Antifa

This Liberal Carried an American Flag to Protest Fascism in Portland. Antifa Cracked His Head Open With a Bat.

Masked Antifa agitators told Welch, a Hillary voter, to hand over the flag. He resisted. They attacked.

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Antifa
Screenshot via Youtube / Mike Bivins

Paul Welch is not a fascist. He is a liberal who voted for Bernie Sanders in the 2016 Democratic primary, and for Hillary Clinton in the general election. On August 4, he attended a far-right rally in Portland, Oregon, as a counterdemonstrator intent on signaling his opposition to the "tacitly fascist event," he told The Oregonian.

Tell that to Antifa: One of the masked militants attacked Welch, striking him over and over again with some kind of metal rod concealed in black cloth. One blow landed on his head, which caused Welch to immediately crumple to the ground. He would eventually need four staples to close up the gaping wound.

How did Antifa misidentify Welch? He had brought an American flag with him in an attempt to take the symbol back from Patriot Prayer, the group holding the rally. According to The Oregonian:

"The right and certainly a lot of smaller groups like Patriot Prayer might rush to things like the flag and try to take it up as, 'This is our symbol exclusively,'" [Welch] said. "Part of my thinking was to take it back."

Aside from a few odd looks, Welch did not encounter any problems when he joined hundreds of other counter-protesters who gathered at City Hall late that morning.

In fact, Welch said, he saw several other people with American flags sprinkled among the group of progressives, union members and social justice activists.

But then, two members of Antifa confronted him and demanded he hand over the flag, which they characterized as a "fascist symbol." When Welch resisted, they attacked him. The concussion landed him in the hospital for two days.

It was, of course, wrong to attack Welch regardless of his political views. Even if Welch had been a Trump-worshipping alt-right troll, the masked man still had no right to try to take Welch's flag and club him over the head when he resisted. This was an ill-founded and immoral initiation of violence, full stop.

But it's also a good reminder of why Antifa's resistance strategy, punch Nazis in the streets, wherever and whenever they appear, is deeply misguided. Not everybody who attends a protest is a Nazi. Not everyone who waves an American flag is a fascist. Not every Republican is racist (Queer Eye's Jonathan Van Ness is right). A group that endorses political violence while claiming that everyone who isn't with them is against them, and that centrists are essentially fascist collaborators, is not a group that is making careful distinctions or thoughtfully considering its tactical approach. A broad endorsement of violence as a resistance tactic is certain to result in innocent people getting hurt, and to turn the moderate masses away from whatever it is Antifa supposedly represents. As a general matter, civil resistance works and violent protests backfire.

It's easy to abuse the whole "See, this is why Trump won!" thing. But beating the crap out of a liberal because he committed the sin of carrying an American flag does in fact seem like it belongs in the win-for-Trump column. If the left wants to defeat Trump, the worst thing it can do is make people fear Antifa more than they fear the administration.

Update: This post initially gave the wrong first name for Welch. I reget the error.

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371 responses to “This Liberal Carried an American Flag to Protest Fascism in Portland. Antifa Cracked His Head Open With a Bat.

  1. But it’s also a good reminder of why Antifa’s resistance strategy, punch Nazis in the streets, wherever and whenever they appear, is deeply misguided. Not everybody who attends a protest is a Nazi. Not everyone who waves an American flag is a fascist.

    So the problem here is that they got the wrong guy? It is deeply misguided because it is wrong to assault someone for having the wrong beliefs, no matter how wrong those beliefs are. Jesus Christ Robby, what the fuck is wrong with you?

    1. He does end up saying it’s wrong no matter the target much further down in the article. But yea, not a great start.

      1. A broad endorsement of violence as a resistance tactic is certain to result in innocent people getting hurt, and to turn the moderate masses away from whatever it is Antifa supposedly represents.

        Implicit in that statement is the assumption that those who hold bad political views are not “innocent”. I am sorry but someone carrying a sign or having a march and otherwise not bothering anyone is “innocent”. It is a free country. And people are free to think and say whatever they want. Punching a “Nazi” who is otherwise not bothering anyone is just as bad and just as much of a crime as punching anyone else. Robby doesn’t seem to understand that and thinks it is okay and the only problem with doing it is that you might punch the wrong guy and it might hurt the cause.

        Again, what the fuck is wrong with him?

        1. So we’re just ignoring the full context of the article now?

          “It was, of course, wrong to attack Welch regardless of his political views. Even if Welch had been a Trump-worshipping alt-right troll, the masked man still had no right to try to take Welch’s flag and club him over the head when he resisted. This was an ill-founded and immoral initiation of violence, full stop.”

          1. He says that but then contradicts it in the statement made above. The “full context” such as it is, is one throw away “of course it is wrong to attack people” line and then an entire column explaining how the only thing Antifa did wrong here was get the wrong target.

            Antifa is wrong because they attacked people. That they got the wrong target is a mildly humorous footnote to that fact.

            1. This.

            2. Yeah, this is classic Soave.

              Except in this case the entire article is sympathetic to the “punch a Nazi”cause, with only one tossoff line of “violence is bad, m’kay”. The real thrust of the article is “violence is going to hurt your (our?) message if you get the wrong guy…. and you will inevitably get the wrong guy.

              Jeez Soave… go back and re-read things before you submit. You write like you are one of the idiots in the comment section. And not even HnR rabble… more like Salon.com, or maybe even Huffpo.

              People expect us to write stupid stuff. But we expect better from our columnists.

            3. Did you even read this part of the article?

              It was, of course, wrong to attack Welch regardless of his political views. Even if Welch had been a Trump-worshipping alt-right troll, the masked man still had no right to try to take Welch’s flag and club him over the head when he resisted. This was an ill-founded and immoral initiation of violence, full stop.

              In your rush to find some anti-right rhetoric as another gotcha moment against Reason, you’ve clearly missed the point where Robby says that it would be wrong to attack Welch “even if [he] had been a Trump-worshipping alt-right troll… full stop.”

              1. Why “even if”?

                Violence, except in cases of self-defense, is wrong? Isn’t that consistent with the non-agression principle?

            4. You are just seeing what you want to see at this point.

              1. No I am not. You are seeing what you want to see. You read the one throw away line as somehow excusing the rest of the article. Yes, he wrote that, but the rest of the article completely contradicts it.

                There is no reasoning with the Robby fan boys. That hair just has a magical power over some people. Nothing Robby could ever write, no matter how incoherent or appalling would ever cause people like you to broach any criticism of him.

                1. This is also factually incorrect, since I’ve criticized Soave in the past. But I get that subtlety isn’t really your thing.

                2. There is no reasoning with the Trump Robby fan boys. That “hair” just has a magical power over some people. Nothing Trump Robby could ever Tweet write, no matter how incoherent or appalling would ever cause people like you to broach any criticism of him.

                  See how easy that was? Trump actually predicted that you would even defend him if he committed murder in broad daylight.


                  1. It’s easy to abuse the whole “See, this is why Trump won!” thing. But beating the crap out of a liberal because he committed the sin of carrying an American flag does in fact seem like it belongs in the win-for-Trump column. If the left wants to defeat Trump, the worst thing it can do is make people fear Antifa more than they fear the administration.

                    I think Robby gets it, even if his writing is a flow of consciousness with a few caveats. ANTIFA are what they ‘hate’.

                    1. Hypothetically, if the left wanted to defeat Trump, they could be fine with people fearing Antifa more than Trump, If they’d just disown the Antifa, and cooperate with their suppression.

                      The problem for the left with Antifa is that they don’t WANT to disown them. They don’t want to be known as a party that employs violent thugs, but they don’t want to stop employing violent thugs to get that reputation.

                  2. That’s fucking stupid.

                    1. That was directed at Comrade Leo.

                  3. Leo, you’re really not one to talk.

                  4. “There is no reasoning with the Trump Robby fan boys.”

                    Nope. sorry, we’re the adults i the room. The rest of you are just shrill and angry.

              2. How about this then: “It’s easy to abuse the whole “See, this is why Trump won!” thing. But beating the crap out of a liberal because he committed the sin of carrying an American flag does in fact seem like it belongs in the win-for-Trump column. ”

                So the reason Antifa shouldn’t beat liberals carrying American flags is because it helps Trump, if it hurt Trump it’s ok.

            5. Antifa is wrong because they attacked people. That they got the wrong target is a mildly humorous footnote to that fact.”

              just collateral damage its to be expected for the greater good

              1. Re: Antifa is wrong because they attacked people. That they got the wrong target is a mildly humorous footnote to that fact.

                I understood the article differently. In the beginning, when Soave says Antifa attacked the wrong guy, I took that to be an indictment of Antifa’s punch-a-nazi position. The fact that they attacked someone who was generally on their side shows how imprecise this kind of political violence is.

                A separate point to make is that attacking someone for their political views is wrong, which Soave made later.

                1. The problem is when he says, “A broad endorsement of violence as a resistance tactic is certain to result in innocent people getting hurt”

                  It results in basically only innocent people getting hurt, because the Antifa are the attackers.

                  That’s my chief complain here: The idea that, if they could just be more selective about who they attack, less broad in their endorsement of violence, it might be OK, because only the right people would be getting beat up.

                  The problem here is that the Antifa specialize in political violence. That they’re not careful about who they attack is just a side issue.

                  1. The article is just pointing out that even by Antifa’s own lower standards of acceptable violence, they are getting it wrong. This argument is separate and doesn’t contradict the argument also made in the article, that Antifa’s standards of violence are unacceptable.

                2. But when they told him to give up the flag, they weren’t calling him a member of the rally, IIRC, they were just saying it was a fascist symbol. They didn’t think they were assaulting someone on the right, they thought they were assaulting someone to the right of antifa

                3. And another point of Robbie’s is that the ‘rightness’ of Antifa’s cause risks being negated by their ‘indiscriminate’ methods.

            6. Robby neatly fits into the classic definition of a Mugwump: A man who sits on a fence, his mug on one side and his wump on the other. He wants to speak as much “libertarian” as he can while still assuring liberals that he is really one of them. It’s a neat little juggling act but I doubt he can keep it up forever.

            7. “Antifa is wrong because they attacked people. That they got the wrong target is a mildly humorous footnote to that fact.”

              Mildly?? You are too kind. This was comedy gold.

        2. I’m personally amused by the assumption that, if you’re a Bernie Sanders supporter, then of course you couldn’t be a fascist.

          In fact, if you’re a Bernie Sanders supporter, there’s a good chance you ARE a fascist; Just one who’s unaware of the economic definition of “fascism”.

        3. That’s a very cogent and precise reading of this article John. Very informative. I love your comments the way the deserts love the rain.

        4. “”what the fuck is wrong with him?””

          He’s been doing this for like 5 years dude.

          The only thing wrong w/ the left are their *tactics*. Their purpose is pure and noble.

          Its the same idiotic argument he tries w/ “free speech”. the only problem is “it might come back to bite the good people in the butt”, not that its fundamentally wrong.

          Soave makes Weigel look like a deep-thinker.

      2. Not everyone who waves an American flag is a fascist; however, every Antifa member is.

        1. As Volokh pointed out, “fascism” is Italian, and “anti” in Italian means “before”.

          Antifa is just the before-fascism.

          1. Like Mussolini’s Blackshirts in the early 20’s. That seems appropriate.

            1. It was a Communist movement, but it was literally an anti-fascist group. The “anti” prefix means the same thing in German as it does in English.

              1. The fat SJWs that make up today’s Antifa have little in common with old German communists, but an awful lot in common with the MVSN.

          2. Volokh is just attempting to position himself for a Trump nomination, perhaps figuring this is a right-winger’s last chance for a presidential nominations during his lifetime. He even brought a woman — a bare-knuckles partisan polemicist, but still a woman — into his white, male blog.

            1. Arthur L. Hicklib’s desperate trying to spin the fact that his fellow progressives are openly supporting the fall of the United States, to the point that the country’s flag makes someone a target.

            2. Good Arty, coming out as outright traitors will finally allow the legitimate destruction of your treasonous marxist movement. Marxists have no right to exist.

              1. I do like the cut of your jib

          3. I didn’t know that anti meant before in latin… Interesting. I’ll have to store that one in the ol’ memory banks!

            Definitely seems about right with Antifa though…

            1. Technically, I think that’s “ante”. As in “status quo ante”, the prior state.

              1. Antebellum South

            2. ‘Antipasto’ is eaten before the meal.

              1. Italian, not Latin.

              2. As long as no one is anti-pesto, then I’m fine with them.

                1. I’m anti-pesto. Come at me!

              3. before the pasta course

              4. Isn’t Antipasto just pasta from an antimatter universe?

            3. I wonder if those two prefixes, anti and ante are the same thing, just one being proper Latin and the other being modern Italian? Although I probably know 1,000 times more Latin than your average Antifa member, and 100 times more than your average American, I am certainly not a proper Latin buff…

              1. Latin and Italian are not the same.

                In Latin “ante” means “before” and “anti” means “against.”

                I don’t speak Italian, but I do trust that some time in the past 2,000 years on the peninsula, the spelling of “ante” changed to “anti,” and we therefore have the same phoneme signifying different things at different times.

                I’m sure that Volkoh understands that Antifa intended for the prefix to have the Latin meaning, but has decided to have fun playing language games with midwits.

                1. “Anti-” in the sense of “against” is of Greek derivation. Modern Italian “anti-” is derived from Latin “ante-,” which meant “before, in front of.” The Latin for “against” would be “contra” or “ob” or “in” (depending on context).

                2. Like how “capitol” and “capital” used to mean quite different things, and now there are road signs and names in Austin using the latter to mean the former.

                  1. “Like how “capitol” and “capital” used to mean quite different things, and now there are road signs and names in Austin using the latter to mean the former.”

                    Oh, the time I wasted trying to memorize the differences of capitol/capital and principle/principal . . .

                    1. Capitol is a building … capital is what you need to build the building. But you didn’t build that.

                      Principles are what Constitutionalists worship … principals are what Proggies worship.

              2. “Although I probably know 1,000 times more Latin than your average Antifa member, and 100 times more than your average American, I am certainly not a proper Latin buff…”

                And yet, none of you know that Antifa was German.

                1. So you knew that how, and it’s relevant how? Do you think it’s a prefix of German origin?

                  1. I mean “you knew no one knew that how”

                2. And yet, none of you know that Antifa was German.

                  No, you misunderstand.

                  We just don’t care. The point is to mock Pantifa.

                  1. Well, I’m glad the Latin/Italian/Greek prefix discussion seems to have sorted it all out! I’ve now learned my one new thing for the day!

                    And of course I knew Antifa started in Germany. They got their asses handed to them by the Nazis.

          4. I mean, it’s a cute little linguistic trick, but the original Antifa was Antifaschistische Aktion, a German movement founded by the German Communists. So no, it does not mean “before fascism”; anti- means the same thing in German and English.

            1. *whoosh*

        2. Far as I’m concerned, we now have a good use for the FEMA camps and the unused land on military bases.

          1. Antifa should be sent to GITMO, or perhaps deported to that most anti-fascist of anti-fascist utopias-North Korea.

        3. How dare you tell the truth!
          What are you, sane?

      3. “end up saying”??? It’s in the prior paragraph. In fact, that’s the entirety of the prior paragraph.

    2. It was, of course, wrong to attack Welch regardless of his political views. Even if Welch had been a Trump-worshipping alt-right troll, the masked man still had no right to try to take Welch’s flag and club him over the head when he resisted. This was an ill-founded and immoral initiation of violence, full stop.

      That is the immediately *preceding* paragraph.

      1. YEs, but the rest of the column contradicts that. Robby gives one throw away line about violence being bad and then proceeds to explain how what made this bad was them getting the wrong guy.

        1. No no no.

          He spends the first half of the article just describing what happened.

          Then he makes a blanket condemnation of violence in response to speech.

          Then he says that not all Republicans and patriots are have deplorable views or are bad people

          Then he says that violence combined with a “you’re not with us, you’re against us” inevitably is carried out against innocent people.

          Then he says that’s it’s counterproductive for those on the left who want to oppose Trump.

          Maybe try taking a walk, getting a cup of coffee, and then re-reading the article. You are absolutely intelligent enough to make these distinctions if you actually want to.

          1. Then he says that violence combined with a “you’re not with us, you’re against us” inevitably is carried out against innocent people.

            It is only carried out against innocent people. That is the part that Robby missed.

            Maybe you should try getting over your love of Robby and just admit this article is at best incoherent but really more appalling. Our entire argument comes down to your willingness to give Robby the benefit of the doubt no matter how obvious the language says otherwise and my refusal to.

            I get it, Robby is dreamy. Ask him on a date or something, but stop defending the indefensible.

            1. Again, factually incorrect. Robby didn’t miss anything, it’s that you refuse to engage with the subtlety of the real world.

              Antifa is awful. That doesn’t mean that everyone Antifa targets is innocent by default. I’m not saying that anyone who Antifa has targeted so far deserved violence – I don’t know enough to make that determination (and I suspect you don’t either unless you’ve done research into every act of violence committed by Antifa members and what precipitated it). But it is at least possible that antifa could target someone who actually deserves a forceful response, even if antifa’s method for arriving at that target is fundamentally flawed.

              This applies much more broadly, too. We very much had a “if you’re not with us, you’re against us” attitude towards the Japanese in WWII. It was us vs them, we were good and they were bad. Some of the Japanese that we killed during the war inevitably were innocent – children for example. But some of the people we killed deserved it, and not just because they were enemy combatants but because they were evil.

              You can pretty much apply this to most human conflicts. If you force people into two opposing groups then there *will* inevitably be good people on both sides. But there will be bad people, too. Come to think of it, that’s really not even all that subtle.

              1. What an asinine response. Some people might deserve violence? Antifa are now judge and jury?

                1. Yeah, some people do deserve to be met with violent force. That’s a pretty fundamental element of defending our rights.

                  No, antifa is not judge and jury and I never meant to imply that they should be.

                  I was referring to a very specific claim by John – that an us vs them mentality *only* leads to violence being carried out against innocent people. Robby is right that it *inevitably* does.

                  1. Anyone who voluntarily aligns themselves with Antifa deserves violence perpetrated upon them.

                    Good and hard.

              2. “Antifa is awful. That doesn’t mean that everyone Antifa targets is innocent by default.”

                Actually, innocent IS the default here. Sure, not everyone Antifa targets is innocent, but that’s only because sometimes they target somebody who’s guilty by coincidence.

                Their criteria for targeting people doesn’t actually have anything to do with guilt or innocence as most people would define it. They just target people who dare to disagree with them. Some small minority of such people will, purely by coincidence, be bad people.

                1. I completely agree with that, Brett.

                2. I completely agree with that Brett, but want to add to the final sentence.
                  Some small minority of such people will, purely by coincidence, be bad people, and in a few cases, will have actually committed an act immediately preceding for which Antifa’s actions are a reasonable response.

                  1. A fair addition.

                  2. “Antifa’s actions are a reasonable response.”

                    Antifa’s actions are not reasonable in any way shape or form.

                    They embody blind rage naturally resulting in mob violence.

                    Like a mad dog, they should be put down. Period. Full Stop.

                    1. I look forward to a time where the National Guard is fully justified being deployed and firing live ammunition into a crowd of them.

                3. They just target people who dare to disagree with them. Some small minority of such people will, purely by coincidence, be bad people.

                  Everyone who targets people for physical violence just for daring to disagree with them is automatically a bad person. It’s 100 percent, not a small minority.

              3. I’m not saying that anyone who Antifa has targeted so far deserved violence – I don’t know enough to make that determination (and I suspect you don’t either unless you’ve done research into every act of violence committed by Antifa members and what precipitated it).

                So, you can’t find a single example of someone who by your definition “deserved violence” got attacked by antifas, out of the hundreds or thousands so far, but hey, maybe someday someone might?

                And if you were a libertarian, “deserved violence” would only apply to someone who initiated force. Like, say, the antifas attacking people. They deserve defensive retaliatory force after they attack. Pretty much everyone they target, not so much.

                1. So, you can’t find a single example of someone who by your definition “deserved violence” got attacked by antifas, out of the hundreds or thousands so far, but hey, maybe someday someone might?

                  I haven’t looked. That’s why I made clear that I’m not well versed enough to make a determination one way or the other.

                  They deserve defensive retaliatory force after they attack.

                  I agree with that, though I’d prefer that people who support classically liberal values simply not engage with antifa in the first place. But when they come looking for trouble anyway I absolutely support people’s right to defend themselves.

                  1. “I agree with that, though I’d prefer that people who support classically liberal values simply not engage with antifa in the first place.”

                    I can’t really agree with that. The Antifa are a Red Guard type phenomenon, and one our government is very poorly situated to do anything about, because they’re allied with a party which controls the areas where they operate, much as the Klan was protected by local governments in the South.

                    In theory this is a job for the federal government, and the Antifa are rather blatantly in violation of the anti-Klan acts. And yet, nothing seems to be happening!

                    I think we have to face the fact that they have some allies deeply entrenched in federal law enforcement. No effective legal action against them can be expected until that changes.

                    At some point, if that situation doesn’t change, they WILL have to be met with non-governmental force.

                    1. Maybe I’m naive or poorly informed but I see antifa as mostly a fringe group of punks who are living out some heroic struggle fantasy. I’m not sure what anti-klan laws you are referring to – some of them have definitely been guilty of assault and vandalism and some other crimes related to property damage and they should be held accountable for that. They probably do have allies on some city councils but I’m skeptical how much your typical state or national level politician likes antifa as opposed to feeling too scared of an extreme left uprising to vocally criticize them. I’d be interested in seeing what concrete evidence you have to the contrary.

                      I still think that if libertarianish types engage with antifa it is best done indirectly by offering a positive alternative to the current partisan divide, not by engaging in street violence. You remember how much support Obama got pretty much just through optimistic and inclusive rhetoric? Now imagine someone like that but who is committed to more libertarian-friendly policies and resists getting into the partisan weeds once getting into power. Whether they are an R, an L, or even a D, that’s the going to be the best bet for the future.

                    2. 18 U.S. Code ? 241 – Conspiracy against rights

                      “If two or more persons conspire to injure, oppress, threaten, or intimidate any person in any State, Territory, Commonwealth, Possession, or District in the free exercise or enjoyment of any right or privilege secured to him by the Constitution or laws of the United States, or because of his having so exercised the same; or

                      If two or more persons go in disguise on the highway, or on the premises of another, with intent to prevent or hinder his free exercise or enjoyment of any right or privilege so secured?

                      They shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than ten years, or both; and if death results from the acts committed in violation of this section or if such acts include kidnapping or an attempt to kidnap, aggravated sexual abuse or an attempt to commit aggravated sexual abuse, or an attempt to kill, they shall be fined under this title or imprisoned for any term of years or for life, or both, or may be sentenced to death.”

                      Originally enacted to go after the Klan, but as you can see, it perfectly describes the Antifa.

                    3. indeed very cogent points. The similarity of antifa with previous politcally-protected violent groups needs to be messaged in the media as a shameful thing. Local politicians providing cover for violence is wrong. There was something with the ICE protests in Portland where the city refused to work with the feds.

              4. “…there *will* inevitably be good people on both sides. But there will be bad people, too. Come to think of it, that’s really not even all that subtle.”

                That’s pretty much paraphrasing what Trump said after Charlottesville. And just as not subtly. He was correct too.

                1. I would say that the alt-right broadly defined contains some good people for sure. Also absolutely true of people who want to preserve Confederate monuments. But from what I heard and read, it would have been pretty hard to find them among those who gathered in Charlottesville. That was a fairly small group that was organized by some pretty explicitly awful people.

              5. What? You are comparing attitudes toward a declared enemy in wartime with the violent capers of a screaming band of lunatics in peacetime? “Asinine” is too kind a word. Our government did go off the deep end regarding the Japanese with its decision to inter American citizens of Japanese descent, but there was no “with us or against us” test involved; the internment camps were for anyone of Japanese descent regardless of their politics or stance on the war.

          2. We have “far right” “alt right” “not every Republican is a racist” “not everyone who attends a protest is a fascist.” And yet not once do we see antifa referenced as far left, or radical, or *gasp* fascist. This is hardly the first time they’ve been violent.

            Is Robby finally criticizing antifa? Sure. But you have to be willfully blind not to see that he struggles with that in a way that he never seems to need to when criticizing the right.

            1. I don’t perceive any struggle here, and I’m not really that interested in playing “Who’s the REAL fascist???”. I’m happy to admit that Antifa engages in the same tactics uses by fascists. They’ve also been used by communists and others. They are all awful and for many of the same reasons – because they are violent collectivists. If you really feel the need to spend time arguing about which faction they all belong in, then that’s fine, but those of us who aren’t really interested in doing so aren’t guilty of any moral or intellectual failing.

              1. But you are concerned enough to call out John, because aloof reasons or at least the pretense of them.

                1. What I’m going to write next is intended as a critique of what I perceive to be John’s ideology and that of others like him. It’s not intended as a personal attack on him or anyone else, so please don’t read it as such.

                  The ideology at see at play here is every bit as collectivist and divisive as the ideology on display by antifa, the liberal media and academia, politicians like Sanders and Warren, the no-shit white supremacists, the softer alt-right, and Trump and his ilk. It immediately assumes the worst intentions in whoever is perceived to be on “the other side” no matter how much they try to explain otherwise. It assumes anytime that anyone fails to heap criticism on the most extreme elements of either side, or even the less extreme elements, or even just fails to heap criticism in some subjectively determined equal amount, that it amounts to a tacit endorsement of one side or the other. It assumes anyone who might associate or engage with one side is effectively joining or at least supporting that side, even if inadvertently. It admits no subtlety in opinions or world views, no context, and no compromise.

                  It does this because it is ultimately about casting anyone inside the collective as good, or at least excusable and anyone outside the collective as dangerous and existential threat.

                  1. I reject that. I reject it because I’m an individualist and I reject it because it’s just factually wrong in nearly all situations, because the world is subtle and context does matter.

                    Right now, in the world I live in, I don’t believe the far right poses an existential threat to classically liberal values. I don’t think the far left poses an existential threat to classically liberal values. I don’t believe that not because I think those viewpoints are harmless but because I don’t think they represent the values of the vast majority of Americans, who are mostly squishy centrists but who nevertheless believe in free speech and civil disagreement and who want strong democratic institutions.

                    But you want to know the best way of eating away at that majority? By engaging in the collectivism and divisiveness I see on display here and on the extreme left and the extreme right. By building the threat up to unrealistic levels you hasten the erosion and even the destruction of the very values you are so concerned about. It’s no different than the response to 9/11 being worse than the damage that Islamic terrorists could ever realistically do. The Bolsheviks understood this and they stoked that division as a means of dividing and conquering their enemies.

                    1. Fighting over who belongs in what group and insisting in ideological purity is trench warfare. And yes, I’m concerned enough about it to call it out, especially in an online community that is supposed to be about individualism protecting liberal values.

                      And there is an alternative. First and foremost, don’t play along. Second, defeat the people who are trying to draw you into their side on the battlefield of ideas. Third, cross the ideological divide(s) and find the people on the left or the right or the whatever who truly do broadly share liberal values and help them to do the same. Show them that the “other side” isn’t what it’s most extreme elements want it to be. Provide an alternative and in doing so you’ll demonstrate how marginal the extremists really are.

                      And this is something that we can do right here, because Reason is a place where people with diverse viewpoints but broadly liberal values congregate. This isn’t just some abstract thing that you leave up to the pundits and the politicians because they are going to fail at it. It’s something everyone here can choose to do. Or they can choose to give in to partisanship. Hell, I’ll be the first to admit that it can feel good. But you’ll reap what you sow.

                    2. So what you are saying is you support Trump.

                      Unfortunately as rhetoric becomes more inflamed, much of the center becomes more timid or reluctantly sides with whatever offends their sensibilities the least. This has played out how many times now? The center usually picks up the pieces after the the dogs of war have burnt themselves out.

                      It is probably more beneficial to think of what happens after, when people are tired of fighting, as no one is much interested in compromise at the moment.

                    3. It is probably more beneficial to think of what happens after, when people are tired of fighting, as no one is much interested in compromise at the moment.

                      Maybe, and if true all the more reason to stay out of it. But I’m not convinced just yet. I think you are right that the center is timid, but I believe they do want compromise. I don’t think they are libertarians *but* to the extent that people who at least broadly support classically liberal values can offer an acceptable alternative, I think there is an opportunity to draw some of the middle a little closer in our direction. We aren’t going to get libertopia but we might get something that is at least more palatable, and on some issues maybe we can even do better than that. But the first step is offer a more civil and respectful alternative, even (especially?) including people more left or right of center than we might prefer.

                    4. I just want to add an addendum to this:

                      Right now, in the world I live in, I don’t believe the far right poses an existential threat to classically liberal values. I don’t think the far left poses an existential threat to classically liberal values. I don’t believe that not because I think those viewpoints are harmless but because I don’t think they represent the values of the vast majority of Americans

                      I do think that if they spread those values will come to pose an existential threat. They *are* dangerous and they *do* need to be opposed. But they are more effectively opposed through tactics that don’t stoop to their level or feed into them.

          3. No, I like John better when he’s drank 8 cups of coffee, hasn’t showered in a week, just got done jerking off, and hasn’t left the house in a week. Like he is today. Much more insightful.

    3. The paragraph right before the one you quoted:

      It was, of course, wrong to attack Welch regardless of his political views. Even if Welch had been a Trump-worshipping alt-right troll, the masked man still had no right to try to take Welch’s flag and club him over the head when he resisted. This was an ill-founded and immoral initiation of violence, full stop.

      [Emphasis added]

      1. This was an ill-founded and immoral initiation of violence, full stop.

        Here, let me add some emphasis of my own.

        What is the VERY NEXT WORD in the piece?

        BUT.

        Yeah, ‘but’.

        And then it goes on to explain that Antifa’s ‘resistance strategy’ is ‘misguided’.

        Why?

        Because not every republican is a racist, not every person waving a flag is a fascist.

        Yes, that’s actually what it says. There’s gotta be a mitigating statement, right?

        No. There are statements decrying the problems with the broadness of their approach. There are complaints about how this kind of thing is counter productive–because it winds up hurting people who might be persuaded to their cause….

        Which is the violent suppression of speech, expression, religion, media, the violent redistribution of wealth and the means of production and of course, the violent spreading of their ideology to those who think differently.

        This is what Antifa wants. This is what the left wants. They say it over and over again, with smiles–or bricks depending on the situation. They are not circumspect about this.

        Why is stopping such a thing met with so much equivocation from Reason? Why do we have to go through this over and over again?

    4. So, kill them all and let god sort ’em out?

    5. John, John, John… *sign* stop making up up fake points and then expounding upon them. The article explicitly pointed out how it was wrong to commit violence against either side for using their right of free speech and pointing out how antifa are just as bad as the white-trash KKK members who do the same thing but support the opposite view point . Read for content and understanding not support for your drummed up allegations against the author.

      1. Fool, sigh, try to stop lying and understand the argument before wasting everyone’s time.

      2. Hey Fool, you know that Klan membership is pretty much non-existent, right? Whereas the Antifa scum are numerous.

    6. Here’s what Robby wrote:

      It was, of course, wrong to attack Welch regardless of his political views. Even if Welch had been a Trump-worshipping alt-right troll, the masked man still had no right to try to take Welch’s flag and club him over the head when he resisted. This was an ill-founded and immoral initiation of violence, full stop. But it’s also a good reminder of why Antifa’s resistance strategy, punch Nazis in the streets, wherever and whenever they appear, is deeply misguided.

      There are two possibilities:

      you misread what what he wrote and so, badly misquoted him. You should apologize.
      you deliberately misquoted him. You should leave and never come back.

      There really, really, really isn’t a third possibility.

      1. If you make a declarative statement, and then follow it up with a “but”, you’re implicitly saying there are caveats to the declarative statement that may void it.

    7. fuck him is what

    8. >So the problem here is that they got the wrong guy?

      Yes…and what constitutes “getting it right” or “getting it wrong” anyway? That’s the broader problem here. Who gets to decide–whether it be judging the expressions of a Fascist or characteristics of “hate speech” or whatever? It falls under Ayn Rand’s idea that “nobody should have that job” (via her fictional character John Galt). These protesters are all behaving in a self-righteous, hysterical and violent frenzy over others exercising fundamental human rights!

  2. What to wear to smash the state

    https://tinyurl.com/ycxcdqtb

    Unmentioned is the communist state that will be erected

    1. These Lefties are going to be shocked right before those bullets started hitting them after picking a fight with the Silent Majority in the USA.

      1. They won’t start shit in Spokane. It would not go well for them.

  3. Evan Welch is not a fascist. He is a liberal who voted for Bernie Sanders in the 2016 Democratic primary, and for Hillary Clinton in the general election

    He was also at a protest protesting other people’s right to protest.

    1. Facist has a very specific political meaning because one votes for Bernie Sanders who is a national Socialist and Hillary a plutocratic corporotist who ran on the most anti-free speech platform since Wilson doesn’t necessarily disqualify you from being a fascist or having fascist tendencies(such as protesting another groups right to free assembly).

      1. *Fascist

    2. Yeah, not sure what Soave thinks fascism is.

      “You should not be allowed to exercise your rights” seems to be fairly fascistic.

      At this point, if Portland got nuked, I don’t know if I’d laugh or make a sandwich and THEN laugh.

      1. I want peace with North Korea but if it things go bad, North Korean nukes will only barely be able to reach the West Coast and not accurately.

        Hmmm…peace or Lefties in California, Oregon, and Washington get nuked.

        1. As long as it’s Seattle, and not eastern WA, I could live with it. Which ironically would result in a hardline marxist regime thinning the ranks of marxism by more than anyone has in decades.

      2. Laugh, then make the sandwich. Aspirating crumbs is extremely unpleasant, and uncontrollable laughing while eating a sandwich could cause that.

      3. I live in Seattle… I would almost be willing to take one for the team and let all the major cities from LA to Seattle get nuked for the good of the nation… BUT it would be better if they didn’t get nuked until after I move to eastern Washington/Idaho πŸ™‚

        1. We’ll be sad for you if it happens before.

        2. We’ll set off a beacon for you to run for it, if we get a heads up.

          Monitor Reason daily.

          Move out quickly.

        3. LOL Well thanks guys! I appreciate the solidarity!

          I have been thinking of a 2-3 year time frame for moving out of this shit hole… But I just keep thinking I should step up that time frame and get out of here sooner. It’s just a little too nuts nowadays, even without having to worry about being nuked.

          1. Spokane isn’t too bad. And if you want to escape the progtarded idiocy that is Olympia’s legislators then you could step over the border and live in Coeur D’Alene.

            1. And that very area is at the top of my list! I’m thinking Spokane when I first move, as Washington isn’t TOTALLY fucked yet. It probably won’t be for some years. But when it does, I can just move a few minutes down I90 without having to completely give up whatever friends/places I like/etc I end up having there.

              Boise is in the running too… But I don’t like the things I’m hearing about it… It seems to be going full prog-derp, and becoming very trendy. That worries me…

      4. The latter would be the appropriate response.

    3. A counterprotest does not imply you’re saying the people you are protesting against should not themselves be allowed to protest. Obviously antifa thinks no one to the right of Stalin should be allowed on the street, but there are plenty of people at protests like this who aren’t anti-free speech

      1. No there are not. What is the point of a “counter protest” other than to disrupt the other protest and make it impossible for the people on the other side to get their message out? They are all anti free speech and show up to try and ensure that speech they don’t like doesn’t have a platform.

        1. What is the point of a “counter protest”

          What’s the point of a protest? To make your views visible and heard. What’s the point of a counterprotest? To make opposing views visible and heard.

          Can counterprotests also be about silencing another group? Yes. Was that the point of this counterprotest? Quite possibly, at least for some of the people attended it.

          But it’s outright dangerous to say that all counterprotests or opposition demonstrations are about silencing another group. We, as individuals and by extension as a society, need to be able to make a distinction between dialogue, and even just two opposing monologues, and attempts to silence another group – otherwise civil discourse dies. Blanket, all or nothing statements like the one you made only make it worse.

          1. Lefty fascists are about silencing speech.

          2. Sure. And when there ever is a leftist counter protest that doesn’t try and disrupt the other side, we can say they are not anti free speech. But that has never happened, so we can’t say that right now.

            1. This is just factually incorrect. Those women’s and science marches in the wake of the Trump presidency weren’t about silencing the opposition. The counterprotests in Charlottesville weren’t about silencing the opposition. I know this because I know actual human beings that attended them.

              And if you are going to say that the presence of antifa goons that did try to silence people taints the entire protest then you must also have to accept that the presence of any Nazis or white nationalists at right-wing protests taints them as well. I don’t think you want to do that.

              1. The women’s marches were not counter protests. And the Charlottesville people attacked the alt Right people and started a riot.

                If you will list Charlottesville as an example of not wanting to suppress speech, there is nothing the left can do that you won’t excuse. Both sides down there were scumbag fascists. No wonder you are so in love with Robby. You are just like him.

                1. I live near Charlottesville. I went to school at UVA. I know several people personally that attended that rally. They weren’t scumbag fascists, they didn’t go looking for a fight, and they didn’t go to silence unite the right protesters (which did include some no shit white supremacists and neo-Nazis and was therefore, by your reasoning, a white nationalist Nazi protest). They went there to be seen as members of the Charlottesville community to show that the Nazis were not representative. They were definitely interested in marginalizing the Nazis, but if we are going to say that any attempt to marginalize ideas that we disagree with is silencing free speech then we’ve basically said that civil disagreement is impossible.

                  In the end, you’re engaging in collectivism just like the fascists and communists that you so vehemently hate.

                  1. Nazis ARE Lefties.

                    If your friends are Lefties, they are on the same side as Nazis.

                  2. ” I went to school at UVA.”

                    So, Audi or Volvo?

                    1. So, Audi or Volvo?

                      Used Corolla. It was grad school.

                2. “And the Charlottesville people attacked the alt Right people and started a riot.”

                  That’s the same mistake people on the other side are making, and Trump got criticized for not making. “Some of” the Charlottesville people attacked other people, some of whom were “alt Right”.

                  It was a mixed group on both sides. Trump was right about that.

          3. But it’s completely obvious to say that all counterprotests or opposition demonstrations are about silencing another group

            FTFY

            See, if the point was getting YOUR ideas out as well, you wouldn’t schedule it when there would be a chance that your ideas could not be heard over your opposition’s ideas.

            You would try to schedule yours BEFORE your oppositions or after if that was all you could get.

            You schedule an action DURING to disrupt.

            And, since deplatforming is the watchword of the Left, your blather provides scant cover.

        2. What is the point of a “counter protest” other than to disrupt the other protest and make it impossible for the people on the other side to get their message out?

          To… get the opposite message out?

          When I was protesting the incipient Iraq war post 9/11, I didn’t think the people who were on the other side of the street holding signs supporting the war were there to prevent me from getting my message out.

          The police, shooting at us with tear gas and rubber bullets? I definitely considered them to be there to disrupt our protest and make sure we couldn’t get our message out. But not the counter protestors.

          1. When I was protesting the incipient Iraq war post 9/11, I didn’t think the people who were on the other side of the street holding signs supporting the war were there to prevent me from getting my message out.

            Yes, in theory, there can be a counter protest that doesn’t do that. But that is not what the Left ever does.

            1. It isn’t so much that there aren’t a lot of people on the left who are into peacefully counter protesting.

              The problem is that there are also people on the left who are into violently attacking instead of counter-protesting. And you can pretty much count on enough of them showing up at any sizeable counter protest to turn it into a riot.

              The BIG problem is that the peaceful leftists have too much tolerance for the violent ones. Maybe because they’re cowed by them, maybe because they envy their dedication to the cause, whatever. But they’re not making any effort to get rid of the Antifa.

              1. Exactly. Libertarians support rule of law which is set up to punish those people that start fights.

      2. “A counterprotest does not imply you’re saying the people you are protesting against should not themselves be allowed to protest.”

        If Antifa did not have a proven track record of threats and actual violence directed at their rhetorical opponents that argument might fly.

        But, as things are with Antifa, that argument does not fly.

  4. Wait a minute…I thought that whenever the Glorious Antifa Resistance heroes get violent, it’s defensive punching-up because the evil Right-wingers started it. Gee, another narrative goes down the shitter. It turns out they’re just a bunch of punk thugs, as many of us perceived.

    1. Chris Cuomo is not going to change his narrative.

      1. If he wants to keep making a fool of himself that’s fine with me.

      2. That guy is one of the most awkward fucking journalists around. It’s almost painful to watch him on TV. He makes Dan Rather look like Walter Cronkite.

    2. If “Alt-Right” organizers were smart, they would schedule demonstrations in big cities, then not show up. Antifa would run at the dog-whistle and proceed to beat-up bystanders and attack cops when they can’t find their intended victims.

      1. That is actually a brilliant idea. When only 20 people showed up at the Unite the Right, that didn’t stop antifa from breaking things and assaulting cops and generally making violent asses of themselves.

      2. This was my very first thought after the “Unite the Right II” rally.

        Provide more opportunities for Antifa to beclown themselves publicly.

        1. …except the media will never cover it or condemn them.

          Ever,

          Hell, when they ASSAULT reporters, the media still doesn’t care.

          1. I want to believe that there is a critical mass where they media would have to cover it, but then again the media tried to hide one of it’s own getting beat up. So…

          2. The Washington Post actually covered it. If you Google “washington post reporters attacked by antifa” it’s the first hit.

      3. Yup, this is a brilliant strategy. The leftist have become such animals that they can’t help but destroy random property (mostly of other leftists since it’s in big blue cities! LOL), assault random bystanders, attack the police, etc. They just can’t help it… And all it does is hurt their retarded “cause” anyway. Geniuses these guys are!

        1. Find out when some marginal left-wing group is holding a protest, and then publicly announce your own “alt-Right” protest at the same time and place, without making any reference at all to the left-wing event.

          That way the Antifa will show up and assume the protesters are legitimate targets.

          1. Would be brilliant!

      4. That’s pretty good.

  5. I see they don’t subscribe to the non-aggression principal. Figures – nearly every American war in the 20th century was started by a liberal.

  6. Not every Republican is racist

    Technically true, since there are still some decent Republicans like David Frum and John McCain. However the Republicans are clearly the racist party now that their white nationalist faction has taken over.

    1. B-, Way to weave in a buzzword like White Nationalist, while also referencing concern troll Republicans.

    2. Thank you for helping Soave with his rhetoric, OBL. Clarity of thought is paramount.

      1. Oooo, maybe he is Soave!

        (No, I love Robby.)

    3. When all your opponent can do is scream RAAAAAAACIST at you the appropriate response is F You.

    4. Frum and McCain are terrible Republicans, as they are really just neoconservatives. Most Republicans are not any more or less racist than most Democrats. If you are going to accuse the sitting POTUS of heading up a white nationalist faction of a major political party, you would be served by citing some actual statements or policy actions to that effect.

  7. As long as we don’t use the phrase “on both sides” we’ll be okay.

    1. Yet another pearl of pith. Well played!

  8. Voting for Bernie isn’t proof you are not a fascist.

    Fruit Sushi here is just auditioning for his next gig at a left wing publication.

    If the left wants to defeat Trump, the worst thing it can do is make people fear Antifa more than they fear the administration.

    What if fearing the left more than you fear Trump is perfectly rational?

    1. Hey Johnny, it is not like anti-Trump speakers are not confronted with violent mobs at college campuses all over America. You should be terrified of this administration. Right?

      1. Trump sez mean things.

        Basically, anyone who disagrees with Reason on immigration deserves to be beaten and hospitalized. Free minds and free markets, after all.

        1. Speaking of which…

          How about the coverage of the Mexican invader who was arrested while he was en route to the hospital with his pregnant wife?

          Turns out he has been wanted for murder and it was the Mexican government that had asked the Trump administration to apprehend the fugitvo de asesinato.

          1. But it is anti American or something not to trust the media.

            1. They are still trying to get jury names to dox them and get the ‘right’ verdict. But they aren’t the enemy.

              1. Any member of that jury can talk to the media after the trial, if they want.

                The judge is trying to protect jurors that dont want to get doxxed for doing their American duty by serving on a jury.

                1. What will Rachael Maddow, Chris Cuomo, and the reverends Al and Arthur have to say if Manafort is acquitted?

                  1. Didn’t you see Remy’s outrage video?

                    It will be outrage, outrage, Monday morning QB jurors, outrage, Trump something, outrage, outrage.

                  2. Something derpy, just like every day.

              2. They are still trying to get jury names to dox them and get the ‘right’ verdict. But they aren’t the enemy.

                I’ve been assured by NR that it is simply not true.

                Sure, CNN doxxed that guy who made the gif of Trump beating up CNN…but you can trust any group that would willingly hire known sub-human Andrew K, right?

          2. Do you have a link or a cite for this. I’m not doubting it; I would just like to find out the complete story behind this.

          3. Or better yet, the illegal alien that was just arrested for killing Molly Tibbits. They are all good, right?

  9. If you need violence to get your ideas across, then your ideas are shit. It’s that simple.

    It’s ridiculous to suggest that the beginning of the problem here was Antifa misidentifying the victim. I don’t care what the victim’s beliefs are. No one should be punished simply for holding a belief. Who the fuck are these people, the Spanish Inquisition?

    Antifa is literally no different than Hitler’s brownshirts, who would beat up Jews and perceived political opponents in the streets. These supposed “anti” fascists need to take a good long look in the mirror.

    1. Exactly. Robby manages to be worse than usual in this post. He seems to think it is okay for groups of violent thugs to go around and beat and terrorize people just so long as they are careful about their targets.

      As I said above, someone who is making a statement, no matter how wrong or offensive, in a nonviolent way is “innocent”. Robby is just a dangerous idiot. There is something seriously wrong with him.

    2. I agree that Antifa are worthless thugs… However I don’t agree that 100% of the time people who use violence are doing it because of the weakness of their arguments… Keep in mind the Founding Fathers were forced to use violence when all other means failed.

      But generally speaking, yeah, if you can’t convince people with rational discourse, you’re probably an idiot who has bad ideas.

      1. “Keep in mind the Founding Fathers were forced to use violence when all other means failed.”

        Yeah but honestly….it was nothing less than imperious over reach to expect the colonists to have to pay for their mail delivery.

        And what was that bullshit about having to house the grenadiers for free? It wasn’t like they were needed. Colonists and natives were totally cool until George sent over the Grenadier Guards and their Von Bose thugs

        1. I think you’re trying to say that it was only when the crown was using/threatening proper violence that they rebelled? Sure. Would they have eventually done it anyway without that provocation? We’ll never know. Maybe, maybe not. Eventually 1000 small things can go beyond the acceptable line too. Many other revolutions in history didn’t need outright violence to get started.

  10. Many words to state the blindingly obvious.

    But, it seems like even many words stating the obvious have no effect on progressives.

  11. But it’s also a good reminder of why Antifa’s resistance strategy, punch Nazis in the streets, wherever and whenever they appear, is deeply misguided. Not everybody who attends a protest is a Nazi.

    Antifa ARE the Nazis. Do you not see that?

    These are are all Lefties attacking one another because….they like attacking people who are not helping them take over. These Lefties are very similar to the Brown Shirts of Nazi Germany, or the Black Shirts of Fascisti Italy, or the Communists ‘Reds’ of the Russia.

    This differs from conservatives and Libertarians who are prepared for threats and defend themselves.

    1. > These Lefties are very similar to the Brown Shirts of Nazi Germany

      The Antifa movement was founded to fight the fascists, so they were literally the guys fighting the brownshirts.

      1. And yet, they are exactly like them, nonetheless.

  12. I just don’t find violence to be inherently abhorrent. The worst thing about antifa isn’t their penchant for violence. It’s their animosity to free speech.

    Using violence to fight fascists, terrorists, and communists isn’t inherently abhorrent when the violence is orchestrated by our government, that makes such violence okay.

    I don’t know where the idea that violence is so inherently awful that it’s worse than whatever principles of the people dishing it out or taking it came from, but there isn’t anything libertarian about the idea that the government has a legitimate monopoly on violence.

    I’m not entirely opposed to people socking each other in the mouth for saying something inappropriate to someone’s wife, sister, daughter, girlfriend, etc. Say something that deserves a knuckle sandwich, and there’s a decent chance this libertarian juror may implement some nullification.

    The worst thing about antifa isn’t that they’re violent or hypocritical. The worst thing about antifa is that they’re fundamentally opposed to free speech. Even Jesus thought the threat of violence was sometimes justified. What are you supposed to do when the temple is full of salesmen? Politely explain the NAP and then ask them to leave?

    1. “Using violence to fight fascists, terrorists, and communists isn’t inherently abhorrent when the violence is orchestrated by our government, [and it isn’t the government’s involvement] that makes such violence okay.”

      Fixed!

      1. Actually, it is the government’s involvement that makes it okay. Even justifiable mob violence always gets out of control.

        1. Its why the Founders only had the constitution protect peaceful assembly.

          1A: Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

        2. Government involvement not determining rationality or morality is kinda fundamental libertarianism.

          There isn’t anything that’s right or wrong because the government is involved, and violence is no exception.

          1. Government involvement doesn’t always make it moral. But it is necessary for it to be moral in all but the most extreme circumstances.

            1. Socking somebody in the mouth for saying something lewd to your daughter is neither immoral nor an extreme circumstance.

              That’s just one example.

              1. It also is an example for people not saying something lewd to kids. They know that someone will sock them in the mouth.


                1. It also is an example for people not saying something lewd to kids. They know that someone will sock them in the mouth.

                  That’s just a rephrasing of ‘an armed society is a polite society’.

              2. Socking somebody in the mouth for saying something lewd to your daughter is neither immoral nor an extreme circumstance.

                You are not a mob. And that is an act of self defense. Hearing that the person did so and hunting them and attacking them well after the fact, is most certainly immoral. Your emotional reaction at the time can be justified. But not afterwards. And that is mob violence.

              3. If there are bigger principles involved, like free speech or other individual rights, maybe violence can be even easier to justify than that.

                We all seem to understand this when it comes to justifications for the Second Amendment. According to Federalist No. 29 and the Second Amendment itself, the threat of violence and the ability to inflict violence against those who oppress us is necessary for the security of a free state. Because antifa is made up of communist, anti-free speech assholes, we shouldn’t suddenly forget everything we know.

                1. I’m with you that strict adherence to the NAP is not always a great idea. In 95% of normal situations one should not be violent, and should be a well behaved adult… But there are those other 5% of situations where it is not entirely uncalled for.

                  In the USA right now I don’t think there is much legitimate need for violence… But that may well change soon, mostly just depending on how crazy the left decides to make things. If in another year Antifa guys are getting curb stomped in the streets because the right wing guys have had enough, I won’t be shedding any tears because they have it coming.

              4. Socking somebody in the mouth for saying something lewd to your daughter is neither immoral nor an extreme circumstance.

                Nah–it’s intarwebz tuffgainess.

                Someone says something ‘lewd’ to your daughter and your first reaction is to haul off and hit them?

                There are a few steps missing between A and Z there.

                Context.

    2. What are you supposed to do when the temple is full of salesmen? Politely explain the NAP and then ask them to leave?

      Well, I dunno. Is it your personal temple? If not, then yeah, I’d say that’s better than beating people up just because you dislike that they are businessmen.

      And it’s not the “violence” that’s so bad about Antifa, it’s their constant initiation of violence.

      1. I suppose it’s especially disturbing to see violence eschewed by libertarians who have abandoned reason in favor of TDS, too–like so many seem to have done at Reason.

        There’s a nasty pattern that will start to emerge if they’re substituting pearl clutching for rational argument–and denouncing violence for being violent?

        If and when antifa really does get as big and bad as the Nazi’s SA, how much pearl clutching do you think it will take to stop them?

        Q: You know what else is violent?

        A: The Second Amendment.

        If and when antifa gets as big and bad as the Nazi’s SA and we organize a free militia to fight back, do you intend to only limit your Second Amendment activities to defensive operations?

        Who cares if the gestapo rounds up other people–violence is only acceptable when they’re coming after me?

        1. Yup. The NAP taken too far is just retarded. There’s a time and a place for whooping ass. The Founding Fathers weren’t a bunch of pussy pacifists, and thank god! We’d have that old hag Queen Elizabeth II on our money still if they had been. A reasonable person should be able to differentiate between the times and places where violence is called for and where it isn’t.

          1. You seem to be confusing the NAP with pacifism.

            The NAP doesn’t say “never use violence”. It says “never initiate violence”. It’s a huge difference.

            1. I know the difference. Here’s the thing though, people argue about what initiating violence is… Other than a few incidents (Boston Massacre etc), was the British crown “initiating” violence against the colonists? By the definitions many libertarians seem to apply nowadays, the answer is no. I, however, would beg to differ. So did the Founding Fathers.

              By a looser definition one could easily argue the current US government is constantly commit gross acts of violence against us right now… So violence in defense would be warranted?

              It’s a fuzzy line. Lots of people seem to be veeery far towards the pacifist side on what violence is, others not so much. I think I’m somewhere in between. Even if no violence is being used against you YET, there are also many situations in which violence seems likely to happen in the future… I don’t think waiting for the other guy to take the first swing is ALWAYS the best way to do it. In most situations, sure… But not 100% of the time. It’s a case by case thing IMO.

              1. By a looser definition one could easily argue the current US government is constantly commit gross acts of violence against us right now… So violence in defense would be warranted?

                If it helps you figure out where I stand in regards to what constitutes “initiating violence”, I’ll go ahead and state that I think that under the NAP, shooting police who are attempting to make non-violent drug arrests would be reasonable.

                (I don’t think it’s a good idea, of course, because they are The Biggest Gang, but it wouldn’t be immoral.)


            2. The NAP doesn’t say “never use violence”. It says “never initiate violence”. It’s a huge difference.

              That interpretation is also retarded, since often he who shoots first also shoots last. What you are describing is practical pacifism in the real world. Most people aren’t going to let themselves be shot before shooting back, and that is rational.

              However, it is also true that most people are bad at figuring out what is a real threat and what is not.

              I’m not saying I disagree with the NAP, but it is a bit utopian.

              1. I’m not saying I think you have to wait until someone is actually pulling the trigger on you. I do think you need to wait for a credible true threat.

                If you want to insist that someone who is standing there, holding a loaded rifle, even not pointed at you, stating “I am going to kill you”, has not “initiated violence” in the sense I meant it for the NAP, well, I don’t actually care enough to argue with you about the ultrafine semantics of it. I would consider that person to have initiated violence for the purpose of the NAP. YMMV.


                1. I do think you need to wait for a credible true threat.

                  And, when paired with the fact that most people are unable to identify them very well, we’re left with ‘most people shouldn’t be allowed to own guns’.

                  It’s simply a fact that the NAP is a bit utopian, or at the very best somewhat subjective.

                  It’s a restating of the golden rule, which if you recall was originally coined by a guy that was such a pacifist he literally let himself be murdered. Keep that in mind.

                  1. “Utopian” doesn’t necessarily mean “wrong”, though.

                    I dunno. Look. As a species, “refraining from violence too often” isn’t really a problem we have. So I think any sort of rule that people might apply to themselves which serves to make them at least contemplate thinking about it first is probably worthwhile.

                  2. To be fair, that guy did have a get out of jail free card.

                    1. I pretty much agree with this line of conversation. I definitely think it really comes down to “Think things through thoroughly first, consider whether or not you are really being violated morally in some way, and then act accordingly.”

                      Some libertarians just take it too far. I agree that many utopian ideas are not necessarily WRONG if you think them through to their logical conclusions… However many utopian ideas are not PRACTICALLY the best way to do things in the real world.

                      For instance the whole open borders thing. Perhaps it is morally right… But in a world with several billion impoverished and uneducated people, and a several hundred million educated and wealthy people… It’s not going to end well for wealthy nations to have unlimited immigration. So even if it’s immoral, who cares? It’s the way to achieve the best results for your nation.

                      When choosing between principles and practical outcomes my opinion varies. A small degradation of outcomes for a righteous moral principle, go for the principle. Horrible outcome for small bending of principle, go for practical outcomes. If only common sense were common…

        2. If and when antifa gets as big and bad as the Nazi’s SA and we organize a free militia to fight back, do you intend to only limit your Second Amendment activities to defensive operations?

          Ummm….do you not get that “fight back” means that everything you’re doing is a “defensive operation”?

          Antifa is, right now, engaged in offensive operations–using violence or threats of violence to suppress the innate rights recognized and protected by the Constitution.

          The Left, in it’s totality, has, as a stated purpose, the intent to engage in offensive operations–using violence or threats of violence to suppress the innate rights recognized and protected by the Constitution.

          They state this plainly and openly.

          WHAT is everyone, myself included, waiting for?

    3. “Using violence to fight fascists, terrorists, and communists isn’t inherently abhorrent when the violence is orchestrated by our government, that makes such violence okay.”

      Using violence is ok, when you’re using it to oppose people who are being violent. The Antifa’s problem is that they use it to oppose people just because they disagree with them, without waiting on the hypothetical violence.

      If they descended on some fascist with baseball bats while he was curb stomping a little old lady? No problem with that. The problem is that they descend on some alleged “fascist” when he’s just talking.

      Violence orchestrated by government is only OK when it’s the sort of violence individuals would be entitled to engage in in a state of nature: Defensive violence. There exists a presumption that governmentally orchestrated violence is of that sort, but it’s a very undependable presumption.

  13. Don’t worry: the asshole wasn’t a fascist so it’s ok.

  14. These are certified members of Block Yomomma’s brownshirt army, which he basically announced to the world he was going to create.

    Also, the Matt Welch jokes practically write themselves.

  15. Evan Welch is not a fascist. He is a liberal who voted for Bernie Sanders in the 2016 Democratic primary, and for Hillary Clinton in the general election.

    He is a fascist. A fascist Lefty who loves Socialism and the Nanny-State.

  16. Rhetorical question: Why am I not seeing this on any other news feed? Ok, maybe that’s more like begging the question.

  17. I remember how circumspect reason was about the mobs attacking Milo Yianopolis a couple of years ago. Reason’s attitude was pretty much sure violence is bad but Milo was asking for it. It never occurred to them and still doesn’t occur to Robby here that Antifa would do the same thing to them that it did to this guy or anyone else that doesn’t do exactly what they demand.

  18. Unsurprisingly, commie scumbags weren’t joking when they said liberals get the bullet too

    1. This still isn’t quite as good as the time antifa set an Iraqi immigrant’s limousine on fire at Trump’s inauguration and caused his working class employee to flee in mortal terror of being burned to death.

      The fact anyone is still pretending these guys are anything other than thugs out to commit violence regardless of who gets hurt is ridiculous

      1. Oh there are still plenty of assholes out there who think punching is a great response to any political/civic disagreement.

        I was on Boingboing, and all those happy progs were happily crowing about punching some nazi or something. They’re all so smug and certain that branding someone an enemy could NEVER possibly happen to themselves. All it takes is 2 dimwitted leaps of logic:

        1 – all reTHUGlicans are racist nazis
        2 – nazis deserve to be punched

        Gee, no way that formula could possibly be twisted to justify violence against anyone else. All in a day’s work, fighting the phantom nazi takeover.

    2. They never are. And their liberal enablers never believe them.

    3. Most of the Left knows well enough that their political street muscle is not to be trifled with.

      Violence is their *function*.

  19. Robby’s analysis assumes the goal of antifa is persussion, for which it’s tactics are ill suited and beating up a Sanders fan by accident is a costly mistake.

    But if antifa’s goal is intimidating those with opposing views into silence, the tactics made perfect sense; antifa want to be viewed as violent as it makes their their threats more intimidating and thus more likely to lead to events being canceled and individuals staying home out of fear of being attacked. Wailing on a the Sanders support helps not hurts – the message is don’t even look like someone we disagree with or there’s a beating coming.

    1. The old “red terror.” After a while you don’t actually have to beat up too many, if the rest are sufficiently scared into submission. I just wonder how much longer will the media treat these jack holes like “yeah, they’re a little rough but they have their hearts on the right place” bullshit.

    2. It also enables sympathetic local governments to restrain your political opponents, or charge them exorbitant ‘security fees’ before allowing them to speak.

  20. is not a group that is making careful distinctions or thoughtfully considering its tactical approach

    Agreed that Antifa doesn’t make careful distinctions. Disagree that it’s because they aren’t thoughtfully considering their tactical approach. This is a feature for them, not a bug. They are betting that they can make the fascist label stick to whoever they dislike and in turn drive more people to their side.

    1. They are betting they can terrorize anyone they don’t like into silence. The goal is not to persuade, it is to terrorize. Robby is incapable of seeing any real danger coming from the left. So, he chooses to think Antifa is there to persuade people and are just like the Optimist club or something. More than anything, Robby is stupid.

      1. It would have been too late for Robby to flee Nazi Germany either. He would have protected the Brown Shirts until they came for him.

        1. This is a crucial part of the story that Antifa’s defenders aren’t getting, possibly because they’re historically illiterate. They think if they have Obama or “I’m With Her” bumper stickers on their cars then these Brownshirts won’t come for them. They think wrong.

          1. The best part though is that if the Glorious Revolution ever comes, the Antifa guys will be the first ones in gulags! The rabble rousing low brow revolutionaries always have to go in order to reestablish proper order… These idiots are so historically illiterate they don’t even know they’ll be the first ones on the wall when their glorious leader solidifies power!

            Not that that will ever happen in the USA anyway, since the right wingers are the ones with all the balls… And the guns.

            1. The right wingers may have guns, but balls?

              Balls enough to put an end to the deep state?

              Balls enough to put an end to the MIC?

              Balls enough to bid adieu to the FED?

              Balls enough to make sure that every ATF employee enjoyed early retirement?

              Balls enough to make work at the IRS hazardous to one’s health?

              Balls enough to stop, much less prevent Iraq, Libya, Syria, and Afghanistan?

              Balls enough to end affirmative action?

              Balls enough to make sure that there will be further black social dysfunction tolerated?

              1. On most of those, we can only hope! People do seem to be getting tired of the status quo, and it does seem likely a radical change may be in the cards in the nearish future.

                I think most conservative/right wing people tend to show great restraint when they’re being pushed… But when they snap, THEY REALLY SNAP. Also, a lot of those things are intellectual arguments many people just don’t grasp, so they don’t worry about them.

                But if there was ever a credible threat from left wing extremists taking over the country by force, I am 100% sure that would light a fire under peoples asses and they would promptly all get their asses shot/arrested. If there were ever a real right wing coup/takeover/whatever in this country, I suspect a lot of the more hard line positions would very much be put into place though. That’s kinda the nature of rapid/violent transitions of power.

  21. It takes a lot of balls to club a liberal and steal his flag.

    Courage.

    1. They never come to the South and try to take a bat to anyone minding their own business.

      The concealed weapons would come out so fast it would make the fascist’s mask spin.

      1. Last I heard, Charlottesville is in the South.

        Mind, cities like that are like little pockets of non-South.

        1. What you last heard isn’t really true anymore. Virginia is the Reason Magazine of states, it has been hijacked by grifters and con artists from the north.

        2. Virginia has not been the South for a loooong time. As the swamp of DC expanded, so went Virginia.

          Its like California. Its not that there are zero Libertarians and Republicans in California, its that they are a tiny minority.

  22. ‘Liberals get the bullet too’ was Antifa graffiti left after the Berkeley riots, Robby. Maybe did you forget that fact? Jesus Christ, these fuckers have been saying FOR YEARS NOW they consider anyone not of their political persuasion to be an enemy to be killed. They’re goddamn Tankie asswipes!

  23. Robby, the guy’s name is Paul Welch. I don’t know where the hell you got Evan from.

  24. You can bet this incident won’t get widely reported in the mainstream medial and most certainly not to the extent it would have if someone from the other side had beat up one of the leftist protesters.

    1. As i posted above: Rhetorical question: Why am I not seeing this on any other news feed? Ok, maybe that’s more like begging the question.

    2. I would be surprised if in 6 mos. to a year, like ENB reported previously about Charlottesville, the narrative goes that alt-right will have started this altercation.

      1. would *not* be surprised

  25. This whole thing clearly shows that wearing a mask to a protest event of any kind should be prohibited! If these thugs don’t want to be identified, then they can stay at home an anonymously stir up trouble on the internet like the rest of us!

    1. Well, it is in most of the country. The cops in these lefty cities just don’t enforce the laws. The KKK was the reason no mask laws were passed all over the place. The cops need to be held to task and forced to start arresting anyone at these events who is wearing a mask in places where it is illegal.

    2. So, you want the government to dictate the sartorial choices of those exercising their right to assemble?

      1. Yes, in the face of this kind of behavior, the cops should be allowed to single out all face-mask wearers, and tell them to take off the masks, or get arrested. As a matter of practicality, to protest the rights of OTHERS to peacefully protest, without getting their skulls cracked open, or the threat of the same, I think this is a common-sense measure. If legally possible, draw an exception around those wearing a giant Donald Trump mask or some such, IF AND ONLY IF their costume is so giant and padded and constrictive of body motions, that they can’t waddle around whacking people. OR they ALSO wear (in addition to their mask) a giant picture of their real selves (face or name & address) on their body, clearly visible for the cameras. Common-sense laws can be passed if the lawmakers are actually willing!

        1. That and strip the ku-klux conservatives in the commentariat of their sockpuppet masks.

      2. Historically there is a long precedent for not allowing concealed weapons, masks, or other such behavior that lends itself to dishonorable and sketchy illegal behavior. It’s the kind of thing criminals do, not good citizens making their voices heard.

        Right or wrong the no mask thing is a pretty practical thing. If people are SOOO against something, have the balls to do it in the open. Even the Nazi Brown Shirts had the balls to show their faces.

        1. I definitely understand the point you’re making about the practicality of the “no masks” rule, with regards to it benefiting the catching of criminals.

          That said, if I went to one of these events, I’d probably want to cover my face too, to keep the Antifa people from knowing who I was. Mostly because they seem to be a bunch of violent assholes, and I’d prefer to keep them away from my house.

          1. I feel you there. I’ve thought about going to some of the protests here in Seattle, but this is such a leftist town I’m afraid of getting doxxed and harassed for… Supporting parts of the constitution the left hates? It’s crazy. It’s not like they’re even just going after Nazis or anything. They’d probably line Hillary up on the wall if they could, so anybody who supports anything remotely resembling American values is definitely a target.

            Hence, I have considered getting a good silly mask of some sort. I may yet do it!

  26. Collateral damage, brothers. If you go to the battlefield dressed up similar to a terrorist can you really blame the drone for the friendly fire? President Trump thinks we should go after the families of Nazis but maybe that’s too far?

    1. Fuckin LOL at the progressives blatantly admitting now that they hate the US.

      1. Trump deserves credit for making the Lefties so angry that they outed themselves as the Anti-American people they are.

  27. A left wing liberal. I wonder what the victims views are on the right to carry a gun.

  28. If the left wants to defeat Trump, the worst thing it can do is make people fear Antifa more than they fear the administration.

    Or, as Archer might put it: “Do you want Trump?! Because that’s how you get Trump!”

  29. Stop calling them “Antifa” and start calling them “Pantifa.” It’s closer to the truth.

  30. The only good Antifas I ever saw were dead.

  31. Off topic – More BS from Elizabeth Warren.

    From CNBC:

    “Sen. Elizabeth Warren proposes a new bill that would ban members of Congress and the White House staff from owning individual stocks.”

    What gets me about all the discussion I’ve seen in the media about Warren’s proposals is that no one is ever asking what Constitutional authority the federal government has to enact any of these things. It’s just generally assumed that the federal government has a free hand to do virtually anything and everything regarding anything related to economic activity in the country.

    1. I got some stocks for this cunt.

      https://bit.ly/2zrKXtP

    2. Actually, Congress could unquestionably do that for itself, as it’s entitled to regulate its own members. As far as the White House staff, I think not.

      Yeah, the idea that there are actually any limits on federal power is dying. And it died first among members of Congress.

    3. Little does Warren remember the STOCK Act, it would seem, and how ineffective it proved to be.

  32. Keep up the good work Comrades! If you just keep turning more and more people off to your nonsense, it will force even life long lefties to ditch the left… I met a walking stereotype of the middle aged urban liberal white woman the other day who went on a rant about how she just can’t support the left anymore, after being a Democrat her whole life. She’s just voting R up and down the ballot now out of spite. Not that Rs are amazing in all ways, but it just shows you how much the left is pushing people away with their stupid.

    1. We’re going to see a massive win for the Rs this fall, and the Ds are going to shit their pants over it. Hell, I see California going Red in the Assembly after a decade of supermajority Blue rule.

      1. I don’t know about California… But I think in most of the country it is highly possible. They’ve just gone too crazy for most normal people, even if they’re center left. They’re alienating everybody who isn’t a total left wing zealot.

        1. If that happens, I expect to hear two things repeated over and over again. Voter suppression and gerrymandering.

          1. You missed one of the most blatant – Russian “hacking”. They’ve been laying the groundwork for that claim, in reference to the midterms, for months now. Microsoft just added another brick to their propaganda wall.

            In case anybody is unaware, we’ve reached a point of one-party legitimacy. If the Ds/Left win, all is fair and honorable. If the Rs/Right win an election, it’s due to foreign interference, racism, AND political machinations/trickery. The Ds can only lose via treachery.

            Only one team can win, because the other team is pure evil and opposed by all “good”/”normal” people.

            1. Oh, now I remember what I was going to add.
              If the Ds lose it must be treachery- as one of the fundamental myths they’ve cultivated this past decade is the inevitable tide of demographic change cementing D power on a national level. They truly believe this, and will kill for that belief.

              1. Yup. Any election where they don’t win is invalid.

                The thing is, I think they’re largely right about the demographics thing…

                Like it or not, only ONE group in this country has ever voted conservative/libertarian: White people. Especially white males.

                This trend has never changed, and many non whites seem to be shifting even harder left. I hope some minority groups open their eyes soon, but if they don’t we probably will be fucked in terms of voting. What gave Republicans their massive clean sweep of Dems in the last decade + was white people shifting more conservative even while they were being replaced demographically. That can only get you so far.

                Even Texas may well be a blue state in less than a decade, and once that happens there will never be another “conservative” president again. Here’s hoping high income Asians realize big government fucks them too!

  33. This is why the non-violent Left needs to oppose the violent Left. But they never do. They jsut wring their hands and say “they weren’t part of our group”. I see this shit all the time in San Fransisco and Berkeley, and the refrain is always the same, “stop lumping us in with them!”

    By sitting back and tolerating the violent people among them, they Left are explicitly endorsing violence. I’m sorry this guy got his head cracked open, but where was he trying to stop Antifa from cracking heads before this? You train a dog to be mean and eventually he will bite you.

    1. By their own standards, the whole “silence is violence” thing, they are very much supporting the violent behavior. I say more power to them. They’ll reap what they sow!

      1. They had the silence is consent phrase, but I have heard that much since the #metoo started.

    2. Looters, whether left for the peeps or right for Jesus, all practice the initiation of force. This is simply a case of one of them feeling it on his hide.

  34. If the left wants to defeat Trump, the worst thing it can do is make people fear Antifa more than they fear the administration.

    With the all cattle cars full of immigrants, shuttered steel mills, fallow fields, and Russia stormtroopers on every corner, it’s going to be tough.

  35. The justification for the masked fascists assaulting others is that “they are right, and others are wrong, hence they are justified in their mayhem because silencing others is justified.”

    It is the progressive way. It won’t end well.

    1. The proggie sites I regrettably read just fall into the thinking of “Why would you possibly be against punching nazis?”. They are too retarded to imagine how engaging in violence with people you find intolerant could quickly spiral out.

      It’s the same shit as when you speak up against insane punitive mandatory incarceration or stupid dead kid-inspired laws. The minute you speak up against it, it’s “Why do you want children to die?!?!?”

    2. The traditional formulation is, “Error has no rights.”

  36. Fascists, Nazis, Commies,… they’re all the same totalitarian ideologies. The Left is the side that embraces and practices political violence, and then plays the victim when anyone fights back.

  37. “How did Antifa misidentify Welch?”

    They didn’t misidentify him, Robby. And they would happily give you the same treatment. Shocking, to be sure, but true nonetheless.

    The left has proven over and over again that they are either incapable or unwilling to recognize and define where liberalism ends and totalitarianism begins. The end justifies the means, after all. Just ask Chris Cuomo.

    And to the idiot Democrat voter who had his head split open by his fellow travellers, this episode is what anyone with common sense would call a Learning Opportunity. Wake the fuck up. You too, Robby.

  38. Not sure why this deserves an article.

    Violent thugs got violent on someone.

    Oh, to be sure, Robby wants to think that they wouldn’t have attacked the flag bearer, if only they had known he was ‘on their side.’

    They are violent thugs.

    Duh.

    1. If Robby was dead set on writing about this incident maybe he could have contacted the victim and asked him whatever in the world gave him the idea that he would be safe from the violent ‘Antifa’ mob?

      That’s an answer I’d like to hear.

      1. The maybe Soave could follow up by asking him if he’d ever consider participating in another demonstration where ‘Antifa’ was present?


    2. Not sure why this deserves an article.

      “Man Bites Dog”

      1. “Dog Lover Wanders Into Kennel Full of Strays and You’ll Never Guess What Happens Next”

        Clickbait is as clickbait does.

  39. Anyone else remember when Robby was fully endorsing the bash the fash “self-defense” courses some universities were offering? Wonder what changed since then because it wasn’t the motivation or character of the people pushing such nonsense.

  40. “A group that endorses political violence while claiming that everyone who isn’t with them is against them…” George Waffen Bush was at the rally?

    1. But… BOOOOOOOOOOSH!!!

      How nostalgic.

  41. “Part of my Thinking…”. Right there, you’re at odds with Antifa.

  42. I miss pro-Bashing-Fash Robby

    https://reason.com/blog/2017/02…..ents-start

    1. Maybe his understanding of what and who Antifa is, is evolving. I’m trying to say that in good faith.

  43. “Antifa” claim to be Anti-Fascism, but they’re NOT! What they are is a bunch of good for Nothing good group of Anarchists, Assailants, Assaulters, Brawlers, Delinquents, Gangsters, Goons, Hoodlums, Hooligans, Looters, Malcontents, Pillagers, Revilers, Ruffians, Thugs, Vagrants, and Vandals. And why they cover and mask their little faces?

  44. “Antifa” claim to be Anti-Fascism, but they’re NOT! What they are is a bunch of good for Nothing good group of Anarchists, Assailants, Assaulters, Brawlers, Delinquents, Gangsters, Goons, Hoodlums, Hooligans, Looters, Malcontents, Pillagers, Revilers, Ruffians, Thugs, Vagrants, and Vandals. And why they cover and mask their little faces?

    1. rustlers, cut throats, murderers, bounty hunters, desperados, mugs, pugs, thugs, nitwits, halfwits, dimwits, vipers, snipers, con men, Indian agents, Mexican bandits, muggers, buggerers, bushwhackers, hornswogglers, horse thieves, bull dykes, train robbers, bank robbers, ass-kickers, shit-kickers and Methodists.

  45. “Not everybody who attends a protest is a Nazi. Not everyone who waves an American flag is a fascist. Not every Republican is racist ”

    Robbie shows off his political tolerance for the Right.

    1. Not every progressive is a child-molester

      1. Cite needed.

      2. Not every Reason columnist is a Red Brigade sympathizer

  46. Fascists will fascist.
    After all, the Antifa crowd isn’t interested in free speech.
    Only their speech.

  47. So when Trump said both sides were violent he was right? Man go figure.

    Only way to stop this is to lock the little Antifa’s up with Bubba as a cell mate. But usually the police just watch because tghey figure they are beating up Nazi’s or something.

    Actually the real Nazi’s and their Proud Boys sidekicks know how to fight. Good chance that if there is a beat donw going on its an Antifa or some idiot like this guy.

  48. First rule don’t go near the Antifa’s. The police won’t help you. I guess hey are allowed to attack people.

    Exceptions to that rule is if you are really a bad ass. Second exception is if you are armed. Actually bad ass and armed is preferable.

  49. It was, of course, wrong to attack Welch regardless of his political views.

    I’m glad we have that cleared up.

  50. The dude wielding the “bat” is AntiFa? Really? In a blue short sleeve polo shirt? And it’s odd how his “baseball bat” unravels right after he hits the guy. No doubt it hurt but it looks more like a rolled up bolt of cloth than a bat. You guys are as bad as Occupy Democrats. Antifa isn’t even a real thing. Just your made up boogie man to justify the existence of Nazis. Pathetic.

    1. Begone, thot.

  51. None of these child like creatures even know what the term fascist or fascism means. They are clueless. It’s a video game to them.

  52. We must also be willing to call Antifa, ironically, what it is…. Fascist. In almost every instance, the only group shutting down debate (with violence) is Antifa.
    I continue to be shocked by the lack of law enfircement intervention whenever they rear their ugly, fascist heads.

    1. Good comment. These pricks must be defeated one way or the other. Either the police do their jobs or patriotic American citizens will do it for them.

  53. Well, he got knocked out, but will he woke up?

  54. They are morons. It’s unbelievable how much attention the right-leaning press pays to them. It gives them an out-sized media presence compared to the actual number of activists. Sort of like the skin-head proto Nazis. Extremists are fun to write about.

    1. Uhhh, you do know that at some of these major events THOUSANDS of Antifa members have showed up right? I’m sure they’re not all centrally organized in a database members or whatever… But people that consider themselves part of it, wear the masks, start shit, etc. There has NEVER been an event where thousands of actual Nazis showed up. Most of the people at Charlottesville on the right weren’t even Nazis/white nationalists etc, they were other flavors of softer right wingers.

      So yeah, Antifa gets played up a bit… But not that much. They really are everywhere, and often in pretty good numbers.

  55. I don’t understand why this is not a big story nationally. The only conclusion I can draw from stories like this is what Jordan Peterson has been saying, The Left is not willing to define what “going too far” looks like. Alt-right is seen by conservatives generally as extremism but there is no Left-wing equivalent for most Lefties.

  56. Antifa have said they will go after Liberals, even. Glenn Beck did an interesting chalkboard series on Antifa, that he uploaded to YouTube. bit.ly/Antifa_YT

  57. So Robby. Still think conservatives are ‘just as bad’?

    Antifa and the progressive left alone are assaulting free speech and expression. Period.

    1. Well , the Meese commission blah blah blah

    2. Yeah, people who try to play the moral equivalence card are idiots. The modern left is infinitely worse than anything that seems likely to come from the right in this country.

      Even if you want to take it to the MAXIMUM extremes possible, right wing totalitarianism is STILL preferable. My working definition here is totalitarian, nationalistic, fascist economics versus full on international communism. Stalin/Mao/etc versus Mussolini/Franco/Pinochet… No contest. Hitler is the only “right wing” dictator who can hold a candle to the full on leftists. Living in fascist Spain wasn’t awesome in many ways, but it wasn’t anything like living in Soviet Russia. You could own a business, live your life, just don’t speak well of communism and you were pretty much fine. None of the fascist leaders (other than Hitler) killed any truly large numbers of their own people. They mostly just took out actual communist leaders, and called it good.

      Even if you wanna throw in guys like Saddam, Gaddafi, etc they mostly just held shit down and made some fairly stable societies. They aren’t nice guys, but surely better than going full tilt Stalin…

      1. Small quibble. Nazis – hence Hitler – were left-wing.

        1. That’s why I used the quotes on “right wing.”

          But in reality, it’s all a matter of definitions. Totalitarian properly describes them all, commies and fascists alike. However if you want to talk text book definitions of fascism, I would argue it is a mix of traditionally left wing ideas and traditionally right wing ideas. In modern usage, people usually put the right wing aspects front and center, and the modern left likes to distance itself from all their left wing aspects of course!

          Their conservatism on a lot of issues was one of their hallmarks. A return to traditional values, gender roles (Wiemar went crazy on these things), traditional festivals, nationalism (not internationalism), still allowing a fair amount of free market economics, etc. They were economically semi top down for major industries, but of course not full on like communism. In short I think it’s fair to describe it as a particular type of mixed ideology. Just as you could describe Neocons as a particular ideology with mixed left/right ideas, so too is fascism.

          Make sense?

          1. Yes.

            And what allowed them to usurp/gain power was the fall of classical liberalism.

          2. What ‘right wing’ aspects? It has none.

            Despite leftist insistence on this ‘conservatism’ isn’t right or left wing. Both right and left seek to ‘conserve’ those traditional things that they value.

            Nationalism is a collectivist, statist counterfeit of Patriotism and is thus, left wing. “Allowing” free market economics means that the economy is managed. And that is a left wing value.

            The ‘right’ in nazism’s purported ‘right wing’ status stems from the European ‘right’–which was monarchist and authoritarian. Two ideas that are diametrically opposed to any tenet of right wing thought held–not just today, but when the idea was first applied–because it was applied with the idea of tying the nazis to the necks of their ideological opponents–in much the same way that slavery and racism have been tied to the party that formed to destroy them.

            1. Ehhh, I’d still argue it’s a matter of definitions. What many, if not most, people think of when they think left/right involves conservative elements on the right. The left is more destroy traditional values to create the New Soviet Man. And not being totally free market is… Every society in the history of mankind. Fascism was damn near as free market as we are today in some of its iterations! Sad as that may be… Controlling all economic activity and making everybody “equal” was not really a goal of fascism. They didn’t want the working class completely shafted, but weren’t too big of zealots on that issue, and accepted hierarchy as being acceptable.

              If you want to make left/right purely authoritarian/libertarian, then you’re correct in placing them firmly on the left. But I don’t think that is how most people define left/right. Although I try to fight changing the meaning of words most of the time, I think the working definition most people use is fairly intact as far as its traditional meaning over the last century plus.

              As such, fascism, IMO, is a mixed ideology.

            2. I agree with most of this. I’ll point out, however, that when we talk about Nazis, nobody is talking about their economic philosophy. They may have had the best economic policies ever (they didn’t), but it’s overshadowed by the thing we’re REALLY talking about when we refer to Nazis: the mass murder and ethnic cleansing. So it’s a logical fallacy to characterize Nazism as a whole as “left-wing” simply because of their economic philosophy.

              1. Ehhh, I’d still argue it’s a matter of definitions. What many, if not most, people think of when they think left/right involves conservative elements on the right.

                It is. But not for the reasons you suppose.

                You see, those definitions were written by leftists.

                And that’s odd because they left behind a mass od literature that details their principles.

                But that’s a big part of the problem.

                What a Republican is has been defined, in the general culture, by leftists.

                What a Libertarian is has been defined, in the general culture, by leftists.

                What a Nazi is has been defined, in the general culture, by leftists.

                What a Communist is has been defined, in the general culture, by leftists.

                Do you not see the problem?

                1. Junk, sure. Their “social” policies being pretty authoritarian and right wing is one of the reasons I think it’s fair to call them mixed. Mass murder and ethnic cleansing in particular aren’t really left/right things… Assholes of all stripes have always done that! The Germans were just really modern and efficient about it πŸ™‚ So I wouldn’t argue it was the mass murder that made them right wing, it’s their other conservative social values.

                  Azathoth, yeah I see your point. And I agree it is largely true in the present moment… At least the working definitions most normal morons have. But educated people can separate Nazis from Commies, and an Republican from a libertarian. I guess I would also say that the left/right thing, IMO, sorta predates the modern leftists taking control of the narrative? There’s the original original meaning from France, and then what I believe is the 2nd version of its meaning, which hasn’t changed a ton recently AFAIK.

                  Also I think it is fairly accurate. Most “right wing” people/movements/nations did have strong conservative/traditional elements. If nothing else people self identify along these lines. I don’t view “right wing” as a bad thing, I mostly think it’s good! So I don’t know what there is to fight about really.

              2. but it’s overshadowed by the thing we’re REALLY talking about when we refer to Nazis: the mass murder and ethnic cleansing. So it’s a logical fallacy to characterize Nazism as a whole as “left-wing” simply because of their economic philosophy.

                And you think that one group demonizing and trying to eliminate another group isn’t that bastion of left-wing thought, collectivism?

                You’ve a strange definition of it then. Parties on the left have, since there was a ‘left’, seen the world as a mass of competing groups. Racial, economic, ethnic.

                Nazism is left wing because it is the TOTALITY of the place that is the actual endpoint that leftist policies lead to–whatever they call themselves. An increasingly authoritarian, totalitarian, poverty stricken collective that eats itself when it becomes too weak to swipe at the outside.

                All leftism ends with ‘nazism’

                1. And you think that one group demonizing and trying to eliminate another group isn’t that bastion of left-wing thought, collectivism?

                  No, I don’t think left wing groups have a monopoly on this.

                  1. Pretty close, yeah.

            3. Ahh yet another Nazi hot potato in the reason comments. Always fun to watch. “The side I most identify with aren’t where the Nazis fit, it’s the other BAD side!”

              1. That’s why Godwin’ing a thread used to kill it. It was a universal truth of the internet. Now Nazis have somehow become a legitimate part of the discussion.

  58. It’s like Soave has friends who are Antifa, and he’s gently trying to advise them without telling them how full of it they are.

  59. Paul Welch is not a fascist. He is a liberal who voted for Bernie Sanders in the 2016 Democratic primary, and for Hillary Clinton in the general election.

    If he voted for Sanders and Clinton, he’s not a “liberal” in any objective meaning of the word. In fact, given the similarity between Sanders’ program and the fascist programs of 1920’s Germany and Italy, arguably Paul Welch is, in fact, a fascist. And he had his head cracked open by Antifa, i.e., communists.

    Communists and fascists beating each other up is the historical norm; I don’t see why this is newsworthy.

    1. That’s right. He’s illiberal.

      Progressivism is illiberal.

    2. Communism and fascism are both evil. So it’s all just two factions of evil fighting for who gets to be in charge of oppressing the masses.

  60. SO, did the dirty coppers who regularly infest Portland’s occasional riots arrest the dirtbag who assaulted this man with a deadly weapon? If not WHY not? Are they checking video footage to identify the perp? Why not?

    And WHY do they allow these hooiigans to show up looking for trouble when they are wearing masks? Seems that is a crime.. hiding your identity in a situation where criminal activity is highly likely….

    But then, consider the venue.. and their “mayor”.

    Oh,and WHO paid this guy’s medical expenses? They will be considerable, two days…..

    1. As best I can tell its Patriot Prayer/Proud Boys who get a permit and then work with the police regarding security. Part of that security is disarming anyone actually going to the rally. Antifa waits around outside the rally to attack the rally goers. The police at least recently have tried keeping them apart. Also of note is that PBoys are basically bouncers. If a “woke” Antofa slips through they get KO’d normally.

      Then the Antofas resort to aerial attacks of flash bombs fireworks. The police move in to break them up.

      Rinse and repeat. It is a good show though.

  61. i’m OK with leftists beating the shit out of each other.
    More would be better, in fact.

  62. if liberalism finally dies in america, it won’t be worth protecting or preserving. just competing packs of fascists and communists fighting over a carcass. our political choices will be jackals vs vultures.

  63. I’ve actually wondered what the rules are for citizens arrests in some of these places… Since the police are intentionally being ordered to stand down in a lot of these places, if some of these perps could be arrested by citizens, it would almost force the cops to at least give them a slap on the wrist… Or hopefully get stuck with a judge who will throw the book at them.

    For instance, in places where wearing masks in public outings like this is illegal… And you catch somebody on film doing something even more illegal… Bust them, cuff them, and hand them over? I think it would be a worthy experiment for somebody to undertake to see what happens.

    1. Basically, if you citizen’s arrest somebody who the police don’t want arrested, the police can turn around and arrest you for assault. And likely will. That they should have wanted the person arrested is irrelevant.

      And if no charges are filed, the person you arrested can sue you, too.

      So, bottom line: It’s not a way to force the police’s hands.

      1. Yeah, that was more or less what I was thinking. I don’t know if anybody has tried it in the context of these protests (riots) yet, but you may be able to get away with it in a more right wing city where they’re actually trying to keep order. Unfortunately most of this stupid is happening in leftist controlled areas.

        1. Not only that, but if you use force against someone in a public demonstration like this, they could conceivably nail you with inciting. There’s a reason why cops handle certain situations with kid gloves.

          1. If anybody was going to try this you would need to:

            1. ONLY do it after they person assaulted you
            2. Have it ALL on camera
            3. ONLY do it in a right leaning area where you aren’t likely to be thrown before a leftist activist judge

            Even then it could be dicey for 100 reasons.

          2. In the case of the Antifa, the reason the cops handle them with kid gloves is that they’re ordered to by local authorities whose work the Antifa are doing.

            It’s not an accident that the Antifa only show up where the local governments are extremely left-wing. Their shtick depends on the cops being ordered to let them be.

  64. Uh, has the author ever heard of the idiom “fog of war” or “friendly fire”?

  65. “But then, two members of Antifa confronted him and demanded he hand over the flag, which they characterized as a “fascist symbol.””

  66. But it’s also a good reminder of why Antifa’s resistance strategy, punch Nazis in the streets, wherever and whenever they appear, is deeply misguided. Not everybody who attends a protest is a Nazi. Not everyone who waves an American flag is a fascist. Not every Republican is racist

    Only most of them, eh, Robby?

    You know, I’d have less of a problem with antifa if they did “punch Nazis”. But as most of them are noodle-armed richkids who require being flanked on either side by a like-minded crowd to find their courage – and even then, most of them get knocked the fuck out in one-on-ones with unarmed patriots – you can understand why “punch a Nazi” translates into “let’s all fifty of us club a Nazi”.

    Not a problem. The thing about pendulums is that, once set in motion, you can’t stop them from swinging the other way. Eventually the “Nazis” will start punching back, hallelujah; and God willing, they’re not going to stop. Since the US govt has abdicated its responsibility to Kent State these scumbags into docility, let’s hope the “Nazis” remember to bring some guns to the next knife fight.

  67. Democrats, for reasons I don’t understand, assume that libertarians are some type of conservative. So they’re appalled when libertarians disagree with republicans on issues. I mean, I guess SOME republicans admire certain elements of the libertarian message, but that doesn’t make libertarianism a republican philosophy.

    This article is making the identical mistake. It assumes that Antifa is part of the democrat establishment. Sure, I guess SOME democrats admire certain elements of antifa’s message, but that doesn’t mean that antifa and a staunch Hillary voter are on the same side.

    1. I might believe that if you could find Team Blue politicians willing to directly criticize antifa and actually speak against their use of violence, rather than pivoting away from it and pretending to be outraged when Trumps sharply denounces the violence perpetrated on both sides of a protest like Charlottesville.

      1. Lots of Team Red politicians are unwilling to directly criticize libertarians and their organizations. That doesn’t mean they endorse them or that we’re on the same side with Republicans. You’re making my point for me.

    2. I like what Steven Pinker said about liberals that see everyone who isn’t super leftie as conservative. He said it is like standing at the North Pole (he calls them pole lefties I think). From that vantage point everything is South.

    3. I agree on the Pinker analogy. That’s totally how most lefties seem to see things.

      What separates the “regular” left from Antifa versus the regular right from its extreme elements is that the right will actually criticize the people who are beyond the pale. Libertarians will criticize conservatives and vice versa too.

      The Democratic politicians WILL NOT punch left. EVER. This has been a hallmark of the left for decades, and in fact the higher moral ground the right has taken has probably hurt them more than helped. It has left the left unified, and the right divided. Taking the moral high ground is often not the path to victory… See libertarianism. LOL

      1. You’re falling into the same trap. Libertarianism IS NOT a further “right” version of conservatism. The newspapers all call it that. But it’s not true. Every time the MSM mentions Reason, it calls them “far-right”, which is utterly absurd.

        Likewise, antifa does NOT represent “far-left”. They’ve been outspoken critics of the democrats, and I believe the only reason the democrats don’t outwardly criticize them is because the dems whole schtick in 2018 is to play the pro-protest pro-social justice card right now and condemning antifa’s message might be misconstrued. When Trump ate shit for not condemning the white nationalists enough to satisfy everybody’s blood lust, I believe he was employing the same strategy.

        By analogy, many libertarians don’t condemn Assad to the extent that he probably deserves to be condemned. Not because we agree with Assad’s method of governing (not by a long shot), but because the implication for condemning him is that you oppose his regime and think something should be done about it.

        1. I worded my thing badly. Libertarians are not part of the right, per se. We’re in our own little orbit of course. But if you made a venn diagram, we tend to overlap more with conservatives than modern progressives. Hence why the far left views us as all being to their right. EVERYTHING is to their right in their world view.

          The thing about the left though is that they’ve NEVER criticized their radical elements. Like ever. It’s not a new thing. And they DO have continuity/commonality, just as much as real far right groups like militia guys etc do with mainstream conservatives. The difference is Rs would criticize extremist militia guys in the past.

          Trump and the white nationalists (not anywhere close to all the people at Charlottesville were white nationalists, BTW, if you’re one of the people that thinks that was the case) is a perfect example of Trump saying “Hell no!” to playing by the “rules” like a good boy. The left never disavows, the right always got pressured into turning on their extremists. Trump said no, and told it like it was.

          This, to me, is a good thing. We’re not in a situation where we can take the moral high ground. That was fine and well in the 70s, but times are too desperate now.

          1. But if you made a venn diagram, we tend to overlap more with conservatives than modern progressives.

            I just don’t agree with this. I think David Nolan’s chart, as imperfect and oversimplistic as it is, is a better classification. The venn diagram just doesn’t work for libertarianism. People accuse Reason of drawing the venn diagram to include too much progressivism, and others accuse “conservative republicans” (for lack of a better term) of including too much conservatism in their venn diagrams. Rather than argue about what libertarianism is most similar to and who we should be excluding (as if we have the luxury of excluding!), we should emphasize that libertarianism is its own animal. I truly believe that to be the case.

            1. I agree the Nolan chart is INFINITELY superior to left/right. I also agree libertarianism is its own thing.

              Those both being said, that doesn’t mean one couldn’t make a thorough checklist of things the left/right believes, and then tally it up. I think the modern AMERICAN right/conservatives share more random items in common with libertarians. Keep in mind they tend to agree for different reasons in a lot of cases, which is very important in a way… But also not important at the same time.

              Keep in mind I said AMERICAN right there. American conservatives have a lot of ideas that other “conservative” parties abroad do not. Our right wing is heavily influenced by the constitution and the thinking of the Founders, which is why they have a lot more correct views than right wing folks in other parts of the world IMO. Things might come out a lot more even, or perhaps even in favor of the left wing parties, in other parts of the world. But I don’t think that’s the case in the USA.

  68. Paul Welch is not a fascist. He is a liberal who voted for Bernie Sanders in the 2016 Democratic primary, and for Hillary Clinton in the general election.

    Oh, c’mon, it’s all semantics at some point. The Nazis bashed and murdered communists despite themselves being socialists.

    Antifa and Bernie supporters are philosophical blood brothers. That one uses outright violence and the other uses the power of the state to intimidate and persecute is hardly a solid distinction.

    1. “The Nazis bashed and murdered communists despite themselves being socialists.”

      This is what you get when you underfund your public education system.

      1. Are you suggesting the Nazis bashed and murdered communists because they had an underfunded education system?

        They certainly had excellent propaganda, which would account for it.

  69. As long as he ‘regets’ the error, the incorrect naming shall be allowed to pass.

  70. Commies seem easily confused, frustrated and violent (clear indicators of low IQ). Yeah, let’s let them run things and suppress anyone who has a different perspective than theirs’.

  71. What a bizarre comment thread! I worry about many Reason readers. Mr. Soave is not out of bounds at all.

    NEVERTHELESS, the point I’d like to make is that masked people in volatile situations on the street are not OK.

    Back in the 1960s at NU Law School I recall going out with some pals in Halloween masks — on Halloween. Police intercepted us (some of us were pretty big) and told us it wasn’t OK for us to do that. We were, of course, threatening no one. This was in downtown Chicago, not some quiet suburban town. Despite our otherwise contentious law student attitudes, we went along with them and returned to the dorm. We probably should not have, but we did. It was to be fun, not a nasty night.

    How fully-masked black-shirted fascists (think Mussolini’s) like Anti-fa are permitted to wander the streets in a volatile situation is beyond all reason. Let alone brandishing weapons. Let alone their well-reported strategies of trying to bait their opponents into “starting violence” (getting piss bags and shit thrown on you tends to do that). Let alone beating people senseless. Let alone such conduct being common and not the usual refrain about “a few bad apples”. Let alone their having “hit lists” of people who try to identify them and publicize their identities online.

  72. To continue….

    Where is local government? Usually, in urban America, in the hands of Ds. Apparently no better at protecting targets of Anti-fa than at protecting black people, no matter their own ethnicity. Those targets may be assholes; but no worse than their attackers. And these are the Ds that supposedly “care”. About what is clear to me, but apparently not to the media or enough of the public to eliminate Anti-fa. A clearer example of a home-grown terrorist organization hasn’t existed since the Ku Klux Klan. Where is the federal government? Screw the SPLC, itself a hate organization.

    Mostly, at a minimum, any vaguely effective law enforcement would forcibly round up all the anti-fa masked thugs, while they are in action, photograph them, and make them known to the the public, nationally. Masked Klan members should have similar treatment. Though as best I can tell, none of the recent event violence was started by them or any other right-wing lunatics, reprehensible as those seem to most of us. As on campus, today, it seems the authoritarian left that initiates the violence. And sure, there were undoubtedly a few good people on both sides. There almost always are.

    I loathe Donald Trump. But he was right about Charlottesville. Villainous groups clashed. It wasn’t good versus evil. It was evil versus evil.

    The failure to understand this leaves America in a moral vacuum.

  73. To continue….

    Where is local government? Usually, in urban America, in the hands of Ds. Apparently no better at protecting targets of Anti-fa than at protecting black people, no matter their own ethnicity. Those targets may be assholes; but no worse than their attackers. And these are the Ds that supposedly “care”. About what is clear to me, but apparently not to the media or enough of the public to eliminate Anti-fa. A clearer example of a home-grown terrorist organization hasn’t existed since the Ku Klux Klan. Where is the federal government? Screw the SPLC, itself a hate organization.

    Mostly, at a minimum, any vaguely effective law enforcement would forcibly round up all the anti-fa masked thugs, while they are in action, photograph them, and make them known to the the public, nationally. Masked Klan members should have similar treatment. Though as best I can tell, none of the recent event violence was started by them or any other right-wing lunatics, reprehensible as those seem to most of us. As on campus, today, it seems the authoritarian left that initiates the violence. And sure, there were undoubtedly a few good people on both sides. There almost always are.

    I loathe Donald Trump. But he was right about Charlottesville. Villainous groups clashed. It wasn’t good versus evil. It was evil versus evil.

    The failure to understand this leaves America in a moral vacuum.

  74. Warren is and I hate to use this term, just flat out ignorant. Just when I think she could not say or do anything dumber she does it. The lady could play both roles in Dumb and Dumber.

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