Tuesday, August 29, 2017

I don't have a dog in this fight

Politics in 2017 has degenerated into a Fascism vs Marxism fight
Last week I read a tweet by Mark Steyn about the toppling of Confederate statues and he said that he didn't have a dog in that fight - it was today's Democrats arguing about statues of yesterday's Democrats. The comment is true, of course - it may surprise the historically challenged to learn that the slavery-supporting political party of the Confederacy was the Democratic Party, and if you think that the old Democratic Party is so far removed in time from the progressive Democratic Party of today, then consider that the Democrats had a segregationist presidential candidate (Governor George Wallace) as recently as 1976, and as Steyn pointed out, the last-but-one Democratic president, Bill Clinton, spoke at the funeral of a former Ku Klux Klan 'Exalted Cylcops' (Senator Robert C Byrd).

Steyn's comment about not having a dog in the fight is true for me as well but in a much broader sense than he meant it. I don't have a dog in the fight between the political right and left. Both sides believe that violence is justified in human relations where it serves their particular view of the collective good. They differ on their meaning of collective good - the right usually defining it as the interests of a nation or race, and the left as that of a class or other identity group - but both are prepared to resort to violence in pursuit of their interests. This isn't something that is confined to the extreme ends of the spectrum but is characteristic of mainstream politicians on both sides - like the Missouri state senator who called for Trump's assassination.

I believe that violence has no place in the interactions between human beings and that force may only be used to defend against the initiation of violence by others. This central tenet of my political philosophy means I fit into neither the right or the left of the spectrum. Some have described my views as extreme because my application of the non-aggression principle means the state should not force people to pay tax or to go to war, but I find it is somewhat oxymoronic to be considered an extremist for my non-violent philosophy and I take some comfort from the fact that many considered Mahatma Gandhi's and William Wilberforce's views extreme at the time.

I posed a question on Twitter last week about how in hell has politics degenerated into a Fascism vs Marxism fight in 2017, but the question was rhetorical. In any real dog fight, it is always the most aggressive dog that wins. We have watched the left and right resort to violent protests in recent months and it was inevitable that this would escalate to the point where we are now beginning to see deaths - and the violence isn't all coming from one side. Once the debate turns violent, you can't be surprised that those who are willing to use violence prevail.

Marxism and Fascism are equally repugnant, misanthropic and inherently violent philosophies, and any reasonable person should stand up against those who advocate for either of them. If we allow them to set the rules and the language of our political debate then the discussion will be over and violence will prevail.

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