There Will Be More Violence
This past year, we have seen a marked increase in politically motivated violence — both in frequency and ferocity. Just two weeks ago, so-called “Anti-Fascists” broke into an all out brawl with right-wing groups on the streets of Berkeley, which has since been dubbed The Battle of Berkeley. Before that, they ambushed a Milo Yiannopoulos event and routed all of the event goers. Indeed, mobs of violent students often protest conservatives when they speak on college campuses. Ben Shapiro, for example, had to be given a police escort in and out of a UCLA speaking hall because it was too dangerous to enter without armed protection. All of this creates a terrifying political climate that is eerily reminiscent of 1930s Weimar Germany where the Browns and the Reds battled on the college campuses. I hate to be a regular Jeremiah, but this wave of violence isn’t going to subside any time soon. In all likelihood, it will accelerate, and that’s the price we pay for the politically correct culture we’ve created.
Political correctness is simply euphemism for censorship. A large segment of society agrees upon a set of ideas that are “politically incorrect”, and ostracizes anyone who fosters said ideas. Oftentimes they’ll go one step further and actually destroy the lives of politically incorrect figures. Therefore, political correctness is a form of non-violent censorship. But Trump was a catalyst that might end this tyranny. He galvanized a movement of people who reject political correctness, and aren’t worried about the social consequences of engaging in free speech. This movement exposed the PC brigade for what they really are: a paper tiger. Because political correctness derives its power from society, if society turns against the PC brigade, they lose their influence. So now that a large portion of society rejects political correctness, non-violent censorship is becoming ineffective.
But what happens when one form of censorship is rendered useless? Another will surely take its place. It’s a simple cause and effect relationship: when non-violent censorship becomes ineffective, censors will resort to violence.
The PC brigade didn’t disappear when their regime was overthrown; instead, they reorganized and adopted new tactics to promote their agenda. Their means changed but their end remained the same. They still want a society free from so-called hate speech, and they will pursue it one way or another, whether through the censor or the sword.
Certainly, many people who support political correctness will not follow Antifa when they violently demonstrate. They were happy to socially ostracize people, but they aren’t prepared to violently censor. Some of these people, however, will tacitly endorse the violence, even if they won’t do the dirty work themselves. These collaborators might divert the attention away from Antifa the next time they riot by arguing that they were “provoked”. Or they might meddle with the facts and try to place the blame on someone else.
You can see this in the way many media outlets covered the aforementioned Battle of Berkeley. Salon.com, for example, wrote an article titled “Pro-Trump rioters got away with beating anti-fascists in Berkeley — and likely won’t stop there” which argued that right wingers were almost solely responsible for the rioting, and only a “small minority of youthful anarchist-leftist sorts” [Antifa] wanted violence as well. Salon blatantly misrepresented the facts on the ground: they exaggerated the factions on the right who wanted violence (although there were some), and they totally ignored how many Antifa rioters wanted violence. They also didn’t mention that the Anti-Fascists were the aggressors — the right-wing groups didn’t even have any weapons — they were disarmed by the police beforehand. In contrast, Antifa brought a vast arsenal of weapons including m80s, smoke bombs, sticks, huge rocks and bear mace, which they liberally deployed against their victims.
The point is, censorship doesn’t disappear simply because its non-violent form becomes ineffective — it will re-manifest in the form of violence. And even though only a minority will engage in it, many more will tolerate it as a justified response to those “hateful right-wingers”. Right wing groups will eventually retaliate and form their own violent groups, similar to Antifa. When that happens, I will condemn them all the same.
But as bleak as this sounds, there are outs. The police need to do their job and stop these riots dead in their tracks. Governors should deploy the national guard when these riots break out — that’s what Reagan did, and it worked. While law enforcement is well and good for containment, the heart of the issue needs to be addressed — the left has a problem with censorship. They needs to disavow political correctness and stop making excuses for their violent extremists. That’s what’s required to end this. Until it happens, the violence will continue.
I’m not terribly optimistic.
Originally published at masonrattee.com on May 5, 2017.