What to do with left-wing agitators?

Thoughts on socialism and leftism generally

What to do with left-wing agitators?

Postby Nathan » 16 May 2013, 22:37

Earlier today, we had a group of left-wing agitators attack a UKIP press conference for no reason other than that they didn't agree with them and hence didn't want them to have their say. Last month, the same kind of people were dancing in the street at the death of an elderly lady whose time in office most of them could not remember. The EDL are derided as violent thugs, yet I know from personal experience that most of the violence at their demos tends to come from the so-called "anti-fascists" giving it everything they have to try to stop the demonstrations from taking place, in the name of tolerance.

Given that a general political shift to the right and further cuts to public services are inevitable, it's also inevitable that these incidents will increase in number, and likely in intensity. What to do then, when these people react to the fallout of their unworkable ideology in the only way they know how: violence and petulant rage?

If and when a repeat of the 2011 riots takes place, I would personally be quite happy and gratified to see the police give all present a warning to vacate the area immediately, and if that falls on deaf ears then give them a taste of water cannon, tear gas, rubber bullets, CS spray, baton charges etc until they get the message.

I am aware though that not only do I most likely not have the wisdom or life experience needed to be entrusted with making these decisions, but spending enough time reading the comments sections of the Guardian has also taught me that these people thrive on a feeling of self-righteousness gleaned from the false sense of being oppressed - so is it really wise to foster that, or is it wiser in a sense to allow the consequences of their bankrupt ideology to go up in flames so badly that even they see how destructive it is? Do we want to suppress the instincts that cause the scenes like I have described above, yet keep them alive bubbling away under the surface, or let them destroy themselves?
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Re: What to do with left-wing agitators?

Postby Elliott » 17 May 2013, 01:23

That's a tough dilemma, Nathan.

As a Scot who (this is the worst bit) lives in Scotland, I know for a fact that cuts to the public sector, and cuts to welfare, would never be tolerated here. This country has simply got too used to the leftist nanny state model.

You make a good point about the danger in suppressing leftism: it will feed leftists' sense of victimhood. However, the same thing happens when their policies fail. Leftists always, always, always feel that they have been wronged, because their utopia hasn't materialised. So, whatever you do, as a conservative you are going to be their enemy. It makes no difference whether you destroy them or let them destroy themselves: they will always blame you.

And that's why I say we should just go for it and destroy them. The only danger would be in over-playing our hand, so that the leftists could convince middle-grounders that they have been wronged.
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Re: What to do with left-wing agitators?

Postby Caleb » 17 May 2013, 01:33

Nathan: It's a difficult question. It seems inevitable that there is going to be violence, and violent reaction to that violence. Should the police respond with force against unruly protestors, rioters or looters, those people will push back at first simply because they will think they are right, but more importantly, because they will (largely) correctly think they will get away with and both society and institutions will support them. That would mean that the police would either need to double down or slink away with their tails between their legs. If they were to double down, would they get away with it? I don't think there's really a likelihood of a right wing police state at that point, despite how much hyperbole there would be about such things, because they would given some latitude, but still ultimately be reined in.

I do think there is quite a likelihood of a right wing police state if they don't react to the agitators (including ethno-cultural agitators), because eventually, they will have to react to the agitators. Not if, when. Eventually, ordinary people are going to get sick of them and demand a heavier hand otherwise even they will lose faith in the police (and other institutions) and start engaging in vigilantism. At that point, all hell could have broken loose and for the police to regain any sense of authority, they would need to go quite over the top, perhaps even with the aid of the army and martial law. That's assuming they were able to regain control.

As for the economics of it all, the welfare state is not going to go down without a fight, and it's not going to do so within a nicely fenced off pen. Letting it all fall apart would also entail massive collateral damage to everyone else. Expect to see accelerating white flight to Australia, Canada, etc. by professionals, tradesmen and entrepreneurs, which would create quite a feedback loop. If it were not like that, I'd say let these clowns shoot themselves in the feet. The trouble is that they will do so with shotguns with other people standing closely beside them.

I think it's a case of a little bit now or a lot more later.
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Re: What to do with left-wing agitators?

Postby Gavin » 17 May 2013, 11:05

I can see the dilemma you identify, Nathan, but as you might expect I would recommend far stricter treatment of these thugs, and what is more I suspect a majority of the British public would back that, just as many people actually wanted the squatters removed from Parliament Square. I sometimes wonder if the authorities are actually running a little too scared of these thugs, when - although their supporters are vocal - many people do not support them.

Perhaps I am being optimistic, but I agree with you that water cannon should be brought out more readily. Actually, and this is notable, it was in the news the other night that the Met have "applied" to have water cannon available in Mainland UK, apparently in anticipation of more riots (it is currently only available in Northern Ireland). I'm glad they're on top of this.

I said last time that they should have used rubber bullets on the rioters in London and live rounds on any people pointing firearms. That's my view. Also the Far Left should be referred to as the intolerant fascists they are at every opportunity. As you suggest, however, we are not fully acquainted with all the facts. It is striking how few of these people seem to even be arrested. This may be because the police are infested with PC (the rank and file for the most part probably agree with us). On the other hand it may be because they actually dare not incite widespread violence from the Left because they could not contain the numbers.

But I say we cannot have the authorities running scared from brainless thugs. Douse the thugs with water cannons. Shoot rioters with rubber bullets. They are not "peaceful protestors", they're rioters! Just makes sure you've got the numbers to handle the backlash (army back-up, too). As I say, there may be more support from the general public than the authorities expect - a lot of people were frightened and outraged by the London riots.

On "Bloody Sunday" it appears the British soldiers did use lethal force with insufficient reason. There is what seemed to me a really excellent dramatisation of this by Paul Greengrass, by the way - I watched it again only the other day. It is more like a documentary than a drama. Also Douglas Murray recently published a book concluding that this incident was a mistake followed by a whitewash. The army seemed to "lose it" on that occasion. The odd bullet may fly when the troops are scared and being intimidated by an angry mob, but this time they appear to have taken numerous pot shots with live rounds at unarmed, even retreating, individuals. This incident (along with general race/Islamic/socialist PC) may have added to the authorities' fear of using force today, but it should not actually affect their willingness to use water cannon and rubber bullets as situations escalate.

I think the authorities probably do have the numbers, the weapons and the backing of decent people to be able to keep these Far Left fascist thugs disciplined and, if they do, then they should do it without hesitation.
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Re: What to do with left-wing agitators?

Postby Connor » 23 May 2013, 04:05

I think there's a chapter of history that sheds light on this question...

Lately, I've been reading about what Chile was like under the reign of Augusto Pinochet. It's a striking example of an ultra-conservative regime that dealt swiftly and harshly with its own "left-wing agitators."

Gavin's talk of water cannons is what brought the subject to my mind. Apparently, that was one of the regime's preferred methods for warding off leftist protesters. People were also frequently beaten by the police and sent to prison if they became too much of a nuisance. Strict curfews were set at night, and anyone found roaming the streets in the forbidden hours could be arrested.

This may all sound a bit extreme. But then, you need to look at the context in which Pinochet was operating. Before he and his military junta took power, Chile had experienced three years of a communist government which was tearing the society apart. Large-scale redistribution of wealth and private property had been enforced by the communists, and Pinochet's government was attempting to reverse these disastrous trends. As one could imagine, hordes of militant communists in Chile were unhappy about this turning of the tides. Thus, the water cannons (and sometimes harsher methods).

Most people on the left focus on the "human rights' abuses" of the Pinochet regime and many people classify him as a "fascist" (although he did voluntarily step down from office after a democratic election in 1990).

Then there are others who wonder: did he do what was necessary to save his society? Here was a country in which the "left-wing agitators" had taken over, and they were already a few years into their destructive schemes. Pinochet's junta, while sometimes brutal, was able to relinquish the communist agenda and implement a free-market system (in fact, he took advice from both Margaret Thatcher and Milton Friedman about economics). The result is that Chile is now a modern and economically prosperous country today as opposed to, well, another Cuba.

The whole historical drama of Chile and Pinochet seems to pose the very question that this thread asks. I'm not sure if it provides any definite answers though. I sense that it was very much a "lesser of two evils" situation, although I'm confident that the Left really was the greater evil in this case.

I only hope that our own societies don't have to make such a drastic choice one day.
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Re: What to do with left-wing agitators?

Postby Henry » 05 Jun 2013, 17:46

Connor, I agree completely and would say that unless very firm measures are taken against the leftists NOW we may well find ourselves with Milliband and his crypto communist friends in power in 2015 - at which point we really will need a General Pinochet of our own to sort out the country (fire - and possibly imprison - most of the journalists at the BBC, close down the Guardian and the Mirror, address firmly the issue of multiculturism and immigration, restore capital punishment, arm the police and encourage use of those arms to enforce zero tolerance to any crime, fire liberal educationalists at all levels, reduce welfare payments, abolish all race relations legislation...these are the starting point for any radical restoration of Great Britain). Do we have a General Pinochet in the wings? I really don't know - we have become so emasculated by 40 years of political correctness and self-immolation..but, that said, spend a little time informally at Sandhurst or the Honourable Artillery Company and you get a very definite sense of young officers who would actively support such a leader. we can hope!
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Re: What to do with left-wing agitators?

Postby Caleb » 06 Jun 2013, 01:35

Right wing totalitarianism is not a solution to (semi-)left wing totalitarianism.
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Re: What to do with left-wing agitators?

Postby Connor » 06 Jun 2013, 04:47

Caleb: I agree that totalitarianism of any kind is undesirable. However, I would draw a distinction here between a totalitarian government and an authoritarian government. The former kind of government attempts to micro-manage every aspect of society, including the very thoughts of individuals (examples: Soviet Communism, Maoism, Nazism, etc.). While all totalitarian governments are necessarily authoritarian, not all authoritarian governments are totalitarian in scope.

In Pinochet's Chile, for example, there was much coercion by the government and there were also serious limitations put on people's liberties. There was not, however, any demand on behalf of the government that the people conform to a rigid state ideology. Ordinary villagers continued their jobs as fishermen and bricklayers, maintaining their beliefs and culture. People continued to attend church on Sunday, and their children learned the same things at school. Under a totalitarian system, traditional folkways such as these are (deliberately) shattered. Certain strands of authoritarian government, however, do leave the majority of people unmolested.

As I said in my earlier post, I think it's regrettable when a society has to enter into such a system. I view it as a nation-wide case of Martial Law being implemented in a time of emergency. There are some episodes in history where that kind of Sophie's Choice has to be made.

Henry: Do you really think the election of Ed Milliband would call for that drastic of a response? I'm not British, so I only have some basic knowledge of him as a politician. I'm not sure that he qualifies as a Communist dictator though!
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Re: What to do with left-wing agitators?

Postby Henry » 06 Jun 2013, 12:37

Yes I know it sounds ludicrously over-stated: Milliband is weak and inept but he stands on the shoulders of several decades of militant erosion of national pride. We have internalised guilt at achievement, guilt at wealth, guilt towards any of the selected victim groups of contemporary Western society. We have – as somebody pithily remarks – Stalinism with wheelchair access. Hand-wringing egalitarianism attacks traditional hierarchies of success. So in that context....an overstatement perhaps, but not a ridiculous overstatement, to look for firm intervention to reassert the ground-rules of a civilised society. And, yes, Caleb, I do think that an authoritarian right wing dictatorship is a pretty good answer to crypto communism!
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Re: What to do with left-wing agitators?

Postby Caleb » 07 Jun 2013, 00:36

Connor: It's always about the unintended consequences and those who get accused of being subversives and sent away or executed. Things don't always go nearly so well as you describe. See this and this. Sometimes it doesn't even help to be a poor peasant who keeps his mouth shut. Also note the following:

The KMT imprisoned mostly the Taiwan's island's intellectual and social elite out of fear that they might resist KMT rule or sympathize with communism. [3] For example, the Formosan League for Reemancipation was a Taiwanese independence group established in 1947 which the KMT believed to be under Communist control leading to its members being arrested in 1950. The World United Formosans for Independence was persecuted for similar reasons. However, other prosecutions did not have such clear reasoning; in 1968 Bo Yang was imprisoned for his choice of words in translating a Popeye comic strip.


Seriously, a Popeye comic strip?
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Re: What to do with left-wing agitators?

Postby Connor » 20 Jun 2013, 06:39

I guess it depends on what Popeye said in the strip.



...no, just kidding. I certainly don't approve of that kind of paranoid persecution, whether it's being carried out by the left or the right.

To be clear, I'm not claiming that things "go well" when right-wing authoritarians win out over Communist forces. I was just trying to analyze a historical situation where the population seemed to be caught between two extreme political factions. Sometimes, there is no moderate - or even democratic - candidate to stand behind. There's just a Red Army on one side, and a White Army on the other.

For whatever reason, Spanish-speaking countries seem to offer up a lot of examples of these extremely polarized, Right-versus-Left conflicts. The Spanish Civil War in particular is one such example. Just take a look at the list of combatants on the Wikipedia article, and you'll see that both sides were composed of quite an eclectic mix of groups. The Nationalists (right-wing) were composed of conservatives, fascists, Monarchists, clerics, Carlists and economic liberals. The Republicans (left-wing) were composed of Communists, socialists, anarchists, syndicalists, secularists and liberal democrats. In a time of upheaval, these factions all found it necessary to choose sides, however compromising that choice may have been. I'm only thankful that I've never been forced into such a predicament myself.

Rest assured, though, that I don't want a right-wing dictatorship to be installed in any country of today. Maybe I should just let sleeping Generalissimos lie.
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Re: What to do with left-wing agitators?

Postby Caleb » 21 Jun 2013, 05:22

Connor: Those are good points.
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