Thursday, May 4, 2017

Rage in Portland

The organizers of Portland's Avenue of Roses Parade cancelled this year's event because of a threat of violence against one of the marching organizations, the Republican Party of Multonomah County. A threatening email was sent to the organizers, and a local weekly paper found this post on the Facebook page of a left-wing protest group:
The fascists know that we'll keep shutting their marches down, they are now planning to march within other parades to protect their message of hate and white supremacy - it WON'T work. Nazis will not march through Portland.

The group we're disrupting is #67. It is registered to the Multnomah County Republicans, but these infiltrators are the same folks from Lake Oswego, Salem, Vancouver, and even Berkeley. These are the folks that attacked a woman at PDX, they harassed Latinx parishioners with slurs and threats at a local church, they spew hate, threaten and curse young women at women's health clinics. They seek to intimidate and harass our Latinx, Muslim and LGBTQ+ neighbors and friends. Their Trump flags, their red MAGA hats and their hate group badges are all intended to normalize support for an orange man who bragged about sexually harassing women and who is waging a war of hate, racism and prejudice against our Muslim, Latinx, Black and Native neighbors. They will attempt to march from the Eastport Plaza to Yamhill, but nazis will not march through our city.
The inability to distinguish Democrats from Communists, or Republicans from Nazis, is a serious mental error that seems to be all too common in our partisan age. But I'll keep saying it until I run out of breath: if you cannot live with your political opponents, you cannot have democracy.


G. Verloren said...

But I'll keep saying it until I run out of breath: if you cannot live with your political opponents, you cannot have democracy.

So what happens when there are people, such as actual Nazis, whom it is impossible to live with? Does their mere existence make democracy impossible?

Certainly there is a problem of many people being ignorant and unable to properly identify actual extremists compared to more reasonable individuals. But that doesn't change the fact that actual extremists do exist, and certainly not in a vacuum.

And that's the real wrinkle in the problem. Fascists never act alone. They seek allies among non-fascists who share certain values. So when you get mainstream Republicans rallying behind and supporting Fascist movements and leaders, is it any wonder many people opposed to Fascism start struggling to separate the two groups in their minds?

And when you actually get down to brass tacks, to what extent is there really a meaningful difference between a Nazi and a Nazi Collabator? When Vichy France agreed to round up hundreds of thousands of Jews to be sent to the gas chambers, were they really any better than the German Reich itself?

He that lieth down with dogs, shall rise up with fleas. They that sow the wind, shall reap the whirlwind.

Yes, we should all strive to show restraint and discretion, and to accurately identify actual Fascists compared to the merely "Fascist-Adjacent". But at the same time, I find it incredibly hard to feel remorse for anyone who chooses not to distance themselves from Fascists, and none at all for their open allies. If you align yourself with the murderers and eugenicists who seek to make democracy impossible, you deserve whatever comes your way in the end.

szopen said...

Verloren, but this is the same about communists and their allies, no? I mean, if you are not openly distancing yourself from totalitarians (both marxists, open communists and also those, who are nowadays nicknamed "SJWs"), you deserve whatever comes your way, right?

G. Verloren said...


That's a false equivalency, as Communists aren't remotely equivalent to Fascists, and aren't going around doing things like espousing hatred, enacting violence against minorities, and making democracy impossible.

Now if you instead were to talk about radical Anarchists and Nihilists who want to violently overthrow the system, that'd be far more comparable. I would have little to no sympathy for anyone on the left who stood up and aligned themselves with such thugs and ended up suffering because of it.

szopen said...

@Verloren - that's true, this is false equivalence, as communists killed far more people, are not apologetic and quite often joke about shooting people when the next revolution comes. COmmunism is about violence, murdering opposition, destroying free speech and democracy plus lies. Communists committed genocide on mass scale in almost every country in which they took power. In contrast, fascists committed crimes in almost every country they took power, but they committed genocide only in one. Hence, communists are far, far worse.