When did it become acceptable to hit someone with whom you disagree? We used to say, “Sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me.” Now, even average statement of facts are considered “microaggressions,” which give the offended person full license to commit violence in retaliation. Not only does this hurt your cause in the long run, but it is morally wrong.
Ideas and words should be fought with ideas and words. When peaceful people are met with militant opposition, it makes the opposition to the idea look stupid. It’s like the bully who doesn’t understand the nerd’s criticism so he gives him a swirly. In the end, the nerd starts a huge tech company and the bully ends up cleaning the bathroom, or if he’s lucky, working the register at the office café.
If ideas can’t be met with a logical argument, then it wins. When a logical argument can’t be made, even when one exists, then the argument posed wins in the battle of ideas. When violence is the answer to someone making an argument, the argument wins because it is the only line of logic proposed. To combat an argument, one should learn how to combat their ideas and improve their ability to make their point.
Most importantly, it is wrong to meat words with violence. It is not acceptable or moral to punch someone with whom you disagree. The problem with the punch a Nazi thing going around is that some people consider nationalists Nazis while others consider socialists Nazis. Why the confusion? People on both sides attribute fascistic and Nazi-istic tendencies to the other side. Sometimes it’s fringe, other times it’s the mainstream of a movement. Either way, it is not acceptable in a society to punch someone for their opinion.
The only way violence is permissible is if actual, physical violence is being done or an imminent danger. It should be reactionary to actual harm being done to prevent further harm. If there is a peaceful solution, that should be the first course of action. Anything that can be handled through legal channels or in the battle of ideas should never result in violence.
This is not an endorsement of Nazism, but a warning to fight those sorts of ideology in the right way: by proving them to be terrible. We should argue against them in the most passionate and logical way to eradicate their appeal. Use statistics and philosophy rather than bats and knives to fight these moronic ideas. That is morally right and more effective. Stooping below their level lends credibility to their point of view and attracts people who listen to the parts of their ideology that aren’t absolutely nuts. So, if you want to go around punching Nazis; hit them with statistics not fists, kick them with ethics not boots, and throw logic and reason at them not Molotov cocktails.
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