I often have discussions with friends whom I’ll give the benefit of doubt, and talk about sensitive subjects, such as whether it’s okay to punch Nazis, and when, exactly, it’s okay to punch Nazis.
The results of one such recent discussion can be read here.
The Two Kinds
A common argument is that violence leads to nothing (or to more violence) and as such should only be applied as last resort. That is, when Nazis pose a direct threat to you or your friends. This is a line of arguing I would generally agree with, if there wasn’t more than one kind of Nazi.
For simplicity, let’s call this one the
This is usually someone who grew up poor, and was early on indoctrinated that the other is bad. Is cause for their poverty and misfortune in life. For their suffering and their grief. The Skin Head will frequently pose a direct threat to your skin or kin. And in those situations, I encourage you to punch them.
Ironically enough, when they don’t pose a direct threat to you, they are more likely to be convinced of your humanity. You can actually talk to them, or otherwise show them that you two have much more in common than they do with the
who grew up rich, and was early on indoctrinated that the other is bad. Is a threat to their prosperity and fortune in life. For their potential suffering and grief. The Fascist rarely poses a direct threat to your life. Unless they are surrounded by a group of Skin Heads. In this case, I suggest to walk up to the Fascist and punch them in face. If you really care, make sure they don’t go unconscious so they can witness the cowardice of their Skin Head friends, as they follow your advise to run.
This might be a frequent occurrence in juveniles, but later in life the Fascist will move on to broader network.
What kind of violence is it when a person invests their time and (often considerable) wealth for political activism? Political activism that declares you, your friends and family not only as unwelcome, but as not people. Non-citizens.
No amount of talking will convince someone who has dedicated their life to political activism against your humanity of the opposite.
When you meet this person, punching them is not just okay, I highly encourage it!
However, if you have the means, I also suggest ensuring to do everything in your might that they don’t get a platform anywhere close to you area of influence.