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Source: (consider it) Thread: Nazis are coming to town - what do you do?
mr cheesy
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quote:
Originally posted by Stejjie:

The point about nonviolence, I suppose, is that if you're going to follow it, you stick to it even when it is to your detriment to do so, even when it risks you losing your life. You can't drop it when violence occurs against you, otherwise it's not nonviolence at all. That was Martin Luther King's principle wasn't it: even when the temptation to resort to violence is so strong, even when to resort to violence seems to make total sense, you stick with what you've committed to. Or you end up making the same arguments that people make when we go to war against some terrible regime again: this'll be the one that sorts it out, this'll be over quickly, and peace and freedom will be restored quickly. It never is in those cases; it won't be in this case.

No. Non-violence is a tactic. And I absolutely believe it is a very powerful tactic. I would say that in more than 99% of all situations we are likely to come across non-violence is the best way forward.

But one cannot claim that therefore the believer in non-violence is forced in all situations to stick to non-violence. Otherwise we're saying that defending oneself from a mugger, protecting one's family from assault etc is wrong.

I do enjoy it when people bring MLK into this discussion because so often the examples used are so ridiculous. MLK was the consummate tactician. He absolutely didn't tell people to do anything without thought, planning and training.

The same as Gandhi. The salt protests were not an accidental plan that happened to come good, it was a particular planned idea at a particular time in a particular place.

People accepted blows from those two places of non-violent resistance because they understood the outcomes and planned in detail the battles that were worth fighting.

In neither were they non-violently standing up to heavily armed Nazis.

There were occasions where there were non-violent resistance to Nazis in 1920s-30s Germany, such as the White Rose movement, but that was easily swept away.

The best example of non-violent resistance to Nazi Germany is in Denmark - but there are various reasons why that worked, not least because they got a level of support from local Nazis and because the German high command had other priorities than the Jews of Denmark.

That's not to downplay either of these things - they were brave, noble and right things to do.

But they're absolutely not a model we can expect will work in all times and places. And almost nobody in their right mind would even suggest such a thing.

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arse

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mr cheesy
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quote:
Originally posted by Stejjie:
I think that's the question I'm wrestling with in all this, Ian: how do you "love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you", how do you "do to others as you would have them do unto you", how do you forgive "not seven times, but seventy times seven" in these situations? On the one hand, ISTM that if you're going to follow these then you have to do so in every situation, even when it seems you're going to lose everything by doing so. On the other, that's easy for me to say being so distant from this situation.

I can't honestly see the problem here: if a Nazi needs medical help and you can help, you do. If he asks for a cup of water, you give it to him.

But what you don't do is anything which gives his warped ideology any credibility. You don't sit there and nod serenely as he talks about his wish for a white nation. You don't allow his words of vilification and lies to go unchallenged.

If he apologises, puts down his flags and guns and makes every indication that he has changed his mind on all the hateful shit, then you offer him an open hand and assistance to welcome him back to the human race.

The Christian doesn't want to lock up and throw away the key on a Nazi, still wants to believe that there is some hope of redemption deep within the dirty exterior.

But equally, the Christian is not a doormat.

I might love the Nazi if he changes his behaviour, but right now if he wants to get to those precious to me, then he's going to have to get to them through me.

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irreverend tod
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It should be perfectly possible to love your neighbor (nazi) and to be your brothers keeper - while welting him with a bit of 4x2 if he turns violent in order to prevent him from causing damage to other people or himself.

I think of Martin Niemöller whenever this sort of issue comes up:

First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Socialist.

Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Trade Unionist.

Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Jew.

Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.

The extension of this is that sometimes you need to do more than speak up, and sometimes more than peacefully resist.

And as JFK once famously quoted:

The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.

...and I can't ever find myself doing nothing, because I find it harder to live with myself for having done that than for taking action.

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Stejjie
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quote:
Originally posted by mr cheesy:
quote:
Originally posted by Stejjie:

The point about nonviolence, I suppose, is that if you're going to follow it, you stick to it even when it is to your detriment to do so, even when it risks you losing your life. You can't drop it when violence occurs against you, otherwise it's not nonviolence at all. That was Martin Luther King's principle wasn't it: even when the temptation to resort to violence is so strong, even when to resort to violence seems to make total sense, you stick with what you've committed to. Or you end up making the same arguments that people make when we go to war against some terrible regime again: this'll be the one that sorts it out, this'll be over quickly, and peace and freedom will be restored quickly. It never is in those cases; it won't be in this case.

No. Non-violence is a tactic. And I absolutely believe it is a very powerful tactic. I would say that in more than 99% of all situations we are likely to come across non-violence is the best way forward.

But one cannot claim that therefore the believer in non-violence is forced in all situations to stick to non-violence. Otherwise we're saying that defending oneself from a mugger, protecting one's family from assault etc is wrong.

I do enjoy it when people bring MLK into this discussion because so often the examples used are so ridiculous. MLK was the consummate tactician. He absolutely didn't tell people to do anything without thought, planning and training.

The same as Gandhi. The salt protests were not an accidental plan that happened to come good, it was a particular planned idea at a particular time in a particular place.

People accepted blows from those two places of non-violent resistance because they understood the outcomes and planned in detail the battles that were worth fighting.

In neither were they non-violently standing up to heavily armed Nazis.

There were occasions where there were non-violent resistance to Nazis in 1920s-30s Germany, such as the White Rose movement, but that was easily swept away.

The best example of non-violent resistance to Nazi Germany is in Denmark - but there are various reasons why that worked, not least because they got a level of support from local Nazis and because the German high command had other priorities than the Jews of Denmark.

That's not to downplay either of these things - they were brave, noble and right things to do.

But they're absolutely not a model we can expect will work in all times and places. And almost nobody in their right mind would even suggest such a thing.

Oh, I've no doubt that Luther King and Gandhi were tacticians, that they planned and did those things deliberately and with particular intentions and messages they wanted to send.

But certainly for MLK, I don't think nonviolence was just a tactic: I think he meant it and I think he meant it, to the best he was able, in every situation. I've not seen anything quoted from him that suggests otherwise ( this seems a good account of how he came to this position and why he held it, including this quote: "Living through the actual experience of the protest, nonviolence became more than a method to which I gave intellectual assent; it became a commitment to a way of life").

And while he may never have faced Nazis per se, he certainly faced people who were willing to resort to violence against him and his movement, including those who had political and military power to back them up. Just because they weren't Nazis, doesn't mean they weren't a real and dangerous threat to him and his movement and the people they were struggling for; I don't think it means that had he faced the Nazis in Charlottesville on Saturday he would've dropped his commitment to nonviolence because they're different.

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mr cheesy
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quote:
Originally posted by Stejjie:
Oh, I've no doubt that Luther King and Gandhi were tacticians, that they planned and did those things deliberately and with particular intentions and messages they wanted to send.

But certainly for MLK, I don't think nonviolence was just a tactic: I think he meant it and I think he meant it, to the best he was able, in every situation. I've not seen anything quoted from him that suggests otherwise ( this seems a good account of how he came to this position and why he held it, including this quote: "Living through the actual experience of the protest, nonviolence became more than a method to which I gave intellectual assent; it became a commitment to a way of life").

Sigh. Once he had started on a path of non-violence picking particular targets to bring down the regime of Jim Crow, MLK is hardly going to say that there are some situations where violence is acceptable. Because fairly obviously the message he's trying to put across is that he needs everyone to stick to the plan.

That's absolutely not a reason to say that the only moral response to Nazis is to use MLK's example of non-violence in all situations. Because that's daft.

quote:
And while he may never have faced Nazis per se, he certainly faced people who were willing to resort to violence against him and his movement, including those who had political and military power to back them up. Just because they weren't Nazis, doesn't mean they weren't a real and dangerous threat to him and his movement and the people they were struggling for; I don't think it means that had he faced the Nazis in Charlottesville on Saturday he would've dropped his commitment to nonviolence because they're different.
He didn't face Nazis because he didn't need to face Nazis. His life was constantly in danger, so he picked his battles.

We don't have the luxury of being able to pick battles. This is a comparison between chalk and cheese.

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arse

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mr cheesy
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The simple fact is that nobody has actually suggested anything which is going to stop neo-Nazis from attacking people if the police refuse to get in the way.*

We can talk all we like about lighting candles and singing Kumby Ya in some other place away from where the neo-Nazis are congregating, but the reality is that they're going to attack and kill people.

That's not non-violence resistance, that's passivity.

* and if the police do get in the way, how exactly is that non-violence?

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arse

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Barnabas62
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quote:
Originally posted by Doc Tor:

To everyone saying there are two sides: you're right. There are two. There are the fascists on one, and their are those who oppose fascism on the other. Pick one. If you're not opposing fascism because of some of the other people also opposing fascism, you've already chosen.

Sure. The question is how to oppose. Not appease. For sure, one thing we learned in the UK in the 30s is that appeasement emboldens the fascist.

I don't think the Christian encouragement to love and pray for enemies is wrong in these circumstances. Bertrand Russell observed (The History of Western Democracy) that there was nothing to be said against that principle, only that most people found it too hard.

Love is not tolerance of evil behaviour. It is simply a response in the opposite spirit to the hatred we see being expressed. It sure isn't a milquetoast solution. You can end up injured or dead.

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Stejjie
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quote:
Originally posted by mr cheesy:
quote:
Originally posted by Stejjie:
Oh, I've no doubt that Luther King and Gandhi were tacticians, that they planned and did those things deliberately and with particular intentions and messages they wanted to send.

But certainly for MLK, I don't think nonviolence was just a tactic: I think he meant it and I think he meant it, to the best he was able, in every situation. I've not seen anything quoted from him that suggests otherwise ( this seems a good account of how he came to this position and why he held it, including this quote: "Living through the actual experience of the protest, nonviolence became more than a method to which I gave intellectual assent; it became a commitment to a way of life").

Sigh. Once he had started on a path of non-violence picking particular targets to bring down the regime of Jim Crow, MLK is hardly going to say that there are some situations where violence is acceptable. Because fairly obviously the message he's trying to put across is that he needs everyone to stick to the plan.

That's absolutely not a reason to say that the only moral response to Nazis is to use MLK's example of non-violence in all situations. Because that's daft.

From what I've read, it is simply impossible for me to imagine that if MLK had faced the Nazis in Charlottesville, he would've said, "This threat's different, guys - violence is all we've got". Maybe I'm wrong and he would've: I just don't see it, not given the account I've linked to above. Unless he was lying in what he said, nonviolence wasn't for him just the best strategy to bring down the Jim Crow laws and all the segregation of black people (though I'm sure that was part of it): it came from his understanding of the message of Christ and the example of Christ, most notably the Sermon on the Mount. There's just nothing there to suggest his thought process was limited to the strategic sense: indeed, given the pressure he was on from others in the civil rights movement to change course and choose violence, mightn't there have been strategic sense in doing so?

I think the Christ-element that Hauerwas picks up in the article is crucial as well and it's what pushes me to see active, resistive nonviolence as the only this will ever truly be solved. For me, the example of Jesus as someone who confronted systems of oppression and illegitimate power that were as terrifying in their scope and danger as the threat from Nazis seems now, but who refused violence even when it cost him his life (and perhaps put the lives of his disciples in danger) and urged his disciples to do the same suggests that the path MLK was on is the path that will eventually lead to overcoming them.

quote:
He didn't face Nazis because he didn't need to face Nazis. His life was constantly in danger, so he picked his battles.

We don't have the luxury of being able to pick battles. This is a comparison between chalk and cheese.

I know he didn't need to fight Nazis (though I'm not sure there's a huge amount of difference in reality between some of those he did fight and real, actual Nazis). But did he pick his battles? Or did he see this fight as equally urgent and important for the people he lead and spoke for - and, I would argue, for the whole of the population of the USA, whites included - as we see the struggle against the Nazis of Charlottesville and elsewhere today?

And that's why I think his example is still applicable today: that then was the fight, the urgent, morally imperative, "future of us all depends on this" fight of his time, just as what we're facing with Nazis and their hangers-on is today. And I still maintain that meeting violence with violence, while sometimes providing temporary respite and relief, will do nothing to solve the underlying problems and will only, ultimately, make them worse.

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mr cheesy
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This is why I despair when people talk about non-violence - it becomes a statement of fundamental belief even though it is pretty bloody clear that MLK was casting around for a tactic to use in the America South when he read about Gandhi and Gandhi was looking for a tactic to use when he read Tolstoy.


Whether they came to believe exclusively in their own rhetoric of non-violence as a solution to all problems in all places I don't know - but I highly doubt it. Gandhi was told in no uncertain terms that whilst he could sacrifice his own body, he was in no position to tell people to sacrifice other people on the altar of his own ideals.

I absolutely wouldn't move immediately to violence and if there had been more planning last weekend, there may have been ways that would have worked to defuse the situation - for example by blocking roads, refusing to fill cars with petrol, refusing to sell stuff, etc and so on.

But that would have required a community-level response (and there obviously wasn't one) and would have required a police force which protected individuals.

In the situation where the Nazis are already there and are already beating people and where police aren't doing anything very much, then the only alternative is for others to get involved to protect people.

And if that offends your reading of the Sermon on the Mount, then I'm afraid I'm not too interested in hearing more about it, because it is bollocks.

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arse

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Eutychus
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quote:
Originally posted by mr cheesy:
His life was constantly in danger, so he picked his battles.

We don't have the luxury of being able to pick battles.

[Paranoid]

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Eutychus
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quote:
Originally posted by mr cheesy:
Gandhi was told in no uncertain terms that whilst he could sacrifice his own body, he was in no position to tell people to sacrifice other people on the altar of his own ideals.

(...)
quote:
And if that offends your reading of the Sermon on the Mount, then I'm afraid I'm not too interested in hearing more about it, because it is bollocks.
Let's get this straight. Gandhi was not in a position to tell people to sacrifice others on the altar of his ideals, but you are in a position to tell people they have no choice but to enter the fray, bloodily, on your terms and on the basis of your ideals, because you're not interested in any other takes on the situation, which are bollocks?

Discussing this sensibly is hard.

[ 18. August 2017, 11:39: Message edited by: Eutychus ]

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mr cheesy
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quote:
Originally posted by Eutychus:
[Paranoid]

MLK was protesting the whole system of Jim Crow and could pick targets he thought would bring it down.

In this instance we're not talking about changing the legal and social system in general but about the rise of the neo-Nazis in particular.

We can't say "oh, I'm protesting neo-Nazis by refusing to move until I'm served at a lunch bar" or "I'm going to sit down on this bridge until you arrest those neo-Nazis" because the law is the very thing protecting them.

OK, we could do those things, but they're not going to have much effect.

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arse

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Eutychus
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quote:
Originally posted by mr cheesy:
In this instance we're not talking about changing the legal and social system in general but about the rise of the neo-Nazis in particular.

How does this mean we don't have the luxury of picking our battles? How does it mean we have less of a choice than MLK in deciding how to wage them?

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mr cheesy
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quote:
Originally posted by Eutychus:
Let's get this straight. Gandhi was not in a position to tell people to sacrifice others on the altar of his ideals, but you are in a position to tell people they have no choice but to enter the fray, bloodily, on your terms and on the basis of your ideals, because you're not interested in any other takes on the situation, which are bollocks?

My ideals are those of non-violence. But I don't really give a shit about my ideals or your reading of the Sermon on the Mount when Nazis are out to kill people.

My ideals don't have much to say to stop neo-Nazis except to get in the way and stop them in any way possible.

And the difference between me and Gandhi is that I'm not even here saying that you, anyone else reading or anyone else at all in particular should go down there and put their bodies on the line.

I'm saying that my non-violence and my natural inclination to avoid physical conflict is just the same kind of thing that everyone else is using to avoid actually physically stopping the Nazis.

And I'm saying that I need to rethink because if not me, then who.

You people can do whatever the fuck you like, but if armed Nazis threaten my town, I'm going down there and getting in the way so to protect people. And if my 30+ years of thinking about non-violence can't cope with protecting the innocent from Nazis, then maybe it has to go.

quote:
Discussing this sensibly is hard.
It really isn't. We can talk about tactics we could use to avoid getting to the point whereby neo-Nazis with machine-guns threaten the lives of people. We can talk about how the tactics at the weekend failed and how maybe they could be improved with better planning and thought.

But if that turns out to a self-righteousness parade which amounts to finding theological reasons for sitting by and watching whilst neo-Nazis kill people, then I'm out.

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quetzalcoatl
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It strikes me as a tactical question, I mean, depending on the particular circumstances. I see a spectrum of responses to Nazis, including doing nothing, passive resistance, fighting without arms, and armed combat.

The last one is extreme, I am thinking of situations where Nazis are themselves using arms. But this is not germane to the US right now.

The classic example in the UK is the Battle of Cable Street, where it is claimed that the opposition stopped the fascists in their tracks. I don't know if this is correct.

But this was unarmed opposition, by perhaps 20, 000 demonstrators, including many local people. I think this was crucial, since many Jews lived in the East End, and were really saying, no passaran.

The various risings by ghettos against the Nazis show the other extreme, where armed combat seems correct (to me), although I can understand that some would oppose it.

There are interesting parallels with N. Ireland, where some nationalists argued that armed defence was needed against attacks by loyalists gangs and police. Please note, can of worms.

[ 18. August 2017, 11:54: Message edited by: quetzalcoatl ]

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mr cheesy
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quote:
Originally posted by Eutychus:
How does this mean we don't have the luxury of picking our battles? How does it mean we have less of a choice than MLK in deciding how to wage them?

I think there is a difference between fighting something that is primarily a legal battle for rights vs fighting a growing cancer of fascism.

If you can't see the difference, I can't explain it.

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arse

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Stejjie
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quote:
Originally posted by mr cheesy:
This is why I despair when people talk about non-violence - it becomes a statement of fundamental belief even though it is pretty bloody clear that MLK was casting around for a tactic to use in the America South when he read about Gandhi and Gandhi was looking for a tactic to use when he read Tolstoy.


Whether they came to believe exclusively in their own rhetoric of non-violence as a solution to all problems in all places I don't know - but I highly doubt it. Gandhi was told in no uncertain terms that whilst he could sacrifice his own body, he was in no position to tell people to sacrifice other people on the altar of his own ideals.


Gandhi is quoted in the Hauerwas article as saying, "Rivers of blood may have to flow before we gain our freedom, but it must be our blood". 'Our blood', not 'my blood'; a phrase that King quoted as being influential in his thinking. How is that not "sacrificing other people on the altar of his own ideals"?

You're not providing any evidence that nonviolence was "just" a tactic that King and Gandhi selected as being the most appropriate to face the particular threats they faced, for all your talk of it being "obvious". Here's another article, this time from an award-winning biographer of King, that again paints King as seeing nonviolence as a commitment and a way of life, not just a tactic.

quote:
And if that offends your reading of the Sermon on the Mount, then I'm afraid I'm not too interested in hearing more about it, because it is bollocks.
Why? Because it's unrealistic? I think that's the point: Jesus is suggesting in the Sermon, especially in the "Love your enemies" section and everything linked to it, is that the rules of the game that we play by on earth are wrong, aren't God's rules, which are the ones we should be playing by. And to continue to play by those rules because they're more "realistic", even if we believe ourselves to be in the right, is just going to perpetuate the violence, suffering and enmity - it will not bring about the righteousness that God desires, that we long for, that the oppressed suffer from the lack of.

And it wasn't just the Sermon on the Mount I pointed to in my last posts. It was the whole of Jesus' life: his refusal to lead a violent movement against the Romans, even though that would've been what people expected and wanted, even though it might've "won" in some sense; his warning to his disciples in Mark 13 (and parallel passages) that when the overthrow of Jerusalem comes, they're not to try and fight but to get the hell out of there; his rebuking of Peter when the latter chopped off the high priest's servant's ear; his submitting to the cross even though it looked like absolute failure; his calling his followers to do the same - I hate to use the phrase but, as a Christian, I can't see any alternative but to follow that, even when to do so is utterly detrimental to my life.

And this is the example that, in my understanding, those who followed him held on to, even under severe persecution, even when it meant dying rather than doing the apparently-simple thing of recanting their faith. I think Jesus lived out what he spoke of - and I think he calls us to do the same, even when it costs us.

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Eutychus
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quote:
Originally posted by mr cheesy:
quote:
Discussing this sensibly is hard.
It really isn't.
It really is when you dismiss anybody's views that don't align with yours as bollocks, and say things like
quote:
I don't really give a shit about ... your reading of the Sermon on the Mount
and
quote:
You people can do whatever the fuck you like
Again, that sounds fine for Hell, but I really don't see how it advances discussion.

quote:
self-righteousness
I'm getting really tired of that word being thrown around. Milquetoast is running a close second, with weaksauce a distant third (as nobody's actually used it yet here).

I'm with Ricardus in his plea for people to turn down the rhetoric.

[ 18. August 2017, 11:58: Message edited by: Eutychus ]

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Let's remember that we are to build the Kingdom of God, not drive people away - pastor Frank Pomeroy

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Eutychus
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quote:
Originally posted by mr cheesy:
I think there is a difference between fighting something that is primarily a legal battle for rights vs fighting a growing cancer of fascism.

If you can't see the difference, I can't explain it.

There very definitely is a difference.

However, I can't see how it means we, unlike MLK, don't have the luxury of picking our battles, which is what you said. I also don't see how it means we have less of a choice than MLK in deciding how to wage them, which is what you implied.

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Let's remember that we are to build the Kingdom of God, not drive people away - pastor Frank Pomeroy

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quetzalcoatl
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# 16740

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quote:
Originally posted by Doc Tor:
I don't think I've ever been more disappointed by a Ship of Fools thread in my life, than I have been by this one.

To everyone saying there are two sides: you're right. There are two. There are the fascists on one, and their are those who oppose fascism on the other. Pick one. If you're not opposing fascism because of some of the other people also opposing fascism, you've already chosen.

To everyone else saying that you don't agree with violence: you're also right. I don't agree with violence either, which is why fascism, a violent, hateful ideology that has killed millions of people and will kill millions more if we let it, is utterly beyond the pale. Your Milquetoast objections to Nazis will literally kill people.

I sort of agree with you. If fascists were attacking my neighbourhood with arms, I would shoot back.

However, this is an extreme position, well, in the UK it is, maybe not in US. And then there are all kinds of tactical positions one can take, since the Nazis are not attacking with arms (yet).

But Germany is an awful warning. The left basically fucked around, calling each other names, and saying that Hitler would be gone soon. No, they were gone soon.

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the main fear that flat-earthers face is sphere itself.

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mr cheesy
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Well sorry, I'm tired of being told that the things I know about are wrong, that I don't understand about non-violence and I don't understand about the Sermon on the Mount.

Ultimately I meant what I said: if you think the Sermon on the Mount tells you that you have to stand back whilst Nazis kill people, then it is no use to me. If it makes sense to you, fine. Get out of the way and allow people like me to do what we think is right before the Nazis kill more people.

And I do think the lecturing is self-righteous. It looks messy to engage with and deflect the violence of Nazis and "good little Christians" don't do that.

Well they do. If you don't like it, hard cheese.

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arse

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Stejjie
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quote:
Originally posted by mr cheesy:
quote:
Originally posted by Eutychus:
How does this mean we don't have the luxury of picking our battles? How does it mean we have less of a choice than MLK in deciding how to wage them?

I think there is a difference between fighting something that is primarily a legal battle for rights vs fighting a growing cancer of fascism.

If you can't see the difference, I can't explain it.

Perhaps because, ultimately, there isn't one? Not when you look at the threats of violence and actual violence that were employed against King and the civil rights movement in defence of segregation; not when people actually lost their lives in the struggle.

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A not particularly-alt-worshippy, fairly mainstream, mildly evangelical, vaguely post-modern-ish Baptist

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mr cheesy
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quote:
Originally posted by quetzalcoatl:
I sort of agree with you. If fascists were attacking my neighbourhood with arms, I would shoot back.

However, this is an extreme position, well, in the UK it is, maybe not in US. And then there are all kinds of tactical positions one can take, since the Nazis are not attacking with arms (yet).

Watch the videos. They were attacking people with arms, the one thing they weren't doing is shooting people with their machine-guns, however that might be more luck than judgement given that they were armed to the teeth.

quote:
But Germany is an awful warning. The left basically fucked around, calling each other names, and saying that Hitler would be gone soon. No, they were gone soon.
This is why I think there must be a range of tactics for a range of circumstances. We hope to never get to the point where the only way to stop Nazis is with restrained violence - but to me the events of last weekend were over that point.

God I hope we never have that situation anywhere near here.

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arse

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Eutychus
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quote:
Originally posted by mr cheesy:
This is why I think there must be a range of tactics for a range of circumstances.

Yes. Where some of us here differ with you is that we think that range of tactics is a lot broader than you appear willing to entertain.

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Let's remember that we are to build the Kingdom of God, not drive people away - pastor Frank Pomeroy

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Stejjie
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# 13941

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quote:
Originally posted by mr cheesy:
Well sorry, I'm tired of being told that the things I know about are wrong, that I don't understand about non-violence and I don't understand about the Sermon on the Mount.

Firstly, what's the difference between me telling you that I think you've got the Sermon on the Mount wrong and you telling me my understanding is "bollocks" (especially when you give no reasoning for that)?

Secondly, this is a discussion board, this is what we're supposed to do here - to discuss and debate different interpretations, ideas, actions, to disagree and argue with each other. What you do with the Sermon on the Mount, MLK's life, anything else is your business: but it seems strange to object to people disagreeing with you on a discussion board.

quote:
Originally posted by mr cheesy:

Ultimately I meant what I said: if you think the Sermon on the Mount tells you that you have to stand back whilst Nazis kill people, then it is no use to me. If it makes sense to you, fine. Get out of the way and allow people like me to do what we think is right before the Nazis kill more people.

But again, nobody think that: I don't and I don't think anyone advocating for nonviolence does. We just don't think that violence, ultimately, is going to bring about the end of what you rightly describe as the growing cancer of fascism.

Do you think that even if they're beaten off at one protest they'll go away and think, "well that's us told, isn't it?". Do you think if every Nazi in America ws beaten up, the ideas would die a death? Yes, the focus on Nazis seeking violence is necessary and the nonviolence I'm speaking about makes it much harder to deal with that. But to deal with this threat ultimately, you can't just focus on that: you have to deal with the ideas and the reasons people latch on to them. Yoiu have to cut off the out-and-out Nazis from those who mistakenly and foolishly and inexcusably see in them some hope for a solution to their grievances. And you have to give those you fight against no cause for complaint against you, however rubbish that complaint may be; they will take the slightest chance to portray themselves as the victims - you just cannot allow that to happen.

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A not particularly-alt-worshippy, fairly mainstream, mildly evangelical, vaguely post-modern-ish Baptist

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mr cheesy
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quote:
Originally posted by Eutychus:
Yes. Where some of us here differ with you is that we think that range of tactics is a lot broader than you appear willing to entertain.

Really? What despite me saying that 99% of things we're likely to face are best tackled with non-violence and despite me saying that there might have been ways to not get to the point where armed Nazis are threatening to kill people?

What else do you want me to say? Let's find non-violent ways to stop Nazis. If we can't, and they're threatening people then let's get in the way.

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arse

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mr cheesy
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quote:
Originally posted by Stejjie:


Do you think that even if they're beaten off at one protest they'll go away and think, "well that's us told, isn't it?". Do you think if every Nazi in America ws beaten up, the ideas would die a death? Yes, the focus on Nazis seeking violence is necessary and the nonviolence I'm speaking about makes it much harder to deal with that. But to deal with this threat ultimately, you can't just focus on that: you have to deal with the ideas and the reasons people latch on to them. Yoiu have to cut off the out-and-out Nazis from those who mistakenly and foolishly and inexcusably see in them some hope for a solution to their grievances. And you have to give those you fight against no cause for complaint against you, however rubbish that complaint may be; they will take the slightest chance to portray themselves as the victims - you just cannot allow that to happen.

No, I don't think they're going away. And I absolutely believe that there are ways to disrupt their plans with non-violence.

But I'm not prepared to say that in the final instance it is wrong to protect people with violence if there is no other way.

Non-violence is not an absolute good for me. If it doesn't protect innocent people, it is no good for anything.

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arse

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quetzalcoatl
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You can do both - I mean, oppose Nazi ideology intellectually, and also oppose them physically. I don't mean shooting them, unless they are trying to shoot me. But big demonstrations by anti-fascists can be effective.

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the main fear that flat-earthers face is sphere itself.

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Eutychus
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# 3081

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quote:
Originally posted by mr cheesy:
quote:
Originally posted by Eutychus:
Yes. Where some of us here differ with you is that we think that range of tactics is a lot broader than you appear willing to entertain.

Really? What despite me saying that 99% of things we're likely to face are best tackled with non-violence
Yes, because you think that for the other 1%, differing views to yours are bollocks.

Stejjie is doing a far better job than I ever could here, and expending more energy than I have time for right now. Respond to Stejjie.

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Let's remember that we are to build the Kingdom of God, not drive people away - pastor Frank Pomeroy

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mr cheesy
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quote:
Originally posted by Eutychus:
Yes, because you think that for the other 1%, differing views to yours are bollocks.

Right, because it is an ideological belief in non-violence no matter what happens.

I don't have any more time either.

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arse

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Stejjie
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quote:
Originally posted by Eutychus:
quote:
Originally posted by mr cheesy:
quote:
Originally posted by Eutychus:
Yes. Where some of us here differ with you is that we think that range of tactics is a lot broader than you appear willing to entertain.

Really? What despite me saying that 99% of things we're likely to face are best tackled with non-violence
Yes, because you think that for the other 1%, differing views to yours are bollocks.

Stejjie is doing a far better job than I ever could here, and expending more energy than I have time for right now. Respond to Stejjie.

[Hot and Hormonal] Stejjie's supposed to be preparing Sunday's serivce, but somehow got the bit between his teeth about this... [Help]

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A not particularly-alt-worshippy, fairly mainstream, mildly evangelical, vaguely post-modern-ish Baptist

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Stejjie
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quote:
Originally posted by mr cheesy:
quote:
Originally posted by Stejjie:


Do you think that even if they're beaten off at one protest they'll go away and think, "well that's us told, isn't it?". Do you think if every Nazi in America ws beaten up, the ideas would die a death? Yes, the focus on Nazis seeking violence is necessary and the nonviolence I'm speaking about makes it much harder to deal with that. But to deal with this threat ultimately, you can't just focus on that: you have to deal with the ideas and the reasons people latch on to them. Yoiu have to cut off the out-and-out Nazis from those who mistakenly and foolishly and inexcusably see in them some hope for a solution to their grievances. And you have to give those you fight against no cause for complaint against you, however rubbish that complaint may be; they will take the slightest chance to portray themselves as the victims - you just cannot allow that to happen.

No, I don't think they're going away. And I absolutely believe that there are ways to disrupt their plans with non-violence.

But I'm not prepared to say that in the final instance it is wrong to protect people with violence if there is no other way.

Non-violence is not an absolute good for me. If it doesn't protect innocent people, it is no good for anything.

I do see what you mean: there is part of me that sympathises and, as I said before, I'm not writing this to criticise anyone who stood against the Nazis at Charlottesville.

But... I don't quite know how to put this into words, but I think this is why some of the stuff I've linked seems to suggest you have to start your thinking and planning further back from the flashpoint incident. I also think this is why the SPLC says stay away from the protests: I presume they mean everyone, because it denies them the possibility of violent confrontation, because there's no one there to confront.

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A not particularly-alt-worshippy, fairly mainstream, mildly evangelical, vaguely post-modern-ish Baptist

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Eutychus
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quote:
Originally posted by mr cheesy:
quote:
Originally posted by Eutychus:
Yes, because you think that for the other 1%, differing views to yours are bollocks.

Right, because it is an ideological belief in non-violence no matter what happens
For the record, in this context I previously expressed my sympathies with the position of Dietrich Boenhoffer, who was executed for his alleged support for the (evidently non-non-violent) plot to assassinate Hitler.

I personally have never defended non-violence here to the exclusion of all other courses of action (although I sometimes wonder whether anyone's noticed that...).

But I do think it's worth carefully (and where at all possible dispassionately) debating when, how, and in what context various courses of action should be undertaken, especially so when it comes to violent courses of action.

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Let's remember that we are to build the Kingdom of God, not drive people away - pastor Frank Pomeroy

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quetzalcoatl
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The French Resistance showed an interesting spectrum of opinion, including of course, Communists, socialists and Gaullists, but I think there were also Catholic groups. It would be interesting to see any writings of theirs, justifying violence, or criticizing it.

At least, the French left actually fought back, whereas the German left got mired in internecine conflict, and missed the real enemy.

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the main fear that flat-earthers face is sphere itself.

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Ian Climacus

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mr cheesy: I appreciate your posts, and those of others, even though I am confused where I stand. And that is why I come here; to discuss, to learn, to think. If I wanted an echo chamber I could go elsewhere where fluffy bunnies inhabit and all is simple and people pray facists hearts will be turned. I realise life is not like that.

This incident profoundly shocked me. And rocked me to my core. For the first time I fantasised about having a gun and shooting the Nazis dead. That rocked me. Because I have always had an aversion to violence. And that is how I, note I, read the Gospels. I am not saying by that I have the answer, I acknowledge I may be wrong. But I need to square my actions with my beliefs, or change my beliefs to suit new actions. Hence my questions. I did not intend to silence people with recourse to the Bible, but am interested in what a proper response is.

As I wrote above, this is a shocking time. Facists roaming the streets, killing people. I see the need to resist. I'm just not at the point, sorry, where I know what my answer is.

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mdijon
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quote:
Originally posted by Eutychus:
But I do think it's worth carefully (and where at all possible dispassionately) debating when, how, and in what context various courses of action should be undertaken, especially so when it comes to violent courses of action.

Dispassionate is fine for oneself, but can come across as uncaring when others are hurt. And this is compounded when you focus on the apparent repugnance of an emotional turn of phrase when in the context of neo-Nazis. It isn't proportional to admonish those most affected for their modes of expression in the context of what is happening at the moment.

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mdijon nojidm uoɿıqɯ ɯqıɿou
ɯqıɿou uoɿıqɯ nojidm mdijon

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Mere Nick
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quote:
Originally posted by Martin60:
quote:
Originally posted by Doc Tor:
quote:
Originally posted by Mere Nick:
quote:
Originally posted by Doc Tor:
quote:
Originally posted by Mere Nick:
I find them both violent and hateful. They both cross the line, so I don't care who people think is worse.

Then you're tragically misreading the situation. Such a position helps only one side, that of the fascists.
I much prefer tragically misreading to tragically busted heads. I won't join you in condoning the violence from anyone.
And with this, you're appeasing the violence from the fascists.

You prefer a fake peace to real justice, just like MLK said of the whites who wouldn't stand with him.

Aye, if Christians won't step up to absorb the violence, war it is.
I have a major problem with the false dichotomy being presented. Neither antifa or the nazis stand with me. Yet folks say I have to go stand with one of them. Why should I be the one who has to move? Antifa and the nazis are the ones who need to move.

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"Well that's it, boys. I've been redeemed. The preacher's done warshed away all my sins and transgressions. It's the straight and narrow from here on out, and heaven everlasting's my reward."
Delmar O'Donnell

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mdijon
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It is a false dichotomy. You have to decide whether or not to stand with the victims of the Nazis. That's the dichotomy.

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mdijon nojidm uoɿıqɯ ɯqıɿou
ɯqıɿou uoɿıqɯ nojidm mdijon

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Eutychus
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quote:
Dispassionate is fine for oneself, but can come across as uncaring when others are hurt.
Yes, I see that.

However, I don't think that this confers a licence to all to deploy harsh rhetoric in an attempt to bolster their arguments.
quote:
And this is compounded when you focus on the apparent repugnance of an emotional turn of phrase when in the context of neo-Nazis.
I picked up on that because I think that the opponents of neo-Nazism being beyond reproach is actually an important consideration in how to conduct that opposition, as others have argued.

If taking that line is simply shouted down as being self-righteous, I think an important part of the discussion is lost.
quote:
It isn't proportional to admonish those most affected for their modes of expression in the context of what is happening at the moment.
That's true, but I'm not convinced that the harshness of the vocabulary in response is in all cases a useful guide to the effects actually suffered by the user.

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Let's remember that we are to build the Kingdom of God, not drive people away - pastor Frank Pomeroy

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Leorning Cniht
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quote:
Originally posted by Mere Nick:
I have a major problem with the false dichotomy being presented. Neither antifa or the nazis stand with me. Yet folks say I have to go stand with one of them. Why should I be the one who has to move? Antifa and the nazis are the ones who need to move.

Nobody is asking you to stand with antifa. Nobody is asking you to endorse their tactics, and nobody is asking you to adopt radical anarcho-socialist politics.

What we are asking you to understand is that there's a fundamental difference between antifa and the Nazis - they're not just mirror images of each other. In the case of the Nazis, violent thuggery is a core belief. They quite literally think that Jewish and Black people should be exterminated. In the case of antifa, violent thuggery is a tactic.

So I'm asking you to stop casting these two groups as equivalent, because they just aren't, and by claiming that they are, you have the effect of providing excuses for Nazis.

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mdijon
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quote:
Originally posted by Eutychus:
If taking that line is simply shouted down as being self-righteous, I think an important part of the discussion is lost.

Let me do my own bit of victim blaming then. Is it important to find ways of expressing that differently that aren't at risk of being shouted down as self-righteous?

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mdijon nojidm uoɿıqɯ ɯqıɿou
ɯqıɿou uoɿıqɯ nojidm mdijon

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Eutychus
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Yes. I'm willing to keep putting the effort in.

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Let's remember that we are to build the Kingdom of God, not drive people away - pastor Frank Pomeroy

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Adeodatus
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There's been a lot of moral comparison between the "alt-right" and "alt-left". Can I just point out that in the UK you're unlikely to be called "alt-right" unless you actually kill an MP or drive a van into a group of people outside a mosque. But you get called "alt-left" if you believe in universal healthcare and free education.

There. Is. No. Moral. Equivalence.

[ 18. August 2017, 14:28: Message edited by: Adeodatus ]

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"What is broken, repair with gold."

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lilBuddha
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Fuck me.
Antifa were not the counterprotest.
The protest were Nazis and other white supremacists.
Using Antifa as a symbol, representative or surrogate of the counter-protest is ridiculous and insulting.

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So goodnight moon, I want the sun
If it's not here soon, I might be done
No it won't be too soon 'til I say goodnight moon

- A. N. Parsley, D. Mcvinni

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Crœsos
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quote:
Originally posted by lilBuddha:
Fuck me.
Antifa were not the counterprotest.
The protest were Nazis and other white supremacists.
Using Antifa as a symbol, representative or surrogate of the counter-protest is ridiculous and insulting.

Susan Bro apparently agrees with you and is refusing to meet with Trump after he morally equated her dead daughter with the person who killed her. (Much like some of our own shipmates.)

quote:
"I'm not talking to the President now," Susan Bro said Friday on ABC's "Good Morning America." "I'm sorry. After what he said about my child, and it's not that I saw somebody else's tweets about him. I saw an actual clip of him at a press conference equating the protesters like Ms. (Heather) Heyer with the KKK and the white supremacists."
Helpful tip to press secretaries trying to finesse delicate meetings: don't try to call someone during the funeral of their child!

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Humani nil a me alienum puto

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Enoch
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quote:
Originally posted by Curiosity killed ...:
I am going to agree with Eutychus here: having worked with young people who went/go on EDL marches and spent a lot of time discussing different world views. Their perceptions are skewed, they are angry and they feel disenfranchised. If we other them we're adding to that disenfranchisement and are driving them further into the acceptance of their far right family.

Up to a point Curiosity Killed. I probably once would have agreed with you. But I now think there comes a point where tout comprendre (to understand all) is not tout pardonner (to forgive all). However alienated, disenfranchised and angry a person may feel, that may be an explanation, but it isn't an excuse. Some things, and some viewpoints, are factually and morally wrong, whatever and irrespective of the reason why a person might hold them, and that's it. We are both entitled and sometimes even obliged to say so. And even if ridiculing them may have the effect of 'othering' them, as you put it, that may be a price that has to be paid for discouraging others from joining them down that path.

[ 18. August 2017, 14:51: Message edited by: Enoch ]

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mr cheesy
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quote:
Originally posted by Crœsos:
Helpful tip to press secretaries trying to finesse delicate meetings: don't try to call someone during the funeral of their child!

See now this is the kind of non-violence I'm talking about. I can't really imagine anyone refusing to speak to the POTUS, yet this woman has stuck two fingers up at him on live TV.

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Have fun with them [Two face]

If you Google "German town makes fun of neo Nazis" you get results like this NYT article. This is the best kind of ridicule, because it turns it into an inclusive party - very "kingdom of God" strategy.

For this we need comedians and creative people like Brenda Clough!

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lilBuddha
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quote:
Originally posted by Leorning Cniht:

So I'm asking you to stop casting these two groups as equivalent, because they just aren't, and by claiming that they are, you have the effect of providing excuses for Nazis.

The other bit of this which is bullshit is that Antifa were at the counter-protest, the Nazis (Alt-right, etc.) were the protest.
You need to leap through multiple hoops to get to the comparisons made and none of that hopping looks good on the makers of those comparisons.

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Curiosity killed ...

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Enoch, ridiculing a 15 or 16 year old who is attending an EDL march is going to convince them they are right, that everyone is rubbishing them and the far-right parties are the place to get support. Talking to them, listening to their reasons, and helping them understand the issues may help them stand up to the family where they have almost certainly heard these views. It may help them choose not to vote BNP and understand that actually the party that espouses the values they believe in may be Labour or Conservative.

I have some advantages in this particular discussion as I look and sound white British but have an *interesting* heritage, which I have been known to disclose part way through the conversation. The best response yet was: "But, but, but ... it's different for you."

I challenge these views all the time, can't count the number of times I've challenged racism and homophobia.

This was something Margaret Hodge did too, when she stood in Barking as the Labour MP and managed to unseat 12 BNP local councillors with her campaign.

[ 18. August 2017, 15:49: Message edited by: Curiosity killed ... ]

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