Interlude: Punching Nazis

Bear with me, WordPress seems to have tweaked their image inserting feature, so let’s see how this ends up looking.

This dilemma has rather seized my attention over the past few days, mainly because of my old pal He Who Is Shannon (long story) sprinkling it all over Facebook like that guy in that new meme who sprinkles things in a funny way.

sprinkle

You know. This guy who sprinkles in a funny way.

 

Anyway, the main story is that there’s this guy, Richard Spencer (not pictured here on the left), and he was giving an interview when a hooded man ran up, punched him square in the face, and ran off.

The catch, of course, is that Spencer is the father of the alt right movement. Basically, and quite literally, a Nazi. And now the question that arises is, is it okay to punch him in the face?

Freedom of speech – hate speech and incitement notwithstanding – tells us he is allowed to say what he wants, without fear of reprisals. And yes, he denies being a neo-Nazi or a white supremacist (despite the spiel about white culture, a white homeland, and the whole “hail Trump, hail victory” thing that you ought to be able to see in the link above if you give it a bit of a read). He says he’s non-violent, calling for debate and discourse, and he wants his policies to be enacted with peace and compassion.

There’s only one problem with that, of course.

One teeny tiny problem.

A timely reminder of World War, in this case the First but my point remains.

A white homeland can’t happen without lives being destroyed, people being killed, and a massive amount of conflict and bloodshed. There’s just no way. Additionally, as per my spiel further on down here, the whole concept of segregated homelands isn’t just a giant phlegmy loogie in the face of my entire unified-humanity worldview, it just seems to be a practical impossibility.

shannon_wisdom

Credit: He Who Is Shannon

So should he be allowed to talk about it? Should he be given a platform and have his ideas destroyed by reason and intellect, empathy and enlightenment, as the atheists’ beloved Four Horsemen seem to think should happen?

Because I think if that worked for Nazis, the Allies would have tried it and declared it a success instead of doing that whole pesky World War they did instead.

The problem is, the Nazi mind-set is all too alluring to the human tribal instinct. It can’t be argued away with reason, because there’s that horrible little monkey-voice in the back of our heads saying good point, those other people are to blame, wouldn’t it be great if we just got rid of them – peacefully, of course?

That horrible monkey isn’t going away. Not at this stage in our evolution. It’s not going to stop because people talk about it. This is why we get history repeating itself over and over again within living memory.

This is a problem for me, of course, because I would (self-evidently) far rather talk than fight. If I tried to punch a Nazi in the face, I’d probably just hurt myself. However, and with full and cheerful acknowledgement of a hypocritical ideology similar to “I don’t think I have it in me to kill an animals with my bare hands, yet I will happily buy and eat meat from a shop”, I have to say that on balance, yeah. I don’t give a single fuck. If this guy and all his ilk are punched really hard in the face, three times a day until they either die from an inability to breathe or eat, or just give up on ever trying to express their poisonous views in this life, that’s absolutely fine with me.

And therein lies the only dilemma, for me.

liberal_logic

The whole freedom of speech argument, as noble as  Evelyn Beatrice Hall’s I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it statement might be, can just fuck off.

Yes, I would actually prefer it if we could discuss these things with the Nazis and get them to see reason and go back to a sane and productive existence. But if they could do that, they wouldn’t be Nazis, would they?

There was a huge debate about this on Facebook, with 12 of the 13 involved parties saying “yep, punching Nazis is fine” and the 13th actually being a Nazi. I didn’t think there was much point in discussing the points the Nazi was raising (peaceful resettlement, discussion vs. violence, lack of justification for the Nazi label, et cetera), but I had a go anyway because that’s just me, I guess.

punching

There you go.

So. One guess as to whether that got any response or discussion from the Nazi side of the debate.

So I default to just being pleased to watch this white supremacist piece of subhuman garbage getting punched in the face.

punch-a-nazi

And when I say “subhuman”, please keep in mind my comprehensively published opinion of humans.

Discuss? Contrary to appearances, I am actually perfectly happy to hear dissenting views on this. I think you can disagree with the idea of a bad person being punched in the face without being a bad person yourself. It’s just … you know, I don’t think you’re arguing for a particularly rational position, for all that it’s laudable.

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36 Responses to Interlude: Punching Nazis

      • brknwntr says:

        It’s a segregated land which it seems to be not very PC to point out.

      • stchucky says:

        Okay, but it sort of proves my point, doesn’t it? It’s clearly fucking broken. When was the last time you heard anyone say “Israel, now there’s a beacon of stability and good sensible social planning”?

      • dreameling says:

        I’m also fine with their more fanatical nationalists getting punched in the face.

        Also, PC should not come into criticizing Israel for its politics and policies (at least no more or less than with any other nation).

      • dreameling says:

        As much as I’m a fan of Ellis, I still can’t fully make up my mind. Perhaps this is one of those personal vs. societal issues (i.e., what’s OK for a person to do or say vs. what’s OK for a society/culture/people/nation as a whole to do or say).

      • stchucky says:

        As much as I’m a fan of Ellis, I still can’t fully make up my mind. Perhaps this is one of those personal vs. societal issues (i.e., what’s OK for a person to do or say vs. what’s OK for a society/culture/people/nation as a whole to do or say).

        Too true, it’s a complicated issue once you get into the details, but at least for me the question itself is pretty clear-cut (and, I suppose, my answer evident by this point).

        The idea, of course, being that it’s perfectly well and good if and when we wind up in a situation where we’re at war with these fuckers, and military and state-sanctioned violence is done. Whether or not you and I are involved in that, I guess would depend on the immediate risks and practicality. Also, you’d probably get your arse drafted.

        But it’s pretty murky if and when the Nazis are the ones worming their way into power and popularity. We’re seeing it larger than life in the US, and we see it with the Perssut here in Finland. The question at that point becomes “do you just become another German citizen who didn’t agree with the Nazis, but didn’t do anything because your nonviolent principles prevented it?” Do you passively resist when the time comes and hope that this is enough? Do you join them but not fire a shot, like some sort of (heh) Finn in Episode VII? Or do you stand up now, and say “not in my country you don’t”?

        Because at the moment, it seems like this is only the beginning.

        I want to adjust for the fact that the media is hysterical and the Internet is insane and everything gets blown out of proportion. Things are never as bad as they seem. You know, until they are.

      • dreameling says:

        Perussuomalaiset are hardly Nazis, although I’m sure there are fascists among them, and their ideology is certainly compatible, so the path’s there. I obviously agree that there’s no place for Nazis or fascism in modern civilized society, but how far can we go in pre-empting unwanted societal or political development, and remain civilized? Where do you draw the line? When do you stop policing? And what if the majority in a democracy start leaning towards extreme nationalism? Are they “wrong”?

        Punching a Nazi in the face seems pretty clear-cut. But what about a fascist who doesn’t discriminate based on race or ethnicity?

        I don’t like the far right. But I don’t like the liberal far left either, especially the US version that’s gone rabid in deciding what you can and cannot say in the public sphere, what’s safe and what’s not (see US campuses).

      • stchucky says:

        Alright, only Nazis were Nazis. But an anti-immigration platform that targets non-Aryan citizens and residents … let’s not call a potato a potahto. Like you say, their idology is compatible. I’d call it sufficiently similar, if not identical.

        but how far can we go in pre-empting unwanted societal or political development, and remain civilized? Where do you draw the line? When do you stop policing?

        Excellent questions, and this is why I think it would be nice if we now live in a sufficiently enlightened world where these sorts of evil and misguided people can have a voice and then be roundly ignored, so all of our cultures can continue to develop. But I guess it remains to be seen.

        In the meantime, I’m not going to start assaulting people. Unless, you know, the perfect Attack of Opportunity roll presents itself.

        I don’t like the far right. But I don’t like the liberal far left either, especially the US version that’s gone rabid in deciding what you can and cannot say in the public sphere, what’s safe and what’s not (see US campuses).

        Fair to say. And I think (hope) a lot of this hysteria will be ignored just as roundly as the white supremacists. I think climate change means the time of the snowflake is going to come to an end. OH YEAH I just merged two socio-political concepts into a fucking metaphor. *chest-bumps self in mirror*

        And what if the majority in a democracy start leaning towards extreme nationalism? Are they “wrong”?

        Hmm let me think YEEEEEEEES. Jesus fucking Christ, dreameling.

      • dreameling says:

        Alright, only Nazis were Nazis. But an anti-immigration platform that targets non-Aryan citizens and residents … let’s not call a potato a potahto. Like you say, their ideology is compatible. I’d call it sufficiently similar, if not identical.

        So we should still distinguish between different varieties of potato. The flip side of the “turning a blind eye to similarities” coin is overinterpreting similarities and erroneously lumping things into one. Which is worse?

        Btw., there was a potential joke there, since potato cultivars have human names, like “Timo”. But sadly there’s no “Adolf” or “Mussolini” potato.

        Excellent questions, and this is why I think it would be nice if we now live in a sufficiently enlightened world where these sorts of evil and misguided people can have a voice and then be roundly ignored, so all of our cultures can continue to develop. But I guess it remains to be seen.

        I’d still give that world a chance. The moment we as a society start choosing who among us can voice their opinion or who among us we get to righteously punch, that world’s going to start receding.

        Having said that, though, I still don’t want to take the risk that we get so soft or blind, that we let shitty history repeat itself. So there probably needs to be some practical allowances and compromises. No clue what those should be.

        Which actually brings us back to AI. We really should create something way smarter and more rational (yet somehow more benevolent and compassionate) than us. To govern us. Humans should not be left to their own devices.

        In the meantime, I’m not going to start assaulting people. Unless, you know, the perfect Attack of Opportunity roll presents itself.

        You must declare that you take the Attack of Opportunity before you roll to hit. So what you’re saying is that you’re gonna attack at every opportunity and just hope it lands well? 🙂

        I think climate change means the time of the snowflake is going to come to an end. OH YEAH I just merged two socio-political concepts into a fucking metaphor. *chest-bumps self in mirror*

        That’s actually pretty good. Score.

        And what if the majority in a democracy start leaning towards extreme nationalism? Are they “wrong”?

        Hmm let me think YEEEEEEEES. Jesus fucking Christ, dreameling.

        And what should be done about the majority that’s in the wrong?

      • stchucky says:

        So we should still distinguish between different varieties of potato. The flip side of the “turning a blind eye to similarities” coin is overinterpreting similarities and erroneously lumping things into one. Which is worse?

        The one where we let Nazis gain influence again. That one’s worse. The fucking Nazi one.

        I already said that only Nazis were Nazis, it’s true. The Perssut haven’t gained popular control, military totality, and murdered millions. But if you look at the Perssut and the Trumpsters and think that this is not how you get Nazis, then I think you’re wrong. I hope you’re right, but I think you’re wrong.

        Sorry, turns out I take this pretty personally. It might be because I’m an immigrant, I don’t know.

        But you go ahead and differentiate between the potatoes. I honestly won’t think less of you (on the contrary!), because I know you. For my own part, however, this is what I think of potatoes: Some are better suited to boiling, some to mashing, some to chopping up and frying. None of them are suited to running my goddamn country.

        I’d still give that world a chance. The moment we as a society start choosing who among us can voice their opinion or who among us we get to righteously punch, that world’s going to start receding.

        Sad to say, we’re already there. If we can decide to apply this “righteousness” to the truly deserving – fucking Nazis, for example – I’d consider it progress.

        I am, however, willing to compromise and say that maybe we can forego decriminalising the punching of white supremacists, if it means those who assault actual innocent people, or steal their livelihoods, are actually pursued by the law we’ve all agreed on.

        Which actually brings us back to AI. We really should create something way smarter and more rational (yet somehow more benevolent and compassionate) than us. To govern us. Humans should not be left to their own devices.

        Dude. I could build a more rational and compassionate AI than humans out of lego. It’s getting humans to agree to let it lead them that’s the trick.

        And what if the majority in a democracy start leaning towards extreme nationalism? Are they “wrong”?

        Hmm let me think YEEEEEEEES. Jesus fucking Christ, dreameling.

        And what should be done about the majority that’s in the wrong?

        Done? They’re to be resisted with every breath in our fucking bodies. They’re to be argued with until our goddamn throats are hoarse and our fingers raw. They’re to be defied and scorned and spat upon with every scrap of strength in our souls, and – yes – punched in the ever-loving faces if it comes to that. And at the end, when the armies of darkness march across the globe, what’s to be done is to stand before them and be trampled to death with middle fingers raised, because that’s the only way history will remember us as the few who did the right thing in a country full of human-shaped pieces of shit.

      • dreameling says:

        The one where we let Nazis gain influence again. That one’s worse. The fucking Nazi one.

        I already said that only Nazis were Nazis, it’s true. The Perssut haven’t gained popular control, military totality, and murdered millions. But if you look at the Perssut and the Trumpsters and think that this is not how you get Nazis, then I think you’re wrong. I hope you’re right, but I think you’re wrong.

        Like I said, I think the path’s there. But I’m sure there are other paths as well, not all of which end in isolationist fascism and genocide. At the very least, we cannot know for sure that Finns Party politics or Trumpism, if unchecked, will inexorably and unavoidably lead to a totalitarian fascist state. (Well, at least we cannot be sure about the Finns Party.) And if we cannot be sure, can we act as though we were? I mean, we can and should of course protest and disagree and object and resist and vote against and all that stuff. But pre-emptive violence?

        Really?

        Sorry, turns out I take this pretty personally. It might be because I’m an immigrant, I don’t know.

        You’re also white, male, and married to a Finn, so I’d say you’re pretty safe.

        I’d still give that world a chance. The moment we as a society start choosing who among us can voice their opinion or who among us we get to righteously punch, that world’s going to start receding.

        Sad to say, we’re already there. If we can decide to apply this “righteousness” to the truly deserving – fucking Nazis, for example – I’d consider it progress.

        Nazis are obviously truly deserving. But deciding who is and is not a Nazi — or, worse, a future Nazi — and who you can therefore punch in the face is where it gets really iffy for me. (You can replace “Nazi” with other labels, too.) I don’t trust people’s judgement. I certainly don’t trust the masses. There’s a reason we have laws, law enforcement, and the judicial system (created by and made up of individuals, sure, but still larger and smarter than any one person or perspective).

        We simply should not be punching people whose opinions we don’t like. It is that simple, right?

        And if we’re already there, shouldn’t we try to leave rather than dig in deeper?

        Dude. I could build a more rational and compassionate AI than humans out of lego. It’s getting humans to agree to let it lead them that’s the trick.

        Humans are never going to collectively agree to let AIs run the world. So clearly we just don’t give the monkeys a choice.

        God, I’m starting to sound like you.

        And what should be done about the majority that’s in the wrong?

        Done? They’re to be resisted with every breath in our fucking bodies. They’re to be argued with until our goddamn throats are hoarse and our fingers raw. They’re to be defied and scorned and spat upon with every scrap of strength in our souls, and – yes – punched in the ever-loving faces if it comes to that. And at the end, when the armies of darkness march across the globe, what’s to be done is to stand before them and be trampled to death with middle fingers raised, because that’s the only way history will remember us as the few who did the right thing in a country full of human-shaped pieces of shit.

        I was thinking maybe just leave the country for starters. Find a place with a smarter majority. I’m with you on the middle finger once it gets global, though.

      • stchucky says:

        The one where we let Nazis gain influence again. That one’s worse. The fucking Nazi one.

        I already said that only Nazis were Nazis, it’s true. The Perssut haven’t gained popular control, military totality, and murdered millions. But if you look at the Perssut and the Trumpsters and think that this is not how you get Nazis, then I think you’re wrong. I hope you’re right, but I think you’re wrong.

        Like I said, I think the path’s there. But I’m sure there are other paths as well, not all of which end in isolationist fascism and genocide. At the very least, we cannot know for sure that Finns Party politics or Trumpism, if unchecked, will inexorably and unavoidably lead to a totalitarian fascist state. (Well, at least we cannot be sure about the Finns Party.)

        “If unchecked”? Of course we goddamn can. It’s exactly what they want, have you seen their slogans and signs and representatives?

        But no, you have nailed it, it’s the “unchecked” part that’s critical. I’m reasonably sure they will be checked, at least here in Finland. It’s happening already. They’ve proved fucking worthless at government, and they’re steadily getting so completely xenophobic and hateful and noxious that they’re shedding moderate followers like dandruff.

        And I use the simile quite consciously. Because any cunt who was ever part of the Perussuomalaiset and then flakes off to join any other affiliation deserves to be brushed off with embarrassment. I am not in a forgiving mood today.

        Anyway, while my response here was couched as disagreement I think I actually agree with you almost entirely – the Perssut will fail, because actual Finns are more grown-up and sensible about shit than that. Would it lead to actual Fascism / Totalitarianism if unchecked? Hard to say, of course (especially since I have no qualifications to talk about politics), but unchecked it would almost certainly lead to rampant discrimination and shutdown of any form of cultural enrichment in Finland, the country’s withdrawal from the EU and consequent economic collapse, and in an isolated country with an arse-fucked economy, what sort of power structure do you think would take hold?

        I think the important thing is that it is checked. Finland’s not going back to what it was. For better or worse, xenophobe parties (there’s one in Australia too) are self-destructive by nature until they gain a certain impetus, because they’re built on a platform of a pure past that cannot be restored, and in many cases never existed in the first place – or it did, but at the expense of so many other things, it’s just not going to happen. What I mean is, yes, Finland could go back to some fictional golden age when it was just rugged and hardy Finns getting by on their own industry. But the world was a different place, the population was smaller, resources were more plentiful, women were secondary citizens at best, the Saami will probably want wiping out, and oh yeah, Russia and Sweden took turns owning you back then, didn’t they?

        So yeah, it’s a pipe dream, and thankfully I think most voters realise this. No reason to let our guard down, but I think you’re right. The Perssut are nothing to be afraid of. Until they are.

        Which brings us back to the question of punching people.

        And if we cannot be sure, can we act as though we were? I mean, we can and should of course protest and disagree and object and resist and vote against and all that stuff.

        Agreed, naturally.

        But pre-emptive violence?

        Really?

        Also agreed, this is really dicey ground and being “certain enough” to justify violence is always a big question. And naturally as a pacifist / coward, I wouldn’t be going out there throwing rocks and punching people. I have walked past Perssut demonstrators and the stalls they have set up in the central railway square and just shaken my head, laughed, or downright sneered, but I wouldn’t be picking a fight with fucking skinheads. Let the inherently violent and hateful side throw the first punch. Sure.

        Just remain aware (as I’m sure you are) where this whole thing is (or could be) slowly heading. With every new shift in opinion and policy, the point of no return approaches.

        In Finland’s case, I think it’s okay. But that’s no reason not to be vigilant. This shit has happened, all over the developed world, because we were complacent about it.

        I’d like you to read this if you get time. It’s basically saying what I say here, but it addresses more the idea that tolerant, enlightened liberals are meant to be tolerant of everything, and how this is being used as a weakening tactic by the new Nazis.

        View story at Medium.com

        Sorry, turns out I take this pretty personally. It might be because I’m an immigrant, I don’t know.

        You’re also white, male, and married to a Finn, so I’d say you’re pretty safe.

        Fuck that.

        First of all, I’m married to a Swedish Finn. Guess what, they’re going to be right up against the wall with me when the Soldiers of Odin replace the police.

        Second of all, yeah, I’m not a brown immigrant with weird clothes and dietary / cultural reqquirements. This is what makes me one of the “good” immigrants. It makes me a fucking tool for bigots, to say “hey, I have an immigrant friend”. No, fuck you, it still means you’re a bigot against the others.

        (not talking to you personally here, obviously)

        Third of all, when it comes to xenophobia, males are actually a worse demographic than females. We can be soldiers. Yes, this is old-fashioned but take a look at the most strident complaints about refugees. It’s the young males they worry about most. And xenophobes are old-fashioned almost by definition.

        No, it doesn’t really apply to me because Australia is not a risk nation. But while I am certainly privileged, I’m not taking that as a cue to disregard my station and situation.

        Nazis are obviously truly deserving. But deciding who is and is not a Nazi — or, worse, a future Nazi — and who you can therefore punch in the face is where it gets really iffy for me. (You can replace “Nazi” with other labels, too.) I don’t trust people’s judgement. I certainly don’t trust the masses. There’s a reason we have laws, law enforcement, and the judicial system (created by and made up of individuals, sure, but still larger and smarter than any one person or perspective).

        And I’ll continue trusting that. Until I can’t anymore.

        We simply should not be punching people whose opinions we don’t like. It is that simple, right?

        Of course it’s not that simple. When a person has an opposing opinion, that’s one thing. When the person holding that opinion is inciting hatred and violence and a shift in government policy that threatens “me” and my nearest and dearest: violence. Yes.

        And this is what happened with the specific case of the punched Nazi in the original post. It’s not going to be applicable to a widening mass of people “I” just don’t like. It’s going to be case by case. Saying “punching this one guy is the thin end of the wedge that leads to innocent people getting punched” is a fallacy. It’s the same mentality that all fear-driven “thin end of the wedge / beginning of a slippery slope” thinking employs. We’re not innocent of it just because we’re not conservative bigoted xenophobes.

        And if we’re already there, shouldn’t we try to leave rather than dig in deeper?

        I’m all for leaving.

        Dude. I could build a more rational and compassionate AI than humans out of lego. It’s getting humans to agree to let it lead them that’s the trick.

        Humans are never going to collectively agree to let AIs run the world. So clearly we just don’t give the monkeys a choice.

        God, I’m starting to sound like you.

        Now you’re making sense.

        And what should be done about the majority that’s in the wrong?

        Done? They’re to be resisted with every breath in our fucking bodies. They’re to be argued with until our goddamn throats are hoarse and our fingers raw. They’re to be defied and scorned and spat upon with every scrap of strength in our souls, and – yes – punched in the ever-loving faces if it comes to that. And at the end, when the armies of darkness march across the globe, what’s to be done is to stand before them and be trampled to death with middle fingers raised, because that’s the only way history will remember us as the few who did the right thing in a country full of human-shaped pieces of shit.

        I was thinking maybe just leave the country for starters. Find a place with a smarter majority. I’m with you on the middle finger once it gets global, though.

        I’ll hold a spot for you in the front lines. Can’t promise not to say “I told you so”, but I’ll be cool about it.

  1. dreameling says:

    This is one of those issues where I just can’t make up my mind. It’s OK to punch some people, but not others? Violence against certain people is OK? Who’s call is it, and who put them in charge and why? Ideological/philosophical clarity meets real-world grayness. Emotions trump (!) rational thinking every time, because we’re still monkeys.

    Personally, I think punching a Nazi in the face is just fine (much like a Nazi would probably think that punching a liberal leftist like me in the face is fine). But do I want to teach that to my daughter? “It’s OK to punch this guy and his friends.” Not really…

    • stchucky says:

      My daughter’s a half-Australian, half-Swedish-Finn. When the goosche-schtepping moronsch come for her, you’d better believe I will have taught her to punch them in the fucking face.

      As a slightly more effective alternative, of course, I’ll be leaving it to her military-trained Godfather to do the training.

    • stchucky says:

      Who’s call is it, and who put them in charge and why?

      Of course, as a more direct answer to the question of whose[1] call it is, I guess I’d say it’s everyone’s call. It’s a determination each person has to arrive at individually, after deciding on their own moral code. Which does make it difficult.

      [1] Bazinga, English also has stupid possessives without apostrophes at all!

      You know, unless you want to leave it to the Holy Mother Church to decide your moral stance. Willing to bet you don’t want that. Just a vibe I’ve gotten.

  2. stchucky says:

    There is a counterpoint to this, of course. And that is, the world has actually improved a lot since World War II. We’re more advanced and enlightened as a collective of civilisations. We no longer have anywhere near as much to fear from “Nazis” as we did in the 1930s.

    The price of that safety is constant vigilance and cultural responsibility, of course, but I think it can be argued that it’s safer to let the Nazis blow off steam than it was to let them do it back in the days of the Reich.

    It’s still not safe, maybe, but … well, there are crazy motherfuckers ranting about vaccinations being dangerous, they’re probably a more direct danger to our (gorgeous lily-white) kids than a white supremacist is. Should we punch them in the face? Actually I may be tempted, if any of them put my kids at risk. I guess we can call that one undecided.

    My point is, there are plenty of crazies who might have been way more dangerous fifty or a hundred or two hundred years ago, if they’d been given a platform. The same “punch them / lock them up / stone them” mentality can’t really apply now, because we’re free to just ignore them and hope our safer, saner world will marginalise them for us.

    Can we do the same for white supremacists? Maybe. I mean, they’re never going to get their white state off the ground, and as soon as violence breaks out we can come down on them like the wrath of billions and billions of atoms moving randomly in circles for billions of years, right?

  3. brknwntr says:

    i just revisited this and in the light of “seeing this writ large” i would like to take us back to 2001. How many planes were hijacked? How many planes hit targets. That number is not the same. Because in the light of an immediate and serious threat, a group of people said “not in my country you don’t.” Now it is to be admitted, those people all died. Their plane still crashed, and all lives were lost. Those people also had received the information that hijacked planes were being used in a terrorist attack. This is information that earlier flights, i.e ones that hit targets, did NOT have.
    I view this as a legitimate and even morally right example of taking action.

    Freedom of speech is still a thing. at least for now. everyone, even neo-Nazi’s have a right to present their points. In the main I feel that peacefully proving them wrong is by far the better option. Direct physical intervention should only be resorted to in the instance of a clear and present threat to the life or person of another individual. WHen the time comes for direct intervention though, DIRECTLY INTERVENE! And in this respect i do applaud the man who punched him in the face. there is no doubt, no question, no possible misunderstanding as to that mans veiwpoints on the subject of neo-nazi’s.

    • stchucky says:

      Now, if the terrorists had been dumb enough to go on national television or talk about their plans to “nonviolently affect change” by “just talking about hijacking planes, bla bla, the disruption to air traffic and security alone” … and someone had walked up and punched that guy in the face, how many lives might have been saved?

      Actually bad example, more lives probably would have been saved by letting the bad guy blab his whole plan. Never mind, let’s let the Nazis talk.

      • brknwntr says:

        Taking it a step further down the moral question. If an FBI agent is embedded in a neo-Nazi group, and he has informed his superiors that there is an attack planned, but when he arrives at the site, nobody is there to make an arrest, does he have a right to kill they person or people he is with to save the lives of innocents? If he DOES have that right, or moral imperative, or however you judge it, does he also have the right to kill them back at home base before they leave to perform the attack? Or what about during the planning stages? If he kills them back at the home base, might it not simply be easier to bury them in a hole in their little plot of backwoods and quietly move on? At what point does he stop being a moral protector of society and become Judge Dredd?

      • stchucky says:

        In my naïve civilian mind, the police and FBI have procedures dictating this sort of stuff, and it’s covered in their training.

      • brknwntr says:

        how does your civilian mind feel at the idea of your government quietly burying terrorists in the woods and not telling you about it?

        I admit this is a side thread. Feel free to ignore it.

      • stchucky says:

        Keeping in mind that you said “terrorists” rather than “people they have decided are terrorists and anyone could be next” … I’m fine with it. Fuck terrorists.

      • stchucky says:

        Of course, that’s the same mythical certainty that makes me okay with the death sentence for some crimes. When you start talking about the innocent people they kill, the story changes pretty dramatically.

      • brknwntr says:

        I don’t know, I’m willing to let a small percentage of innocent people be executed if it means that the majority are evil people. That percentage is not a hard set value though, and even i shy away from dwelling on it too much. For example, I’m fine with a value of like 5%, when its a hundred executions, but when its a thousand? 2% seems still quite allot of innocents.

      • stchucky says:

        Yeah, I find myself on much the same page as you there.

        Now, for Mrs. Hatboy, anything over 0% makes the whole thing unworkable and it’s evidently not a deterrent anyway, so she’s against it and I admire her for that. But me, I like the idea of murderers being removed from my world, and I’m fine with the idea of child molesters being gelded and gang-raped in prison, and I’m A-OK with that making me a not very nice person. I’m also glad I’ve always lived in a non-death-penalty country – not because I’m ever likely to commit a crime that would earn me the death penalty, but because there’s a chance I might wind up in that unlucky percentage.

        In the same way, I look at places like Southeast Asia, that have “barbaric” death penalty laws about drug traffickers, and corporal punishment for litterers. And I think “well, it would suck to be wrongly accused in one of those places”, and it is always a source of tension for me when I pass through them, but at the same time I look at the Australians who get caught there and think “you fucking idiots.”

        Now, if they could just catch and execute the big bosses who are the source of all the poverty and slavery and deaths … but no, they’re pretty safe. That’s Earth.

  4. Laurence says:

    I don’t want to get involved in the political side because life’s too short and I have a house move to pack for, but your suggestion of segregating by skin colour brought up a wonderful mental image of having #000000 (literal white) at the north tip of $country and #FFFFFF (literal black) at the southern tip and everyone has to live at the appropriate latitude. If you get a tan, you have to move house.

    I’m picturing something like this:

    I suspect the Northern states would get rather crowded… In fact, I would find it very interesting to find out what the population densities would be.

    • stchucky says:

      Since skin pigment is evolutionary, isn’t that sort of how it will balance out anyway eventually? Or are we paradoxically advanced enough to let our irrational hatred break the evolutionary process, so we no longer breed and select for survival traits but rather similar skin tones to our own, and the cultural markers they will come to represent after a few more generations of segregated isolation?

      It’s an interesting question. Right up until all the white people die of skin cancer. But you know, maybe we can defeat that too. What a triumph! I hope the aliens just nuke us from orbit (it is, after all, the only way to be sure), without even slowing down as they fly on past.

  5. KMA says:

    Actually, there are some cultures that do not change much over time, sometimes for thousands of years. *cough Australian Aboriginals, Eskimos, African Bushmen cough* Cultures tend to change when interacting with other cultures. Which usually ends badly for one of them. Punching that guy in the face must have been so satisfying. But wrong. (but satisfying, (but wrong)).

    • stchucky says:

      I’m not entirely sure what you’re saying, but I can see how white supremacists are struggling in a cosmically ironic fashion to remain as stable and stagnant as the “lesser races” that are represented by assorted indigenous people.

      My point is, separating the cultures we have now, for example, in the US and Australia, into segregated “homelands” is not practically viable even if it could work in the way they want it to.

      Today, with the Internet and international travel and constant cultural exposure, I’m pretty sure there isn’t a culture in the world that is the same as it was 50 years ago. Certainly not the Islamic cultures everyone’s so worried about.

      And if you feel that punching a Nazi is wrong, I pity you like I’m Mister T and you’re a fool. And I’m pretty sure neither is the case.

      Also, the Nazi was giving an interview before he was punched – the interview was about how he got punched earlier in the day. Yes, he actually got punched in the face twice. There’s a domestic abuse joke I’ll not repeat in this delicate company, but this dude clearly has trouble paying attention.

  6. “The problem is, the Nazi mind-set is all too alluring to the human tribal instinct. It can’t be argued away with reason, because there’s that horrible little monkey-voice in the back of our heads saying good point, those other people are to blame, wouldn’t it be great if we just got rid of them – peacefully, of course?”

    Well said.

  7. Pingback: No. Wait a minute. No. | Hatboy's Hatstand

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