Is it ok to punch a Nazi?
Well, first off, let’s not kid ourselves; this isn’t a conversation about Nazi’s. This is about those who are either opposed to you politically or those whom hold views that run counter to your own. Nazi is simply a place holder.
I don’t think there is a simpler way of communicating the idea of evil – what verbal short hand better communicates the concept of totalitarianism, fascism and cruelty? That’s probably why people take exception to the label.
So, is it ok to attack someone who is evil?
“Well, I have some questions,” I hear you cry. “What if they deserved it?”
If they deserved a thumping then they got what they deserved and it was no doubt cathartic for all concerned.
But was it right?
I don’t think so. I work with children and if one of them calls another a meanie pants and the other turns round and clobbers him then it is the child that did the hitting that’s going to get into the worst trouble, simply because they are the one that crossed over the line and made a verbal confrontation a physical one.
There’s a terrible chance for escalation in these things, and escalation begets escalation. Basically; Timmy hits Jonny, so Jonny is justified in getting Charlie and ganging up on Timmy, so therefore, Timmy is justified in squading up with Kevin and Marcus and making Jonny eat through a straw.
‘The actions of the other side justify the actions of our side’ is a terrible mantra that will see all involved sullied. It’s a problem and must be stopped before it has the opportunity to spread. And what is worse is that we, the people, have very limited ability to regulate justice and so we really suck at delivering it. This is why vigilantism is illegal. There’s a reason we laugh at those who live out in the wilderness and furiously mutter about the impending ‘real American war’ where they will ‘enact the true constitution’.
If only we had a pre-existing organisation that was empowered by the people to enforce and enact justice on our behalf.
Now, the State and its powers are not perfect, but they are better than anarchy. They are also better than a lot of other things. Are there oppressive and unjust aspects of the system? Yes, of course. Would it be nice to roll up there in a tank and blow it up? Yes, probably. Would we be right in doing that? Unless something pretty extreme happens, no.
“Alright, alright,” you say, “but we need to protect our communities and those marginalised by the actions of the Nazis.”
Then I applaud you for your public spiritedness. Would you consider helping these people with a contribution of your time to help run afterschool activities/homeless shelters/counselling hotlines and such for this community rather than squading up and looking for Jonny? Hell, even giving money or fundraising for the community would be better than punching people. Remember that all recorded life is a complicated game of PR, and as I have said before, Advertising Matters.
So, what is wrong with punching Nazis?
The same things that are wrong about punching communists, Maoist, liberals, libertarians, monarchists, separatists, anarchists and your dear old mum.
As soon as group x is no longer a minority then they will enact some retroactive justice and start walloping you in the name of their punched-parents.
But when is this all going to end?
I don’t think it is.
We all assumed that Trump and Brexit were the big tension breaks, the people saying ‘no, enough is enough’ and things would simmer down afterwards, but they’re just the operas overtures. To punish this metaphor a bit, the last twenty years has been the orchestra pit tuning up and flipping through their sheet music.
If I am any judge, and let’s face it I’m probably not even qualified for idle speculation here, I think the next ten years are going to be where the biggest fights are.
I’m going to make some predictions.
1 Trump’s presidency will be filled with violence.
I say this because the public are divided into two camps that either idolise or hate him with a few fringe elements that are sceptical of the claims each side makes. When one half of the population wants to fight the other half then you have the perfect conditions for violence based on political ideology.
There are those that want Trump dead based entirely on principal and those that want him dead based on his policy, and those who want him dead because they are convinced that he is Hitler reborn.
Such things do not make a stable foundation for a presidency.
So, what’s going to happen after that?
Well, Trump is going to look at all the people saying that they hate him and want him dead and very quickly going to decide that people want him dead. He will then take measures to deal with that. You see what I mean about justification for escalation?
2 There will be a culture war.
As I said before, the culture war that we have experienced thus far has been but the overture. What happens next will be worse. I don’t know what will happen exactly, nor do I think I can say in what form it will take, but I am beyond certain that the population of the UK and the US will continue to polarize.
3 Feminism/Social Justice culture will undergo a reform.
A call will be put out for orthodoxy. This will split the community into two factions – the eclectics and the conservatives. The eclectics will be like our current progressives except more so; more inclusive, more cooping, more collectivist. The conservatives will form a doctrine of sorts and get behind a figurehead. This will be the long awaited cult of Feminism. We don’t need to worry about these people. They will be the analogue of the Far Right’s militia folks. They’ll live out in communes somewhere and bother us in a very limited way.
The eclectics will, as I said, be just like the modern progressive, simply turned up to eleven with more hair dye and facial piercings. But, just like now, they will be the ones who get shit done. Oh, don’t get me wrong, they’re still going to be the useful idiots of their day, but they will just be more easily swayed to an idea. After all, we are breeding learned helplessness into them.
4 You will be intellectually dissected by those who seek to judge you.
You probably are already to be fair. I simply think it will happen with greater frequency due to the increase in social tension. No doubt folks will get better at doing it.
If you’re unfamiliar with what I mean, ‘intellectual dissection’ is where someone analyses what you have said (IE, I like bacon) and draws wildly divergent meaning from it (IE, you are a racist). You’ll see them post long and eloquent rationalisations about their hypothesis, all written in a manner that conveys that they JUST ARE right and you should shut up and agree that you are as vile and racist as they have declared you to be. Hell, you’ve probably done it yourself, I know I have. Its a douche bag thing to do, so stop it.
So what happen next?
Probably more of the shit that’s been happening so far.
All I can say is try no to get called a Nazi.