Fear the rise of political violence in America. We can still stop it.

Summary: The common responses to the increasing political violence in America range from cheering (for “our side”) to complacency. But the history of other republics, such as Rome and Weimar, show that political violence can spin out of control quickly, with ugly consequences. Our tolerance for it makes this possible. This is a follow-up to The “sucker punch” at the Berkeley riot reveals the rot in our politics.

“What’s past is prologue.”
— Antonio, in Act II Scene 1 of “The Tempest” by William Shakespeare.

Black Bloc marching in Milan. We can look forward to this in our cities.

Black Bloc in Milan

Declining Republics often display internal fragmentation and political violence. That’s the story of the late Roman Republic and the Weimar Republic. First, stress levels rose from rapid social change, increased inequality, and economic turmoil. Then people lost confidence in their core political institutions and centrist politicians were discredited — leading to the rise of extremists. Next, social cohesion decreased as groups start to see each other as a greater threats than external foes. This leads to violence as thugs gather under the flags of fringe groups — and joyfully clash (the violence feeding both sides).

America has all of these symptoms. Those of the early stages are more obvious. But lately we are showing signs of the more advanced ills, such as political violence. It began during the 2016 campaign, and has slowly grown in frequency and magnitude. The Berkeley riot (described here yesterday) was another small step towards a dark future for America. Update: the reaction to my post about the Berkeley riot (in the comments and on Twitter) consisted largely of people cheering “their” thugs.

AntiFascist march
Photo by Alex Ellinghausen.

It’s all about people

“He can’t be bought, bullied or negotiated with …some people just want to see the world burn.”
—   Alfred (Michael Caine) speaking of the Joker in The Dark Knight (2008).

Social processes similar to ours spun out of control quickly in the late Roman Republic. More familiar to us is the fall of Weimar, with the Freikorps and other gangs fighting in the street. Weimar was a petri dish in which violent groups fought and evolved, with the most virulent winning. Hitler drew upon the Freikorps’ experience to form the Nazi’s Sturmabteilung (aka the SA, the Storm Detachment).

It is our time to be tested, again. We’re the weak link in the Republic. As in the last days of the Roman Republic, we find self-government too heavy a burden. Then as now natura abhorret a vacuo. Already see powerful elites jousting for power.

Now they gather hordes to fight under their flags. Groups like Antifa and Black Bloc on the Left. Groups such as Oath Keepers and scores of right-wing militia on the Right. People who believe in their causes, and useful idiots, and street fighters. The first two produce pretty words that provide a facade of legitimacy for their movements. The thugs provide legitimacy in a different way. Americans love violence when done by the good guys.

Closing of the American Mind
Available at Amazon.

“Self-assertion, not justice or a clear view of the future, is the crucial element. Thus determination, will, commitment, caring (here is where this now silly expression got its force), concern or what have you become the new virtues. The new revolutionary charm became evident in the U.S. in the sixties….

“There is also something of this in the current sympathy for terrorists, because “they care.” I have seen young people, and older people too, who are good democratic liberals, lovers of peace and gentleness, struck dumb with admiration for individuals threatening or using the most terrible violence for the slightest and tawdriest reasons. They have a sneaking suspicion that they are face to face with men of real commitment, which they themselves lack. And commitment, not truth, is believed to be what counts.”

— From Allan Bloom’s Closing of the American Mind.

What next?

“I don’t mind hitting {the counter-demonstrators.} In fact, I would kind of enjoy it.”
— Stewart Rhodes, founder of the Oath Keepers (details here), in the LAT.

The conditions in America are favorable for political violence to grow. Low public confidence in the Republic’s institutions. Widespread ownership of guns. Cheers from Left and Right for their thugs. Already strong right-wing gangs (“militia”), about which intel agencies warned in 2009. Years of apocalyptic warnings from Left and Right create the sense of imminent doom that motivates people to take to the street. Commies! Nazis! Gonna take your guns! Gonna put you in camps! These fears are powered by America’s growing economic and social stress, plus our loss of social cohesion. The tinder is there for a fire which will prove difficult to extinguish, or even control.

The problems afflicting America have no inevitable results. They can spark citizen action electing officials to reform our government. But there are darker possible outcomes.

"Caesar" by Christian Meier
Available at Amazon.

Conclusions

Mrs. Powel of Philadelphia asked Dr. Franklin “What have we got, a republic or a monarchy?” “A republic, if you can keep it” replied the Doctor.

— Entry of 18 September 1787 in the Papers of Dr. James McHenry on the Federal Convention of 1787 (signed the Constitution, our 3rd Secretary of War & namesake of Fort McHenry).

Nothing can save America until we change. Unfortunately, the mystery of political reformation lies beyond the ken of our social scientists. Perhaps only large-scale turmoil can reawaken our spirit, although that did nothing for the Roman Republic or Weimar (nothing good, that is). Without reform, the best we can hope for are efficient and merciful tyrants.

It’s an old story. Christian Meier’s biography of Caesar describes the unwillingness of Rome’s people to bear the burdens of self-government (also see Rubicon: The Last Years of the Roman Republic by Tom Holland). Strong men contended for the throne, as seems increasingly likely to happen to America, when we turn to the police or military in response to widespread political violence.

The Founders modeled the United States after Rome, and worried that we would follow the same course. Their writings, such as the Federalist Papers, describe our love of liberty as the foundation of the Republic. The next generation or two might prove that we deserve their confidence. Or not.

William Butler Yeats by George Charles Beresford
By George Charles Beresford.

Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.

— “The Second Coming” by William Butler Yeats (1921).

Other posts about the Berkeley riot

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24 thoughts on “Fear the rise of political violence in America. We can still stop it.

  1. Second paragraph, third sentence is “Then people lost” and should be “Then people lose.” Seventh paragraph, “People who believe their causes” should be “People who believe in their causes.”

    Other than the above typos, another brilliant article. The only thing I can add is that the major media sources are ignoring the “Battle of Berkeley” with uncommon vigor while reporting on the Trump White House Easter Egg hunt remains strong (too many people, not enough eggs). The Berkeley story is probably hindered by the lack of simple themes that will predictably please a particular a major faction.

    Lack of reporting will not make the story go away or help the US confront the growing issue of internal disorder.

    Like

    1. After reporting two typos, I generated one of my own; “please a particular a major faction” should be “please a major faction of the US population.”

      Like

    2. Pluto,

      The reporting of the Berkeley incident by journalists is amazing! Amazingly suicidal. They are portraying the girl who Nathan Damigo punched as an innocent victim — not as someone who came to Berkeley to “hunt scalps” and riot. They don’t mention her stated intent on Facebook. The suspicious looking glove on her right hand. The photos of her suggesting that she was among those throwing bottles.

      It’s amazing to watch an institution self-destruct in real time. Their coverage of our wars abroad and politics at home, of business and society — all have largely become just streams of info into our minds from powerful special interests.

      The question for news media has been how to get people to pay for the news. If it is largely propaganda, then the people manufacturing the news or benefiting from it should pay for it. The Democratic party and all the flacks whose press releases journalists retype to make “news”. Why should we pay to watch and read such junk?

      Liked by 1 person

  2. The logical action at this point is to organize coliseum events where teams of political fighters are unleashed against each other in a fight to the pain. There is little to love in either violent fascists, violent leftists, or violent anarchist thugs. Let them fight it out on a regular schedule, under a set or rules that may keep deaths and cripplings to a minimum.

    Vicarious blood-letting is a time honored way of limiting violence to those who have trained and signed on to the risks. Amateur leagues might provide brief but entertaining pre-fight entertainment, to warm up the crowd.

    If these violent impulses are not channeled, that are apt to get out of control.

    Like

    1. alfin,

      “The logical action at this point is to organize coliseum events where teams of political fighters are unleashed against each other in a fight to the pain.”

      You raise several powerful questions.

      Unfortunately that is an option only for societies strong enough so that political violence is not a problem — those able to regulate or suppress those seeking power by violence. The street thugs are just their tools. We will see if America is still such a society.

      “If these violent impulses are not channeled, that are apt to get out of control.”

      I don’t believe America is a more violent society than it was a 20 or 100 years ago. As our long history of race riots and rebellions (the 1960s anti-war riots were protests against the draft) shows. How did we regulate or channel political violence? It was considered unacceptable.

      Perhaps the exceptions reveal something about this. Political violence against Black Americans was routine in the South until the mid-1960s. VIolent gangs were a standard part of urban politics during much of the 19th century (e.g., using firefighters, often especially organized and violent groups of men).

      Like

  3. Dear FM and all,

    In keeping with the mission statement of “helping to re-ignite the spirit of a nation grown cold”, allow me to rewind and point out the Death of the Constitution link above, which I think the analysis is not only remarkably durable (alas) for being more than a decade old on a blog, but is germane to the recent vigorous chatter, if not discussion, on the FM site. This is not about protest porn where Moldy Locks gets whacked by Zombie Timothy McVeigh. What were they all doing there and why?

    I don’t know the etymologies of community and common, but if I had to guess it would have to do with something shared or “in common”. What alarms me are not the symptoms: the violence, blood, cruelty, etc., as, well, that’s life (alas). What alarms me is the utter lack of willingness to see what we share in common: rule of law, all men (which I can without effort read as people) created equal before the law, inalienable rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of fulfillment (LOL, OK, they didn’t have Maslow back then, but you get what I’m saying), other rights alienable and debatable, etc. We have a framework to accommodate a diversity of perspectives, but not if people don’t want to accommodate a diversity of perspectives.

    Why are (some) people so remarkably incurious?

    How do we replace punching people in the head with asking why I might want to punch this person in the head in the first place?

    Why has dogma (in its sundry forms) replaced a quest for understanding?

    Can we have a nation that votes not caring a whit for knowing the Declaration of Independence and why it was written, why you might get in a knock down drag out fight about why you need the DoI to interpret the Constitution, why you need to sweat blood considering Reynolds v. US (that’s the text, btw) in how we think about religious freedom (which we do pretty damn well in the US cf. the rest of the known universe) etc., etc., etc

    You can vote in the US and not know that there is a Constitution. That’s simply an observation and I wonder what Aristotle, or Jefferson, or Madison, or Hamilton, or Washington would have thought about that? I wonder what Martin Luther King, Jr., would have thought for that matter?

    We have been gifted with a magnificent tradition, arguable, but scrutable, and we’re going to fight over dempster dumpsters?

    How this has all come to affect me personally is this: mere observation has become personal attack. There *is* no public discourse any longer. You simply identify with a tribe and fight. That’s ants versus termites not Whigs versus Tories or Federalists versus Republicans.

    What are the people throwing the punches for?

    I am sorry that I have no answers. Lots of questions, though, and a love. I don’t see what is replacing what we had as better that what came before, and I do have the perspective of Hammurabi (law bitchez!) to Magna Carta (whoa? Did that just happen?) to the English Bill of Rights of 1689 (SOME O DAT!) to the Declaration of Independence and US Constitution (No! Really! That’s *your* inheritance and can be for your kids as well!). Those admittedly selected points show a progressive trajectory, but what I’m seeing is having me extrapolating it to, if you’ll allow me to use a technical term, jack squat.

    Bill

    PS:

    28th Amendment to the Constitution of the United States of America

    Neither Congress, nor any State Legislature, nor any subordinate body politic thereto shall write a law that requires more letters, words, or pages than any Article in the Constitution of the United States of America, as originally written.

    Like

    1. Bill,

      Thank you for contributing.

      My answer to your questions is the Conclusions section, as I’ve stated it so many times before. The FM website provides non-consensus cutting edge insights — long before you read them in the NY Times.

      But my explanation for the source of our woes is the least popular of the many unpopular answers given in these 4,000 posts: we are the weak link in the Republic. No easy fix can help. No 28th amendment, no constitutional convention, no magic law will make a people desire to carry the burdens of self-government.

      So I try exhortation, of many kinds. It might not help even to a tiny degree, but it is the only idea I have.

      Like

  4. Dear FM,

    You have helped and are helping. I fight in different trenches than you, perhaps, but Wellington beat Napoleon because, damn it, an army marches on its stomach (they never learn). But all of that crazy Navy and trade stuff that goes along with letting the army march on its stomach. We need to contribute to the fight where we can (and must). I fight for rule of law. United we stand. My niche. I wish people understood how amazing the Romans were in their day and groked why fasces would be a defining symbol.

    SPQR

    Citizen used to mean something. As you will surely grok, answers are not to be found in an archive, but engagement with those who will be engaged.

    Thank you for hosting this great site and being a relentless, critical, defender for which it stands.

    Gratefully,

    Bill

    Like

  5. I find this tendency to blame “both” sides a bit worrying. I know it makes people feel like they are being fair, but this is just one in a series of recent events at Berkeley where violent extremists have tried to shut-down conservative events. If you go to a protest with the intent of preventing someone from speaking to a crowd of people that want to listen to what they have to say, you are on the wrong side of history, as Obama would say. No matter how offensive you find the speech, save calls to violence, it is not acceptable for “protesters” to try to prevent the event from happening. It is (still) a free country. Today their speech is oppressed, tomorrow it will be yours.

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    1. S Iris,

      While what you say is correct, we are well passed the point where that is relevant. Now we have violent thugs on both sides who congregate at events — with neither side condemning “their” thugs. How we got here is for historians. What we do from now on matters.

      That the Right is sending thugs is not a cause for thugs on the right to become vigilantees. That’s why we have police, responsible to protect the public and maintain order. They should act in these situations fast and strong. Failure by them to do so should be condemned fast and loudly.

      History shows that these situations — both sides gathering thugs — can escalate fast. We’re past the time for academic theorizing about which side is more virtuous. When violence breaks out, gas the crowd and throw them in jail. That creates the opportunity to determine who are the criminals among them. The others will have a day to meditate about the folly of participating in political violence.

      Like

  6. I also agree with you that police should act quickly. However I still disagree with the “both” sides are at fault argument. People have a right to exercise their freedom of speech, and your right to protest ends where my right to freedom of speech begins.

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    1. S Iris,

      “your right to protest ends where my right to freedom of speech begins.”

      That is the weirdest defense I’ve seen to date for two sets of thugs gathering weapons and traveling to beat each other’s heads in.

      But your comment nicely illustrates my point about tribes inventing narratives to justify the action of “their” thugs. These people are enabling the violence with their fancy words to justify violence. Remember your role if this escalates to serious widespread violence. You had the opportunity to forthrightly condemn these people, but choose not to.

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  7. It is not a defense it is a statement of fact based on the US constitution. You can try and say it’s “both side’s” fault all you want, but the fact is if you are trying to shut down a speaker, you are in the wrong not matter how you try and spin it.

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    1. S. Iris,

      “but the fact is if you are trying to shut down a speaker, you are in the wrong not matter how you try and spin it.”

      That’s not remotely correct. There is no constitutional protection to violence in defense of free speech. The only people authorized to do that are the police. Vigilantees using violence are criminals, just as much as those who start the violence. That’s both law and good sense.

      Gas and arrest them both. Let them argue overnight in prison, while police scan social media for those committing violent felonies (e.g., assault and aggravated assault).

      Like

  8. My statement was correct, despite your deflection, and I will state it again:

    If you go to a protest with the intent to shut down a speaker, you are in the wrong now matter how you try and spin it. You are attempting to usurp that person’s 1st amendment rights, which the constitution says you cannot do.

    More to the point, your article is trying to blame “both sides”, as if it is a couple of grade school boys in the playground. As with the grade school boys, it is extremely rare that physical violence is the fault of “both sides”. Most of the time one side is being attacked/raped/mugged. The “both sides” argument whitewashes the situation at Berkeley, and excuses the violence targeting the free speech of conservative speakers.

    You are however, correct about the increasing escalation of violence. I would contend that this is a direct result of ignoring the “blame” for that violence. One precursor in the buildup to the latest brawl was the event where Milos Yiannopoulos was to speak at Berkeley in Feb. Violent protesters caused $100,000 damage, brought weapons, and shut the event down. There was no alt-Right there to defend Milo, so the protested just busted things and clobbered the odd innocent bystander. There was no “other side” committing violence, it was completely one-sided. This event was “successful” for the alt-Left or whatever you want to call them, and likely set the stage for the latest riot at Berkeley. The MSM and many on the left focused on how “offensive” Milo is, creating the narrative that it was not the “protesters” fault, but rather “Milo’s” fault for having such offensive views.

    So I’ll ask you this, do you think the violence at Milo’s event was the fault of “both” sides? Do you think Milo, invited by the Berkeley republicans group, has a right to speak at Berkeley?

    Like

    1. S .Iris,

      (a) “My statement was correct, despite your deflection, and I will state it again:”

      You’re not even pretending to respond to what I’m saying. Try responding to quotes. It might help to you see what the other person is saying.

      (b) “do you think the violence at Milo’s event was the fault of “both” sides?”

      There was only one side rioting at Milo’s event.

      (c) “Do you think Milo, invited by the Berkeley republicans group, has a right to speak at Berkeley?”

      Too stupid a question to bother with. Perhaps you are just trolling. The great rule of the internet is Don’t Feed The Trolls.

      Rattle on to yourself if it makes you happy. There is no point to responding to you repeating the same nonsense over and over.

      Like

  9. I am sorry I have upset you, it is your blog and I suppose I am I being a bit cheeky coming here and challenging your viewpoint.

    Am I a troll? I suppose it depends on your definition. I do not post to annoy people, but rather to share my perspective, which I realize in this case disagrees with yours. Is that trolling? I don’t post stupid memes, and I am polite and would never insult anyone or their viewpoint.

    I have been arguing that one contributing factor for the rise in violence in politics today (the subject of this article), is the failure to assign blame for violence where it belongs. In your answer to b), we agree, it was one-sided. You must realize that the latest escalation in violence at Berkeley was organized by this same (anti-facist) group. This time people on the other side organized to prevent the event from being shut down. This is really the job of the police, but they are not doing it, probably for political reasons. Therefore, I disagree that the violence was the fault of “both” sides, although one could argue that the anti-anti-fascists (pro-Trump?) did not have to chase them away after they defended their ground. But hey, people are human.

    I work as a research scientist. I post under an anonymous account because I do not have tenure, and I could lose my job for having conservative views. No one would say overtly why I would not be renewed, it would be exactly the same type of prejudice as would be practiced against gay people, or people of color a few decades ago (I am mixed race). Even if I had tenure, as a conservative in academia, if I “came out” as conservative I would be shunned by (most of) my peers and I would never get a grant again. I would not dare like a pro-Trump tweet on my lab twitter page, as I watch the many anti-Trump insult tweets from my peers fly by. Is this tolerance? I hire smart kids from all over the world, and the only criteria is talent, but yet people would call me a racist just because I am conservative.

    I want the same as you do. I want to live in a free country. I want fairness and justice for all. The only difference between me and you is that we have different ideas of how to accomplish that goal.

    Like

    1. SIris,

      “I am sorry I have upset you”

      Please don’t cosplay Professor Xavier and pretend to know my thinking. Try giving specific quotes and replying to them, instead of making stuff up.

      “I suppose I am I being a bit cheeky coming here and challenging your viewpoint.”

      Total bs. There are 50,000+ comments on the FM website. To most I have answered them as I have yours, by giving quotes and factual & logical responses. Since the issues here are on the edge of the known, most of the comments range from disagreement to hostile. As seen on this thread.

      “Am I a troll?”

      Try responding to the specific example I gave of troll-like behavior, rather than giving another vague lecture.

      “I have been arguing that one contributing factor for the rise in violence in politics today (the subject of this article), is the failure to assign blame for violence where it belongs.”

      As I have patiently explained several times, your analysis is quite bogus. I explained it a different way to another commenter here; you might find that clearer.

      But my specific objection was that you show zero evidence of even reading my replies. So why bother replying to you?

      Like

  10. I understand that you prefer quotes in your replies.

    You wrote: “Please don’t cosplay Professor Xavier and pretend to know my thinking. Try giving specific quotes and replying to them, instead of making stuff up.”

    OK, your tone was becoming increasing aggressive, which I associate with being upset, for example you wrote: “Rattle on to yourself if it makes you happy.”, “Perhaps you are just trolling.”, “You’re not even pretending to respond to what I’m saying.”, “why bother replying to you?”, “you show zero evidence of even reading my replies”. These are not phrases I expect to see in a civilized, logic-based discussion, so I attribute them to emotional factors.

    You write: “As I have patiently explained several times, your analysis is quite bogus. I explained it a different way to another commenter here; you might find that clearer.”

    Calling my analysis bogus is not an argument, and the arguments in the post you link to do not address the point I am trying to make, that the blame for violence lies with the initiators of that violence. In the link you are claiming that the “He did it first” is not an argument for committing a crime. This argument is flawed. If someone punches me, and I punch him back, I have not committed a crime. The argument you make is prejudicial, it presupposes that the response to the initial act is illegal, which is not always the case.

    Related to that, you write: “There is no basis in US law for vigilantees to commit crimes to protect “free speech” or maintain order. That’s why we have police.”

    Although there is no basis for vigilantism, there is a right to self defense. If someone attacks me, i.e. initiates violence and is therefor to blame, I have the legal right to defend myself, including lethal force if appropriate. This right extends to people protecting others as well. I own a bar, I can hire bouncers to physically protect people if someone starts a fight, or physically detain people who have committed crimes (assaulted others) until the cops arrive. If they resist and start trying to punch the bouncer, the bouncer can use reasonable force. Bouncers have no more rights than you or I, and the legal requirement for them to be able to use force is the same, that the other person initiated the violence. This again speaks to the idea that the person initiating the violence is to blame. The same is true for companies that hire guards, such as banks, or concerts that have guards to protect the famous, public transit officers, and other types of security workers, and even private individuals, such as neighborhood watch.

    Vigilantism differs from self-defense in an important way, that in a legal context often manifests in the timing of events. If someone beats up my friend, and I go to their house and beat them up, I am a vigilante, it is revenge, and I have committed a crime. If someone is beating up my friend, and I step in and use reasonable force to stop him, it is self defense, and it is legal.

    You wrote: “Try responding to the specific example I gave of troll-like behavior, rather than giving another vague lecture.”

    Again, this is a bit rude. I was explaining my personal experience in academia, and calling my insight a “another vague lecture” is dismissive. You are doing this on purpose to avoid addressing the content. I was trying to explain to you the problems conservatives face in academia, where progressive/left views are in the majority, and they all agree with each other about what is right and wrong, and collectively try to silence conservatives. How is this different than any other ideological discrimination, such as religious discrimination? These forces in academia are a central driving factor in the violence at Berkeley against conservative events.

    Which brings us to the current dilemma conservative speakers face at Berkeley. Anne Coulter, a nationally popular author with 12 best selling books, will speak at Berkeley later this month. Antifa is organizing people to shut down her event and prevent her from speaking by using violence. They will show up with masks and weapons, and everyone know this. If the police refuse to protect her 1st amendment rights, what are her options? Wait until politicians decide to allow the police to do something about Antifa? How long should she wait? If there is no political will should freedom of speech be surrendered?

    As my original comment said: “I find this tendency to blame “both” sides a bit worrying. I know it makes people feel like they are being fair, but this is just one in a series of recent events at Berkeley where violent extremists have tried to shut-down conservative events”

    The fault lies with the people organizing to use violence to suppress freedom of speech. Organizing citizens to defend that right is not illegal.

    Like

    1. S Iris,

      You are repeating yourself and ignoring my replies. To repeat, yet again…

      (1) “Although there is no basis for vigilantism, there is a right to self defense.”

      Thank you for your 2 paragraphs of civics for children. You don’t apply that to the Berkeley riot, so I will do so. Louise was standing there. Nathan attacked her: that’s battery. Louise hit Nathan in self-defense. It’s on video, so Nathan faces likely prosecution and conviction.

      (2) “In the link you are claiming that the “He did it first” is not an argument for committing a crime. This argument is flawed. If someone punches me, and I punch him back, I have not committed a crime”

      I have said probably 50 times in this thread that Louise exercised her right to self-defense by hitting Nathan. Nathan attacked a woman standing there, so he is guilty of battery. Self-defense is not a crime. Battery is a crime, and “he did it first” is not a defense to battery. Most people learn this by age 6. Odd that you have not. But that is the point of this post (which you show no sign of having read).

      (3) “I was trying to explain to you the problems conservatives face in academia”

      Not relevant to this discussion of a riot in Berkeley, nor to the issues I raise in this post.

      (4) “If the police refuse to protect her 1st amendment rights, what are her options?”

      Unless she is being personally attacked, she has no right to have her thugs beat up other people. That would be a crime by her thugs, and perhaps also by her (incitement to riot is a Federal crime and also one in most or all States).

      Let’s hope America survives you and your friends on the Left and Right. Other nations haven’t.

      Like

  11. “(1) Thank you for your 2 paragraphs of civics for children. You don’t apply that to the Berkeley riot, so I will do so. Louise was standing there. Nathan attacked her: that’s battery. Louise hit Nathan in self-defense. It’s on video, so Nathan faces likely prosecution and conviction.”

    No it is you that are repeating yourself and ignoring my replies, and continue to be rude and dismissive. The violence is being initiated by Antifa, and everyone knows it. The Milo and other previous events are proof of that. Claiming this does not apply to the latest riot is not an argument, rather is an attempt to avoid a discussion of the cause of the riot, and the context that precipitated it.

    “(2) I have said probably 50 times in this thread that Louise exercised her right to self-defense by hitting Nathan. Nathan attacked a woman standing there, so he is guilty of battery. Self-defense is not a crime. Battery is a crime, and “he did it first” is not a defense to battery. Most people learn this by age 6. Odd that you have not. But that is the point of this post (which you show no sign of having read).”

    Again, rude and dismissive. You are just trying to derail the conversation by going into the details of the specific actions of Nathan and Louise. I am trying to address the cause of the riot, and I contend that a contributing factor is the failure to assign blame to those who initiate the violence. You are saying it is both sides’ fault, and you refuse to have any discussion of that. Not an argument.

    I wrote: “(3) “I was trying to explain to you the problems conservatives face in academia” and you reply “Not relevant to this discussion of a riot in Berkeley, nor to the issues I raise in this post”

    I told you previously why it is very relevant, and you provide no argument to the contrary. If you want to claim it is irrelevant, then you need to say why. I think it is difficult to argue that the hostility towards conservatives and conservative ideas in academia has nothing to do with the Berkeley riots, or the violence at the Milo event.

    I wrote “(4) “If the police refuse to protect her 1st amendment rights, what are her options?” and you replied with “Unless she is being personally attacked, she has no right to have her thugs beat up other people. That would be a crime by her thugs, and perhaps also by her (incitement to riot is a Federal crime and also one in most or all States).”

    This is another non-answer. You just jump to the conclusion that anything she does to defend her right to free speech means she is initiating violence against innocents, which is patently false. She has the right to organize people to protect herself and her listeners.

    “You are repeating yourself and ignoring my replies. To repeat, yet again…”

    I am not ignoring your replies, I just don’t agree with your logic, and I am trying to explain to you why. Maybe you should spend more characters providing arguments for your opinions rather than insulting me.

    Like

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