One of my little brother’s friends asked me to define nazis, then asked if it was okay to punch them.
At first, I thought “this is a conversation for another time and place, this sort of thing doesn’t work on facebook” but then I was riding my bike to work (#HumbleBrag #FitnessGoals) and thought “you know what, fuck that. I should take this opportunity to challenge his beliefs about violence / free speech and maybe we’ll both be better for it.”
So here’s my attempt to explain why I think it’s okay to punch Nazis, in plain, facebook-appropriate english…
– Thesis Statement
*Violence is a valid method of preventing genocide and/or slavery, as long as it doesn’t violate your personal beliefs.
*Nazis (and their friends) think certain groups of people should be killed and enslaved.
*Therefore, Nazis should be prevented from furthering this cause.
– Point 1. Personal Beliefs About Violence
Are you an absolute pacifist? Then don’t punch people. Anything less than that? You have to make your peace with god. Don’t believe in god? Then make peace with yourself.
Personally? I could punch 100 nazis, klansman, isis soldiers, or gaybashers and sleep like a baby.
– Point 2. Goodies & Baddies
The way I see it, there are two kinds of people: those who think the earth should be shared with everyone as equally as possible (the good guys and gals) and those that think some humans are worth more than others and should be killed, enslaved, or jailed for it (the bad ones.)
Punching good guys? Not okay.
Punching bad guys? “Okay under the right circumstances” (as determined by those delivering the punches, their respective gods, and their ability to sleep peacefully at night.)
– Point 3. Preventing Genocide Is Our Responsibility
We (humans) are responsible for preventing further genocide. Bare fucking minimum.
Now, I’m privileged to live in a place where Nazis et al. are smart enough or scared enough to keep their mouths shut in public. So I can sleep peacefully at night (mostly) not spending 40 hours a week kicking them in the ribs.
If circumstances change, and the shit hits the fan, or people start spreading the bad word in my house (city), I will proudly step up to make them shut up.
Point 4. We Should Do It As Nonviolently As Possible (Because We’re The Goodies)
In my heart, any religion or creed that believes “some people are worth less than others” should be shut down as peaceably and nondeadly as possible.
If prayer and flowery words does it? Thank god. If a peaceful protest and positive peer pressure does it? Awesome. If it takes a punch to the face? So be it.
All in the name of preventing further slavery or genocide.
Punching bad guys as a way to prevent genocide? *thumbs up*
(As long as it doesn’t violate your personal beliefs about violence.)
Is this way of thinking right or wrong? Better or worse than pacifism?
I have no idea.
But it is my way of thinking, and I have made peace with myself and my god about it.
Now go and do likewise.
Let me know if you want to talk about homophobia. I used to be a homophobe, so I have thoughts and feelings about this topic too. Also spanking. Really, throw a dart at a list of social issues. I have strong opinions.