Many people have recently opined about the justifiability of punching a Nazi(*) in the face. A surprising (to me) number of people are for it.(*)To clarify, unless we're talking about these six Nazis, at best there are 'neo-Nazis' these days, or 'jerks with hateful ideas who are dangerously close to the levers of power'.
I test the Nazi punch hypothesis out in my own mind, and I just find it hard to accept. I mean, what if it was a lady Nazi? In Romeo Must Die, Aaliyah wisely observes that "in America, if a girl is kicking your ass, you do not have to be a gentleman." Honestly, I'm egalitarian enough that if a boy or girl is kicking your ass, you do not have to be a gentleperson.
And yes, if a boy or girl is kicking that helpless person over there's ass, this probably requires some intervention.
But these rules are not just about kicks and asses. They should be good for punches and faces. "Hey you! Anonymous coward punching an unsuspecting guy in the face! What's wrong with you?"
Anyway, some dudes may have some archaic patriarchal misgivings about punching a lady Nazi. Perhaps they could do something else generally considered illegal or antisocial? Maybe they could throw rocks at them or grab their pussies? This new moral hypothesis opens up so many interesting questions!
But it's fraught with so many logistical difficulties. I mean, not every neo-Nazi will go to the trouble of tattooing 88 on his forehead. They might look like anybody! If only we could form an organization that could identify them based on objective criteria and make them wear distinctive clothing or something, so we'd know who to punch.
But there seem to be deeper flaws that worry me. A lot.
If we decide that, for a certain class of people, we no longer have to treat them with the usual rules of civility and humanity, it would seem (to avoid being hypocrites
) that other people could use this same hypothesis to justify treating other
classes of people as sub-human.
Wait a moment! Have I fallen into Bizarro world? Nazis treating certain classes of people as sub-human is one of the justifications
for treating them as subhuman. I have it all backward! It's not that we would be hypocrites to NOT allow other people to think this way in the future
. It's that other people thinking that way in the past
made US start to think like them
You can't fight an ideology by implicitly accepting its tenets. You are strengthening it by making it the only way of looking at the world.
Now some have correctly pointed out that neo-Nazis can be experts at using 'the System' to quash opposition. "Oh, we're the victims, save us, save us, Law & Order!"
So then I ask: Why the fuck would you fall into their trap by punching people on the street? Are you stupid?
The good guys also have some experts at using 'the System', from politicians to judges to civil rights lawyers. I'm neither, but I expect they would advise you to refrain from punching people in the face.
Because it does play into their trap. Punch a few Nazis, set fire to a building
, and the system might restrict the rights to "habeas corpus, freedom of expression, freedom of the press, the right of free association and public assembly, the secrecy of the post and telephone". In the name of security. To protect the crybabies.
And what is the goal of Nazipunch? What positive result is achieved?
When Obama was elected, the racists were gnashing their teeth, and afraid, and the left held out its hand and said:
And the dummies on the right were afraid Obama was going to grab their guns and put them in FEMA camps.
And so they hid in their bunkers, clutching their guns and bibles, despising the left, falling into their own groupthink, biding their time until... well, until their savior appeared. And they voted for him, to the astonishment of all those who thought they were safely and silently encapsulated in gun-lined bunkers where their unchallenged ideologies couldn't possibly hurt anybody.
And you know what? As dumb as they are, they played by the rules. In the state houses, the governor's mansions, the House and Senate, and now the White House. It's true that "democracy is the worst form of Government except all those other forms that have been tried from time to time".
Now the shoe is on the other foot.
And the other side is afraid Trump is going to grab their pussies and put them in death camps.
It's all very familiar. Not all that different
Now this is not to say that everything is fine. Trump's actions have real effects on pussies and Syrians and so on. But do you know how many pussies get contraception coverage on their insurance when you punch a Nazi?
If anything, it plays into the hands of crybaby Nazis.
If you are conspiracy minded, well... probably you have already written me off as a closet Nazi, but consider this.
We know the Russians want to create chaos in our country.
We know the Russians have worked hard to get the dumb-dumb right to distrust the government, distrust the mainstream media, and listen only to RT.com and Breitbart.
Fortunately, we on the left are waaaaay too smart to be manipulated by Russian propaganda. Right? Right? No one would be suckered in by the idea that democracy or free speech are inherently flawed concepts, and are better replaced by punches in the face. Angry moron Trump voters wanted to blow up the system. Only idiots would want to blow it up bigger.