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Source: (consider it) Thread: Nazis are coming to town - what do you do?
mdijon
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quote:
Originally posted by Doc Tor:
We simply go back to the point that MLK was making.

Personally I'm in favour of forceful resistance in selected situations and don't subscribe to pacifism as a practical theory. But I don't think we can quote MLK as one of our supporters on that.

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Stejjie
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(X-posted with Eutychus and mdijon)

quote:
Originally posted by Doc Tor:
Alan - I notice you completely ignored my second paragraph.

Or perhaps you think the mere presence of Jewish or Asian or gay people on the street is a mighty provocation to the Nazis, and we shouldn't allow that, lest violence breaks out.

We simply go back to the point that MLK was making. You are more interested in false peace than real justice. You make the streets safer for Nazis, and less safe for everyone else, just to avoid unseemly violence. When, essentially, violence is there already, just not directed at you.

No. Just no.

But part of the point that the SPLC were making in the quote RuthW provided in the OP, was that physically confronting the Nazis, attending the hate rallys, doesn't do any good; it actaully serves their purposes, especially if they're looking for a fight. Trump's response to Charlottville and the support he gets for the rubbish he's spouted about it surely proves that to be true: if there is violent confrontation, the hate groups & Nazis will milk it for all its worth and will use it to try and draw support. They'll be complaining about antifa trying to take away their constitutional rights and all the rest of it. And as the SPLC point out, they have gained court victories in the US protecting their right to rally.

It's not about "avoiding unseemly violence". If the SPLC are right, and as RuthW points out they've got experience in this field, it's that these confrontations are actually counter-productive.

(By the way, here's a web version of the PDF RuthW mentioned.)

And on that, I think you missed part of Alan's point: that confrontations, whether violent or otherwise, won't stop these ideas. Because ultimately that's what the struggle is against: ideas. To win, you have to help people to see the utterly ugliness and dangerousness of these views. You have to win over those who look to the Nazis and alt-right for answers to the problems: if you end up looking no better than them, you've lost.

And again, there seems to be this idea floating that those of us voicing our concerns about violence as a tactic against the Nazis are naive about the threat and passive or unconcerned about how to deal with it. And it's just not true.

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Alan Cresswell

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No, you misunderstand. The long-term goal is to make the question of whether streets are safe for Nazis irrelevant, by consigning Nazism to the dustbins of history.

In the interim the question is what is the most effective way of making the streets safe for everyone else. The choice of tactics is going to balance several factors, but I still don't see that violently attacking Nazis would be a tactic that has any role in the long-term aim, though under extraordinary circumstances may be needed. Added to which, nothing in what I've seen from Charlotteville has suggested to me that those circumstances would qualify as needing a violent response.

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chris stiles
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quote:
Originally posted by Stejjie:

Trump's response to Charlottville and the support he gets for the rubbish he's spouted about it surely proves that to be true: if there is violent confrontation, the hate groups & Nazis will milk it for all its worth and will use it to try and draw support.

I agree in this particularly case violence would have been counterproductive. However;

- the subject of the OP goes wider than that, and I would hesitate to say that in the general case acting as a punching bag is necessarily the correct thing to do (as Alan is effectively advocating up thread). See also my caveats in the previous post I made on the subject.

- the fact is that there were groups like antifa and Redneck Revolt in attendance, and we have no idea to what extent that checked (or otherwise) the propensity of the right-wing protestors to violence.

[On that last point; see the response to the various attempted EDL marches through mainly asian areas in the UK]

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Brenda Clough
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The anti KKK march in Durham today seems to have gone well.

A similarly huge imbalance of racists versus anti-racist protesters in Boston this afternoon. A friend of mine was there and estimates that the ratio was something on the order of 500 to 1. He had to look very hard, to find any racist demonstrators, and screams of "Shame!" brought to mind The Game of Thrones.

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Eutychus
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quote:
Originally posted by chris stiles:

- the fact is that there were groups like antifa and Redneck Revolt in attendance, and we have no idea to what extent that checked (or otherwise) the propensity of the right-wing protestors to violence.

True.

I really wonder whether, in Charlottesville, there would have been violence by the neo-Nazis in the absence of counter-protestors, in an agressive stance or otherwise.

To go back to my earlier question, I'm also wondering exactly what their objective was and whether the core leadership thinks they achieved it.

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Doc Tor
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quote:
Originally posted by Eutychus:
I really struggle to see the difference with
quote:
"At some point we will have enough power that we can clear them from the streets for ever"
as one nationalist protester in Charlottesville put it to Vice.
If you really struggle to see the difference between

quote:
At some point our work will be done and everyone can go home and live their lives in peace.
and
quote:
At some point we will be free to exterminate whole racial groups without opposition.
Then, frankly, your moral compass isn't just misaligned, it's been stamped on and shattered.

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Eutychus
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Of course there's a difference, and of course we would like to see them gone.

What you said conveys your visceral hatred of the ideas championed by the neo-Nazis and of those championing them, for reasons you've alluded to previously, and I am doing my best to respect that.

Depth of feeling is fine - but I think it's the last thing needed when discussing operational tactics, which is what I thought this thread was all about.

I'm sure Trump's blood boils when Kim Jong Un spouts anti-American rhetoric, but I sure as hell hope that visceral ire doesn't play a determining role in the US' strategy for dealing with North Korea. More detachment is called for.

I understand the sentiment of "We can ensure that no one is in danger of being attacked by anti-Nazi protesters by ensuring there are no Nazis on the streets", but I honestly don't understand what that really means for you in terms of the means you would like to see deployed to achieve that aim.

So far as I can tell, objectives expressed by various people here include:

- making a non-violent statement that neo-Nazism is intolerable and should be resisted
- protecting groups vulnerable to neo-Nazis
- the physical removal of neo-Nazis from the streets

Those look like quite widely differing objectives to me. Those holding them can either aim to form a coalition in which they hammer out one overall objective and some limits on their action which constitute conditions for the coalition holding, or they will protest independently.

(So far as I can see from McLaren's report, counter-protestors included both a coalition and independents).

If we continue with this thought experiment here, we either need to do what it takes to form a coalition or decide to go independent. If we were to be independent (which seems likely, frankly) then as a minimum I think we need to respect various counter-protestors' rights to counter-protest as they see fit. We all agree that neo-Nazism, and not anything else, is what we'd be there to counter-protest.

[ 20. August 2017, 06:29: Message edited by: Eutychus ]

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Barnabas62
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I have been thinking about moral compass settings. I believe the fundamental setting of my own is an imperative to do what I can to break the cycles of hatred and violence by demonstrating that love is a most excellent way to do this.

So, although I accept the last resort arguments contained in just war hypotheses, my moral compass feels it is a pull away from the direction I want to head.

But one thing I am sure about. Last resort is not first response. I guess you can argue, like Group 43, that we are already at last resort, because of what history has taught us about the violent consequences of fascist national socialist movements and their propensity for racism, antisemitism, xenophobia. But a response of 'exterminate. exterminate' seems to me to ignore that it feeds the incipient violence in all of us, thereby perpetuating the violence. That statement about out-fascisting the fascists is one of the saddest things I have ever read.

My father helped in the clear up operations in a concentration camp at the end of WW2. It scarred him for life. One of his observations stays with me to this day. 'The Germans are just like us, really. How could they do such things? How could they condone them'.

Just like us? Mandela was right. If people have been taught to hate they can be taught to love. Is not love a controlling principle to help us with our own incipient violent tendencies?

Or am I just naive? Or is my moral compass bust?

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Eutychus
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quote:
Originally posted by Barnabas62:
So, although I accept the last resort arguments contained in just war hypotheses, my moral compass feels it is a pull away from the direction I want to head.

One of the things that bothers me in this thread is my perception that some posters are invoking what I'd consider to be just war arguments in their capacity as private individuals - hence my questions about who "we" means in some instances.

I think one of the conditions for a just war hypothesis being acceptable is that it is implemented by a representative government. That has a bearing on where the moral compass points, doesn't it?

And even that can be controversial when it's invoked against things other than other states (cf "war on drugs", "war on terror", etc.).

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simontoad
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All this talk of useless sacrifice opposing neo-Nazis bought to mind Maximillian Kolbe, the priest who sacrificed his life in place of another at Auschwitz. His life is a call to prayer.

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Barnabas62
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quote:
Originally posted by Eutychus:

I think one of the conditions for a just war hypothesis being acceptable is that it is implemented by a representative government. That has a bearing on where the moral compass points, doesn't it?

And even that can be controversial when it's invoked against things other than other states (cf "war on drugs", "war on terror", etc.).

Agreed. A responsible government can implement a military response when the security of the state is threatened. That is one of the "last resort" safeguards.

I think the rubber hits the road if any of us has a direct part to play in the decisions of that responsible government. If that were me, I think I might see the necessity to authorise military action, but would not lose the sense that it is a bad option, even if the best available.

In free societies, citizens have rights to demonstrate, to protest, police have responsibilities to preserve the peace. It may be that this thread demonstrates, for the US at least, a lack of confidence that police will preserve the peace, that its government will preserve essential freedoms for all, and therefore it is (or may be) necessary to take the law into one's own hands to defend the right. I can see why that may become an overwhelming imperative.

My guess is that we all have rather different senses about what constitutes "last resort" as a justification for taking the law into our own hands.

[ 20. August 2017, 08:34: Message edited by: Barnabas62 ]

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Doc Tor
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quote:
Originally posted by Eutychus:
Of course there's a difference

You're only saying that because I pulled you up on "I struggle to see a difference."

Otherwise, you'd still be stuck on your false equivalence, rather than having to tack suddenly away from it, before circling back round for another attempt.

Look, I would shake hands with Satan himself if I thought it would do any good. I would sit down with a Nazi over a cup of tea, or a pint of beer, and talk. At the very least, during that time, they couldn't be spouting their hateful, genocidal ideology to anyone else. I would try very hard to convince them of the error their ways.

But I would make it abundantly clear that if he and his Nazi friends were to march down the street and intimidate my community, I would be out there, opposing him.

If he went home, I'd go home.

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Barnabas62
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quote:
Originally posted by Doc Tor:

But I would make it abundantly clear that if he and his Nazi friends were to march down the street and intimidate my community, I would be out there, opposing him.

It still feels to me that the issue is twofold.

1. Legal limits to freedoms to demonstrate and protest, in the interests of public safety and preserving the peace.

2. Confidence in the police to enforce such limits that may exist.

There must be something amiss with either 1 or 2 if the consequences provoke folks into confrontational responses. They do not trust the system.

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chris stiles
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quote:
Originally posted by Barnabas62:

There must be something amiss with either 1 or 2 if the consequences provoke folks into confrontational responses. They do not trust the system.

But that would apply equally to all sorts of counter protests, peaceful or not, which I'm not sure I buy. Perhaps people just feel that its necessary to stand up and be counted when a bunch of protestors come to their town to chant 'Jews will not replace us' ?
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quetzalcoatl
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It's too simplistic to say that the system has failed, if counter-protesters turn out. If right wing marchers are going through an immigrant area or a Jewish area, with appropriate slogans, it is very likely that local people will also turn out to oppose them, and also that sympathizers will turn out.

This doesn't predict violence in any case, but it seems sensible to me to oppose intimidation by the far right.

I suppose there is a difference in the UK, in that racist slogans (Jews out, niggers go home), would not be allowed. In some countries, swastikas would be banned.

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Martin60
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Barnabas62 - I align with your moral compass.

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Eutychus
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quote:
Originally posted by Doc Tor:
quote:
Originally posted by Eutychus:
Of course there's a difference

You're only saying that because I pulled you up on "I struggle to see a difference."

No, I'm saying that because you put it differently the second time.
quote:
Otherwise, you'd still be stuck on your false equivalence
I really don't agree that identifying almost identical rhetoric on both sides can properly be dismissed or condemned as false equivalence. In what way are the words used not equivalent?

To me false equivalence is saying "both sides are equally bad". It's saying there is no difference between the evil represented by one side as a whole and that represented by the other side as a whole. That is emphatically not what I'm saying.

quote:
Originally posted by Doc Tor:
But I would make it abundantly clear that if he and his Nazi friends were to march down the street and intimidate my community, I would be out there, opposing him.

I don't think anybody here is disagreeing with that stance.

Where we differ is what, exactly, we might be "opposing", how, and with what aim, and whether there is a moral and/or strategic distinction to be drawn between an institutional, governmental, legislative response and that of individuals or autonomous groups.

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quetzalcoatl
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A lot of these decisions are tactical, I think. If a bunch of right-wing thugs are bearing down on a synagogue or a mosque or a gay bar, the local community and sympathizers may well decide to defend it, using proportionate measures. They can't wait for the government or the local council to approve or disapprove.

If a right-wing march is planned 3 months ahead, the police will be notified and so on; even so, it is likely that counter-protests will go on. The fascists often want to intimidate and bully local people, especially of immigrant origin. This is not really a police matter, but a political issue, and the left will oppose the thugs, again, by proportionate means.

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mr cheesy
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The craziest part of a whole lot of the crazy shit that has been written here by people who clearly haven't thought very much about non-violence is that they're simultaneously claiming that their non-violence is an absolute whilst at the same time wishing for a police force that can protect life and property*.

Which gets to the logical tangle whereby one believes in non-violence to the extent of hoping that the police have sufficient powers to take guns away from people and have sufficient weapons to protect people and property from the Nazis - but if for whatever reason those police structures fail, then individuals only have one moral position to take; namely that they're to lay down their lives in front of Nazis. Even if there is no actual purpose in doing so.

That's crazy. If this is your conclusion and the upshot of your belief in non-violence, then you really need to do some more thinking about non-violence - preferably actually reading stuff written about it by Gandhi rather than the loose and woolly gruel you've expressed here that hasn't actually read anything and hasn't actually had to think through the consequences of your ideals and the violence implicit in the system which protects your sorry arses and means that you can post here about laying down your life to protect imaginary synagogues.

*presumably using the kind of violence, if necessary, that they're claiming isn't appropriate to stop Nazis. So somehow it isn't appropriate for the Christian but is appropriate for the Christian to hope to live in a state where there is a police force that does the violence for them.

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mr cheesy
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quote:
Originally posted by quetzalcoatl:
A lot of these decisions are tactical, I think. If a bunch of right-wing thugs are bearing down on a synagogue or a mosque or a gay bar, the local community and sympathizers may well decide to defend it, using proportionate measures. They can't wait for the government or the local council to approve or disapprove.

If a right-wing march is planned 3 months ahead, the police will be notified and so on; even so, it is likely that counter-protests will go on. The fascists often want to intimidate and bully local people, especially of immigrant origin. This is not really a police matter, but a political issue, and the left will oppose the thugs, again, by proportionate means.

ISTM that non-violence is always a tactic - albeit one that I'd argue is far more effective in the vast majority of cases than violence for reasons we can all give with hackneyed Gandhi quotes.

Indeed, the only people who can claim that is anything more than a tactic are those who are protected (usually by the state) so that they can pontificate about non-violence from an ivory tower.

Moving away from any kind of thinking that non-violence is an absolute is the only route to sanity and the only way one can have a sensible discussion about tactics.

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quetzalcoatl
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mr cheesy wrote:

quote:
The craziest part of a whole lot of the crazy shit that has been written here by people who clearly haven't thought very much about non-violence is that they're simultaneously claiming that their non-violence is an absolute whilst at the same time wishing for a police force that can protect life and property*.

Which gets to the logical tangle whereby one believes in non-violence to the extent of hoping that the police have sufficient powers to take guns away from people and have sufficient weapons to protect people and property from the Nazis - but if for whatever reason those police structures fail, then individuals only have one moral position to take; namely that they're to lay down their lives in front of Nazis. Even if there is no actual purpose in doing so.

I suppose normally, all of this is covered by the state monopoly on violence. I don't need to shoot a burglar, since there is a reasonable hope that the police will turn up. (I realize that this is different in the US).

Well, the same with far right marches and the like. We trust that the police protect synagogues and mosques from thugs.

However, the police are not politically involved, well, hopefully.

I think for many on the left, it is incumbent to protect vulnerable people such as immigrants, and also to vigorously oppose the far right. This is quite separate from policing aspects.

If the police are in cahoots with the far right, then we are in a different ball-game, basically shit street. If senior politicians are, ditto. This has happened mainly in N. Ireland in a UK situation.

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Eutychus
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[x-post with quetz]
quote:
Originally posted by mr cheesy:
The craziest part of a whole lot of the crazy shit that has been written here by people

[Roll Eyes]
quote:
they're simultaneously claiming that their non-violence is an absolute whilst at the same time wishing for a police force that can protect life and property (...) presumably using the kind of violence, if necessary, that they're claiming isn't appropriate to stop Nazis.
Since you don't quote anybody, it's hard to know who you're referring to.

It seems to me that the moral legitimacy of the use of force is not an absolute but highly dependent on the legitimacy of those using it. Democracies entrust the use of force to police and the armed forces because the use of that force is highly regulated and comes with several levels of accountability.

Of course there are notorious failures in that respect, but I nevertheless believe that's far better than "our gang is entitled to use force because reasons and if you object that's false equivalence".

[ 20. August 2017, 13:59: 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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Alan Cresswell

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# 31

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quote:
Originally posted by mr cheesy:
The craziest part of a whole lot of the crazy shit that has been written here by people who clearly haven't thought very much about non-violence is that they're simultaneously claiming that their non-violence is an absolute whilst at the same time wishing for a police force that can protect life and property*.

...

*presumably using the kind of violence, if necessary, that they're claiming isn't appropriate to stop Nazis. So somehow it isn't appropriate for the Christian but is appropriate for the Christian to hope to live in a state where there is a police force that does the violence for them.

WHich is why all the way back on p3 I said
quote:
Though I admit that, like you, I wouldn't hold that absolute non-violence position. I would, for example, be perfectly happy for the police to intervene and arrest the Nazi who is battering me to get to someone else. Which is a form of violence by proxy.
The police and courts act violently on my behalf, by arresting and incarcerating criminals (in the current discussion, Nazis who commit violence against others). So, though I may not act violently, if the police intervene then that is violence by proxy.

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quetzalcoatl
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Well, our gang is entitled to use force, against force. This is quite legal, I think, in terms of self-defence.

If Nazis are trying to break into my home or my synagogue or mosque and burn it down, I can use physical force to prevent them. How far this goes hinges on 'proportionality'. In the UK, shooting them will probably get me arrested, but hitting them with a baseball bat may be OK.

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Martin60
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An open question mr cheesy, where does anyone above claim absolute pacifism AND invoke the state monopoly of violence?

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Barnabas62
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quote:
Originally posted by Eutychus:

It seems to me that the moral legitimacy of the use of force is not an absolute but highly dependent on the legitimacy of those using it. Democracies entrust the use of force to police and the armed forces because the use of that force is highly regulated and comes with several levels of accountability.

Of course there are notorious failures in that respect, but I nevertheless believe that's far better than "our gang is entitled to use force because reasons and if you object that's false equivalence".

And that is definitely not crazy.

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mr cheesy
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quote:
Originally posted by quetzalcoatl:
I suppose normally, all of this is covered by the state monopoly on violence. I don't need to shoot a burglar, since there is a reasonable hope that the police will turn up. (I realize that this is different in the US).

Last time I looked, belief in non-violence is not necessitated upon a belief in the state monopoly of violence.

Indeed, I think that most people would agree that there is quite a problem with the state having a monopoly on violence, particularly when they seem pretty crap at using it or when they're using violence against your non-violence.

quote:
Well, the same with far right marches and the like. We trust that the police protect synagogues and mosques from thugs.

However, the police are not politically involved, well, hopefully.

It seems to me quite a tricky balance to say on the one hand that Black Lives Matter whilst at the same time saying that Police Need to Stop Nazis. It's not an impossible argument to circle, but it gets difficult when you're complaining about police tactics that they're using on minorities at the same time as saying that they should be using them on Nazis.

And one is in an even bigger ethical bind when one is saying that a situation where I accept that only the police have a monopoly of the kind of violence that I'm decrying for individuals, period, fullstop - which means that when those police don't actually do anything the only option I have left is to stand and allow the Nazis to kill me.

Do you honestly not see this as a contradictory position? Maybe there is something wrong with the way I'm explaining it, because it seems to me to be the argument that blows this kind of "cheap" non-violence talk out of the water.

quote:
I think for many on the left, it is incumbent to protect vulnerable people such as immigrants, and also to vigorously oppose the far right. This is quite separate from policing aspects.

If the police are in cahoots with the far right, then we are in a different ball-game, basically shit street. If senior politicians are, ditto. This has happened mainly in N. Ireland in a UK situation.

If the US President is in cahoots with the white nationalists and is saying that those who protest the neo-Nazis are somehow against the police then we're already in shit street because he's actually saying that those who protest the neo-Nazis are acting against the state.

It's a total friggin mess. I'd be very surprised if it doesn't turn into a whole lotta killing.

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quetzalcoatl
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Agree with most of that, mr cheesy. Self-defence become a big issue, I feel. Nazis try to kill me, I fight back.

It becomes different with street marches and so on, since they're not lethal (usually). Proportionality seems to cover it.

As for Trump and so on, a total nightmare and moral collapse of government. I don't know how this pans out.

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lilBuddha
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quote:
Originally posted by Martin60:
An open question mr cheesy, where does anyone above claim absolute pacifism AND invoke the state monopoly of violence?

It is sort of implicit. Living within a state with governmental police allows one* to avoid direct participation. It makes nonviolent resistance a hell of a lot easier.


*restrictions apply

[ 20. August 2017, 14:21: Message edited by: lilBuddha ]

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mr cheesy
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quote:
Originally posted by Barnabas62:
quote:
Originally posted by Eutychus:

It seems to me that the moral legitimacy of the use of force is not an absolute but highly dependent on the legitimacy of those using it. Democracies entrust the use of force to police and the armed forces because the use of that force is highly regulated and comes with several levels of accountability.

Of course there are notorious failures in that respect, but I nevertheless believe that's far better than "our gang is entitled to use force because reasons and if you object that's false equivalence".

And that is definitely not crazy.
How is it "far better" and how is it "not crazy"?

A Nazi is coming at you intending to kill you to get past you to kill someone else.

In what sense is it "not crazy" to refuse to pick up a piece of 2x4 to prevent him from getting past you because you believe the police are the only legitimate purveyors of violence?

The police aren't here. It is you or the Nazi.

You people seem to be arguing that the police should be here and therefore it is immoral to use the 2x4.

That's nuts.

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quetzalcoatl
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It's nuts, and as far as I can see, not what the law says. If someone is breaking into my home, I can ring the police, but they might take 20 minutes to get here. What do I do in the meantime? Invite him in for a cup of tea?

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mr cheesy
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quote:
Originally posted by quetzalcoatl:
Agree with most of that, mr cheesy. Self-defence become a big issue, I feel. Nazis try to kill me, I fight back.

It becomes different with street marches and so on, since they're not lethal (usually). Proportionality seems to cover it.

Yes. Proportionality, not constantly trying to claim that non-violence is an absolute.

I respect other people's right to talk about non-violence, but if it kicks off, they need to get out of the way so that others (police, preferably) can do the violence they're not prepared to do.

quote:
As for Trump and so on, a total nightmare and moral collapse of government. I don't know how this pans out.
This is what scares me about this whole conversation. It is the level of naivety talking that will just allow Nazis to walk all over us because somehow they keep asserting that non-violence is better.

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Martin60
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Then common sense applies. We are the police.

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quetzalcoatl
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Well, that takes me back to Germany. I don't think it's Godwin, if we're actually talking about Nazis!

The left fucked around and had hissy fits with each other, and called each other names, ('social fascists'), but didn't fight back. Most of them ended up in camps. At least, go down fighting, see the Warsaw ghetto.

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mr cheesy
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quote:
Originally posted by quetzalcoatl:
Well, that takes me back to Germany. I don't think it's Godwin, if we're actually talking about Nazis!

The left fucked around and had hissy fits with each other, and called each other names, ('social fascists'), but didn't fight back. Most of them ended up in camps. At least, go down fighting, see the Warsaw ghetto.

As I said previously, non-violence doesn't work on Nazis.

OK, fine, if one has an incurable suicide wish then lay down your life in front of the Nazi. But don't be so sanctimonious about it when other people are committing the violence that you won't to protect the people that you refuse to protect because of your bloody incurable and irrational belief in non-violence.

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quetzalcoatl
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Reminds me of the old story about being grilled about conscientious objection to war. What would you do if a German was about to rape your sister? Interpose my body between them. (Lytton Strachey).

Both comical and grisly, really.

But it seems reasonable to say that I would kill him, but still object to state violence, and hence war. Presumably, this was not allowed.

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mr cheesy
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quote:
Originally posted by quetzalcoatl:


But it seems reasonable to say that I would kill him, but still object to state violence, and hence war. Presumably, this was not allowed.

AFAIU the CO panels in the UK were set up so that CO status was only given to applicants who had a principled objection to war in the abstract rather than this particular war or this particular action.

If one made it clear that they would fight in some wars, just not this one, they weren't considered CO.

Incidentally, this seems to be the line that Israel is currently taking with kids who refuse to join the IDF to fight in the occupied Palestinian territories. If the recruits say that they'd fight to protect Israel, but not in the oPts, they're considered not to be COs and are imprisoned.

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quetzalcoatl
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You are entitled to use force, but it has to be proportionate. Hence, I can resist a burglar with violence. Or resist a thug on the street with violence.

I don't have to wait for the police to arrive to decide this.

I don't see the problem, unless one is opposed to all violence, and mr cheesy's criticisms of that seem well-founded to me.

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mdijon
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quote:
Originally posted by Eutychus:
In what way are the words used not equivalent?

The word equivalent when applied to words in such different context is about as helpful as saying that the letters used in Mein Kampf and Letter from Birmingham City Jail are the equivalent letters, just in different orders.

Technically correct as a statement but quite misleading.

Having said that, given the mood in much of the Republican party at present, it seems to me that non-violent resistance may be a superior tactic. Not on principled grounds, but simply on pragmatic grounds that it is much more likely to bring the mainstream Republicans on board.

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Barnabas62
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The law allows all of us proportionate self-defence against an attacker. The key word is proportionate.

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mr cheesy
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quote:
Originally posted by quetzalcoatl:
You are entitled to use force, but it has to be proportionate. Hence, I can resist a burglar with violence. Or resist a thug on the street with violence.

I don't have to wait for the police to arrive to decide this.

I don't see the problem, unless one is opposed to all violence, and mr cheesy's criticisms of that seem well-founded to me.

I don't think the argument is based around the law, it is based on some uber-spiritual stuff which says that the Christian gets contaminated if they get too involved in violence.

But the extension to that is that somehow inaction is moral. Doing something which might leave the Nazi with a minor bump on the head is not as ethical as doing nothing to him - even though the latter means that he's free to go and murder some more people.

[ 20. August 2017, 14:54: Message edited by: mr cheesy ]

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mr cheesy
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quote:
Originally posted by Barnabas62:
The law allows all of us proportionate self-defence against an attacker. The key word is proportionate.

If a Nazi with a sub-machine gun is running towards you and intending to kill you and/or anyone else, then the use of a piece of 2x4 to stop him is almost always going to be proportionate.

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quetzalcoatl
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quote:
Originally posted by mdijon:
quote:
Originally posted by Eutychus:
In what way are the words used not equivalent?

The word equivalent when applied to words in such different context is about as helpful as saying that the letters used in Mein Kampf and Letter from Birmingham City Jail are the equivalent letters, just in different orders.

Technically correct as a statement but quite misleading.

Having said that, given the mood in much of the Republican party at present, it seems to me that non-violent resistance may be a superior tactic. Not on principled grounds, but simply on pragmatic grounds that it is much more likely to bring the mainstream Republicans on board.

I see most of this stuff as about pragmatics. I don't have a principled commitment to violence!

But if someone starts using it towards me, I will probably resist violently. But marches and demonstrations are pretty complicated and messy. If a bunch of Nazis start advancing on my group, what do we do? Running away is OK, of course, but so is standing firm, and so is threatening them, and carrying it out. But we don't have time for a philosophical debate.

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mr cheesy
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This is the thing that naive people don't seem to realise when they spout nonsense about non-violence.

Violence when protecting the innocent is always proportionate when faced with someone who is highly likely to murder them. And if he's carrying a large gun and has said that he's intending to kill people then that's a reasonable conclusion.

Violence is not wrong in the abstract, non-violence is not always better.

It is very often better because many people go far too quickly to reach for extreme tools. It is very often better because people find it hard to be proportionate. It is often better because there are other consequences as to the choices one makes in resisting a potential murderer.

But it is simply not the case that using non-violence as an excuse to refuse to engage with a violent murdering thug is by definition more ethical, more spiritual, closer to the Sermon on the Mount etc.

That's commonly known as bollocks.

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quetzalcoatl
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Sounds like masochism to me.

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Martin60
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quote:
Originally posted by quetzalcoatl:
You are entitled to use force, but it has to be proportionate. Hence, I can resist a burglar with violence. Or resist a thug on the street with violence.

I don't have to wait for the police to arrive to decide this.

I don't see the problem, unless one is opposed to all violence, and mr cheesy's criticisms of that seem well-founded to me.

Nobody here disagrees with him that I can see: it doesn't apply.

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mr cheesy
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quote:
Originally posted by Martin60:
Nobody here disagrees with him that I can see: it doesn't apply.

How does it not apply?

Really, wtf are you talking about? Did you not see the pictures, the videos, read the eyewitness accounts?

Is there any real doubt that the Charlottesville Nazis came with weapons and the intention to kill people?

[ 20. August 2017, 15:11: Message edited by: mr cheesy ]

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Martin60
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I'm sorry?

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mdijon
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quote:
Originally posted by quetzalcoatl:
Sounds like masochism to me.

They said that about Gandhi too.

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