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Is It OK To Punch a Nazi? We Asked Berkeley Students

A year after fiery political protests erupted on campus, we visited to find out when students think it's OK to respond to words with violence.

Is it OK to punch a Nazi?

It was a hotly debated question for months after video of white nationalist Richard Spencer getting punched in the middle of an interview on the day of Donald Trump's inauguration went viral and inspired countless remixes.

But the question was never really just about Nazis. It is about the acceptability of political violence. And in the following year the question came up and again and again as several high-profile political protests turn violent, including at UC Berkeley, often considered the birthplace of the free speech movement in the 60s.

On February 1, 2017, the nation watched the University of California Berkeley burn as masked members of the far-left group Antifa lit fires, threw safety barriers through store windows, physically attacked people, and threw rocks at the police.

The riots were sparked by the arrival of right-wing provocateur Milo Yiannopoulos, who was invited to speak by a conservative student group. President Trump helped ignite the controversy by tweeting a threat to pull federal funding from Berkeley, and the event was ultimately canceled. Protests continued throughout the rest of the year as more conservative speakers were drawn to the Berkeley campus.

We visited Berkeley about a year after that protest-turned-riot to ask students whether punching Nazis, or other deplorables, is ever OK.

The students we talked to said that the violence was carried out almost entirely by outsiders. Antifa, short for anti-fascist, is a decentralized movement that rejects nonviolence and vows to fight whatever or whomever it identifies as fascist by any means necessary.

Most of the students with whom we spoke condemned the group and its tactics, but many also sympathized with their aims and said they wouldn't blame those engaging in violence against people they deemed Nazis.

But if the use of violence to counter certain ideas is acceptable, it becomes difficult to avoid a slide down the slippery slope into advocating violence against a broad array of political opponents. The response to the assault on Richard Spencer was hardly the only instance of a blase reaction to violence among the media, politicians, and celebrities.

The brutal attack on Senator Rand Paul, which left him with bruised lungs and six broken ribs, was met with suggestions that he had it coming because of his libertarian views. And they haven't stopped.

Putting aside the question of whether or not preemptive political violence is moral, is it actually effective?

In Why Civil Resistance Works, political scientists Erica Chenoweth and Maria Stephan compared nonviolent and violent movements through history and found that the nonviolent ones were more than twice as effective at achieving their goals.

Princeton researcher Omar Wasow found that the nonviolent protests of the early civil rights movement changed minds, while the left-wing riots in the late 60s likely tipped the presidential election in favor of Richard Nixon.

And if Antifa members still want to punch so-called Nazis, they should pay attention to the work of historian Laurie Marhoefer, who studies real Nazis and says the party often rallied close to its adversaries in order to provoke them, drawing a violent reaction that swayed public opinion in its favor.

Produced by Zach Weissmueller and Justin Monticello.
Camera by Paul Detrick and Monticello.
Music by Krackatoa, Kai Engel, and Teehoteeho available at http://freemusicarchive.org.

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  • BestUsedCarSales||

    I'm still mad over the reaction to the Rand Paul assault.

  • Bacon-Magic glib reasonoid||

    ^^^

  • Presskh||

    Same here.

  • MarkLastname||

    He didn't trim his hedges, so it was his own damned fault!

  • BestUsedCarSales||

    It really highlights how thin the line of civility is. People will take their violence if it suits them, and they will cheer it on if they know they can get away with it.

  • Inigo Montoya||

    I heard he was growing pumpkins in the backyard.

    I didn't know his neighbor had that strong a preference for a well-trimmed bush, though.

  • Chipper Morning Baculum||

    That's why BUCS hates him so much.

  • UnrepentantCurmudgeon||

    Don't forget, he and his dad are wonks. So ....

  • damikesc||

    I'm annoyed (can't say mad because I expected it) that the media has whitewashed the attempt to flip Congress thru assassination at the Congressional baseball practice last year.

  • Cyto||

    More than that, they have flipped it entirely upside down at this point. Now the narrative is that congressional Republicans are so cowardly that they won't do anything about guns even after they were shot at during a softball game!

    This was explicitly stated on Chris Cuomo's CNN show. Within hours of the shooting here in south Florida, he had already moved on to the narrative that we need much more gun control and the thing standing in the way is a cowardly bunch of Republicans in congress. And he used the politically motivated gun violence perpetrated by the left as a reason that the left should be in power. The mind boggles.

  • Palatki||

    Who's sock-puppet is this? i go for putin's butt-plug.

  • Inigo Montoya||

    So the main take-away here is that it's okay to punch a Nazi and to also punch an Antifa? I mean, they both suck and would love to take control and lord it over everyone else.

    What's the difference, other than maybe their preferred hairstyles and that one breaks windows while the other makes sure trains run on schedule through sheer intimidation?

  • BestUsedCarSales||

    I think the main thing is that the one guy they interviewed does not have beliefs about right or wrong beyond whether he can personally feel sad for the person.

  • Chipper Morning Baculum||

    Time to legalize gladiator combat. Let them fight it out in an arena.

  • EscherEnigma||

    Current sports (amateur and professional) already allow that. The only thing that's not permitted is "two men enter, one man leaves". And even then, if you can convince folks it was an accident you can probably get away with it since bodily damage (including concussions, broken bones, internal organ damage, etc. and so-on) are permitted.

    That is to say, if you have two guys that really want to beat the tar out of each other, so long as they're content doing it with a referee and stopping before death, they can already legally do that.

    And if they want death... well, I'm sure that there's some state that allows full-on duels.

  • Marcus Aurelius||

    100x better than going on judge Judy.

  • EscherEnigma||

    Now that you mention Judy, I am reminded of a show I once watched an episode of†. It was "Bully Beat-down" or something, where some "wimp" submitted their sob-story about being bullied to the show, who then approached the "bully" and offered something like $10k if they'd do a cage-match with the show's pet MMA fighter.

    Most of the show was building up the narrative of who the "bully" and "wimp" were, and then culminated with the MMA guy wailing on the "bully" in a cage match. I think it was supposed to be cathartic or something, I dunno.

    Since I don't remember hearing about it again, I'm guessing it wasn't that popular, or maybe they just couldn't find enough gullible "bullies" that'd agree to get beat up by a professional.
    ________
    †I think I was in a waiting room or something. I haven't had cable since 2003.

  • ||

    She should be President. Her and Giuliani.

    /ducks.

    Sometimes you need a couple of 'stop being an idiot' hard ass types to jolt people back onto the right track.

  • Comrade Cosmoturf||

    Very great! Yes let's vote them! And many votes for Trump, Stein and Comrade Bernie too!
    And why not Mr President Clinton's wife too! Get out of here and vote!

    Big cheers for all American President candidates!

    *snicker, snicker-ski*

  • BigT||

    Who killed Davey Moore? Why and what's the reason for?

  • DarrenM||

    Time to legalize gladiator combat. Let them fight it out in an arena.

    I see a new reality show in the making.

  • Squinja||

    I know people who would pay to get in a cage with Antifa. . .

  • Hank Phillips||

    A Remarqueable idea.

  • Elias Fakaname||

    I think dueling should be legalized again. It would make people far more civil.

  • I am the 0.000000013%||

    I've got my money on Putin

  • Hank Phillips||

    Reporters in Ireland in the 1970s were constantly punched by catholics for not badmouthing the protties and by protties for not badmouthing the caths. Old World reportage is very much like covering a faeces fight between adjacent chimpanzee and baboon cages at a zoo, except that the cage gates aren't latched.

  • EscherEnigma||

    Our country was founded when some folks shot other folks who were far more benign then "Nazis".

    So I'd posit that the properly framed debate has never been whether or not it's acceptable to use political violence to further political and social goals, but when is it acceptable to do so.

  • Juice||

    "We tortured some folks."

  • BigT||

    -1 Boston massacre

  • EscherEnigma||

    ... are you trying to argue that 1700s British were as bad as Nazis? That's an interesting claim.

  • DarrenM||

    The Nazis certainly had snappier uniforms.

  • SchillMcGuffin||

    By modern standards, perhaps. But those red coats were pretty snappy in their day.

  • macsnafu||

    The red coat's uniforms were very snazzy. Bright red and white, they certainly 'stood out' in the field, and made good targets.

  • Elias Fakaname||

    Very generous of them to do so.

  • MarkLastname||

    People existing who disagree with you is qualitatively different from people ruling you without your consent in any measure. So no, it's not 'just a matter of when.'

  • A Thinking Mind||

    Actually (and pertinently), the American Revolution started with Americans shooting at people that came to seize our guns.

  • UnrepentantCurmudgeon||

    You're right, but Sarah Palin did get in a mess for saying so.

  • GeneralWeygand||

    "Our country was founded when some folks shot other folks who were far more benign then "Nazis"."

    It makes sense that you would shoot the easy ones first and then go shoot the Nazis.

  • I can't even||

    If we can punch a Nazi because we had a war against them - I get to punch commies multiple times.

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    Sounds good to me. I should be able to stroll onto any college campus and beat the crap out of leftist students at will. Pretty easy too since dirty hippies are huge pussies.

  • Texasmotiv||

    Just as long as you don't feel sad for them.

  • Presskh||

    Now you're talking!

  • buybuydandavis||

    Marxists

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    Marcists definitely need beatings. Things got shitty when we stopped doing that.

  • Cyto||

    That would have been a nice question to put into the man on the street interviews. Is it OK for people you don't agree with to punch you? What about the communists? They killed more people than NAZI's, is it OK to punch them?

    That should help separating the morality from the ideology. I'm sure they would say that it wouldn't be OK for someone to punch them for their political views, even though they actually did advocate for actual violence, instead of having someone read tea leaves to determine that their speech could be construed as violence.

    That's something that is missing in today's reporting.... and indeed has been missing for at least 25 years, since Clinton was running for president. There are no real follow-up questions, no deep-dive interviews where ideas are explored, just puff pieces with friendly reporters toeing the party line.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    "The people whose words create a culture that sort of ratifies violence against a certain group are punchable."

    Um...

  • Juice||

    It's beautiful, isn't it?

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    That guy ended up coming across as not a great thinker.

  • Juice||

    Well, he compensates for that with his unwavering smugness, so he's got that going for him.

  • John||

    Stop sort of ratifying violence against the oppressed. That totally sort of ratifies my right to punch you.

  • Cyto||

    The smug comes from watching Stewart and Maddow. Absent an actual argument, they mug for the camera with a smug smirk. Born of actual funny takes from Stewart and Kilborn before him, it quickly became a go-to trope that substituted for a joke, a take, an argument, anything. So if a Republican had an actual point, all they had to do was smirk.

    I've had discussions with guys like him, daily show viewers that think that just saying "reality has a liberal bias" and smirking at me is some sort of catch-all argument-winner. I don't try to have those discussions very often any more.

  • Elias Fakaname||

    I just wear those people down until they give up or I get them angry enough to lose their shit. Either way I win, and they learn a valuable lesson.

  • John||

    I love it when people try and equivocate as a way of not saying but really saying something horrible. How do you "sort of ratify" something? You can't. They want a culture that ratifies and encourages violence against disfavored groups.

  • ||

    The false-intellect of hanging it on ratification is a bit bizarre too.

    No problem with lining people up and mowing them down in mass graves as long as you don't have a documented policy of doing so. Got a documented policy saying child rapists shall be lined up, shot, and tossed into mass graves? That's a punch to the head.

  • ||

    That guy was such a punchable sanctimonious smart-ass.

  • I am the 0.000000013%||

    He wouldn't be equivocating if he didn't have at least a little suspicion he might be the punchee rather than the puncher.

  • Elias Fakaname||

    Which really encapsulates progressive ideology p, doesn't it? Since they regularly engage in violence against anyone they don't like.

  • Pro Libertate||

    In the words of that great philosopher, Rodney King, "Why can't we all just get along?"

    So stupid that people can't take a few insults. Keep your hands to yourself.

  • John||

    They think it is okay to punch a Nazi because they are not the ones doing it and if they did, they imagine that the Nazi won't fight back. Put these snowflakes in a room with an actual Nazi, they would pee their pants and decide that maybe punching a Nazi wasn't such a good idea.

  • John C. Randolph||

    Of course, we wiped out the actual nazis in the 1940s, and all that's left today are pathetic nazi wannabes like David Irving and his idiot fan club. And maybe a handful of geriatric war criminals that still haven't been tracked down by Mossad.

    -jcr

  • JWatts||

    "And if Antifa members still want to punch so-called Nazis, they should pay attention to the work of historian Laurie Marhoefer, who studies real Nazis and says the party often rallied close to its adversaries in order to provoke them, drawing a violent reaction that swayed public opinion in its favor."

    Perhaps that's precisely what Antifa is trying to do. However, they didn't expect their adversaries to have greater restraint than they did. I'm sure they expected the alt-right groups at Berkeley to go on a rampage. Then Antifa would step in and save the day.

  • John||

    It is almost like Antifa are the actual Nazis or something.

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    They had best be careful. If they start getting what they want, they might find out it's a lot more than they bargained for.

    Bottom line is that people on the right are better fighters and better amred than the people on the left. Who are largely soft and weak.

  • GeneralWeygand||

    "Bottom line is that people on the right are better fighters and better amred than the people on the left. Who are largely soft and weak."

    I'm guessing your pectorals? Weird follow up question at any rate.

  • Squinja||

    That shoe does seem to be about the right size. . .

  • Diane Reynolds (Paul.)||

    I haven't watched the video, but absent a lot of Hugo Boss and Swastikas, how would one identify a Nazi walking down the street?

  • John||

    How about if they are in black hoods and showing up at a rival political rally or speech beating the shit out of people? I think that would make someone a Nazi. Don't you?

  • Marcus Aurelius||

    Antifa wears black. Nazis wear white.

  • Cyto||

    I think that was the point he was making there.

    Ya see.... if you have to explain the joke....

  • ||

    Bruises from being punched by Berkeley students and Antifa crackpots. Otherwise, you'll need your largest scales and a duck.

  • Texasmotiv||

    MAGA hats, naturally.

  • Ted Levy||

    Zach, you really should provide the name and major of the interviewed guy you ended with so that his potential employers will find your video when doing a Google search on him.

  • Ra's al Gore||

    Communism killed 100 million. Can we punch them too?

  • ||

    Can we punch Bernie Sanders?

  • bevis the lumberjack||

    "Well, we did go to war against them, so yeah....."

    So by that logic it's ok to punch the Japanese and the Italians?

  • Derp-o-Matic 6000||

    Also, the British, Spanish, and Mexicans.

  • ||

    Punch 'em all!

    Seriously, this is why they'll will fail miserably. Because they're ignorant jack asses.

  • Hank Phillips||

    Don't forget Filipinos, Koreans, Vietnamese and hippies...

  • Mock-star||

    And southerners!

  • KerryW||

    "Most of the students with whom we spoke condemned the group and its tactics, but many also sympathized with their aims and said they wouldn't blame those engaging in violence against people they deemed Nazis."

    So they condemn antifa, but don't blame them. That's a lot of cognitive dissonance. Either that or they are implying that antifa members have no personal agency (and are therefore subhuman?).

  • EscherEnigma||

    Eh, there's some cognitive dissonance, but not that much. Group you're vaguely sympathetic towards, group you're severely hostile towards... being able to hand-wave fault for the former harming the latter is pretty easy. Most folks do it just fine.

    Just take civilian deaths in war, for example. Sure, most Americans will nominally say that American soldiers shouldn't be killing non-combatants. But it's awfully hard to get Americans to actually care even when we know about all the innocent non-combatants that our soldiers kill. We handwave it away in different ways ("oh, I'm sure it was an accident", "they were probably sympathizers for the bad-guys anyway", "better to be tried by twelve then carried by six", and so-on), but the bottom line is the same: we nominally object to something, but when faced with a group we like committing something we claim to object to, but with "victims" that we aren't sympathetic to (and may even actively dislike)?

    It's easy to do so.

    So sure. There's some cognitive dissonance. But not much. And it's not unique to these students.

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    Since when do you expect that there will be no collateral damage in a combat zone? If anything, our guys are too restrained. If you really want to win a military conflict you either kill all your enemies or break their will to fight. Anything less is a waste of time.

  • EscherEnigma||

    Since when do you expect that there will be no collateral damage in a combat zone?
    I'll (probably forget to) let you know when I have that expectation.

    Which is to say: you missed my point and got offended instead.

  • hello.||

    Ask Charles Martland about that one sometime. Of course being a faggot I'm sure you're more sympathetic to pederast.

  • silver.||

    "Nobody actually thinks gay people are all pedophiles." -me, last year

  • EscherEnigma||

    Yeah, that's pretty much a perfect example. Roughing up prisoners is generally frowned on. Most of us would agree that it's something we shouldn't do.

    This guy? Roughed up a prisoner. But because he was a member of "group you're vaguely sympathetic towards", and the prisoner he roughed up was part of "group you're severely hostile towards", you have no problem justifying his actions.

    That said, I find it curious that you read a post about human nature and got offended.

  • Hank Phillips||

    Makes me wonder by what standard they could distinguish between national socialists and their own international socialist selves. Certainly not the initiation of force.

  • Alcibiades||

    Yvette Felarca, the middle school teacher and member of BAMN, that was caught on video punching and kicking a protestor is genuinely unhinged...and apparently still teaching.

  • DarrenM||

    Yvette Felarca, the middle school teacher and member of BAMN, that was caught on video punching and kicking a protestor is genuinely unhinged...and apparently still teaching.

    I think being unhinged is considered a qualification for some teaching assignments.

  • Alcibiades||

    Anyone know what the music playing in the video fadeout is?

  • BigT||

    Zach Weissmueller can punch Tarzan.

  • Alcibiades||

    Nevermind, just read the credits.

  • DarrenM||

    Q: Is it OK to punch a Nazi?
    A: Definitely...as long as they don't punch back.

  • ||

    Antifa are cowards with no principles.

    As for that douche sporting a beard in a cap, let someone punch you and pop an ear drum over whatever ideals or principles you hold (and judging from the video you did a poor job of showing them), and see how you feel tough guy.

  • ||

    The Asian student flipping his hair seemed reasonable.

    The female student who said she 'wouldn't criticize the psyche of someone' who smashes windows, I'm not so sure.

    But overall, besides that guy I mentioned twice already, the students were decent enough and not whack jobs.

  • ||

    As for violence and change:

    Waste no time with revolutions that do not remove the causes of your complaints but simply change the faces of those in charge. -Francesco Guicciardini

    I think The Who sang about this.

  • The Last American Hero||

    Is the next interview a survey of Reason employees? I wonder how they feel about shitting on the NAP? Actually, I don't since we have Twitter.

  • buybuydandavis||

    "The riots were sparked by the arrival of right-wing provocateur Milo Yiannopoulos, who was invited to speak by a conservative student group. President Trump helped ignite the controversy"

    Blames Milo and Trump for Antifa terrorism
    Reason is such a bad joke these days

  • Squinja||

    Does these days include the last several years?

  • GILMORE™||

    hey man, words make people violent. this is known.

    if left wingers get violent because of right-winger's words, its the fault of the right-winger who engaged in evil-talking, not the 'setting shit on fire and attacking people' lefties.

  • hello.||

    Coming from an organization that hired, supports and continues to employ Shika Dalmia who supports Antifa and explicitly called for continued violence against conservative speakers on multiple occasions and on multiple platforms, please spare the fucking sanctimony. Reason = Antifa. Just because you're the useful idiots giving them cover in the press because none of you has the balls to actually go out and join them and dirty your own hands doesn't make you even a tiny little bit better.

  • Michael Cook||

    Why is not the question whether it is OK to punch a Communist? After all, Reds have killed in total deliberate executions some 8 times (8X) the body count of the Nazi genocide against the Jews. The red massacres were more recent. The majority of them happened under Chairman Mao and are very well documented because the Red Guards were proud of how they were cleansing the social order.

    Further, there are a lot more unrepentant communists walking around today, even in America. Of course, they may be calling themselves something else nowadays, just as the Russians who we have learned were trying to disrupt American politics pretended to be ordinary Americans, but with a little effort a true devotee of Stalinist/Leninist, or Maoist thinking can be unmasked.

  • Devastator||

    After about a million it's just a statistic. They all need to be dead. However, since we live in an unjust universe I don't see that happening anytime soon. Nazis are as bad as the Commies are as Bad as school shooters. I don't see any Commies running around shooting up the joint though. Just protesting and spreading propoganda, like Nazis, fascists, KKK, alt-right, and alt-left.

  • EscherEnigma||

    Why is not the question whether it is OK to punch a Communist?
    If I had to hazard a guess, because right-wing folks have largely defused the term by overusing it.

  • Hank Phillips||

    National socialism called for conservative Christian altruism and decried selfishness. They wanted to Make Germany Great Again, not ship money to foreigners, and they were real particular about citizenship, borders, and who "foreigners" and "aliens" were. Nationalsocialists wasted no time on nonreligious freedom but were all about rights and duties, old-age insurance and small businesses. They really took a dim view of traitors, usurers and profiteers, on whom they urged the death sentence as vigorously as George Bush. Nazis hated fake news, and wanted to ensure newspaper neutrality to protect the common good, which was way more important than the individual good. And like Berkeley students they were keen to shut down meetings or organizations, materialistic art or anything that violated the ethical and moral feelings of the Germanic race. Did Zach point all these platform planks out to his poll respondents?

  • modulusOperator||

    Yup, while collecting signatures to put the libertarian party on the ballot in IL a few years back I was attacked by self-described socialists. They claimed I hated poor people because I supoorted the libertarian party. Ironically they had stepped out of a new Range Rover. My family and I, had we chosen to at the time, could have qualified for almost any gov assistance there is because we were actually quite poor back then. I was beaten unconscious. Fun times.

  • Deplorable Victor||

    You should have shot the attackers.

  • Devastator||

    Yeah that would have helped out the situation a lot. Going to federal-rape-me-in-the-ass prison is always the better option for morons.

  • VinniUSMC||

    The students we talked to said that the violence was carried out almost entirely by outsiders. Antifa, short for anti-fascist, is a decentralized movement that rejects nonviolence and vows to fight whatever or whomever it identifies as fascist by any means necessary.

    Most of the students with whom we spoke condemned the group and its tactics, but many also sympathized with their aims and said they wouldn't blame those engaging in violence against people they deemed Nazis.

    Conveniently, the students who sympathize with Antifa were totally not part of the group. It was definitely, totally outsiders. That's why they were all in masks.

    Sorry Berkeley students, you aren't fooling anyone.

  • Deplorable Victor||

    No it isn't. But it is definitely "OK" to shoot a sonofabitch who punches you.

  • Silence Dogoode||

    right-wing provocateur Milo Yiannopoulos, partial quote from the article, my question is below.

    Is there such a thing as a "left-wing provocateur"?

  • Voxpo||

    There seems to be .. https://goo.gl/zXsC93

  • CGN||

    On the list of truly stupid humans, topping the list are ALWAYS liberals.

  • C. S. P. Schofield||

    The thing about the whole "punch a Nazi" meme is that if the morons who support it ever did punch an actual Nazi, the Nazi would stomp their bones into bone meal.

    Almost nobody the antifa morons have attacked is even a neo-Nazi (and neo-Nazis are pathetic ahdows of real Nazis). And, frankly, I doubt like hell the average antifa-twit has the guts to attack anyone they actually believe would fight back.

    Where it gets fun is that I suspect that the antifa-twits don't have a good grasp of who will fight back and who won't.

    I'm buying popcorn.

  • Cyto||

    The antifa goons seem to me to be exactly the same basement-dwelling nerds as the neo-Nazi basement dwellers. Lots of tough talk, lots of planning for violence by creating makeshift weapons and shields and coming up with amateur battle plans.... they are the same dweebs who were bullied in high school and have latched on to a violent hate group as a way to obtain personal power and worth.

    They kind of deserve each other. If only they weren't dragging the rest of us along for the ride, I'd say go rent a field and have at it.

  • Devastator||

    Extremists in all their forms are usually either mentally damaged or only brave in large groups. On an individual basis they tend to be pathetic, weak people.

  • Devastator||

    I know some rather large liberals with martial training that absolutely would -not- get their bones stomped into bone meal unless the nazis ganged up on them. I suppose that is the cowardly thing to do by intolerant assholes though. So equating softness with politics is a dangerous row to hoe.

  • Devastator||

    I don't think it's right; BUT I can't say that I would feel like I needed to do much about it if it happened in front of me :) . I might even smile a little bit.

  • mtrueman||

    "Princeton researcher Omar Wasow found that the nonviolent protests of the early civil rights movement changed minds, while the left-wing riots in the late 60s likely tipped the presidential election in favor of Richard Nixon."

    Nixon spent more money on America's African Americans than any previous president. He also ended the war in Vietnam and the draft.

  • Rev. Arthur L. Kirkland||

    they should pay attention to the work of historian Laurie Marhoefer, who studies real Nazis and says the party often rallied close to its adversaries in order to provoke them, drawing a violent reaction that swayed public opinion in its favor

    This explains why the fledgling authoritarians and bigots-in-training of College Republicans chapters pay to bring provocative, extremist speakers to liberal-libertarian campuses.

  • Migrant Log Chipper||

    Piss off with the dead thread-fucking, artie poo.

  • LifeStrategies||

    This article continues the misleading fiction that Nazis are right-wing! But in point of fact, Nazis are socialists! Few people realize that Nazi is the abbreviation for the German National SOCIALIST party. The Nazi party's full name is NAtional soZIalistische deutsche arbeiter partei - which literally translates from German as the National Socialist German Workers' Party. Socialist? Workers? Nazis were left-wing, not right-wing.

    Mind you, Wikipedia do a very good job of muddying the waters by pretending that the Nazi party abbreviation is actually NSDAP rather than Nazi.

    Socialists hate the fact that the Nazi party was a National Socialist party with the same strong gun control agenda, the same strong social programs, the same government control of education, the same government control of the economy, the same emphasis on government jobs and and the same focus on worker's rights as modern socialists -see Wikipedia's explanation of NSDAP (Nazi) policies.

    Nazi - socialist - brownshirt violence against those who refuse to follow their left-wing agenda is legendary. Today they're masked and dress in black - and often just as violent. The radical left-wing socialists are the Nazis - not the right! The all too abundant evidence prove the left are devout followers of Nazi ideology who increasingly use violence as a deliberate strategy.

  • JWC||

    The question is not simply what political stance is then open to violence if Nazism is, but what degree violence is then acceptable. When Richard Spencer's much publicized sock in the face would come up in conversation, I would ask friends who found the action palatable that since punching him the face was okay then how about kicking him in the groin, hitting him with a bat, stabbing him in the arm, shooting him in the leg? Was there any act of violence that you could not then condone when confronted with someone whose political views were reprehensible, but whose actions were not illegal? No clear or logical answers were ever forthcoming.

  • Flinch||

    Looking at what's happened in Berkeley the last several years, with teachers donning masks and helping to incite riots and all, how can anybody in their right mind hire somebody out of this cesspool of closed minds and bigotry. More interestingly, history is repeating itself: Lenin called [a fellow socialist] Hitler a 'right winger' so he could move further left to the outermost fringe of the circle where pure statism dwells, and the Berkely crowd has arrived at that same juncture. As the candidacy of Bernie indicated there is a war on inside the democrat party to see who can go far enough left to fall off the earth. That means we are looking at a 'heads I win, tails you lose' situation with them, because when you have Leninists vs. Stalinists... the winner is a threat to peace, prosperity and security no matter what label declares supremacy. I will not hire anybody with a degree from Berkeley that graduated after 1995. How's that grab you?

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