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Might Makes Right

For a couple of years now, I've noted that despite all the calls for "civil discourse" and "respect" and "tolerance," the easiest way for a group to gain attention and deference -- often far out of proportion to their numbers -- is to make convincing threats of violence. This isn't something I've endorsed or even welcome, but a regretful acknowledgment of reality. The most prominent example, of course, is Islam -- Muslims get to routinely constrain others and censor their critics by merely hinting at how such "provocations" will only "instigate violence and hatred and intolerance." Which translates into "don't upset us, or we'll get violent."

And their enablers, those who speak most passionately about how we all should demonstrate respect and tolerance and civility towards those who have the least familiarity with it, are actually saying "don't piss off the crazies, 'cuz they scare us."

Well, you can only play that game for so long until the nominally-civil side figures out the rules: that the game is seriously rigged to benefit those who make the most plausible threats.

And that's finally happened in Seattle.

I'm not happy about it, but I do understand it. "Playing by the rules" only works when the rules are fair -- and they most certainly are not in this arena. The anti-Israeli, anti-Semitic, pro-Islamic militant faction -- as well as a lot of their allies of the left -- have literally spent years demonstrating their mastery of the "heckler's veto," using disruption, threats of violence, and even outright violence to silence their opponents. And they have been rewarded for doing so, with authorities tolerating their tactics -- with the occasional wrist-slaps purely for appearance' sake. They never once stood up against the mob thuggery approach, never once exerted their authority to confront and punish those who engaged in this kind of bullying.

A few examples? The 2004 Republican National Committee, and the efforts to sabotage it. The spate of physical attacks on conservative speakers on college campuses and other venues (Ann Coulter, Pat Buchanan, Michelle Malkin, Karl Rove, and a host of others). The denunciations of critics of militant Islam as "hate groups" and "hatemongers." The list goes on and on and on.

So the message went out: this is what works. This is what gets results. And this is what you can do without risk of punishment or penalty.

So now the other side is trying it, and it's working for them, too.

What will happen next? Certainly not a confrontation between the two threatening factions. No, they won't go up against each other directly. Their focus is on threatening the authorities, the nominal neutral parties, the mediators. Both will increase their threats to convince these third parties to bend to their will. After all, that's what has worked so well for years.

How will these authorities react? Will they weigh the two threats, and cow to the one they find more perilous? Will they ignore both, and -- for once -- live up to their ideals and enforce their principles objectively? Will they decide one side is bluffing, and attack them for their threats? Or will they lash out at all threatening parties, reasserting the principle that in a civil state, the government must hold a monopoly on force?

I dunno. I don't even know what would be the best answer.

I just know that we've been building towards this for years, and it's finally coming to fruition.


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Comments (9)

I would argue that the natu... (Below threshold)

I would argue that the natural history of such action is to progress, and direct confrontations, albeit in initially unbalanced (as in the thuggery against newscasters in Cairo), they can rapidly progress to mob against mob when each side feels threatened and empowered by their previous actions. Only a wily leader and subordinates can circumvent the civil bloodshed that follows. Currently we're lacking in that category.

I still vote Lebanese bugs ... (Below threshold)

I still vote Lebanese bugs are evil.

Great summary of the game a... (Below threshold)
Don L:

Great summary of the game and great wisdom in avoiding a prediction without which reality will prevail anyway - the question is whether freedom and democracy will prevail -regardless of how that occurs.

I'm not going to try to pre... (Below threshold)
Upset Old Guy:

I'm not going to try to predict the future, but I'm certain Seattle didn't get to the point we now find them without a massive failure of local governmental leadership and policy. We can have a civil society, but we have to insist upon having policies and structures that foster and support it.

Like Don, I worry for our freedom and our democracy in years ahead.

The history of the United S... (Below threshold)
jim m:

The history of the United States is that we indulge the childish and foolish to a fault, but when the country has had enough eventually the adults reassert themselves.

Lincoln did it when the democrats seceded. FDR did it to the isolationists when the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor. We will do it again. History says that it will get worse and I expect that the forces of childishness will not go before they shed innocent blood.

Hmph. I thought the <a hre... (Below threshold)
James H:

Hmph. I thought the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor.

"How will these authorities... (Below threshold)

"How will these authorities react?"

They'll roll over.

Jay Tea fits this aggra... (Below threshold)
gaius piconius:

Jay Tea fits this aggravating and very alarming truth, nutshell fashion, into his post. Then,jim m's # 5 sums up the piece succinctly and to perfection. My own observation has been stated here before...the biggest and most dangerous enablers that the export of the horrors of Islam have in the West are, the fist of Politial Progressivism, (a will to the legalization of 'Robinhoodism' at any cost), and, next, it's not so velvet glove, Political Correctness, (a viscious and strictly un-American take over of what should be be public discourse and debate, with the sole aim of stiffling conservative dissent). And the youth of the West, including America, are already substantially mind conditioned to accept. Schools and colleges, media and the public service...and to a very large degree today's Democratic Party...all not just infiltrated but effectively taken over by politcally radicals. All of this worthy of my first sentence.
jim m...I hope your view prevails.

"What will happen next? Cer... (Below threshold)

"What will happen next? Certainly not a confrontation between the two threatening factions. No, they won't go up against each other directly."
....Why not? Afraid of each other?

That's too bad....because

Even though the case can be made that sometimes the "the authorities, the nominal neutral parties" are PART of the problem.

The best results to DEAL with this kind of crap, is to go directly to the SOURCE.

THAT's the most interesting day to be ready for!!






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