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.
No discrimination against the UV
Recognise Pluto's planetary status