Guest post: A validation of violence as a form of political expression

Originally a comment by Bruce Gorton on Does the left hate women?

Considering we’re talking radical left, I think a lot of it has to do with Antifa, or the philosophy behind Antifa.

Antifa is fundamentally, as an idea, a validation of violence as a form of political expression, as a tactic in political debate.

Now this strain of thought predates Antifa as a formalized idea on the radical left, but it was with Antifa that it formed enough coherency to be properly identified.

So when Islamists launch terror attacks in Western nations – think the Charlie Hebdo massacre for example – that is seen as not just a political statement, but a valid one. The conversation is always shifted to historic “context” with an emphasis on demonizing the victims. There is always the excuse of justified grievances.

In less radical spheres, in civil discussion we tend to consider violence an invalidating factor. If you punch somebody because they disagree with you, you’ve ceded the argument, because my ability to thump you doesn’t translate into me being right.

But with this ideology where violence is considered a legitimate means of making a point, those who are more willing to use violence are afforded greater credibility than those who are not. If we allow violence as a response to non-violence, we descend into rule by thuggery.

LGB and women are generally less willing to use violence than the trans community. I think the problem with saying LGBTQ will always lose, is T are prized over the rest of the alphabet soup, because lets face it a baseball bat wrapped in barbed wire isn’t a lesbian symbol.

Atheists and women tend to land at the bottom of the list, women because physiology means that women are at a disadvantage in a fight. The same reasons for the sex divide in sports, means that women trying to defend that divide are at a physical disadvantage. Atheists because of the meme about how religious militants kill, atheist militants write books.

I think a part of this is the psychology that comes from phrasing radical leftwing identity politics as “allyship”. I think the concept of “allies” is fundamentally toxic – men who identify as “feminist allies” aren’t feminists. By definition they are men who see feminism as something that can be exploited to further their own political goals, that is the nature of an alliance.

You don’t have to agree with an ally, you just need to see them as a useful tool.

So who is more useful as an ally if you accept the idea that violence is an appropriate means of arguing political points? A 60-year-old woman, or a 30-year-old male pervert in a dress? Women who are simply stating biological fact, or men who will spend the better part of a decade smearing and sending death threats to a much beloved female author because she said something they didn’t like?

Of course, one needs to bear in mind that the only really successful movement in the left since the rise of Antifa, has been atheists. We’re so wildly successful that when a religious conservative doesn’t like an idea, they proclaim that idea to be a “religion”. Even the people who are pro-religion, phrase being a religion as a problem.

An increased willingness to use violence might help you with the radical left, but I’m not sure it would help you with literally anyone else.

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