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A Critique Of The Justification Of Violence At The Million MAGA March In DC And What It Means For Our Future

Yesterday I posted a video on Twitter that got over 500 replies in a mater of a few hours. Which is fairly impressive considering my twitter account is only a week old – I only have 40 followers. 

The video was part of a longer video which showed two Trump supporters take a bull horn from a BLM protestor after which one of the Trump supporters continued to “engage” with BLM/Antifa protestors. The video then showed a BLM protestor walk up being the Trump supporter and hit him in the fact while he was walking away from the crowd. 

Most rational people would agree that this final violent action toward the Trump supporter was immoral as it was not an act of self-defense, but was an act of revenge. 

The Tump supporter was angry, and it’s clear from the video that viewers miss a lot of context from what preceded the video.  It appears that there was an incident, or series of incidents, that preceded the video. 

I cut the beginning of the video out, but not for the reason people assumed. Lot’s of people watched the full video and then blamed me for cutting out the beginning to “make the trump supporter look like the victim.” That’s not true. I cut the video so that it starts with him with his fists up threatening a whole group of BLM protestors standing around him. The part I cut out at the beginning was of him and another Trump supporter taking back a bull horn that appeared to have been taken by a BLM protestor. 

I didn’t expect the video to get a lot of attention, but after it did I was glad that I got to see how a lot of people would respond. The responses were mixed, but there were more from leftists arguing that the Trump supporter “got what he deserved.” In a sense I agree with them, but because we don’t know the whole story it’s impossible to judge correctly. And that brings me to some important points about these sorts of videos. 

We’re missing context. 

We almost never have the whole story and that makes it difficult to determine what happened and who started the fight. And we should be willing to admit to that, but many aren’t willing to admit that because of their emotional investment in their biases. 

Violence, including acts of revenge, is never justified. 

Violence, defined as offensive force, is never justified. Self-defense can be justified, but self-defense is not the same as violence. Violence is offensive not defensive. It’s wrong to act violently, to harm someone else, or their property. It’s always wrong regardless of who you are, your skin color, whether you’re an organization, whether you’re a gang, or whether you’re the government. The use of violence or the threat of violence is immoral. Period. Only acts of reasonable self-defense can be justified. 

If we take the view that acts of violence are justified, even if only as “revenge” then we our society will sink into a cesspool of degenerate violence. That is until the strongest group takes control, and this is exactly how many societies are toppled from within and brought under the brutal authority of a despotic regime. Which, frankly, is the aim of most of the communists who make up Antifa and some of the Black Lives Matter leadership. 

Their ultimate goal is the eradication of the United States of America. Make no mistake about that. And if they were to become the stronger group, and gain control, they would (as many have admitted out loud) eliminate their political enemies. And they would justify it by arguing that their political enemies are all fascists and white nationalists. A proposition that is demonstrably false. 

Our society is beginning to justify political violence. 

Unfortunately our society is beginning to justify politically motivated acts of violence. Bear in mind that politically motivated acts of violence go by another name: terrorism.  Sort of ironic considering the largest terror attack on US soil happened less than two decades ago. The United States has changed quite a lot in the last couple of decades. Some have begun redefining certain acts of terrorism as “protests,” and “riots.” 

Obviously, those who carry out terrorism have a supposed justification that they imagine is coherent. Historically everyone else in society vehemently disagreed with this kind of violence and the people who practiced it, but today politically motivated acts of violence are not only justified but celebrated by many. 

A large number of the replies to the video I posted were celebrating the violence. Of course there were some people who, like me, agreed that there was very little justification, if any at all, for the violence the protestors were participating in (on both sides). But most people, mostly on the left, were celebrating the violent behavior of the BLM/Antifa protestors. 

The acquiescence of law enforcement

Perhaps the most disturbing feature of the videos I’ve seen over the last several months has been the behavior of law enforcement. Though, to be honest, I’m not too surprised. Over and over again in footage from DC it is evident that law enforcement did very little to alleviate the situation. While fights broke out law enforcement were often seen standing, or sitting, nearby watching. An indication of the how law enforcement officers will likely abandon the public if civil insurrection, or “civil-war,” breaks out since I believe that fewer officers today are motivated by a deep commitment to the values of peace, life, and liberty.

In many larger cities law enforcement officers seem to have resigned to the fact that there are simply too many Americans who prefer to duke-it-out in the streets uninterrupted. And we’re starting to see how that will turn out. 

But before we get too morose let’s be honest. Sure, a few bloody fights will break out here and there, but the truth is that it usually doesn’t amount to much more than that. After all, even most terrorists prefer not to die when it comes down to it – “it” being the reality that someone else may have brought a gun to a fist-fight. But even though a civil-war sized battle hasn’t yet materialized these small skirmishes are still unfortunate. And if we’re going to have law enforcement shouldn’t their first order of business be to keep the peace? We used to call them “peace officers” after all. 

Let this be a reminder to everyone that the police aren’t here to rescue you. Ninety-nine percent of the time they show up after the crime has been committed. And in some cases long after that. Police are not to be trusted as a line of defense. They are simply unable to defend you when you need it most. That responsibility is yours, and yours alone. For better or worse you need to be prepared to defend yourself and others as need, and in accordance with the moral principles of non-aggression, and self-defense. 

So what is the outcome of accepting this sort of violence? 

Violence breeds violence, and how that violent cycle ends remains to be seen. It’s possible, however unlikely, that we could end up in a civil war that is only halted by the rise of a dictatorial power. 

The more likely scenario is that the United States government surrenders to the demands of the BLM/Antifa protestors. I’m not sure what that surrender will look like, but I’m sure I won’t entirely agree with the form it takes politically even if I do agree with some of the grievances of the movement(s). What I’m also sure of is that the protests and grievances will not stop. Ever. Because once you negotiate with terrorists the political violence never ends. 

What’s the alternative to surrender?

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that there shouldn’t be negotiations related to issues of police violence, and the treatment of minority communities by law enforcement (particularly the Black community). What I’m saying is that there shouldn’t be any negotiations with the terrorists. Only peaceful people get a seat at the table. Terrorists have lost the right to bargain. As an aside, not all accusations of “terrorism” are valid. For example, an act of direct self-defense is not an act of terrorism even though governments will define such acts as acts of terror when it attempts to violently aggress against citizens who’ve done nothing to physically harm anyone else, or their property. Governments are not immune from the moral obligation to act only in self-defense against violent aggression. More on that another day.

To be sure those who participate in political [offensive] violence are often not worth listening to because their demands almost always require violence in order to satisfy. (More on that in another article.) If they were non-violent they wouldn’t use violence as their mechanism for political advancement.

Again, violence is always immoral, and irrational, and those who use violence to advance their political agenda should be stopped by self-defense. If Americans simply defended themselves against violence as both US law and moral obligation demands they do the political violence would end overnight and rational, moral, people could come to the table to discuss these issues responsibly.

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