Saturday, January 08, 2022

On Political Violence

Ted Rall posted a piece at The Unz Review on the current attitude toward political violence in this nation which is well worth reading.  I do think he misses a couple of points, which I will address later, but he does address a couple of glaring contradictions in the manner in which we view political activism.

“Our republic rests,” he writes, “upon a paradox. We teach schoolchildren that in the late 18th century, the personal assessment of some colonists that the British government was unjust followed by their decision to take up arms was not merely justified but noble and heroic. In the 21st century, however, any analogous judgment that this government is corrupt and unresponsive to their needs is beyond the pale — and an armed revolt would be the act of treasonous maniacs.”

He goes on to say that those who fought for the South in the Civil War were never brought to trial, nor were they even deprived of their weapons. They were, in fact, sent home to live in peace, unlike those who stormed the Capitol Building on January 6th without any weapons and without apparent intention to damage the structure.

“To sum up the official line,” he continues, “the American Revolution was a fully justified, admirable use of political violence (24,000 dead British soldiers) that created the best country ever. The Southern secession that attempted to cut the best country ever in half, … was forgivable.

Political violence now, on the other hand, is not now, nor ever will be, morally or legally permissible.”

The counter argument, of course, is that the British government was wrong, The Yankee government was righteous, and Democrats are… Well, whatever they are.

The point that I think he misses is that the present government policy of stamping down political violence very ruthlessly  is based on an extreme fear of such violence, which is entirely natural in a government that was born in political violence (the American Revolution) and which used even more extreme violence (the Civil War) to survive.

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