Lewisham, Free Speech and the Nazis - Politics Forum.org | PoFo

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For discussion of moral and ethical issues.
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#15198978
I've had this thread in mind for some time. Although I don't claim to be a person of any great importance, some people on the forum seem to be genuinely interested in what my fundamental political views are, where I'm really coming from and seem to genuinely misunderstood my fundamental or root political outlook. I have less trust in the good faith misrepresentation of others, but what ever.

I'm a moral relativist. Moral relativism is however not a universal, get out of jail free card. Its not a free licence to hypocrisy and inconsistency. Defining oneself as a moral relativist is only the beginning of representing a political outlook. One's view still need to be justified it is not an end point. I believe in practice everyone is a moral relativist. The only difference between moral relativists and moral absolutists is that relativists are honest about it up front.

Moral relativism means that there is little of value that can be said in generalities and that politics, morals, ideology is only meaningful in the context of time and place. Now some of you might have noticed that I seem rather keen on sweeping generalities. Well firstly I love to ape the pompous, sanctimonious style of the media that I have to constantly endure, from the moral absolutists. The media whether right, left or centre is almost universally moral absolutist and this is the institutional perspective of just about all our institutions. So my sweeping statement are generally intentioned as deconstructionist, they are intended to shock, they seek for any weakness where the moral absolutist view can be cracked open. They seek for a point where the moral absolutist's moral complacency can be broken or at least weakened, or put into doubt.

Lewisham in the title of the thread refers to the events of July 2nd 1977 that took place in the borough of Lewisham, London, England. There was a planned march by the "National Front", a smallish political party representing indigenous people that was on the rise at the time. "The Nazis" references the slogan "Never Again!" of their far left Trotskyist opponents the Socialist Workers Party, Summoning up the spectre of some kind of repeat of the events of 1939 to 1945. This slogan was in my view absurd, utterly absurd. The idea that the National Front was going to take power, build up the military, and then invade France or Poland, re-annex Ireland or go on some other expansionist empire building spree and then start engaging in genocidal occupation policies like the Nazis did between 1939 and 1945 was preposterous. So this is consistent with my views on "anti Nazism" in 2021.

"Free Speech" refers to the calls for the local authorities to ban the march. Now while free speech can never be absolute, I am extremely wary of ever putting more power into the hands of government to control speech and expression. This applies to national government, local government and non governmental institutions. When ever it becomes politically feasible to ban something it is almost universally the institutional curtailment of free speech that is the greatest threat to democracy and liberty not the people they are trying to ban. I won't say more on that here for the moment as this is again consistent with my views on free speech in 2021.

However while I can sympathise deeply with indigenous people, whether it be the Tibetans the Lakota, or my own Germano-Celtic peoples, the National Front at the time contained some very nasty individuals. I also have no doubt that it was a major organising centre for violent attacks and other severe abuse that severely impacted the lives of non indigenous citizens and residents. In addition a successful march through Lewisham, would be humiliating to non indigenous people as well as their indigenous friends, relatives and anti-morphological-racists.

It is therefore my view that it was right to counter protest. But not merely to counter protest but if possible to stop the march, break up the march and then to use the military term, disperse in detail. That if possible it was right to use what ever physical force was necessary to achieve this objective. And yet further it was right to use what ever physical force was necessary against the police, to break through the police lines and defeat the national front march. In this instance in this time and place it was right to march with and even organise with the Socialist Workers Party and other far left groups who sought to overthrow British democracy, even including groups that wanted to see Soviet tanks on British streets. This is clearly very different to my views on "Black Lives matter" in 2021.

Lewisham was before time. But I am not a complete stranger to robust protest. I speak as someone who has not just been an arm chair protester, even recently actually. Hopefully this concretely illustrates my view that the principles of Democracy, Free Speech, the Rule of Law, individual liberty, individuals responsibilities to wider society, the right to dignity and the need for protest are in tension with each other. That they can be in opposition to each other, and in some case severe opposition. And that these principles can not be placed in a universal hierarchy that is consistent and unchanging across time and place.
#15199288
ckaihatsu wrote:Instead of a proffered 'universal hierarchy', how about a 'center' and two diametrically-opposed 'peripheries' -- ?

So I have often said that I'm a member of the far-centre, although I'm not actually aware of any organisation that uses that designation or could be really described as such. I have never been a member of or ever donated money to an organisation that could in any way be described as right of centre let alone far right, conservative or right wing libertarian. Although my politics have no doubt shifted in the way hers maybe haven't, I would argue that at a fundamental level I'm no different to say a J.K Rowling. A progressive who didn't cease to be progressive. Its just that the centre of mass or at least the centre of noise of progressives has changed.

I could also describe my ideology as completely reconstructed no-cuck liberalism. Reconstructed upon the basis of an honest moral relativism rather the fake, inane, moral absolutism of liberalism's supposed founders.

I'm not sure if what I said was misunderstood. Very possibly it was unclear, but the hierarchy to which i referred was not a hierarchy of ideologies, but a hierarchy of values within an ideology.
#15199317
Rich wrote:
So I have often said that I'm a member of the far-centre, although I'm not actually aware of any organisation that uses that designation or could be really described as such. I have never been a member of or ever donated money to an organisation that could in any way be described as right of centre let alone far right, conservative or right wing libertarian. Although my politics have no doubt shifted in the way hers maybe haven't, I would argue that at a fundamental level I'm no different to say a J.K Rowling. A progressive who didn't cease to be progressive. Its just that the centre of mass or at least the centre of noise of progressives has changed.

I could also describe my ideology as completely reconstructed no-cuck liberalism. Reconstructed upon the basis of an honest moral relativism rather the fake, inane, moral absolutism of liberalism's supposed founders.

I'm not sure if what I said was misunderstood. Very possibly it was unclear, but the hierarchy to which i referred was not a hierarchy of ideologies, but a hierarchy of values within an ideology.



The 'center' is actually *nationalism*, and you're bemoaning that both the right-of-center and left-of-center have both been increasingly *polarized* in recent years, away from conventional nationalism.

You may want to elaborate on your conception of nationalism and on what your conception of nationalist-type political 'values' is.
#15199952
ckaihatsu wrote:You may want to elaborate on your conception of nationalism and on what your conception of nationalist-type political 'values' is.

If there was a move to create a world democracy with completely proportional representation, then I would feel obliged to support it. if many people really believed in human rights then a world democracy with equal voting for all adults is a prerequisite to any really genuine and serious attempt to start guaranteeing some rights to all humans. If there was a world democracy for example I can't imagine them allowing Americans to enslave and torture non Americans like Khalid Sheik Mohammed, without even a hint of due process, as happens under the current world order.

Even without a world democracy I would support at least moving towards a a real universal basic income, ie a basic income paid to ever adult human in the world. And even without a world democracy I argue that the China virus vaccines should have been offered on the basis of need across the world not on the basis of nationality.

However given that the overwhelming majority of the world's population don't really believe in human rights and don't really believe in human justice, but at best just pay lip service to these ideas, I'm quite keen to protect my national privileges. As I see few people willing to give up their privileges they have over me, or challenge the privileges of groups that they choose to identify with and apologise for, I see no urgent moral imperative to give up my privileged positions.
#15200192
Rich wrote:
If there was a move to create a world democracy with completely proportional representation, then I would feel obliged to support it. if many people really believed in human rights then a world democracy with equal voting for all adults is a prerequisite to any really genuine and serious attempt to start guaranteeing some rights to all humans. If there was a world democracy for example I can't imagine them allowing Americans to enslave and torture non Americans like Khalid Sheik Mohammed, without even a hint of due process, as happens under the current world order.

Even without a world democracy I would support at least moving towards a a real universal basic income, ie a basic income paid to ever adult human in the world. And even without a world democracy I argue that the China virus vaccines should have been offered on the basis of need across the world not on the basis of nationality.


Rich wrote:
However given that the overwhelming majority of the world's population don't really believe in human rights and don't really believe in human justice, but at best just pay lip service to these ideas, I'm quite keen to protect my national privileges. As I see few people willing to give up their privileges they have over me, or challenge the privileges of groups that they choose to identify with and apologise for, I see no urgent moral imperative to give up my privileged positions.



What about the defeat of the war drive on Iraq? Hurricane Katrina showed everyone what happens when national political attention is turned away, to war efforts abroad.



"Second Superpower" is a term used to conceptualize a global civil society as a world force comparable to or counterbalancing the United States of America. The term originates from a 2003 New York Times article which described world public opinion as one of two superpowers.[1]



https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Second_Superpower



What are the 'privileged positions' of yours that are so precious to you?
#15201606
The events at Lewisham in 1977 were as I said, before my time. I did attend one Anti Nazi League march in its second incarnation. Funnily enough a few actual "Fash" did turn up". Now I certainly didn't consider my self the greatest street fighter of all time, but at these sorts of odds, there were thousands of us, I was happy to get stuck in. But the (British independent of the American organisation of the same name) Socialist Workers Party hacks, the main organisers of the demonstration, in that part of the march, told everyone to ignore them. :lol: Really you can't make this stuff up. After a bit a "Workers Power" (a small Trotskyist organisation) section came up, they were certainly up for having a go, but by then the police had got a solid line to keep the fash and the demonstrators apart. I'd like to think I'd have a bit more initiative now and would be over the barriers in a flash to at least eye ball them face to face. But such is life, filled with things that we'd have liked to have done.

Was the ANL doing the right thing in its second incarnation? Well the name was still ridiculous. Some sort of repeat of world war and its occupations being even more fantastical than in seventies Britain. Was it a good thing at the beginning of the nineties? I think its debatable. What is important for me is that, there has been an absolutely massive change in society, between the seventies and now in Britain, in the US and in other western countries. So for me its total consistent to not support "Black Lives Matter" in the present day, but argue that the small minority of radicals, even extremists who wanted to physically confront the "National Front" in 1977 were doing the right thing.

The institutional racism of the nineteen seventies just doesn't exist any more. Of course there's still individual racial Europeans with racist prejudices against racial non Europeans and deep Africans in particular, but these are far outweighed by the tidal wave of anti European bigotry, prejudice and in many cases hatred and the huge amount of self hating non Jewish Europeans.
#15201635
Rich wrote:
The events at Lewisham in 1977 were as I said, before my time. I did attend one Anti Nazi League march in its second incarnation. Funnily enough a few actual "Fash" did turn up". Now I certainly didn't consider my self the greatest street fighter of all time, but at these sorts of odds, there were thousands of us, I was happy to get stuck in. But the (British independent of the American organisation of the same name) Socialist Workers Party hacks, the main organisers of the demonstration, in that part of the march, told everyone to ignore them. :lol: Really you can't make this stuff up. After a bit a "Workers Power" (a small Trotskyist organisation) section came up, they were certainly up for having a go, but by then the police had got a solid line to keep the fash and the demonstrators apart. I'd like to think I'd have a bit more initiative now and would be over the barriers in a flash to at least eye ball them face to face. But such is life, filled with things that we'd have liked to have done.

Was the ANL doing the right thing in its second incarnation? Well the name was still ridiculous. Some sort of repeat of world war and its occupations being even more fantastical than in seventies Britain. Was it a good thing at the beginning of the nineties? I think its debatable. What is important for me is that, there has been an absolutely massive change in society, between the seventies and now in Britain, in the US and in other western countries. So for me its total consistent to not support "Black Lives Matter" in the present day, but argue that the small minority of radicals, even extremists who wanted to physically confront the "National Front" in 1977 were doing the right thing.

The institutional racism of the nineteen seventies just doesn't exist any more. Of course there's still individual racial Europeans with racist prejudices against racial non Europeans and deep Africans in particular, but these are far outweighed by the tidal wave of anti European bigotry, prejudice and in many cases hatred and the huge amount of self hating non Jewish Europeans.



Got one for ya:


New trial ordered for a Black man whose all-white jury met in a room adorned with a Confederate flag

https://www.dailykos.com/stories/2021/1 ... =emaildkre
#15201652
The NF was founded by a former member of the British Union of Fascists whose members were interned by Churchill during the war because of their vocal support for the enemy state. The NF was active in the 1970s when John Tyndall was the Front's chairman, who passed away in 2005. The British National Party (BNP) became irrelevant politically around the time of his death, replaced with the English Defence League (EDL) from Facebook, which empowered Tommy Robinson, who led EDL members who persistently regarded themselves as second-class citizens in their own country. Luckily, I missed the EDL rally in Cambridge in 2013. About 500 people took part in the UAF march through the city, while only 30 attended the EDL protest in Cambridge. The British state always made sure that EDL members' right to free speech was respected during the 2010s, when Facebook supported the EDL and other extremist groups on free speech grounds.

#15201755
Rich wrote:"Free Speech" refers to the calls for the local authorities to ban the march. Now while free speech can never be absolute, I am extremely wary of ever putting more power into the hands of government to control speech and expression. This applies to national government, local government and non governmental institutions. When ever it becomes politically feasible to ban something it is almost universally the institutional curtailment of free speech that is the greatest threat to democracy and liberty not the people they are trying to ban. I won't say more on that here for the moment as this is again consistent with my views on free speech in 2021.

...the National Front ...I also have no doubt that it was a major organising centre for violent attacks and other severe abuse that severely impacted the lives of non indigenous citizens and residents. In addition a successful march through Lewisham, would be humiliating to non indigenous people as well as their indigenous friends, relatives and anti-morphological-racists.

It is therefore my view that it was right to counter protest. But not merely to counter protest but if possible to stop the march, break up the march and then to use the military term, disperse in detail. That if possible it was right to use what ever physical force was necessary to achieve this objective. And yet further it was right to use what ever physical force was necessary against the police, to break through the police lines and defeat the national front march. In this instance in this time and place it was right to march with and even organise with the Socialist Workers Party and other far left groups who sought to overthrow British democracy, even including groups that wanted to see Soviet tanks on British streets. This is clearly very different to my views on "Black Lives matter" in 2021.

There are so many Leftists in this forum.

Since you believe in moral relativism, obviously you seem to believe the means justify the ends. (Something that is not just a given in ethics, mind you)

Deontological versus ontological ethics.

Or in other words you don't really have any ethical principles so much. Anything can go, so long as you think the end is good.

As you no doubt already know, this is a little bit of a dangerous morality.

You get people on two different sides who believe as you do (with that view of free speech and morality), what do you think is going to happen?
#15202775
ThirdTerm wrote:The NF was founded by a former member of the British Union of Fascists whose members were interned by Churchill during the war because of their vocal support for the enemy state.

To be clear, I don't doubt that the NF was founded by Hitlerphiles. And I don't doubt that there are still a fair few Hitler lovers around today. Its just that in 1977, let alone today, there was no chance of the Hitler lovers taking over the British state, but even if they had, Britain's military expansionist potential in 1977 was risible compared with the German state in 1933. Hence the "Never Again!" slogan was absurd.

However even if democracy was under real threat of self identified neo-Nazis or neo-fascists, confrontation on the streets is not the way to stop them. Hitler's ascension as chancellor could easily have been avoided if the Communists had been willing to give the democratic parties of the Reichstag, minimal support to stay in government. Instead the KPD, the German Communists couldn't wait to overthrow the democracy themselves, and used the slogan "First Hitler, then us!"

My argument for supporting the extreme measures of physical confrontation of the National Front is two fold.

1 The National Front was an organising centre for serious criminal violence and other criminal harassment of non European people. The British police force in 1977 was undoubtedly institutionally racist, (not to mention horrifically misogynist) and was incapable of giving non indigenous Britons their proper legal protections. Measures outside the rule of law were therefore justified. It was important therefore if possible to humiliate them on the streets. Even the fact that they were forced to hide behind police lines severely tarnished their macho image.

2 The march was humiliating to the non indigenous residents and the indigenous people with non indigenous friends and relatives. In my view this gave them a moral right to violent protest and to seek to override the right of the National Front members, supporters and sympathisers to free expression.
#15203362
What’s all the NF representing “ indigenous” people bullshit, rich?

They were a bunch of racist skinheads out for a bit of “Pakistani bashing” and nothing else. Disgusting term, now thankfully obsolete. The original term was used without the stani bit onthe end.

Don’t try to make them prettier than they were

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