Irony is dead in Seattle

In Seattle’s so-called Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone Antifa and BLM stalwarts are employing their newly declared police powers to enforce immigration ‘rules’ and collect ‘taxes.’

Seattle police encourage anyone in the area who is a victim of extortion to call 911.

And they’re gonna do what, exactly? Pass out free copies of Animal Farm, as a guide to getting along with the New Order? Offer a partial tax refund?

Armed activists patrolling 6-block Seattle “autonomous zone,” checking IDs, extorting businesses | Disrn

Update: 1:32PM
I guess they should ask for a refund of those ‘911 service’ fees, too:
Seattle Police Chief: ‘We’re Not Able to Get to’ 911 Calls for ‘Rape, Robbery’ in Autonomous Zone

Update: 4:23PM, Jun 26

Residents and businesses in the de-policified CHAZ/CHOP zone are not asking for refunds. They’re demanding to be made whole.

The City of Seattle entered into a contract with its residents based on taxation and fees as defined by City budget line-items. The residents also granted a local monopoly on the use of force as part of the deal. That didn’t work out very well.

Because Seattle taxpayers granted that monopoly, and paid for its enforcement, they had a reasonable expectation of freedom of speech, unobstructed legal use of their property, and the protection of life by the Seattle Fire and Police Departments. The contract was not honored.

I like the chances for this suit in a rational world. I worry about the adjudicators’ sympathies in the world Seattle residents actually inhabit. So, good luck to this:

Justice Is Coming: Businesses Sue Seattle for Enabling CHOP Antifa-stan’s Reign of Terror

Come together.

Right now. Over me.

The Beatles’ song title would be apt at George Floyd memorial services. George Floyd’s family says that coming together would be what he would have wanted.

Only a vanishingly small minority of humans would not condemn the manner of George Floyd’s killing as disturbing and depraved. You’d think we could all act as if we agree on that.

But, even that ‘coming together’ is specifically verboten by the Twitter Hongweibing, Antifa pyromaniacs, and BLM looters – who are abetted by Progressive NPCs who parrot the riot-inducing idea that every white person is possessed by an evil character irredeemably dictated by the color of their skin.

In order to enforce a guilty silence, and to normalize the actual violence they might later commit, Progressives tell you that speech they identify as violent is violence.

They insist on collective guilt by epidermal association for similar reasons; to force others to seek absolution of inherited sin by, for example, the washing of BLM feet; to encourage willingness to abase yourself because of race at the demand of strangers; and to nod your head at excuses for organized looting and arson, as well as violence and murder. Including of black owned stores and against black bodies.

The amazing part is that there isn’t more police misconduct. The duty of police is to protect the state, not you. When the state protects the bad cops, the deaths of George Floyd and Justine Damond result.

It’s only a surprise to the Progressive politicians in the nation’s largest cities, who’ve been receiving campaign contributions in exchange for union contracts which protect bad cops for 60 years, that there are some corrupt, or violent, or incompetent people in the police force. As if that groundwork were not enough: Those same politicians let violent ideologues hijack peaceful protests and destroy or steal millions of dollars of property unhindered. Then they beg for Federal bailouts – mainly of the pension obligations assumed in the aforementioned contracts. For a finale, they blame all cops for everything.

Including the ones they press gang into personal protection units while they abandon police stations to arson, and permit anarchists to seize city territory.

The anarchists have hidden behind legitimate protests over a horrific death. Progressive politicians have enabled it.

George Floyd’s wish has come apart under the weight of anarchists and venal incompetents.


In Chicago, between 7 p.m. May 29, and 11 p.m. May 31, 25 people were killed. In addition, 85 suffered gunshot wounds. The anarchists play with matches while the politicians play their fiddles.

And, We Are Leaving

And, Minneapolis City Council President: Ability to Call Police Over Robbery ‘Comes From a Place of Privilege’

Meanwhile, Congressional Progressives support their friends at the state and city level by appropriating culturally: “I have an idea! Let’s all dress as Ghanaians! They’re black, right?”
‘This is political blackface’: Not everyone appreciated Congressional Dems wearing kente cloth

False choice

Two short articles from Reason and The Weekly Standard:

Authoritarians to the Left and Right
The Nation and the Nazis

Imagine a line with a sliding indicator. On one end is Marxism and Antifa; on the other is Fascism and Alt-Right. Or, call it Black Lives Matter vs Stormfront.

Your job is to slide the indicator along this continuum to your preferred balance between these choices of extreme left and extreme right. Possibly, you choose the center.

What choice are you actually making? The choice of which statist minutiae you prefer.

Sliding the indicator to the center does not minimize your agreement with authoritarian policies. It indicates nothing about how much power you grant the State, that’s a constant. It means the continuum is wrong, so the choice is false.

Here’s the way the political spectrum really works:

Looking at it by group:

Update 2:40PM
See also.
Of Course the Alt-Right Is Against Capitalism

Identitarian Politics: Distinctions without a difference?

I recommend this Claremont Review of Books discussion of fascism’s origins and the comparison to communism, including points about Black Lives Matter and Antifa. It’s well worth reading the whole thing: Fascism in America?

But I have some reservations.

Fascism… first emerged in Italy under Benito Mussolini, then spread to many other corners of Europe and Latin America. It took numerous forms, the most virulent of which was German National Socialism, which can be lumped into the overall fascist phenomenon, but only in certain respects. In others, it must be considered distinctly…

I think what follows to justify this distinction is hair splitting.

Mussolini… ultimately found communism’s collectivist obsession with class less satisfying than a collectivist obsession with nation, defined in group terms as the (Italian) people. National socialism offered an extreme version of this view, focused on an elaborate racial theory in which “Aryans” were good, superior, and entitled to rule, while others were inferior… Nazism was virulently anti-Semitic, more so than most other versions of fascism. Altogether, fascism was a politics based on accident of birth and on group membership. Individual identity, not to mention individual worth or individual rights, had no place…

A difference of looking inward to exalt vs looking outward to vilify. The in-tribe is still the volk. Professor Busch seems to agree;

It is not difficult to see a number of similarities between fascism and communism. Both… employed violence and intimidation to gain and keep power. Both grounded themselves in a version of collectivist identity politics. Both led in practice to all-powerful dictators supported by cults of personality. Both were enemies of liberty, hostile to the free market, property rights, limited government, and independent civil society. Both saw themselves as “revolutionary” and sought to displace God with a secular religion of totalitarian ideology… Indeed, one might easily conclude that fascism and communism were two versions of the same thing engaged in a bitter family dispute—two overlapping branches of the left wing rather than two opposite things.

On the merits, I do so conclude. See my post of August 18: Cosmetic Distinctions.

Nevertheless, two cardinal theoretical distinctions can be made. Where fascism fixated on race and ethnicity as the basis of collectivism and dehumanization, communism fixated on economic class. Where fascism adopted an explicitly oppositional attitude toward rational discourse, communism purported to be based on scientific principles, even though communists in practice made a mockery of such pretensions.

As to the first point, one might reasonably note that the difference is based on tribal identity. A group promoting racial privilege is temporarily allied with a group espousing privilege based on class; both wishing to commit the crimes delineated above. The differences between Antifa and Alt-Right, between the KKK and BLM – and between BLM and Antifa – are subtle points of doctrine; boiling down to a dispute over which collective will dominate the other at Statist gunpoint. If Antifa and BLM combine to “fundamentally transform” the United States, we can expect a replay of the Menshevik/Bolshevik, Trotskyite/Stalinist denouement.

The second point of differentiation is, if one takes the word “rational” seriously, actually not a difference at all. Theoretical, indeed.

While Antifa openly embraces violence, the Black Lives Matter movement does not. Nevertheless, BLM protests have featured chants calling for violence against police—“pigs in a blanket, fry ’em like bacon”—and several have turned violent in reality, including in Baltimore, St. Paul, Baton Rouge, and Dallas, where a shooter inspired by (though not affiliated with) BLM killed five police officers at the end of a BLM demonstration. Some members of the movement have also been implicated in attempts to silence critical speakers through intimidation and physical force.

As to the embrace of violence as a difference between BLM and Antifa, “pigs in a blanket, fry ’em like bacon,” seems to me to qualify BLM as a promoter of violence. Maybe I’m missing something, but I doubt this sounds like a rendition of Kumbaya to police officers. Further, Professor Busch goes on to recount the disruption (by the threat of violence) of Heather Mac Donald’s speech (contra BLM orthodoxy) at Claremont. Perhaps too much heavy lifting is being required of the words “openly” and “affiliated.”

Professor Busch is generally correct in his assessment of Facism/Nazism and Communism, but seems overly concerned about the fine particularities of Statist branding, and too willing to excuse BLM violence compared to Antifa.

YMMV, and I reiterate my recommendation to read the piece.

Update 12:20PM Oct 7 17
FBI terrorism unit says ‘black identity extremists’ pose a violent threat

On the Failure to Recognize Patterns

Two from Jonah Goldberg, related to my post Cosmetic Distinctions, below.

The Alt-Right Is Bad — And So Is ‘Antifa’

There’s a natural tendency to think that when people, or movements, hate each other, it must be because they’re opposites. This assumption overlooks the fact that many — indeed, most — of the great conflicts and hatreds in human history are derived from what Sigmund Freud called the “narcissism of minor differences.”

Re: On Charlottesville, Trump, and Anti-Americanism

I’m reminded of this passage from Alan Bloom’s The Closing of the American Mind: “I have seen young people, and older people too, who are good democratic liberals, lovers of peace and gentleness, struck dumb with admiration for individuals threatening or using the most terrible violence for the slightest and tawdriest of reasons.” He continued: “They have a sneaking suspicion that they are face to face with men of real commitment, which they themselves lack. And commitment, not truth, is believed to be what counts.”

RTWTs

Bloom is writing about people avoiding the messy distractions of understanding their own ideas, because “[C]ommitment, not truth, is believed to be what counts.”

They are committed to no more than having unexamined good intentions: Liberal Ayn Rand?