When is viciousness, acts of political violence morally justified?

“At some point these acts of brazen viciousness are going to lead to a renewed philosophical interest in the question of when acts of political violence are morally justified.”


How quickly the lefty mind turns toward violence! That’s the lofty law-and-philosophy professor Brian Leiter. Here, I’ll help you get your fancy-schmancy, high-tone philosophy seminar started: Acts of political violence are justified to get what you want.

Via Instapundit, who says: “This whole ‘new civility’ business just isn’t working out as promised. On the other hand, it is working out pretty much as expected….”

My tag for the “new civility” has always been “civility bullshit.” It was always, obviously, a strategy to control conservatives (while liberals regrouped after the drubbing in the 2010 elections). Now that the Wisconsin protesters have gone so far beyond anything that could be attributed to Tea Partiers or to Sarah Palin maps-with-crosshairs, I suppose the MSM will act as if there never was a new civility movement at all. Suddenly, virulent dissent will be portrayed as noble.

And let me drag Ron Schiller — the punked NPR exec — into this. One of the things he said to the fake would-be donors was: “In my personal opinion, liberals today might be more educated, fair and balanced than conservatives.” I loathe this kind of self-flattery. Everyone thinks his own ideas are good. That’s why they’re your ideas. But to layer in this self-love: I’m smarter. This is what Leiter is doing too. He’s inclined to approve of the impulse toward violence on the left and willing to mobilize the discipline of philosophy to generate rhetoric to support its political goals. It’s quite disgusting.

Meanwhile, Schiller sneered at the dummies who aren’t liberal: “I mean basically they are, they believe in sort of white, middle-America gun-toting. I mean, it’s scary. They’re seriously racist, racist people.” Is Schiller smart? He thinks he is. But that statement reeks of stupidity. It’s not articulate. “Sort of white.” Just say they’re white if that’s your point. Are they “racist” as a result of a lack of education? Here’s a clue: It doesn’t take education to see that racism is wrong. If anything, it takes education to get to the point where you make subtle distinctions approving of some racial things but not others.

For the ordinary people Schiller has contempt for, it’s not a sophisticated intellectual matter to reject racism. And for the ordinary people outside of the circle of Leiter’s respect, it’s a simple matter to reject violence.

Update: Chicago Boyz wonder, What are Those Incompetent Wimps Going to Do Anyway?

Comments are closed.