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White Supremacist Protest Violence

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This part is fine:

21 hours ago, 2046 said:

The whole argument of the DIM Hypothesis is based on the idea that different philosophical belief systems shaping definite cultural patterns, which then lead to certain political arrangements. 

This part is not:

21 hours ago, 2046 said:

"left" cultural beliefs. It need not be monolithic, although I'm unclear as to what that may mean. Cultural Marxism is an actual belief system with actual theorists, whose work can be critiqued separately. 

Cultural Marxism is not an actual belief. There is no cultural left either - or at least not any philosophical belief system (loose or unified) to point at. There are some general ideas that relate to each other, but nothing at all like your claim that they are in control. There is a leftward bias, sure. Domination though? There is none. The only "domination" is that the US is a mixed economy that sways to mass desires.

21 hours ago, 2046 said:

As far as Soros, I think I said Nazi party member, this is incorrect, I should've said collaborationist.

Ex-Nazi collaborationist?!

But no, it's not that interesting. Maybe a little, but money isn't the area we need to be worried about. It's the violence itself, and that white nationalism *is* more unified and actually able to attain dominance you are worried about.

Edited by Eiuol

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19 hours ago, 2046 said:

As far as Soros, I think I said Nazi party member, this is incorrect, I should've said collaborationist.

No, you shouldn't have. You should've refrained from throwing out that gratuitous smear altogether.

George Soros was a 14 year old ethnic Jew during the seven months the city he lived in (Budapest) spent under Nazi occupation.

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The popular YouTuber Sargon of Akkad (don't know much about him, he claimed to be a "thinking man's alt-centrist," though many people consider him alt-right) has posted a video reading from extended passages of the Ominous Parralels. At the end he summarizes his takes and comes to the conclusion that any political movement embracing anti-reason and altruism has the capacity to become Nazilike.

Ironically, looking from all the triggered Nazis the comments section, I'm almost more inclined to sympathize with the desire to punch Nazis. ("Jew book," etc.)

 

Edited by 2046

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17 minutes ago, 2046 said:

Ironically, looking from all the triggered Nazis the comments section, I'm almost more inclined to sympathize with the desire to punch Nazis. ("Jew book," etc.)

I don't think that's either ironic or unexpected -- I think it's a perfectly normal reaction. Here's another user's comment (Tranquilo):

"One look at your cancerous comment section and I'm starting to understand why leftists like punching Nazis. Absolute retards."

Exactly. What people who take this seriously (too seriously) fail to understand is that punching people who have not struck you first (even Nazis) -- which is to say the initiation of the use of force -- undermines the very argument of individual rights which we wish to preserve from the Nazis. This is why the Nazis must be protected in their rights of free speech, peaceful assembly, etc., etc., and why Antifa, and all those who want to "punch Nazis," are fundamentally wrong (apart from whatever other collectivist/socialist premises such individuals might also entertain).

Both Nazism and anti-Fascism (in the sense of initiating force against Nazis/violating their rights) are wrong and lead to the same place, eventually: fascism. But that is not to say that both groups (or individuals within those groups) are morally equivalent, at any given time or in any given place. The Nazis in that comment section are not morally equivalent to Tranquilo.

If an analogy might serve..? Stage one cancer and stage four cancer are both bad, and both will take you to the same place in the end, but stage one cancer is not the same thing as stage four cancer.

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2 hours ago, DonAthos said:

Exactly. What people who take this seriously (too seriously) fail to understand is that punching people who have not struck you first (even Nazis) -- which is to say the initiation of the use of force -- undermines the very argument of individual rights which we wish to preserve from the Nazis. This is why the Nazis must be protected in their rights of free speech, peaceful assembly, etc., etc., and why Antifa, and all those who want to "punch Nazis," are fundamentally wrong (apart from whatever other collectivist/socialist premises such individuals might also entertain).

I don't think the issue is punching Nazis per se for existing, but when a Nazi actually crosses into an objective threat. To those as radical as antifa, any pro-Nazi statement is a threat to their life or others. Other reasoning I've seen is that Hitler said that Nazi growth was allowed to grow and fester. On it's face, combat is a reasonable strategy when the enemy is known to turn violent once it gains a national following. Yet, as with combat, immediately resorting to violence is not always wiser. If some guy goes around spewing about a Jewish conspiracy, fine, but there is no threat. To an antifa, not assaulting that guy is to compromise with the enemy - they must be stopped!

The thing about allowing a Nazi a place to speak is we ARE able to identify some rhetoric to arouse cheers, as opposed to whose rhetoric will arouse violence. The FBI can and should be able to investigate if that person has terrorist intentions. Free speech isn't what counts in principle - what matters is if what people say will warrant investigation. Antifa is anti-police, so this isn't persuasive to them.

I don't want to engage in conspiracy here, that the "Left" is doing something to squelch us all, or that Soros is an ex-Nazi collaborator, or that the "Globalist Left" is dangerous. These aren't arguments, but fantasies and scapegoats. Neonazis and their white nationalist apologists have specific leaders, specific claims, and all this is out in the air in front of us. If all there is to show antifa as a major threat is hooligan behavior, it's not that horrifying. They aren't unified, and historically, they don't even try to unify. 

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2 hours ago, Eiuol said:

I don't think the issue is punching Nazis per se for existing, but when a Nazi actually crosses into an objective threat.

Not entirely certain where you're disagreeing with me, or even if you are... so I'm just going to respond broadly to the ideas you raise.

I don't advocate punching Nazis -- or anyone else -- except in retaliation/justice/self-defense, responding to force with force. But I have heard many people on the left say something to the effect that it is good to "punch a Nazi," meaning: to initiate the use of force against them. To me, that seems a fine shorthand for the Antifa mindset.

If a Nazi crosses into an objective threat -- meaning committing violence (including terrorism) or threatening to do the same -- then of course retaliatory violence is warranted. That goes for Antifa and everyone else.

2 hours ago, Eiuol said:

To those as radical as antifa, any pro-Nazi statement is a threat to their life or others.

Well, this is where "rights" come into play, which is why I'd said that Antifa wind up undermining their own efforts -- because their means of fighting against Nazis wind up undermining the very rights we otherwise mean to preserve, and thereby help to create fascism.

Otherwise, they're not wrong to see pro-Nazism as a threat to their life and others; that's exactly what the Nazis are. All irrationality is a threat to life, and the Nazis are a fairly explicit and extreme example of the fruits of irrationality. This is why we take these things so seriously. Why we argue against the Nazis with such vigor. And it is why we are so careful to suit our means to our ends. Because our lives are at stake.

Antifa are not wrong to see Nazis as villains which must be defeated; they are wrong to initiate the use of force against Nazis.

2 hours ago, Eiuol said:

Other reasoning I've seen is that Hitler said that Nazi growth was allowed to grow and fester. On it's face, combat is a reasonable strategy when the enemy is known to turn violent once it gains a national following. Yet, as with combat, immediately resorting to violence is not always wiser.

If we believe that force may only be used against force, retaliation in response to initiation, then we must respond to ideological threats accordingly. It certainly may be that any number of groups would turn more-or-less violent (by which I here mean: initiating the use of force) given sufficient power -- and actually this has been true, and remains true, of every ruling body in human history. We do not argue against that, in principle, by initiating force ourselves against them -- instead, if we adopt those same means, we surrender the essential fight, and we make it likelier that our own rights will be violated in turn.

2 hours ago, Eiuol said:

The thing about allowing a Nazi a place to speak is we ARE able to identify some rhetoric to arouse cheers, as opposed to whose rhetoric will arouse violence. The FBI can and should be able to investigate if that person has terrorist intentions. Free speech isn't what counts in principle - what matters is if what people say will warrant investigation. Antifa is anti-police, so this isn't persuasive to them.

The FBI should investigate both neo-Nazis and Antifa (to the extent that any Antifa organization actually exists, such that it can be investigated). No group that promotes the initiation of violence, either directly or in the abstract (or even in some hypothetical future), deserves any benefit of the doubt.

That said, I'm uncertain about the idea of "violent rhetoric" being an exception to free speech, or voiding one's right to "a place to speak." I would need to see an objective and specific threat before I could agree that force was initiated, and retaliatory force warranted, rather than any general rhetorical statement. Someone who says "all Jews should be put to death" (or "all Nazis" for that matter) is awful, but I cannot agree that they have initiated force against another -- not even if someone else decides to try to put that into practice.

2 hours ago, Eiuol said:

I don't want to engage in conspiracy here, that the "Left" is doing something to squelch us all, or that Soros is an ex-Nazi collaborator, or that the "Globalist Left" is dangerous. These aren't arguments, but fantasies and scapegoats. Neonazis and their white nationalist apologists have specific leaders, specific claims, and all this is out in the air in front of us. If all there is to show antifa as a major threat is hooligan behavior, it's not that horrifying. They aren't unified, and historically, they don't even try to unify. 

Yes.

I mean, I have no idea about George Soros, et al., but look: if Charlottesville (or to make this more likely, perhaps Seattle) had been a "Unite the Left" rally featuring not just wishy-washy college kid "socialists," but also actual, honest-to-God Maoists and Stalinists (and they exist), hoisting the Soviet flag, marching in the defense of "historical" statues of Marx and Lenin and Castro, chanting about eliminating the bourgeoisie, openly carrying weapons... and if one of them had run his car into a crowd of counter-protestors... and if the President (we may imagine Bernie Sanders in the role) had failed to offer any kind of direct criticism of the Communists involved, in part because he is perhaps relying upon their support... well, in that case, I think some of the people involved in this debate would see the situation a bit more clearly.

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Then we should do well to define when does a Nazi or Communist or whatever, pass into the realm of objective physical threat, such that force would be warranted in self-defense? Republicans and Democrats both are in political power, and both are using actual force to violate natural rights.

From an objectivist libertarian ethics perspective, is it okay to use force against Republicans and Democrats then? Most of us would likely say no. And yet, most of us would likely say that it's okay to assassinate Hitler at some point.

Rand said that she only advocated guerilla warfare when speech was censored or when the country became a dictatorship. But speech turns to organizing, and organizing turns to political power, then political power turns to actual violent force at some point. 

Antifa members, at least from my personal interactions, seem to blur all of those stages into one singular whole. Advocating anything they don't agree with is itself an aggression worthy of violent response (the concept of "microaggression.") May we offer a rebuttal theory instead?

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On August 17, 2017 at 4:52 PM, Grames said:

But he did.  The "problem" was that he did not take sides on this essentially leftist vs. leftist battle because he condemned both sides equally.

I suspect that merely because Trump is not black and not communist that some racists and fascists think that is inherently advantageous to them.  Trump can't do anything about that, nor should he be expected to apologize for being white and against communism.

   Trump should have responded to the frantic reporter who asked if he was putting the alt-left and the alt-right (the tiny racist minority therein) on equal moral footing, he should have said "ABSOLUTELY!"... ;)

How many more commie idiots are at all these stupid protests waving red flags? How many times have these Marxist clowns been busted faking hate crimes, impersonating Nazi's? How many white supremacist idiots have tenure in american universities? How many Marxist's??? 

This chimera of "white supremacy" is a farce.  

Edited by Plasmatic

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5 hours ago, Eiuol said:

To those as radical as antifa, any pro-Nazi statement is a threat to their life or others.

So too the is Constitutional Republican form of the U.S. Government.  Antifa does not draw a distinction between the two.

Edited by New Buddha

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26 minutes ago, Plasmatic said:

  How many more commie idiots are at all these stupid protests waving red flags? How many times have these Marxist clowns been busted faking hate crimes, impersonating Nazi's? How many white supremacist idiots have tenure in american universities? How many Marxist's???

Alt-left isn't a thing. It's merely a term used to invent a unified "other" identity based on fear that the radical left is as unified as the radical right. The radical right chose to unify as alt-right. There is no alt-left unity. 

The assault on us all through Marxists at universities is an imagined conspiracy. Their threat is exaggerated. Sure there are some - but no one is being indoctrinated.

Let's use reasonable arguments here. I agree white supremacy is exaggerated as a threat. But white nationalism is real and a threat, and  has real unity. An ideological threat, not a threat of force yet. The best thing to do is fight that philosophy with arguments. If you think I'm wrong about the threat of radical leftists being less bad, please make your case.

2 hours ago, DonAthos said:

well, in that case, I think some of the people involved in this debate would see the situation a bit more clearly.

I agree with your post for the most part. I think you gave a good counterfactual example of what I'd say is an ideological and political threat. Antifa and other radical leftists are far from that in reality, hence my position.

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6 hours ago, Eiuol said:

If all there is to show antifa as a major threat is hooligan behavior, it's not that horrifying. They aren't unified, and historically, they don't even try to unify. 

Eiuol,

If by, "they don't even try to unify" you mean that they don't have a political party, select candidates and run in general elections, then you are exactly right.  THEY ARE ANARCHISTS  for goodness sake.  To them every government is Fascist.  Both Hitler's Germany and the United States.  And everyone who participates in, or supports, government are Fascists as well - and this includes Objectivists.

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55 minutes ago, Eiuol said:

If you think I'm wrong about the threat of radical leftists being less bad, please make your case.

Plasmatic didn't say they were, "less bad."  He said:

2 hours ago, Plasmatic said:

 Trump should have responded to the frantic reporter who asked if he was putting the alt-left and the alt-right (the tiny racist minority therein) on equal moral footing, he should have said "ABSOLUTELY!"... ;)

1

I don't see how you can twist this to mean that he said one is "less bad" than the other.

Edited by New Buddha

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So, here's something I find funny...

Earlier in the thread, New Buddha had said:

On 8/19/2017 at 9:46 AM, New Buddha said:

Objectivism rejects the traditional Left vs. Right Axis - with Communism/Anarchism on the Left and Fascism on the Right - and Founding Fathers/Objectivism falling somewhere in between.  Communism/Anarchism/Fascism are philosophically identical.

And I agreed to this, in a certain sense -- that I reject the "left versus right" dichotomy. The reason why, when I compare Antifa to neo-Nazis (or the "alt-left" to the "alt-right"), or the sides more specifically in Charlottesville, that I find the "right" more worrisome (and more immoral) than the "left," is because that's my analysis of these specific, actual groups and individuals (whether I am right or wrong). But the "left" and "right" labels are otherwise meaningless to me, and I employ them for the sake of convention and ease of communication. I don't otherwise care about "left" or "right," and I would be just as happy if we considered Antifa to be a "far-right" group and the supporters of the Third Reich, etc., "far-left," or all of them on the "right," or all of them on the "left." They're all statists (or, as 2046 said, "socialists") to me.

But that's not the sense I get from others here. I think that it matters very much to some that Antifa is purportedly "left" and the groups they were protesting are "right"; I think that there are people in this thread who have perhaps long taken side with what they consider to be the "right." And perhaps even more specifically, with Donald Trump.

For instance, tenured Marxist professors are an interesting thing to discuss in relationship to the events in Charlottesville, or white supremacists in general. I had raised a hypothetical, wherein such academic Marxists (among others) organized a "Unite the Left" rally in the defense of the statues of communist leaders, marching with weapons through the streets and chanting communist slogans -- but it was only a hypothetical; so far as I'm aware, that didn't actually happen. The academic Marxists (troubling and destructive as they are) do not, so far as I can tell, seem to be organizing, rising up, or doing anything other than what they've been doing for the last century.

Meanwhile, if our actual response to this (real, happening) alt-right movement is, "But there are bad people on the left, too!" then not only are we buying into the false "left versus right" dichotomy, but we are apparently taking a side, and giving support to the alt-right by minimizing or obfuscating the very real threat that they represent to our society. After all, the alt-right marched, and they adopted the symbolism of Nazi Germany and the Confederacy. They are being given tacit support by the sitting President of the United States (and even if you don't believe he intends it as such, that seems to be how they are receiving it).

But perhaps that's the point: that folks here recognize this as true (on some level, at least) and mean to defend Donald Trump, even if that means providing cover for actual Nazis and racists along the way...

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10 hours ago, New Buddha said:

Plasmatic didn't say they were, "less bad."  He said:

You misread. I said he can show how I'm wrong that I think they are less bad.

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9 hours ago, DonAthos said:

The academic Marxists (troubling and destructive as they are) do not, so far as I can tell, seem to be organizing, rising up, or doing anything other than what they've been doing for the last century.

I don't know where one would draw the line between Marxist and run-of-mill leftist. The latter are completely mainstream. They don't have to organize around Lenin statues: they prescribe the textbooks and their students admire Bernie Sanders and praise Venezuela.

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1 hour ago, softwareNerd said:

I don't know where one would draw the line between Marxist and run-of-mill leftist.

For that matter, I'm sure we would have difficulty, too, drawing a line on a spectrum of color between green and blue. But green is green, not blue; and blue is blue, not green. There may be similarities between Marxists and "run-of-the-mill leftists," and similarities between Nazis and "run-of-the-mill rightists," but that does not make everyone on the left a Marxist anymore than everyone on the right is a Nazi.

1 hour ago, softwareNerd said:

The latter are completely mainstream.

And the run-of-the-mill rightist is not? Maybe this will come down to what we consider to be "mainstream," but if we consider the right to constitute about half of the country, and to hold power in the Executive, Legislative, Judicial and majority of State governments, and to dominate our rural areas, and the southern portion of our country, and to be strongly represented in our majority ethnicities and religions... well, I'd consider that fairly mainstream.

1 hour ago, softwareNerd said:

They don't have to organize around Lenin statues: they prescribe the textbooks and their students admire Bernie Sanders and praise Venezuela.

Do you mean that leftists prescribe textbooks and rightists do not? But if we're talking about run-of-the-mill rightists (who may or may not aspire to the school board), I'd guess that there are plenty of places in and across the country where there's watercooler talk in admiration of President Trump and praising the sort of nationalistic, populist garbage Trump and his ilk advocate. Why, it even happens on this board, to what ought to be our disgust.

I think it worth keeping in mind that when we discuss taking down statues of Robert E. Lee, et al., those statues (and parks and flags and associated memorials) only exist in the first place because the Confederacy was a real thing that existed in what is today this country, and because those societies chose to erect those statues (and maintain them thereafter) to celebrate that Confederacy and its institutions. Whatever Marxists have accomplished in academia (which was the specific context under discussion earlier -- tenured professors), and whatever the ills of the mixed economy, the United States has never been a Marxist country. It has countenanced actual human slavery, however. Not the metaphorical kind of slavery that we Objectivists like to lament, but the actual kind, with genuine chains and whips. And if that seems like a too-remote past to be worth our consideration, we have also had institutionalized racial discrimination in our laws, since our inception, until so recently that there are still people able to participate in these sorts of discussions who lived through those times, both suffering under it and causing others to suffer.

Whatever success Marxism has had in infiltrating this country, I'd guess it has been wildly less successful than the kind of racism that stood behind the Confederacy, and Jim Crow, under the sorts of banners that were yet again on the march at Charlottesville.

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Let me start from the point of view of moral parity. Objectivism holds that the apparatus of legal enforcement obtains its authority based on the rights of self defense of the governed. The government are agents with only delegated rights. They have no special privileges their agents don't have. Consequently, the criterion under which a government official committing a criminal act would apply the same as if the person committing that act were not a government official are the same. Being a government agent, in other words doesn't give you special immunity to commit what would otherwise be crimes, according to Rand. According to this ethics, any palpable threat of overt physical violence can be countered with self defense. 

There is also the legal conception of conspiracy that would apply if two or more persons made an agreement to commit some violent act in the future:

"In criminal law, a conspiracy is an agreement between two or more persons to commit a crime at some time in the future. Criminal law in some countries or for some conspiracies may require that at least one overt act must also have been undertaken in furtherance of that agreement, to constitute an offense."(I get this from Wikipedia.)

If we prescribe to the moral parity theory, suppose a group of partisans held, say, that the production of milk should be severely restricted. Suppose a political party promised to enact legislation to bring this about, then they would on objectivist grounds be advocating criminal acts. Mere advocacy would be free speech.

But suppose they ran in an election, won parliamentary seats, enacted legislation, brought about executive enforcement, and sent gendarmes to the milk factories to inspect output. Objectivists recognize this as criminal compulsion against business. But then at what point did they go beyond mere talk to criminal conspiracy? When can they be punched? Can the political partisans be punched by objectivists before the election or only after at some point? Only the actual office holders or the voters too? Or just the bureaucrats that enforce the law? Or just the milk inspectors or enforcers? Or nobody?

Thoughts?

(Administrative note: the foregoing is a thought experiment for the logical consequences of certain ethical postulates and apply only as deductions for the given postulates. I don't advocate punching anyone ever outside of the law.)

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This could be analogous to a trackless train with no conductor or engineer aboard the engine. While there are folk wearing the garb at the controls, it provides a pseudo level of comfort for the passengers providing them with a visual sensation of there being someone to get them to where they think they might be going.

Storming the engine room is going to be met with resistance. Engines are supposed to have conductors and engineers in them, and like the airline industry, the access has to be limited to such personale as required, on an as need basis, as well as to those wearing the conductor and engineer's caps. So even if you figured out that the pilot of the craft has flipped out and is on a suicide mission, access to the control room is not going to be that easily granted.

Acting on moral parity alone is akin to throwing oneself in front of the juggernaut.

Going beyond acting alone, the founding fathers gave notice to the rational actors on the scene at the time why moral parity was being invoked. Moral parity without justification of this type is akin to the alt-right/alt-left being buried in verbiage used to evoke emotional alignment with their respective positions, or so it seems to me at this point in the juncture.

Edited by dream_weaver

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23 hours ago, 2046 said:

But suppose they ran in an election, won parliamentary seats, enacted legislation, brought about executive enforcement, and sent gendarmes to the milk factories to inspect output. Objectivists recognize this as criminal compulsion against business. But then at what point did they go beyond mere talk to criminal conspiracy? When can they be punched? Can the political partisans be punched by objectivists before the election or only after at some point? Only the actual office holders or the voters too? Or just the bureaucrats that enforce the law? Or just the milk inspectors or enforcers? Or nobody?

Thoughts?

To me, all such questions fundamentally resolve as: when does the individual have the right to defend himself against the initiation of force? And my answer to that question is: always.

The specifics of how that defense may best be prosecuted depend upon a wealth of complicated information, and upon what we may expect, in reality, to follow from our choices. If a group of Objectivists could found Galt's Gulch in all of its glory tomorrow, and successfully defend it against foreign invasion, etc., then would there be a good (i.e. moral) reason why they ought not do so? I think not. But that is not to say that it would be good to throw up some compound today and stockpile arms, etc., because in reality that would only lead to destruction (and to be frank, I'm not yet convinced that the Objectivist community is ready to found their own nation in any event; we have a lot of work yet to do).

A milk producer has every right to defend himself against those who come to collect, but morality further requires that he only do so without self-sacrifice, without self-immolation. Currently my life, and I expect the lives of most people (especially within the context of a country like the US), runs far more smoothly with general adherence to the law. That said, if someone's life could be improved, in reason, through disobedience to the law -- well, what is the reason why he ought not act to improve his life? To what greater good would we ask him to sacrifice his own, personal interests?

As to the question of whether those who vote for the initiation of force are responsible for that initiation of force, of course they are (as are the bureaucrats and enforcers). But the use of force in self-defense -- which is a topic that I believe could stand far more examination in Objectivist circles -- is not a free-for-all. That force has been initiated does not, I believe, justify retaliatory force outside of the reasonable expectation that something better can be won by it (and in no case would it ever justify the targeting of the innocent); the fight to create Galt's Gulch may be justified, in certain contexts, but terrorism would not.

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Indeed, I don't think it can be justified from an objectivist point of view to ever punch a political partisan, or club them with sticks, or suppress their speech or rallies, etc. There are still the concept of procedural rights, that proper procedures must be followed, even regarding the case of defense from immediate harm. 

The doctrine of self defense was developed through the common law process over centuries through application of principle to the particular milieu of various situations. Applying concepts of self defense outside of that process seems entirely subjective, with exceptions for civil disobedience in authoritarian states suppressing normal legal methods. 

I wonder if, then, in a republican state with a broadly objectivist/libertarian legal system, would Nazi and socialist parties be banned? Not banned from existing per se, as that would run afoul of private speech. But banned from participating in elections and holding parliamentary seats. (Of course so would interventionist parties like Rs and Ds by the same reasoning.)

You might say, this is irrelevant to reality, but the Pinochet regime in Chile, for example, faced this exact historical question.

The Allende regime was democratically elected and instituted a socialist planned economy. Industry was nationalized, private property seized, all entrepreneurs had to submit to the economic planning board. Mass unemployment and starvation resulted. Workers called a general strike and bread lines and riots followed. Allende promised a referendum on his policies, but when the date came no such election was held. Parliament then asked the military to step in. Pinochet, commander of the Army, removed the democratic socialist party, arresting all party leaders. Allende committed suicide rather than be taken prisoner. The socialist parties were banned and markets freed, prices restored, industry privatized. The "Chilean miracle" followed. Of course many human rights abuses were commited by Pinochet's regime as he went beyond arresting socialist party officials, and kidnapped intellectuals, artists, community organizers, scientists, just about anyone who expressed Marxist ideas. But aside from this overreach, is there really anything wrong with banning the socialists from participating in elections?

Edited by 2046

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41 minutes ago, 2046 said:

Indeed, I don't think it can be justified from an objectivist point of view to ever punch a political partisan, or club them with sticks, or suppress their speech or rallies, etc. There are still the concept of procedural rights, that proper procedures must be followed, even regarding the case of defense from immediate harm. 

The doctrine of self defense was developed through the common law process over centuries through application of principle to the particular milieu of various situations. Applying concepts of self defense outside of that process seems entirely subjective, with exceptions for civil disobedience in authoritarian states suppressing normal legal methods.

Broadly, I agree.

41 minutes ago, 2046 said:

I wonder if, then, in a republican state with a broadly objectivist/libertarian legal system, would Nazi and socialist parties be banned? Not banned from existing per se, as that would run afoul of private speech. But banned from participating in elections and holding parliamentary seats. (Of course so would interventionist parties like Rs and Ds by the same reasoning.)

Rather, I would say that the political aims which we would see as characteristically Nazi or socialist (or liberal or conservative), that is anti-liberty, would be constitutionally disallowed. Rand wrote about a "separation of state and economics" (or something to that effect), and given such a separation, there would be no (constitutional) reason why a Nazi or a socialist could not perform the legitimate offices of government. Assuming that those offices were subject to election, recall, impeachment, etc., then a Nazi or socialist who acts as a Nazi or socialist could not expect to hold office long or do much damage while in power... of course, this is assuming two further things:

1) A proper system of checks and balances.

2) A culture which supports liberty.

Given these things: a constitution enshrining liberty, proper checks and balances on our political institutions, and a culture which further supports liberty, then I think we have nothing left to fear from Nazis or socialists in the political sphere.

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6 hours ago, DonAthos said:

Here's a recent, well-written article touching on many of the topics discussed in this thread.

The article parallels the way many people think of Hitler's Germany vs Lenin or Stalin's Russia or Mao's China, and argue that Hitler was worse.

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From the article DonAthos referenced:

As protesters clash in occasionally violent street confrontations that spread via online video, provoking emotional conversations that could touch almost anyone on Facebook or Twitter, millions of Americans feel pressure to pick a side, to support or denounce a faction, knowing that whatever they say about white supremacists, Antifa, or Black Lives Matter, they risk being criticized for failing to condemn violence on “their side,” or for suggesting a false equivalence between groups.

Pressure to pick as side or failing to condemn violence on "their side"? This seems to brush aside "the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances."

And it's not just in this sphere.

The inability to resolve disagreement via rational discourse earned the headline Walmart: Place where you can shop and brawl, which is also peppered with those who are out just looking for conflict.

Edited by dream_weaver

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1 hour ago, softwareNerd said:

The article parallels the way many people think of Hitler's Germany vs Lenin or Stalin's Russia or Mao's China, and argue that Hitler was worse.

Could you provide any specific reference to help me see the point you're making?

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