opposition on the left — the German Communists — also used violence, and often did so with as little provocation as the Nazis did.

    (And that isn’t the only possible example; the racists in the U.S. government during the 1960s/70s were able to parlay “unprovoked violence by black people” into a means of convincing the public at large that racist violence was acceptable.)

    If you want to use violence to defend yourself from violence, I doubt that very many people would object. But if you want to use violence preemptively, you are giving your enemies a gift of PR greater than anything they can possibly manage to produce on their own. Right now, a plurality of Americans are politically unengaged — you can thank the “lesser of two evils” voters for that; by running successively more terrible candidates, the major parties have caused a lot of people to consider politics a waste of time — and are on the fence. If they see that one side is breaking out into violence, they will be on the other side, and the media is de facto on Trump’s side so any incident which is to his disadvantage is going to be blown out of proportion. And these unengaged people are enough to turn either side into an overwhelming majority without any difficulty whatsoever.

  39. Azkyroth, B*Cos[F(u)]==Y says

    Violence is only justified for self defence against a proximate physical threat.

    Go read #28 since you clearly missed it. Read it again, you sniveling prig.

    To be a Nazi is to hold a gun to the head of everyone who isn’t either a straight, cis, white, non-Hispanic, non-Jewish man willing to fight to uphold Nazism or a a straight, cis, white, non-Hispanic, non-Jewish person willing to submit utterly to Nazis in every way, every way, they decide they’re interested in.

    Beyond that, you also clearly missed this in the OP:

    He threw a banana at someone and called them an ape.

    Which is assault and, if contact made, battery, the same as punching someone. Any reasonable person would conclude he was likely to assault and/or batter someone again at any moment, under the circumstances, thus your criterion is satisfied.

  40. says

    @39

    We can never truly know if someone is a Nazi. There’s just no symbols for them!

    Sorry if someone shows up in Nazi regalia and starts shouting things like “blood and soil” I’m gonna react to any aggressive behavior with extreme prejudice. I have but one life. I have to assume such a person has hostile intent towards me, given that I’m a member of like 6 groups Nazi would have killed.

    If the punch killed the fucker I would be totally nonplussed by it. It would have been justified under the natural rights of self-defense. This is true even if, as I agree, the law has no business ruling such a case a legitimate use of force.

  41. Rob Grigjanis says

    Azkyroth @43: How many nazis have you punched, you posturing ass?

    PZ “approves” of punching nazis. Saad is, it would seem, not against punching them. Such boldness. OK. Go out, find one (can’t be that hard), and punch them. Until then, stop wanking and calling other people sniveling.

  42. vucodlak says

    @ daryl, 39

    You make an excellent point. How can anyone know anything?

    Doesn’t mean a thing that thousands of white assholes marched through Charlottesville streets chanting anti-Semitic slogans and throwing Nazi salutes- it could just be a bunch Francis Bellamy fans went for a walk after a late-night reading of “The International Jew.” Nothing about that says ‘Nazi,’ no sirree bob!

    And who among us hasn’t, in our haste to get dressed in the morning, accidently thrown on a bit of Nazi regalia? Why just the other day, as I was visiting the doctor, I noticed when I dropped trou’ that I had accidently shaved a ‘1488’ across my butt cheeks. Imagine that!

    That’s to be expected, of course, since I have not one but several mental disorders (including PTSD that’s partly a result of being tortured by fucking Nazis some shaved-headed gentlemen who just happened to have a Hakenkreuzflagge hanging on the wall of their trailer). I mean, sometimes I just go off on a tear about the furries or the Huguenots or The House of Tasteful Men, and it doesn’t mean a thing. Because that’s just something us crazy folks do, apparently.

    Tl;dr- Why couldn’t you be a little more like someone else?

  43. Holms says

    #43
    Actually, I read it in its entirety but rejected its conclusion: that all nazis are willing to kidnap and torture people to death. If they don the swastika and talk about the inferiority of jews / blacks / roma / etc etc, but go no further than talk, have they killed anyone? No. Obviously. A person can hold truly vile beliefs, but those people have only comitted a crime when their theoretical violence becomes actual.

    If, on the other hand, you believe that violent rhetoric should be met with preemptive violence… does that then apply to your violent rhetoric? Recall that you are currently endorsing – even encouraging – attacking political opponents for their violent rhetoric. Here we have encountered one (of multiple) problems with the preemptive strike as a tactic: it is endlessly recursive. Person A represents a threat, therefore person B should attack… but now person B represents a threat to A… person A should now preemptively attack… but now (etc etc ad nauseum).

    Note that this is the same principle as the awful ‘proactive self defense’ doctrine employed in military settings, but on a smaller scale. Proactive self defense is indistinguishable from aggression.

    Beyond that, you also clearly missed this in the OP:

    He threw a banana at someone and called them an ape.
    Which is assault and, if contact made, battery, the same as punching someone.
    Plain old bullshit. And you really ought to stop the ‘you must have missed this bit or else you would agree with me’ routine. Sometimes it is true – lots of commenters skip the comments when commenting – but part about the thrown banana? Of course I saw that, I quoted it to address it directly!

  44. chigau (違う) says

    daryl #39
    Since vucodlak#46 covered most of the problems with your comment,
    I am left with an old stand-by:
    Yelling abuse randomly at strangers in the street is a symptom of mental disorder.
    Name the mental disorder. Be specific.
    And tell is which version of the DSM are you using.

  45. jahigginbotham says

    It’s distressing to see people advocating and applauding violence as a response to no violence or immediate threat thereof.

    A few quick comments:
    1) Is it okay for Christians to punch abortion supporters?
    Is it okay for Palestinians to punch white belly dancers?
    2) “fighting words” is not as loose as implied here; see e.g. https://www.thefire.org/fighting-words-overview/
    of course neither is “free speech” as used here
    3) Why the interest in punching neo-Nazi wanabees when bankers, stock people, much of the government has created more
    real damage and suffering?
    4) If these people are so threatening as to require immediate punching, why aren’t some of the more vociferous here going out
    and hunting them down to punch them at home?
    5) and for anyone getting this far, what are the rules for deciding who needs to get punched and when?
    When do you go to the police or the polls and when do you just start punching?
    Any sort of logical process or do you just behave on a feeling?
    6) @43 Holms Proactive self defense is indistinguishable from aggression.
    But it’s in a righteous cause! or He agresses, you proactively self-defend, and I am the one true servant of all that is right and good!

  46. Azkyroth, B*Cos[F(u)]==Y says

    If, on the other hand, you believe that violent rhetoric should be met with preemptive violence… does that then apply to your violent rhetoric?

    No, you stupid bastard, because I’m advocating a limited-scope defensive response to an explicitly declared intention to commit genocide, not advocating genocide. They are not equivalent.

    This is like arguing that it’s hypocritical to imprison people convicted of kidnapping because “both involve taking someone against their will and preventing them from leaving.” The fact that you can find one or a few contrived similarities doesn’t make two things equivalent when there are major, relevant differences.

    Plain old bullshit. And you really ought to stop the ‘you must have missed this bit or else you would agree with me’ routine. Sometimes it is true – lots of commenters skip the comments when commenting – but part about the thrown banana? Of course I saw that, I quoted it to address it directly!

    Throwing an object at someone is assault, if you make contact it’s battery.

    Raising your fist to punch someone is assault, if you make contact it’s battery.

    What part of this aren’t you getting? I mean, you can argue that the law should make a distinction, but as I’ve had it condesplained repeatedly by relatives with JDs, it doesn’t. So charges would be at least as justified against the Nazi, more so since a person could quite reasonably argue that they were responding to a reasonable fear he’d continue to assault and batter people.

    That said, I apologize for extending you the benefit of the doubt that you might have overlooked it rather than being dishonest. I will not do so again.

  47. jahigginbotham says

    quote missing from above
    Through the cacophony of repressive responses to hateful speech, ranging from banning “hate speech” to violently assaulting speakers, Forward columnist Bethany Mandel strikes a hopeful tone in her piece “We Need To Start Befriending Neo Nazis.” She asserts that the answer to bigotry is not censorship, but respectful and constructive dialogue with the bigoted.

    Mandel’s argument is rooted in three extraordinary examples of those who “convinced individuals committed to a life of hatred to turn away from that hate. Through the power of listening, and treating these people with their heinous views as humans first and foremost, they were able to alter the destinies of those they encountered.”

  48. chigau (違う) says

    Did you know that it is possible to copy/paste the nym of the commenter as well as their comment?

  49. consciousness razor says

    They are not equivalent.

    But according to your comment #43, throwing a banana and punching are equivalent. It’s pretty strange how these things are supposed to work out.

    ———

    I’ll note that nobody has explained why it’s necessary — either punching or fruit tossing (or other forms of violence), whether or not those should be thought of as the same thing. Maybe there just is no reason; it’s just unreasonable. But is it something I need to do? Should I inform my grandmother that she needs to commit acts of violence? Should I tell everybody? It’s an action that’s necessary (for something) but only in the specific cases when it isn’t unnecessary, whatever those are? It’s a particular thing that’s meaningfully equivalent to other things, but only one (or a few) of the equivalent things is necessary … and you’re just not supposed to me what those are?

    For all of the people who seem to be agreeing about something in this mess, it’s not clear that you’re actually agreeing about anything in particular. You can read whatever you want into it, like a passage from scripture. As long as it has vaguely the right sort of smell to it, that’s reason enough to stop thinking and voice your approval. Why would we need to do any better? It’s not as if this is an issue that we need to take seriously, right?

  50. ck, the Irate Lump says

    The Vicar (via Freethoughtblogs) wrote:

    But if you want to use violence preemptively, you are giving your enemies a gift of PR greater than anything they can possibly manage to produce on their own.

    And if they don’t get this supposed PR martyrdom violence, they’ll just fabricate it (like BakedAlaska’s supposed pepper spraying), exaggerate property damage (Berkeley) into a violent mob intent on spilling blood, or just completely lie. And they’ll have their social media botnets back up and amplify their claims, and the lazy media will happily report it when it looks popular enough.

    They’re on a holy mission to save “Western Civilization”, and those ends justify any means, so they don’t really need your violence to justify their own. They believe their opponent (Jews/Socialists/Communists/whatever) is all-powerful and controls all of society, but also degenerate, weak and easily destroyed. If you fight back, that’s proof of the former, and that’s why they need to fight you even harder to prevent your “degeneracy” from destroying civilization. If you concede their right to say genocidal things, that’s proof of the latter, and they need to destroy the “degenerates” to prevent your “weakness” from destroying civilization. Heads or tails, the fascists win.

    You can’t win; they’re not playing by your rules, and they’re dishonest enough to happily engage in dog whistling, gaslighting and plenty of other tactics to get liberals, centrists and moderate conservatives to follow them. ContraPoints made an excellent video on recognizing and decoding fascists where she discusses many of these tactics.

  51. jahigginbotham says

    Azkyroth, B*Cos[F(u)]==Y
    “No, you stupid bastard, because I’m advocating a limited-scope defensive response to an explicitly declared intention to commit genocide, not advocating genocide. ”

    What precisely are you advocating?
    Punching so-called Nazis as a pre-emptive defensive response?
    How is this punching limited in scope?
    If they punch back, what do you do?
    If they pull out brass knuckles or a gun or a car, then how do you react? Just keep punching no matter what because of your limited scope? Or do you escalate as well? How are you planning on limiting their response?
    I would truly appreciate a better argument than just mere name-calling. [And punching is not an argument.]

  52. Saad says

    handsomemrtoad, #34

    The thing to do in that circumstance is CALL THE COPS. Announcing an intention to commit a crime, is itself a crime. Do NOT try to punch the person, especially if you suspect that he WANTS to provoke you to react that way!.

    Are you joking? The police protects Nazi marches. Are you not aware of Charlottesville?

    I actually feel this particular punch was less justified than if the Charlottesville white terror march had been met with large scale violence. I agree that in the case of this individual Nazi, calling the police might have been the better option since he did in fact do things that are against the law. My example that you responded to was an analogy to Charlottesville and not to this Nazi dude.

    Rob Grigjanis, #45

    Saad is, it would seem, not against punching them. Such boldness.

    Yeah, I’m not against it. What’s wrong with that? Is it wrong to not be against it if someone punched a man walking up to women in public telling them he’s going to rape them?

    ********

    I’m not sure what confuses you all about Nazis/KKK/white supremacists. Is it that you keep confusing the issue with the free speech bullshit Americans have been programmed to believe? The Nazi/KKK/white supremacist issue isn’t a free speech issue. Each of those three things are inherently threatening and a danger to public safety.

    The presence of a Nazi in public being a Nazi is a threat. They don’t have to shoot someone. A group of Nazis appearing in public is a very specific threat. Just how many minorities do you need to tell you this? Does it have to be literally 100% of us?

  53. Saad says

    The bigger question is why isn’t there an urgent move by the states and the federal government to ban the KKK and neo-Nazis? Why isn’t white America enthusiastically signing petitions for it? Where are the enormous multi-city protests and marches pushing for that?

    The problem is much bigger than “to punch or not to punch”. The problem is that Americans value the “right” of white supremacists to terrorize and intimidate more than the right of minorities to exist in safety.

  54. laurian says

    Listen up Wibberals, these fuckin Nazis pukes want to beat, torture and kill you. Many have. The hand wringing over the right to issue death threats from a podium can wait until we have a government and institutions that don’t breed these idiot nihilists like flies on a manure pond. Until then, by any means necessary.

    Pro tip. Don’t punch Nazis in front of a camera.

    Man, Coyne is really gonna hate this piece.

  55. Rob Grigjanis says

    Saad @58: I would have no problem punching someone who was an immediate physical threat to me or someone close by. The policies that person might espouse are not an immediate physical threat.

    I’m not sure what confuses you all about Nazis/KKK/white supremacists

    I’m not in the least confused. Hate speech should be against the law, with severe penalties.

    As for banning parties, it’s not just the US that’s having problems with that.

  56. trevort says

    So, on your scale of “People whose opinions and philosophy I really like” to “People whose opinions and philosophy I really disagree with” there’s a crossing point where punching becomes ok?

    I take it you’re comfortable with other people having a similar ‘tipping point’ – which may or may not fall on the same scale or at the same place on the scale as yours … ?

    As abhorrent as some people’s opinions are, if you support free speech as a concept, such people should be allowed to express those positions without fear of physical assault. You must (surely!?) realise the ramifications of having society operate on the basis of ‘It’s ok to physical assault of whomever I feel deserves to be physically assaulted’.

  57. says

    trevort #62:

    if you support free speech as a concept, such people should be allowed to express those positions without fear of physical assault.

    In any civilised society, people who advocate genocide would be arrested. Nazism isn’t merely “opinions and philosophy” which might, arguably, lead to injustice. It is based upon a deliberate policy of injustice of the worst kind. But given that free-speech libertarians don’t even seem to want to allow such blatantly anti-freedom speech to be unprotected, and that therefore arrest is off the cards, I’m not going to weep any tears if the poor hard-done-by advocate of slavery and gas-chambers gets punched now an’ again. My sympathy lies with those who he would wish to enslave or murder.

  58. Saad says

    trevort, #62

    “People whose opinions and philosophy I really like” to “People whose opinions and philosophy I really disagree with” there’s a crossing point where punching becomes ok?

    As abhorrent as some people’s opinions are, if you support free speech as a concept, such people should be allowed to express those positions without fear of physical assault.

    I agree with both of your points above. Disagreements should never be dealt with with violence.

    What kind of tax rate to implement, where to build a hospital, should cigarettes be banned, etc should all be discussed and debated without violence or threats.

    Threatening and intimidating minority communities, organizing a march using Nazi symbolism and chants, racial harassment, etc are neither free speech nor “disagreements”. They’re outside the normal routine of civil life.

    It’s a little bit like chess. Your opponent moving the pieces on the board according to the rules of the game is like the valid disagreements you’re talking about. The opponents moves should only be countered with valid moves of your own. What the alt-right/Nazis/KKK/white supremacists do is like your opponent violently shaking the table. You can no longer respond to that with a valid chess move. It doesn’t make sense. The table shaking must immediately stop. Just like it doesn’t make sense to respond to an armed gang of white supremacists showing up in your town with dialogue. Either the government intervenes or the people intervene. No third option.

  59. consciousness razor says

    Saad:

    You can no longer respond to that with a valid chess move. It doesn’t make sense.

    It doesn’t follow that what you have to do (or should do) in response is to shake the table again.

    It’s not a great analogy, because you would automatically win the game if your opponent did anything like this. There are lots of meta-rules in chess, not just ones about the legal moves.

    The table shaking must immediately stop.

    You obviously don’t accomplish that by shaking the table yourself.

    You seem to think that they should “play by the rules,” so you’ve got no coherent reason to break them yourself. If it’s only important that they’re followed by others so that it benefits you or people like you (and nobody else), then that isn’t playing by the rules, which are to be understood as “nobody gets to shake the table, including you.”

    No telling what an adjudicator might do if both of you are found shaking the table, but instead of your opponent stupidly forfeiting the game, you could be handing them a draw, which is certainly not what you wanted even if you don’t give a shit about the rules (as is apparently the case). Maybe it would be something even more severe like elimination from the tournament for both parties — after all, you’d be disturbing the other games everyone else is trying to play.

    Your game isn’t the only one that’s ruined. It’s never just about two people, or about one fist making contact with one face, because there are more than two people in the world. (And there isn’t just one, you, with all of the “rules” applying only to us figments of your imagination.) The way such disputes are resolved needs to be consistently applied such that we can sustain a stable and fair society for everyone. Preemptive acts of violence are definitely on the list of things that are not conducive to that. Gut reactions are the only thing telling you otherwise — I’m sure you can extract a lot of bullshit rationalizations from that, but not anything defensible.

  60. militantagnostic says

    From Tethys’ link @31

    Police said they they received several reports Sunday of a man wearing a swastika instigating fights at Third Avenue and Pine Street.

    Perhaps the Nazi got what he wanted (a fight) and then discovered that the outcome was not what he thought it would be. Being an Aryan superman is not all it’s cracked up to be.

  61. jahigginbotham says

    When you are far to the left of the ACLU, demonized by the right, you might want to reconsider your position.

    https://www.aclu.org/other/aclu-history-taking-stand-free-speech-skokie

    In 1978, the ACLU took a controversial stand for free speech by defending a neo-Nazi group that wanted to march through the Chicago suburb of Skokie , where many Holocaust survivors lived. The notoriety of the case caused some ACLU members to resign, but to many others the case has come to represent the ACLU’s unwavering commitment to principle. In fact, many of the laws the ACLU cited to defend the group’s right to free speech and assembly were the same laws it had invoked during the Civil Rights era, when Southern cities tried to shut down civil rights marches with similar claims about the violence and disruption the protests would cause. Although the ACLU prevailed in its free speech arguments, the neo-Nazi group never marched through Skokie, instead agreeing to stage a rally at Federal Plaza in downtown Chicago.

  62. vucodlak says

    @ Holms, 43, and others

    Yes, well, they were just good ol’ boys blowing off some steam. Sure, they stuck a gun in my mouth and pulled the trigger, but it wasn’t loaded. Nothin’ to get upset about there. It was just a goof!

    You know what? Sarcasm aside, I agree with you- most of those Nazis are all talk. Until, that is, they get a bit of power. Then, the ones who really, truly mean it will start killing. This isn’t hypothetical, at least, not any more than saying “I think the sun will rise in the east tomorrow.” And once the killing starts, the ones who only became Nazis because it was cool and edgy will go along for a whole list of complicated reasons that boil down to fear and a lack of empathy.

    See, here’s what you (and so many others in this thread) are missing- punching a Nazi (who isn’t actively involved in committing genocide at that very moment) is NOT preemptive violence. Being a Nazi isn’t a mere provocation; it’s an act of violence in and of itself. It’s an open threat: “Just you wait, I’m going to kill you and everyone like you as soon as I get the chance.”

    Nazis throughout history have been proving they mean what they say, too. Forget about me; the 1930’s and -40’s should provide you with more than enough evidence of that, but you’ve got this utterly bizarre idea that Nazis have become somehow kinder and gentler, even though they use the exact same rhetoric (and engage in the same behaviors when they can get away with it). I’m telling you they haven’t. They really do mean to kill us all. Still. Always.

    When someone punches a Nazi, they’re essentially saying: “I’m not just going to stand by and let you do it. I WILL fight back.”

    Now, the ones who really mean it, the true believers, aren’t going to be deterred by a punch. But the edgelords and shitposters and frogfuckers might get the message that most people don’t find them the least bit amusing. It’s one thing to post anonymously on the internet about how they glory in pissing off normies, it’s quite another when someone takes their shit-disturbing seriously and defends themselves vigorously.

    The true believers don’t have the numbers, by themselves, to be a threat to everyone. They’re definitely a threat to anyone they come into contact with, but they aren’t going to be taking over any countries on their own. They need the edgelords. The shitposters who treat fascism like it’s just a joke, who claim they don’t really mean it and are just doing it to piss off snowflakes. And maybe they don’t mean it, either, but if they’re so callous that they’ll embrace Nazi ideology for a laugh, then they’re still incredibly dangerous.

    All the true believers have to is tell the ‘ironic’ followers of that frog-thing that ‘yeah, you’re the coolest,’ and the edgelords will do whatever the true believers want. Just as long as they get their attention.

    Next thing you know, thousands of fresh-faced, clean-cut young men are marching through a major US city throwing Nazi salutes and carrying Pepe banners alongside Nazi flags. Most of those men don’t have a clue what it’s like to be on the receiving end of real violence. They obviously don’t possess much empathy, either. They don’t give a damn if other people get hurt while they’re getting their jollies.

    If, on the other hand, they think that THEY might get hurt, it just might make them think twice. Just look how fast that whiny little troll who staged the Charlottesville rally folded when he didn’t have a phalanx of armed guards beating back the outraged would-be victims of his vicious ideology. He and his buddies were all full of piss and ready to start the great extermination the night before, but when he realized that people would actually fight back, that he might actually get hurt? He ran off with his tail between his legs.

    Now, look at the “Mother of all Rallies” this past weekend. A truly pitiful showing. Where oh where were the legions of edgelords? I don’t know. But, just maybe, they were afraid they might get punched if they showed up and ‘ironically’ called for the extermination of everyone who isn’t just like them.

    One last time: Nazis today are no different from the originals. They really do mean to kill us all. Their very existence is a promise to finish what Hitler and his supporters began. Being a Nazi isn’t merely a different opinion. Going out with the Nazi armband on is no different than going out and telling everyone you don’t like “I will kill you the moment I think I can get away with it.” Punching a Nazi is saying “I’ll fight back.”

  63. jahigginbotham says

    So what’s the strategy here?
    You guys go around punching (at least advocating even if most don’t seem to be following through) people whose opinions/thoughts you disapprove of.
    1) What are your plans for when they retaliate and/or escalate?
    2) What is the ultimate outcome you are expecting to achieve?
    3) Have you studied other countries to learn how to set up the most effective “thought police”?

  64. says

    jahigginbotham #70:

    So what’s the strategy here?
    You guys go around punching (at least advocating even if most don’t seem to be following through) people whose opinions/thoughts you disapprove of.

    These are not mere “opinions.” the symbols of Nazi ideology are a deliberate provocation. Guerss what? Folks got provoked. And yes, I have followed through. I have in fact punched—and in a couple of cases kicked—actual fucking Nazis.

    1) What are your plans for when they retaliate and/or escalate?

    YouTube link.

    2) What is the ultimate outcome you are expecting to achieve?

    At best, they should be silenced by the law. If not, then resist in any way you can.

    3) Have you studied other countries to learn how to set up the most effective “thought police”?

    Have you studies any other countries to see if anti-hate-speech laws really do lead, by necessity, to the Orwellian nightmare you imply they do? Here’s a handy list.

  65. The Mellow Monkey says

    Ed Seedhouse @16

    I am still inclined to go with Asimov’s “violence is the last refuge of the incompetent”. To me that doesn’t mean “never be violent” but to recognize that, while violence may occasionally be necessary, it is pretty well always because one has been incompetent at some point.

    Just for context, this is a victim blaming argument (“if you have to defend yourself via violence, this situation is partially of your own making”) from a man who was famous for groping women against their consent. Yes, he didn’t have to use physical violence, for he was competant enough to use existing power structures to his own gain. Jolly good show.

    And that’s one of the problems with these conversations. So many of our social conventions, so many of our laws, so many things that we uphold as societal virtues were put in place by and for the protection of white men in power. The white nationalists aren’t coming in here from out of nowhere. They’re just the modern continuation of what America was founded on: subjugation, genocide and slavery. And over and over again throughout this country’s history, the vulnerable have been backed into corners where the only thing they could do was fight, and then lambasted for not being good little victims.

    Is it a moral good to punch a Nazi? I don’t know, but we know what they want to do. They want to be normalized. To have their ideas treated as worthy of debate, as acceptable free speech, so they can recruit more people. To have good little liberals say, “I will fight to the death to protect the rights of Nazis! I want to live in a world where people wearing swastikas or rainbows or Black Power shirts can coexist without physically attacking each other!” They want to have the horror of what they represent to be accepted as normal, so that then it can be enacted more easily.

    These are people who want me and everyone like me dead. That’s a fact I can’t forget, and I don’t want other people forgetting it either. Their ideas should be abhorrent and fundamentally opposed to our shared humanity. If some people are so deeply driven by that horror and fear that they punch Nazis, well, I can’t judge them too harshly. Anyone who isn’t sickened to the point of tears of rage by them is getting a lot of side eye from me.

  66. Rob Grigjanis says

    vucodlak @69:

    Punching a Nazi is saying “I’ll fight back.”

    It’s also saying “I’m willing to spend time in jail”. Can you or your family afford that?

  67. vucodlak says

    @ jahigginbotham, 70

    I strongly disapprove of US libertarians. I’m not advocating punching them.

    I strongly disapprove of the way the DNC handles just about everything. I’m not advocating punching them.

    I strongly disapprove of loud, obnoxious sportsball fans. I’m not advocating punching them.

    Nazis are telling me that they intend to murder me, unlike any of the above groups. More than that, Nazis have shown time and again, through past behavior, that they absolutely mean it. I will fight back. Not because I disapprove of their ideology (though I do), but because I don’t want to be murdered, or to see any of the other people Nazis intend to kill murdered.

    I really don’t know how I can possibly be any clearer than that.

    To your points:
    1.) I will do what I must to survive. As I’ve said, there are lines I will not cross, but I will use violence to defend myself when necessary.
    2.) I hope to survive.
    3.) I don’t give a squirt of piss what others are thinking. It’s when they start preaching that old time Nazi eliminationism that I know my choices are A) let them kill me or B) fight back. I may not value my life all that much, but I will NEVER let them get their hands on me again, so long as there is anything I can do to prevent that.

  68. jahigginbotham says

    @vucodlak, 74
    So if i understand, your point is that if someone says they want to hurt/kill you, you are totally justified in preemptively escalating to actual violence? Then i guess that is where we will never agree.

    So if you were Trump, you would have hit the nuke button on North Korea months ago?

    So you don’t value your life that much, but you will preemptively take someone else’s to protect it?

  69. jahigginbotham says

    @the mellow monkey, 72
    As a feeble old white male (sadly neither rich nor powerful) who isn’t sickened to the point of tears of rage by thoughts of preemptive violence, i seem to be getting a lot side eye from you.
    This makes me quite fearful (please don’t judge me too harshly); what sort of response would you advocate that i consider undertaking?

  70. says

    Punching a Nazi is now equivalent to murder and to nuking an entire country? Hyperbole, much?

    But if we’re talking about death-tolls in the millions, let us talk of the holocaust. It seems as if it should be relevant, for some reason I can’t quite put my finger on.

  71. The Mellow Monkey says

    jahigginbotham @ 76

    As a feeble old white male (sadly neither rich nor powerful) who isn’t sickened to the point of tears of rage by thoughts of preemptive violence, i seem to be getting a lot side eye from you.
    This makes me quite fearful (please don’t judge me too harshly); what sort of response would you advocate that i consider undertaking?

    Eh? From…

    Anyone who isn’t sickened to the point of tears of rage by [Nazis] is getting a lot of side eye from me.

    …you get that you should be fearful of me? Side-eye isn’t a threat. It’s a suspicious look. Concern. I’m not personally advocating preemptive violence against anyone, but I am awfully suspicious of those who’ve decided Nazis are the ones in need of defense here. What I’d like to see is people who are taking pacifist stances focusing their moralizing on the Nazis.

  72. jahigginbotham says

    Daz: Uffish, yet slightly frabjous, 71

    OK, so one who admits to exercising a violent physical response to physically non-violent provocation.
    You want a law (would have to be constitutional amendment presumably) to silence those whose expressions provoke you.
    But even if they don’t march publicly, they will still feel the same way. So should they be locked up or just executed?
    And should some Christians be allowed to do the same to anyone involved in Planned Parenthood etc?
    What about cultural appropriation? That’s a punchin’?
    From your video, you believe a little intimidation will silence these people and the situation won’t escalate. What if you are wrong? What if you are right ? – then they couldn’t have been much of a threat in the first place.
    Looking at your list of countries – let’s see Indonesia, India, Russia e.g. Hmm, no abuse of hate speech laws there at all.
    I am getting confused – do you consider Timothy McVey with approbation or dismay?

  73. jahigginbotham says

    Daz: Uffish, yet slightly frabjous 77

    Just trying to figure out how you think about things. From your response, clearly not much.

  74. consciousness razor says

    vucodlak:

    Nazis are telling me that they intend to murder me, unlike any of the above groups. More than that, Nazis have shown time and again, through past behavior, that they absolutely mean it.

    That’s awfully quaint. You think libertarian policies don’t (or wouldn’t) kill people? They do, every single fucking day. So do run-of-the-mill Republican policies, centrist policies, etc. They absolutely mean it too.

    It’s one thing to not recognize it for what it is. But it sounds like almost the entire population deserves this exceptional form of punishment from you. (That is all this crap is about, not justice or anything else.)

    I will fight back.

    In other words, you will do the one thing that you think is so highly objectionable that it warrants an utterly different kind of response; but at the same time, you’re telling us it’s not objectionable at all.

    I don’t feel like I’m being told a consistent story. At least you’re not going around being violent toward some large fraction of the population, as you would if you were taking this nonsense seriously…. I hesitate to even put it this way, but the point is that you don’t have a reasonable justification, not that you do (as you’ve assumed).

    Daz:

    Punching a Nazi is now equivalent to murder and to nuking an entire country? Hyperbole, much?

    As was already mentioned, punching can result in death.

    Self-defense can be invoked when there is a verbal/symbolic threat? Actual danger is now equivalent to potential danger?

    Without needing to exaggerate the amount of actual physical harm that’s done, it is entirely correct that there is actual physical harm. It doesn’t become something other than violence when there is less of it.

    But it’s a difference in kind, when you fallaciously go from potential X to actual X. You probably recognize the argument. Since you can imagine a greatest being, then there must be a greatest being. He potentially exists, therefore he does. That was pure horseshit 1000 years ago, and the problem is not that it’s merely hyperbolic. It’s not like they were inflating the numbers or something, because it was being invented out of whole cloth and treated as something that it was not.

  75. jahigginbotham says

    @78 mellow monkey
    No one is saying “Nazis” or their viewpoints should be defended.
    Trying to make the point that your look of concern might be considered intimidation by me. You may not be personally advocating preemptive violence (but you “don’t judge it harshly”? kind of a tacit approval?), but several here are, and at least one admits to committing it.
    I am arguing against a physically violent response to a non-physically violent provocation. Period.
    And that apparently is becoming accepted among many young people (https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/a-chilling-study-shows-how-hostile-college-students-are-toward-free-speech/2017/09/18/cbb1a234-9ca8-11e7-9083-fbfddf6804c2_story.html?utm_term=.1c74f3107479&wpisrc=nl_popns&wpmm=1)

  76. consciousness razor says

    I am awfully suspicious of those who’ve decided Nazis are the ones in need of defense here.

    I don’t typically use the label “humanist,” for reasons I won’t go into now, but I decided (a long time ago) that humans are the ones in need of defense. That hasn’t changed. If we’re going to have a fair and just society (one with “social justice” as you might put it), that can’t mean fair for me and you, fair for those who do the right thing, or fair for those groups who we believe should benefit from our benevolence. It has to mean fair for everyone, including violent criminals and terrorists and any other group of human beings.

  77. vucodlak says

    @ Rob Grigjanis, 73

    Doing what is necessary and just often falls afoul of the US penal code. This is not a flaw of justice, nor does it negate the necessity of certain actions.

    I won’t pretend my personal reasons for defending violence against Nazis is about anything as noble as justice. For me, it’s about pure terror. I know, without a shadow of a doubt, what Nazis are about. Yes, that’s every single Nazi. I know what’s in store if they gain power over me and the people I love.

    I wouldn’t punch a Nazi. I will defend those who do, and I will defend it as a legitimate and acceptable tactic for dissuading the shitlords of 4chan and similar places from marching in support of Nazis, but I’m not saying I’m going to be out there punching Nazis in the face. If I should somehow encounter a belligerent Nazi in the maybe 2 hours a week I’m out of my hole, I’ll let them take the first swing. I’m not concerned about jail, or losing my job (ha, job!). I have nothing further to say on that particular subject.

    @ jahigginbotham, 75

    I believe my response above also answers your question.

    @ consciousness razor, 81

    Libertarians are selfish fuckers, but they don’t define themselves by a desire to exterminate all non-libertarians. Nazis define themselves solely be the desire to exterminate all non-Nazis; they’ll couch this in the language of defense, but Nazis are all offense.

    Libertarian policies are grossly harmful, but this is side-effect of their short-sighted greed and privilege, and not their intent. Nazi policies are intended to exterminate all non-Nazis, period.

    As I stated above, I’m not interesting in punching Nazis. I don’t believe the concept of “deserving” has any useful meaning. Nor do I believe that “punishment” truly accomplishes anything useful.

    The things I think are highly objectionable (at least, those which are directly relevant to this discussion): Genocide and torture. I’m not talking about doing either of those things, because those things are always and in every circumstance wrong.

    Is that clearer?

  78. says

    jahigginbotham #79:

    OK, so one who admits to exercising a violent physical response to physically non-violent provocation.

    Signifying that one holds to a philosophy which advocates genocide is only “non-violent” if one takes an extremely over-narrow view of what the phrase means.

    You want a law (would have to be constitutional amendment presumably) to silence those whose expressions provoke you.

    Nope. As someone else noted, we’re not talking, here, about normal political viewpoints; we are talking about the advocacy of genocide.

    But even if they don’t march publicly, they will still feel the same way. So should they be locked up or just executed?

    Advocacy of genocide should be illegal. So, fined, imprisoned, whatever. “Made to desist from advocating genocide” is the key point.

    And should some Christians be allowed to do the same to anyone involved in Planned Parenthood etc?

    Anti abortionists may describe abortion as murder, but they are wrong. Obviously, they would not agree with my assessment but, again, this is a topic it is possible to argue about—there is a difference of opinion regarding whether murder is being advocated or committed by abortionists. There is no such difference of opinion regarding the goals of Nazis. They are, in fact, advocating genocide of human beings and it is not possible for them to argue that they are not.

    What about cultural appropriation? That’s a punchin’?

    Huh? Cultural appropriation is not genocide. Fucksake!

    From your video, you believe a little intimidation will silence these people and the situation won’t escalate. What if you are wrong? What if you are right ? – then they couldn’t have been much of a threat in the first place.

    Multiple riots across the length and breadth of the country is not in any way “a little intimidation.”

    Looking at your list of countries – let’s see Indonesia, India, Russia e.g. Hmm, no abuse of hate speech laws there at all.

    Also Belgium, Germany, Finland, Canada, Australia, France, the UK…

    Could you make your cherry picking any more obvious? My point being that, unless you consider all of those countries to be illiberal hell-holes, it’s quite obvious from the evidence provided that anti-hate-speech laws do not necessarily lead to the shutting-down of civil discourse.

    I am getting confused – do you consider Timothy McVey with approbation or dismay?

    WTF‽

    Just trying to figure out how you think about things.

    As regards this topic, I think that advocating fucking genocide is well outside what any society with pretensions to being civilised should consider protected free speech.

    From your response, clearly not much.

    Do me a favour, old chap. Either pay me the courtesy of assuming that I have actually put some thought into my position, whether you agree with it or not, or fuck off. Pillock.

  79. Kreator says

    consciousness razor @ #83:

    If we’re going to have a fair and just society (one with “social justice” as you might put it), that can’t mean fair for me and you, fair for those who do the right thing, or fair for those groups who we believe should benefit from our benevolence. It has to mean fair for everyone, including violent criminals and terrorists and any other group of human beings.

    That’s nice and all, but tolerating Nazis marching and/or proselytizing in public in any way is extremely unfair to each and every member of the groups they want to exterminate.

  80. Tethys says

    Why should the police and courts should waste taxpayers dollars because an idiot thought that he was entitled to march around in public wearing nazi symbols and harassing multiple people? The nazi himself doesn’t think it is worth his time to press charges, and hopefully will take the correction as administered by the public he was harassing. Societies cannot allow angry young men to rove around terrorizing the general populace, and it is entirely just that he got clocked, regardless of the legality of assault. He was the one who went out looking for violence, so no complaining that he found some.

  81. consciousness razor says

    vucodlak:

    Libertarians are selfish fuckers, but they don’t define themselves by a desire to exterminate all non-libertarians.

    What the fuck does it matter how the fuck they define themselves?

    If I define myself to be a leprechaun, are you going to take that at face value as well?

    Libertarian policies are grossly harmful, but this is side-effect of their short-sighted greed and privilege, and not their intent.

    Is intent magic or not?

    Kreator:

    That’s nice and all, but tolerating Nazis

    I didn’t say a fucking thing about tolerating them. I also don’t fucking tolerate strawmen, but there’s a long road between that and violence.

  82. consciousness razor says

    it is entirely just […] regardless of the legality

    So much doublethink packed into that. Ridiculous but not funny.

  83. vucodlak says

    @ consciousness razor

    Here is why the intent matters:
    If US-style libertarian policies are followed (as much as they can be, given that they’re not practical), millions upon millions will suffer. Hunger and disease will run rampant among the have-nots, countless people will be made into virtual slaves, and there will be little real chance for a better life for most of the world. Climate change will go unchecked, leading to major disaster within a few decades.

    If Nazis gain the power to follow their dreams, millions upon millions will be murdered in the most horrific ways the Nazis can dream up. Hell, given that the country we’re talking about here is the US, it’s likely that the result will be full-scale nuclear war. A dead planet, but not after the deliberate, systematic extermination of gods-know how many people.

    Libertarians don’t give a fuck whether anyone not exactly like them lives or dies. Nazis care a great deal, and they’ll work very hard to make anyone not exactly like them die. And again, they’ll do it with as much cruelty as they can muster.

    Are you seriously telling me that you see no difference between one and the other? Yes, I’ll fight both, but the latter is the greater threat, and it most definitely requires special attention.

  84. consciousness razor says

    Here is why the intent matters:

    […]

    Are you seriously telling me that you see no difference between one and the other?

    There was no argument explaining why it matters. You described two very horrific things.

    Yes, I’ll fight both, but the latter is the greater threat, and it most definitely requires special attention.

    That is a euphemism for “violence.” Do you hear yourself?

  85. logicalcat says

    I remmeber someone in these forums explaining the problem of intent very well. You get in a car crash, and the intent of the one at fault does not erase the damage done, because its not magic. Intent however is still important because if that person meant to crash into you, then you have a bigger problem on your hands.

    Fascist are the bigger problem.

  86. consciousness razor says

    I’m also still wondering in what sense you think Nazism isn’t a “side-effect of their short-sighted greed and privilege.” They’re the ones doing all of the intending. They have no backstory. They have no internal mental life. They are just Nazis, wishing us harm, and that’s the entire picture I’m supposed to be painting in my mind.

    Everybody else has an excuse for the bad stuff they think and do; and you will swallow those excuses right up, no matter how shitty they may be. At least you will while we’re on the subject of Nazis, because you think there’s something worth defending about your position; but next week it may be a totally different story, of course. Then, when you complain about libertarians and centrists and whatnot, you’ll forget that they’re also humans just like you are. But a Nazi may still be some kind of inconceivable monster that does things for no other reason than to cause you personal harm…. And somehow, that’s why you need to cause them personal harm first. Because they said something, because they wore an armband, because they are associated somehow with somebody or something else. That’s how you know all of these incredible things that you know about them.

  87. logicalcat says

    Do any of the ones defending nazis against getting their ass kicked have an example of kicking nazi ass that actually was a bad idea? Because right now as someone whos on the fence on this issue, I see one side with evidence that kicking their ass was a good idea (Battle of Cable street/Charlottesville), and the other side speculating.

  88. jahigginbotham says

    @68 Daz: Uffish, yet slightly frabjous
    Statistically outliers tend to not reflect true values.
    Just as extraordinary scientific claims require extraordinary evidence, differing greatly from the norm suggests a deeper rationale than the feeling “That’s a punchin'”.

  89. jahigginbotham says

    @ 85 Daz: Uffish, yet slightly frabjous

    “As regards this topic, I think that advocating fucking genocide is well outside what any society with pretensions to being civilised should consider protected free speech.”

    I think any civilized society should have a rule of law; you’ve already admitted that you feel confident being judge, jury, and executioner. Do you see my difficulty? Are you for civilization or anarchy? And when an anti-abortionist tells me you’re wrong, whom should i believe? The one with the better command of invective?

  90. jahigginbotham says

    @96 logicalcat
    How do you feel about the police chasing and catching some criminal, then yelling “Stop resisting” as they beat someone senseless who is just lying there? If you’re all in favor of that, then there’s no bad case of beating Nazis.

    And with that i am off to work.

  91. logicalcat says

    @jahigginbotham

    So thats a no then? You dont have an example of punching nazis being a terrible idea? You shoulda just said so instead of using that false comparison.

  92. Tethys says

    So much doublethink packed into that. Ridiculous but not funny.

    There were at least twelve other people who witnessed the entire incident. They applauded, so why would this require further official action? The nazi was committing a criminal act, and it is legal for citizens to protect others while waiting for the police. The nazi was given the opportunity to file charges and declined, so I don’t see how he is being oppressed by suffering immediate social consequences for terrorizing and bullying people . It seems to have been highly effective at convincing him that nazi armbands and ideology were a poor life choice.

  93. chigau (違う) says

    jahigginbotham #100 & #101
    When you get back from work:
    What about taking the train at 2 o’clock in the morning?
    2 o’clock in the afternoon?
    .
    on another note
    .
    Doing this
    <blockquote>paste copied text here</blockquote>
    Results in this

    paste copied text here

    or if you prefer
    <b>bold</b>
    bold
    or
    <i>italic</i>
    italic
    any of these will make your comments-with-quotes easier to understand

  94. consciousness razor says

    logicalcat:

    Do any of the ones defending nazis against getting their ass kicked have an example of kicking nazi ass that actually was a bad idea?

    I don’t know what you think you’re asking. Any time somebody was violent and was not acting in self-defense, that was “a bad idea” as you put it. Pick any example you like, with or without Nazis.

    To be a little more clear about it, you’re not acting in self-defense when you see someone talking, wearing a uniform, doing something which is patently offensive or even destructive to property, etc. Somebody saying some words (for instance) does not harm your body in any way, so you are not defending it but are instead attacking theirs, when you engage in violence in a situation like that. You have no moral or political right to do that, but you do have a right to defend yourself. And you have nonviolent options. They must at least be something that you are considering sincerely and prioritizing above all other options, because there is no sense whatsoever to the words that “violence is necessary” in such situations.

    This of course does not say any fucking thing at all about what else you will do with your entire fucking life, to confront/oppose Nazis or whatever else — so you are not ceding any ground at all here, except what isn’t worth taking and which was ostensibly the problem (i.e., violence) that you had to begin with. If you had some other type of concern about Nazis, and that’s somehow explaining why you should be committing violence, then whatever the fuck that might be, it wouldn’t be phrased in terms of the kind of violence they did or may commit.

    These themes should be very familiar to you by now. Cases like Zimmerman and countless other gun nuts, mythological tales about “scared cops”, police brutality at peaceful protests, etc., are prime examples of “self-defense” being used in a remarkably incoherent and transparently dishonest way. That is self-destructive to our society, and going along for the ride is not something I want to do. If “they” can’t pull that shit on us because that just doesn’t work, then it doesn’t work for any of us. But perhaps that’s a good place start, to ask yourself about what is and isn’t “a bad idea.”

  95. vucodlak says

    @ consciousness razor, 93

    There was no argument explaining why it matters. You described two very horrific things.

    US libertarians intend to amass as much personal wealth as they can. Therefore they will horde all the resources they are able to, even those that the Libertarians don’t need, but others do. Millions in the US will suffer, and many will die earlier than they might have otherwise.

    Nazis intend to create a world which contains only Nazis, with extremely strict standards as to who can call themselves Nazis. Therefore they will organize vast armies with the intent and capacity to exterminate any person who can’t or won’t fit into their regime. Billions will suffer and die, worldwide.

    This is the difference in intent, and why it matters.

    That is a euphemism for “violence.” Do you hear yourself?

    Yes. Clickety-clickety-clack, I heard. (Ok, that was childish)

    I know exactly what I mean by “never again.” I’ve already mentioned two limits on that- no torture, no genocide. Not ever. There are more limitations, of course, but I don’t think that list is what you want.

    If fact, I’m not sure what you want. Do you want me to say I’m not a pacifist? I am not now, nor have I ever been, a pacifist. It’s a concept so alien to me that I can barely even comprehend the mindset, frankly.

    As to your comment @ 95…

    You think I’ve forgotten Nazis are human? That’s absolutely ridiculous. I couldn’t hate them half so much as I do if they were anything else.

    I’ll say that again- it’s because they are human that I loathe them so passionately. Animals (excluding humans), monsters; they can’t help what they are, but humans can choose. Nazis choose to be Nazis. They know exactly what that means and what they’re doing, and they fucking choose to do it anyway.

    So no, I don’t believe Nazis are inconceivable monsters. I understand them very well. That’s why I have so little patience for them. I don’t give a flying fuck what’s going on in their head when they decide they want to exterminate everyone that’s not like them. Oh, they had a rough childhood? They feel weak and powerless? Join the fucking club. Hell, if they stop trying to kill me and everyone I love, I’ll sit down and listen to their problems. Really.

    That’s all they have to do: stop being a goddamn Nazi. They cease being a Nazi, and I will cease hating them with every fiber of my being. I’m not saying I’ll love them and sing karaoke with them right off, but if they turn their back on National Socialism, then I will no longer call them ‘enemy.’ I will grant them aid if they need it (and yes, I will even grant some forms of aid to Nazi if it comes down to it), I will do my damnedest to treat them with hospitality (as opposed to the bare minimum of human decency I would otherwise accord to a mortal enemy).

    I can’t force them to change their minds. Compassion is the way to a better future for all of us. I believe that, I can try to teach that, but at a certain point I have to make a decision about how much I’m willing to put up with from people who reject that. Genocide and torture are definitely a bridge too far, and you’re right, libertarians, centrists, conservatives all engage in those behaviors as well, but for Nazis it’s their raison d’etre. There’s no way to render their underlying philosophy benign.

    You can have people who call themselves libertarians without them being dangerously irresponsible. You have to alter their understanding of what freedom is really about. You can have people who consider themselves conservative without them being cruel and callous. A person can be cautious and careful without sacrificing compassion. Centrists, well, just let them claim credit for every good thing that happens and they’ll bask in the glow of their own egos like a cat on a sunny window sill. Wow, they really were the smartest people in the room!

    But you can’t put a happy face an inherently racist ideology based on the idea that the world will be a better place once the Nazis just exterminate those pesky undermenschen. Oh sure, there are few less extreme Nazis that say they should merely enslave all non-Nazis and/or sterilize all non-Nazis, but I’m not seeing that as much of an improvement.

    I’ll do what little I can to make sure the next generation doesn’t grow up to be Nazis. I’ll try to do what little I can to convince people of my generation (and others) to cease being Nazis, cease supporting Nazis, and cease minimizing the threat they pose. I will work to see that Nazis do not regain the sort of power they had in 1930’s and 1940’s. Yes, that means I will occasionally nod approvingly when someone punches a Nazi. In fact, there are many things I would do to ensure they don’t regain that power, which is what this discussion is about.

  96. Tethys says

    It is preposterous to claim that one punch is a slippery slope to murdering black teenagers or extant lying police claiming self-defense. Why is it ok if people are being verbally assaulted, but so awful if someone shuts his mouth with a single blow? Literally and figuratively rendering him silent is far preferable to making innocent people be subject to a torrent of irrational abuse. Why can’t he suffer a bit of pain, emotional distress, and loss of dignity?

    The single blow is just as emotionally symbolic as the swastika armband. To call it violence is disingenious at best. Social order was immediately restored, and everybody approved because the vast majority of people are not maladroits.. What terrible consequences could there be for society for protecting people from harassment and immediately quashing nazi rhetoric? If the police had arrived and tasered or shot him, would that have been better or worse for the Nazi?

    Just because a law exists does not mean that every incident of breaking that law is a crime. It merely allows legal recourse to occur if necessary. Nobody involved thinks its necessary to pursue legal charges, so again I fail to see any problem to resolve.

  97. logicalcat says

    @ConsciousnessRazor, So thats another no it seems.

    I said nothing about self-defense or anything like that. Others have, but I dont care. We are trying to prevent fascism from spreading, and as the numerious examples given in this very thread has shown, punching is effective. Not punching, is not effective. Unless you can provide me of an example where reacting to nazis violently was a terrible idea, all of this is just bullshit guilt trippin. You can compare this to Zimmerman or cops beating protesters all you want, but in the end of the day one side has evidence (Cable street/Charlottesville, the punk scene) the other side does not. Im not saying that you yourself has to be violent, but that just like those clergy men who came to charlottesville to peacefully protest, you get to be peaceful only because others are willing to do the violence for you. Without antifa and their penchent for violence, there would have been more violence over all as the nazis would have dominated.

    Despite all that Ive just said, Im still on the fence. I get it. You dont want to lose the liberal norm of non violence. I get it I really do. I dont want to lose them either. I really am not comfortable with nazi punching either, but I am starting to lose faith in your(our) position because its not strong enough. You all lack concrete examples that fighting nazis before they do anything is wrong. You do have lots and lots of examples of other organizations who abuse their power to commite acts of violence, sure. But none of you have any examples of fighting fascism purely non-violently ever amounted to anything other than waiting too long until its too late. Until fascists already gained a foothold and you couldnt resist them even if you wanted to. When they got big enough to finnaly commit the acts of violence they threatened to commit, and we were all left powerless to stop them from our”morally legit” high ground. You’re going to want to fix that.

    There is one thing I gotta say in defense of the not punching side, and its that I am not sure this country is mature enough to handle it. Europe had its run of fascism, and its fresh in their memory, there is a sense of shame. They know the stakes, so doing things that are counter to freedom like punching nazis or limiting free speech is a slippery slope that wont happen because they, having been through it all, know the responsibility that comes wiht messing around with our fundamental freedoms. We (USA) dont have that. We cannot even admit that the horrors of the past are still in many ways present and havent been dealt with fully. This is the only reason why I would not support enacting legislature banning certain words or images, because this country, especially with the right wing having all this power, cannot handle it. It will be abused. And maybe thats teh only reason I havnet signed on board with punching nazis either. Not sure we can handle it. But like I said I’m not very convinced. Although it is more convincing with the banning certain kinds of speech issue imo, and its why comparing countries like Germany to ours is not a great comparison regarding hate speech laws.

    Sorry for typos and stuff its super late, and spell check doesnt work on this laptop. Spanish language is installed so every english word I am using has that annoying red squiggle under it.

  98. consciousness razor says

    Tethys:

    Social order was immediately restored, [blah, blah, blah]

    You’re being weirdly specific about this. I’m not (as far as I know) conversing with any of the people who were there at the time. I’m not talking about an incident in the news. That’s not what is upsetting or surprising to me, and up to now I’ve spent exactly zero words on that topic.

    I’m responding to the general arguments people in this thread have made, which are about promoting violence, even going so far as to call it necessary. When, for whom and for what? Nothing about that. It’s about as generic and boilerplate as violence apologetics comes, presumably. Remove a few nouns, and it would look like they’re writing about why we need to nuke North Korea, because you find all of the same shit “arguments” (when there even is an argument) and rhetorical tactics.

    These are people I feel like I’ve known for a long time, who talk a whole lot about being decent and thoughtful, they have what seem to be progressive values and so forth. I’m sure they are okay in various ways, so it’s surprising. I don’t think there’s anything preposterous about that, but on the other hand, I do find it hard to believe that you really don’t get it.

    logicalcat:

    I said nothing about self-defense or anything like that. Others have, but I dont care.

    Well, that’s something I said, because I care about it, since I get to say and care about things too, in response to your questions.

    What’s a bad idea? Violence which isn’t self-defense. As I said, we’re certainly not lacking in examples. There you go.

  99. Ichthyic says

    Azkyroth @43: How many nazis have you punched, you posturing ass?

    don’t know about him, but I can count 2 in my lifetime, one, as a teen, when it turned out an aquaintance had decided to go full nazi and tried to carve a swastika in my garage floor.

    broke his nose.

    once, when in college, Nazi was insulting a black friend of mine..

    you people act as if you don’t have the slightest clue how differently people who lean strongly authoritarian view the world.

    the idea that punching nazis was all the PR they needed to propel themselves into power in German belies what every german said AFTER the war, which was they they failed to PUNCH NAZIS.

    you want a world where authoritarians are not controlled via marginalization and violence?

    then at least recognize that:

    -they don’t think like you. at all.
    -that know this, you then have to react differently to work with them, and if instead you ignore them, or FFS, ENCOURAGE THEM, then guess what? you will end up, as history has shown, creating a new cycle of empowered authoritarianism, and people will die.

    this is history.

    you want a better way than punching nazis to control them?

    then you better start figuring out how to get the people in power to learn a big bit of sociology and psychology, and mostly, not to abuse authoritarians just to garner votes for themselves.

    but if you can’t do that… then really, punching nazis IS what’s left.

    it’s either that, or wait for the inevitable bloodbaths.

  100. Tethys says

    I and most other commenters have been discussing this one narrow use of force and if it was just. I think we would all agree that in general non-violence is preferable. However that doesn’t address the fact that nazi dude was engaged in some egregious behavior towards multiple people that doesn’t quite rise to the level of a criminal offense.
    It may not be as civilized as you wish, but since the nazi’s actions were purposely and actively violating other peoples right to exist without harassment, I am ok in this instance with the Nazi being very efficiently rendered unconscious by a concerned citizen. It’s not like this fool isn’t aware that his fascist/racist role models are some of the worst examples of humanity.

  101. Vivec says

    If ten beerhall regulars stomped Hitler into the ground when he was just a whiny pseudo-politician trying to drum up support for his genocide, they would have saved my grandparents a lot of work.

  102. Saad says

    Vivec, #112

    If ten beerhall regulars stomped Hitler into the ground when he was just a whiny pseudo-politician trying to drum up support for his genocide, they would have saved my grandparents a lot of work.

    Yeah, but if you start hitting genocidal racist terrorists (who have support in law enforcement and state and federal government), then tomorrow you’ll end up hitting a kid who likes a movie you don’t like. Don’t you know how similar the two things are? It’s not like giving minorities no choice but to live in fear in their own neighborhoods is in a completely different category as a disagreement about who the best actor is.

    Clueless privileged pieces of shit.

  103. Saad says

    Tethys, #11

    It may not be as civilized as you wish, but since the nazi’s actions were purposely and actively violating other peoples right to exist without harassment, I am ok in this instance with the Nazi being very efficiently rendered unconscious by a concerned citizen.

    I wonder what’s “civilized” about Nazism having a right of expression, assembly, etc. I love how all the cries of “omg civilized society!!!” start when the Nazi is punched.

    The sad and frustrating thing is, this well-meaning defense of “free speech” and civil society is an elusive part of white supremacy.

    What they’re saying is that punching a Nazi is less civilized than a Nazi terrorizing families. Creating an environment where minorities live in fear in their own homes is more consistent with civilization than someone punching the threat. They’re saying that an acceptable state of society is that minorities must be reminded what their place is: you’re our equals with the exception that you must live in fear. That’s just your lot in life. It’s part of the package deal that comes with the skin color. This is white society and that is the price of living in it.

    I’ve used a child molestation analogy about this before and all the free speechers have dodged it.

    Punching a Nazi sends the message that racist violence and intimidation can have no place in society. It’s not a point of debate.

    Speaking against the punching of a Nazi’s sends the message that the “right” of racists to intimidate and terrorize is a worthwhile thing to maintain at the expense of the right to feel safe of your minority neighbors.

    It’s basic white supremacy. It’s very well disguised, in fact so well disguised that its proponents probably don’t even see it; but it is white supremacy in a covert form.

  104. logicalcat says

    @Consciousness Razor

    You ignored my over all point. I didnt ask you for examples where violence that was not self defense was a bad idea. I asked you for examples where violence that is not self defense against actual nazis was a bad idea. See the difference? Like I said, this is just guilt tripping at best, and acting as an apologetic for nazis at worst.

    Also I didnt say that you shouldnt care about self defense, only that I dont. So you cant make an appeal to self defense to change the mind of someone who in this singular case, against nazis, considers it a naive and priveledged position.

  105. The Mellow Monkey says

    Saad

    What they’re saying is that punching a Nazi is less civilized than a Nazi terrorizing families. Creating an environment where minorities live in fear in their own homes is more consistent with civilization than someone punching the threat. They’re saying that an acceptable state of society is that minorities must be reminded what their place is: you’re our equals with the exception that you must live in fear. That’s just your lot in life. It’s part of the package deal that comes with the skin color. This is white society and that is the price of living in it.

    This.

    Clueless privileged pieces of shit.

    And also this.

    As I said up thread, our entire society and all our norms were put in place in service to white supremacy. Of course cultural norms are going to support it. Of course the “common sense” and good little liberal talking points are all going to circle back around to defending the rights of Nazis. The rights of all the rest of us don’t even figure here. The sort of existential threats that don’t imperil existing power structures aren’t considered real threats. “Golly, that’s just a feller saying rude things. No reason to get all worked up.”

  106. Vivec says

    @114
    It doesn’t help that like, what we consider “civilized” is broadly a social construction specifically made to justify imperialism.

    Because hey, those uncivilized savages don’t have oil paintings, guns, or opera houses, so clearly they’re languishing in stagnation and we’re helping them by taking over.

    How curious that our standards of what is “civilized” includes “allow supporters of ethnic cleansing to have a platform and a means to get political power.” It’s almost like that’s baked into the pie from the start.

  107. Tethys says

    I should have attached dripping with sarcasm tags to the word civilized. I wasn’t much interested in civil discussion after punching one nazi jerk was equated the gateway to stalking and murdering a black teenager.

    None of the call the police advocates has acknowledged that the police were called, and no charges were filed. No answers to why the nazi can’t suffer some pain and public humiliation, rather than allowing him to continue terrorizing people until the police arrived. What are the police supposed to do anyway? Why should all those people he harassed have to spend their time going to police stations or court? Screw that, I don’t tolerate bullying and I sure as hell am not about to be kind to nazis.

  108. jahigginbotham says

    #104 chigau (違う)

    When you get back from work:

    What about taking the train at 2 o’clock in the morning?
    2 o’clock in the afternoon?

    ? I missed that one.

    any of these will make your comments-with-quotes easier to understand

    Thanks for the tips. I knew it had to be something like that but didn’t see it anywhere obvious on site and didn’t want to waste time looking for it.

    Somehow i doubt any such usage would make any difference in being understood. To have a discussion you need to have some common ground starting point and that would be pretty far back with some of the commenters here.

  109. Holms says

    #50 Azkyroth
    No, you stupid bastard, because I’m advocating a limited-scope defensive response to an explicitly declared intention to commit genocide, not advocating genocide. They are not equivalent.

    Those are some damn fine euphamisms, are you a politician? Because the thing you are speaking of so glibly is assault, and you are saying it is justified by the politics of the individual being assaulted. The underlying logic is that aggression is fine if you disagree strongly enough with their views. Do you support others using that rationale, knowing that their idea of ‘bad enough to assault’ is going to differ? You might disagree with their choice of target and their reasons for doing so, but the underlying rationale is the same as yours.

    Also, we’re abviously going to disagree about which of us is the stupid one, but what’s wrong with being born out of wedlock? It’s certainly nothing I could help.

    Throwing an object at someone is assault, if you make contact it’s battery.

    Raising your fist to punch someone is assault, if you make contact it’s battery.

    What part of this aren’t you getting? I mean, you can argue that the law should make a distinction, but as I’ve had it condesplained repeatedly by relatives with JDs, it doesn’t.

    Ah, you’re confusing civil assault/battery with criminal. Correct that, please.

    That said, I apologize for extending you the benefit of the doubt that you might have overlooked it rather than being dishonest. I will not do so again.

    You pretended that I didn’t address it just so that you could be condescending. Which of us is dishonest?

    _________________

    #51 jahigginbotham
    The case for neo-Nazis and against the Jews here delineated for your enlightenment:

    <>
    https://www.thefire.org/jewish-author-makes-case-for-befriending-neo-nazis/

    ‘Befriending’ nazis goes wayyyyyy too far. Despise them but don’t assault them is about all I’d support.

    ________________

    #53 chigau
    Did you know that it is possible to copy/paste the nym of the commenter as well as their comment?

    Did you?

    ________________

    #56 ck

    And if they don’t get this supposed PR martyrdom violence, they’ll just fabricate it (like BakedAlaska’s supposed pepper spraying), exaggerate property damage (Berkeley) into a violent mob intent on spilling blood, or just completely lie.
    No one can stop them lying, but we can point out that they are lying when they do so. Unless of course they have real examples to point to… in which case, they are telling the truth. Don’t turn their lies into truths, don’t provide them with free ‘PR ammunition.’

    _______________

    #69 vucodlak
    Yes, well, they were just good ol’ boys blowing off some steam. Sure, they stuck a gun in my mouth and pulled the trigger, but it wasn’t loaded. Nothin’ to get upset about there. It was just a goof!

    But the event you describe was not a case of future potential violence, it was a case of actual violence. This distinction is key. A person that is mouthing off and being obnoxious in public should be taken in and charged with disorderliness, not assaulted just in case he was thinking of kidnapping and torturing someone to death. At no point to I want them to be tolerated or ignored as ‘harmless lads blowing off steam’ or whatever; my very first post in this thread hopefully made that clear.

    _____________

    #85 Daz
    Signifying that one holds to a philosophy which advocates genocide is only “non-violent” if one takes an extremely over-narrow view of what the phrase means.

    Say rather that yours is over broad. All words can have context dependant variability in meaning – Trump’s gaudy decor might be described as an act of violence against good taste as an example of this – but the context of this particular discussion is important. We are talking about punching or not punching, and hence we are talking about actual physical violence. Espousing genocide is reprehensible, yet not actual physcal violence. Don’t equivocate.

    Advocacy of genocide should be illegal. So, fined, imprisoned, whatever. “Made to desist from advocating genocide” is the key point.

    Speaking of over broad, “made to desist from” means “assaulting”? Impressively glib.

    __________________

    #86 kreator
    That’s nice and all, but tolerating Nazis marching and/or proselytizing in public in any way is extremely unfair to each and every member of the groups they want to exterminate.

    consciousness razor has argued against assaulting nazis, but has not argued against protesting them, holding counter rallies to their rallies, publicly shaming them and the like.

    ___________________

    #88 Tethys
    Why should the police and courts should waste taxpayers dollars because an idiot thought that he was entitled to march around in public wearing nazi symbols and harassing multiple people? The nazi himself doesn’t think it is worth his time to press charges…

    Well damn, I guess if someone doesn’t press charges, whatever was done to them can’t have been that bad amirite… I suspect you don’t apply this evenly.

    And since when is a person’s belligerence a reason to assault them? “He had it coming” has never been a valid reason.

    ______________________

    #95 consciousness razor
    I’m also still wondering in what sense you think Nazism isn’t a “side-effect of their short-sighted greed and privilege.” They’re the ones doing all of the intending. They have no backstory. They have no internal mental life. They are just Nazis, wishing us harm, and that’s the entire picture I’m supposed to be painting in my mind.

    I think a lot of people have forgotten that all groups consider themselves to be in the right.

    ______________________

    #96 logicalcat
    Do any of the ones defending nazis against getting their ass kicked have an example of kicking nazi ass that actually was a bad idea?

    Yes. The one under discussion right now. Because it is assault.

    But I am wondering, did you even read about the Cable Street incident? You characterise it as “kicking nazi ass” yet no one attacked nazis. Protestors set up barricades to obstruct their march, and were attacked by police. It ended up being highly successful and hence stands as a testament to the effectiveness of organised protest against nazism, as opposed to attacking them.

  110. Tethys says

    The nazi was the aggressor, and the nazi encountered just enough force to render him silent. My point about the nazi not filing an assault charge was that he still seems to have the full recourse to his civil rights, even though he was engaged in depriving other people of theirs. Thus, punching nazis clearly does not cause society to immediately crumble.

    Just for the record, I consistently respond to bullys and nazis with aggressive defense that doesn’t preclude necessary force because my ideals don’t include letting nazis verbally assualt random minoritys for fun.

  111. vucodlak says

    @ Holms, #120

    You seem to be very concerned with the law. Why? That punching Nazis is against the law, or that it is classified as this or that under the law, says nothing about whether it is right or wrong (or necessary) to punch Nazis.

    Fascists love ‘law and order.’ They’re well aware that many people will hear those words and believe they mean ‘justice.’ But when fascists say those words, all they mean is ‘protecting the status quo and our place at the top of it.’

    To be clear: I’m not calling you a fascist. I’m just saying that the law means about as much to me as a hammer. A hammer is a useful tool in the right circumstances, but in the hands of Nazis and other fascists it’s a terribly effective weapon.

    The law, which allows Nazis to promise genocide and recruit people to assist them in this, has been turned into such a weapon. That means that those of us who are the intended victims of Nazis will have to rely on other tools in order to survive.

    You say that there is a difference between a Nazi yelling slurs at a crowd of people, and a larger group of Nazis preying on a smaller group of non-Nazis. What those of us arguing with you are trying to tell you is that the ONLY difference is that the Nazi in this post simply didn’t the support to do what he intends. Numbers weren’t on his side, this time. But if we allow Nazis to keep recruiting, they’ll get there.

    That punch, and the applause that followed, tells anyone who might have been silently agreeing with the Nazi that they don’t have the support they desire, and it tells the Nazis that they won’t get what they want without a fight.

  112. chigau (違う) says

    Mine was a general comment about commenting style in a number of recent comments.
    Not really directed at anyone in particular.
    Not even the insufficiently interesting ones.

  113. chigau (違う) says

    jahigginbotham #119
    your #100 was about hitting first in boxing
    my #104 was about feeling endangered enough to hit first
    in two very different situations.
    I freely admit that I totally failed to actually make that point.
    .
    on the next point:
    To have a discussion you need to have some common ground starting point and that would be pretty far back with some of the commenters here.
    I have no idea what you mean by this.

  114. consciousness razor says

    vucodlak:

    You seem to be very concerned with the law. Why? That punching Nazis is against the law, or that it is classified as this or that under the law, says nothing about whether it is right or wrong (or necessary) to punch Nazis.

    Holms seems to understand that just fine. They said this in response to Tethys (to be read sarcastically/incredulously):

    Well damn, I guess if someone doesn’t press charges, whatever was done to them can’t have been that bad amirite… I suspect you don’t apply this evenly.

    So I don’t know how you got that idea. Maybe you should discuss it with Tethys.

    Quoting vucodlak again:

    That punch, and the applause that followed, tells anyone who might have been silently agreeing with the Nazi that they don’t have the support they desire, and it tells the Nazis that they won’t get what they want without a fight.

    You could say to them, with words, that “they won’t get what they want without a fight.” That may not satisfy whatever other urges you have, like revenge or punishment or authoritarianism or whatever, but it does communicate that message to them. Presumably, you could do a whole lot of other nonverbal and nonviolent things as well, to send some kind of message to bystanders and so forth, if that’s what you wanted to do. But using your words is the most straightforward approach.

    Punching the innocent bystanders (or doing whatever else to them) might send the same message, that they have to fall in line with you as well, or else they’ll get (even more of) a fight. If they look at you funny or say the wrong thing, after you’ve punched the Nazi, maybe that’s what will happen. That would be a pretty strong signal that you’re sending. But it’s not clear where the violence is supposed to start and stop (if ever), nor is it clear how that’s supposed to be considered the best (or only) way to merely communicate with people about such things.

  115. trevort says

    @Vivec

    If ten beerhall regulars stomped Hitler into the ground when he was just a whiny pseudo-politician trying to drum up support for his genocide, they would have saved my grandparents a lot of work.

    It might seem that way. But consider the possibility there being, say, three ‘bad guys with genocide thoughts’. One of those out-maneuvers and destroys the other potential-evil-doers (alongside millions of other people). Then, in hindsight, you think just destroying the winner amongst the potential-evil-doers would have solved everything? You can’t preemptively weed out all potential Hitlers without reducing society to chaos.

    The bottom line is that you either believe in the laws of the country (and stand by them) or not. If you support punching of someone who’s acting rude or indicating some sort of unsociable unacceptable philosophy, then you basically support mob justice – and hence not the ‘rule of law’.

  116. Saad says

    trevort, #126

    If you support punching of someone who’s acting rude or indicating some sort of unsociable unacceptable philosophy

    Stop and read what you’re writing please. I think you seriously need a privilege check here.

    Why do so many people confuse:

    It isn’t a bad thing to punch a Nazi(s) when he comes out of his private space to harass/threaten/intimidate/terrorize people who our society and government are already against.

    with

    It isn’t bad to punch a man you disagree with.

  117. Saad says

    Vivec, #117

    It’s almost like that’s baked into the pie from the start.

    Bingo. That’s exactly it. Too many people are blind to this.

    The sad part is that taking a critical and skeptical look at the ingredients of the pie is exactly what SJWs are supposed to be good at.

  118. trevort says

    Saad #127

    Stop and read what you’re writing please.

    I know what I wrote. As I understand it the Nazi was ‘acting rudely’ (i.e. sociably unacceptably). And do you not consider Nazi philosophy to fall in the category ‘unacceptable philosophy’.
    Can you picture (and justify) a person who’s obsessed with, say, animal rights, going around punching meat eaters due to the animal pain and suffering they’re directly causing/espousing?
    .
    I suspect you operate on the premise that ‘human life is more important than animal life’ and hence a person expressing threats towards people is more serious .. .but that’s just an opinion of yours and suggests you might need a privilege check right there (human privilege over animals?). You appear unable to put yourself in others shoes or to picture a society where ‘if person X feels very strongly against what person Y says’ then person X is justified in “pre-emptive retaliation” – and the can-of-worms that attitude opens up. Who gets to decide which people should be fair game for pre-emptive assault? You clearly feel you should be one of the judges of that … anyone else? Do Nazis themselves get a say?

    Just for clarity here: I’m adamantly against what Nazi’s represent and I support anti-hate-speech laws (and that they should be enforced). What I don’t believe in is vigilante justice: Being aware of how wrong systematic or organised legal processes can go I can surmise how unjust, random and manipulatable mob ‘justice’ is. Also: I’m not American.

  119. Vivec says

    @126

    If you support punching of someone who’s acting rude or indicating some sort of unsociable unacceptable philosophy, then you basically support mob justice – and hence not the ‘rule of law’.

    I’m not arguing that Nazi punching should be legal, I just think it’s a morally commendable thing to do, irrespective of whether or not it’s illegal. If that means I have no respect for the “rule of law”, well, c’est la vie.

  120. Vivec says

    I also reject the premise that beating down every whiny wanna-be dictator that preached ethnic cleansing would plunge society into chaos, especially considering that we live in a world where people murder each other for black friday deals every year.

  121. Tethys says

    CR quoting Holms.

    Holms seems to understand that just fine. They said this in response to Tethys (to be read sarcastically/incredulously):
    Holms: Well damn, I guess if someone doesn’t press charges, whatever was done to them can’t have been that bad amirite… I suspect you don’t apply this evenly.
    So I don’t know how you got that idea. Maybe you should discuss it with Tethys.

    Yeah, cherry picking half a sentence to make that ridiculous claim doesn’t constitute an actual point. I don’t waste my time on people who can’t be arsed to be intellectually honest in absence of facts supporting their opinion. I’ll ask again because some people don’t seem to understand that civil charges only apply if the person involved decides to press charges. What would the police do that would be MORE EFFECTIVE or efficient than the single punch?

  122. Holms says

    #121 Tethys
    The nazi was the aggressor, and the nazi encountered just enough force to render him silent. My point about the nazi not filing an assault charge was that he still seems to have the full recourse to his civil rights, even though he was engaged in depriving other people of theirs. Thus, punching nazis clearly does not cause society to immediately crumble.

    The nazi was verbally abusive, and was met with physical assault. That represents escalation from verbal to physical, and thus not a proportionate response (which I maintain should have been public nuisance type charges). And my point regarding your mention of not filing charges is that you assuredly don’t apply that logic evenly. And I have not stated or hinted anything about societal ruin at punching nazis, I am simply disagreeing with the policy. And especially the idea that it should be considered “necessary.”

    ______________________

    #122 vucodlak
    You seem to be very concerned with the law. Why? That punching Nazis is against the law, or that it is classified as this or that under the law, says nothing about whether it is right or wrong (or necessary) to punch Nazis.

    I’ve actually fairly consistently expressed my disagreement not in terms of legal or illegal, but in terms of its logical underpinnings.

    What those of us arguing with you are trying to tell you is that the ONLY difference is that the Nazi in this post simply didn’t the support to do what he intends.

    And I have explained that potential future violence is not actual violence. This guy was shouting and being a wanker, and was assaulted on the basis that he is vile and might follow through on his rhetoric one day.

    _____________________

    #123 chigau
    Mine was a general comment about commenting style in a number of recent comments.
    Not really directed at anyone in particular.
    Not even the insufficiently interesting ones.

    I just get a giggle out of the fact that you are by far the most frequently cryptic in your replies compared to other regulars, often dropping a single sentence question addressed to no one… and you are also the most frequently on someone’s case if they aren’t clear in who they are addressing. It tickles me.

    _____________________

    #131 Vivec
    I’m not arguing that Nazi punching should be legal, I just think it’s a morally commendable thing to do, irrespective of whether or not it’s illegal. If that means I have no respect for the “rule of law”, well, c’est la vie.

    Physical replies to verbal actions, ‘morally commendable.’ Impressive. But at least you have indicated that you will not complain if your actions land you in jail.

  123. Tethys says

    Holms

    And my point regarding your mention of not filing charges is that you assuredly don’t apply that logic evenly. And I have not stated or hinted anything about societal ruin at punching nazis, I am simply disagreeing with the policy.

    I take a very dim view of people who claim to be so much more logical while cherry picking a response that was in fact asking them to justify the claims of society being in danger if concerned citizens just neutralize people who are verbally assualting others without waiting for the police. The nazi might hit his head and get hurt is not particularly compelling.

  124. Vivec says

    Physical replies to verbal actions, ‘morally commendable.’ Impressive.

    In this specific case, yep.

  125. vucodlak says

    Being a Nazi is a violent act. The Hitler youth and similar groups did force children to become Nazis, but today’s Nazis haven’t yet built up the power base to create similar institutions. Therefore, anyone who is a Nazi has chosen to be a Nazi, and to embrace all that that means. Being a Nazi has no benign connotations. To be a Nazi is to be a willing and active participant in genocide. That’s the whole of ‘Nation Socialism.’ That’s its sole defining attribute, once all the purple rhetoric is stripped to its barest essentials: “Kill everyone who isn’t a Nazi.”

    So, again, being a Nazi is a violent act, and one which goes well beyond a punch in the face.

  126. kupo says

    What vucodlak said @ 137. But also, in this specific case, the Nazi had already escalated to physical assault when he started throwing objects at people, so you’re being completely dishonest on that point, as well.

  127. Holms says

    #135
    But I did address that point, by pointing out that a premise underlying your question was flawed, and later by noting that no one claimed society would crumble or anything remotely similar.

    #136
    I take this as tacit admission that all you have is an ad hoc rationalisation in the vein of ‘when someone is vile enough, assaulting them is fine.’

    #137
    This has been addressed about a dozen times: potential future violence is not cause for self defense, and ‘pro-active self defense’ is a fancy way of phrasing assault.

    #138
    Please learn the difference between civil and criminal battery.

  128. kupo says

    Did you internationally change the verbiage to “battery” or can you not be bothered to read my statement? I said assault, which is exactly what he did. It was, in fact, criminal, though a misdemeanor charge rather than felony.

    In Washington, a person commits the crime of simple assault (also called assault in the fourth degree), a misdemeanor, by hitting, touching, or attempting to injure another; or intentionally placing another in fear of injury by some physical act.

  129. consciousness razor says

    What would the police do that would be MORE EFFECTIVE or efficient than the single punch?

    Is that the question? Effective or efficient at what? In #135, it looks like the effect you’re describing is this: “concerned citizens just neutralize people.” These citizens (plural) do that, which suggests more than one punch perhaps. But what is “neutralize” supposed to mean, if that’s what this effectiveness or efficiency is about?

    I would gladly say police don’t need to be involved, when they aren’t needed to enforce the law, in cases when nobody is breaking it. So I’m not even sure why I’m supposed to think police are supposed to do something (less effective though it may be) in a situation which doesn’t involve violence. If somebody was causing a disturbance of some sort that is concerning to people, then they certainly can call the police to address those concerns without escalating it to something else.

    But I didn’t say they need to take that approach in general, since there might be a lot of other things they can do, depending on the situation. If there are a dozen Nazis creating a scene (or 100), then I don’t imagine it’s going to work out the same way, if your “concerned citizens” (or non-citizens perhaps) must each choose one to “neutralize.”

  130. Tethys says

    Holms

    But I did address that point, by pointing out that a premise underlying your question was flawed, and later by noting that no one claimed society would crumble or anything remotely similar.

    MY flawed premise? Cherry picking half a sentence (that was a paraphase of a quote from the actual police involved ) about the nazi choosing not to report an assault and conflating it with the rate of non-reporting for non-specific other crimes ( I’m assuming rape and domestic violence) is how you addressed that point. You then proceeded to insult my intelligence and my honor because I don’t think assholes being forcible stopped from harassing people before the police arrive is a bad idea.

    I suggest you go reread Aussie Mike, the vicar, CR and assorted others claiming that in their opinion people should just stand there and peacefully watch the harassment until police arrive. There was quite a bit of yammering on about preemptive self-defense leading to various ridiculous scenarios and the making of nazi martyrs.

    I’m still wondering how punching this Nazi in 2017 retroactively caused Trayvon Martins murder via a different racist asshat in 2012.

  131. vucodlak says

    @ Holms, #139

    This has been addressed about a dozen times: potential future violence is not cause for self defense, and ‘pro-active self defense’ is a fancy way of phrasing assault.

    Yes, it has been addressed ‘about a dozen times,’ and every fucking time you dream up more words to put ‘[here]-violence’ and ‘[here]-self-defense.’ The reason I keep saying the same thing over and over is that the words you keep putting there DON’T BELONG THERE.

    It’s not potential violence. It’s not future violence. It’s not even imminent violence. Being a Nazi = an act of violence. That’s it. Same as sticking a gun in someone’s face and saying “I’m going to blow your head off” is an act of violence. It doesn’t matter that the law doesn’t recognize them the same way. It doesn’t matter if the gunner doesn’t pull the trigger in the same instant as they issue the threat, either; it’s still an act of violence.

  132. consciousness razor says

    I suggest you go reread Aussie Mike, the vicar, CR and assorted others claiming that in their opinion people should just stand there and peacefully watch the harassment until police arrive.

    I never said that, and neither did Aussie Mike or The Vicar. So you’re just lying about all of us.

    There are a lot more options than just standing in place and passively watching. Being “active” doesn’t imply being violent, and it’s fucking ridiculous to think otherwise. Any nonviolent protest that’s ever happened is one type of example. You must know very well that MLK and many others weren’t doing the impossible, so what you’re saying is just bullshit.

  133. Rob Grigjanis says

    Tethys @143:

    I suggest you go reread Aussie Mike, the vicar, CR and assorted others claiming that in their opinion people should just stand there and peacefully watch the harassment until police arrive.

    Why some people might write this place off: “I’m torn” gets translated into “I’m not torn”, and counseling caution gets translated into “just stand there”.

  134. Vivec says

    @139
    Insofar as literally every statement of moral permissiveness can be boiled down to a statement like that, sure.

    “If a crime is sufficiently bad, it becomes okay to kidnap and inter a person for a fixed amount of time”

  135. jahigginbotham says

    chigau (違う) @124

    To have a discussion you need to have some common ground starting point and that would be pretty far back with some of the commenters here.
    I have no idea what you mean by this.

    Not the best analogy, but suppose the point of contention is the correct pronunciation of the word “tag”. A common starting point would be both participants speaking the same language. If one were English and the other German, the argument would be pointless.
    Likewise here, some people start from a background of society, Constitution, laws, courts, police, etc. Others (apparently) start with the notion that they are Right(R) and they are the sole arbiters of acceptable behavior. [Surely there is an appropriate philosophic term.]

    It’s not just “Nazis”. Someone gets a peer-reviewed paper published which you (generic) disagree with. Immediate calls to get paper retracted, writer fired, PhD revoked. There seems to be a lot of ideological purity competition and retribution. You’re a white male homosexual; sorry you are the discriminator, not the discriminated against. You’re a Jewish lesbian; sorry, you are the oppressor, not the oppressed.

  136. jahigginbotham says

    @144, vucodlak

    Being a Nazi = an act of violence.

    What percentage of Americans define these terms the way you do?

  137. jahigginbotham says

    @129, Holms

    ‘Befriending’ nazis goes wayyyyyy too far. Despise them but don’t assault them is about all I’d support.

    That was someone else’s position. I was just trying to show that these escalationist, punch first individuals have more in common with right wing extremists than they do with most of America.
    I’m generally not a big fan of extremists of either stripe.

  138. Holms says

    #140 kupo
    Did you internationally change the verbiage to “battery” or can you not be bothered to read my statement? I said assault, which is exactly what he did. It was, in fact, criminal, though a misdemeanor charge rather than felony.

    Ah, I see a) I mixed you up with someone further up the thread who was using both battery and assault; and b) American states are a bit of a mix in that assault and battery are sometimes split into separate offenses, and other times not. Washington is one that merges them.

    But this is somewhat in line with what I suggested earlier: get cops involved, and have him charged. As distinct from PZ and others’ injunction to punch on sight.

    _________________________

    #143 Tethys
    MY flawed premise?

    Yes, the implication that because the guy didn’t press assault charges, no one had assaulted him and that therefore attacking nazis is just fine.

    I suggest you go reread Aussie Mike, the vicar, CR and assorted others claiming that in their opinion people should just stand there and peacefully watch the harassment until police arrive.

    Point out where they said that or admit you have misrepresented them.

    I’m still wondering how punching this Nazi in 2017 retroactively caused Trayvon Martins murder via a different racist asshat in 2012.

    And I’m wondering why you’re wondering that; it seems positively ridiculous things to ponder given that no one suggested any such thing.

    _______________________

    #144 vucodlak
    It’s not potential violence. It’s not future violence. It’s not even imminent violence. Being a Nazi = an act of violence. That’s it. Same as sticking a gun in someone’s face and saying “I’m going to blow your head off” is an act of violence. It doesn’t matter that the law doesn’t recognize them the same way. It doesn’t matter if the gunner doesn’t pull the trigger in the same instant as they issue the threat, either; it’s still an act of violence

    Espousing vile politics is not physical violence. You’re just playing coy with definitions now.

    _______________________

    #147 Vivec
    @139
    Insofar as literally every statement of moral permissiveness can be boiled down to a statement like that, sure.
    “If a crime is sufficiently bad, it becomes okay to kidnap and inter a person for a fixed amount of time”

    Not at all. I took care to use the term ‘assault’ to make clear that I am talking about the use of physical force in the absence of a need for self defense from a proximate physical threat. I am talking specifically about interpersonal interactions, and not judicial penalties. Though even if we were talking about judicial penalties, is it your opinion that they should include physical violence? You’re in favour of bringing back corporal punishment? Funny, I oppose that even against convicted murderers.

  139. Vivec says

    @151
    It doesn’t matter what term you used, literally every statement on moral permissiveness can be boiled down to a reductive statement like the ones we both presented. “If a person is sufficiently starving, it is morally permissible to steal food to survive”

    That said, yes, I absolutely believe there are at least some circumstances wherein violence is a morally permissible reaction – being face to face with a nazi is one of them.

  140. logicalcat says

    @Holms

    Espousing vile politics is not physical violence. You’re just playing coy with definitions now.

    When the vile politics is specificaly about how they will one day kill you given the chance and oportunity, then yes it is violence. Its a threat. Moreso its a promise.

  141. jahigginbotham says

    @153 logicalcat

    When the vile politics is specificaly about how they will one day kill you given the chance and oportunity, then yes it is violence.

    How many people have you convinced by mere endless repetition?
    ‘Sticks and stones may break my bones but names will never hurt me’ goes back in written form to at least 1862. Why should we accept a different definition?
    And if words threaten you so much, Kim Jong Un has vowed to destroy the U.S. He has nuclear weapons and missiles, which i doubt the “Nazis” do. What are you doing about this act of violence? How does it compare to the violent acts of the “Nazis”?
    Also, i suspect you are not a cat either.

  142. logicalcat says

    How many people have you convinced by mere endless repetition?

    Who cares?
    How many people have I convinced God is not real? Zero. Doesnt make me less correct tho.

    ‘Sticks and stones may break my bones but names will never hurt me’ goes back in written form to at least 1862. Why should we accept a different definition?

    Call me the F-word since I’m bisexual and see how hurt I get. Or the N-word towards a black person. Words hurt. Also, this is irrelevent. The word Nazi is not the problem, its their ideals of which if they had their way would kill people like me. And these word they use acumulate over time and eventualy get expressed through violence. Always.

    Also what you said is an Appeal to Tradition.

    And if words threaten you so much, Kim Jong Un has vowed to destroy the U.S. He has nuclear weapons and missiles, which i doubt the “Nazis” do. What are you doing about this act of violence? How does it compare to the violent acts of the “Nazis”?

    What can I do against NK? Nothing, I am powerless. What can I do about Nazis? Punch them in the face. I have the power to do that. That is until they gain enough momentum to overpower me because some of us want to wait. How does that compare to NK threats versus Nazi threats? Well for started theres no M.A.D. LoL Silly comparison.

    Also, i suspect you are not a cat either.

    You dont know that.

    Okay fine, im not a cat, but I am logical. Or at least try to be. I remember watching the video I linked for the first time and saying to myself that I definitly fit the anti-punching side of this debate, but awcknowledging that the other side had compelling arguements. Overtime, and especially reading these threads I think I can safely say that I am on board with punching Nazis. Sorry you guys are just not that convincing.

    At the end of the day, fascist are cowards, but not just any cowards oh no. They are bullying cowards wiht the express desire to kill people. You stand up to bullies, and since they are cowards, they will crumble. You fail to stand up to them, and those cowards will gain support, power, and influence enough to be comfortable to enact their wishes. Just look at Charlottesville. It was suppose to be a 60+ city event, but after they got their ass kicked, canceled them all. It works, sorry. One side has evidence that dealing with Nazis preemptively has kept them from gaining any ground, and the other side has appeals to tradition, even if those traditions are liberal and normaly in agreement with. Thats what I see at least.

  143. Holms says

    #152 Vivec
    It doesn’t matter what term you used, literally every statement on moral permissiveness can be boiled down to a reductive statement like the ones we both presented. “If a person is sufficiently starving, it is morally permissible to steal food to survive”

    But in your case, it is not even a reduction; you literally believe that the vileness of someone’s beliefs / politics can singlehandedly strip them of the usual right to not be assaulted. It sounds ‘stripped down’ simply because it is intellectually shallow.

    _________________________

    #153 logicalcat
    When the vile politics is specificaly about how they will one day kill you given the chance and oportunity, then yes it is violence. Its a threat. Moreso its a promise.

    And yet ehe requirements for self defense remain unmet, as beliefs – even vile ones – do not in and of themselves pose a proximate physical threat.

    ________________________

    #156 logicalcat
    How many people have I convinced God is not real? Zero. Doesnt make me less correct tho.

    It helps to actually be correct tho.

    Call me the F-word since I’m bisexual and see how hurt I get. Or the N-word towards a black person. Words hurt. Also, this is irrelevent. The word Nazi is not the problem, its their ideals of which if they had their way would kill people like me. And these word they use acumulate over time and eventualy get expressed through violence. Always.

    Wow, always. So everyone that calls themselves a nazi is guaranteed to be a violent criminal? Even vucodlak, who appears to have the most personal link out of all of us to this topic, acknowledges that “most of those Nazis are all talk” and that once they “get a bit of power […] the ones who really, truly mean it will start killing.” Notice that ‘the ones who really truly mean it’ falls well short of 100%.

    So no, not always.

    At the end of the day, fascist are cowards, but not just any cowards oh no. They are bullying cowards wiht the express desire to kill people. You stand up to bullies, and since they are cowards, they will crumble. You fail to stand up to them, and those cowards will gain support, power, and influence enough to be comfortable to enact their wishes.

    Who here has suggested not standing up to them? Specifically, which person in which comment suggests being meek and doing nothing? I’ll spare you the trouble of looking: there are no such posts. You are creating a false dichotomy here, that on one side there are those that endorse counterprotesting and assaulting nazis, while the other side suggests doing absolutely nothing.

    In reality, those of use that have been arguing against assaulting nazis have not argued against counterprotests and the like. Cast your eyes at my fist comment in this thread for an example, where I suggest some actions: “Disagree with them, confront them with vocal opposition (but stopping short of assault), counterprotest their marches, shame them publicly, call police on them if they engage in provocation / harassment… that sort of thing.”

    The Cable Street protest stands as a fine example of pricisely what I have suggested.

  144. Vivec says

    @157

    But in your case, it is not even a reduction; you literally believe that the vileness of someone’s beliefs / politics can singlehandedly strip them of the usual right to not be assaulted. It sounds ‘stripped down’ simply because it is intellectually shallow.

    Yes, just like how, as mentioned, I think that the amount of starvation someone feels can singlehandedly justify an act of theft or that the severity of a crime can singlehandedly justify forcibly segregating that person from the general population.

    Your argument seems to largely hinge on whether or not I accept that “the only morally valid time to use physical force is in direct response to a physical threat”, and I don’t accept that. If you would like to make a case for that heuristic, feel free to.

  145. Holms says

    You say that almost as if a) that case hadn’t been made, and b) as if the onus lies on me to make the case not to assault people, rather than on you to make the case that assault should be permitted on your terms.

    (I’m sure you’ll be consisten in its application too, in that if you get to assault others on your terms, they get to assault you on theirs.)

  146. Vivec says

    @159
    I’m not making any case at all, and definitely not a positive case with a burden of proof. I personally believe that it is morally permissible (ie, not morally condemnable, nor morally obligatory) to punch nazis, because I do not think a sufficient case has been made in favor of it being morally permissible.

    (I’m sure you’ll be consisten in its application too, in that if you get to assault others on your terms, they get to assault you on theirs.)

    “If the police can kidnap me for violating their laws, why can’t I kidnap a policeman for violating my laws!!!!”

  147. Vivec says

    @160
    *because I do not think a sufficient case has been made in favor of it being morally condemnable

  148. Tethys says

    “Disagree with them, confront them with vocal opposition (but stopping short of assault), counterprotest their marches, shame them publicly, call police on them if they engage in provocation / harassment… that sort of thing.”

    Nobody claimed that you should not do these things. It’s just that they do fuck all to stop the nazi’s abuse until the police arrive, unlike the punch.

  149. logicalcat says

    And yet ehe requirements for self defense remain unmet, as beliefs – even vile ones – do not in and of themselves pose a proximate physical threat.

    Dont give a shit. I never said it was self defense. Hell, up thread I specificaly mentioned that I am not making a case for self defense.

    It helps to actually be correct tho.

    You havent shown me that Im wrong tho. Seriously, if non violence was the best way, then we wouldnt even be having this resurgence of Nazi shit since my fellow SJWs were on top of this shit since day one.

    I’m not completely in teh deep end yet. Just show me some evidence that not resorting to violence works. The pro punching side showed me evidence that it does. Its that simple, and everyone is ignoring it.

    Wow, always. So everyone that calls themselves a nazi is guaranteed to be a violent criminal? Even vucodlak, who appears to have the most personal link out of all of us to this topic, acknowledges that “most of those Nazis are all talk” and that once they “get a bit of power […] the ones who really, truly mean it will start killing.” Notice that ‘the ones who really truly mean it’ falls well short of 100%.
    So no, not always.

    Are you telling me that members of the Nazi party in Germany who did not specificaly kill someone are somehow not complicit? The ones responsible for their rise by providing tacit support and helping to normalize a vile ideology dedicated to genocide are not complicit? They may not have pulled the trigger, but they share part of the blame. Also It should have been clear that when I said they always resort to violence, that I am talking about nazis as a whole. If you support a violent genocidal ideology then I seriously dont care that they themselves as an individual are not violent.

    So fine. Not ALL Nazis will literally commit acts of genocide. Fine, you got me. But if a nazi is sharing a train with me, and start harrassing the other passengers with racist shit. Starts throwing things at them, all the while expressing an ideology and identity associated with mass genocide, then I want that person to get knocked the fuck out. Simple. Sorry if I couldnt take the noble moral high road. Guess I’m not noble or moral on this specific issue.

    Who here has suggested not standing up to them? Specifically, which person in which comment suggests being meek and doing nothing? I’ll spare you the trouble of looking: there are no such posts. You are creating a false dichotomy here, that on one side there are those that endorse counterprotesting and assaulting nazis, while the other side suggests doing absolutely nothing.

    This section, is massive bullshit. I have never suggested that anyone here advocated for not standing up to Nazis at all. I have however seen plenty of people suggesting that we shouldnt do so with preemptive violence. Thats the topic. So when I said you need to stand up to them I meant violently, because thats teh topic. I didnt say that anyone here was some meek person for not standing up to them(vioelntly). It takes guts to stand up to the alt-reich, violently or not. I definitely did not say that those opposing my viewpoint are doing “nothing”. So enough with this bullshit. Unless you are confusing me with someone else.

    There is no false dichotomy here. Violence is a tactic. Used on a case by case basis. Other tactics include marching and protesting en masse peacefully, and thats fine. But when they get to threaten violence en masse like in charlottesville, or start harrasing people in public solo like in this story, then thats were we come in. And you know what? If counterprotests and the like are all it takes, then we wouldnt have this resurgence of nazis since we were already doing that. It seems we need a little more. I feel like I have to repeat that. And maybe you are not the type to resort to violence. Fine. You dont have to. Others will do it for you it seems.

    The Cable Street protest stands as a fine example of pricisely what I have suggested.

    Cable street was a riot. At least thats what ive read on the subject, which isnt much I admit. I dont know where you got the idea that it was a counter-protest only.

    However, per this link… (http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/features/2016/08/remembering-battle-cable-street-160802072152633.html) we get this:

    “On the day itself, it was a great victory for the anti-fascists, who greatly outnumbered the Blackshirts and stopped them from marching through the East End of London.

    But Mosley’s deliberate aim had been to provoke counter-violence to what was a lawful demonstration. In a way, he got exactly what he wanted. It allowed him to portray what happened as immigrants, aliens, violent communists stopping British citizens from exercising their lawful right to demonstrate.

    In the months after Cable Street, British Jews suffered far greater violence, intimidation and abuse than they had beforehand, So Cable Street unleashed this wave of anti-Jewish violence and abuse and gave the fascists a boost in popularity.”

    So either it was pre-emptive violence and that made things worse. Or it was a standard counter-protest and that made things worse anyways. Or my link is wrong. The link says it was a riot so I maybe got my wish of getting an example of punching nazis being a bad idea after all.

  150. vucodlak says

    @ Holms, # 156

    I told myself I was done with this, but I just can’t let this…

    Wow, always. So everyone that calls themselves a nazi is guaranteed to be a violent criminal? Even vucodlak, who appears to have the most personal link out of all of us to this topic, acknowledges that “most of those Nazis are all talk” and that once they “get a bit of power […] the ones who really, truly mean it will start killing.” Notice that ‘the ones who really truly mean it’ falls well short of 100%.
    So no, not always.

    …go.

    Every Nazi is dangerous, whether they’re “just trolling” or they’re dead serious about “killing all the degenerates.” The true believers will probably* cast the first stone, but the LARPers will be right behind them, tearing up chunks of asphalt to rain down on the targets of Nazi hate.

    In the incident I described in my initial post on the thread, I suspect the two who worked me over weren’t so different than the chan-Nazis who show up at marches with “Kekistan” flags, once upon a time. They thought what they were doing to me was hilarious, but they lacked pure, undiluted malice of (at least one of) those who tortured my friend. It takes a true believer to do what they did to R; it only takes a joiner to go along and do what was done to me.

    So yes, always. Are you honestly telling me that you believe there is some non-violent way to express an ideology built around the extermination of everyone who doesn’t adhere to it? The only way a Nazi can be non-violent is to cease to be a Nazi.

    Of course, one should use every non-violent means to resist Nazis. Violence is a last resort, but it’s sometimes necessary. Any fight with Nazis is a fight for your life and the life of everyone you know.

    Always.

    *A true believer isn’t even a requirement. Get enough trolls together, egging each other on to ever greater heights of offensiveness, and it’s only a matter of time before they talk themselves into committing physical violence.

  151. Holms says

    #160 Vivec
    I’m not making any case at all…

    I’ll say!

    and definitely not a positive case with a burden of proof. I personally believe that it is morally permissible (ie, not morally condemnable, nor morally obligatory) to punch nazis, *because I do not think a sufficient case has been made in favor of it being morally condemnable

    This could just as easily be phrased conversely, as your pre-edit wording demonstrates: has the case been made that it is morally permissable? Why is one way and not the other taken to be the null position?

    “If the police can kidnap me for violating their laws, why can’t I kidnap a policeman for violating my laws!!!!”

    Are you being stupid intentionally, or can’t you help it? It’s your opinion that you get to assault people on your terms. Are you going to be consistent in letting others do the same, possibly directed towards you? Somehow I doubt you will.

    _______________________

    #162 Tethys
    Nobody claimed that you should not do these things. It’s just that they do fuck all to stop the nazi’s abuse until the police arrive, unlike the punch.

    But they have the advantage of not being assault, and not risking injury / death.

    _____________________

    #163 logicalcat
    Dont give a shit. I never said it was self defense.

    Then it is assault. Please explain why violence in the absence of self defense is reasonable.

    I’m not completely in teh deep end yet. Just show me some evidence that not resorting to violence works. The pro punching side showed me evidence that it does. Its that simple, and everyone is ignoring it.

    But I didn’t ignore this at all; I pointed out that Cable Street does not stand as an example of attacking nazis successfully, because the anti-fascists didn’t attack nazis. How the fuck was this even considered a win for the ‘assault nasty people’ team when the fighting was between anti-fascists and police? This is instead a demonstration of mass civil disobedience, with tens of thousands of people obstructing a legal march and daring authorities to overcome them.

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