RI Future Takes a Step Toward Fascism


Be sure to read this disturbing essay by Christopher Joseph on RI Future:

To “destroy the platform” is a textbook anti-fascist tactic that organizations have used for decades, historically in efforts to break up Neo-Nazi gangs and other fascistic organizations and to prevent their return, and is currently in use against members of the alt-right. The rowdy protest outside of the DeploraBall on the inaugural eve, complete with black masks and flaming trash cans, is such an example. Essentially, anti-fascism declares that any attempt to gain a platform to espouse fascistic or oppressive views or to organize action around such ideologies (i.e. Yiannopoulous’s Islamophobia or Richard Spencer’s anti-Semitism), is an inherently uncivil and offensive act and will be met with immediate physical resistance. That declaration relies on the aforementioned understanding that civility is automatically lost when any form of fascism is brought into the discourse, and especially into the public sphere of influential speech, because fascism itself historically speaks the language of violence by advocating for xenophobia, militant nationalism, racial superiority, war, and ethnic cleansing and genocide.

Joseph explicitly supports the violent destruction of property and even, it seems, harm to others, although he acknowledges that every activist has to assess his or her own tolerance for risk.  The question he doesn’t answer, though, is who determines what constitutes an objectionable ism and who deserves a platform?  The fascist mob does, obviously, meaning whoever is pulling their strings.

We needn’t wander far for aids to the imagination concerning the direction this could go.  Joseph’s premise is that the people with whom he disagrees are implicitly uncivil and therefore do not deserve civil treatment.  Their intellectual aggression and “hate” have a physical force, in a sense, and “will be met with immediate physical resistance.”

Turn now to another post on RI Future, in which Steve Ahlquist reports on business groups’ arguments against legislation to raise the minimum wage:

Perhaps the most awful part of Boisselle’s short presentation was when she suggested that the minimum wage is so high right now that adults are taking jobs from teenagers. Boisselle’s solution to this imagined problem was to suggest that the General Assembly pass an “opportunity wage” which would allow businesses to pay teenagers less than the current minimum wage to do the same job an adult might do for more money.

Just writing a description of her suggestion makes me ill.

Joseph’s Bizarro World argument that others’ speech is violent and therefore reciprocating with actual violence is defense, not aggression, blends seamlessly with Ahlquist’s sensation that others’ arguments make  him “ill.”  In his view, Lenette Boisselle, a lobbyist for several business groups, advocates “anti-worker, inhumane and exploitative policies,” which even in their expression cause sensitive souls like his pain.  Christopher Joseph might wonder why such a woman is permitted a platform without disruptive, possibly violent protest.

Progressives aren’t about peace.  Their view of rights allows only those that they decide to grant.  Their opposition to oppression is defined mainly by their political allegiances, not principle.  They’re about power and shutting other people down in the hopes that it will shut down a reality with which they cannot cope.

  • Mike678

    Irony: acting like fascists while they decry fascism….

    • grammarsnare

      Irony: implicating a group of individuals as if they were an entire form of government, implying that they don’t respect free speech rights, while clearly demonstrating an inaccurate understanding what the 1st Amendment actually protects.

      • Mike678

        A weak argument at best.

        The “group of individuals” I was referring to the paid, organized thugs who destroyed property to deny free speech. I am also pretty sure destruction of private and public property isn’t protected under the First Amendment.

        Too many of the far left are trying to justify violence. Some, like you, try to deflect. Others try to portray terrorist activity as legitimate protest. Perhaps if this were not so we could take you seriously.

    • Gedot

      And spending middle class tax money with no thought as to where it comes from, or how it’s wasted.

  • David Morton

    Your ramblings make no sense at all.

  • grammarsnare

    Go back to your safe space if you can’t handle the heat, Katz.

  • Pedro Quixote

    You make some good points Justin, right up until the end when you make an absolute statement about all progressives which is false. False because it’s wrong, and false because absolute statements are generally wrong and indefensible. You can’t make a statement about an entire group of people based on the words or actions of two persons. It’s a ridiculous assertion. Remember the Women’s March, arguably the largest protest in American history: millions of people protested and there was no violence, no arrests. If you want to generalize about progressives, maybe consider that example.

    • Mike678

      Still trying to figure out what the objective of the march was. That they don’t like Trump? I think he knows that 60M people didn’t vote for him. To create mountains of garbage? Mission accomplished!


    • Justin Katz

      Pedro: Your point is well taken, and I did consider it (and have considered it pretty much every time I make such broad statements. I don’t think all progressives knowingly share the priority of power over everything, but when it comes to a decision, that tends to be the final emphasis. After all, we’re talking, here, about Rhode Island’s premier progressive Web site publishing an ode to violence. Through numerous instances — whether supporting the violation of free speech rights, religious freedom for Christians, support for labor unions, the downplaying of Muslim social views, or what have you — I’ve observed that principle almost always takes a back seat to the movement and its quest for power.

      Simply put, those who put their feet down and stand on principle are no longer progressives… in my eyes, in the eyes of many of the organizers of their movement, and often in their own eyes. The only way not to prioritize principle over power and remain progressive is to avoid hitting that point of decision, which is why, frankly, others can find that progressives live in an alternative universe.

      • Peter Bonk

        One is reminded of the old joke- and it was not always a joke- about “principled” folks- true believers (aka “Useful Idiots”) finding themselves rounded up and imprisoned in the Lubyanka, awaiting a one way trip to the Gulag or a bullet to the brain, saying, writing on the walls, “If only Stalin knew!”. Follow the money, follow the power.

        • Gedot

          Why even Stalin and the boyz couldn’t bring themselves to win their “elections” with 100% of the vote. There were always a few who were ordered to vote for the “opposition”. Decent of them, eh?

  • mo up in the northeast