Back in the Cold War, one of the things Americans would puzzle over was the political violence behind the Iron Curtain. Most Americans assumed they would resist the state terrorism they heard about from the media. Of course, they assumed such a thing could never happen in America. Today we are seeing just how easily state sponsored terrorism can get going in any country. The reason is there is a political logic to murder that comes as a part of ideological movements.
The logic of political violence is best understood by considering the way Progressives frame their anti-speech pogroms. They keep equaling words and ideas that vex them with violence. For example, someone posting crime statistics on Twitter is accused of posting violent content or inciting violence. At the same time, BLM burning shops and murdering young white mothers is pure political expression. Language they don’t like is violence and violence they like is free expression.
All acts, speaking or physical activity, are judged in purely partisan terms. That person murdering white mothers on behalf of the Progressive cause is morally good by default, as he is sustaining and advancing the interests of the cause. Similarly, the person who stops laughing too soon at an official joke is consciously or unconsciously working against the interest of the cause. He’s a threat. In other words, all actions are judged only in partisan terms, not in relative terms.
Further, making total war on anyone acting against the cause, even by mild simple disagreement, is a form of self-defense to the partisan. The logic here is that someone saying something that contradicts the beliefs of the Progressive cause must be at war with the partisans of the cause. After all, what makes the partisan a partisan is his fidelity to his cause. To invalidate the cause, even by questioning it, is to invalidate him and therefore, striking at the bad speaker is self-defense.
Again, you see this in their language. Before the lock downs, colleges had already implemented a policy of “safe spaces” on campus. These were places where Progressive activists could be totally free of criticism or questioning. The post-modern partisan equates physical safety, not only with the lack of disagreement from outsiders, but the absence of anyone and anything that contradicts the cause. They demand to be insulated from physical reality, as well as contrary opinion.
This conflation of people with ideology into partisanship is why Progressives have always had a somewhat comical obsession with the backlash. A Muslim shoots up a gay club, for example, and the Progressive media writes stories about how Muslims fear a backlash from red necks and Christians. They just assume the Muslim was right for acting on behalf of his cause. Further, they just assumed his enemies, even though they are imaginary, will do the same.
The conflation of the ideologue and the ideology must lead to either political violence or political separation. The partisan looks around and sees nothing but enemies, people holding opinions that contradict the cause. Further, he sees them operating in a system that contradicts the beliefs of the partisan. Hence the concept of systemic racism that is popular with Progressives. They are surrounded by people and a system that is at war with the very essence of who they are.
There can be only two responses, fight or flight. Once the partisan has power, though, the only logical response is fight. Once they gain power, they are not just defending themselves, but now they imagine they are defending society as a whole. Rounding up dissidents and having them executed is not just vindictive cruelty, although there is a lot of that, for sure. To the partisan mind this is an act of self-defense. The bad-speaker is at war with the cause and all is fair in war.
Inevitably, this logic is confirmed by the piecemeal response to the political violence unleashed on the public. Someone realizes that the people in charge are willing to use violence and he or they respond with violence. This small act becomes the bloody shirt the partisans then wave around as justification. Notice how the Progressives still mention Charlottesville as a justification for their pogroms against anyone expressing unapproved opinions on social media.
It is tempting to dismiss these people as insane, but their logic, with regards to the use of political violence, is natural. After all, the death penalty is rooted in the same logic of societal self-defense. The murderer who can never be allowed loose must be killed, not as punishment, but so he can never kill again. There is a blood sacrifice to it, as Joseph de Maistre explained, but the fundamental logic of the death penalty is rooted in the most basic instinct of man – self-defense.
This is why America is probably closer to Soviet-style show trials and political violence than most Americans realize. Most people are not partisans or their partisanship is mostly ornamental. They wave it around when politics comes up, but it usually works to cut-off political arguments before they get started. Many Americans, probably a majority, are still trapped in the old political framework. Worse still, the so-called Right still thinks we live in a rule-based republic.
It is important to note that the Russians never saw Stalin coming either. Some suspected what he was, but most did not. The political violence of Stalin crept up on his fellow partisans on little cat feet. Before they could understand what was happening, he was having them packed off to gulags. The ultra-violence of the French Revolution similarly crept up on the radicals. The great blood sacrifice of radical political ideology is always the destination no one sees coming until it is too late.
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