The Minneapolis Institute of the Arts (MIA) had the pleasure of hosting a fight between some protesters and some people accused of being neo-Nazis:
A shoving match broke out in a most unlikely place, the typically serene Minneapolis Institute of Art, where three people who appeared to be neo-Nazis fought with several others in another group of activists, a witness said Sunday.
Security guards arrived at the mayhem Saturday afternoon on the museum’s third floor, broke up the confrontation and had one of the reputed neo-Nazis on the floor, said museum visitor Will Bildsten.
A friend of Bildsten’s said he saw punches thrown during the fracas.
Normally I wouldn’t share a random story about two groups getting into a scuffle in a museum. But the comments I’ve been hearing about this warrant some comment from me.
As you might expect, a lot of people have been cheering the activists who engaged the accused neo-Nazis. This is all part of the “Is it okay to punch a Nazi,” trend. One side believes violence is an unacceptable response to somebody exercising their free speech, regardless of how vile that speech is. The other side thinks people have a moral obligation to use force against anybody advocating fascism. It’s the second group I want to pan right now.
Why do I have a moral obligation to violently attack advocates of fascism but not advocates of Marxism–Leninism? In fact, many of the people demanding Nazis be violently attacked wherever they are are advocates of Marxism–Leninism. There is no meaningful difference between the two groups other than one is for national socialism while the other is for international socialism and they use different ways of labeling groups they want to wipe out.
Fascists want to wipe out Jews, Marxist–Leninists want to wipe out kulaks. Fascists want to wipe out people who aren’t white, Marxist–Leninists want to wipe out people who aren’t proletariats. Fascists want to wipe out opponents to fascism, Marxist-Leninists want to wipe out counter-revolutionaries. What’s especially interesting is that these different labels are often applied to the same groups of people. Jews are frequently labeled kulaks and bourgeois, for example.
All I’m asking for is some goddamn consistency. Those who are against using violence in response to any form of speech are already acting consistently. But if you believe it’s okay to punch a fascist then you should be equally fine with punching a Marxist-Leninist. Both philosophies are equally vile.