It’s not intolerance when we do it: The Left & political violence

Allrik Birch

The far left are a dangerous, violent bunch. I’m not talking about fascists (who nobody left or right wants to be associated with, and thus reject as of their own), but the antifa skinheads, the “anarcho”-syndicalists, Socialist Workers Party types and the smorgasboard of other disparate far-left groups. People within these groups (even a majority of them) openly discuss violence, whether against fascists/the BNP, Tories, who they often lump with the former or simply the police.

We saw some of this come to the surface in recent weeks in regard to the death of Margaret Thatcher. Whilst I was lining the route for Thatcher’s funeral procession, I noticed a simply charming young lady of the far left near me croaking “lizards” and performing nazi salutes (suggesting that Thatcher is an equivalent of Hitler), amongst other things. For this girl, the hatred of those on “the right” (which would tend to include many widely different groups and ideologies) surpassed all reason and logic – they were either actively evil or in her words “grey people with grey souls”. Everyone was brainwashed, everyone except her and her far-left friends of course, uniquely able to see through the “propaganda”. This was of course a middle-class girl who played in a brass band in school, not exactly one of the proletariat. This is the mindset of many (but definitely not all) of those on this far left. Any violence is justified because the people they are fighting are either mindless drones or actively evil. As libertarians, we should definitely be wary of thinking down these lines ourselves, you can believe someone is clever, sensible and kind, but mistaken. Not everyone you disagree with is evil, indeed very few people are.

But back to the nub of the issue; if you dehumanise others to such an extent that the young lady in the crown did, all violence, all cruelty can be justified. Anything can become reasonable when your opponents have blackened hearts. Some examples to prove my point perhaps?

The world-view of the far-left is one that sees ALL policemen, ALL bankers and large numbers of others as best dead. The kind of people who might call themselves caring in one sentence and suggest putting hundreds of thousands up against the wall and shot the next. Not unconnected to this world-view is the idea that high ranking members of a (thankfully minor) political party should be those to act as judge and jury to a rape case. The girl who alleged the rape (I’ll not comment on the details, I don’t have enough information, rather like those on the panel) didn’t go to the police because she viewed them as evil – they were beyond human. If you truly believe that someone is that evil, purely for working for the police, then of course you’re likely to do weird things. Things like not informing the police when you want to bring a criminal case forward, for example. Even after you’ve shown dissatisfaction with the party’s kangaroo court, not pushing for a police enquiry is bizarre. But if you view the police as monsters as many on the far-left do, it makes sense. If the police are never to be trusted, you will never go to them for help.

Members of the Occupy Movement have on a number of occasions resorted to violence.
Members of the Occupy movement have employed violent methods on a number of occasions.

Active violence from the far-left is more common on the continent where clashes between antifas and fascists are worryingly becoming more common, than in Britain. This is the same sort of violence that befell the streets of Germany in the ’20s and ’30s, although perhaps in a smaller-scale fashion. Even so, it is still a real concern, Der Spiegel have a section of their site for “Left-Wing Extremism”. This isn’t just one or two isolated cases, this sort of violence is real and dangerous. This is whilst “Occupy” types do their thing in Seattle and other American cities. As well as there being the actions of many “Anarchists” during the London riots of 2011, the student protests of 2010 as well as the “Occupy Sussex” shenanigans more recently. Remember, anything is justified when anyone who doesn’t agree is a subhuman enemy. Any level of violence, any amount of damage to property is justified, because it serves the “greater good” (somehow). On top of it all, there are worrying links from some of these groups to anti-Semitism and conspiracy theories (such as those surround the Rothschild family that I mentioned last week). It might only be small numbers but we should always be concerned and ready to call out the damage many of these people commit.

Not everything these groups talk about is wrong though; they fight against the US use of drones to bomb targets without reasonable justification. They often highlight concerning issues relating to fiat money and how money does get concentrated in a small elite in many ways (even if the far-lefts’ solutions would be hugely damaging). These people bring to light many human rights abuses around the world. These people do good things that should be applauded, or at least, some of them do. All the good work these select few do is, however, undermined by the wider movement’s lack of regard to property, their open hostility and hatred for others and the violence and damage they are prepared to commit.

There are a few positives to take forward from this, first, these groups are disparate and marred by infighting (exactly as they did in the Spanish civil war). Second, they are few in number and put off outsiders, and third, they evidently spend a large amount of time making and sharing internet memes instead of actually following what they preach. Thank-you procrastination.



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