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Reblogged:No Good Guys in Charlottesville

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Conservative blogger "Ace" makes a great point about the disheartening recent events in Charlottesville and the greater context in which they occur:

... Identity Politics of all kinds are odious and poisonous to the individual -- if your value is your race or gender, well, you have branded yourself as someone of extraordinarily low value, haven't you?

But as John Sexton points out, you can't expect a culture to praise all sorts of Identity Politics -- flat-out racist groups and gender supremacists -- but say that one group doesn't get to play by the same rules.

Either it's all poisonous garbage, or it's all got something of merit to it.
Ace doesn't put it this way, but we also now have, with the Scalise shooting a few weeks ago, examples of domestic terrorism from both anti-liberty "sides" of the political spectrum. Regarding the white supremacists, it is indeed hardly surprising that, having been raised ignorant of American values and steeped in collectivism that some whites would end up behaving much as they have been taught -- and others have behaved lately:
The phrase "Blood and soil" is a Nazi reference but the rest of the arguments sounds a lot like the identity politics of the left, it's even couched in the premise of whites being a minority group in the near future. As for clearing the park for the "white identity rally" that's completely un-American. It's also reminiscent of the University of Missouri protesters who created a "black healing space" by asking whites to leave and the treatment of students at Evergreen College who were told they should not enter a room or speak up during a campus discussion because they were white. [links omitted]
It is wrong, but understandable on a level that some people, in reaction to feeling marginalized, would stand up for what they have been told they are all their lives. And it's very sad that, in doing so, they are abandoning -- or even failing to grasp in the first place -- their truest and most noble cultural -- does anyone actually understand the meaning of that term any more? -- heritage, that of free, individual Americans. The only loser in Charlottesville was what Ayn Rand called the smallest minority: the individual. That means you, me, and everyone, whether they know it or not.

-- CAV

P.S. Writing at The Federalist, Robert Tracinski argues in a similar vein, also discussing the role of the far-left protesters in this mess, further noting:
We are in a state of emergency, and it's because we're letting our political debate be defined on illiberal terms. We're supposed to either back the guys who try to re-enact Nuremberg, or we back the guys who whip themselves up into a frenzy to "punch Nazis" -- and define "Nazi" as anyone who disagrees with them. We either want technology companies to conduct ideological inquisitions, or we've got guys chanting "Blood and Soil." We take a vicious murder by a racist and turn it into another opportunity to score partisan political points on social media -- as if we want racism to be a partisan issue rather than a common cause that transcends party.

I wrote recently about the steps required to condition people to accept totalitarianism. One of those steps -- one of the last ones -- is that we get used to political differences being settled by a contest of force in the streets. We've been closer to that point before, during the 1960s, when the violent protests and race riots were far bigger. But that was the brink of a very deep precipice, and we should be doing everything we can, on both sides of the political debate, to pull back from it. [links and emphasis in original]
Read the whole thing.

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