Is there such a thing as good violence and bad violence?
In a sense, yes. Violence in self-defense against the already violent (or those who credibly threaten violence) can arguably be considered good violence. But the initiation of violence is not.
Fair and reasonable people can somehow wrap their minds around this point. It requires some reflection, but it’s not rocket science, either.
And yet that’s not what the new breed of terrorists are now saying. I’m referring to the fascists who claim to be against fascism, currently known as “Antifa”.
Mark Bray, author of Antifa: The Anti-Fascist Handbook, says that “antifa isn’t concerned with free speech or other liberal democratic values” – because “fascism cannot be defeated through speech”.
Antifa matters, because — unlike white supremacy groups — it’s a movement growing in strength. It has managed to literally stop conservative or libertarian speakers from appearing on college campuses. While you might not agree with conservative or libertarian thinkers, they are not white supremacists, fascists or Nazis. But to Antifa radicals, all dissenting opinion is fair game. And in places like Berkeley, California and elsewhere, even the police are starting to stand down and let them have their way.
Think about that. “Fascism cannot be defeated through speech”. Fascism refers to an idea. The idea is that a totalitarian society, including government control of the economy, is a good and necessary thing.
Ideas are of no relevance to the anti-fascist — only brute force is. Yet how does this make the anti-fascist any different from the fascist? They agree on the central point: Reason — and therefore free speech — is irrelevant. Only brute force matters.
Do you see the irony and contradiction here? We have anti-fascists who claim that reason, thinking and ideas are of no value in refuting ideas they deplore. The only option left is brute force. That’s why they promote the initiation of violence against people who do all kinds of things that are not violent — things such as vote for Donald Trump, attend a Trump rally, support lower taxes, support decreases in government regulation and the other things anti-fascists now label as “fascism”.
The reasoning is like this:
“If I don’t like what you think, then it’s fascism.”
“Fascism is evil because it promotes hate and violence. The only way to stop hate and violence is with hate and violence. And to be a fascist, you don’t have to necessarily be hateful or violent. All you have to do is disagree with me.”
It’s madness. It’s also unjust. And it’s the starting point for any totalitarian society.
I would never suggest that any idea be made illegal. Only actions are illegal, in a free society. However, some ideas are dangerous. The most dangerous idea of all is that reason and speech are impotent at persuading people to change their minds and ideas. Early twenty-first century fascists — ludicrously calling themselves anti-fascists — have declared that any ideas they dislike can only be met with brute force.
If there’s any fascist movement threatening American liberty today, Antifa is it.
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