The Battle for Berkeley 3.0 Was a Fight Against Antifa

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Re: The Battle for Berkeley 3.0 Was a Fight Against Antifa

Postby Michael on Tue May 02, 2017 10:40 am

Steve James wrote:
It is one of the basis for his dreams of a white, European ethno-state located in North America in the somewhat near future.


Do you think he means a "state" like North Carolina or a "state" like the United States? What do you think about his dream?

A state like the United States.

It's such a radical idea to me that it's difficult to even begin to comprehend what he's talking about. My immediate reaction is something like the secession of the Confederacy and that it couldn't occur without either a civil war or the near total debilitation of the federal government to prevent it. I get flashbacks to "Children of Men" (2006).
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Re: The Battle for Berkeley 3.0 Was a Fight Against Antifa

Postby BruceP on Tue May 02, 2017 10:57 am

Ian C. Kuzushi wrote: I thought this was a discussion board. I engage with people who are interested in honest dialogue


Because honest dialogue usually starts off with nazis and hitler holding the bar, right?
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Re: The Battle for Berkeley 3.0 Was a Fight Against Antifa

Postby Steve James on Tue May 02, 2017 11:03 am

A state like the United States.


He means "the United States." The "ethno-national" United States is quite old. It's just that "ethno" is a euphemism ;) What's an "ethnic" American? Would Apaches, Iroquois, Ute, Lakota, Inuit, Aleut be considered "ethnic" Americans? If so, would they be allowed in Spencer's state? Saying that it's radical is ok, but that doesn't mean that it can't be a political ideology (which his form of "ethno-nationalism" is). One might argue then that it's just another political ideology like liberalism. Well, that works in theory; putting it into practice makes all the difference.
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Re: The Battle for Berkeley 3.0 Was a Fight Against Antifa

Postby Michael on Tue May 02, 2017 11:15 am

Ian C. Kuzushi wrote:First, I don't think punching despicable people is the way to go, but I understand why people would do it. Thought I made that clear a few times.

Yes, that's understood.

Also, I understand that you and some other people think that Spencer and his ilk are intelligent and well educated. It's a funny thing. These traits are possessed on a spectrum. People on the lower end of the spectrum will often think people smarter than they are brilliant--others might be impressed by a suit and slicked hair. The internet seems to have hugely exacerbated this phenomenon. Everyone thinks they are just as smart and just as educated as everyone else.

Your smugness reminds me of the race realists talking about the low IQ countries. Oh, you simpletons, you just don't know anything about the first amendment or the spectrum of intelligence. "Spencer and his ilk", as you call them, are attempting to persuade, so perhaps their intelligence at persuasion is what I was referring to. It's my fault, though. I was using a comparison with Trump earlier and I thought that was a give away to the intelligence of salesmanship.

Finally, do you really think that "ethnic redistribution" following the Great War was A) successful, or, B) peaceful? See, that's just a case of you buying what a guy who is better educated than you, but not as educated as the people you should look to for information on such matters, says.

Because it is completely irrelevant, I have not offered my opinion about redistricting after World War 1 and therefore you have assumed incorrectly.

So, not only are you taking Spencer's public declarations to be his true intent (which is absolutely ridiculous, especially for someone generally prone to conspiracy theories), but you are taking his extremely unqualified historical declarations as truth.

No, I'm not.
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Re: The Battle for Berkeley 3.0 Was a Fight Against Antifa

Postby Ian C. Kuzushi on Tue May 02, 2017 11:18 am

BruceP wrote:
Ian C. Kuzushi wrote: I thought this was a discussion board. I engage with people who are interested in honest dialogue


Because honest dialogue usually starts off with nazis and hitler holding the bar, right?



You can't be serious. I am literally responding to the defense of people who quote Goebbels, elicit Nazi salutes, warn of the "browning of America," and want to carve out a white European (non-Jewish, though) nation state following the spirit that led directly to WWII.
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Re: The Battle for Berkeley 3.0 Was a Fight Against Antifa

Postby Michael on Tue May 02, 2017 11:22 am

Steve James wrote:Saying that it's radical is ok, but that doesn't mean that it can't be a political ideology (which his form of "ethno-nationalism" is). One might argue then that it's just another political ideology like liberalism. Well, that works in theory; putting it into practice makes all the difference.

As I just said, putting it into practice would require a civil war or the absence of the federal government, which is not the condition for a political ideology, but for a revolution, secession, whatever, the end of The United States of America.
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Re: The Battle for Berkeley 3.0 Was a Fight Against Antifa

Postby Ian C. Kuzushi on Tue May 02, 2017 11:25 am

Your smugness reminds me of the race realists talking about the low IQ countries. Oh, you simpletons, you just don't know anything about the first amendment or the spectrum of intelligence. "Spencer and his ilk", as you call them, are attempting to persuade, so perhaps their intelligence at persuasion is what I was referring to. It's my fault, though. I was using a comparison with Trump earlier and I thought that was a give away to the intelligence of salesmanship.


See, you really do believe that you are just as smart (really, I was talking about education, though) as anyone. You are making it about race. Since I was talking specifically about a bunch of smug, white dudes, it's really amazing and duplicitous for you to equate my comments with the very people I am attacking. BTW, that is actually what "tu quoque" is--maybe you will learn something after all.

The fact that you can defend Spencer, the king of smugness, while dismissing me because of tone and not what I actually said is telling.

Can you please clarify: are you supporting Spencer and his agenda? Or are you just saying they should have a platform to speak? Given your comments, I have been responding to the former.
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Re: The Battle for Berkeley 3.0 Was a Fight Against Antifa

Postby Steve James on Tue May 02, 2017 11:39 am

As I just said, putting it into practice would require a civil war or the absence of the federal government, which is not the condition for a political ideology, but for a revolution, secession, whatever, the end of The United States of America.


It is a political ideology. The American Revolution was based on a political ideology. The secessionists based their actions on a political ideology. The "Nativists" based their nationalism on a political ideology. Now, if I say that the Nazis did the same thing, I'll be accused of labeling people nazis. I'm not; I'm just pointing out that all of these are political ideologies put into practice. Look up American Nativism. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nativism_(politics) Years ago, you pointed out how the US "eugenics" movement influenced Nazi ideology.

If someone believes that a political party or platform proposes his removal, oppression or submission, he just might oppose it. If the party says what it wants and who it idolizes, believe it. Sure, there's a right (in a country that allegedly has freedom of speech, religion, assembly, and the press) for that party to spout its position. For some, it'll be "fighting words."

Afa Spencer creating a state, c'mon, that sounds like the "manifest destiny" ideology that rationalized the taking of the Southwest from Mexico. What do you think the people who live in Spencer's ideal country will say when they're told to leave?
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Re: The Battle for Berkeley 3.0 Was a Fight Against Antifa

Postby Michael on Tue May 02, 2017 11:41 am

This is the best I can do, a short summary of my position in this thread.

In the face of Antifa and BAMN physically attacking people, especially when they do so with deadly weapons as I've described and is recorded on video in un-provoked attacks in Berkeley on Feb. 1, March and April 15, as well as D.C. during the same period, it is necessary to first denounce the violence, which puts one in the position of defending the victims.

I believe in extreme free speech, the only few restrictions have been pretty well determined by now, I think: incitement to violence and various forms of defamation, slander, etc.

EDIT: This was in response to a direct question from Ian.
Last edited by Michael on Tue May 02, 2017 11:44 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: The Battle for Berkeley 3.0 Was a Fight Against Antifa

Postby Steve James on Tue May 02, 2017 12:36 pm

Fair enough, nobody's argued for violence. But, there's plenty of info on Spencer.
On his ideal society:

"Our dream is a new society, an ethno-state that would be a gathering point for all Europeans. It would be a new society based on very different ideals than, say, the Declaration of Independence." — quoted in Vice, October 2013

“How can we build a White society, one that reflects the values and traditions of our people?” In the context of a world informed by multiculturalism, ‘anti-discrimination’ legislation, and White guilt, such a task is daunting to say the least… Though there are certainly obstacles in our path, European-American communities can be organized in ways that are legal, moral, and, most important, effective.” — description of video that has now been deleted, April 2013

On race:

“A race is genetically coherent, a race is something you can study, a race is about genes and DNA, but it’s not just about genes and DNA. The most important thing about it is the people and the spirit. That’s what a race is about.” — speech at Texas A&M, December 2016

“Racist isn’t a descriptive word. It’s a pejorative word. It is the equivalent of saying, ‘I don’t like you.’ ‘Racist’ is just a slur word. I think race is real, and I think race is important. And those two principles do not mean I want to harm someone or hate someone. But the notion that these people can be equal is not a scientific way of looking at it.” — quoted in the Flathead Beacon, November 2014

On white people in America:

“This country does belong to white people, culturally, politically, socially, everything. We defined what America is." — speech at Texas A&M, December 2016

http://www.ibtimes.com/richard-spencer- ... id-2497495

Forgetting about the race stuff, he doesn't believe in the ideals of the Declaration of Independence. Now, suppose he got into a position where he could actually effect his ideas. What would that mean for those who he doesn't think should fit in? I'm not for violence against innocent people who just have views I don't like. But, some people think it's a matter of life and death.

Oh, of course, plenty of people can agree with him about the ideals of the Declaration of Independence. That's just too bad. The current prez has people around him who agree with Spencer on certain things. Bannon comes to mind, but those ideas aren't unheard of on internet boards.

Sorry for the irrelevant digression away from the real problems of Antifa et al. I just won't allow their actions to make me accept Spencer's views as normal, or to normalize the movement he represents as being no different than the Green Party. Unfortunately, that's why I'm against Antifa violence.
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Re: The Battle for Berkeley 3.0 Was a Fight Against Antifa

Postby Michael on Tue May 02, 2017 8:21 pm

Steve James wrote:Fair enough, nobody's argued for violence.

I suppose you didn't see Ian's question before he swooped in and deleted it. So much for fair play, but I was asked for clarification. I think Ian agrees with you, no one's argued for violence, he just understands those who do violence. However, it seems that to investigate for oneself the reason for understanding Antifa violence and to discuss it means you're defending or normalizing it, while understanding Antifa violence is not normalizing theirs. I don't think either case is true.

Now, suppose he got into a position where he could actually effect his ideas. What would that mean for those who he doesn't think should fit in? I'm not for violence against innocent people who just have views I don't like. But, some people think it's a matter of life and death.

Not aimed at you, Steve, but this is what leftists use when they make constant accusations of racism against anyone opposing a variety of their political ideas. It's like the boy who cried wolf.

Sorry for the irrelevant digression away from the real problems of Antifa et al. I just won't allow their actions to make me accept Spencer's views as normal, or to normalize the movement he represents as being no different than the Green Party. Unfortunately, that's why I'm against Antifa violence.

Good, we're in agreement.
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Re: The Battle for Berkeley 3.0 Was a Fight Against Antifa

Postby Steve James on Tue May 02, 2017 9:06 pm

Afa the "leftist" argument, I think you have to address what Spencer wants specifically. Do you think he's a "rightist" or "conservative"? Do those groups share his views? And, damn, I didn't endorse violence. I simply asked what you thought would happen if people who believed as he did got into political power. They don't believe in the D of I, for example.

I heard Tucker Carlson (who took over from O'Reilly) saying tonight that "leftists" are becoming more violent since Trump started running. Perhaps true, but "rightists" have also become more vocal and violent. Rightists like Spencer have been violent since the country's origin.

Nothing that Antifa could possibly do would validate Spencer's positions to me. I'm not worried about free speech. I've listened to it and read for 60 years. I even cited his words above. I also remember when Spencer's views were "political correctness" and were freely expressed on tv by government representatives. So, sorry, your attempt to poo-poo the threat because it's advanced by leftists is just political rhetoric. If someone is violent, arrest and charge 'em. Put 'em in the clink. No debate there. We could post fifty pages of links and videos against Antifa, and that wouldn't change.
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Re: The Battle for Berkeley 3.0 Was a Fight Against Antifa

Postby Michael on Tue May 02, 2017 10:27 pm

Well, there's miscommunication on some bits here. I know you didn't endorse violence and I am not trying to poo-poo Spencer and the NPI, but it seems my questioning about them and their ideology is effectively the same as defending, approving or "buying into them" in yours and Ian's view. I find this reaction hypocritical, that posting relevant videos, clips, etc., about the supposed Nazi who justifies Antifa violence is worse than failing to condemn the Antifa violence, although again, I mostly am referring to Ian.

What do you think about Richard Spencer being sucker punched while giving an interview on a sidewalk?

Nesrine Malik wrote:Would I encourage people to go around punching Nazi's? No, but I will also not condemn them for doing so.


When they go low, going high is not enough – Nesrine Malik, 2 minutes


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Eu3OPaNl3jU

This article from The Guardian is more of the same equivocation about the morality of punching Nazis.

Tauriq Moosa wrote:Maybe we shouldn’t punch Nazis, but we should certainly be working to create societies where their views never gain a foothold.

"Maybe"?
I disagree with the two from The Guardian and think these comments from Randy Cohen and two others are correct, that you can't justify physically attacking people for their ideas.

Are you familiar with this video of Richard Spencer getting punched?
Yeah. Do you really not know if it's ethical to punch someone even though they have odious politics? I mean, should we call your mother? Or my mother? Or anybody's mother?

I don’t think my mother would very much like to be involved in this discussion!
My mother would! I mean, we do understand that just because someone's politics are vile—and Richard Spencer's are—you don't get to punch them. Why is that a question?

Well, many people on the internet seem to be quite conflicted about—
Well, I weep for our country in yet another way. No, you do not get to punch people even though they're ideologically despicable. You're not the first person who's asked me this! And it's deeply disheartening, I have to say! I gather the rationale is that because Richard Spencer and his ilk would punch us, if I can use that pronoun, then therefore it’s OK to punch them? But Richard Spencer isn't our moral teacher. We're not supposed to imitate Richard Spencer's behavior. Richard Spencer is despicable! We're supposed to aspire to the decent values that we were raised on and that make us proud of our country. Martin Luther King and his cohort during the Civil Rights Movement had a profound commitment to nonviolence. They deserve our esteem and reverence! Even when they were being beaten with clubs, they would not physically fight back against those who assailed them. They set such a luminous example for us, that has come to this—that you're asking if it's OK to punch people!

Are there any circumstances in which you think it’s OK to punch someone with Nazi-sympathetic views?
Yes. In self-defense. But it has nothing to do with their Nazi views. You have an ethical right to defend yourself against a physical assault. But you do not have the right to respond to contemptible beliefs with physical violence. You organize politically. You struggle. You resist. You march. You vote. You run for office. We are not thugs and we don't respond with thuggery!

Let me read to you one comment that I saw on Twitter: “If you don't punch Nazis, Holocausts happen. That's what we learned from letting Nazis speak in public the last time. You have to punch them.”
That’s ridiculous. That's nonsensical. One does not flow from the other. Because one of the most monstrous catastrophes in human history occurred, it is not because people failed to punch Nazis. It simply doesn't follow. Nor does it follow that if you fail to punch Richard Spencer, there will be dire consequences. It would seem to me Gandhi's example or King's example are quite to the contrary. Where even allied against incredibly powerful armed opponents, genuine social change is possible without resorting to the gutter tactics of people like Spencer.

There are two different arguments here. One is: Is the behavior justified on its own terms? Is physical violence a morally justifiable response to the expression of odious ideas. In my view, it is not. The argument you're reading on Twitter is what's called a consequentialist argument. So this person is asserting that the only way to stop the rise of Nazism is with physical violence. And I think that's a quite dubious assertion. Even if one were doing a consequentialist analysis here, this is a dubious assertion. The assertion becomes: It is necessary to punch Richard Spencer in order to halt some impending Holocaust, and I just don't think that's true. It seems to me this fails both on the grounds of moral reasoning and on the grounds of political strategy.

This next question is not really an ethical question. But did you personally watch the video of Richard Spencer being punched?
I did not. It wasn't because I was averting my glance; I just didn't see it. I would make one other exception. I have read about images of Richard Spencer being punched set to music. That sort of thing. To delight in a kind of comeuppance when someone is hoisted by his own petard—when someone who advocates violence against others meets a kind of of nonlethal violence—to enjoy hearing about that, that's not a crime. That's not an ethical transgression. That's asking more of human beings than they can resist. When someone who's truly despicable gets punched in the nose, you commit no ethical transgression by enjoying that idea. Now we're describing—

Schadenfreude.
Yes, yes. In the recesses of my heart, do I take any pleasure in this? Well, yes. Would I advocate this as an action or defend the action? Well, no. There are no thought crimes. If in your heart of hearts you're enjoying this, well, you do no one any harm. But no, you do not get to go out and respond to contemptible political ideas with physical ideas.

Well, thank you so much for your time and your wisdom.
Really, call my mom! She would say the same thing. And she would love being quoted!

Your mother?
Yeah. Ahh, don't call my mother. But she would say the same thing.

In journalism, when faced with a troubling question, it is customary to seek more than one source. So I reached out to another authority on ethical matters: scholar Aine Donovan, the director of the Ethics Institute at Dartmouth. She concurred. “I would make the case that even repugnant comments do not warrant a physical attack,” Donovan wrote in an email. “Violence begets violence. Civil society is predicated on civil discourse. This means that we use language, argument and persuasion to make our positions known—not a fist.”

I also contacted Thomas Scanlon, a Harvard professor specializing in moral and political philosophy. He responded to my email in just seven minutes.

“No, it is obviously not ‘OK,’” he wrote, “but it is not nearly as bad as Donald Trump’s lying, or many of the things that he and his associates are proposing to do. So why are you writing about this relatively trivial question rather than something important?”
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Re: The Battle for Berkeley 3.0 Was a Fight Against Antifa

Postby Steve James on Wed May 03, 2017 6:21 pm

Why would you acknowledge that I wouldn't promote violence, and then ask about whether I'd punch Spencer. We've not agreed that he's a nazi or neo-nazi. So, either we're talking about unprovoked violence in general or Antifa violence in particular. Since the latter is the case, I am less concerned about their punching Spencer than I am about many other forms of random and deliberate violence. If Antifa violence is your primary concern, that's fine. It arouses no outrage in me. Rather, I find it outrageous to assert opposition to the principles of the DoI. I'm not going to pretend to be defending Spencer's right to free speech based on principles found in documents that he rejects. That would be stupid for me. I only have thoughts about his views.
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Re: The Battle for Berkeley 3.0 Was a Fight Against Antifa

Postby Michael on Thu May 04, 2017 12:55 am

Michael wrote:What do you think about Richard Spencer being sucker punched while giving an interview on a sidewalk?


Steve wrote:Why would you acknowledge that I wouldn't promote violence, and then ask about whether I'd punch Spencer.


I didn't ask if you'd punch him. I asked what you think about it as a lead-in to what I posted right after and the well explained reasons why it is ethically wrong and politically ineffective to attack people physically for their ideas.

If Antifa violence is your primary concern, that's fine. It arouses no outrage in me.

Did you take a look at any of the information I provided about the specific attacks in the three recent Berkeley incidents? That is what outrages me about Antifa, not Spencer being punched. Spencer is effectively used as a justification for beating completely unrelated people over the heads with bike locks, pepper spraying women in the face because they're wearing read baseball caps that were probably thought to be MAGA, but weren't, and other extreme violence against innocent people.

Opposing the Declaration of Independence is also outrageous, but it takes more time to examine those statements than it does to react to seeing someone hit over the head.

I'm not going to pretend to be defending Spencer's right to free speech based on principles found in documents that he rejects. That would be stupid for me. I only have thoughts about his views.

Although you're probably just speaking for yourself and perhaps don't intend for your attitude to be extrapolated to a larger principle for others or a legal principle, I still think you've summed up one of the most controversial and important parts of this debate about free speech because other people are taking pretty much the same attitude as what you've said about yourself and attempted to formulate it into a working principle for their group, and that principle centers on the question: Are there some ideologies that are so fundamentally opposed to things like free speech, the Declaration of Independence or other parts of the Constitution and Bill of Rights, that they don't deserve its protection?
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