Meditations on Punching Nazis

Peter

you should write a response to the nazi thing

Valentine

i think your nazi thing was Just Wrong tbh

like I don’t even know what my response would be besides just like

“…No?”

Peter

ok do that xD

Valentine

like there can be infinite bright lines between “someone who said something anti-semitic once” and “a literal nazi advocate”

Peter

theres your argument

you literally just made an argument

Valentine

but it’s more I wonder why you made the first argument

because surely you could see that that would be the obvious counterargument

were you just trying to get me to write a counter?

to populate the thing with content?

Peter

you wanted to write individual pieces too!

that was the first thing that struck my interest enough to write about

normally i’d put it in my thoughts thing but i was like, ‘eh why not’

Valentine

I mean yeah but I’m just saying I’ve heard you make much better arguments

So i’m not sure why that one appealed to you so much to make it the first solo post

anyway I actually need to go

Peter

I think the infinite brightlines thing misses the point, but ill respond to that argument if it comes up 😛

Valentine

I have to write a three page thing for [REDACTED] and i’ve been procrastinating

Look, your argument is: “leftists say we can punch elements of set X. But Y is an element of set X. Does that mean we can punch Y???”

Possible counter-arguments:

1: Initial punched-element Z is a part of set X, but the real problem is that he is a part of set Q, which is a subset of X but which Y is not in

Peter

my larger argument is we shouldn’t punch people because we don’t get to decide who is in the set X

Valentine

2: Y is not in set X

See I don’t see why that extrapolates

Peter

again make these responses and ill respond xD

Valentine

I know the trap you want to make is “so therefore by this logic we can punch everyone!!” but like

why

Peter

if we just have the argument here we can just post that separately i suppose

but like xD

Valentine

e.g. let’s say set X is “people who punch me”

Peter

kinda defeats the purpose

Valentine

and Z is in set X so I punch him

why does that not provide a clear bright line?

all I’m proving here: a theoretical bright line for ethical punching can exist

Peter

people who punch me?

or people i can punch?

and its circular. Who defines who is in set Z?

you can always apply the same argument i make ad infinitum to any larger subset

Valentine

Z is “richard spencer,” for reference – it’s the element in the set

Peter

he would punch you?

Valentine

And no, I’m saying set X is “people who punch me”

Peter

o my bad

wait so spencer would punch you?

I think that still begs the question. The problem is always ‘how do we determine who is in set X’

Valentine

well in this case set X is “people who punch me”

but I get what you mean, bc X is presumably a subset of set Y, which is “people I can ethically punch”

here’s the question: can I ethically punch someone who punches me?

I think the answer is yes

Peter

sure, self defense

Valentine

there ya go

Peter

but you have to wait until you have been punched xD

Valentine

so set Y exists

Peter

you cannot cross over the line into violence because of the ASSUMPTION that someone else would punch

Valentine

what about, say, protecting someone I care about?

Peter

self defense =/= preemptive self defense

Valentine

counter: florida stand your ground rules

(that’s a terrible argument but a funny one lol)

Peter

its still self defense right? those stand your ground rules have a reasonable person standard about greivous bodily harm

grievous*

Valentine

isn’t it about ~expected~ harm?

Peter

the only difference is that most other places have rules in place that say you have to try to run before you can use self defense

uhhhh mayyyyybe

like you don’t have to get stabbed first in order to shoot if thats what you mean

someone waving a knife around meets the standard

but i think that fits into the reasonable person standard of expected grievous bodily harm. In which case, fine, if the standard you want to apply for ‘can i punch someone’ is ‘would a reasonable 3rd party think this person is about to commit grievous bodily harm against me’ you win xD

Valentine

either way: in general, we hold it to be true (or at least Florida does) that if someone is causing enough harm/threat of harm pre-emptive self defense is fine

the bright line for richard spencer is, well, being a literal fucking nazi

Peter

that would never meet the stand your ground laws and you know it

Valentine

and actively advocating for that position

oh of course not

Peter

those laws also have standards for immediacy

Valentine

but it’s a philosophical question innit

Peter

advocating for a position is neither immediate nor grievous

nor bodily

harm, maybe xD

Valentine

the question is, is there an ethical justification in pre-existing frameworks for punching nazis? that also precludes, say, pewdiepie?

I mean, leftists generally buy speech-as-violence lol

Peter

which is bullshit right? XD

like I think that’s the biggest sign of authoritarianism i have *ever* seen

Valentine

but even without that, I think we already know certain types of speech to be dangerous – i.e. “incitement to riot”

Peter

speech as violence justifies purges

Valentine

This reminds me of all the comics going around where someone is like “SO MUCH FOR THE TOLERANT LEFT! CENSORING SPEECH MAKES YOU THE REAL FASCIST!”

so then the leftist sits down

and then the first guy is like “so anyway I think we should kill all the jews”

I feel like incitement to genocide should at least warrant a fine

Peter

xD

it does in germany iirc

but only against the jews

Valentine

okay i’m going to go do paper now

Peter

also I think there is a big difference between someone saying ‘hey you can’t speak here’ and someone saying ‘hey genocide is bad’

Valentine

either way, I don’t think “infinite bright lines” misses the point

because either way, self-defense is a bright line

we’ve presupposed that punching is IN SOME CASES acceptable: there is a Set Y of situations wherein you can punch someone

Peter

even self-defense has a proportionality standard, i.e. we wouldn’t punch someone if they call you names

Valentine

all I have to do to disprove your argument (punching EVER means advocating punching ALWAYS) is prove the existence of Set Y

Peter

but again, if you want to go with the self-defense standard, i think the argument would be ‘spencer is justified in punching the guy who punched him’

Valentine

sure, that’s just refinement of the bright line

Peter

I don’t think that’s what I was arguing xD

Valentine

not your latest message

Peter

yea

i got you

and I don’t think that was what i was arguing

like

Valentine

taking a step back from this conversation: I don’t understand how people can say “stopping someone from advocating genocide” is worse than “advocating genocide”

Peter

ok maybe this is nuance but like, i feel i was pretty clearly talking about the situation where violence is not already the standard, i.e. a self defense case

because the arguments for punching a nazi are all about enacting violence for someones views instead of their actions

and I think the difference is that its an a priori problem

Valentine

at what point can someone’s speech be curtailed bc incitement to riot?

Peter

Dunno. I don’t think incitement to riot is a federal thing, i think its states.

Peter

“As used in this chapter, the term “to incite a riot”, or “to organize, promote, encourage, participate in, or carry on a riot”, includes, but is not limited to, urging or instigating other persons to riot, but shall not be deemed to mean the mere oral or written (1) advocacy of ideas or (2) expression of belief, not involving advocacy of any act or acts of violence or assertion of the rightness of, or the right to commit, any such act or acts.”

ok so 1 and 2 pretty clearly knock out spencer from your list

because even though he calls for a white ethnostate he never says ‘and we shall accomplish this goal by killing all the blacks!’

and insofar as calling for restrained immigration or even targeted immigration is despicable, but not illegal, he can’t be pinned under that too

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