Reader’s Comment: As a black woman, I am appalled by both sides in Charlottesville

In response to ‘Rebel Priest’ Rev Jules Gomes: The Left is way more dangerous than loony white supremacists, MorganCourtenay wrote:

The extreme Right and the extreme Left are one and the same. Both masquerade behind what they claim is justice, both pretend to be the victim of justified disgust with their beliefs, both will pose as peaceful, reasonable people while using every violent tactic in the book to attack and subdue innocent, ordinary people.

Obviously, as a black woman, I am disgusted and appalled by the white supremacist schmooze-fest in Charlottesville - lunatics (although not all of these lunatics are unintelligent people) in bedsheets ranting, raving and endangering innocent people only increases contempt for their bilge.

That being said, the extreme Left are not the saviours they claim to be, and their odious self-righteousness, hypocrisy, hatred and contradictory ideology, which makes them trumpet the cause of justice while stamping on the rights won for all free citizens makes them just as fraudulent. Furthermore, they don't seem to realise or mind that their own excess of folly empowers the vile white supremacists, and vice versa. It's a pathetic cycle.


  • UKCitizen

    When you get continuously labelled as deplorable, racist, homophobic, Islamaphobic, sexist etc etc and despite your show of contrition and self reflection you are then just labelled as institutionally racist etc etc and incapable of being otherwise, you can imagine that some who would normally be receptive to the liberal ideal may just side with those they are lumped in with whether they agree with them or not.
    The rise(if you could call it that) of the far right is a direct reaction to the overpowering influence of the far left and the identity politics they are poisoning the US with at the moment.

  • Mike

    There has been a belief that freedom of thought, speech and association were essential to liberty. Voltaire said “I disagree with what you say but agree with you the right to say it “. The Jarrow Marches of the 1930s and the CND marches of the 1950s were conducted peacefully. From 1968, a section of left wing middle class has believed that violence should be used to obtain what they want. The rise of the Red Brigades, Red Army Faction ,Action Directe and others were a logical conclusion of left wing thought which only stopped with the collapse of the USSR in 1989. Orwell points out the totalitarian nature of the left wing middle class in his essays.

    I would suggest that it is time to state there is freedom of thought, speech and assembly provided no-one threatens violence and for demonstrators to be protected. Demonstrations need to be organised to prevent violence and if this means keeping people apart, stopping traffic and controlling movement so be it but as soon as objects are thrown and violence threatened: the arrests need to be made.

    There are a massive range of groups, National Front, Column 88, BNP, Muslim Brotherhood, Hizb ut Tahrir, Communist and Trotskyists who all support totalitarian regimes and suppression of thought, speech, writings and assembly. If one looks at history, people moved from Communism to Fascism and back. Mussolini met and was approved by Lenin in Switzerland in 1905. Many communist became Nazis and then after 1945 reverted to working for the East German security forces.

    I would suggest that the character of those who join any of the previously mentioned groups are largely the same. They are brittle, thin skin skinned, impractical, conceited, dull, thuggish rather than tough, with a herd mentality, resentful, with no sense of the absurd or humour: they are totally un-productive. All great works and achievements require hard working and an ability to admit ones mistakes, otherwise one does not progress.Totalitarian regimes and people with this attitude cannot admit to making mistakes. All beliefs and religions should be rigorously examined and be prepared to be mocked. Those which cannot withstand ridicule are brittle and will crack but those which are resilient will endure. The longest living organism in the World is the Yew tree, famous for it’s resilience which can live 9,000 years. Cast iron is brittle but iron worked properly produces swords with sharp cutting edges, are resilient and able to withstand blows.

    As Orwell said ” The goose step is the heel of the dictator smashing down on the faces of those who laugh at them “.

    The opposite are resourceful, resilient and humerous people who love liberty and wish the same for others. People who are original in thought and practical deeds, are cheerful in the face of adversity and resourceful, create civilisations. Those who rant and rave are bitter resentful and self pitying failures. When these groups produce a civilisation to match Greece, art of the Renaissance, The Agricultural and Industrial Revolutions, Magna Carta and representative democracy then they may have something to say. As Orwell said, once one starts to censor then it has an adverse impact on all aspects of thought and then civilisation atrophies.

    Even during the Napoleonic Wars, British cartoonists mocked the Royal Family and the governing classes which proved Britain possessed a relaxed confidence. Napoleon actually asked the British cartoonists to stop mocking him.

  • Charitas Lydia

    Very well said!

  • timbazo

    In response to ‘Mike’ below:

    ” … it is time to state there is freedom of thought, speech and assembly provided no-one threatens violence … ” I am not an expert but I believe that the US First Amendment goes further and is an absolute protection of the right to free speech, i.e. including the right to advocate violence. I would welcome any correction or qualification if I am wrong.

    ” … a section of left wing middle class has believed that violence should be used to obtain what they want.” I would question the use of the word ‘middle’. More like ‘upper-middle class’, people who have grown up to believe that they have a right to rule over the rest of us. Many have gone to private school, which has only reinforced their caste mentality (an insidious consequence of private education amongst many positive consequences).

    • Mike

      timbazo. Agreed. My experience is that the impractical effete upper middle class who have never taken part in boxing, rugby, hockey , lacrosse or combat worship violent revolution and power, which they lack.

      Most heavy industrial sites comprise people with a marvellous sense of humour and if one does not have one, then one is quickly teased. I would suggest the ability to knock seven bells out of someone else and have the same done to oneself and then shake hands and laugh about after a game of rugby, hockey, lacrosse and a boxing match demonstrates the resilience and good humour which undermines totalitarian thought.

      What I think is a threat to liberty is when people can not see how ridiculous are the screeching and strutting leaders who propose totalitarian regimes. How the Germans could not see how absurd appeared Hitler and Himmler with all their strutting and screeching amazes me. Casto with his speeches lasting hours; how ridiculous. PG Wodehouse ridiculed Moseley by having his fascists be called Black Shorts and having their leader, own a lingerie shop.

      • Yep, most of them in my experience have experienced life from a book (maybe a YouTube video these days). One learns many lessons in the arena of life. One of them is that you ain’t gonna win them all. But you’ll win none if you don’t try, and if you cheat too much, well so will your opponents, and one of them will be better at it than you.

        The Germans were a bit of a special case, I suspect. I think a good many did, but they were simply out of ideas, and things were quite bad. Cuba, well Batista was actually no prize either, and once Castro was in, wasn’t much to be done.

      • Mike Fowle

        From memory, the exchange went something like this:
        “They are called the Black Shorts, Sir.”
        “Shirts, you mean”.
        “No, Sir, shirts had been taken and they had to revert to shorts.”
        “Footer bags? How perfectly foul”.

    • therealguyfaux ✓ᵛᵉʳᶦᶠᶦᵉᵈ

      The rule of thumb in US First Amendment jurisprudence is, “How likely is what is being said liable to cause an immediate threat to public order and safety?” The case on point is Brandenburg v. Ohio. 395 US 444, 1969, where it is only the provocation by the speaker that is looked to as to whether the speech is suppressible.

      One even can, e.g., address an academic conference and couch one’s words fairly carefully and advocate the overthrow of the US government, as in, “When things become truly intolerable, as Jefferson noted, the people have a right to rise up and forcibly remove their leaders from office.”, because there would be no imminence of any particular danger to any particular officeholder, as that speaker is only advocating violent overthrow “theoretically” and subject to conditions which his/her address would seem to imply are not satisfied in that particular moment.

      • Indeed, fighting words are not allowed. In other words a clear inducement to violence. Other things are those such as “Yelling fire in a crowded theater” when there is no fire. Thing which have an obvious ill intent would be one way to phrase it.

        • therealguyfaux ✓ᵛᵉʳᶦᶠᶦᵉᵈ

          “Say that again and I will beat you senseless!”, and then the first person repeating the insult, is certainly the sort of “fightin’ words” that can be punished as such. “The false cry of ‘Fire!’ in a crowded theatre” is a similar sort of punishable offence. But those are “after the fact.” In those instances it is the RESULT of the exercise of the “unfettered free speech” that is being punished, not the “exercise per se.”

          The issue is one of “prior restraint,” which the First Amendment finds abhorrent. Think of it as a posted speed limit sort of thing. Sure, the authorities tell you that if you exceed the speed limit, you leave yourself open for prosecution, but unless they’re going to put all sorts of barriers along the motorway, they cannot proactively enforce the restrictions. And if they do THAT, they defeat the purpose of having motorways in the first place.

        • Tethys

          How about Trump’s recent speech to the Police?

        • Hypnoticreindeer

          It might be worth your while looking up the origins of the phrase: “Fire in a crowded theatre.”

          https://www.theatlantic.com/national/archive/2012/11/its-time-to-stop-using-the-fire-in-a-crowded-theater-quote/264449/

      • LoveMeIamALiberal

        The other relevant case is National Socialist Party of America v Village of Skokie, 1977. The NSPA wanted to march through Skokie, Illinois, probably because it had a large Jewish population and reputedly more living Holocaust survivors than any other town in the US. The Supreme Court found that the NSPA had rights under the 1st amendment to not only march in their uniforms but carry their swastika flags.

        • It was and their rights to march were supported by the ACLU (a quite liberal organization) who in fact also supported the rights of the permitted march in Charlottesville. The difference was in Skokie, the march was basically ignored and forgotten, as was the group making it.

  • The Duke of Umberland, England

    Miss

    The reason why the Alt Left and Right are more dangerous may because both have thought through the consequences of a world where ‘God is dead’.

    In such a world there is no over-arching objective ethics (revealed by a Creator God) to appeal to.

    In such a world, Miss, only one lever remains to be pulled: violence in extremis.

    • UKCitizen

      Being an Atheist even I see the problem of a world without God and why Gods were needed.
      If you are only accountable to mans law (the state) then it only has power if you get caught and if it is enforced. It is also controlled and manipulated by man so may change with the political winds so is temporal and therefore what moral control does it really have over you?
      A law defined by God(whichever God you ascribe to) makes you accountable at all times both in life and death, therefore judgement and punishment is eternal and inescapable.
      In low IQ populations you can see the power this would have in bringing disparate groups together, maintaining order and providing an overall moral framework which everyone adheres to. The birth of civilisation!
      When there are only a few high IQ people in charge who hold the knowledge, then it matters not if they are believers so long as they seem to be beholden to the same principles as the plebs.
      The problem comes when there are a lot of questioning high IQ people which causes the whole concept to dilute and we are back to mans laws.
      You cannot remove knowledge without also removing the IQ that seeks it, so without us returning to a peasant/worker based low IQ populace we are stuck with mans laws.
      The question is how do we put the moral authority back into mans laws without turning into an authoritarian state.

      • The Duke of Umberland, England

        ‘The question is how do we put the moral authority back into mans laws without turning into an authoritarian state.’

        You begin at the meta-physical level.

        Your forefathers, whether Christian or not, believed and acted as if there were an objective scale of ethical values.

        For example, it was accepted that passion would be subordinate to reason.

  • Charlottesville demonstrates the absolute worst of identity politics, this poisonous ideology that reduces everything to oppressor and oppressed in the races, sexes, sexualities, and now religion, undermining people’s confidence in their race, sex etc., then setting these different identity groups against each other.

    The so-called extreme left and extreme right, communism/Marxism and fascism/Nazism, are two sides of the same coin, the mirror-image of each other. The former promotes the foreigner and the immigrant as the “master race”, while the native (so-called “white” race) is racist, oppressive, can do no good and needs to be brought down. Nazism (national socialism, as opposed to international socialism) does the opposite, promoting the native white master race, and reducing other races to the role of slaves, or worse.

    You see this poison reflected in the media, in the way the Daily Mail demonizes immigrants, while the Guardian slaughters the natives. Charlottesville shows the tragic consequences of this poison.

  • Bosanova

    Well said.
    The extreme left and the extreme right are both cut from the same totalitarian cloth – nearly identical in outlook and approach.