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PostPosted: Sat Jan 28, 2017 5:57 am 
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You may have heard that someone punched "far-right" activist Spencer on the Inauguration Day.

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For the record, Richard Spencer says he is not a Nazi. In an interview on Saturday, he said he was a member of the alt-right, which he calls “identity politics for white Americans and for Europeans around the world.”

How is that different from Nazism? Nazism is “a historical term” that “is not going to resonate today,” he said.

I have quite a bit to say on the subject of punching Nazis, most of it positive, but this blog has already covered the most vital points.

On The Propriety Of Punching Nazis, An FAQ

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Aren’t the Left supposed to be the tolerant ones?

Supposed to be the smart ones, too, but they keep falling for that “I thought you were supposed to be the tolerant ones” horseshit.

What about dialogue?

Dialogue is for reasonable people acting in good faith. Dialogue is between two acceptable positions. “Taxes need to be raised” vs. “taxes need to be lowered” is grounds for dialogue. “Taxes need to be raised” vs. “Jews should be thrown in ovens” is grounds for a beating.

...

But doesn’t this just give the other side ammunition?

The other side in this argument are lying [redacted] who can twist any piece of information into a swastika-shaped balloon animal if you engage them in good faith; lacking a piece of information, they’ll just make [redacted] up. Might as well punch a Nazi.

What about peace, love, and understanding?

Great goals, and once we get rid of the Nazis we can get to work on them. All three are completely impossible when Nazis are about.


So. Should you? Would you?

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 28, 2017 7:59 am 
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I've been practicing swinging from the hip.

Does having a lot of hip give more impact?

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 28, 2017 10:36 am 
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not something I would recommend
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I've been seeing this around for a bit and one things unclear to me - has this Spencer guy actually called for violence against some non-whites? I genuinely don't know but it is IMO extremely relevant to the question.

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 28, 2017 3:33 pm 
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 28, 2017 4:18 pm 
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yovargas wrote:
I've been seeing this around for a bit and one things unclear to me - has this Spencer guy actually called for violence against some non-whites? I genuinely don't know but it is IMO extremely relevant to the question.

According to this, yes. http://www.theverge.com/2017/1/23/14356 ... -alt-right

However, after 30 seconds of thought, I decided that no, it isn't relevant. People who visibly identify themselves as Nazis are complicit in the violence even if they don't personally participate in it.

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 28, 2017 4:29 pm 
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Well, Nazis are beyond the limits of "tolerance," in my book, but I would like us to find more Quakerly ways to convey that than punching. Especially since violence will play into the Nazis' hands ("see, WE are the victims here!")

Yesterday an account on Twitter tweeted the names (and, when they had them, photos) of the Jewish refugees on the MS St Louis who were turned away from Cuba, the U.S., and Canada in 1939 and eventually died in camps. That was sobering reading.

Lives are at stake. Nazis and their ilk MUST be countered and confronted. I am so discouraged this week!

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 28, 2017 4:37 pm 
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not something I would recommend
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Frelga wrote:
yovargas wrote:
I've been seeing this around for a bit and one things unclear to me - has this Spencer guy actually called for violence against some non-whites? I genuinely don't know but it is IMO extremely relevant to the question.

According to this, yes. http://www.theverge.com/2017/1/23/14356 ... -alt-right

However, after 30 seconds of thought, I decided that no, it isn't relevant. People who visibly identify themselves as Nazis are complicit in the violence even if they don't personally participate in it.


But he is not, to my knowledge, an actual Nazi, but a member of the alt-right. Yes, the two groups have a lot in common but to my knowledge, the so-called alt-right doesn't generally support violence. There's a difference between "I don't like Group X" and "I want to hurt Group X".

If I am right about that - which I very much may not be (I don't spend much time reading up on the alt-right.....) - then I cannot condone violence. The only time violence is morally acceptable is to stop other violence.

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 28, 2017 5:52 pm 
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The only difference between the alt-right and Nazism is PR, and even that may no longer be the case. The message boards they inhabit are replete with calls for various groups to be exiled, imprisoned, or killed. In the last instance, the methodologies suggested are often sadistic.

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 28, 2017 5:54 pm 
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I assume the topic question is offered somewhat in jest. It's legal in our country to go around saying horrible things, but it's not legal to go around punching people. So all punching a Nazi is going to accomplish is potentially entangling the puncher in legal difficulties, which could potentially limit his availability to participate in more constructive forms of engagement.

So no, I don't think one should punch a Nazi; but one also shouldn't tolerate a Nazi. So I think the premise underlying the thread title may be flawed. Perhaps it hinges on how we're defining 'tolerate.' I don't think that we do, as a society, 'tolerate' Naziism or other racist ideologies, as evidenced by our laws that forbid discrimination based on race, religion, etc. The Webster 2a definition of 'tolerate' is, 'to allow to be or to be done without prohibition, hindrance, or contradiction.' So we're not tolerating if we determinedly contradict; but determinedly contradicting should not include punching.

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 28, 2017 6:25 pm 
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:agree:

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 28, 2017 9:13 pm 
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I assume Frelga, and the others round the internet having this debate, aren't really talking about whether or not it should be legal. That's a government question whereas this is more personal. It's more about whether we should condemn individuals threatening Nazis, or maybe if we should even encourage the punching, legal or otherwise. I am rather firmly on the no side on the latter, but at the same time, if someone goes around expressing appallingly, profoundly despicable views - say, Westboro Church or NAMBLA or indeed Nazis, well, I sure ain't gonna get too upset that they occasionally get beat up.

(I'm not super convinced that being alt-right = being a Nazi. I'm sure there's plenty of overlap but I kinda doubt they're all on board with a full-on Nazi agenda. But I suppose I don't really know so I'll just take people's word for it.)

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 28, 2017 9:24 pm 
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I think these people should be sent back to the margins and shadows where they belong. If that includes causing discomfort by vocal discussions of the ethics and morals of punching those with their views in the face, so be it. Though the more I consider the more I think that going back to simply shunning them would get the point across without the potential for both martyring someone who should never be martyred and for landing in legal trouble.

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 28, 2017 9:52 pm 
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Yov, here's how to recognize when someone is a Nazi. If their agenda leads people to assume that they are Nazis and their reaction is not horrified and convincing disavowal of Nazi ideology - they are a Nazi. Semantics at that point are irrelevant.

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 28, 2017 10:50 pm 
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Should you punch a Nazi (or member of the alt-right)? Aside from the perfectly-valid objections to the idea raised by Cerin and yovargas, it's also a great way of advertising that you can't really challenge them in a debate so you need to resort to violence.


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 28, 2017 10:53 pm 
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What's there to debate?

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 28, 2017 11:35 pm 
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The entire alt-right platform?


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 28, 2017 11:48 pm 
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Didn't that get debated in the 30's and 40's?

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 28, 2017 11:57 pm 
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Well, the Democratic Party base can take the line of "this debate is over, let's beat them up" all they like. Will it do them any good? I seriously doubt it.


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 29, 2017 1:09 am 
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My problem with violence is that it has never managed to kill an idea.
The Nazi (and pseudo Nazi and Nazi-like) ideology can't be demolished by punching Nazis.
And that's what we should be focusssing on: what can a society do to prevent people from adopting this psychotic attitude towards other human beings?

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 29, 2017 1:14 am 
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Impenitent wrote:
My problem with violence is that it has never managed to kill an idea.
The Nazi (and pseudo Nazi and Nazi-like) ideology can't be demolished by punching Nazis.

No, you are right, it can't. Last time, we had to shoot them, bomb their cities, and split their country.

That job fell to my grandfather and his two brothers, among millions others. One of the brothers did not return. I hope very much that my son will not have to take up the job.

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And that's what we should be focusssing on: what can a society do to prevent people from adopting this psychotic attitude towards other human beings?


I'm afraid it's too late for that.

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