No. Wait a minute. No.

Over the weekend I had a dream, and it set off a small and fairly light exchange between myself and my esteemed associate and good friend Mr. dreameling. I didn’t think there was anything else to say there, although I was inordinately angered by one comment he made.

Having given myself a good night’s sleep to calm down, and to reflect on what this blog means to me, I’ve decided a couple of things.

First, I absolutely respect dreameling’s opinions and have no wish to judge his reactions or analyse his motives. He’s a decent man and one of the best humans I have had the good fortune to encounter. If this is his viewpoint, then it should be considered and he should not be branded “Nazi blind-eye-turner” and safely discounted (let alone attacked!). Shit’s not that simple, yo.

Second, this blog is a little window into my mind so I am definitely going to use it to tell you what I think about things, and that includes speaking up when I think someone is wrong.

It’s not about obeying the rules. It’s about respecting people’s right to their opinions in a free society.

This, this is wrong. People have a right to their opinions and beliefs, but if they are ignorant-arse backwards wrong beliefs, they do not outweigh educated opinions. They don’t even equally balance them. And I definitely don’t have to fucking respect them.

And usually, this doesn’t matter – because it doesn’t affect my life in any way.

If a white supremacist wants to hide in his mum’s basement and dress in an SS uniform and masturbate to pictures of Adolf Hitler, meh. I could not give less of a fuck. No respect, no consideration, but I’m not going to bother about it.

If a religious person believes their particular set of practices and beliefs will make God happy, and earn them an eternity in paradise, that’s awesome for them. If they also believe everyone else is destined for Hell, I still don’t really care. It’s a belief. In fact, if their faith makes them perform acts of charity and be a decent and loyal and loving person in this life, I go beyond not giving a shit, and actively approve of their faith. As long as (according to age-old theist/antitheist posturing) they keep it out of my face, it’s fine. I get that they might be even happier if they got to save me from Hell, and I appreciate that. But no. I’m good thanks.

See, that’s where the problem happens.

I don’t really respect the above opinions, but I acknowledge that they are personal ones and the opinion-holder has a right to them. That’s all well and good. I even go so far as to respect and admire them, if they’re changing the world for the better.

If someone breaks into that neo-Nazi’s mum’s basement and shoots him dead in his SS uniform, I’d be … less unhappy about it than I would be about the death of a person more in line with my own worldview, but I’d admit that the home invader was in the wrong. That was murder.

If someone goes to the soup kitchen where that religious person is handing out soup to the homeless and telling them it’s actually Jeebus giving them soup, and beats him to death with his own soup ladle, I’d be pretty deeply saddened about it even if the religious person was low-key spreading a worldview I don’t necessarily agree with. That was murder.

But that is not what we’re dealing with here.

When the Nazis form a mob and take to the streets, chanting their chants like they fucking own the place. When the Perssut get into government and start threatening people and empowering their piss-filled-end-of-the-gene-pool bigoted-extremist followers. When the religious extremist pulls out a knife and starts stabbing.

Fuck their opinions. Fuck their rights. Fuck them.

And I know that dreameling agrees with this and it was not his intention to argue otherwise. I hope that he was defending the doesn’t-affect-our-lives-in-any-way wrong opinions, and had no intention of defending the rest. Even though I have a definite problem with defending ignorant-arse incorrect opinions.

Discussions on the Internet can be utterly without nuance and unforgiving.

That freedom of speech is also a rule of law is incidental

True. And I’m glad we agree on this. I linked this to the Finnish psychology of following rules against all logic and making up rules when there are no rules … and that was poor form on my part. I find this an endearing, sometimes-frustrating part of Finnish culture but I should not level it as a criticism or use it as a basis for any sort of critical analysis of a dissenting opinion. I apologise.

And we’re already back to the Punching Nazis discussion, and I don’t want to repeat any more of what’s already been said.

And this is just too damn bad, because it’s my blog.

I will, however, concede that yes, this is much the same basic discussion as we had before, and I disagreed with dreameling’s approach then and I disagree with it now, but it’s perfectly workable as a worldview – for the time being.

Let’s just hope it doesn’t go any further. Because I do not respect the PerusSuomalaiset’s right to an opinion when it comes to enacting policies that will affect the lives of others, and I set myself ideologically against anyone who does.

Suffice it to say, I’m starting to get almost as worried about the aggressively passionate (and apparently also violent in some cases) response of the liberal left to the alt-right, than I am of the rise of the alt-right itself.

This was where I got unreasonably angry, so I’m going to try to look at this calmly.

I’ve heard of cases of “antifa” gangs attacking people who did not go far enough in criticising white supremacists. There was one case where an otherwise ordinary guy talked about a friend of his who was at the Nazi rally in Charlottesville, and mentioned his freedom of speech, freedom of expression, mentioned that no laws had specifically been broken by this guy. This wasn’t the murderous piece of human garbage who drove his car into the crowd. Just one of the tiki-torch mob losers.

And this is an uninvolved person, just speaking up and refusing to denounce the Nazi. Just to be clear. We’re not at the sympathiser / collaborator stage yet.

Now, apparently, this guy was attacked by a gang armed with box cutters. Injured, but not killed, for his even-handed treatment of a fiery topic. It remains unproven, but even so. This is the fear that infinite information can give us.

And yes, this is a huge issue and since dreameling is in a similar “let’s respect each other’s opinions and continue equivocating while we wait to see whether actual genocides are going to start” position, I can completely understand his concern. Not that I think he’s likely to be beaten up by the Soldiers of LOLdin or anything, but still.

I think it’s massively unbalanced to say you’re “almost as worried”, but that might be a function of social standing. Especially in Finland, a white male full-blooded Finn has nothing to fear whatsoever from the PerusSuomalaiset, and that means anyone violently opposed to them – and violently opposed to anyone even somewhat defending them – might well be a bigger threat. I myself have little to fear from the Perssut, even though I am an immigrant and am married to a Swedish Finn. I’m sure they’ll get around to me, but in the meantime I am a white male and I speak Finnish. They’ll probably give me an “okay foreigner” pass – probably indefinitely.

And yes, at the moment, as always, it’s still only the violent extremist lunatics of all these sides we need to worry about. The religious fundamentalists, the white supremacist murderers, the antifa thugs. They’re balanced by a huge majority of “reasonable” people who just happen to share the umbrella.

All we can do is wait and see what happens next. As usual.

Humans are morons.

On this, we are in complete agreement.

I think it’s still a huge fallacy to equate, or even compare, a group of people doing violence in aid of an isolationist or racial-purity worldview and a group of people doing violence in opposition to that worldview. But, violence begets violence and humans are morons, so sooner or later we’re going to see cases where “attacking this skinhead wrapped in a swastika was okay, so attacking this random guy who said ‘steady on now’ is also okay.” And we may already be seeing them.

This is why I can’t write nice things about humans.

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17 Responses to No. Wait a minute. No.

  1. stchucky says:

    This is also an interesting perspective. Obviously the more you read about it, the murkier it gets. And that’s okay. The important thing is, you’re reading. There are no easy answers to this, for the “civilised” option.

  2. Well said. This is probably not the best way for me to dive back into this blog but…. I’ll try to keep it narrow and not directed at anyone. I also commented on this below: I do not trust that these antifa goons are leftists. There have been far too many poseurs, agent provocateurs, false flag operatives, whatever you want to call them, of late. They are not acting like any liberals I have ever known in my 41 years of life. I do not believe they are liberal. I believe they are anarchists, possibly libertarians, pretending to be liberals because of hatred of the left.

    This is not to say there is not harm to other humans from any liberal in any cause, at least incidentally and by accident. PETA has done some terrible actions, for which they have faced the justice system, as have some environmental groups. But so far, antifa hasn’t proven their liberal bona fides to me. So, no. Rejected association.

    Also, the crossover with how the right-wing treats any violent Muslim should be noted. If they’re Muslim, it was Islam that made them violent, not (for example) insanity, or something else in their life. The Orlando night club shooter was probably a frustrated homosexual Muslim man, for example. Especially if they SAY they did it for Allah. Then it’s case closed, Islam did it. I never thought it was that simple. The Old Testament is just as bloody as the Quran. Where are the violent Jews? Certainly nothing on the scale of ISIS et. al.

    Now, this antifa shit being associated with the left has exactly the same feel. And I am not fucking having it. PROVE to me they are truly liberal, and not fakers. Until then, nope.

    • stchucky says:

      Well said. This is probably not the best way for me to dive back into this blog but…

      Heh. And I’ll take your ill-advised enthusiasm and run with it by mashing together your other posts and seeing if there’s a way I can give it a single cumbersome response!

      No but seriously, just agreeing mostly and commenting on various bits I didn’t get a chance to address directly before.

      I’ll try to keep it narrow and not directed at anyone. I also commented on this below: I do not trust that these antifa goons are leftists. There have been far too many poseurs, agent provocateurs, false flag operatives, whatever you want to call them, of late. They are not acting like any liberals I have ever known in my 41 years of life. I do not believe they are liberal.

      This was sort of what it looked like for the one main “antifa” attack story I dug into, but of course after a while it just becomes obvious that there’s no way to trust any of the masses and masses of contradictory and spun-to-death information we get from anywhere anymore. Everything has an agenda, and that pulls you down to just looking at your own immediate circle, the things you can confirm with your own eyes, the things you get from family and friends. And even those have to be firewalled.

      Which … well, I guess that’s where the world has taken us right now.

      I believe they are anarchists, possibly libertarians, pretending to be liberals because of hatred of the left.

      Libertarians confuse me, I don’t know how much their ideology exists in Finland. I know a couple of Libertarians in the US and Australia, and they just seem like cantankerous malcontents too lazy to be Anarchists. Possibly they’re what Anarchists become when their arthritis makes it uncomfortable to wear Doc Martens.

      I think we’ve seen it before and this is nothing really new. The “we don’t like Nazis” faction in the US and worldwide, aka. “the human population”, is so damn big that there’s going to be the odd gang of psychotic shitbiscuits in there to give the poor put-upon bigots something to complain about. I just laugh it off with a few “so much for the tolerant left” memes and watch the skinheads cower.

      Perhaps the warmest I’ve felt towards the US in recent months was the moment when I was watching that Nazi who’d talked so big in Charlottesville, crying and whining about how terrified he was. Not really because I personally wanted him to suffer – I’d prefer he be mended as a person – but because of his words: “Our enemies just will not stop. What recourse do we have?”

      Right on, America. Right. Fucking. On.

      This is not to say there is not harm to other humans from any liberal in any cause, at least incidentally and by accident. PETA has done some terrible actions, for which they have faced the justice system, as have some environmental groups. But so far, antifa hasn’t proven their liberal bona fides to me. So, no. Rejected association.

      I think the question comes down to “do you have to be politically liberal to hate white supremacists and the advocates of genocide?”

      And I think the question can be pretty resoundingly answered “no”. I mean, even as a staunch Republican conservative you should be against that shit. It’s what your heroes fought wars for. It’s shameful that so few of those guys are now standing up in opposition to it. But not, you know, super surprising.

      But the answer also leaves plenty of room for these “antifa” clowns to be just about anyone.

      Also, the crossover with how the right-wing treats any violent Muslim should be noted. If they’re Muslim, it was Islam that made them violent, not (for example) insanity, or something else in their life. The Orlando night club shooter was probably a frustrated homosexual Muslim man, for example. Especially if they SAY they did it for Allah. Then it’s case closed, Islam did it. I never thought it was that simple. The Old Testament is just as bloody as the Quran. Where are the violent Jews? Certainly nothing on the scale of ISIS et. al.

      We-e-e-ll … I’m pretty sure there are violent Jews in the Middle East.

      The debate over whether any of them are doing it for a religion or an ideology or for vengeance or for the right to live or whatever else … that’s just too big to go into, and we’ve all had a go at it in the past. I’ll limit myself to just agreeing that there is a gaping double-standard between the way these jackasses treat others and the way they demand to be treated. Of course.

      It’s also been argued that there is a double-standard in the way “we” say “hey, don’t judge all of the Muslim world by the actions of a few extremists” and then judge all of the Nazi world by the actions of the murderous fuck in that car.

      I consider this a bogus call-out. I’m perfectly aware that there are racists and bigots and white supremacists of all kinds all over the world. I’m sad to say I know a lot of them. Many of them are non-violent. I still don’t agree with or particularly approve of their ideology – I’m not about to convert to Islam, either, for the record[1] – but I’m not saying they’re all the same as those losers at Unite the Right.

      [1] Personal choice. Not drawing an equivalent between Muslims and white bigots. Although they both wear shoes. So, you know, there’s that.

      However, those losers who made the effort to turn up a the march, to wave a torch or a flag, to shout vile slogans? Yeah, they go in the barrel. They’re the row of jeeps loaded with black-robed ISIS jihadis to the single maniac who blows up a marketplace full of innocent people. They’re tarred with the same brush because they’re part of the same actual animal.

      #YESallNazis

      But I’m not anywhere NEAR worried about “the violent left” and I’m actually really worried to see language even approaching that sort of expression. It’s bullshit, don’t get sucked in!

      My thoughts exactly. I don’t have much to fear from the “antifa” even if they do become a thing in Finland (or if they even are a thing), because I’ve been on-the-record about my standpoint. Who knows what an insane person will get it into their head to object to and attack over, though? There’s no predicting the crazy.

      I’d have to know more about what “aggressively passionate (and apparently also violent in some cases) response of the liberal left” exactly dreameling is “almost as worried about” as he is the alt-right … before addressing it any further. It’s just too vague.

      I’m willing to bet the line of debate isn’t going to go anywhere, and that’s fine since it’s already turned into this.

      That’s the POINT of a society. These people hate and destroy. They don’t improve, they don’t contribute in a positive way. Sure, protect their rights as we all must, but at a bare minimum. I see far too many going far too far, to the point where I never see those people defending liberal free speech anymore, just right-wing hateful speech.

      Agreed.

      It’s all fine and well to defend it generally. Just make sure you don’t “protest too much” for reprehensible opinions. If you think these Nazis had their free speech violated, you haven’t seen anything yet. Go look at what happens to liberal protesters, or black protesters, here in America. And prioritize your outrage.

      *nod*

      I’ve seen a lot of people throw around quotes about sheeple giving away their vital liberties and thus deserving no freedom. This was true when the War of Terror made it okay for governments to spy on us in case we were brown terrorists, but now it’s not okay for the same shit to happen in case we’re white terrorists?

      If you think hate speech is a vital liberty, there’s something fundamentally wrong with you.

      I was thinking, and since I didn’t comment during the “punching Nazis” era of your blog, I wonder if good people on different sides of that issue are answering the same question. Because “what do you think about punching Nazis” isn’t as simple as it seems. Does the question mean, do I think the person shouldn’t face assault and battery charges? No, I think they should. Does it mean I think they’re wrong-headed for wanting to punch a Nazi? Well, it was a black guy, so no, I don’t. I understand him. Would I personally punch a Nazi? It depends. And no matter how hard you describe a scenario to me, I can’t possibly correctly tell you what I’d do in real life. You can’t simulate how threatened I feel unless you specifically say “and you feel threatened”. At which point, well, don’t I get to defend myself?

      Right, absolutely. And this is the thing about the “slippery slope” argument. It’s not like we’re going to make it legal to punch someone as long as we can prove he’s a Nazi, and then move on to just punching whoever we don’t like and retroactively excusing ourselves. I read a story about some guy getting assaulted because he had a “Nazi-like haircut”. That’s clearly idiocy and the criminals should be punished to the full extent of the law. So yeah, that’s not going to happen. I think we all know how it would go if we made that sort of law. We’re still humans, last time I checked.

      In fact, we don’t even need to wonder about what that slippery slope might look like, because we have the “stand your ground” law example over in the US. It’s actually legal to shoot someone (in some states) as long as you can prove (sort of kind of) that he was a threat. That law is fucking appalling. We’ve argued against it unanimously forever. And we hardly ever argue unanimously, even on things we agree about! Of course we’re not going to be in favour of the same sort of shit for Nazis.

      No, not saying we should make it legal. But it’s right. And if it stops the next genocide before it can get out of its mother’s basement, so much the better.

      As I posted to Facebook recently.

      • Trying Internet Explorer this time, to see if it punishes me less. I will only paste in your comments because I can’t be arsed right now in the face of being screwed over, but I’m sure you’ll remember or check above what was said leading to your responses.

        “This was sort of what it looked like for the one main “antifa” attack story I dug into, but of course after a while it just becomes obvious that there’s no way to trust any of the masses and masses of contradictory and spun-to-death information we get from anywhere anymore. Everything has an agenda, and that pulls you down to just looking at your own immediate circle, the things you can confirm with your own eyes, the things you get from family and friends. And even those have to be firewalled.

        Which … well, I guess that’s where the world has taken us right now.”
        Right. Unfortunately this is being abused by enabling the whole “fake news” crap about anything reported that one doesn’t like. But maybe those folks screaming that, always were. I can hope their numbers haven’t significantly grown. Because you have to accept SOME negative aspects of your world view.

        “Perhaps the warmest I’ve felt towards the US in recent months was the moment when I was watching that Nazi who’d talked so big in Charlottesville, crying and whining about how terrified he was. Not really because I personally wanted him to suffer – I’d prefer he be mended as a person – but because of his words: “Our enemies just will not stop. What recourse do we have?””
        As pleasurable as that was, I have to confess significant frustration. Your recourse, idiot, is to stop hating people based on bullshit physical traits. And we’re not your enemies. We’re the enemies of hate. Are you hate? If so….

        “But the answer also leaves plenty of room for these “antifa” clowns to be just about anyone.”
        Precisely.

        “We-e-e-ll … I’m pretty sure there are violent Jews in the Middle East.”
        I had a Palestine and Gaza caveat that I deleted because it was getting TL;DR. Sure, point taken, but Jews are not bringing this terrorism and violence elsewhere in the world. But if it was the religious TEXT to blame, they would. It’s a BS argument. It’s down to people and culture. And how much you’re fucked with.

        “It’s also been argued that there is a double-standard in the way “we” say “hey, don’t judge all of the Muslim world by the actions of a few extremists” and then judge all of the Nazi world by the actions of the murderous fuck in that car.

        I consider this a bogus call-out.”
        Absolutely! I mean, it’s pretty clear there are racists, and then there are Nazis. This is really offensive but the analogy is ONLY to make the point. Racists might be like all Muslims (**cringes**) and Nazis are the radical fundamentalist ones. So YES, all Nazis. And I denounce and reject myself for that facile, sloppy analogy. I don’t mean for it to represent anything but proving the subset point it makes.

        “I’d have to know more about what “aggressively passionate (and apparently also violent in some cases) response of the liberal left” exactly dreameling is “almost as worried about” as he is the alt-right … before addressing it any further. It’s just too vague.”

        I do wish he’d wade in here and tell us what that means and how we’re so wrong. But I also don’t want us to start getting all shouty at each other. So I dunno.

        “Right, absolutely. And this is the thing about the “slippery slope” argument…” and the rest you wrote and inserted:

        Once again, absolutely. I fully agree and am quite amused. And I like the way you presented the stupidity of the slippery slope here.

      • stchucky says:

        Trying Internet Explorer this time, to see if it punishes me less. I will only paste in your comments because I can’t be arsed right now in the face of being screwed over, but I’m sure you’ll remember or check above what was said leading to your responses.

        You’re coming through loud and clear, but I’ll keep checking the spam folder a couple of times a day for screwovery, at least for now.

        Right. Unfortunately this is being abused by enabling the whole “fake news” crap about anything reported that one doesn’t like. But maybe those folks screaming that, always were. I can hope their numbers haven’t significantly grown. Because you have to accept SOME negative aspects of your world view.

        Trump needs to spend the rest of his life in prison just for bringing “fake news” into the pop cultural lexicon. There’s a difference between fact-checking / scepticism and out-and-out denial. He’s made that difference go away.

        Perhaps the warmest I’ve felt towards the US in recent months was the moment when I was watching that Nazi who’d talked so big in Charlottesville, crying and whining about how terrified he was. Not really because I personally wanted him to suffer – I’d prefer he be mended as a person – but because of his words: “Our enemies just will not stop. What recourse do we have?”

        As pleasurable as that was, I have to confess significant frustration. Your recourse, idiot, is to stop hating people based on bullshit physical traits. And we’re not your enemies. We’re the enemies of hate. Are you hate? If so….

        Oh, absolutely. Absolutely! This was exactly what I took away from it. He’s making it sound like they had no recourse, in the face of anti-Nazi sentiment, but to attack. Fuck him. His recourse was to stop being a fucking Nazi.

        Much, much harder than attacking. I’ll grant him that. But it doesn’t earn much sympathy from me.

        We-e-e-ll … I’m pretty sure there are violent Jews in the Middle East.

        I had a Palestine and Gaza caveat that I deleted because it was getting TL;DR. Sure, point taken, but Jews are not bringing this terrorism and violence elsewhere in the world. But if it was the religious TEXT to blame, they would. It’s a BS argument. It’s down to people and culture. And how much you’re fucked with.

        Yeah, I hear you – I just couldn’t resist the response. Obviously we’re all aware that there are violent X in the world, where X = any sort of human demographic you care to name, with the possible exception of persistent vegetative coma patients.

        Absolutely! I mean, it’s pretty clear there are racists, and then there are Nazis. This is really offensive but the analogy is ONLY to make the point. Racists might be like all Muslims (**cringes**) and Nazis are the radical fundamentalist ones. So YES, all Nazis. And I denounce and reject myself for that facile, sloppy analogy. I don’t mean for it to represent anything but proving the subset point it makes.

        I struggled with it too, but maybe a better (and more numerically even) way of analogising would be to say that white people = Muslims, racist white people = bigoted Muslims, and Nazis = radicalised militant Islamists.

        That’s a pretty simplified break-down.

  3. Damnit I posted something really long here and it’s gone. WTH.

    • stchucky says:

      Dang, I’m not seeing it in the admin section for comments. Stupid WordPress. As you can see, little has changed.

    • stchucky says:

      No, I spoke too soon, they were there! For some reason they had been marked as spam, which is very unjust considering the rest of the things that I just had to wade through in that folder.

      I return to “stupid WordPress” as a conclusion here.

  4. OK, trying again, in brief. Yeah, wordpress now makes me log in every time. But It’s ok, I can type my password in my sleep.

    The main point is I don’t trust who these supposed antifa violent protestors claim to be. They don’t act like any liberals I’ve ever known, running around with weapons assaulting people. I think it is to make liberals look bad. We’ve seen anarchists show up at many liberal protests and screw things up, and give the right-wing something to yell at us about. But I’m not anywhere NEAR worried about “the violent left” and I’m actually really worried to see language even approaching that sort of expression. It’s bullshit, don’t get sucked in!

    Anyway, I’m in full agreement that while we are all entitled to our opinions, that does not mean they deserve respect. And it is perfectly fine to socially ostracize racists who have genocidal, despicable, Nazi opinions. One of my shows said it just today, “they should be treated like lepers were treated. *pauses for effect*. Ok I want to amend that. …without the sympathy or empathy afforded to lepers”.

    That’s the POINT of a society. These people hate and destroy. They don’t improve, they don’t contribute in a positive way. Sure, protect their rights as we all must, but at a bare minimum. I see far too many going far too far, to the point where I never see those people defending liberal free speech anymore, just right-wing hateful speech.

    It’s all fine and well to defend it generally. Just make sure you don’t “protest too much” for reprehensible opinions. If you think these Nazis had their free speech violated, you haven’t seen anything yet. Go look at what happens to liberal protesters, or black protesters, here in America. And prioritize your outrage.

    Whoever you are, since I am not directing this at anyone, I promise! XD

    • stchucky says:

      *wince*

      I have no idea why WordPress is making you sign in every time, but I hope it settles down and remembers you’re a darn regular. In the meantime, sorry you had to write this before I could dig up the lost post, but it looks like you managed it without breaking a sweat and you added some more points here so I call it a win.

      I find myself basically in agreement, but of course it’s all about context and situation. I’ll have to take up this thread in the morning.

  5. aaronthepatriot says:

    “Gallboy’s Gallstand”

    #seemslegit

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