From Elsewhere: On the subject of ‘Punching Nazis’.

Image from the 'Punch A Nazi' song by Chris Ray-Gun and Rucka Rucka Ali (source in the Links section)


Every now and again I come across a blog post that makes me sit up and take notice and helps me crystallise my thoughts about a particular situation and this one by Squander Two is one of those. In this article, Squander Two looks at the current fad on the Left for ‘punching Nazis’. They make the very valid point that going out tooled up looking for Nazis to fight, didn’t work the last time it was tried in Germany. The result back then should be well known, the Left didn’t beat the Nazis with their street fighting and the Nazis just ended up with the best organised, most violently effective political thugs. This ‘better army’ factor was one of the factors in the Nazis being able to intimidate their political opposition.

However it’s Squander Two’s highlighting of the issue and problem of the use of violence as a political tool that stood out for me. They said that there was nothing unusual in those times; screwball racial theories and things like eugenics and racialism for example, were often espoused by high profile socialists, such as the Webbs; a fact that many leftist admirers of said socialists try to bury today. What differentiated the Nazis from other purveyors of horror was their willingness to believe that they were morally right to use political violence and the fact that they turned morality on its head, calling good evil and evil good.

This is a very thoughtful and well-written article from Squander Two and I’m going to put up about half of it but I would strongly advise people to read the rest of the piece. There are indeed strong parallels between the political violence of the early Nazis and the political violence of the Antifa types today. Both believe or believed that their violence is or was morally justified and right. Any society that is created by such political entities, whether they are the Nazis or Antifa is going to be a hell hole. I strongly agree with Squander Two when they say that it would matter not what type of political organisation or individual carried out the type of crimes committed by the Nazis. What would be important is that the replacement of civilised argument with political violence ends up with the sort of political society that grew up in Germany in the 20s / 30s

Squander Two said:

There’s been a lot of debate (well, “debate”) lately about whether it’s OK to punch Nazis, because apparently that’s the kind of world we live in now. Those lovely people in Antifa, of course, say that it is — and, helpfully, define “Nazi” as “anyone I’ve just punched”. Saves a lot of confusion, that. My experience in the mires of the Web tells me that plenty of people who are nowhere near as extreme are still staunchly in the Nazi-punching camp. I despair.

Such people are well-intentioned, of course. Who wants to see the rise of Nazism again? What decent person doesn’t wish someone had killed Adolf Hitler in, say, 1928? Surely beating him to death before he really got stuck in would have done the world a favour. Surely.

There are a couple of problems with this. Firstly, and most obviously, punching Nazis isn’t a new idea. Some Germans actually thought of it in the 1920s, and gave it a go. In other words, the only reason we’re even discussing whether punching Nazis works is that punching Nazis didn’t work.

But it’s the second problem I want to talk about.

The problem with Nazis was not their antisemitism. It wasn’t their economic policy — as a free-marketeer, I’m full of criticisms of it, but nations are often run by people who are wrong. Hundreds of nations had bad economic policy at the time, but most of them were not problems in the way Germany turned out to be. The problem with the Nazis wasn’t their social policy, or their nutty racial theories (I say “nutty”, but they were shared by rather a lot of the planet’s respectable scientists at the time), or even their invention of [shudder] the communal holiday camp. The Nazis could have believed everything they believed and just been bastards. That’s not a compliment, but it’s not one of history’s greatest evils either. Bastards are with us always.

What tipped the Nazis over the edge from bastards to… well, to fucking Nazis was their belief in the rightness of the use of violence against their enemies. Antisemites who use the word “yid”, who complain about the International Jewish Conspiracy™, and refuse to have Jews round to dinner are annoying in all sorts of ways, but are not on remotely the same planet as slaughtering six million innocent people.

In the alternative universe where European Jews systematically round up and kill six million innocent Aryans — even Aryans who believe they are the chosen master race and Jews are inferior and the root of all the world’s problems — the Aryans aren’t the bad guys, and the Jews aren’t heroes. That universe’s Holocaust is every bit as wrong as our own. The ongoing argument about whether National Socialists were really Socialists is immaterial: what they did would still be evil if done in the name of Liberalism or Conservatism or David Icke’s lizard people or preferring The Stones to The Beatles. The underlying reasons don’t matter. It’s the replacement of civilized argument with violence that matters.

Squander Two then elaborated on the reasons that the civilised world had to fight the Nazis and it’s because they inverted morality and called right wrong and wrong right.

Squander Two added:

The reason we had to fight the Nazis, the reason that they represented an existential threat, was not any one of their preferences within the realm of politics, but their belief about what that realm should encompass, about what politics itself should be. They didn’t just reject democracy — which is bad, but not necessarily all that bad. They didn’t just reject the principle that the strong have a duty to protect the weak — a principle with less of a historical pedigree than we might like to think. No, they inverted it: they embraced the principle that the strong have a duty to destroy the weak — and, of course, that the good should destroy the bad. Once they’d done that, the definitions they came up with for “strong” and “weak”, “good” and “bad” were immaterial: the results were going to be just as evil regardless, and any society they built was going to be a hell. In their early days, it was street brawls; once they got power, it was genocide; but they’re just two points on the same continuum: if you start with the principle that the former is right, you’re on the path to the latter. Of course their target was the Jews — it’s always the Jews — and of course it wasn’t only the Jews — it never is. But the Nazis would still have been evil, and it would still have been necessary to destroy them, had they picked on someone else.

If, for instance, they’d taken to the streets to punch Nazis.

Read the whole piece via full URL which is in the links section below:

I think we’ve all seen examples of Leftist violence and intimidation on both sides of the Atlantic and it’s not good for the long term health of the political culture. Violent Leftism could end up becoming the very fascism that these Leftists purport to be fighting. Counteracting against sober fact-based arguments, as put forward by some conservatives and classical liberals, with snarls of ‘racist’ or ‘fascist’ or ‘xenophobe’ or whatever is the flavour of the month, as the Left now so often do, is the first step towards physically punching out those of differing views, in which case you might as well get ready to make your first down-payment on a nice pair of jackboots.


Original piece from Squander Two

You may be interested in the ‘Punch a Nazi’ song by Chris Ray Gun and Rucka Rucka Ali