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Monday, January 24, 2005

The Totalitarian Left

Gil Kobrin has thoughts on the beating he took for exercising his right to free speech. A recap of the attack is available here from the Washington Post. He seems to have taken the assault in stride, and asks an interesting question about the nature of today’s left in this post at his group blog, We Won't Get Fooled Again. The following quote inspired today's post:

In fact, the entire episode - a group of protesters assaulted for holding signs dissenting from the majority opinion - points to prototypical fascist behavior. The question presents itself: Since when do ostensible anarchists act like fascists?
It would be prudent to point out that the violent behavior of the anarchists has, to date, not been exhibited by the Left as a whole. While Leftist protesters have spit and screamed at dissenters, they have rarely crossed the line into criminal assault. It is only the so-called anarchists who have regularly seen fit to stifle opposition with physical force. When analyzing such a phenomenon - "peaceniks" attacking people at a peace rally - three divergent possibilities present themselves as to the relationship between the (violent) Leftist minority and the (peaceable) Leftist majority: a) the former exists as a variance of the latter, b) they are independent entities that are united through common focus points (such as hatred of a particular president), or c) each entity exists completely autonomously, with no communication, aid, or support between the two. The third possibility, that there really is no relationship between the anarchists and the non-anarchists of the Left, is wholly untenable.

He’s right, of course. While the Leftist majority might roll its eyes and tsk tsk the violent leftist minority, it certainly has not purged itself of that element. The equivalent, on the right, would be a largely conservative or Republican led rally with Neo-Nazi groups in its train. This is unthinkable, not just because of the political consequences that would result, but because the values of the Neo-Nazis are antithetical to those of the right, and yes, the far right.

I have argued for years that fascists are not the far right- that the popular meme visualized as a line from left to right:

Communist; Far Left; Moderate Left; Centrist; Moderate Right; Right Wing; Fascist

is a false one. I recently argued against that meme on a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu forum I participate in regularly. Here's the operative quote from an argument I had with another forum member who goes by the name Sasso:

Sasso what you're missing is the fact conservative or right wing Americans believe in democracy beyond before all else.
Therefore comparing us to totalitarians is ridiculous.

Fascism and Communism are NOT REALLY DIFFERENT- they are two sides of the same coin. Believers in democracy are on a different coin altogether. And if you want to get more detailed- right wingers are much MORE interested in democracy than left wingers. Left wingers have spent the last 30 years doing end arounds through the judiciary to avoid people being able to decide the great issues of our times. Left wingers have abolished free speech in
Canada and are further stifling free speech in Britian. Left wingers have stifled free speec in universities since the early 90's.

Having said all that- CK and Dr. K are still allies against totalitarianism. Dr. K would kimura anybody who tried to stifle CK's right to vote- and CK would shoot anybody who tried to take away Dr. K's right to spout nonsensical communist (I know, redundant) propoganda.

Dr. K is the forum's resident Santa Cruz college professor loony leftist, by the way, whereas CK is a religious right Texan… Those two represent the far left and far right of that forum. Still, they are different faces on the same coin. Call it the democracy coin. Hitler and Stalin are on an entirely different coin, they are different faces on the totalitarian coin.

(By the way, vist that Brazilian Jiu Jitsu forum if you want to read comparatively civil political discourse… civil because, unlike most forums, the Brazilian Jiu Jitsu forum has members who really do meet and beat the crap out of each other – albeit in tournaments or in training.)

But Gil Kobrin’s experience makes me wonder… why does the left tolerate self-proclaimed anarchists? Why do they allow violent protestors a place in their parade? What if Dr. K wouldn’t kimura a man to defend CK’s right to free speech? What if he would allow a bunch of anarchists to gang up on CK because he didn’t like what CK was saying? What if he joined in on the assault? At what point is the left no longer on the democracy coin? And what should we do to keep them there?

More on this tomorrow.

Update: Crazy Diamon makes an excellent point. How are a bunch of pacifists supposed to stop a bunch of violent anarchists from marching with them? It is funny if you think about it.


  • At 9:33 AM, Blogger Crazy Diamond said…

    To be fair, it sounds as if the DAWN guys pulled the anarchists off. And I'm not entirely sure what (supposed) pacifists are supposed to do to stop violent thugs joining their march and pretending to be part of them. That's where pacifism breaks down for me -- it works only where there is a line the other side won't cross.

    Say... who runs these anarchist organizations anyway? "CEO of Anarchists Incorporated" has a nice ring to it.

  • At 7:35 PM, Blogger Harkonnendog said…

    Excellent point Diamond! lololol!


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