Thinking Strategically About Free Speech and Violence Reply

By Nathan J. Robinson

Current Affairs

When it comes to neo-Nazis, the most important thing is to stop them from gaining power. We know that, as brutal as they are are when wandering the streets beating black men with metal poles, if Nazis ever again achieved control of a powerful state, the consequences would be inconceivably horrific for hundreds of millions, probably billions, of people around the world. The growth of white supremacist ideology in the 20th century led to slaughter on an unimaginable scale. It must never, ever happen again.

When there are white supremacists in our midst, then, and we are deciding how to deal with them, the strategy question is of critical importance: what is the best way to actually undermine the political prospects of racist movements? The actions taken by leftists must be discussed in terms of their predictable consequences. The task is to stop the Nazis. A vital question, for any given left-wing approach, should be: “Does this help us, or does it help the Nazis?”

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