The recent political violence in Charlottesville has left me angry and sad. The ideas inspiring the violence are symptomatic of a concerning shift in our culture not just in the US but throughout the West.
The loss of life and injuries that were inflicted are appalling. The initiation of force through political violence has ABSOLUTELY NO legitimate role in our constitutional republic; NEVER as we have guaranteed freedom of speech.
In the criminal car attack, Heather Heyer lost her life. Additionally, while actively attempting to protect our fellow citizens’ constitutional rights to speech, assembly, and association, state troopers H. Jay Cullen and Berke M.M. Bates, died in a helicopter accident. Further, dozens of others were injured in fighting between opponents and in the criminal car attack. Political violence destroys, cripples, and maims the lives of actual people, which is why we freely engage in protected political speech.
Thankfully, the driver in the car attack against marchers has been captured and charged. There is a rhetorical debate about whether this was a terrorist attack, including both Democrat and Republican officials stating unequivocally that is was a terrorist attack. Yet, instead of being charged with capital murder for the death of Heather Heyer as would happen in an act of terrorism, the driver has been charged with second degree murder. Which is it, was he a terrorist or not? If he was a terrorist, the driver should be eligible for death row, because that is what we do by law to terrorists in Virginia.
For me, the question of terrorism has an additional question related to required action. Where is the terrorist organization to be destroyed? If he is like a Unibomber, then the organization is a future one that the terrorist hopes to inspire. Evidence for such intent by him…a manifesto? Related to his potential affiliation with an existing terrorist organizations, is there evidence for one? By reports, the driver has been associated with the ideas of white racism and Nazism, but is there a group of other terrorists to round up?
Some have expressed doubts that the Klansman, neo-Nazis, and white racists were true representations of those who intended to speak in Emancipation Park before their speech was violently suppressed by the counter-protesters. Jason Kessler, the organizer of the event, spoke explicitly as a white racist in his announcing press conference; thus, I think that it is beyond dispute that white racism was the explicit motivation for the event that attracted racists. Yet, the Southern Poverty Law Center and others have reported that Kessler had been an Obama supporter and an Occupy activist. Either the philosophical differences between the SJWs and the white racists isn’t as big as they proclaim or Kessler hasn’t changed sides, but tricked the Klan, neo-Nazis, and white racists into a trap. I expect that it is the former.
To be clear, Klansmen, neo-Nazis, and white racists are the enemies of America. Whereas America is an ideologically founded country focused upon individualism and the protection of individual rights, those other groups are fundamentally collectivist and anti-individual. Yet, as vile and evil as those ideas are, adherents of those ideas have the free speech rights that they would deny to others. When they go beyond speaking to violating the rights of individuals through the initiation of force, then they are subject to criminal punishment.
Now that we have reiterated the obvious that selfish citizens oppose these racists, does that mean that we are on the side of the SJWs, Antifa, Black Lives Matter, and assorted others in the counter-protest group? NO!! (Caveat: there were normal nice people in the crowd opposing the vile white racists, but they were effectively filler and not the leaders and organizers who framed the messaging.) That crowd is also full of racists, who are collectivists with hatred for individualism. Ideologically their unifying themes include hatred of reason, hatred of the Enlightenment, hatred of individual flourishing, hatred of America, and a love of human sacrifice (not in the Aztec sense, but in the Comte and Kant sense).
One of the things that struck me from the Faith Goldie video of the car attack was that the SJWs, et al marchers were celebrating that they had suppressed the free speech rights of the white racists. While I in no way intend to excuse the car attack, how ignorant and naive does one have to be to think that there would not be a violent retaliation eventually from historically violent groups like the Klan and neo-Nazis? Allowing such detestable groups to speak has the effect of keeping political action to speech and not violence. Leading up to this event, Antifa has been repeatedly engaging in escalating political violence (including destruction of property, suppression of speech, and physical attacks) without effective restraint by the police in areas controlled by Democrats.
For years, the SJWs and their allies have been invoking the strawmen of white racists and fascists especially against opponents who did not deserve such slurs. The consequence of this irrational posturing has been to actually resurrect the Klan, poke the dormant neo-nazis, and inspire new white racism in the ignorant young, who had become sick and tired of being rhetorically pilloried by racist SJWs.
It is fitting that this violence occurred in a college town, because it is public education that facilitated the creation of this political violence. Beginning with primary and secondary schools that teach that political violence is practical, that principles do not matter, that feelings are superior to facts, and that the purpose of learning is political indoctrination. Meanwhile, the rise of the SJWs on campus has led to corruption throughout our culture, the growing politicization of our lives, the subjugation of civil society, and the Puritanical attack upon free speech and against heterodox ‘thought crimes.’
Government has not only failed our citizens in education, but at this event they utterly failed to keep the peace. Government officials claim that they were well prepared. However, witnesses report that the police passively allowed the fight to break out between the opposing groups of racists both by poorly establishing boundaries between the groups and being inactive in the face of breaking violence. Given that the effect of this violence was to suppress the speech of the white racists, it should be investigated as to whether city officials were complicit, violated the court order, and intentionally deprived these despicable white racists of their civil rights.
What is a selfish citizen to do?
- Personally, denounce the racists on both sides.
- Challenge public officials and political candidates who associate themselves with the racists on either side.
- In discussions, champion the ideas of American individualism, including freedom, as they are the antiseptic for the alien German ideas (Hegel) that are the ideological foundations of the collectivists of each side.
- Object when others make excuses for the actions and ideas of the SJWs, Antifa, and the assorted white racists, including the Alt-Right and Identitarians.
Extra point, unfortunately, this comment is coded for those who are familiar with DIM: While I am not going to develop the idea in detail in this post, in viewing the cultural impact (much more than just politics) of the SJWs, I have begun to think of them as an emerging M2 (see DIM Hypothesis), which is a disturbing cultural shift from our current D1. While it requires research, my hypothesis is that they are integrating around Michel Foucault’s ideas around power, which were based upon his observations of the mentally ill. While Peikoff expected a rise of M2 from the religious right, some have disputed that and said that the ‘Left’ were a bigger problem today. My view is that when the culture shifts to M2 that there will be many alternative misintegrated options that will be there in the beginning but that the most effectively violent of those options may prevail in a contest. In Charlottesville, we see the SJWs and vile white racists demonstrate that their opposed ideas will be contested with violence.