Author Topic: First they came for the right wing bloggers...  (Read 29882 times)

Re: First they came for the right wing bloggers...
« Reply #1080 on: December 03, 2018, 05:15:25 PM »
Is the protest in France a good look? Civil disobedience is never a good look. Nothing the left will ever do with any material significance is a good look because the left are not in a position to manufacture controversy like capital interests are. What is your idea of demonstration that is both i) a good idea/has good optics, and ii) hits the thing you are protesting against where it hurts? Not strikes, that's for certain. Not destruction of property. Not screaming into peoples' faces. Blocking people from their commute in protesting climate change? No, the theoretical commoner will be easily manipulated into disliking all of those things.
 
You're talking about actionism, pseudo-activity. I presume then, that you are able to offer an alternative. Because pseudo-activity is surely better than no activity.

Pseudo-activity is at least as bad as no activity as it enables the very things it's puporting to oppose, and in the case of anti-trumpism and anti-fascism makes a distraction from the actvity of education, organisation and serious and constructive activism (sorry, I'm paraphrasing Chomsky here, but he's right.)

You can sit-in, stand up and make your moral stand and presence felt without screaming in people's faces, initiating violence or breaking windows. You can also do that while being prepared to defend yourself from attack. I'm not concerned with 'good looks' or 'optics' but I do think that non-violent protest is far harder for the media to portray as fanatical than throwing bricks, and the Civil Rights movement is an example of how non-violent civil disobedience can make it very difficult for the organs of publicity to portray you in a negative way. It's much harder for the organs of capital to manufacture anything when you're not manufacturing it yourselves.

This years teacher's strikes in the US actually received mostly favourable coverage in the media as well as public support, as did the school student's anti-gun protests, remarkably so in the case of the teachers given how unpopular their strikes usually are. It helped that they both articulated their case very well.

Given the extremity of the situation, of which we're at last being reminded almost every day by the BBC et al, I do think it's possible the Extinction Rebellion road blockers can help raise consciousness of the need for action from below, however much newspapers try to twist things against them. They're linking their action to ideas of social change which is necessary if extinction is to have a chance of being averted. They are helping force discussion, but if their action was violent that would not be the case.

Re: First they came for the right wing bloggers...
« Reply #1081 on: December 03, 2018, 06:21:24 PM »
You can sit-in, stand up and make your moral stand and presence felt without screaming in people's faces, initiating violence or breaking windows. You can also do that while being prepared to defend yourself from attack. I'm not concerned with 'good looks' or 'optics' but I do think that non-violent protest is far harder for the media to portray as fanatical than throwing bricks, and the Civil Rights movement is an example of how non-violent civil disobedience can make it very difficult for the organs of publicity to portray you in a negative way. It's much harder for the organs of capital to manufacture anything when you're not manufacturing it yourselves.

I mean, the Civil Rights Movement is a decent example, but you're forgetting the fact that when anyone demonstrates for any social justice, there are going to be right-wing thugs taking advantage of things like the attitudes you are outlining. And when people demonstrating inevitably do something in self-defense, guess what's going to be blown up in the media? And this is not just me rambling, look at this appalling thing from CNN, ostensibly a liberal outlet: https://i.imgur.com/rYO28VQ.jpg

Here you have a clear-cut case: a white nationalist drove a car deliberately into a crowd of anti-racists. Can you imagine the CNN wording it the same way during one of the Islamist truck terror attacks?

Again, there really isn't anything the left can do to avoid being maligned. It's going to happen regardless. The same idiots are going to be manipulated either way, the meta-discourse on the best way to protest (within reason) is just discouraging people from doing anything.

By the way, there were absolutely violent protests during the Civil Rights Movement. Rosa Park endorsed it, as did Robert Williamson (NAACP leader in North Carolina), as did Malcolm X, as did Fred Hampton.

From Wikipedia:
"After the acquittal of several white men charged with sexually assaulting black women in Monroe, Williams announced to United Press International reporters that he would "meet violence with violence" as a policy. Williams' declaration was quoted on the front page of The New York Times, and The Carolina Times considered it "the biggest civil rights story of 1959.

[...]

Martin Luther King Jr. argued for Williams' removal,[60] but Ella Baker[61] and WEB Dubois[4] both publicly praised the Monroe leader's position.

[...]

University of North Carolina historian Walter Rucker has written that "the emergence of Robert F Williams contributed to the marked decline in anti-black racial violence in the U.S....After centuries of anti-black violence, African Americans across the country began to defend their communities aggressively—employing overt force when necessary. This in turn evoked in whites real fear of black vengeance..." This opened up space for African Americans to use nonviolent demonstration with less fear of deadly reprisal.[66] Of the many civil rights activists who share this view, the most prominent was Rosa Parks. Parks gave the eulogy at Williams' funeral in 1996, praising him for "his courage and for his commitment to freedom," and concluding that "The sacrifices he made, and what he did, should go down in history and never be forgotten.""

Now, the moral of the story is that you cannot have non-violent resistance to someone with no conscience. Remove Black Panthers and self-defence as a tactic, and there would be no Civil Rights Movement. No one would be up for it, knowing they could be beat to death by racist thugs with no moral compass whatsoever, who additionally had the support of the FBI. Again, case in point: King, the non-violent protestor, was tried goaded into suicide by the FBI. Seemingly not worried about his non-violent status - nothing the left does is ever part of the equation at all.


Paul Calf

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Re: First they came for the right wing bloggers...
« Reply #1082 on: December 03, 2018, 06:28:12 PM »
Quote
Here you have a clear-cut case: a white nationalist drove a car deliberately into a crowd of anti-racists. Can you imagine the CNN wording it the same way during one of the Islamist truck terror attacks?


As he's standing trial, it's probably not a good idea to prejudge the verdict.

Re: First they came for the right wing bloggers...
« Reply #1083 on: December 03, 2018, 08:13:24 PM »
Under the usual bullshit title, Spiked reveals that it receives funds from the Koch brothers. What a surprise. Free speech for far-right libertarians now!

https://www.spiked-online.com/2018/12/03/the-new-mccarthyism-is-ruining-public-life/

Re: First they came for the right wing bloggers...
« Reply #1084 on: December 03, 2018, 08:28:30 PM »
I mean, the Civil Rights Movement is a decent example, but you're forgetting the fact that when anyone demonstrates for any social justice, there are going to be right-wing thugs taking advantage of things like the attitudes you are outlining. And when people demonstrating inevitably do something in self-defense, guess what's going to be blown up in the media? And this is not just me rambling, look at this appalling thing from CNN, ostensibly a liberal outlet: https://i.imgur.com/rYO28VQ.jpg

Here you have a clear-cut case: a white nationalist drove a car deliberately into a crowd of anti-racists. Can you imagine the CNN wording it the same way during one of the Islamist truck terror attacks?

Is that not a case of CNN avoiding predudicing the trial though (as I think Paul Calf is suggesting). The murder of Heather Heyer was generally reported as a 'killing' or an 'attack', and everyone apart from far-right imbeciles will have perceived it as such. It will be reported as murder when Fields is convicted of it. I really don't think that's an example of what you're arguing.

Quote
Again, there really isn't anything the left can do to avoid being maligned. It's going to happen regardless. The same idiots are going to be manipulated either way, the meta-discourse on the best way to protest (within reason) is just discouraging people from doing anything.

It will only discourage people from doing anything if they've got a phobia of for thinking. MLK aand others in the Civil Rights Movement thought hard about the right and ways to act which were appropriate to the situations they were faced with, and they had a philosophy which informed what they did.

Quote
By the way, there were absolutely violent protests during the Civil Rights Movement. Rosa Park endorsed it, as did Robert Williamson (NAACP leader in North Carolina), as did Malcolm X, as did Fred Hampton.

From Wikipedia:
"After the acquittal of several white men charged with sexually assaulting black women in Monroe, Williams announced to United Press International reporters that he would "meet violence with violence" as a policy. Williams' declaration was quoted on the front page of The New York Times, and The Carolina Times considered it "the biggest civil rights story of 1959.

[...]

Martin Luther King Jr. argued for Williams' removal,[60] but Ella Baker[61] and WEB Dubois[4] both publicly praised the Monroe leader's position.

[...]

University of North Carolina historian Walter Rucker has written that "the emergence of Robert F Williams contributed to the marked decline in anti-black racial violence in the U.S....After centuries of anti-black violence, African Americans across the country began to defend their communities aggressively—employing overt force when necessary. This in turn evoked in whites real fear of black vengeance..." This opened up space for African Americans to use nonviolent demonstration with less fear of deadly reprisal.[66] Of the many civil rights activists who share this view, the most prominent was Rosa Parks. Parks gave the eulogy at Williams' funeral in 1996, praising him for "his courage and for his commitment to freedom," and concluding that "The sacrifices he made, and what he did, should go down in history and never be forgotten.""

Now, the moral of the story is that you cannot have non-violent resistance to someone with no conscience. Remove Black Panthers and self-defence as a tactic, and there would be no Civil Rights Movement. No one would be up for it, knowing they could be beat to death by racist thugs with no moral compass whatsoever, who additionally had the support of the FBI. Again, case in point: King, the non-violent protestor, was tried goaded into suicide by the FBI. Seemingly not worried about his non-violent status - nothing the left does is ever part of the equation at all.

Yes, absolutely, and those actions, which were overwhelmingly ones of self-defence against white mobs, were appropriate responses to the particular circumstances, in that case of being under direct physical attack, or immediate threat of it..

The question is - are those tactics the right ones in the case of of two right-wingers with racist links having breakfast in a cafe, or to a fascist demonstration that isn't initiating physical violence? Is it right to actively prevent Charles Murray from speaking at a meeting on a college campus, using tactics of disruption, intimidation and some violence?

An alternative form of protest I've seen is a mass timed walk out during a lecture by some right-wing speaker (unfortunately I can't remember the specific occasion). That makes a powerful statement as far as I'm concerned.

In 1981, at a time when the National Front and other fascist groups were still strong, David Irving the Hitler apologist historian, came to speak at my university. The hall was absolutely packed with mostly lefty students, and we listened to him with just one or two interruptions. At the end of the lecture students got up and asked him questions, some of which he didn't deal with well, and at one point was provoked into saying something pretty explicitly racist, which blew his respctable cover somewhat.

I think that approach is usually better and more effective, and tbh, when I've recently watched on a Channel 4 documentary masked young activists attempt to break up a feminist meeting by breaking in and intimidating the people attending, it makes me doubt the validity of such tactics even more.

Jobotic:
Quote
Free speech for far-right libertarians now!

Yes, certainly. Would you suggest otherwise?

Re: First they came for the right wing bloggers...
« Reply #1085 on: December 03, 2018, 09:12:53 PM »
Yes, certainly. Would you suggest otherwise?

you know that's not what jobotic is saying, why keep doing this

Re: First they came for the right wing bloggers...
« Reply #1086 on: December 04, 2018, 12:33:40 AM »
you know that's not what jobotic is saying, why keep doing this

I suggest you let jobotic answer for himself. I thought his rhetoric was not thought through.

There's just been a quite interesting discussion going on in response to 'disingenuous faux-naif concern trolling'. I hope you don't object, it's the sort of thing I hope for when I 'keep doing this'.

Re: First they came for the right wing bloggers...
« Reply #1087 on: December 04, 2018, 12:37:31 AM »
it wasn't thought through because it was clearly flippant and not a definitive statement, that is obvious to everyone except you for some reason

i don't object to the discussion, for the record, i know that you're always looking for an opportunity to state your opinions at length. nothing wrong with that, that's what the board is for. but these faux-naif questions always seem dishonest 

Re: First they came for the right wing bloggers...
« Reply #1088 on: December 04, 2018, 05:39:45 PM »
Yes, absolutely, and those actions, which were overwhelmingly ones of self-defence against white mobs, were appropriate responses to the particular circumstances, in that case of being under direct physical attack, or immediate threat of it..

The radical right-wing is violent in their nature. Their "blood and soil" ideology is violent. Saying "Jews will not replace us" while marching in the streets with lit torches absolutely is a threat of violence. The Holocaust didn't start at Auschwitz. The fascists will absolutely use norms like "free debate" as leverage against opposition, until they don't need to anymore.

The question is - are those tactics the right ones in the case of of two right-wingers with racist links having breakfast in a cafe, or to a fascist demonstration that isn't initiating physical violence? Is it right to actively prevent Charles Murray from speaking at a meeting on a college campus, using tactics of disruption, intimidation and some violence?

Fascism is a violent ideology. "Jews will not replace us" but peacefully is an oxymoron: ask any "respectable" and "nonviolent" fascist how they'll stop Jews from replacing them, or how they will establish the ethnostate they want without hurting unwelcome people who don't want to move, and you'll see.

A Nazi getting punched in the face for being a Nazi is unequivocally a good thing. Charles Murray is a great example, actually - the "sunlight is the best disinfectant" tactic you're arguing doesn't seem to have stopped him.

Twed

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Re: First they came for the right wing bloggers...
« Reply #1089 on: December 04, 2018, 06:24:20 PM »
Being made to focus on the wrong way to protest and the importance of "civility" is one of the tools of control. We should be chopping off heads.

chveik

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Re: First they came for the right wing bloggers...
« Reply #1090 on: December 04, 2018, 06:30:26 PM »
In 1981, at a time when the National Front and other fascist groups were still strong, David Irving the Hitler apologist historian, came to speak at my university. The hall was absolutely packed with mostly lefty students, and we listened to him with just one or two interruptions. At the end of the lecture students got up and asked him questions, some of which he didn't deal with well, and at one point was provoked into saying something pretty explicitly racist, which blew his respectable cover somewhat.

''blew his cover"? you already knew he was an holocaust denier! Do you still genuinely think that it was the best thing to do? Why didn't you protest against him coming in the first place? I'd be suspicious of an university who lets holocaust denier have a platform to speak. It would be unbearable for me to listen politely to someone like David Irving, without doing anything. You cannot have a rational discussion with these people (the same goes for the climate change sceptics), they only use pseudo arguments to push their agendas. I'm afraid that you're quite naive.

Funcrusher

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Re: First they came for the right wing bloggers...
« Reply #1091 on: December 04, 2018, 06:37:08 PM »
Wasn't David Irving still mostly considered to be a historian who knew a lot about Hitler in 1981?

chveik

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Re: First they came for the right wing bloggers...
« Reply #1092 on: December 04, 2018, 07:22:01 PM »
.

Re: First they came for the right wing bloggers...
« Reply #1093 on: December 04, 2018, 07:26:23 PM »
In 1981, at a time when the National Front and other fascist groups were still strong, David Irving the Hitler apologist historian, came to speak at my university. The hall was absolutely packed with mostly lefty students, and we listened to him with just one or two interruptions. At the end of the lecture students got up and asked him questions, some of which he didn't deal with well, and at one point was provoked into saying something pretty explicitly racist, which blew his respctable cover somewhat.

He came to talk at mine in 1983 or possibly '84. We planned at one stage to super glue the doors shut but that plan fell through and we had a sit in. About 40 students sat blocking the stairs and refused to move. The police had to carry us off one by one.

Hey Funcrusher - in 1981 he was a well known holocaust denying cunt. Typical of you to know fuck all about it though.

Funcrusher

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Re: First they came for the right wing bloggers...
« Reply #1094 on: December 04, 2018, 07:47:52 PM »
He came to talk at mine in 1983 or possibly '84. We planned at one stage to super glue the doors shut but that plan fell through and we had a sit in. About 40 students sat blocking the stairs and refused to move. The police had to carry us off one by one.

Hey Funcrusher - in 1981 he was a well known holocaust denying cunt. Typical of you to know fuck all about it though.

Thanks for your reply and enjoy the rest of your evening!

Re: First they came for the right wing bloggers...
« Reply #1095 on: December 04, 2018, 09:17:09 PM »
''blew his cover"? you already knew he was an holocaust denier! Do you still genuinely think that it was the best thing to do? Why didn't you protest against him coming in the first place? I'd be suspicious of an university who lets holocaust denier have a platform to speak. It would be unbearable for me to listen politely to someone like David Irving, without doing anything. You cannot have a rational discussion with these people (the same goes for the climate change sceptics), they only use pseudo arguments to push their agendas. I'm afraid that you're quite naive.

Irving put on a more respectable front at that time and got a couple of fairly equivocal reviews for his work from serious historians and others, while most decried him. He was not an overt holocaust denier at that stage - his line was that it happened but Hitler himself didn't know about it.

So Funcrusher is right to the limited extent that he was considered by some to be a historian who knew a lot about Hitler because he was, but that's not the whole story because he was a Hitler-excuser and rationalized and condoned many of Germany's actions. IIRC he described himself at the time as 'a mild fascist'.

The point of what the students did was to discredit him by asking difficult questions, and it was pretty successful, and his veneer did crack at least once. The man did not come accross well. The point of argument, as with many climate sceptics, was not to change his mind, but to expose them for what they were. In that case it was not naive, it worked quite well. A woman in the hall made a short and impassioned speech about 'never again' and I think that would have had an effect on people listening.

You can undermine and expose a lot of these people in those sorts of circumstances.

There are right-wingers all over the web exploiting and capitalising on any hint or actual instance of censorship, violence or suppression of the right, and it's helping the process of 'red-pilling' a lot of people. I think it's not generally the right approach or tactic by the left, and it's also being used against feminists all over who students and left activists have decided are ideologically incorrect, which shows the road it can lead down.

Funcrusher

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Re: First they came for the right wing bloggers...
« Reply #1096 on: December 04, 2018, 10:52:41 PM »
Irving put on a more respectable front at that time and got a couple of fairly equivocal reviews for his work from serious historians and others, while most decried him. He was not an overt holocaust denier at that stage - his line was that it happened but Hitler himself didn't know about it.

So Funcrusher is right to the limited extent that he was considered by some to be a historian who knew a lot about Hitler because he was, but that's not the whole story because he was a Hitler-excuser and rationalized and condoned many of Germany's actions. IIRC he described himself at the time as 'a mild fascist'.


Well, exactly. Irving would never have had his books published or had any kind of public profile if he'd been out as a Holocaust denier from the off. I still dimly recall reading stuff in the papers when he started to to become more blatant and the mask slipped, but earlier on I gathered he was seen as a diligent oddball researcher of all things Hitler who made some unlikely claims. Typical of me to know fuck all about it though!