I just posted this in the comments to a blog post over at Heterodox Academy, which fights for viewpoint diversity in academia.
I haven’t watched the video but this remark in the blog post is mind bogglingly stunning in its deafness and blindness to what’s going on. It’s just not possible for a person with even the tiniest connection to reality to think this way:
Everything is different now. I’m not worried about the Left today. I’m really worried about the Right. I’m terrified about what is going on in the country post-Charlottesville…. The academic left, for all the things I dislike about them, has not shown itself to be violent or unlawful in any shape or form. Is it a religious worldview? I think the Marxists were that way in the 30s, 40s, and 50s.
Not worried about the left?
The “progressive” antifa left are hate-filled violent domestic terrorists. From Berkeley to Middlebury to Washington DC to Charlottesville to Durham they smash and destroy in their righteous indignation and epistemic certainty that they’re “woke,” enlightened, when the fact of the matter is they’re nothing of the sort. They’re small minded, short sighted, intolerant fascists.
Any inkling that the right is who we really have to worry about is straight up wrongheadedness that see things totally backwards. It is uninformed, morally blind thinking (sic).
The “progressive” antifa left is doing the exact same thing today that it did in eighteenth century France, only without the guillotines.
Human nature hasn’t changed. Only tactics.
Western culture’s WEIRD rationalist presentism, through which it fails to see its own centuries long history, is, as the old saying goes, repeating it.
It’s the academic left from whence this thinking comes.
The antifa get a bye on violence from the whole left, not just academics. I think the logic behind this arises pretty naturally out of human psychology. The center-left and other less radical leftists than the antifa won’t raise a fuss about antifa violence because they see it being done in the name of a good cause, even if it is a bit unsettling. In other words, it is ends justifies the means thinking, which I abhor, particularly among compatriots. One may reasonably ask, what’s enough? Are antifa still heroes if they unnecessarily wound documented neo-Nazis, or beat heads in “fair and square” in a street battle, or out people on the internet, or vigil their homes? If 2nd amendment fans bring their guns and feel threatened, how clever is antifa boy going to look when bullets fly? Does a massacre by a dumbass make the antifa noble martyrs? Who’s the satan in that scenario, exactly? I don’t find that call as easy to make as most.
At the same time, liberals don’t want to give up the delightful-feeling of the chokehold we we exercise on the right over prejudice. That attack would be diluted by condemning the dangerous acts of our own side. Why on earth would we do that?
This duo of mostly-unconscious reasons ends up making the antifa seem unconsciously to be heroes to some. More common is the notion that antifa sins don’t belong in a conversation about vicious racist punks. It’s as if our prejudice has made them ghosts, or minor agents in the affair, or liberals simply doing what must be done to stand up to xxx.
I find morality to be much more murky than most. Like our nation’s founders, I’m not necessarily opposed to violence, so I must always be careful, being different from the antifa more in degree than type. But I am shocked and saddened that my fellow liberals effectively encourage liberal violence in the name of fighting racism, or perceived racism, or a situation that has a racist component. Especially when the situation may often be sketched much more helpfully in cultural and economic terms. Running single-mindedly to racism misses salient points, but it apparently must be done, for political convenience and psychic reasons.
The left will be successful with rebellion in this political climate to the extent that we embrace nonviolent action. We cannot kickass our way to utopia, and any feelgood strongman talk by Abbie Hoffman wannabes otherwise is bullshit. Ghandi’s ashes are rolling over in the river Ganges right about now.