Pro-Riot & Pro-Police-Abuse

A common thread among two kinds of arguments.

|The Volokh Conspiracy |

Here's the structure:

Look, normal legal behavior sometimes just doesn't work to achieve Justice.

We've tried and it hasn't done the job.

[Pick your preference:]

  1. The public / government / power elites / etc. won't listen to us until we riot.
  2. The criminals won't be deterred unless they know they're facing some street justice from the police (a beating, an arrest even if it's not legally justified, etc.).

We're just doing what needs to be done.

If you're too squeamish, don't interfere with the people who have the guts to do it.

I'm not advocating either, of course; they are bad means that on balance generally lead to bad ends. And each understandably generates serious blowback: The rioters make lots of people appreciate more the need for police presence; the police abuse makes lots of people appreciate more the need for constraining the police. But I thought I'd note the structural similarity.

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  1. This argument assumes that police violence is directed towards justice, as opposed to consolidating power. This assumption is presented without evidence, and contrary to observation.

    1. Exactly this.

      Eugene, you must be tired. Your “logic” posts lately leave a lot to be desired.

      1. He hasn’t changed.

    2. Yes. Stealing 2.5 million in Rolexes is directed towards justice. You got him good. Setting churches on fire… definitely done to right justice.

      It is amazing how dumb some of you are.

      1. JesseAz,

        Travis said nothing about looting (or even this year’s events generally). Eugene’s two statements posited one group seeking justice because the government would not listen to their complaints and the other were police inflicting their own “justice” which is directly contrary to the rule of law and can never be appropriate.

        Stop anticipating that somebody is defending looting. Nobody here is. Your reading comprehension will improve dramatically.

        1. Rioting, which is the term Eugene uses, isn’t protesting. It is violence, looting, and destruction of property.

          1. You seem to be under the impression that rioting cannot be a form of protest, because violence inherent in rioting. Presumably, then, you consider the term “non-violent protest” to be redundant or a tautology. “Of course protests are non-violent!” Don’t be dense.

            A major reason Jesus, Ghandi, and MLK are revered is because they preached non-violent protest despite their contemporaries urging violent protest. Get a clue.

            (To repeat, because people on here are really bad at reading: I do not support looting or rioting in response to the George Floyd murder or as retaliation against the serious problem we currently have of police brutality and unaccountability. My point is merely that those arguing rioting is never justified, is never about protest are, simply, wrong. War is violence too. It is awful. It should be avoided at nearly all cost, yet war is sometimes justified as well. Surely commenters here are able to understand that distinction without immediately assuming I support all wars ever or even any particular war currently ongoing, or even war generally. Generally, I am opposed to rioting and wars. It’s really not complicated.

            On the other hand, extrajudicial punishment by the police (police brutality) is never justified, to teach a particular suspect “a lesson” or to make a bigger point. They have a moral, ethical, professional, legal, and constitutional obligation to remain within the law. That’s what the rule of law means.)

      2. Yeah, that story about the Rolexes didn’t happen.

    3. “This argument assumes that riot violence is directed towards justice, as opposed to anarchy and looting. This assumption is presented without evidence, and contrary to observation.”

      Don’t be inane. This is a presentation of the two arguments *as presented by their advocates.* Of course the other side would characterize them both as anti-justice! It’s completely beside the point and frankly embarrassing that you could misread the obvious so baldly.

  2. Why did the Federalist Society use military equipment, gas, and projectives to clear peaceful, anti-bigotry protesters from Lafayette Park?

    So its chicken could cross the road.

    “Often libertarian,” indeed.

    1. The US Secret Service wished to expand their defensive perimeter and I can’t say that I blame them.

      Remember that these are the same folks who were defending Obama and having enough problems with one nut at a time coming over the top of the fence. What are they going to do if 50 do?

      And even if they shoot them — which would be legitimate — at least half the fired rounds will miss, and those rounds will hit people downrange. But if the park is empty, they won’t.

      1. Indeed. I can’t believe that the Secret Service hasn’t expanded their perimeter all the way to Dupont Circle yet, just to be on the safe side.

        1. If it is necessary, it is necessary.

          1. Necessary has a trend to drift into unnecessary fairly quickly when it comes to violence.

            1. And that’s why violence should be discouraged.

      2. These are the same lawless rioters that tried to rush into the secure White House grounds. Can’t blame the Secret Service for wanting to be able to effectively do their jobs.

        1. Constitution be damned.

          1. Yes, this was entirely about routine White House security and the timing was entirely based on security concerns. Remember, they cleared the park prior to the curfew. If they had wanted to present even a modicum of justification, they would have waited. But they wanted the confrontation, Trump wanted to “look tough” (who other than a moron thinks such things make a person look tough rather than weak?), so they went into the park during a peaceful protest shooting pepper balls, violently shoving foreign journalists, and all the rest.

            1. “A senior official in the direct chain of command for defending Washington D.C. told Fox News of the injuries to Secret Service agents, some of whom were hurt by rioters throwing bottles and Molotov cocktails in Lafayette Park, just across from the presidential residence. The official initially put the number of agents injured at over 50, but that may have referred to the weekend toll; the Secret Service has since said the number injured on Sunday was 14.”

              These are the people they wanted to push back. If you’re an innocent peaceful protester and you find yourself in the midst of a violent riot outside the White House and you don’t go away, you are part of the problem.

              1. There is video. The protestors were peaceful until the feds initiated a confrontation. Other incidents can provide a justification for increasing the distance, but the don’t justify the timing of this action. The photo-op does. And Barr admitted it was for that purpose, because the President should be able to walk across Lafayette Park…and ordinary citizens shouldn’t be able to?

                Also, you quote this administration about the Lafayette incident, but this administration lied about the means they used. They have dishonestly denied using “tear gas” in a silly semantic word game when it has been acknowledged by the Park Police that they used pepper pellets which contain the chemical that causes tearing eyes, burning sensation, etc. Now you want me to trust their report of “injuries” which might well include sprained wrists from punching Australian journalists? Be serious.

                Trump/Barr initiated a confrontation with a peaceful demonstration because Trump was embarrassed that he hid in the basement and turned out the lights the night before (or a couple nights before) and didn’t like the mockery. So, he abused some protestors to try to show he is “tough.” Bullies do what bullies do.

                Don’t defend this sort of autocratic behavior. It makes you look really bad.

                1. Less an attorney, than activist. Pepperballs, a quick search & look at the manufacturer website shows, contain hot pepper. So, your poor explanation of the ‘dishonesty,’ didn’t really take into account similar effects, but shorter overall.
                  As for EV’s article, you, Arty, and Travis have, in your bias, all decided to miss or discount his point. And then launch into social ‘justice’ apologia for rioting & looting under the pretense of pointing out police malfeasance & smearing Trump.

                  1. Hank,

                    How are the effects of “tear gas” different from “Pepperballs”. As described by the Park Police:

                    “A spokesman for the Park Police said in an interview with Vox that his agency regretted using the term ‘tear gas,’ noting that officers threw pepper balls containing an irritant powder and chemical agents that are designed to produce tears. Their use causes people to experience difficulty breathing and burning sensations on the skin.”

                    While the precise chemical agent may be different (one derived from peppers, the other not) the practical effect on the people targeted is substantially the same. Or are you trying to argue that point? If so, then argue it. But getting into an ingredients list of “tear gas” versus “pepper balls” is, frankly, dishonest. People weren’t upset at the use of “tear gas” because of the precise ingredients. They are upset because of the effects it has on the human body. They used an agent with the deleterious effects. Quibbling over “tear gas” is intentionally evading the point. It is dishonest.

                    I have repeatedly denounced rioting and looting. So, just more dishonesty by you.

          2. Bernard11, did you miss the “peaceably” adjective?

            1. Words are violence when discussing the other side, but throwing rocks and bottle of ice is peaceful protesting for his side.

              Consistency is for people that don’t have bernard11-level Big Brains.

            2. Dr. Ed,

              By all accounts the protestors were peaceful.

              I’m sure you have some bullshit you’re going to claim you’ve heard otherwise. Spare us. I’m not interested in listening to cultists.

              Trump not only uses tear gas – yes, tear gas – to disperse a peaceful assembly so he can scurry across the street to hold up a Bible, he also uses forces in unmarked uniforms. Nothing fascist about that, right, Ed?

              1. “Trump not only uses tear gas – yes, tear gas – to disperse a peaceful assembly….”
                That’s a lie and you know it. No tear gas was used.

                1. ThePublius,

                  They use pepper pellets which contain the same “tear gas” agent. You are playing word games to perpetuate a lie. The end result on the protestors was the same whether you call it tear gas or pepper pellets.

                  The fact that you so vehemently deny the use of tear gas appears to me a tacit admission that the tactic (pepper pellets containing the same chemical as “tear gas”) was unnecessarily brutal.

                  But stop spreading the “no tear gas” lie. Because that’s what it is. It is using somewhat arbitrary labels to hide the facts. it’s dishonest.

                  1. See above. Pepperballs do not contain the same chemical agent. Full stop. If you are going to lie, expect to be called a liar.

                    As for the rest of the situation, I cannot address it w/o more detail. Admin & LEA say expansion of security boundary was planned. Any footage provided by protesters/rioters is suspect, as at least some of them apparently had bricks, frozen water bottles. And, so, they were asked to move? They weren’t told to not protest, simply shift location. I seem to recall the ‘not censorship’ deplatforming argument is that being free to go elsewhere is good. These folks didn’t have to go elsewhere, just allow for new security perimeter. But, I know better than to expect intellectual maturity or rational thinking, on the ground or here.

                    1. Pepperballs are designed to produce essentially the same effects as tear gas. The contain a chemical agent to produce that effect. Full stop. No one was protesting a particular ingredient list.

                      If your quibble is that it is not precisely the same chemical agent, then fine. I should not have written “the same chemical” in this particular comment (my other was precisely accurate).

                      “I seem to recall the ‘not censorship’ deplatforming argument…”

                      If you are referring to private companies moderating comments on their platform, that is wholly different from pushing protestors off of a public space traditionally used for protesting. And neither Twitter nor Facebook have fired pellets containing tear and pain producing ingredients at any of their users in order to achieve their “censorship.”

                      “These folks didn’t have to go elsewhere.”

                      They clearly were forced to go elsewhere. First you quibble about precise ingredients of the tear/pain-producing agent and then you make this nonsensical statement. The whole purpose of the action was to make them go elsewhere. They didn’t just pepper ball them, hit them, and let them stay where they were. Be honest, for Pete’s sake.

                    2. “Pepperballs are designed to produce essentially the same effects as tear gas. ”

                      No, they are designed to produce the same effect as pepper spray on a singular target. That effect is different from the effects of tear gas.

        2. These are the same lawless rioters that tried to rush into the secure White House grounds

          No, they’re not. You made that up.

          1. David,

            But it is so much easier for them if they just assume anything bad that happens is a “leftist.” You want them to engage in critical thinking? Trump voters?

            1. SOMEONE tried to rush the grounds — 20+ USSS got hurt.

              1. You are proving my point. “Someone did, so peaceful protestors may be hit with tear gas….wait, pardon me….pepper pellets!”

  3. I think it depends on if “street justice” means lawful self defense against those that threaten us. Then there is nothing wrong with the second one.

    I would also note that the first one isn’t necessarily wrong either if the formal legal system is corrupt, illegitimate, and/or harmful to the rights of the people. As the Declaration says “whenever any form of government becomes destructive to [the inalienable rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness] it is the right of the people to alter or abolish it.” Is not what these people are trying to do? Alter their form of government because government officers have become destructive of the young black men’s natural right to life?

    1. Devin Watkins: Lawful self-defense is definitely not what I had in mind (it’s certainly not “police abuse”); I’ve clarified the post slightly.

  4. My take on this is a bit different — there are a lot of WHITE men (and women) shot by the police, and what the current rioting is telling a lot of impressionable young people is that VIOLENCE WORKS.

    Don’t be surprised to see folks like the Klan start advocating for their victims of police violence. After all, VIOLENCE WORKS — and why not use what works, regardless of the means or methods?

    1. You and prof. Volokh are absolutely right! The KKK and BLM are all very fine people who have a reasonable point of view!

      1. The thug who took the rifles into Cornell wound up as the head of TIAA/CREF.

        Violence works — and it ought not to. Not in a civilized society.

        1. Are you familiar with American history? At all? America wouldn’t exist without rioting against an unjust government. Brutal police are the method of choice for autocrats, dictators, authoritarians.

          In other words, “structural similarities” aside, it is possible for rioting to be on the moral side. (I am certainly not saying the looting in this case or the rioting in this case was right. I don’t believe it is advancing the cause. It is a “bad means” that is obstructing us from achieving the just ends.) But in principle, rioting can be necessary and effective. (e.g., Boston Tea Party).

          Extrajudicial police punishment is always wrong if you care about a society based on the rule of law.

          Failure to comprehend this is a colossal moral and political failure. And inviting people to view this as moral equivalence is, frankly, monstrous.

          Eugene, you are smarter than this post. The “structural” similarities you are so impressed by could be equally applied to:

          Look, normal legal behavior sometimes just doesn’t work to achieve Justice.

          We’ve tried and it hasn’t done the job.

          [Pick your preference:]

          The public / government / power elites / etc. won’t listen to us until we ignore the rules on where we are supposed to sit on the bus.

          We can’t get the political power we need to do [good thing] without steering contracts to our political donors’ companies in violation of law.

          We’re just doing what needs to be done.

          If you’re too squeamish, don’t interfere with the people who have the guts to do it.

          Very impressive structural similarities. (/sarc).

          In other words, the structural similarities are banal and can be applied to virtually any arguments. Because the “structural similarities” are so common and are you so uncommonly intelligent, one then wonders why you make this observation unless you intend to make a moral equivalence.

          1. I’ve heard the exact same thing from Klansmen trying to recruit me.

            I told them to go firetruck themselves.

            With five fewer letters….

            1. Good for you for telling Klansmen to firetruck themselves.

              But are you arguing that armed revolution is always wrong?

              I myself lean pacifist and do not believe violent protest is either justified or productive here. But I made that clear.

              (Similarly, I think war is an absolute last resort. But I think the Allies were justified in WWII, the Union in the Civil War, etc.. By your argument, the Union was wrong to fight the Civil, which perhaps you agree with. But then you ignore the immoral violence used to perpetuate slavery. Or you agree that the Union was justified (or the Allies to defeat the Nazis or the American Revolution) and violence is sometimes appropriate.)

              1. As a side note, since you seem to think it’s relevant, neither Klansmen nor any other violent group have ever tried to recruit me…..so wondering who you hang out with and the vibes you give off……

                1. Because you come off quite literally as soft. You didn’t have to tell anyone you were a pacifist. It oozes out of you that you fear basically everything.

                  1. So you get recruited by white supremacist groups frequently, eh? How am I not surprised?

                  2. Lol. Imagine thinking pacifism is a bad thing. Imagine thinking that not wanting to hurt people stems from fear.

                  3. Are you a tough guy, Jesse?

                    You strike me as a guy who has spent his entire life having progress shoved down his bigoted throat by his betters, and took it obsequiously. Except when blustering on the internet to cover your shame about all that swallowing.

                    These are your followers, Conspirators. They’re a big part of the reason you are relegated to being misfits and losers as America progresses.

          2. The Boston Tea Party was not a riot.
            Criminal, certainly. But not a riot.

            The people comparing the two are either very ignorant, or very deceptive.

            1. Certainly it was looting, by armed men, in a show of opposition to the government.

              What makes it not a riot? Or do you agree that destruction of property is not violence as so many Trump supporters on here argue?

              But feel free to substitute the incident at the North Bridge in Concord, Massachusetts. Or are you going to define that as not a riot either? Armed opposition to federal soldiers?

              1. It’s not the Trump supporters who are advocating the destruction of private property — Maura “Arson” Healey sues Trump every chance she gets….

              2. The Boston Tea Party was not looting, either.
                A group of people, with pre-made disguises, took boats out to several ships. They then took the tea – and only the tea – and threw it in the harbor. They hurt no one, and destroyed nothing else. In fact, according to legend, they cleaned up the mud and debris they’d tracked across the decks while ditching the tea!
                And when they discovered that some of the tea had already been unloaded? Well, they broke into a warehouse and a tea shop, and destroyed only the tea that was from those shipments. Again, no one was hurt, and nothing else was damaged.
                No even halfway rational person would refer to that as “a riot”.

                And the Battle of Concord was also not a riot – it was rebellion, and organized military action against the ruling government. Criminal, to be sure. But if you call that a riot, you’ve expanded the term beyond any rational use.

                1. Toranth,

                  So you disagree with others on this site who claim that theft or destruction of property is violence that justifies taking life? Good for you!

                  You seriously cannot be relying on the distinction between riot and rebellion? Rioters generally, and in particular many of these rioters, do believe they are part of a rebellion. If the colonists had lost early and decisively, we would call it a riot. Instead, they became part of a large, sustained effort that grew into a rebellion. The initial actions was armed resistance to agents of the government at the time.

                  Alternatively, if you insist that riots and rebellions are categorically different, if you believe armed rebellion can be justified, but armed resistance in pursuit of goals short of overthrowing the government can never be justified, then I eagerly await that argument. I’ll make the popcorn.

                  With your semantic games, you are probably one of the ones claiming “no tear gas” when you know that pepper pellets using the same chemical were used at Lafayette Park. Such sophistry is unbecoming.

                  1. Edit: not “the same chemical” but a chemical agent with the same effects.

          3. Uh oh. Someone got the Howard Zinn history series for christmas. You lucky little boy.

            1. An excellent and precisely delivered argument!

              It is lacking a little – like, say, any argument, substance, or anything resembling even a partially formed thought – but it certainly rates as one of your best posts.

              1. It is one of his best. I have to give him that.

          4. There is a world of difference between rioting and revolution, and finding some equivalency with street riots (and looting) and the American revolution is lunacy.

            May I point out that a fractured coalition of anti-racist protesters and rioters who hold up the George Floyd case and the Michael Brown case as the same thing are not to be taken seriously.

    2. > Don’t be surprised to see folks like the Klan

      You’re either 75 or 155 years late, depending on how you want to count. Read some history; the klan has these games down.

  5. The structural similarity between two bad arguments? Not interesting.

    The demands are two-fold, not exclusive. On one hand, peaceable assembly, free speech, and the right of petition must be protected. On the other hand, rioting and looting must be stopped and prosecuted. Both objective must be accomplished according to law.

    The problem is leadership, in both cases. Means are available, at least for now, to keep protests orderly, to protect rights, and to guard property.

    If leaders, and particularly President Trump, continue to create gratuitous provocations, the protests might grow to overwhelm the means of control. It would be a great thing for the nation if other elected Republicans came to their senses, saw the peril, and reined Trump in.

    1. Yes, because appeasement works so well.
      Ever hear of a man named Neville Chamberlain?

      These are Obama’s Children, and we are going to have to start shooting them to put an end to this. It gives me no joy to say that, but they have been allowed to do anything for so long that it’s kill them or surrender and that’s not acceptable.

      TRUMP 2020, Pence 2024!

      1. It gives you great joy.

        You would love to see some protestors shot.

        1. Typical liberal, conflate protester with rioter and looter to bludgeon a conservative.

          No one is calling for shooting of protesters! But violent rioters, arsonists, and looters need to be stopped. How else but force?

          1. ThePublius,

            Stephen talked about “the protests” growing and noted there were effective ways to stop the rioting and looting. Dr. Ed didn’t explicitly change the subject from protestors to either rioters or looters (two different categories), but instead gleefully exclaimed: “we are going to have to start shooting them to put an end to this.”

            As Stephen was talking about protestors and protests, “them” and “this” most obviously refer to protestors and protests. bernard11 called him on it. If there was ambiguity, Dr. Ed created it.

            Now you, after Dr. Ed was conflating all categories, complain that “liberals” are blurring the distinctions? LOL.

            Be less partisan.

      2. Remember a guy named Hitler and all of Nazi Germany? They were people too. They could have easily not used violence at anytime. And if I recall correctly, they weren’t using it for a justifiable reason at all.

      3. Prof. Volokh banned a commenter for making fun of conservatives, then claimed other censorship was provoked by violation of ostensible civility standards.

        Let’s see how quickly the Volokh Conspiracy Board of Censors acts with respect to a ‘we have to start shooting Obama’s Children’ comment.

        Or maybe it’s time for another installment of ‘ankle-nipping at strong liberal-libertarian institutions.’

        1. Yeah, if there are civility standards, advocating murder in those overtly political tones surely crosses the line.

          1. The Volokh Conspiracy’s practices with respect to censorship have become predictable.

            Censorship is reserved mostly for comments aimed at conservatives. A liberal can be banned for making fun of conservatives. A conservative, however, can post about gassing liberal judges, or putting liberals face-down in landfills, or gunning down ‘Obama Children’ without much worry.

            Oh, and the proprietor gets to use racial slurs every chance he (thinks he) can get (away with).

            (My offer to reduce mentions of censorship in exchange for an apology stands.)

    2. “ If leaders, and particularly President Trump, continue to create gratuitous provocations”

      How did Trump provoke the riots? He doesn’t run the police departments. The big city police departments are run almost exclusively by democratic politicians with no input from Trump. The chief law enforcement officer in Minnesota is Keith Ellison.

  6. … And the winning streak continues! I’ll take bothsideism for $400, Alex!

  7. Wow, what a chicken and egg problem.

      1. Genesis 1:20 And God said, “Let the water teem with living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth across the vault of the sky.
        (He did not say let there be eggs to produce birds – – – – – – – )
        Ergo, ipso facto, henceforth thereunto – Chicken first.

        1. But do *chickens* fly? Did chickens fly? (Hell, it’s the Bible. I am sure Biblical chickens could fly, if such were God’s will.)

          1. WILD turkeys can. They prefer not to, but they can — they can make it up 5 stories to roost at night.

            How many centuries have chickens been bred? In Biblical times they well might have been able to.

          2. Chickens can fly, and certainly better in antiquity than today’s domesticated breeds.

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=idDtTGEbyGA

        2. I think you’re right.

      2. Good point. I wonder if there’s an equivalent metaphor that is less susceptible to biological/physical explanation (or theological/philosophical for a young-earth creationist)?

        1. What came first, the bullet or the gun?

          1. The bullet.
            Guns were only better ways to throw rocks.

      3. “The egg came first.”

        Correct.

  8. Ah. Equivalence. any thing but criticize Trump.

    Except:

    The police have the means to control their bad actors. Too often they don’t.

    Peaceful protestors can’t control looters and rioters, especially when the protestors have gone home.

    1. As applied to current events, exactly this.

      1. He is your professor in sophistry?

        1. And you my fanboy. It’s a lovely life.

  9. Those arguments run the opposite way, too. That is, in states such as New York which have already adopted the “anti-cop agenda” to the extent that arrested rioters are being immediately set free on their own recognizance, a good case can be made that rioting won’t be deterred unless and until members of the public start going out and killing looters and arsonists themselves.

    Avoiding this necessity is why I urge President Trump to send the army to those states and do the job that their police won’t do.

    1. It’s incredible insights like these which makes one sure George Floyd is smiling down from Heaven.

    2. Lol. You like violence, you just want to be the one doing it/making sure it’s done for your benefit.

      1. Protecting life, property, and civilization is its only legitimate use.

        1. Those last categories are extremely broad you know and can justify pretty much anything. I’m not sure that there is a genocide in history that isn’t done for the purposes of defending civilizations.

    3. The DA won’t even prosecute.

      1. They rarely prosecute police violence….

  10. To summarize both sides – ‘might makes right’ (?)

  11. I’ll say this for Americans, we really like violence. And there are plenty of legal opportunities for violent people to do violence and get paid, even for it. Our second (or first?) most cherished right is the right to own tools that make violence both easy and more violent. And of course, our entire history has shown that we reward the violent people. So long as the violence is pointed in the right direction. We have legal immunity for extremely violent acts. Indeed we even try to demonize people who use no violence to stop great violence. See Hugh Thompson and William Calley.

    Of course, it doesn’t have to be this way. Maybe we can just try and be calm? And like don’t fantasize about ourselves in violent situations? There is always a choice to be better. If you claim to be against violence, don’t get caught in the trap of defending your violence just because you’re the one doing it or supporting it. If you feel a violent urge, maybe just eat a snack instead.

    1. It’s not an American thing, at all. Look at what’s going on in France, Sweden, etc. And don’t forget Africa.

    2. If you feel a violent urge, maybe just eat a snack instead.

      Given the levels of obesity in the US, I guess people are successfully suppressing their violent urges.

  12. The riots and violence are justified in the minds of the left because those are agents of social change. Remember the ends ALWAYS justify the means to the Left.

    There is no other absolute in our country other than power. That is it. Morals and ethics are gone. Non-existent. As long as the power and authority is on the side of the Left it will get cheered and applauded.

    If (or when) the Right figures this out and deposes of some the fascist governors you won’t hear the end of it. But until that happens riots get the thumbs up.

    So Lefties if it is a Revolution you want, it is going to be one you get. Just be careful what you wish for sometimes you might just get it all and some you don’t want.

    1. Dude. You are justifying your violent fantasies so hard right now.

      Also, you don’t know what fascism is, and don’t realize you’re the target for their appeals.

      1. You are right. Boy do I have a raging hard on.

        1. You’re being sarcastic, but you clearly do imagine yourself heroically shooting people.

          1. No I really do have a raging boner right now.

      2. I think you’re the guy who doesn’t know what fascism is. It is the most abused and misappropriated term in current fashion, by the way. (Hint: it really is a leftist phenomenon.)

        1. You’re literally abusing it right now by saying it’s a “leftist phenomenon” despite overwhelming historical evidence to the contrary. It’s also the overwhelming view of historians, political scientists, philosophers, and theorists. Fascist ideology is not always consistent and fascists have generally sought to distance itself from all prior ideologies. But it’s appeals to ultranationalism, traditionalism, reclaiming a supposedly heroic past, traditional masculinity, hierarchy, and the rejection of forms of equality or egalitarianism are all appeals to the right. Fascist governments, or fascist influenced/aligned governments and parties, have historically sought support from conservatives to get into power, even though they reject aspects of conservative thought.

          Hitler and the Nazis relied on conservative support to gain power in Germany. Same with Mussolini in Italy. The Ustaše in Croatia aligned themselves with the Catholic Church, which is not a left wing organization. Josef Tiso was a Catholic priest who led a right wing Fascist party in Slovakia the collaborated with the Nazis.

          Although influenced by fascism, Vichy France was not a fascist state. But, it was an extremely right wing one that collaborated with the Nazis and tried to turn to the clock back on the French Revolution. That’s not a very left-wing thing to do.

          1. Fascism is an economic system wherein government controls production and prices but without ownership of the means of production, I.e. socialism light.

            All that other crap is the result of adopting fascism.

            1. Dude. Go to your local college and audit a class on the Holocaust, the twentieth century, or a history of political and social thought. No one has ever thought of fascism primarily as an economic system. Other than the concept of autarky, fascist economics were pretty flexible.

  13. I’m disappointed that, over the past several days, this entire issue has seemed to veer away from blaming George Soros for bad things that happened at the protests and riots. Can we please get back to anti-Semitic loony conspiracy theories?

    1. Not loony at all, and at least partly proven. The leader in Minneapolis was caught, and it’s the same Sanders campaign staffer who said Mpls would burn if his man didn’t win.

      1. Can you link that please? Can’t find it

        1. It would seem that jdgalt1 can’t link to it.

  14. I’m think police violence is terribly corrupting people’s confidence in our public institutions, and I wonder why in a state like Minnesota that can elect public officials with real power like AG Keith Ellison, who is a black Muslim (but not a current member of the Nation of Islam) and Ilhan Omar can’t elect officials that can run a competent not overly violent police force.

    But I will point out riots and looting affect people’s lives much more negatively than police violence does. The impact of not having functioning supermarkets over square miles in Chicago and some other cities due to looting and burning takes a terrible toll that hits the elderly and poor single mothers harder than the mostly young that are causing the violence.

    1. “But I will point out riots and looting affect people’s lives much more negatively than police violence does.”

      No it doesn’t. For one, George Floyd is dead. So is Breonna Taylor. And people languishing in jail for “assaulting a police officer”….their lives are more ruined than someone whose business was burned down.

      Looting is not justified. Riots are not justified here as peaceful protest is more effective and certainly morally superior. But please stop with the: police brutality isn’t really that big a deal.

      1. What about the people killed whilst defending their property?

        1. No one claimed that isn’t a tragedy or wrong. Reading is fundamental. I just pointed out that “rioting and looting” do not affect people’s lives “much more negatively.” The fact that people also die as a result of rioting only establishes a point no one made, that police brutality does not necessary affect people’s live “much more negatively” than rioting. Both cause death.

          Attacking straw men isn’t impressive to anyone….except Kazinski and JesseAz.

      2. There have been 12 deaths related to the rioting, everyone of those deaths are just as tragic as Floyd’s.

      3. So is Tony Timpa. You didnt give 2 fucks about him for some reason.

        1. I hope law school deans and other academic hiring officials are noticing how focused JesseAz, Volokh Conspiracy fans, and the Volokh Conspirators are on the importance of advocating for the “forgotten Americans” — whites, Republicans, police officers, Trump administration officials, conservatives — during this period of national controversy.

  15. Maybe I’m just not paying attention, but I’ve heard no one trying to justify rioting. On the other hand some police are trying to justify excessive force.

    1. People tend to see criticism of police violence as pro-rioting.

    2. That’s what I see too.

      1. Yeah, but you’ve proven your a biased idiot.

        1. In your own fantasy world. I wonder where I embarrassed you so much you follow me around adding nothing but insults to the conversation? It’s kind of cute.

          1. Oh, I see it. You lambasted someone for defending looters, and went all high dudgeon about Rolexes, then I pointed out they had not, in any way, shape or form, defended looting. So now you follow me around accusing me of what you are. You ARE adorable.

    3. James Morrow says people being told that words are violence, and police brutality is violence, but “trashing a shop in a minority neighbourhood … and beating up the owner” is not, is a “real disgrace”. Mr Morrow pointed to the head of the 1619 project, Nikole Hannah-Jones, who said she would not describe “looting as violence; looting is property damage, but it is not violence”. Ms Hannah-Jones justified the actions of many across the country by saying it allows African-Americas to “take a hold of consumer goods with the ease that a white man does by using his purse”. Mr Morrow told Sky News host Paul Murray there is nothing “more racist than saying the only way a black person can get consumer goods is to go and loot and steal them”. “That’s about the most offensive thing I have ever heard”. Mr Morrow said this type of “bigotry” creates “low low expectations” for African American.

    4. Maybe I’m just not paying attention, but I’ve heard no one trying to justify rioting.

      Part of the problem is that different people use the word “rioting” to refer to different things, and talk past each other.

      Protesting
      Just sort of general chaos
      Violence against the police or the state
      Violence against private persons or their property
      Looting

    5. You obviously are not paying attention. 1619 author said using the word violence against property was wrong. MSNBC has claimed fires on the background of their shots as peaceful. CNN had a commentator stating as a matter of fact violence is needed for change. Multiple people misquoting MLK on violence on protests.

      So yes, you’re not paying attention. Or you’re just plain dishonest.

      1. Somehow I don’t think you’re reading those sources, so I presume you found some source that aggregated as much confirming anecdotes as he could.

        That’s not reality, Jesse – it’s a curated narrative. Keeps YOU from paying attention to the real world.

  16. Eugene Volokh is absolutely right about the similarity of the two kinds of reasoning.

    It should be further noted that both approaches are also contrary to the interests of their respective advocates, and not just because of blowback, but because the message is muffled.

    Massive peaceful protests are effective and cannot be easily ignored. But when you have looters and rioters, the message becomes muffled and the morality of the message confused. Likewise with the police, whose very profession is supposed to uphold the ideal of upholding and enforcing the law, and not breaking it. But excessive force is illegal, so rather than sending a message that the law must be upheld, instead the message is the law is only meant to be enforced upon an inferior class of beings, also known as the general public. The message sent then isn’t that the law must be upheld; instead the message sent is that might makes right and the only ones who follow the law are those two weak or two poorly positioned in society to have the privilege to ignore it.

    1. Like Biden says, 10-15% are just bad people.

      1. Biden is a sunny optimist.

  17. I’ve said it before, but the commonality is dismissing the other side because those people are not like me. So it ends up taking efforts beyond polite discussion to get anything to change.

  18. This logic is only parallel if the police believe they are administering street justice to criminals. The outrage over police conduct has erupted because many of the videos show the police “deterring” elderly men, reporters, and peaceful protesters.

    Such conduct is antithetical to the rule of law and should be condemned without reservation.

  19. War is terrible; there are things that are worse.

    Revolution is like hatching a chick with a hammer. You *might* get a healthy chick, but you’re far more likely to just have a mangled mass of bone, flesh and scrambled egg at the end of it. And eggs are notoriously difficult to unscramble.

    Also, just because you’re breaking all the eggs, doesn’t mean you getting an omelette at the end of it.

    1. We are nowhere near a revolution.

  20. I have never heard the argument that police violence visited upon criminals was or is a deterrent.

    And I am not sure about the ‘common thread’ that Volokh perceives. What I fear, more from the mob than from the police called upon to constrain them if necessary, is the sense that “because we are right, we can do as we please.”

    This leads to novel reasoning. For example, I have heard it said recently that it is the police who are rioting and that, accordingly, means of so doing must be removed from them. “Defunding” is the polite word echoing throughout the media.

    Additional novel reasoning has been attributed to groups such as antifa, who take the position that violent aggression is self defense.

    “O brave new world, that has such people in it!” Shakespeare, The Tempest, Act 5, Scene 1, ll. 203-206.

  21. Eugene, arguments with this structure have been offered in justification of many kinds of behavior, both good and bad, in many circumstances.

    So what’s your point?

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