Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Some Thoughts On Charlottesville

1. White nationalists held a rally. In America, everyone has the right to peaceably assemble and speak without fear of violence. The ACLU, to their credit, sued on their behalf to obtain a permit from the city to hold their rally. They had a right to be there.
2. Counter demonstrators planned to protest. They have every right to hold their protest as long as they don't violate the rights of others.
3. This is not the first time in American history that two hostile groups were set to protest. It is up to the government to protect peaceful protesters and "stand between" the groups to prevent violence - a procedure that has worked successfully in many places for a long time.
4. The government failed, either deliberately, as some have suggested, or through negligence, and both sides engaged in acts of violence towards one another as the situation got out of control. If the city and state's political leaders had acted properly, on principle, to protect the protesters on both sides, much of the violence could have been prevented.
5. While we can denounce the ideology of neo-nazis that were there, we should also denounce those counter-protesters that were there, not to hold a peaceful protest, but to shut down or violently disturb the other protest. Whatever you think of the "white nationalists," they had a right to their protest.
6. In fact, Antifa should not be granted the moral high ground because they opposed Nazis. In this instance, they may have opposed actual Nazis, but it should be understood that they think everyone that disagrees with them about anything is a Nazi!! They have attempted or succeeded in burning down cities and campuses and stifling speakers all over the country with whom they disagree, including moderate conservatives and academics.
7. Antifa is a Marxist mob that seeks to shout down or violently quash anyone with whom they disagree. They don't just oppose violent nazis, they oppose western civilization and American institutions and culture. They are the reds of old seeking to tear down and crush America. If news reports are right, they appeared to have initiated violence against the protesters in the park, just as they have initiated violence against their opponents all over the country.
8. There is no moral difference in principle between communists (antifa) and fascists (neo-nazis). Both seek to suppress individual rights, just in different ways. In this sense, both the neo-nazis and Antifa should be regarded as equally evil.
9. The actual right in this country, that is, constitutional conservatives, libertarians and others who value the American constitution, civil liberties, individual rights, and more broadly, western civilization, should disavow the so-called Alt Right, which, in fact, is not on the right. To the extent that the alt right seeks a society based on race and dictatorship, they properly belong on the left. Nazi stands for the National Socialists. These groups only fight over which race or which group should get to rule over the rest of us.
10. The root of this entire conflict is collectivism vs. individualism. Collectivism holds that individuals are determined solely by their membership in some group. Racism is one instance of collectivism. Individualism holds that each person is unique and independent and should be treated equally under the law. Collectivism leads to communism and fascism, and follows from the fact that Antifa and the neo-nazis are the same in principle. Individualism leads to individual rights and human flourishing.
11. While the original civil rights movement trended toward "colorblindness" in this regard, modern Marxist academics have tied their criticism of western civilization to race, i.e., "whiteness" or "white privilege" and stoked the flames of ethnic tribalism. If they continue to emphasize "whiteness" as a kind of Original Sin and push individuals towards racial identity, our society is doomed to ethnic warfare based on identity politics.
12. Race and the traditions of one's ancestors is not chosen. Willfully upholding principles of reason, individual rights, representative government, and celebrating the achievements of others, no matter what their race, within this tradition, or culture, is proper and an expression of objective values. We should be proud of western civilization and the remarkable human progress of the last several hundred years.
13. The Marxist left's desire to tear down western civilization is part of this battle. The current attempts to tear down monuments and purge western historical figures is a kind of new cultural revolution in the tradition of the Maoists that ended up murdering millions. The "confederates are evil guys" meme while, perhaps valid in a certain context, is a red herring. They will start with this and then begin tearing down Jefferson and Washington next, as Trump rightly pointed out. Judging historical figures, out of context, by today's standards (the standards themselves largely a result of the historical figures own work!) is preposterous, and their goal is the destruction of the American system, not opposition to the confederacy.
14. While the alt right decries this trend, and therefore could be confused with the actual right's opposition, the alt right believes that western civilization is product of race and heritage, not a value system freely chosen by any individual who seeks it out. Therefore, sympathy to the alt right should not be granted on this basis as their reverence for western civilization is not objectively based.
15. We should fight for the morality of individualism and a limited government based on the individual's right to life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness, and celebrate achievements within this context. We should oppose and reject those, on either side, who seek to tear us down, and be careful not to grant sanction to any group out of context.

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