The Dangerous Lure of Political Violence Reply

The best revolutions involve a minimal amount of bloodshed. The American Revolution was flawed, but it lacked the bloodletting of the French Revolution. The overthrow of the USSR ushered in the Yeltsin disaster, but it lacked the horrors of Bolshevism. The overthow of Ferdinand Marcos in the Philippines in 1986 was to a large degree a bloodless revolution. The only violence should be in resistance to state repression of the revolution and the prevention of the reconcentration of power from taking place. “Don’t fire until you see the whites of their eyes…”

By Katherine Mangu-Ward, Reason

Just down the street from the Reason offices in D.C., protesters recently built a guillotine. No necks were harmed that night; it wasn’t fully functional. But they did it in front of Amazon founder Jeff Bezos’ house, and the message was clear: While we aren’t going to do violence to you personally right now, we want you to know that we think capitalist billionaires like you are so terrible that some violence may, in fact, be justified. Another iteration of the guillotine had popped up a couple of weeks earlier in front of the White House, with similar implications for the president and his allies.

The question, which has taken on increasing importance as Election Day draws near, is how seriously (or literally) to take such threats.

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