Thursday, June 15, 2017

thoughts on the Alexandria shootings and beyond

My hometown, ah, my hometown makes the international news. On the map at last!

Here's Styx's commentary on the shootings.

Here's Paul Joseph Watson's.

Here's Milo Yiannopoulos's.

You'll note they're all basically saying the same thing: coming hard on the heels of Kathy Griffin's fiasco, the Shakespeare in the Park kerfuffle, the Antifa-fueled riots at Berkeley and other campuses, and numerous other sly or overt invitations to and incitements of what is euphemistically called "resistance," it has become obvious that the left has a violence problem that it's not admitting to, and that it's been projecting, for quite a while now, its own base tendencies onto the right, whom it accuses of preaching violence, bigotry, and hatred.

My personal take, now that I've been on for a while, and now that I'm more likely to watch alt-media (such as the folks listed above) as opposed to the mainstream garbage, is this: saner people on the left aren't wrong to point out that there are elements on the right that do indeed preach violence, some form of rightie revolution, racial/ethnic cleansing, and other forms of bigotry and hatred. I see this crap all over Gab in a way that I never saw on Twitter, and it's deeply disturbing. I often think leftists, with their unthinking sympathy for Palestine and general support of Muslim causes, are more guilty of antisemitism than people on the right, but at, I see plenty of rightie "Gabbers" who would love to finish what Hitler started. So, no, lefties: you're not paranoid, and you're not wrong to sniff dangerous scents emanating from the right.

In fact, let me do you guys the courtesy of showing you a prime example of what I mean: here's a link to a video of Stefan Molyneux grilling a Jew on the question of Jewish hypocrisy regarding immigration. In the video, Molyneux takes his Jewish interlocutor to task for having a double standard when it comes to immigration: let the Muslims into Western countries, but don't let them into Israel! I think Molyneux is right to call his interlocutor out on this hypocrisy, but the video isn't the point: scroll down and look at the comments beneath the video. Some of them are positively horrifying, and these are from right-leaning people who are, in their own perverse way, trying to voice agreement with Molyneux. Let me display some of the choicest quotes:

"Israel is just a hide-out for Jewish international swindling, scamming and general criminality that seems to be inherent to the Jews."
"America has been taken over and corrupted by the synagogue of Satan."
"Jews are the people who won't be blamed for anything."
"Ignore the tens of millions of Christians killed during the 'Russian Revolution ' which was actually genuine & not a deplorable lie propped up by Hollyweird.The mans silence in this video speaks volumes!" (so the Holocaust is a "deplorable lie"?)
"The answer is quite easy. The Jews are pushing for immigration into European countries because the Jews wants to destroy Western civilisation. I'm sorry that Hitler failed to exterminate these parasites!"

Are you nauseated yet? I mean, this shit goes on and on... and these are, at least presumably, the righties who agree with Molyneux's basic stance.

And herein lies the difficulty: there are indeed plenty of mind-poisoned righties out there who beat this bigoted drum. Then again, there are people like Molyneux himself who are deep, rigorous thinkers who have taken a certain stance that is not congenial to current leftist ideology. Molyneux gets polemical all the time, but you'll never hear him say or imply anything approaching what I quoted above. People like Molyneux are the reasonable ones; people like the commenters are the real problem.

Having conceded all this about the ugliness associated with the right, let me now turn the spotlight uncomfortably on the left. Guys: you've got a problem.

But let me back up. I know there are plenty of cool-headed, reasonable lefties out there; I knew quite a few on Twitter, and I know some who comment here, on this blog. I got unfollowed by the overly dramatic snowflakes (including an old college roommate) who couldn't stand to read my tweets, but I still had plenty of leftie followers who, while disagreeing with me politically, nevertheless continued following because they appreciated my humor, realized I wasn't a Nazi, etc. So let me grant from the get-go that there are plenty of leftie moderates who do their side credit. These are people who uphold traditional leftist values of tolerance, free speech (for everyone, not just for the left), and sincere pluralism—not the hypocritical "tolerance" of campus lefties who think "diversity" means "having ideas that match ours." These lefties that I know have been unfailingly civil and honest, calling me out when they disagree but never falling into frothing rages or spewing hatred. They're a pleasure to interact with. With such people, an exchange of ideas is at least possible, even if we end up not persuading each other.

Those folks aren't the problem. It's the rest of the assholes who are the problem. There is indeed a culture of violence and hatred being cultivated by people on the left, and this strain of the left has not been shy about acting on its bellicose impulses. The mainstream media, biased though they be, have had no choice but to record instance after instance of this violence. Sure, news outlets have tried to spin the mayhem as something better and nobler than what it is, but the wreckage and carnage are there for all to see, and in this way, the left is pretty much guaranteeing that Donald Trump will be reelected in 2020.

Is the right correct to blame the current leftist culture of violence for the Alexandria shooting? I'd say yes and no. Yes, insofar as the culture of violence does exist—admit it or not—and there are indeed weak-minded nutjobs who can be easily influenced to go over the edge and collect some Republican scalps. No, insofar as the individual who did this was, whatever his mental illness (if he was indeed mentally ill), a free moral agent whose agency should never be reduced or denied. James T. Hodgkinson, the shooter, is ultimately to blame for what he did, whatever the environmental factors surrounding him. Lucky for us, he was old and proved to be a terrible shot because no one except Hodgkinson is reported to have been killed: according to reports, he was taken down by a combination of Representative Scalise's security team and local law enforcement.

Let me end this by giving Styx and Milo the last word. I've already linked to Styx above, but if you have a short attention span or just can't bring yourself to hear a lengthy, divergent opinion, at least click here and listen to what I think is a vitally important point.

As for Milo: Milo's post contains this quote, supposedly from Noam Chomsky:

When we move to the arena of violence, the most brutal guys win—and that’s not us.

That, by the way, is a point I've heard whispered, but now said with increasing loudness, by some people on the right. Some folks within my blog ambit have been muttering darkly about a coming "civil war" in America; I didn't want to believe this, but with the upsurge in leftist violence, I'm beginning to think that there are people on the left who sincerely believe they're already at literal war with the right. The above Chomsky quote is relevant, though, because the uncomfortable fact of the matter is that, if parts of the right do finally snap and decide to respond with their own violence, they won't merely respond in kind. Lefties, you've got to remember that the right is the side with all the guns. Any "civil war" will be bloody and brief, and I for one won't be happy that the gun-toting, Jew-hating Gabbers will have won.

But what can we do so that it doesn't come to war? Is war inevitable?

ADDENDUM: there's an article titled "HuffPo Pulls Article Calling for 'Ultimate Punishment' of Trump." Another stone in the mosaic that is the left's culture of violence. HuffPo's pulling of the article was wise, but in a sense, the damage has already been done. Here's an excerpt from the cached page of the article, because nothing online ever disappears forever:

Draining the swamp means not only ejecting Trump from the presidency, but also bringing himself and everyone assisting in his agenda up on charges of treason. They must be convicted (there is little room to doubt their guilt). And then — upon receiving guilty verdicts — they must all be executed under the law. Anything less than capital punishment — or at least life imprisonment without parole in a maximum security detention facility — would send yet another message to the world that America has lost its moral compass. In order for America’s morality and leadership to be restored, it must rebuke Donald Trump, his entire administration, and his legislative agenda in the strongest manner possible. And nothing would do more than to convict them of the highest offense defined by our Constitution, and then to deliver the ultimate punishment. Donald Trump deserves nothing less. [emphasis in original]

ADDENDUM 2: "8 Times Artists Tried to 'Kill' Presidents Bush, Trump"

ADDENDUM 3: more on the climate of hate here.


King Baeksu said...

Just throwing this out there:

1. Equating online comments with real-world violence is disingenuous. Nearly all the political violence over the past two years has come from the left. Some was even organized and paid for by the DNC, as revealed by James O'Keefe of Project Veritas. Even leftist professors have been physically assaulting free-speech protesters these days!

2. As for anti-Semitism on Gab, if Twitter and other MSM outlets didn't often shut out conservatives from mainstream discourse and debate, they would be far less likely to radicalize. Conservatives on Twitter are regularly banned, and yet blacks, Muslims and Jews who call for violence against whites generally get a free pass. Why?

3. Many Feds and leftist activists also pose as "Nazis" on the Internet, so everything you read online must be read with a grain of salt. Again, most of the real-world violence is coming from the left these days, not so-called "Nazis."

4. There is a real problem with Jews on Twitter and elsewhere saying "white people must die" and who seem to hate Western civilization. If they want to fight the scourge of anti-Semitism, I would suggest they cease their own hate speech first. Again, do they not think that such comments often radicalize their targets?

If the leftist MSM were actually interested in an honest and fair debate, many of the fringe elements on both sides would be quickly dispensed with. And yet they obviously aren't interested in any such thing at this point. On balance, the moral high ground is no longer on their side as far as I'm concerned.

Kevin Kim said...


"Equating online comments with real-world violence is disingenuous. Nearly all the political violence over the past two years has come from the left."

This is why I was at pains to give Styx the last word by linking directly to the part of his video where he talks about where the violence is coming from these days. I didn't equate words and violence at any point in my post.

As for the rest of your comment: I generally agree. On Twitter, you're right: very often, the crime is in what you don't see (suppressed righties) than in what you do see. And also true: the left's hate speech on Twitter does indeed get a free pass from the gatekeepers. A similar problem is cropping up on YouTube with the demonetization issue.

King Baeksu said...

Leftists today, who have gone soft from establishment power and intellectual complacency, would poop their pants if they actually had to debate a savage like Mark Steyn:

SteynPost #17: The Seduction of Violence