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Neutralizing Ngo: The Apologetics of Antifascist Street Violence

In Politics and the English Language, George Orwell observed that “political speech and writing are largely the defence of the indefensible.” He detailed how certain manners of diction are employed to that end—dying metaphors, verbal false limbs, pretentious and otherwise meaningless words all work to constitute a kind of inflated, euphemistic style of expression. This divests language of plain meaning in order to obscure brutal realities and to hide the “gap between one’s real and one’s declared aims.” As these habits are adopted and spread, clear thinking and good communication become more difficult and the process self-perpetuates. Stupid, ugly, and oppressive ideas actively distort language to create a semblance of reason and respectability; in turn, the corruption of language further predisposes people to uncritically accept and conform to the same sorts of orthodoxies.

In a vein similar to Orwell’s lexicology of apologetics, criminological theory may help inform an understanding of how speech is used in defense of the indefensible at another level of analysis—that of rhetorical strategies. Specifically, what follows is a look at the online discourse surrounding the recent assault of a journalist by antifascist demonstrators, as viewed through the lens of Neutralization Theory.

Neutralization

The crux of Neutralization Theory is this: acts that would violate accepted laws or norms, or otherwise contradict one’s beliefs or self-image, carry the threat of guilt and shame. That threat can be neutralized, allowing for such violations to occur, using rationalizations that deny the disparity between one’s values and actions. In a sense, these rationalizations are coping strategies for managing moral dissonance, quieting one’s conscience in the pursuit or defense of expedience.

Neutralization Theory was originally conceived as an explanation of juvenile delinquency by Gresham Sykes and David Matza. It has since been broadly expanded and applied to adult and white-collar crime, and to other acts of deviance and subcultural divergence. It has been used to examine honor crimes as well as the coping strategies of domestic violence victims, the denial of elderly abuse by both victims and abusers, the perpetration of right-wing violence and online ideological extremism, and even genocide and intergenerational war guilt.

Neutralization Theory “transcends the realm of criminology…[with] ‘universal applicability,’ as it can be applied to any situation where there are inconsistencies between one’s actions and beliefs,” whether individually or collectively. And so, while it has not yet been formally applied to the kind of context examined here (i.e., apologetic framings of leftist political street violence), the sheer breadth of the literature seems to suggest a cursory exploration in that direction may be warranted and fruitful.

Neutralizing Ngo

On June 29, 2019, left-wing activists staged a counter-protest to a rally hosted by the Proud Boys in Portland, Oregon. Andy Ngo, a local journalist and editor for Quillette, who has covered Antifa and its conflicts with the far-Right in the city, was in attendance and recording.

Known for his critical coverage of Antifa, and having been harassed at prior events, Ngo was subject to repeated attacks on this occasion. What began with stonewalling escalated as milkshakes were thrown, and Ngo was punched and kicked, without retaliation, by a group of masked and black-clad demonstrators. A woman can be heard yelling, “Fuck you, Andy!” As he was attempting to walk away, Ngo was sprayed with silly string, egged, and pelted with milkshake as others in the crowd taunted and followed him. Beaten and robbed of his equipment, Ngo was then taken to a hospital with injuries to his face and neck, and a reported brain hemorrhage.

The incident sparked a flurry of commentary across social and news media in short order. Condemnation poured in quickly from the Right; a more ambivalent mixture of schadenfreude, mockery, and other tentative attempts at minimization proceeded more slowly from the Left. At least among relatively mainstream progressive voices, the incident was understandably problematic. Bluntly put: a masked mob publicly beat and robbed a gay, Asian journalist who offered no resistance. That should not be an easy image to digest from any respectable point of view, much less from any recognizably liberal or progressive system of values. It is also difficult to square with the professed purpose and aims of the antifascist movement, a cause which in recent years has enjoyed no small measure of sympathy and support among the left-leaning commentariat.

It is precisely these sorts of gaps—between behavior and value; image and reality—where techniques of neutralization can be expected to appear. Sykes and Matza identified five such techniques, which I have applied to the case of Ngo’s assault in what follows.

1. Denial of Responsibility: The Offender as Faultless for their Actions

Given the documentation of the attacks, it is difficult to argue that these actions were merely accidental. However, the offenders’ responsibility can be diminished in other ways, such as by couching their actions as somehow predetermined. These sorts of “play with fire, expect to get burned” rationalizations diminish the intentions of Ngo’s assailants, and thereby their blameworthiness. The indefensible becomes merely inevitable.

A more sophisticated formulation of this strategy is to excise the offending actions from the narrative chain of events, redirecting focus to some antecedent conditions. “It’s not a surprise a conservative writer was bloodied in a street brawl in Portland,” explains the standfirst to a piece at HuffPost, “far-right extremists have been freely hosting skirmishes there for years.” Implicit here is the idea that, because a skirmish has been “hosted,” the other side must participate, and that attacking a journalist somehow necessarily follows. Thus, it might safely be disregarded as mere distraction from what “really” went on.

2. Denial of Injury: The Offense as Harmless

After Ngo was hit with a milkshake earlier in the day, he tweeted a picture of his splashed backpack, with the comment, “’Peaceful’ Protest.” This was met with much derision and scorn. Some back-pedalled as events unfolded while others forged ahead, using humor and hyperbole to diffuse the seriousness of the attacks. “RIP Andy Ngo, whose brain exploded into diarrhea fragments from getting hit with a single piece of silly string,” began one comment in a since-deleted series of Tweets.

Others downplayed the assaults by emphasizing the milkshake and silly string elements, while reducing the rest to “a few punches” that “didn’t even knock him down,” or omitting it altogether. Some reduced Ngo’s injuries to “a few scratches and bruises,” while others speculated that the brain injury was a fabrication, based on as little as, for example, Ngo’s ability to send a tweet:

A subtle variation on this theme was pointedly noting the amount of publicity Ngo garnered from his attack. Of particular consternation was the amount of money raised by the GoFundMe set up in his name. The implication seemed to be that, whatever harms he suffered were offset (and then some) by the financial and reputational profits he had gained. The attack was, in one commenter’s words, “the greatest thing that could have happened to his career.” “Don’t worry about Ngo,” a columnist at the Independent reassured us, “[h]e’s been discharged from hospital with a big fat GoFundMe of around $160,000.”

3. Denial of Victimhood: Blaming the Victim

Closely akin to the book-keeping strategy of denying injury is the suggestion that Ngo did not just profit from his attacks, but actively sought to be victimized for that purpose, and that he had (to some degree) provoked his assault.

Such denials often took the form of pointing to his earlier stated fear that he could be assaulted, to imply that he somehow willed it; or, accusing Ngo of getting in “people’s faces”; or, suggesting that his refusal to back off and leave after “peaceful requests” by demonstrators who “felt unsafe” in his presence made him the aggressor.

Others reached further back in time to characterize Ngo as a “doxxer” of Antifa members, an “Islamophobe” and “eugenicist,” who is responsible for a “kill list” of left-wing journalists, and so on. And, of course, some rationalized that he got what he deserved for being a “fascist”—a somewhat necessary connection to draw at some point, one supposes, when attempting to justify “antifascist” violence. However, its rhetorical utility runs deeper than simply drawing semantic congruence between the action and the target:

Fascism is one of those meaningless words that Orwell identifies as having been untethered from any sensible intention in politicized language to become a sort of free-floating connotation of disapproval. In some corners of contemporary anti-fascist thought (and elsewhere), this lack of definitional boundaries has even been embraced. Fascism, or so the reasoning goes, is not one but many things. Insofar as it must be resisted by any means necessary in order to prevent even greater evils, the question must be left open of “those for whom violent intervention could be an ethical possibility.”

It is the (fittingly Orwellian) notion of “preemptive self-defense,” endlessly interpretable and applicable without the limitations of conventional language or logic, distilled down to a single epithet: “fascist.”

4. Appeal to Higher Loyalties: A Wrongful Action Excused in the Service of a Greater Good

If antifascism can be vague—even deliberately so—about what it is against, it is murkier still about what it for. It is difficult to frame Ngo’s assault as just a broken egg for the sake of an omelet, when it isn’t clear what’s on the menu. However, as a creature of the Left and of modern society, it is important that antifascist actions are not framed as antagonistic to the values of the mainstream.

As such, it becomes very important to make clearall else aside—that Andy Ngo is not a journalist. Or, if he is a journalist, his identity as a “fascist” supersedes that status.

Likewise: even though he is gay, that does not mean he isn’t homophobic; even though he is Asian, that does not mean he isn’t a white supremacist. A diagnosis of internalized hatred goes a long way towards papering over the oxymoronic.

Various allusions to WWII were also predictably common (if historically confused), anointing Antifa as the moral heirs to the veterans of the Allied forces, by tacit argumentum ad dictionarium reasoning. In this historical halo-grab, what matters is not the ethics of Ngo’s assault (“of course it was wrong, but…”). Rather, it is denying the enemy their “Horst Wessel” moment in the propaganda war.

5. Condemnation of the Condemners: Deflecting Blame with Recrimination and Whataboutism

Suffice it to say, Charlottesville and comparative body counts came up. Like, a lot:

Drifting into (and out of) Extremism

It is sometimes said that anything uttered or written before the word “but” is worthless. In the context of neutralizing speech, what comes after the “but” is the rhetorical work; what precedes it is what is most sincere.

When someone says, “political violence is wrong, but…,” Neutralization Theory would have us understand that they do very much believe that. That does not mean it is always an accurate reflection of who they are or what they are doing at any given moment. But it is worth keeping in mind that neutralization techniques are only necessary because the speaker acknowledges the legitimacy of social norms and is committed to their values. If that were not the case, there would be no need to rationalize any possible discrepancy away, as there would be no moral dissonance to assuage.

Neutralizations function to loosen the normative constraints of conventional society, to allow one to drift into deviant modes of action and ideation. However, it is in the nature of such transgressions that they are episodic and self-limiting—and in the context of political discourse, almost always a question of which team did what.

It is important that those entering such an arena with honest intentions are able to see these rhetorical gambits for what they are. Such fallacies of moral reasoning should be as readily recognized, called out, and jeered at as an ad hominem or a straw man—and avoided in one’s own discourse. Nothing is as corruptive to clear thinking or good communication, or as contagious, as a poor habits of speech.

“Political language,” Orwell observed, “is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable.” Neutralizing techniques are illustrative of this tendency. But they are not beyond the reach of self-control. Acknowledging such evasions in one’s own speech would surely go a long way towards ensuring that “when you make a stupid remark, it will be obvious, even to yourself.”

 

Ernest Nickels is an independent researcher, writer, and former professor of Public Justice at SUNY-Oswego with a background in criminology and social control. Other areas of interest include sociolinguistics and intellectual history. You can follow him on Twitter @themorologist

182 Comments

  1. Princess Underlove says

    Denial of Responsibility: “James Fields only panicked because his car was attacked by those evil Antifa and he was trying to get away!”
    Denial of Injury: “Heather Heyer didn’t even get hit by the car! She died of a heart attack!”
    Denial of Victimhood: “She only died because she was too fat, it was her fault!”
    Appeal to Higher Loyalties: “People like Heyer are trying to genocide whites and they must be stopped!”
    Condemnation of the Condemners: “But muh Antifa are meanies!”

    See? Two can play this game, Ernest.

    No matter how much you cry about Antifa responding to right wing-hate groups, Anti-fascists will NEVER be comparable to the white supremacists they fight against, one group represents bigotry, racism and oppression, the other represents progress and equality. No amount of “bad tactics” or whatever can turn good into evil. Nazis will continue to get punched and the world will be better for it, full stop.

    • Kevin Herman says

      Notice how you bring up once incident. This Antifa stuff is happening all the time. Luckily people know who Andy is so it was a bigger story then some poor random soul getting beat by these thugs which happens all the time. Also, what straw man type said that about Heather Heyer’s death? We have people that are so called respected members of the media making excuses for ANTIFA violence all the time. We arent talking abount random internet trolls. Give me someone in the center to right of center that isnt thought by everyone to be a complete cook that said anything like that about what happened to Heather Heyer.

      • Jack B. Nimble says

        @Kevin Herman

        Your comment ignores the fact that some right-wing ‘kooks’ have a direct line to the President and even get invited to the White House:

        ‘… Social media gadflies gather for airing of grievances with Trump

        President Donald Trump is bringing some of social media’s most divisive right-wing personalities to the White House on Thursday to air their complaints against the same online platforms he wields so often…….The invited guests include far-right activist Ali Alexander, who infamously claimed last month that Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.), who has Indian and Jamaican heritage, is “not an American Black” in a tweet shared by Donald Trump Jr., as well as YourVoice America host Bill Mitchell, who has promoted the QAnon conspiracy theory alleging that Trump is waging a secret war against pedophiles and “deep state” saboteurs. Another expected attendee is James O’Keefe, whose undercover sting outfit Project Veritas has released what critics say are selectively edited videos depicting organizations ranging from Google to Planned Parenthood as biased and corrupt.

        Other conservatives expected to attend include Human Events publisher Will Chamberlain, PragerU executive director Allen Estrin, Media Research Center senior vice president Ed Molchany and social media user Carpe Donktum, who has built an online following by distributing pro-Trump memes. Also slated to attend is Tim Pool, an independent journalist who describes himself as a pro-Bernie Sanders social liberal but whose views on issues including social media bias and immigration often align with conservatives….’.

        Source: https://www.politico.com/story/2019/07/11/white-house-social-media-bias-talks-1576717

        And here’s some background on the conspiracy theories surrounding Heather Heyer’s death:

        ‘……White nationalists are still holding onto a sexist conspiracy about Heather Heyer’s death

        Consumers of news are likely aware that a number of persistent, and sometimes dangerous, conspiracies have crept into mainstream coverage recently, like the idea that John Podesta, the former Hillary Clinton campaign chairman, was involved in a pedophilia ring centered on a Washington, D.C. pizzeria (Pizzagate), or the Alex Jones lie that “antifa” is plotting a civil war on November 4.

        Another such conspiracy—launched by the far right and supported by sympathizers of the white nationalist side of the melee that took place in Charlottesville, Virginia, this summer—is centered around Heather Heyer, the anti-racist activist who lost her life after James Fields, a white, pro-Confederacy protester, rammed a car into a crowd of counterprotesters on August 12. The conspiracy, according to those who espouse it, is that the media, politicians and city and state law enforcement colluded to drum up the murder charges against alleged Nazi sympathizer Fields in an attempt to scapegoat their side for what happened in Charlottesville. What really happened, the conspiracists claim, is that Heyer was out of shape and died of a heart attack in the heat. They point out that the moment of impact during the car ramming was not visible on video.

        A twitter user with the handle @DougMcCockin15, whose account is focused on white nationalist issues, Holocaust denial and other anti-Semitic conspiracies, pointed Newsweek to a graph showing declining faith in government, before implying that Fields simply acted in self-defense.

        When asked why the state would lie about the violence in Charlottesville, a Twitter user with the handle @Tarleton_exe, writes back, “To create whatever narrative that organ of the states wants them to, they are PAID by the state.”

        One user on Gab, a social network that is popular with many right-wing extremists, including neo-Nazis, posited a theory to Newsweek that African-Americans working for the state may have played a role in doctoring the results.

        The origin of the conspiracy can primarily be traced back to two publications on the far right: The first one is The Daily Stormer, a well-trafficked, Millennial-targeted neo-Nazi propaganda website that has been through at least 10 different web hosts over the last two months, after initially being dropped by GoDaddy following a post by Editor Andrew Anglin, an outspoken misogynist, which viciously mocked Heyer’s appearance. The second is Occidental Dissent, which is run by self-proclaimed Southern Nationalist Brad Griffin, who frequently goes by the nom de plume Hunter Wallace. Griffin worked to build a timeline of the incident on his site in the wake of the violence, purporting to demonstrate why he was skeptical about the media’s portrayal of events…..’

        Source: https://www.newsweek.com/sexist-alt-right-conspiracies-surrounding-heather-heyers-death-keep-swirling-687195

        Bottom Line: right-wing kooks who post on social media are part of Trump’s political base. Meanwhile Nancy Pelosi explicitly disavows progressives who use social media to advance their political agendas [per article in NYPost.com July 10, 2019].

        • Heike says

          I have never seen such a long whataboutist screed. How about the fact that the Left hospitalized a journalist and got a lot of support from the journalistic community while doing so?

          • NashTiger says

            I don’t see how it is possible to post these things in response to this particular article. The lack of self-awareness is …. there are no words

          • Jack B. Nimble says

            @Heike

            Was my post too long? Don’t read it! I often include a ‘bottom line’ for those who are feeling rather tl;dr.

            The “Left” didn’t send Ngo to the hospital. A few violent individuals [who should be arrested and prosecuted] did. It simply isn’t true that when anti-fascists show up violence always ensues, or that they are always the ones to initiate violence, as I have pointed out elsewhere with links.

            @NashTiger

            I’m bringing a different viewpoint to these threads, which is something Quillette desperately needs. Like how ‘The Right’ is playing identity politics and intersectionality games when they point out that Mr. Ngo is a gay man and ethnic minority–even while condemning ‘The Left’ for the same tactics. BTW, I’m not in favor of identity politics by either side.

            Finally, no one here has disputed my claim that Trump and his supporters traffic in conspiracy theories like QAnon** and anti-Semitism***. Note that cartoonist Ben Garrison was invited and then dis-invited to yesterday’s ‘social media summit.’ The ADL has criticized some of Garrison’s cartoons as anti-Semitic [see link].

            **https://www.businessinsider.com/what-is-qanon-right-wing-conspiracy-theory-surfaces-at-trump-rally-2018-8

            ***https://time.com/5621558/trump-cartoonist-anti-semitic-ben-garrison-social-media-summit/

            Bottom Line: the Republican party welcomes support from conspiracy theorists provided it stays below the radar on 4Chan and Reddit [see links above]. The same just isn’t true of the Democratic party.

          • Heike says

            Like how ‘The Right’ is playing identity politics and intersectionality games when they point out that Mr. Ngo is a gay man and ethnic minority–even while condemning ‘The Left’ for the same tactics.

            Saul Alinsky, Rules for Radicals: Rule 4. “Make the enemy live up to its own book of rules.”

            The Left invented these rules, now you’re being forced to live by them, and you don’t like it one bit. What a surprise. It’s almost as if these rules were never intended to apply to yourselves.

            The Right has been getting butchered by these Rules for a couple of decades now, and have learned the lessons of their harsh masters. Kind of like how the Soviets mastered maneuver warfare after being taught by the Germans for so long. Also Rule 5: “Ridicule is man’s most potent weapon” and Rule 6, “A good tactic is one your people enjoy.” A tactic I greatly enjoy is ridiculing the far (i.e. progressive) Left for failing to live up to the standards that it created.

          • Jack B. Nimble says

            @Heike

            ‘…….The Left invented these rules, now you’re being forced to live by them…….’

            At least we agree that ‘The Right’ is playing identity politics, but I disagree with your suggestion that ‘The Left’ invented identitarianism. The US Civil War may have been the first culture war on American soil–it was the conservative Southerners who refused to accept that Blacks could be full participants in American democracy. They even enslaved ‘free Blacks’ that were captured during the war. The North, on the other hand, fielded a citizen army that was composed largely of immigrants and also included Black soldiers.

            And the demand by @geofiz that I answer his questions “yes/no” is an example of a right-wing speech code. Nuance and context are derided as ‘whataboutism.’ For at least the last 75 years or so, right-wingers have had their own speech codes, which are better understood as shibboleths.

            If someone doesn’t utter the phrase ‘radical Islamic terrorism’ they are soft on terror.
            If someone doesn’t denounce the attack on Mr. Ngo in shrill terms, they are soft on violence.
            Earlier, if someone didn’t say ‘international Communist conspiracy’ they were soft on Communism……….etc.

            I’ve run afoul of right-wing speech codes before, as when I was banned for life from posting at The American Conservative. I don’t submit to right-wing speech codes, any more than conservatives submit to left-wing speech codes. But I defend TAC’s right to ban speech they disagree with, since they are a private organization. And without the banning, I would probably not be posting at Quillette, for better or worse.

        • ga gamba says

          Your comment ignores the fact that some right-wing ‘kooks’ […] Also slated to attend is Tim Pool, an independent journalist who describes himself as a pro-Bernie Sanders social liberal but whose views on issues including social media bias and immigration often align with conservatives….’

          “Open borders?! That’s a Koch brothers proposal. That’s a right wing proposal which says essentially there is no United States. It would make everyone in America poorer,” said Bernie Sanders in a 29 July 2015 interview with Vox.

          Appears Sanders aligns with conservatives too, though not with open borders libertarians as well as the leftist extremists of the Democratic Party.

        • Geary Johansen says

          @ Jack B. Nimble

          It is worth noting that the article you link from Politico, cites the SPLC- an organisation which, though once a proud advocate of civil rights, has long since become mired in controversy for left wing smear tactics, in that it has been forced to apologise to a mainstream figure like Maajid Nawaz and listed Ben Carson in their extremist files.

          On the subject of Tim Pool’s journalism on social media bias and immigration, his views most closely align with centrists. His interview with Jack Dorsey on Joe Rogan was groundbreaking in that it clearly exposed Twitter’s bias against conservatives. On immigration, his chief crimes appear to consist of labelling illegal immigration as ‘illegal’, as they clearly are, and correctly attributing the humanitarian crisis on the Southern Border to the Democrats- both by propagating the myth that unrestricted migration into the US is welcomed by the US government and by most Americans, and by failing to admit that a crisis was imminent and take funding steps to avert it.

          One does wonder whether anti-immigration sentiment is motivated by racism, and whether Republicans would more welcoming to the mass illegal immigration of Europeans- to which the answer is an emphatic ‘No’, on both counts. The UK is considerably more left-leaning, in terms of the Overton window, yet Brexit was decided on Eastern European migration more than any other issue, and it was all perfectly legal at the time. The fact that the Democrats have subsequently had to U-turn on border funding, does not bode well for them in 2020- especially given that only a small number of the Democratic Candidates have disavowed the ‘woke’ politics that most Americans would and will despise, as they become increasingly aware of them.

          • Closed Range says

            Geary

            I agree with you 90% of the way, but I take issue with your claims Brexit was decided on eastern european migration more than the fact that people perceive the EU, by which I mean the people in Brussels, as a fundamentally antidemocratic body who are just the next iteration on pan-European empire. They also happen to be a convenient way for corporate interests to write their own laws through lobbying, and so on.

            I also happen to know many eastern Europeans (Czech and Polish) who broadly agree with this charge. Naturally they find themselves conflicted over Brexit.

            On another topic, I remember our exchange on Theresa May’s record. The spectator has published an interesting piece
            https://blogs.spectator.co.uk/2019/07/how-theresa-mays-war-on-the-police-backfired/

            Broadly it seems confirm what you said, so I guess you were right on that issue.

          • Geary Johansen says

            @ Closed Range

            It was front page of the Times as well, but cheers for the update 🙂

          • Jack B. Nimble says

            @Geary

            Tim Pool isn’t on my radar screen, so I found someone who had researched Pool’s recent social media posts:

            ‘Tim Pool, Phony Liberal – Abe Gaustad – Medium.com

            Tim Pool tells conservatives what they want to hear.

            Journalist and YouTube personality Tim Pool rose to notoriety for live-streaming the Occupy Wall Street protest in 2011 and later investigating the supposed existence of “no-go” zones in Sweden in 2017……But Pool’s insistence that he supports liberal policy doesn’t match with the rest of his content. A quick scroll through his last 100 videos shows a preoccupation with criticizing the left. For example, there are around ten videos critical of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. There are zero videos critical of Donald Trump.

            Isn’t a real liberal allowed to critique the left? Of course! ……After all, he could be a liberal with slightly different priorities.

            Priorities such as:
            Stating without evidence that Seth Rich is “55–67%” likely to be behind the 2016 leak of DNC emails.
            Claiming it’s unfair to call British anti-Muslim activist Tommy Robinson “far-right” because he is actually a centrist.
            Claiming that the left has “become psychotic.”
            Accusing media outlets of lying when they claim that people crossing the border are seeking asylum.
            Praising the pro-Trump “NPC” meme. [non-player character or mindless automaton]
            Supporting voter ID measures because “Who doesn’t have an ID?”
            Accusing the mainstream press of lying about Trump and Fox.
            Claiming that there is no merit to any claims against Bret Kavanaugh.
            Claiming that he is “pro-choice,” but only if there are “life-threatening” issues for the mother.

            I don’t know how one could consider Tim Pool a liberal after looking through his content and listening to his views………..’

            https://medium.com/@abegaustad/tim-pool-phony-liberal-67e409cd34ca

          • Geary Johansen says

            @ Jack B. Nimble

            I agree you make a valued and constructive contribution to Quillette in your comments. On the subject of Tim Pool being critical of Far Left issues within the Democratic party, he is doing what more moderate liberals and centre Left types should be doing, and is in many ways a pioneer- in that by failing to denounce the lunatic fringe on the far left, the Democratic Party is shoring up a whole of hurt for themselves in the upcoming 2020 election- as it allows conservatives to critique beyond their standard refrain of ‘socialism’.

          • Joan says

            Support for Brexit mainly a reaction to Eastern European migration? That doesn’t ring true. I have never heard any rhetoric against Eastern Europeans. It’s immigration from Muslim countries that caused concern, or actually, not immigration per se, but the the quantity of migrants and lack of controls. And, of course, there was the “democratic deficit” of the EU, with the lack of accountability of the EU bureaucracy and the threat to national sovereignty.

        • DCvoyeur says

          Bottom line there are many instances of violence in the world and using one to justify another is an eye for an eye approach to life. SOO if you are into an eye for an eye then the life sentence that the Portland driver received should be reciprocated in justice for the assailants of Ngo? Nope in your twisted logic they are blameless since Ngo had opinions that countered the true SJW vision of the world.

          • ga gamba says

            @Jack,

            Tim Pool isn’t on my radar screen,

            Yet, you’re the same fella who wrote this, a comment prior to your admission that you know nothing of Pool. Also slated to attend is Tim Pool, an independent journalist who describes himself as a pro-Bernie Sanders social liberal but whose views on issues including social media bias and immigration often align with conservatives….’

            How may this be explained?

            It appears to me you’ve simply taken his opponent’s word for it. At first you needed to fabricate your list of evil doers, so Pool’s name was added, and later when challenged to substantiate the parroted claim, you relied on an opponent.

            How do I know this person is an adversary? “Journalist and YouTube personality Tim Pool rose to notoriety for live-streaming the Occupy Wall Street protest in 2011…”

            Notoriety: the state of being famous or well known for some bad quality or deed. OK, so, what misdeed did Pool commit simply by reporting on the Occupy Wall Street Protest? Explain that to us.

            I don’t know how one could consider Tim Pool a liberal after looking through his content and listening to his views………..’

            But you yourself haven’t done this, have you? You relied on someone else to look through his content and listen to his views. Are you certain the person hasn’t misconstrued, misstated, or recontextualised?

            How about you viewing some of his videos?

            Praising the pro-Trump “NPC” meme. [non-player character or mindless automaton]

            From what I’ve documented of you here, it appears you are an NPC. If not, please substantiate how you are not one. A note from your programmer will not count as evidence.

          • Jack B. Nimble says

            @ga gamba

            ‘……..Yet, you’re the same fella who wrote this, a comment prior to your admission that you know nothing of Pool. Also slated to attend is Tim Pool, an independent journalist…….’

            That was a quote from Politico clearly set off by my quotation marks, dammit, not my own wording. I subsequently presented [set off by quotation marks with link], a view of Pool from someone who has researched his recent posts, so interested readers could make up their own mind. I don’t follow Pool on Twitter or YouTube, hence the ‘radar screen’ reference. I hate social media and don’t have the inclination or time to follow every quirky social media celebrity.

            ‘…….you are an NPC…..’

            Instead of trying to discern my intent, why don’t you deal with my assertion that Trump embraces the most conservative, partisan and extreme voices on social media, while Pelosi and other senior Democrats marginalize the most progressive voices? It’s worth noting that in 2017 Tim Pool promoted the conspiracist idea that Seth Rich leaked DNC files before he was murdered, a theory now known to have been developed by Russian Intelligence in 2016 and then picked up and amplified by various gullible or dishonest right-wing media celebrities.

            Sources:

            https://www.nbcnews.com/tech/social-media/conspiracy-theorists-far-right-agitators-head-white-house-social-media-n1028576

            https://news.yahoo.com/exclusive-the-true-origins-of-the-seth-rich-conspiracy-a-yahoo-news-investigation-100000831.html

        • Geofiz says

          JBN:

          We agree that there are nutcases on the right. We agree that Heather Heyer was murdered. However, you appear to believe that anyone on the right is a nutcase. Praeger U. is hardly a conspiracy theorist site. You also apparently refuse to believe that those who viciously assaulted Andy Ngo are nutcases on the left

          You still refuse to answer my question. Do you believe the assault against Andy Ngo was justified.

          Yes or no.

          No more whataboutism. Just a simple one word answer to a simple question

          • I think he pretty clearly stated opposition to the Ngo attack, and places the blame on loose cannon individuals of the Antifa movement, though not on the movement. An unconfortable and potentially self-castrating position atop a barbed wire fence.

          • ga gamba says

            That was a quote from Politico clearly set off by my quotation marks, dammit, not my own wording

            You blindly accepted it because you wanted to make a list of evil doers. And when challenged, you then quoted another source that calls him notorious simply for reporting on the Occupy Movement.

            a view of Pool from someone who has researched his recent posts, so interested readers could make up their own mind.

            My aching sides. “I parroted the words of some random nobody because I was desperate to substantiate my earlier assertion, which I also had parroted, so I found a person who ‘researched’ him (and called him notorious, so how accurate this research is ought to be questioned… but whatevs), so people can make up their own mind.” Jeez, Mr Helper, well done. Why don’t you view the videos?

            Anyway, stupid me. When the NPC is confronted, the NPC responds as an NPC. To think we’d get something other than that from Jack was foolish on my part.

          • Jack B. Nimble says

            @Geofiz

            ‘…..Don Lemon, CNN Commentator also stated Kamala Harris was not an “African American”………’

            In this comment, you are defending Ali Alexander who said:

            ‘…..Kamala Harris is not an American Black. She is half Indian and half Jamaican.

            I’m so sick of people robbing American Blacks (like myself) of our history. It’s disgusting. Now using it for debate time at #DemDebate2?

            These are my people not her people.

            Freaking disgusting……

            Your 👏🏾 family 👏🏾 does 👏🏾 not 👏🏾 descend 👏🏾 from 👏🏾 American 👏🏾 Black 👏🏾 Slaves 👏🏾

            Stop appropriating our history. It’s why you have to remain vague, lest your voters find you and your family history out……’

            Ali Alexander is the identity purist here–why can’t you see that?? He is claiming the right to determine who can and cannot call themselves ‘Black.’ This is like some right-wingers who called Mr. Obama a Halfrican. Don Lemon’s point was that Jamaican Blacks trace their ancestry back to Africa via the Africa-Jamaica slave trade, not the Africa-USA slave trade. That seems like an academic distinction to me. And it wasn’t the point Alexander is making.

            Look, Ali Alexander DOES qualify as a right-wing kook! He recently claimed** that a man with a sign at the July 6th Free Speech Rally in DC that said “Jews Own USA” was an antifa activist posing as a right-winger to smear other rally attendees as anti-Semites. Later in the same video, Alexander suggested that the supposed antifa member with the sign was part of a plot to murder anti-Muslim speaker Laura Loomer, who is Jewish.

            What is his evidence? The sign in question was mounted on a 1″x1″ square wooden post, and right-wing demonstrators usually don’t carry signs on posts!! This whopper comes from Alexander’s ‘intimate’ study of 100 years of political history.

            Really!!! You have to watch the video that Alexander posted to believe it. Remember that this is the kind of nutty person that Trump invited to his WH summit. The comment about wooden posts starts at the 13min mark.

            **Source: https://www.pscp.tv/w/1gqxvVVvzlgxB?t=12m34s

        • Asenath Waite says

          @Jack B. Nimble

          Just because Tim Pool isn’t an identitarian leftist doesn’t make him a right wing kook. He’s center right at most. And the Project Veritas “selective editing” accusation is a very weak argument against them. All documentaries are “selectively edited.” There would only be a problem if they were duplicitously edited in a way that made it look like something occurred which didn’t actually occur, and I don’t believe there is any evidence that PV has done this.

          • Alex Posch says

            @ JBN- (sorry, no reply available on his post)

            “I don’t know how one could consider Tim Pool a liberal after looking through his content and listening to his views………..’

            Well lets looks at his ACTUAL stated Political Positions then….. (as per his twitter)

            Tim Pool Political positions:

            Pro Choice
            Pro Public Health Care
            Pro Progressive taxation
            End cash bail
            End Private Prisons
            Legalize marijuana
            Pro Criminal Justice Reform
            Publicly gives $ donations to Tulsi Gabbard and Andrew Yang (Both democrats).

            You seriously think this guy is right wing???? Because he is mean to AOC?:

            “A quick scroll through his last 100 videos shows a preoccupation with criticizing the left. For example, there are around ten videos critical of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. There are zero videos critical of Donald Trump.”

            Seriously? He is mean to AOC, so that makes him….. ‘right wing’? Maybe you should go to look at his actual statements, instead of linking to a smear piece.

        • Doug F says

          Jack – is this supposed to be a defense of the attacks against Ngo? Or a comment on the original article? Because I don’t see it…

        • Kauf Buch says

          Jack B Nimble: apologist and Chief Amateur Rationalizer for Antifa and its violence.

          Rabid Leftists: they just can’t help themselves.

        • Kauf Buch says

          “The “Left” didn’t send Ngo to the hospital. A few violent individuals [who should be arrested and prosecuted] did.” – JackBN

          So, it’s just a few naughty scoundrels among a peaceful knitting group, eh?!

          But then Jack-Sh!t-for-brains ALSO bunches and smears ALL on the Right. Repeatedly.

          Sorry not sorry, Leftist Loser:
          your articulate abilities do not cover up your double talk and rank hypocrisy.

        • Stephanie says

          Such an unenecessarily long comment just to say nothing of value or relevance. Jack needs to learn to be concise and focused.

          • Kauf Buch says

            TO Stephanie
            So TRUE! Glad I’m not the only one to notice.

            However: are you familiar with the phrase, “The fog of war”?
            With JBN, it’s The Fog of Written Diahrrea.

        • Defenstrator says

          Only radical leftists think these people are right wing kooks. To centrists they are identical to left wing counterparts. Except they suffer more discrimination.

    • IIC says

      Let us hope Antifa continues beating on journalists, then. They’re doing exactly what Trump wants. Good job, Kids!

    • Hahahahaha, Princess Underlove, this is precious! Without any self-awareness or sense of irony, you reveal exactly, precisely, what the author is talking about, and then proceed to add some of your own Orwellian logic to the mix. I couldn’t have satirized this better if I tried. Thanks for the laugh.

      • IIC says

        These accounts read like something out of a comic book. I will hereafter assume that these people are merely scripted opposition, secretly created by the alt rights Richard Spencer and the Kekistanis, to make the left look unhinged, and ensure the re-election of Trump.

      • Alex says

        “Why did you punch him?”

        “Because he’s a Nazi!”

        “And how do you know he’s a Nazi?”

        “Because I punched him!”

        That’s all the “evidence” needed. /s

        • NashTiger says

          “no amount of bad tactics will turn good into evil” – said every monster in history

          • ERH says

            NashTiger: Excellent observation. That particular comment of hers speaks volumes and made me feel ill

        • ga gamba says

          Resolves that to my satisfaction. People punch Nazis. Andy Ngo was punched. Ergo, Andy Ngo is a Nazi. Simples!

    • Armin Van Buren says

      You see, Princess Underlove, you were so blinded by your loyalty to the far-left brownshirts knockoff, Antifa, and your anger at practically mythical white supremacists (“mythical” since, you know, they exist in very small numbers and have virtually no political power), that you failed to notice that Ernest’s article actually has nothing to do with the distracting, meaningless, morally hysterical drivel you posted.

      Rather, Ernest’s piece is simply about how Andy Ngo, in attempting to cover the regular street violence of Antifa, was violently attacked. He is not a white supremacist, or whatever other meaningless terms leftists use to attack him online. He is not a fascist. If Antifa really only attacks fascists and “Nazis” (which those of us with the ability to think and reason know is a lie, of course), then why was someone who is NOT those things attacked in the same manner?

      Try reading the article next time and then you might understand who and what it’s actually about, and save the time writing a reply that is completely off-topic and just serves to further distract readers from your own moral culpability (as you are a defender of Antifa) in what happened to Ngo.

    • Just Another Kulak says

      Name one mainstream conservative writer, journalist, politician, news organization, or political pundit that made a single one of those arguments you listed. You can’t. I’d love to hear an actual argument that you have that can in anyway demonstrate an equivalent response to violence perpetrated by the left extremists and the right wing extremists?

    • Sean Osborne says

      Your use of quotation marks implies that you are directly quoting individuals. Please show me the blue check marks that said any of that.
      Also, you’ve effectively proven the authors point regardless.

      • Kauf Buch says

        TO Sean O

        I guess you’re new here.
        There’s a Leftist troll who frequently pollutes this site and uses the phrase,
        “It’s okay to punch Nazis!”
        I merely turn it around on them and ask how they like being treated in such a manner.

        Learn, grasshopper.

    • Aristodemus says

      @Princess Underlove, Does the author of this article endorse any element of that Charlottesville narrative? Honest question: for all I know he might. If not, however, your reply is a non sequitur. If so, please demonstrate it, with evidence.

      As to your second point, being called a Nazi isn’t necessarily the same thing as being one. “Nazis” were enslaved and exterminated by the tens of millions under Communist despots like Stalin and Pol Pot, who also claimed, and possibly believed themselves, to represent “progress and equality.” . “Good and evil” is a simplistic, deceptive and, if I may say so, rather Christian prism through which to examine the complexities of human conflicts.

      • Fred says

        @Aristodemus, Good and evil are intrinsically neither simplistic nor deceptive. Some acts are good, others evil. It is not always easy for the limited human moral intellect to tell which is which, and circumstances and motives make a big difference in whether and to what degree an act is good or evil. But that a distinction is complex and difficult to distinguish at times in no way entails that it does not exist.

        You might also do a bit of reading up on Christianity if you honestly beleive it has a simplistic “us vs them” conception of good and evil. The doctrine of original sin holds that all human beings, by virtue of the fall (not arguing for a literal reading of Genesis here but for the story of the fall as expressing moral and spiritual truth about human nature), are innately capable of evil. As the very Christian Alexandr Solzhenitsyn put it, “The line separating good from evil passes . . . through all human hearts.” Rejection of the notions of good and evil is not sophistication but nihilism.

    • Good luck sustaining this ideology when it’s you that’s labeled a Nazi and beaten unconscious. Don’t make the mistake of thinking you’re any less of a Nazi than some gay non-white journalist. People like you are the MVPs of the Trump reelection campaign.

      • Geary Johansen says

        @ WH

        No the MVP’s of the Trump reelection campaign are ‘woke’ liberals. Bill Maher is essentially correct, in having assessed that the economy and the PC ‘woke’ brigade are the two factors most likely to reelect Trump.

    • FREEDOM! says

      For most people the attempt to see a horrific incident as an accident was likely about being in actual disbelief that someone (James Fields in this case) would do such a thing (plow through a crowd of random strangers with a car) intentionally.
      No one wants to believe that the next time they’re in a crowded street he or she could be stalked by a murderer wielding a 3,351 pound weapon.

      The majority of those who at first assumed an explanation for the incident that was unintentional and accidental would not defend (and have not) post-investigation finding of an intentional act of premeditated murder.

      Others, Princess, do not seem to suffer from the same malady of rejecting proven, intentional violence as always unacceptable (Short of defending life and limb from physical harm).

      However, there is nothing wrong with assuming innocence until an issue is fully investigated.
      I think we’ve got something like that written somewhere….

      • Stephanie says

        Freedom, I live with the awareness that someone could ram a vehicle through a crowd because Muslim terrorists have killed hundreds (thousands?) of people that way. One killed 86 people and injured over 450 in Nice, France, in 2016. My city sets up diversity-blockers around crowded areas for Easter and Christmas celebrations and other special occasions to prevent precisely this.

        Looking at the crowd of people around that car in Charlottesville, it is hard to imagine only one person dying from a planned assault. It looked like some kneejerk reaction to the vandalism of his car. It doesn’t excuse the damage it caused, and it’s unfortunate someone died, but if this is supposed to be a far-right terrorist attack, it was the most pathetically ineffectual one ever.

        Considering this is the only incident of right-wing violence the left ever points to, I’d say they are grasping at straws to divert attention from the fact Antifa thugs commit more deliberate acts of violence every week, and the Muslims they import en mass and demand not be assimilated are much better at this terrorism thing.

    • Scott M says

      Your problem, of course, is that the definition of what makes a Nazi will become as nebulous as what currently passes for sexual harassment. When you can all anyone you disagree with a Nazi, you can beat the shit out of anyone and get away with it. And just think about what it will be like INSIDE your little coffee klatsch of goons. Human nature always rears its ugly head and personalities clash. When someone wants to gain position on someone on the inside that they don’t like, just wait until the accusations of ideological purity start and the torpedoes start circling back around to their shooters.

      • mr1492 says

        Look at what has just happened between AOC and Pelosi. AOC has begun calling out Pelosi as “racist” for opposing the young, POC women in Congress! Once you start down that road of demonizing and dehumanizing opponents, you can’t stop. The purges just get more and more intense as the number of those in the inner circle shrink.

    • GeorgeQTyrebyter says

      Antifa scum will be doxxed and arrested.

    • Justyne Thyme says

      Who made the claims that Heather Heyer only died because she was too fat, or that it was okay because antifa are meanies, or that she was trying to genocide whites, etc.?

      Seems like a strawman extraordinaire.

    • Jonathan says

      Princess Underlove, in my opinion, it would be helpful if you examined the underlying political philosophies of those encouraging Antifa. In particular, communism. If you look at Marxist Leninism and Nazism they are virtually the same thing. The only difference is who the party represents as the aggrieved persons and identifies as the offending persons. What’s remarkable is if you study history, during the 1930’s in Germany the Sturmabteilung (The SA) or “Brown Shirts” would go about beating the heck out of opposition political gatherings. This was ostensibly for the greater good, for a life and death struggle, and for an oppressed people. Does any of this sound familiar? These fellows were the original enforcers of the Nazi party. The communist party of the Soviet Union indoctrinated children by means of the “Pioneers”. The Nazi Party did it through the Hitler Youth and Hitler Maidens.

    • PaulNu says

      Condemnation of white supremacists by conservatives is emphatic and nearly universal. Condemnation of antifa by left wingers is anemic at best.

    • Asema says

      “one group represents bigotry, racism and oppression, the other represents progress and equality”

      You got one thing right there, now think for a second, who exactly is for the differing treatment of different groups (bigotry, afermative action, protected groups, etc) who is for the treatment of people based on their skin colour (racism)?, who is for controlling what people can say or do (words are violence, you absolutely must affirm other people feelings, vaccines, home-schooling etc)?. It’s not the ‘far right’ groups for sure, and I think you would find that ideas like free speech, individualism, and meritocracy are really not ‘far right’ but are held by the majority of the population who aren’t convinced that being the biggest victim is a winning strategy.

    • Peter from Oz says

      Tu quoque is the idiot lefty’s first lne of defence, and it fails to convince because it is logically flawed.

    • Alan Gore says

      Whataboutism in citing actions at Charlotte have nothing to do with what happened in Portland. And Ngo was not a Nazi by even your most politically generous definition.

      • Kauf Buch says

        TO Alan G
        It was in Charlottesville, VIRGINIA (Charlotte is in north Carolina).

    • Lilliana says

      “other represents progress and equality” – you are being sarcastic aren’t you?

    • Heike says

      “Anti-fascists will NEVER be comparable to the white supremacists they fight against”

      Andy Ngo is a gay Asian man. He’s not a white supremacist or a nazi. The far left’s problem is misidentifying people as something they’re not. They’re so far left, anyone to the right of Mao Zedong looks like a nazi to them.

    • Che says

      James Fields was prosecuted for his violent assault, hopefully, since two can play this game-you and your friends can be as well.

    • Harold Porter says

      I’m anti facist….Antifa are facists…I’m anti-antifa…

    • Geary Johansen says

      @ Princess Underlove

      Your assertion might be correct, if the premises of your arguments weren’t so fundamentally flawed. This most recent attack against a harmless, centre-right journalist documenting extremism in the making, is only the most recent of a long-list of abhorrent behaviour targeting everyone from mainstream conservatives like Tucker Carlson to innocent members of the public to two off-duty Latino marines.

      It takes a special kind of delusional mindset to see a masked group of largely white thugs known for repeatedly using racist slurs and beating up ethnic minorities who they happen to disagree with, as any type of hero. If they were accurate in solely targeting groups comprised of the 11,000 or so actual white supremacists known to exist in America, then they might have a claim to some form of moral ascendancy- but as things stand they are a degenerate bunch of regressive Authoritarians, who seem to have no trouble using violence to inflict their worldview on their victims with crowbars and fists.

    • Sparkles And Rainbows says

      @Princess Underlove

      Whataboutism. You are referencing a journalist who was repeatedly assaulted, requiring a visit to the hospital, and robbed of photo gear. He was ONE GUY being assaulted by multiple people. He was covering the event, he’s not a Proud Boy.

      What the bloody fuck is wrong with you? And what kind of pretentious dumbfuck calls themselves “princess” anything?

    • Vassos Zem says

      @Princess Underlove

      “No amount of ‘bad tactics’ or whatever can turn good into evil.”

      Really? As long as the victims are the ‘right’ victims, anything is permitted?

      Your statement above belies a staggering naivety. All the evil in history has been done in the name of ‘good.’ After Antifa are done with the Andy Ngo’s of this world (and all the other gay, Asian stormtroopers of the Fourth Reich), they’ll move on to the Andy Nobodys and anyone else with whom they even slightly disagree and can therefore label ‘evil.’

    • Anonymous says

      Antifa are Nazis in every sense of the word. They are authoritarian, oppose free speech, and relish using street violence – not only against political opponents but also against bystanders. They also believe that the end justifies ANY means – even the Antifa flag has the same black, red and white colors as the Nazi flag.

    • JamieM says

      He already addressed your point: “the perpetration of right-wing violence and online ideological extremism”. I’m not sure whether your ardent desire to for inclusion in the ranks of hooded and masked (and pseudonymous) lynch mobs betray the abject failure of the American educational system, or merely a willful blindness on the part of an unusually violent subspecies. And, yes, regardless of race, colour or creed, I’m happy to dehumanize violent primates.

    • Coolius Caesar says

      Tell me “Princess Underlove”. How exactly was setting Berkeley on fire representative of “progress and equality”?

    • Coolius Caesar says

      @ Jack B. Nimble you say: “I’m bringing a different viewpoint to these threads, which is something Quillette desperately needs. Like how ‘The Right’ is playing identity politics and intersectionality games when they point out that Mr. Ngo is a gay man and ethnic minority–even while condemning ‘The Left’ for the same tactics. BTW, I’m not in favor of identity politics by either side.”

      Actually no. The reason the Right brings up the minority status of Ngo isn’t to push identity politics but to showcase the glaring flaws of it and it’s use by the Left. The Left regularly preaches about how minorities have to be protected…and yet they have no problems violating assaulting a gay asian man WHILE calling him a Nazi white supremacist. Racism is bad they say…but it’s ok to call Candace Owens (a black woman) all sorts of horrible and racist things because her views are “bad”. Trump doesn’t respect women we’re told, he’s a sexist,…so the Left shows their respect for women by calling Melania a whore. Kids in cages is wrong (except when Obama does)…says the Left as the cheer on a washed up actor calling for Barron Trump to be kidnapped and raped by a pedophile. Etc, etc,…

      Are you starting to see the glaring difference here Jack? The Right’s use of identity politics is actually a mirror to show just how horrible the Left are.

      • Jack B. Nimble says

        @Coolius Caesar

        ‘……….The Right’s use of identity politics is actually a mirror…….’

        The ‘give them a taste of their own medicine’ argument fails on historical grounds since–in the US–white supremacy [and exclusion of Blacks from politics and the legal system] was present in the original Constitution in the Fugitive Slave Clause IV.2.3 as a sop to the conservative slave-owning states:

        No person held to service or labour in one state, under the laws thereof, escaping into another, shall, in consequence of any law or regulation therein, be discharged from such service or labor, but shall be delivered up on claim of the party to whom such service or labour may be due.

        As I noted above, conservatives like Ali Alexander play the race card when they argue that mixed-race politicians like Kamala Harris and Barack Obama are not authentically Black. But this idea of a unmixed Black identity** is itself mostly a right-wing trope, as is the fascination with mixed races, hybrids and half-breeds:

        “……Be particularly careful to distinguish between blacks, mulattoes, quadroons, and octoroons. The word “black” should be used to describe those persons who have three-fourths or more black blood; “mulatto,” those persons who have from three-eighths to five-eighths black blood; “quadroon,” those persons who have one-fourth black blood; and “octoroon,” those persons who have one-eighth or any trace of black blood……”

        Those are instructions to 1890 census-takers as reproduced in: https://scholar.harvard.edu/jlhochschild/publications/racial-reorganization-and-united-states-census-1850-1930-mulattoes-half-br

        This racial classification in the decennial census was insisted upon by conservative Southern congressmen.

        BTW, your own simplistic sorting of persons into ‘the Right’ and ‘the Left’–also used by other commenters in this thread–is exactly the sort of word-game that George Orwell deplored.

        **I’m speaking here of the belief, common in conservative circles, that “unmixed” Blacks can be unambiguously distinguished from Whites by a combination of biological, cultural and linguistic markers.

    • David of Kirkland says

      The driver was convicted of murder. That you think it’s a game is sad. That you accept your strawman as a legitimate argument is fruitless. And of course your counterargument proves the point, that such language that denies reality or pretends that other events justify this event is absurd; the reality is Fields is a convicted murderer, not blameless.

    • Are you seriously conflating the Antifa mob that was dictating traffic and swarmed the car of a man just trying to avoid a mob to the monster who intentionally drove a car into a crowd to cause harm? The Portland guy was trying to get away from the mob, the other was an active attack.

    • Aerth says

      Your delusions are cute.

      If Nazis (real Nazis, not made up “Nazis”) were in power, Antifa wouldn’ty be able to punch anyone. Most of them would be long dead or incancareted for life and the remaining members scared shitless and in hiding.

      “Progress” and “Equality” – funny considering Ngo is gay and with immigrant background. But hey, it is no secret current Left brings “progress and equality” only to themselves.

    • Doug F says

      Princess – wow, did the original author hire you to drive the point home?

      “5. Condemnation of the Condemners: Deflecting Blame with Recrimination and Whataboutism”

      You demonstrate it brilliantly.

    • Ben says

      I find it hard to see in what sense antifa ‘represents’ progress and equality. As the author observes, antifa’s goals don’t seem to be much more than fighting a loosely defined enemy called fascism, usually through acts of disruption and, increasingly, violence. They seem far more comfortable destroying than building.

      I believe that many in antifa and other groups both left and right are just waiting for a fight, and for violence to become a justifiable response. For now, internal and social taboos against violence are too strong, meaning that actions are often limited to imitations of violence. Milkshaking, for example .

    • Matti Hakkinen says

      “[…] one group represents bigotry, racism and oppression, the other represents progress and equality. No amount of “bad tactics” or whatever can turn good into evil. Nazis will continue to get punched and the world will be better for it, full stop.”

      The only reason anarchists haven’t ramped up the violence yet is because 1) it would be bad PR and 2) they’re still not powerful enough to face the consequences of greater violence. Saying that “bad tactics” (killing political opponents?) can turn good into evil is plain ridiculous.

      http://econfaculty.gmu.edu/bcaplan/spain.htm

      Now I agree that the far-left and far-right aren’t symetrical. The far-right explicitly stands for the restoration or conservation of existing hierarchies based on unchosen biological characteristics. That makes the far-right bad bot in therms of means and ends. But just because anarchists, like all ideologues, paint themselves in meloriative terms (“progress and equality”) doesn’t mean they’re actually good in practice. My personal theory is that an anarchist society would maximize the impact of individual genetic inequalities and would, ironically, turn into social darwinism.

    • Stephen Pierson says

      People who beat up and rob people are thugs. Full stop.

    • Cornfed says

      Wow! Antifa kicking the crap out of those they disagree with “represents progress and equality”? Please, seek therapy.

    • The rest of your examples of logical fallacies are spot-on, but this one in particular still bothers me:

      Denial of Responsibility: “James Fields only panicked because his car was attacked by those evil Antifa and he was trying to get away!”

      Well, the protesters were beating the shit out of his car like it was a bonus stage from Street Fighter II. The car was surrounded with no safe gap to escape through. I remember this from when I watched some amateur video footage of the incident. I’m curious, what would you have done in the same situation, as your car is being smashed up by a mob of angry, mask-wearing neo-Bolsheviks? Pray and wait for them to calm down, or hit the gas and save your own hide? From what I’ve heard, this wasn’t even allowed to be brought up in court, either. If that is indeed true, then Fields deserves a shot at an appeal… and a better lawyer.

      It doesn’t matter to me what side who was on — if the Proud Boys were beating the crap out of Heather Heyer’s car and she feared for her life, I wouldn’t have faulted her either if she needed to ram her way through their asses in order to reach safety. You may think you would have acted differently, but you really have no clue what you would really do if a mob of crazy political radicals were suddenly giving your car a heavier work-over than a trip through African Lion Safari while you’re still inside of it. Remember that high adrenaline, mortal fear and self-preservation instinct aren’t things most of us have to face on a day to day basis. In the heat of the moment, when all you can think of is DON’T DIE DON’T DIE DON’T DIE DON’T DIE, you’ll both surprise and sicken yourself with what you’re capable of doing in order to live.

      I know if I were in that situation, where I have to choose between my life and the lives of people in a mob that just might kill me, I’d rather live to stand trial and have a chance at freedom, rather than die like a sucker when I could have done something about it. I have family that depends on me; they can’t lose me to some random university student’s extra curricular violence credits. If you think your life is worth less than that, you’re probably wrong. Anyone who comes here to try and talk things out is worth much more than someone who closes their mind and actively seeks to harm others.

    • Sally Hoien says

      @ Princess Underlove. That is what kept popping into my head as I read this story. All of the bullet points and lists in this article seem right out of the tea-party, alt-right handbook. It’s almost spooky.

      I guess my comment would fall under number ‘5’, “Condemnation of the Condemners: Deflecting Blame with Recrimination and Whataboutism”

    • Mïkl says

      @Princess Clueless:

      You bring up the theories of a couple of conspiracy theorists on 4chan, and I think one(?) guy was promoting that theory here in the comments.

      Meanwhile journalists working for the mainstream media are often promoting or defending a stupid violent cult of political moralists who hallucinate fascists everywhere.

      There’s no comparison.

      But since you’re a member of the cult I don’t expect you to understand anything or be reasonable.

      I feel bad for people who have mental problems and join cults but if you or your fellow cult members decide to commit violent crimes because you believe the end justifies the means then you need to be punished just like anyone else. Because you’re not special, and your political religion will never justify violent crimes, especially not against individuals who aren’t even part of a government institution that holds power.

    • Defenstrator says

      Actually they are directly comparable. You just compared them very effectively. They both act the same way, and both suck. The only strange part is that you look at one team and give them a pass. You’re not good person Princess. Good people think identical bad behaviour is identically reprehensible.

    • Except that the writer of this article was doing nothing to justify Nazism, and beating up and robbing Andy Ngo does nothing to oppose fascism. Nothing. No matter how many willfully ignorant rationalizations may be thrown out by apologists for Antifa.

      Beating people into the hospital and stealing their property for criticizing you has absolutely zero to do with progress and equality, let alone “good.”. Zero.

      The people who beat up Ngo are hypocritical scumbags.

      Using the rationale, “If you use words to disagree with me, you are a Nazi, therefore it is justifiable that I punch you,” they falsely and repeatedly conflate anyone who is critical of them as fascists.

      “Condemnation of the Condemner: ‘But muh Antifa are meanies!'” Except he wasn’t talking about condemning people who use words to criticize, but rather about people who try to rationalize violence and brutality against an opposing viewpoint as “opposing fascism.”

      The word Fascism has now no meaning except in so far as it signifies “something not desirable.”
      — George Orwell, “Politics and the English Language” (1945)

      Those are words of a real anti-fascist, who took a bullet in the throat from a fascist sniper, as opposed to a mob of low-life, cowardly scumbags who ganged up on an unarmed man for saying things they didn’t like.

  2. Paul Weeldreyer says

    So well written! Couldn’t agree more.

  3. Kauf Buch says

    For that to happen, the BlackBlockHeads will have to riot outside of their “Safe Spaces” AKA Leftist-run cities and, for example, try it in a State/city with Concealed Carry laws.

    I doubt they have the courage to do that. If anything, THEY’D stage it themselves (i.e. False Flag) and sacrifice one of their own, to get the “action” going.

    • Transplanted says

      Actually Kauf, Oregon is a exactly that kind of state and many are licensed to carry and do. You’ll notice this type of violence only happens in downtown Portland and not elsewhere in the state where they’re protected by the Mayor.

  4. Morgan Foster says

    ““Political language,” Orwell observed, “is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable.”

    It’s as if this article was written with Quillette’s very own Princess Underlove in mind.

  5. Fuzzy Headed Mang says

    I remember the Salman Rushdie and Charlie Hebdo cases. In each one, the victims were blamed by fairly prominent intellectuals, politicians, and others for inciting and/or triggering the violent response. Therefore, they were partly or perhaps wholly to blame for the carnage. Other apologists deemed the terrorists and often violent demonstrators faultless because of U. S. actions creating anger in the Islamic world. “They couldn’t help themselves.” was the oft repeated phrase. If Rushdie had kept his pen still he would not have been threatened. If Penguin hadn’t published The Satanic Verses none of their editors would have been assassinated. And if Andy Ngo hadn’t gone to that demo, he wouldn’t have been punched out. If he hadn’t published his provocative pieces, he wouldn’t be targeted with violence. You reap what you sow, so the apologists would say. You can use free speech as your defence, sure, but that doesn’t make you immune from the consequences of your speech. Rushdie compared this rationale with people saying that a girl walking down the street in a mini skirt deserved to be attacked, due to her provocative attire.

    • Geary Johansen says

      @ Fuzzy Headed Mang

      Great comment. Mick Hume’s ‘Trigger Warning’ clearly details how politicians and the media, have become so lukewarm on free speech: ‘Well, I obviously support free speech, but…’.

      The case of Charlie Hebdo had ignorant clickbait journalists coming out of woodwork, trying to defend the indefensible, in claiming that Charlie Hebdo was racist or islamophobic.

    • I was (and am) so appalled at the reactions to both these cases. I remember when something like 150 very well known writers actually protested a freedom of expression PEN award for charlie Hebdo. And look at the disgusting way they treat Ayaan Hirsch Ali, a black former Muslim who was genitally mutilated. I guess we’re supposed to think that if she were a good little Muslim and covered herself according to fundamentalist Muslim strictures and praised Islam, she wouldn’t need bodyguards 24/7. But no, her “vagina should be taken away.”

      I wonder if it’s a sort of Stockholm Syndrome, where subconsciously they identify with the abusers in hopes to appease them or feel less powerless. Or do they really admire the violence? It’s very bizarre.

      • Loophole Skeleton Key says

        d : nothing so complicated. It’s just pretty typical rationalizing behavior that people engage in when faced with the fact that their normal knee-jerk loyalties have run up against a principle, and they would like to continue feeling that they are on the side of the Angels; they make a special pleading explaining why the principle doesn’t apply in this case, or they attempt to retroactively qualify their principles to allow convenient exemptions. As in: obviously violence is wrong, but…

        This is neither a Left nor a Right phenomenon, just ordinary sophistry.

        • aldousk says

          “Qualify their principles…”

          Well, they’re in good company – as Marx famously said “Those are my principles. If you don’t like them, then I have others”.

  6. Debbie says

    Those ‘Nazi with a Gun’ tweets are hilarious. Not because an idiot drew a gun in Charlotsville and pointed it at some Antifa muscle. That’s bad. No, it’s because Corey Long — the aerosol flamethrowing Antifa fella — isn’t defending the old man from the gun-wielding protester, like Rebecca J. Kavanaugh says, but instead against what appears to be a group of balding, over weight, middle-aged, work-socks-and-generic-tennis-shoe wearing flag wavers. I for one am glad brave Corey was there for that old man.

    • TarsTarkas says

      Corey Long is and was an agent provocateur. He helped stage the whole Charlottesville confrontation. He is no more a right winger than I am a squirrel. His history before Charlottesville proves it.

  7. Justyne Thyme says

    I do not think I’ve ever seen a twitter thread get so monumentally pummeled as the one linked in this portion of item #3 “his refusal to back off and leave after “peaceful requests” by demonstrators” by @karahansen.

  8. W2class says

    Princess Underlove always seems to be the first poster on any of these articles, suggesting she is stalking the site for the sole purpose of trolling. Put aside for a moment the image conjured up of what a sad, little person she must be and consider what the best revoke would be?
    Can I suggest everyone simply stop responding to her posts? Starve the troll of unearned attention.

    • The Oulmn says

      The problem with that particular tactic is that when the occasional leftist glances through the discussion and sees such a comment without a rational rebuttal (i.e.: merely comments identifying the poster as a troll), their own biases will allow them to assume that the lack of engagement is evidence of a sound argument. The current dogpile approach may not be ideal (especially when some civil war-hungry right-wing wackos join in), but at least the flaws in her (and others) arguments are firmly and repeatedly pointed out.

    • Weasels Ripped My Flesh says

      What makes you think its a “her”?

    • This tends to be my thinking too. It’s okay to respond if legitimate points are being made, but fruitless, and probably counterproductive to engage with someone like Underlove if she just posts drivel. We will certainly see her again on the next article, posting something equally stupid.

      Then again, the responses were interesting and I enjoyed reading them. So maybe some use can co.e from her quasi-trolling after all.

      • Denny Sinnoh says

        86,
        I always just scroll past her posts (same with Plaza) but I often read the replies.

    • W2class says

      I meant ‘rebuke’, not ‘revoke’ ,by the way.

      You all make good points.

      I suppose I’ll just have to endure the repetitive strain injury brought on by skipping over his / her / its posts.

    • Agreed. It’s sad that a great article like the one above is successfully hijacked by an ideologue with an ax to grind.

      Excellent piece btw. Wish it had been discussed more in the comments.

    • Stephanie says

      W2Class, it would be nice at least if there weren’t a hundred responses. Between that and the essay-lenth comments Jack posts about topics unrelated to the article, the comments get derailed.

  9. Ray Andrews says

    A modest proposal: Supposing at these sort of events, a ring was set up and we had ‘Nazis’ and antifas go at it one on one? It would be a fine entertainment. Rules would be minimal, I suppose the ref would step in if someone was about to suffer permanent injury or death, but short of that these warriors would be expected to beat the shit out of each other in a fair fight and in their respective noble causes.

    Oh, and as for the cowardly sneak attack artists, they’d be taken to the ring — I suppose now that I think about it it would have to be a big cage — and matched against the reigning champ of the other side whether they liked it or not. Perhaps in these fights the ref would look away for the first minute. We already have MMA, so this is only a small step.

    • Jack B. Nimble says

      @Ray Andrews

      When police do their job impartially, these protests usually end in no violence by either side:

      ‘Far-right extremists Proud Boys outnumbered by counter-protesters at Washington, DC, rally by Olivia Sanchez, USA TODAY, 6 July 2019

      WASHINGTON — Proud Boys, an extremist group with ties to white nationalism, attracted roughly 250 supporters to its Demand Free Speech rally at Freedom Plaza and Pershing Park Saturday to protest what they contend is an anti-conservative bias on social media.

      But the a self-proclaimed “chauvinistic men’s group” was outnumbered roughly 2-1 by counter-protesters.

      Among those were approximately 50 anti-fascists or antifa, wearing all black, many with helmets and their faces covered.

      Barricades manned by at least one hundred police officers on bikes and motorcycles kept the warring protest groups apart.

      When police prevented some antifa from entering Freedom Plaza, they went around another block and charged a makeshift police barricade of officers standing in front of caution tape. Ultimately, antifa and the Proud Boys did not come face-to-face and there was no violence, unlike clashes between the groups last weekend in Portland, Oregon, in which eight people were injured, including conservative writer Andy Ngo who was attacked while live-streaming on Twitter…..’

      https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2019/07/06/white-nationalist-linked-proud-boys-outnumbered-counter-protesters/1661585001/

      • Asenath Waite says

        @JBN

        So Antifa was trying to get past the barricade to start violence but were prevented by the police. That’s good. Perhaps similar tactics should be employed in Portland. Who was it that attacked Andy Ngo? The article doesn’t say.

  10. Peter from Oz says

    One wonders why the wankers of the left haven’t worked out yet that by failing to condemn antifa actions they are being seen as extremist loons.
    But leftism is based on myths and shibboleths that can’t be shaken by rational argument. The oikophobia is so intense that any acknowledgment of anything good in our civilsation is immediately seen as ”white supremacy”. These people really are the new puritans.

    • Lilliana says

      Agree – they now expect ideological conformity or you are branded as an enemy to the cause. I find it ironic that a favourite put down is labelling anyone that doesn’t agree with their ‘religion’ a bigot. Clearly not big on self-awareness.

  11. Old Boy says

    Princess Underlove’s behavior can be explained quiet easily once you add back the missing final ‘d’.
    I feel bad for xir.
    Best to ignore from now on.

  12. Meh. This is just what happens when people become so polarised that they feel it’s no longer worth talking and force is the default answer.

    Either things will simmer down or political violence will become more widespread until we’re looking at the 1930s again. Disturbing as that is, there’s nothing anyone can do about it.

    • Kauf Buch says

      TO “A”

      WRONG. This is what happens when the Left – whether due to a “religious-like ideological fervor” or mental illness – decides their imagined “moral/intellectual superiority” justifies their violence (as in: first dehumanize, then eradicate).

      When it comes down to “him or me,” I’d fight fire with fire, too.
      Seems to be the only language they understand.

  13. Robert Reseigh says

    Brilliant article. Opened my eyes to the far lefts dogmas and made me consider my responses. All too easy to fall into this trap.

  14. Rick says

    Excellent article, makes cogent points with examples. Avoids name calling. Clearly stimulated comments from diverse perspectives. I love reading articles referencing folks like Orwell and Popper.
    Thank You Ernest Nickels.
    Rick

  15. derek says

    What struck me in the aftermath was the flood of people in all the forums I frequent defending the violence with the same words. Instructions went out to attempt to limit the damage from blitheringly stupid actions. There has been an air of desperation because that event has forced people who would rather look away to confront the ugliness.

  16. Nick Podmore says

    It seems obvious to me that the radical left are comprised of that group of kids who always seemed to be ostracised by the cruel and cool kids in mainstream education, the goths, the skaters, the geeks, the misfits. At school they were on the outside of the social majority and were drawn toward fringe activities, now they have grown up (in years anyway) and have coalesced into this vocal, emotional and irrational victim support group determined to punish their childhood oppressors…Instead of owning their shit and taking responsibility for their lives they seek to blame everything and everyone else for their misery….they have become the bullies that they so despised…

    • Academy 23 says

      Nick Podmore

      I think you’re mostly right, though as someone I was part of one of those misfit groups (and read Quillette), I’d say that these are a sub-set.

      In the 80s I was acquainted with a fair few people who were ‘black bloc’ and ‘hunt sabs.

      The hunt saboteurs were mostly properly upper middle class (in UK terms) and often has parents they were directly involved in fox hunting, or their Dad was director of the meat marketing board or something. They were simply rebelling against their parents.

      The black bloc people all seemed to be borderline homeless, or at least sold the Big Issue (a newspaper sold by homeless people in the UK), and in my experience conspiracy theorists long before it was fashionable to be conspiracy theorists.

      These groups overlapped, and in general romanticised political violence such as the Spanish Civil War – which meant romanticising the Catalan (‘No Parasan’ and all that), the Troubles in Ireland – romanticising St Patricks day even if they were neither believing Christians or Irish of any denomination, or fantasising about throwing a petrol bomb at a Policeman – because they somehow picture themselves as being oppressed West Indian in 1981 in Brixton at the time of the riots.

      They’re a bunch of fantasists.

      The first lot a bit like Joe Strummer (Dad was a a diplomat, Public School, pretend to be ‘hard’ and a ‘cockney’) or Billy Bragg (worries about the plight of the poor from his actual mansion on the coast surrounded by the rich) – poseurs.

      The second lot are, frankly, a bit dim – not the brightest glowing lightbulb, not the sharpest tools in the box.

      Get them together the first get a feel a bit ‘street’, and second lot get to feel a bit ‘intelligent.’

      Strangely enough this upper class clever with the downtrodden and not very clever combination is typical of people who call themselves fascists like the BNP (British National Party).

      But I don’t think they are an exact mirror image: I think the actual fascists may have a more clear eyed idea of what they stand for – the antifa type seem unconnected with reality, which is probably why you can’t argue with them.

      They are throwing fashion poses, for which they expect to be lauded and followed, and if you blow a hole in their bubble it really pisses them off.

      Another point: The wider ‘outsiders’ group do mostly feel a sympathy for the antifa group, it don’t think it is very deep. It is an example – see Nassim Nicholas Taleb – of 5% of people setting the agenda for the other 95%, because the 95% aren’t really concerned with what antifa are concerned with, but will go-along with what they say because “they seem like their sort of people,” which isn’t much of a comfort because good people are fooled by heuristics all the time.

      Another vaguely connected point. I remember being surprised when reading French/Italian post modernist thinkers Deleuze and Guattari’s ‘A Thousand Plateaus’ that they thought that fascism was more likely to rise from the left as from the right.

      And remember Hitler and the Nazis were fantasists as well. Just because you’re deluded doesn’t mean you can’t be dangerous.

      I worry that the wider reaction to the assault on Andy Ngo isn’t to wake up and see sense, but to dig deeper, to believe that Andy Ngo is a fascist who had it coming, and to see the assault on him not as an embarrassment but a success.

  17. Sparkles And Rainbows says

    Meanwhile, the Portland Police are proposing an anti-mask law for protestors.

    I think it’s a great idea that would seriously tone shit down at these contrived little confrontations.

    Another great idea would be for Joey Gibson and his “Patriot Prayer” group – gimme a fucking break – who not only don’t live in Portland but don’t even live in Oregon, to stop being outside agitators who come to a city they don’t even live in to pick fights.

    • ga gamba says

      outside agitators

      This is a silly objection. One’s residence in a city doesn’t determine whether or not they may assemble and speak. What your comment reveals is an idea that this is a territorial battle much like those fought by animals. Is Klantifa scent marking its turf?

      Of course, Klantifa members are not animals; they simply choose to behave like hyenas by acting on instinct and allowing their emotions to run amok. Moreover, Klantifa often travels to other areas. For example, Seattle’s Emerald City Klantifa joined Portland’s in its recent public demonstration of stupidity and malice. Further, Klantifa professes its belief in “no borders, no nations,” so now objecting to “outsiders” reveals the members’ (and your) hypocrisy. “We only want those who profess their allegiance and will tolerate those we can bully into submission.”

    • Kauf Buch says

      TO SaR

      Ditto what ga gamba said. I’ll just add your BLAMING THE VICTIM is disgusting.
      Americans have the RIGHT to FREE SPEECH anywhere, not just in their hometown.

      You need to move to Venezuela or some other s###hole country, and enjoy your imagined “utopia.”
      We’d BOTH be happier.

    • Sparkles and rainbows… I live in Portland and couldn’t agree more with both suggestions.

      Anonymity is a tool antifa are exploiting and should be removed from the equation.

      Patriot prayer are looking for a fight just the same as antifa are. They are two willing combatants using our city as a cage in a cage fight (with the worst trained, most out of shape, weakest cage fighters ever).

      “Freedom of speech” in this context is just an excuse to get together and rumble. As an outsider I understand how it could seem problematic that these rallies (free speech) be stifled, but as someone who lives here, sees the repeated outcomes from these rallies (if there’s no violence it’s considered a failure), I can see through the false veneer that both sides present, and it’s fully transparent that nobody gives two shits about free speech or combatting fascism…they just want to fight.

      • Kauf Buch says

        TO Ike

        Only the brain-dead Left equate FREEDOM OF SPEECH and LOOKING FOR A FIGHT.

        • I’m not brain dead or particularly left and I’m not equating. I’m simply observing reality in my city.

          • Kauf Buch says

            TO Ike
            GARBAGE! You are doing nothing BUT equating the two, and NO,
            you are NOT just “stating facts” about Portland.

            Patriot Prayer went, WITH A PERMIT THEY APPLIED FOR, for a gathering.
            Antifa went there looking to fight Patriot Prayer.

            Stop trying to place the Left’s intentions and conduct on the Right.
            Transferrence is a sign of mental illness. Or being a Leftist…OR BOTH.

          • Ike says

            You don’t know what you’re yelling about. If you think patriot prayer are innocent victims just trying to “practice free speech” then you’re as brainwashed as Antifa. They have rallies in Portland BECAUSE antifa will show up and squabble. They’ve had rallies in other locations outside of Portland, antifa doesn’t show up. They don’t have rallies in those places anymore…because antifa DOESNT SHOW UP.

            I live here, hype boy, and I’m no fan of either.

      • DiamondLil says

        Hear! Hear! I still maintain that if you could slip into their closets at night and change their costumes, Nazis and Antifa would get up the next morning, switch sides, and go on fighting. Let the Bronies and the Furries rumble and leave us out of it.

    • David of Kirkland says

      What if they are wearing religiously-protected burkas?

      • Fred says

        D of K, The Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) of 1993 states that the government can restrict religious freedom if a) it has a compelling interest in doing so and b) it uses the least restrictive means possible to achieve that interest. One can make a convincing case that the government has a compelling interest in protecting the public from violent demonstrators. It should also not be diifficult to convince a court that banning the burka only at public demonstrations and only pursuant to legally protecting the public is not excessively restrictive.

      • Allah says

        If they’re wearing burkas then what the hell are they doing at a protest? Wearing a burka is a sign of submission to Sharia Law. If you’ve already done that, then as a woman you should be shutting the hell up and making sandwiches and babies. Women attending public demonstrations? That sounds like something that would deserve a thorough beating in any fundamentalist Muslim household, if not an outright honor killing.

        If you’re going to follow Sharia Law, do it right, don’t pick and choose bits and pieces from it and discard the rest.

  18. One thing that strikes me whenever I view photos of antifa members – as above – is a) that they are nearly all white and b) they all look fairly young (under 30) and well fed.

    I wonder how much of it is playacting and a shortcut to feeling important, reducing the world to very simple, quasi-religious/comic book/video game frame of Righteous Good (themselves) against Evil (whoever they oppose), as someone like Princess Underlove does. In video games and fanatical religion, the ends also justify the means, and the cause is always just. Just as here.

    It’s exciting. With the blessing of adult authorities – media, professors – they get to dress up in a costume with a mask, just like a superhero or a video game player character. The black indicates they Mean Business. They are Serious. They are even Heroes. The world around them, as in a video game, serves as a backdrop to their Important Quest, in this case, ridding the world of Bad Guys one punch at a time.

    What sort of person is attracted to this fantasy playacting, reducing the world into starkly simplistic terms in which they are narcissistically front and center, refusing to see other people as human beings or the world as even a little complex? Definitely a type of mentally ill person; that’s a given. But otherwise, for those who don’t have issues with paranoia or narcissist personality disorder or sociopathy or a type of typically male depression that goes outward instead of inward (and that allows them to feel they are functioning and actually heroic without addressing any of their own issues) — For those who aren’t ‘diagnosable,’ they would have to be very ignorant of any history or sense of the actual world. This is in a way how they playact–making up not only their own role, but the stage itself. Psychologically, I do wonder how much is in a reaction to a spoiled childhood without purpose or meaning–this way they have an anchor, and a very easy one at that. The literally have to do nothing at all in order to consider themselves Good Righteous people. Quite the contrary: they even get to beat up old men and 5’5″ gay men, and legitimately vent their fury at whatever it is that angers them (their ex girlfriends, their lack of a job, their terrible parents, etc), and still tell themselves they are righteous heroes Doing Something Noble. It must be very satisfying to not have to change your lifestyle one iota, and yet imagine you have purpose and meaning, cast in an imaginary fantasy video world in which they play the Good Guy and punch Bad guys, who are, just as in a video game, not really real people.

    Whoever is encouraging this dangerous game needs to realize that he who sows the wind, reaps the whirlwind — violence of the mob is not controllable. Governments have used them all the time, and it is always dangerous, and always ends badly.

    For those very naive (at best) posters here who say that Antifa’s cause is just and the ends justify the means–that way is paved in blood and invariably brings mass suffering and evil. Nazis – and all tyrants – thought their cause was just and the ends justified the means, too.

    • Martin Lawford says

      Ever since the 1999 “battle in Seattle”, I have tried to find out what sort of people belong to the so-called Black Bloc. They are secretive so it was hard to learn but based on the activities of similar people in Europe, Antifa consists of clerical workers who consider themselves underemployed. If there are any objective sociologists, I would ask them how the kind of people who join Antifa compare to the kind of people who joined Occupy Wall Street.

      • Good question, @Martin. I wonder. And compared to other groups. For instance, what sort of people are in Antifa compared to the Proud Boys? If I had to guess, I would say they’d be very similar in personality and in the vision of themselves – their cause is just and righteous, they need to fight against the Bad Guys by any means necessary, in a world that they need to change to conform to their bigoted vision. Differences might be that Antifa comes from a higher social class? And those in Proud Boys probably enjoy being outsiders, while Antifa members want to belong to a group. Would be interesting to study.

      • dirk says

        @Martin: after 10 yrs Mexico, I remember very well there was a word for those black block persons, all the time interfering in protests and appearing from all over the nation, even if 1000 kms away. But can’t remember the exact word for those ones in Spanish, anybody here who knows?? They always were the first ones to vanish where it really got bad (and the police started shooting and killing, because, that’s how it was there).

    • BrainFireBob says

      [Quote]
      What sort of person is attracted to this fantasy playacting, reducing the world into starkly simplistic terms in which they are narcissistically front and center, refusing to see other people as human beings or the world as even a little complex? Definitely a type of mentally ill person; that’s a given. But otherwise, for those who don’t have issues with paranoia or narcissist personality disorder or sociopathy or a type of typically male depression that goes outward instead of inward (and that allows them to feel they are functioning and actually heroic without addressing any of their own issues) — For those who aren’t ‘diagnosable,’ they would have to be very ignorant of any history or sense of the actual world. This is in a way how they playact–making up not only their own role, but the stage itself. Psychologically, I do wonder how much is in a reaction to a spoiled childhood without purpose or meaning–this way they have an anchor, and a very easy one at that. The literally have to do nothing at all in order to consider themselves Good Righteous people. Quite the contrary: they even get to beat up old men and 5’5″ gay men, and legitimately vent their fury at whatever it is that angers them (their ex girlfriends, their lack of a job, their terrible parents, etc), and still tell themselves they are righteous heroes Doing Something Noble. It must be very satisfying to not have to change your lifestyle one iota, and yet imagine you have purpose and meaning, cast in an imaginary fantasy video world in which they play the Good Guy and punch Bad guys, who are, just as in a video game, not really real people.

      [/Quote]

      I was discussing this last night with my wife.

      Child rearing altered in the last few decades. Participation awards, elimination of hierarchal competition, am emphasis on making the child feel special.

      Used to be, a child that felt special and had their second place boxcar trophy, their merit badges, their fifth place track trophy- had a unique set of achievements to anchor their sense of special uniqueness.

      Now, that same child has been told- emphatically- that they are special, but they have the identical participation trophies to every other child. So they have an issue reconciling their self-image with reality; a cognitive dissonance revolving around a crisis of ego.

      So yes, go be a hero. Not everyone “gets to” be in Antifa, only the “enlightened.”

      Same reason they don’t want to be plumbers and want to go to college, but only major in what they can handle. Plumbers aren’t “special” like college graduates are. Since graduation rates have increased, in fact, lacking that diploma is becoming the “wrong kind” of special- the failing kind. Which again, doesn’t square with reality.

      I’d also add my one belief about white people that might be considered biased and might not: That the one thing that can really be considered “white culture” is ranking competition as a value extraordinarily highly compared to other cultural inheritances (as in, #1 for many people)- all that matters is winning.

      So of course it’s white people that go crazy for wokeness. They can’t be “normal woke.” They must be MOST WOKEINGEST 7TH LEVEL FRUITARIAN, EATING ONLY AIR. Otherwise, they’re “losing” at being special.

      • Kauf Buch says

        TO BFB

        It’s NOT “playacting” (LARPing), when their ACTUAL VIOLENCE causes ACTUAL WOUNDS and DAMAGE.

      • Geary Johansen says

        @ BrainFireBob

        Great comment. But you have to build in the piss poor methodology of teaching, baked into the progressive education system. Daisy Christadoulou’s short book ‘Seven Myths About Education’, details just how far educational theory has strayed from the central concept of the teacher imparting knowledge. Instead, they are invited to gather the most superficial levels of knowledge from source material and the internet and then make moralistic pronouncements about the evils of intensive farming or capitalism.

        Then they emerge into the real world, complete with a bullshit degree and a tonne of debt, to find that they are only fit for serving coffees or working in a fulfilment centre. Is it any wonder that they see the world as a fundamentally evil place, given that they have been lied to by their parents and their teachers- or that they are so susceptible to the nonsense oppression wheel of intersectional feminism. But the fact that they’re pissed doesn’t give them the excuse to beat people up, or reclassify the other 92% of the political spectrum as ‘Nazi’.

          • Geary Johansen says

            @ Kauf Buch

            Yes I did, very informative. Especially liked his take on Borneo. A mate of mine did an environmental science degree at the UEA, and apparently, in order to clear the carbon debt of tropical forest clearance, it would take 680 years for an equivalent area of land producing palm oil.

            Also, read an article in a Maine newspaper stating that coral reefs are relocating to traditionally cooler zones naturally. Carnegie science has also done a study in an island inland lagoon, in which they re-adjusted the pH using hydrogen peroxide and it returned to normal health within a year or two.

            Two other pieces I’ve seen on corals relate to potential ways to regenerate them. One involved a guy who had discovered that splitting them in splinters caused them to regrow at a much faster rate. Another involved a team sampling coral and selective breeding them to be more tolerant to pH change. The woman leading the team said they needed $100 million dollars to begin scaling from some philanthropist, with more funds needed somewhere down the line. Funny how it might only take $5 to 10 billion as a one off payment to replenish coral globally, allowing a billion poor people to continue being fed, when we are currently already spending $100 billion a year in subsidies ANNUALLY for renewables.

            What’s really needed is sensible engineering and conservation solutions to climate change- not the single biggest expansion of the powers of ‘limited’ government since the Founding of the US. The Chinese call white liberals ‘Baizou’ for their obsession with climate change and PC, and it’s not a compliment. Big fans of hydro at the moment though, and with good reason. Once you’ve built it it’s bloody cheap!

            P.S. When I was looking on Google for renewable subsidies- I could only find renewable ‘investments’. Had to go to IE, to find an FT article comparing renewable to fossil fuel subsidies. Talk about ‘curation’ FFS! Also, going to add Patrick Moore to my Twitter- even though I have only been on it 3-4 times in the past 6 years- yet somehow seem to be following 1800 commercial twitter users. 🙂

        • Stephen Pierson says

          @ GearyJohansen:

          I know colleagues at the two-year college I teach at who admit they are leftist missionaries. One told me he would not share with his students scholarship from evolutionary psychology that ran counter to his leftist politics. He said this gleefully, at a time when he didn’t have tenure. Because he is in the majority. Such indoctrinators are the reason people homeschool their children.

          • Geary Johansen says

            @ Stephen Pierson

            Yeah. The political spectrum is an upside-down horseshoe with hell at either end- but it’s funny how we only ever get to learn about the evils at one end of the spectrum. Messing with science though, that’s brutal. So I suppose there are no cognitive differences in interest between men and women, then.

      • Pao Martin says

        @BrainFireBob

        I like your post.

        We need vo-tech students. Your average Lawyer or Feminist Dance Therapist cannot change the world if their car doesn’t work.

        As for Competition:

        I lost the elementary school Spelling Bee. Pissed me off. So I learned to spell better.

        I wanted to be a great singer, but I sucked. So I took lessons and got better, Not great, just better.

        I started playing piano at a young age. I kicked everyone’s ass. Still do. Yay me. Glad I was smart enough NOT to make it a career choice. The competition and cut-throat environment didn’t need to ruin the joy of my life.

        As a young child, I was “forced” to join the swim team where my mother was bookkeeper. Later, I joined the high school swim team, because I was pretty OK at it. As soon as I broke the 50 yard freestyle record at my high school, I was satisfied. Competition made me an award-winning swimmer. Enough already, but superior swimming skills resulted.

        I am terrible at writing. I am terrible at writing. I am terrible at writing. So I get a grip and don’t write the novel of my extraordinary life LOL.

        I HATE yardwork. I have a black thumb.So I hire a great landscape guy. Problem Solved.

        I saved money. Maybe my competitive drive warranted my desire to be a self-sufficient Senior Citizen.

        Competition drives people. In my high school during the dinosaur age, winning any competition meant that a person went above and beyond the average. In addition, FAILING in competition makes the losers not failures, but participants who might try harder.

        Competition is not a WHITE thing. It is a personality driven directive.

  19. Kanomi says

    These are violent thugs who deserve felony convictions for their dangerous crimes. Their victim could have died.

    If the state fails, Federal prosecutors can and should step in on Civil Rights violations for which there is ample precedent.

  20. David of Kirkland says

    “the suggestion that Ngo did not just profit from his attacks, but actively sought to be victimized for that purpose, and that he had (to some degree) provoked his assault.”
    Yup, just like that girl wearing sexy clothing deserves it, right? Or the well dressed guy walking down a dark alley. You were asking for it, no?

  21. BrainFireBob says

    What’s fascinating to me about the whole thing is the callback to early forms of ritual magic.

    There’s a reason that the old fashioned [I]wyrd[/], meaning a spell, and [I]word[/I] have the same root. It’s an outgrowth of literal ancient magic practice- a voodoo doll represents the thing, so can be used as a stand-in for the thing, as an example. So if I make a voodoo doll of you, in your likeness (similarity) and using ideally some aspect of your person or something connected to you (contagion), then by altering the doll I can work similarity in reverse and alter you.

    Words were invested with the same power. The word is the thing is the word- it’s the origin of fun concepts like “true names” giving power over a thing, or even that saying certain ritualistic spells or prayers (Exorcisms, the Lord’s prayer as a test for witchcraft, any form of witchcraft really) will have power- it’s an extension of the fundamental investiture of words not as symbols but as connected and encapsulating the thing that they name.

    The Enlightenment, with its emphasis on creating new names and systems of labeling things, essentially pushed against this culturally- words were labels intended to communicate meaning, and therefore making all names constructed enhanced their functional meaning, without which they were just random sounds.

    That’s context for the following statement: These Antifa people, and “woke” SJWs in particular, believe in a strange form of ritual magic- if you visit their forums, etc., you can tell by their odd capitalizations. To whit, for internal consistency: If they attempt to name you a Nazi, but you are not a Nazi, the words literally cannot be formed. If they accuse you of racism and it does not immediately bounce, if it is not inherently ridiculous, the inherent Truthiness of the statement reveals its Truth (notice the odd capitols). I’m talking about the true believer rank and file here, not the leaders that do it for political gamesmanship.

    It is the only internally consistent idea behind “Antifa only punches Nazis. If they punched you, you must be a Nazi.” It’s not that they think their judgment is infallible, it ‘s that they think something will just [I]prevent the punching from happening[/I] if you are not a Nazi. That’s LITERALLY a belief in magic, in the most ancient forms practiced by humans (We’re talking Sumerians making voodoo dolls of sick people, putting them on their chests overnight, and then leaving them in the desert to “carry off the sickness with them” level magic).

    Listen closely to the Antifa fandom. If you are aware of this aspect of their belief structure, it’s all over their language. It’s more than mildly fascinating.

    • BrainFireBob says

      Going to expand this because I’m not completely clear.

      It’s something I see more on the left than the right, could be the context of living West Coast.

      If you aren’t a racist, you say the words. If you can say the words, you must not be a racist- magic.

      Refusing to axiomatically pronounce such shibboleths at every opportunity, is the same as the old use of the Lord’s Prayer as a test for witchcraft- witches were thought unable to utter more than 1-2 lines of the prayer.

      Antifa proclaims themselves heroes, and the words do not deny them- heroes they must be! They proclaim they are advocating for the downtrodden, and the words find them worthy and allow themselves to be spoken, anointing their Truth.

      If you look at their condemnations of the right, or eve a substantial amount of the vitriol at Trump, it takes that pattern. Trump, fundamentally, is “racist” “because of all the things he does.” What does he do “all the time”? He does not go around proclaiming his lack of racism.

      The idea of lying or having a guilty conscience is incomprehensible to how these people use and must therefore understand language. In fact, the lack of proclamations of not-hate and not-‘ism must be an admittance one is unable to so pronounce, because Truth!

      See? Literally magic.

      • Kauf Buch says

        TO BFB

        Sounds less like “magic” to me than a mental illness which compels them to
        1) project their own behavior onto others, and
        2) place the blame for said trait/accusation onto them as well.

        Linguistically, I find more interesting – and more disturbing – their perversion of many, many words, e.g. inclusiveness (exclusion, in reality), diversity (uniformity with their narrative/opinions, in reality) and so on and so forth (a list could take up pages).

        • Nakatomi Plaza says

          Tell us about mental illness, Kauf. Tell us, in your craziest, most deluded voice, how everybody you don’t like is mentally ill but you’re got your shit all sewed up. It sounds like you’ve got everything figured out, no doubt about it.

          You sound like the posterboy for the angry white guy who’s so deep in the right-wing hate-soup that you don’t know your head from your ass anymore. I just hope you don’t own any firearms.

          • Kauf Buch says

            Oh, NP…poor, poor NP….tsk tsk tsk
            You last bout of Tourette’s was with “fck”…now it’s with “sh!t” and “@ss”…
            Go away and come back only *after
            you’ve solved that problem.
            We can discuss politics later, child. Maybe.

    • Nakatomi Plaza says

      What’s the word over at Stormfront about this issue? I know you know.

  22. Nakatomi Plaza says

    This shit again? How much mileage are you guys going to get out of this? I know that right-wing weirdos like to chase conspiracy theories and your stupid stories for as long as possible, and I guess that’s what’s happening here. It isn’t a good look. A story pieced together from twitter comments and right-wing talking points? Yikes.

    And I know you assholes will never, ever do a story about Nazis and the right, even though that’s immeasurably more of an issue that Antifa. I guess this is your Glenn Back, pizzagate, Birther, bullshit story and you’re going to ride it until your credibility is completely shot. Mission completed.

    • Geary Johansen says

      @ Nakatomi

      Ever hear the expression ‘two wrings don’t make a right’. Because that’s exactly our point here, exactly the point of the article, and exactly the point you seem unwilling or unable to concede…

      You do know there are only 11,000 white supremacists in the whole of the US? That’s versus 1 million personnel in law enforcement.

    • Kauf Buch says

      TO NakatomiP
      What’s the word over at Epstein’s Island about your issue? I know you know.

    • You and people who think like you have re-elected Trump, and have learned nothing.

    • Fuzzy Headed Mang says

      just Slightly ad hominem, a bit of the old straw man…..

  23. Pingback: “In a vein similar to Orwell’s lexicology of apologetics, criminolo… | Dr. Roy Schestowitz (罗伊)

  24. Pingback: Good luck, Andy Ngo – RoadScholar

  25. Kauf Buch says

    TO JS
    OFFER PROOF that I am a Nazi. Or a (bb – your obscenity deleted) of one.
    PROVE IT, you worthless, hysterical, diluted-version-of-Takanomi-Plaza.,
    or skip the Nazi nonsense once and for all.

    I mean, all it does – whenever you throw out that attempted-insult-word – is expose your mental and moral IMPOTENCE (we’ll skip the physiological part here, since I have bothered to reach out to your boy/girlfriends yet) and that of the Left, which spouts “NAZI!” as if it were afflicted with COLLECTIVE TOURETTE’S SYNDROME.

    YOU all MAKE YOURSELF INTO A JOKE. An absolute joke.

    Your writings here are sad and would be pathetic…except that would be an insult to pathos.

  26. martti_s says

    Fascist, falangist, bolshevik, anarchist, syndicalist…they have one thing in common and it is the method. Overriding representative democracy in the name of Greater Good, and without fail you get mountais of corpses, epidemics, starvation and a huge step backward in the development of the afflicted society.

    Why exactly is the American Dark State and the MSM supporting Antifa?
    Is it the conspiracy of the masked cowards of the Idiocracy?
    Or is it just a no-talent show that got a bit out of hand?

  27. Brad Gillespie says

    Reading some of the critical comments here that actually seem to be defending the cowardly, masked Antifa idiots makes you wonder if they have a point. But they don’t. There isn’t any defense of hiding behind masks in an act of mass stupidity and violence against something that you don’t even comprehend. And of course, if you criticize these moral cowards, who, if they dared stand alone, unmasked, would be wiped away by a 6 mph breeze, you are mated with the white supremacists, immediately, without reason. It’s as convincing as calling someone a racist who happens to disagree with your racist activities, if you are a bonafied leftwing nutball. Nazi, white wing nut — whatever: the name calling is predictably a very valuable tool of the left, but it’s an empty shell, oddly resembling those who love utilizing it. Of course, hating Trump gives you the benefit of the doubt, no matter how ridiculous your point is. Trump hatred explains itself, without any reason to go further. Trump seems to embody all the goodies the left loves to hate, but can’t ever define. That’s because the left has no control over it — and total control over everything is their implicit goal.

  28. Fuzzy Headed Mang says

    How is Ngo a Nazi? Doe he want to put gay people in concentration camps?

  29. Jillian Riteway says

    Those who discount antifa as a threat have never lived where I I live, where a simple walk down the mean streets poses the constant danger of encounters with antifa thugs on a daily basis.

  30. Pingback: Neutralizing Ngo: The Apologetics of Antifascist Street Violence written by Ernest Nickels | RUTHFULLY YOURS

  31. lydia says

    The author doesn’t get it. Far right and left wing are basically the same thing. Both are totalitarian and are on the same side of the totalitarian continuum of socialism, Marxism, fascism, communism, etc. Plenty of monikers that are basically the same exact thing. But nice try.

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