Jan. 21st, 2017

dorchadas: (Office Space)
So at the inauguration today, some reporter was interviewing Nazi scum Richard Spencer, the guy who coined the term "alt-right" and has managed to fool a large portion of the media into treating his views as worth of attention by the devious tactic of "wearing a suit." He was explaining the frog lapel pin he was wearing and then this happened:


I could watch that gif all day.

Of course, on Twitter a lot of white men are worried about his free speech rights. And those were definitely violated, which we tend to frown on in America. But there's a reason why espousing Nazi viewpoints is banned in Germany and why I've never thought the free speech we have in America is somehow morally superior just because we allow Nazis and assorted garbage humans to spew their bullshit.

For one thing, Nazi ideology is inherently violent. Spencer talks about an ethnostate and is deliberately vague on how that would be achieved, because it's not like there's any prime land they can move to and "we're going to dispossess everyone we consider subhuman at best and murder them at worst" means he wouldn't get glossy portrayals in unwitting Nazi-sympathizer magazines. Other Nazis are less subtle. As someone who would be subject to the purge if the Nazis gained power, consider that I have a different viewpoint on how threatening a man is just because he's wearing a tie and a frog pin while talking about taking back America.

In a way, it's self-defense. They want to kill us.

Second, Nazism is a cancer on democracy. The whole point of it as a political movement is to use the methods of democracy to attain power and then destroy democracy. We know this because it already happened once before, and while the Weimar Republic had a lot of structural and political issues that modern democracies are less subject to, here in America we don't have some kind of magical blessing passed down to us from the founding fathers that would prevent a Nazi in power from declaring himself a dictator and seizing power as long as he had enough support. And the amount of support necessary isn't that much. One terrorist attack that's bad enough and a huge portion of Americans would happily hand over their freedom only to find that hypothetical Nazi was no Cincinnatus.

This is also why I roll my eyes at any "but what if they were in control of your free speech?" counterpoints. They're Nazis. They have no respect for free speech at all. They only talk about it now because it allows them to spread their poison, and if they seized power they would overturn it immediately. It's another tactic in their mission to undermine democratic processes.

The argument is that the cure to bad speech is more speech, but people who say that haven't been following up on the science. The most obvious counterpoint to this is the Backfire Effect, now well-established, that often trying to convince someone with evidence makes them more secure in their beliefs, not less. Another is that being more intelligent is no cure against false beliefs, since intelligence allows its possessor to justify those beliefs easier. Argument can work, but its efficacy usually has nothing to do with the substance of the argument itself and more with how similar the other party considers themselves to the persuader. And I'm sorry, but Nazi trash are obviously not going to listen to someone they think is subhuman. Here's an example of what I mean.

Twitter itself is actually a great argument about the harms of free speech. It's not subject to some limits that the physical world is, like the harassing mobs all having to be physically present, and also multiple people all independently deciding to argue with someone can look like a coordinated assault to the person being argued with, but there are plenty of examples of people being harassed off Twitter for daring to be a woman or black person with opinions.

So yeah. If more Nazis get punched, if they can't leave their homes and go out in public without worrying about being assaulted, I'm not going to cry. All ideologies are not equal. Sorry.

("But what if they said that about you-")

They already do. Thanks for playing.

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dorchadas

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