Two weeks ago, a passerby on a street in New York punched white supremacist Richard Spencer in the face. Most of the left-wing press celebrated; a widespread public debate ensued over the morality of punching a Nazi. On Wednesday evening, rioters in Berkeley shut down an event for alt-right popularizer Milo Yiannopoulos. The left-wing press was mildly embarrassed.
Now, the website Super Deluxe, which typically makes comedy videos, has launched a video game delicately titled “Punch A Nazi: The Game.” Here’s some video:
The game allows you to punch pixellated versions of Spencer, Yiannopoulos, and Hitler until they’re bloody. Captions appear reading “RIGHT IN THE [PEPE]” and “COLD CUCKED!” and “SJW!” when you hit your targets, “TRIGGERED” and “SNOWFLAKE!” when you miss.
As I expressed on Fox News last night, the left has come up with a two-step approach justifying violence against those with whom it disagrees: punching a Nazi is fine, and everybody I don’t like is a Nazi. This allows them the freedom to pursue brutality against those with a dissenting political perspective.
This generates three problems. First, it increases the chances of violence – openly advocating for violence against non-violent people with dissenting political opinions is ideological fascism. There’s something ironic about the notion that assaulting someone for political viewpoint in a civilized society is anti-fascist activity.
Second, it risks broadening the definition of evil to encompass philosophies that do not fit, and narrowing that definition to exclude philosophies that are truly evil. I’ve been the subject of riots, Jason Riley of The Wall Street Journal has been banned on campus, etc. The same people who assault people who want to see my speeches at California State University at Los Angeles ignore the evils of radical Islam around the globe – today’s actual Nazis get ignored in favor of targeting domestic political opposition that doesn’t come close to fitting the bill.
Third, it risks creating a backlash that greenlights nasty philosophies because we don’t want to see them hit in the face. If you don’t want to elevate Richard Spencer to the status of martyr, stop hitting him in the face. There’s plenty to dislike about Milo Yiannopoulos’ poisonous brand — he says Jews run the media; earlier this month he characterized a Jewish BuzzFeed writer as a “a typical example of a sort of thick-as-pig shit media Jew”; he justifies anti-Semitic memes as playful trollery and pats racist sites like American Renaissance on the head; he describes himself as a “chronicler of, and occasional fellow traveler with the alt-right” while simultaneously recognizing that their “dangerously bright” intellectuals believe that “culture is inseparable from race”; back in his days going under the name Milo Wagner, he reportedly posed with his hand atop a Hitler biography, posted a Hitler meme about killing 6 million Jews, and wore an Iron Cross; last week he berated a Muslim woman in the audience of one of his speeches for wearing a hijab in the United States; his alt-right followers routinely spammed my Twitter account with anti-Semitic propaganda he tut-tutted before his banning (the amount of anti-Semitism in my feed dropped by at least 70 percent after his ban, which I opposed); he personally Tweeted a picture of a black baby at me on the day of my son’s birth, because according to the alt-right I’m a “cuck” who wants to see the races mixed; he sees the Constitution as a hackneyed remnant of the past, to be replaced by a new right he leads; there’s plenty more – but rioting against him only means more people buy into his schtick and allows him to shed his persona for a clean-cut conservative character on Tucker Carlson.
In order for any republic to survive, we must share a social fabric. The first rule of the social fabric: no use of violence to express political dissent. Once that rule is gone, there’s no way to stop violence from escalating.