I can’t believe I have to write this…

I am not an ethicist. Firstly, I belong to Odin; secondly, I find many of the accepted ethics of modernity questionable, so I find it rather amusing in an ironic sort of way that over the past few days I’ve found myself having discussions on just that: ethics, discussions in which I am in the position of defending Enlightenment values. Oh well, I’m sure the denizens of Hell are enjoying their winter sports.

This past week the internet has been cheering the antifa smackdown (literally) of white supremacist Richard Spencer. I’ve found myself in multiple debates with people about whether or not this was an appropriate action. Responses range from “He was a Nazi, we hit Nazis to keep the Holocaust from happening again.” To expressions of delight and the hope that this will become a thing “like the ALS challenge” to various musical remixes being made of the newsclip. Let’s be clear: however vile Spencer’s politics may be, he did not actually physically assault anyone. An Antifa protestor ran up and punched him [at least twice] without any provocation other than Spencer holding an ugly political opinion. Spencer was going to dinner with some reporters when he was sucker punched.

People are arguing that it is ok to do physical violence to those who hold different opinions. Think about that. Think about that for a very long time. That’s not only a violation of free speech, but it’s one hell of a slippery slope.

Let’s be fully honest here: that’s not a principle we should want to establish – just from a practical standpoint. I really don’t think some SJW with a pussy hat and skinny jeans really wants to go up against some average skinhead enforcers. But even if that were not the case, using violence to silence someone because you dislike their opinions is morally reprehensible. It shows the inherent deficiency of your own argument: you can’t persuade someone with your words and reason, instead you have to resort to your fists.

Let’s turn the trope around.

Several years ago, some Heathens publicly stated that I should be raped by a horse and have a gun barrel applied liberally to my temple because they disagreed with my theological opinions. Is that ok? I have opinions that are vile to them, like Loki is worthy of veneration and shamanism is a thing. Guess it’s ok for them to be heading to the stables. It’s open season on Galina. I better not go to the track any time soon. *sarcasm*

Or maybe I should run up and randomly sucker punch the next Muslim guy I meet. I mean after all, he himself may not have ever cut off a woman’s clit, thrown a gay person off a building, or driven a truck into a crowded Christmas market but plenty of his co-religionists have. So if we’re lumping people in and believing in group guilt (hey, who else espoused such a notion? Oh wait, that was one of the central tenets of Nazism) then the poor Muslim dude who just wants to go to dinner and have a nice night out with his family, who happens to practice a monotheistic religion that also includes people like Daesh, well, he’s gonna have a bad night. Is that ok? Guess I should go get my SAP gloves ready.

In case you are struggling with the answer: NO. NO. NONE OF THAT IS OK. Jesus fucking Christ.

What’s the difference in every one of these situations? Ethically: there isn’t one.

Let me now turn this on its end again and make it even more uncomfortable and require a bit of self reflection from some of my readers:

Let’s be perfectly honest here, all of you sitting there gloating and watching these videos of Spencer getting punched over and over again are no different than the Nazis who got off when their mobs would attack Jewish businesses and they would endlessly laugh about it and do cartoons in their newspapers, gloating that these people were finally getting what they deserved. (I’ve heard “well, Spencer and his ilk are calling for our extermination.” Nazis believed the Jewish people were doing the same thing with equally groundless basis and fuck it I can’t believe I’m defending Spencer. I find his politics disgusting but I find this collective madness even more revolting and dangerous).

You guys are the Nazis here, regardless of what political position you actually happen to espouse: you are behaving in the exact same manner as that which you revile. Read your fucking Nietzsche, people. If you can’t look yourself in the mirror now and change this, you’re going to be led down a much darker path in the future, when things really start falling apart. Let us not become the monsters we seek to hunt.

 

A good article on the ethics of this situation may be found here

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Posted on January 28, 2017, in community, Uncategorized and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. 17 Comments.

  1. thetinfoilhatsociety

    Galina this is WONDERFUL. Thank you. What I worry about is if enough of these dip $h!ts keep doing stuff like this that many more people are going to have a ‘give no f*s’ attitude and start hitting – or shooting – first and asking questions later out of a sheer sense of self preservation and defense.

    I canNOT believe people actually said that about you. What @holes.

    Liked by 3 people

    • thanks. there has been worse said but that was up there. and yes, they are assholes. lol.

      I worry about where the idea that it’s ok to silence differing opinions is ultimately going to lead too. Nowhere good, I suspect.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m honestly starting to lose hope for the human race. The current state of affairs is such a giant clusterf*ck that I’m not even sure how it could be fixed.

    Perhaps the next stage is the ‘thunderdome’ approach of Mad Max, we seem to be pretty close to that anyway. 😦

    In all seriousness though, while I definitely understand why people feel schadenfreude at this guy getting punched, as I feel it too – you’re right in that if the attack was unprovoked it could be a slippery slope.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. The Weimarrepublik was also plagued by a climate of political violence, as you point out, and that was exactly one of the stepping stones NSDAP used to get into power. They were simply better at it and more numerous than the competition, or rather, their paramilitary arm the SA was.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I have it on authority by several of my friends, that they are trying to keep Spencer from living in their community. They are Quakers, who are trying to figure out how to do this without violence and all that. I am not sure what will happen other than Spencer will have problems finding a place to live. And that is problematic in itself since he has not committed any crimes and has been considered a “good citizen” by the legal authorities.

    Liked by 3 people

    • that’s actually also something of an abrogation of their Christian principles I’d think, after all, they might consider the ameliorating effect they could have on his positions if leading/teaching by example.

      but besides that rather arcane point, I think that’s just foul. it’s not going to change his position and he’s done *nothing* other than hold an unpopular viewpoint. I may find it a disgusting viewpoint but if the dude isn’t breaking any law, then there’s no legal reason to get one’s panties in a twist about where he wants to live. I don’t like that there’s a JW center in my neighborhood but you don’t see me campaigning against it. I think he might be the guy whose mother is getting harassed too, even though she is in no way a white supremacist. I may have him mixed up with someone else there though.

      Liked by 3 people

  5. This is a very important bit of writing. He’s allowed to say awful things. We’re allowed to think that he’s an awful person and refuse to acknowledge anything he says… but he IS allowed to say it. Without getting sucker punched.

    Liked by 4 people

  6. A wise man once wrote…Violence is the last refuge of the incompetent.

    Liked by 3 people

  7. Well said! Very well said!

    Like

  8. I served in the uniform of the US to protect the rights of all citizens as recognized by the Constitution, (I know, idealistic me.) This includes holding and expressing opinions with which I do not agree, and may even find reprehensible. So long and beliefs and opinion do not become actions that cause harm to others, I have no cause to lift my hand against the person holding and expressing them. I find the best tools are holding true to values that build community and living as an example of those values.

    Good essay.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I won’t lie, I have gladly been a proud supporter of punch the nazi (familial ties to the holocaust as victims and survivors and the fear of its return being taught to me as a little boy sparked over recent news played a large part of that.)

    However-this was the first time I have actually read an article that has shed a different view on what is going on with this country. Which, as someone who grew up adamantly hating facists and racialist with a fiery passion-you have really proved to me that someone’s mind can be changed by actually using a well thought out argument (call me media deaf because I don’t see much of people actively listening and attempting to actually hold a debate where opinions can be changed.)

    I am honestly pretty impressed because you showed to me what I thought wasn’t possible. Thank you for opening my eyes. I will continue to think these people are the scum of the earth and are monsters-but you are right, we can’t sink to stripping free rights because it provides ‘safety.’

    Thank you also for always being a voice to remind people that our community is here to focus on the Gods. We are here to provide them devotion.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Good post, I’m glad someone else understands the slippery slope argument.
    I wrote a piece today that might interest you:
    https://josephcampbellblogblog.wordpress.com/2017/02/04/antifa-the-rise-of-left-wing-facism/
    Sorry for the self-promote 🙂
    Again great post, really sums up what I’ve been feeling.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. What happened to “freedom of speech?’ By the way, it goes both ways. I saw a young man beaten up for wearing a hat that had the word “America” on it. He didn’t say anything. The right to say an opinion that others may not like is every one’s right in this country, or I thought so. No one may like a point of view, but no one has the right to do violence against another for what they say. That is the law. My family has served in the military for generations. Since from the civil war, men in my family line fought for the rights of americans to have the right of free speech. i may not agree with your speech, but I will defend the right for you to speak your truth. Remember those who died so all have the right to speak their mind. May this madness/frenzy stop & people realize it is normal for people to disagree without doing violence against them. Blessings to all who stand up for everyone’s rights.

    Liked by 1 person

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