March 11, 2011

"At some point these acts of brazen viciousness are going to lead to a renewed philosophical interest in the question of when acts of political violence are morally justified."

How quickly the lefty mind turns toward violence! That's the lofty law-and-philosophy professor Brian Leiter. Here, I'll help you get your fancy-schmancy, high-tone philosophy seminar started: Acts of political violence are justified to get what you want.

Via Instapundit, who says: "This whole 'new civility' business just isn’t working out as promised. On the other hand, it is working out pretty much as expected...."

My tag for the "new civility" has always been "civility bullshit." It was always, obviously, a strategy to control conservatives (while liberals regrouped after the drubbing in the 2010 elections). Now that the Wisconsin protesters have gone so far beyond anything that could be attributed to Tea Partiers or to Sarah Palin maps-with-crosshairs, I suppose the MSM will act as if there never was a new civility movement at all. Suddenly, virulent dissent will be portrayed as noble.

And let me drag Ron Schiller — the punked NPR exec — into this. One of the things he said to the fake would-be donors was: "In my personal opinion, liberals today might be more educated, fair and balanced than conservatives." I loathe this kind of self-flattery. Everyone thinks his own ideas are good. That's why they're your ideas. But to layer in this self-love: I'm smarter. This is what Leiter is doing too. He's inclined to approve of the impulse toward violence on the left and willing to mobilize the discipline of philosophy to generate rhetoric to support its political goals. It's quite disgusting.

Meanwhile, Schiller sneered at the dummies who aren't liberal: "I mean basically they are, they believe in sort of white, middle-America gun-toting. I mean, it’s scary. They’re seriously racist, racist people." Is Schiller smart? He thinks he is. But that statement reeks of stupidity. It's not articulate. "Sort of white." Just say they're white if that's your point. Are they "racist" as a result of a lack of education? Here's a clue: It doesn't take education to see that racism is wrong. If anything, it takes education to get to the point where you make subtle distinctions approving of some racial things but not others.

For the ordinary people Schiller has contempt for, it's not a sophisticated intellectual matter to reject racism. And for the ordinary people outside of the circle of Leiter's respect, it's a simple matter to reject violence.

116 comments:

Martin L. Shoemaker said...

Echoes of Sharon Angle mentioning "Second Amendment remedies". I'm waiting for the local liberals who condemned her for that to condemn Mr. Leiter for this.

I expect to wait a long time for that. But I'll bet we get a "But that was different!" post in no time flat.

wv: thommi. A rock opera by The Whom.

shoutingthomas said...

For once, Althouse, I'll just say: Bravo!

You're right.

The Crack Emcee said...

My question of the day is:

How many truly stupid people do we have in this country?

And that "truly" wasn't a mistake.

joshbraid said...

The worst part is that people like Leiter who don't care that they undermine the basics of civilization seem too stupid to realize that they are pulling the house down on us all. When he labels the Republican senators as "criminals", he is throwing out the basis for law and order and tacitly justifying the use of force. Our world is changing; we need flexbility of thought and, not these rigid and self-righteous bomb-throwers who disrupt our ability to adapt as a society. Try riding the wave rather than sitting in a chair in the waves.

tooclass said...

"liberals today might be more educated, fair and balanced than conservatives." - This statement is either true or false. It can't be both.

MayBee said...

Bravo, Althouse!

And again, there is nothing more ironic than the Obamas holding the anti-bullying conference yesterday. We need to start controlling what the kids say.

shoutingthomas said...

I hadn't notice the first time I looked at that loony's posting, but he posted it on a university website!

And, he apparently doesn't fear any punishment for doing so!

What in the hell is going on there?

Issob Morocco said...

One has to wonder what the opinion forming pathology is of the hard core leftists? Watching Schiller give 'his' opinion, what struck me was the sheer glee he exuded in his voice and physical features (eyes lit up, facial muscles went into the retribution happy mode).

Was he someone who when young was tormented by peers and now this was his chance to lash back at those who caused him so much pain?
Watch the video again and look at him when he says it. He seems almost not able to contain himself or say it fast enough when saying it.

Not your father's era liberals at work here.

campy said...

"liberals today might be more educated, fair and balanced than conservatives." - This statement is either true or false. It can't be both.

What if one group is more educated but less balanced, and both are equally fair?

JDF said...

It seems like everyone thinks their own ideas/conclusions are better than others; that's a basic premise of democratic decision-making and discourse. We also generally think we are more well-informed than others (with room for self-doubt and the usual disclaimers).

Many of the comments by your readers clearly convey contempt for the education and intellectual prowess of liberals. So they can't really be offended when Schiller plays off of Fox's pat-oneself-on-the-back motto of being 'fair and balanced.'

With respect, you misrepresent Schiller's comment: He did not say liberals were "smarter"; he said they were better "educated." That is an important distinction (and a lot less inflammatory).

Best, JDF

AprilApple said...

Simplified -- Modern democrats are tyrannical left-wing communists who want total control over YOUR life. But it's for your own good, as liberals are so much smarter than you.

Leo Ladenson said...

Just this morning The Washington Post confirmed that Jared Loughner, a lefty slacker, was obsessed with Gabrielle Giffords long before anyone had heard of Sarah Palin or the Tea Party.

Has Krugman or any of his ilk ever apologized to Gov. Palin or the Tea Partiers?

I'm a Shaaaaark said...

Many of the comments by your readers clearly convey contempt for the education and self-proclaimed intellectual prowess of liberals.

Fixed it for you. No need to thank me, I just enjoy helping.

Alan said...

One hesitates to call someone with Lieter's credentials "stupid," but since he's argued in print that Social Security is in fine shape because it has a trust fund with trillions of dollars in assets, perhaps it fits. There's a pattern here: professional work, brilliant; political stuff, complete garbage. I wonder if it means they really aren't smart or if it means that they're willing to say crazy things because they think the rest of us are so dumb we'll fall for them.

Jim Ryan said...

Brian Leiter: small man, big mouth, rage disorder.

Henry said...

Also at the link: Leiter informs us that the costs of public education at the State level are Ronald Reagan's fault.

The ranks of tomorrow's Robespierres grow crowded.

Phil 3:14 said...

I thought I'd read somewhere (a quick Google search didn't locate it) that Philosophy faculty are the most liberal of university faculty.

edutcher said...

Not that much new here. We've seen the Lefties use ideas like, "You have a right to break unjust laws", since the 60s.

The whole, "We're brilliant, they're idiots", bit goes back to the 50s (at least). Bitter clinger is a riff on the old theme.

As I've said, these people seem to be out of original ideas.

campy said...

"liberals today might be more educated, fair and balanced than conservatives." - This statement is either true or false. It can't be both.

What if one group is more educated but less balanced, and both are equally fair?


In other words, Lefties are unbalanced.

I'll go with that.

chickelit said...

Leiter would probably justify Sterling Hall too.

Comrade X said...

the left is violence. everything they do is about coercion.

Joe said...

(The Crypto Jew)






Soon, Comrades we shall march, united, and cast down the Class Enemy!

Arise you Starving Masses!

Obviously there is a case to be made for taking up the cause of arms, read the Declaration of Independence. Practically, as it is the Right and the Government that have the firepower rather than the squishy Philosophy Professoriate I wonder how “political violence” will play out between the poorly armed and the rather better-armed? But those are questions that deal more with “praxis” than “theoria” and so the good professor may be excused for his failure to account for the firepower differential.

SGT Ted said...

Everybodies own farts smell so much better.

Leo Ladenson said...

Welcome to the 19th century.


There's a lot to be said for the 19th century: the abolition of torture and slavery, a LONG peace in Europe, limited governments, evolutionary (rather than revolutionary) social change, etc. There was that Late Unpleasantness here among the States, but no century is perfect.

Wasn't the 19th better than the 20th? Or was the 20th higher highs and lower lows--while the 19th was just steady?

Joe said...

(The Crypto Jew)






No doubt the Doc and Garage will agree that the time has come when Walker ISN’T recalled, and more Democrats lose their recall elections than Republicans, INCREASING Republican dominance in the State House. Usually Lefties like violence when the elections don’t go their way….at least if it’s Lefties doing the violence.

Bruce Hayden said...

I would suggest that Leiter illustrates all that is wrong with law schools today. Here is someone who has apparently never taught law, teaching lawyers. He did fairly well in law school, and got a PhD in philosophy. And, since then has been climbing the academic ladder primarily through publishing.

The problem though is that these law students don't need an expert on Nietzsche, but rather, on being lawyers. And they don't need someone who writes like he does, and is as closed-minded and as bigoted as he is, to be teaching them about morals and ethics.

He is not alone - apparently a lot of the younger law professors have PhDs, along with their JDs. Many have complained that this does nothing to further the quality of lawyers being graduated. Rather, it seems designed for law faculty to gain stature with other academics who have, until now, looked down on them because their doctorates were professional doctorates, and not research doctorates - while happily taking the money that law schools spin off and other graduate programs consume in great quantities. Of course, the purpose of law schools is primarily to educate lawyers, not researchers, but that seems to be lost on law school faculties hiring the Lieters of the world.

shoutingthomas said...

I've got to repeat:

This knucklehead posted this requiem to violent revenge on a university website.

How in the hell do you do that and not lose your job?

Paul Zrimsek said...

Terrorists deserve to be judged with lots and lots of nuance. Republicans are just criminals.

Bruce Hayden said...

Whoops, I mistyped. It should have been:

I would suggest that Leiter illustrates all that is wrong with law schools today. Here is someone who has apparently never practiced law, teaching lawyers. He did fairly well in law school, and got a PhD in philosophy. And, since then has been climbing the academic ladder primarily through publishing, while wasting the time of his students.

PatCA said...

"It's quite disgusting."

AMEN!

Joe said...

(The Crypto Jew)


This knucklehead posted this requiem to violent revenge on a university website.



Uh Tenure? Please note Ward Churchill had to be bought out and I think won in court on his dismissal, even though he had plagiarized and falsified research.

And to be fair, it is a LEGITIMATE QUESTION. When is “Political violence” justified? Would you argue that it is NOT a legitimate question?

Timothy said...

Thank God the old philosophical interest in "justified" political violence went away. His post renews my interest in the philosophical worth of academia.

Marshal said...

"joshbraid said...

When he labels the Republican senators as "criminals", he is throwing out the basis for law and order and tacitly justifying the use of force."

This is exactly right. Lefties employ existential hyperbole (Walker's a dictator, Republicans are criminals, minor public policy changes like public employee unions are declarations of war) to encourage their members to take the most extreme reaction they can instigate. This is the essence of By Any Means Necessary.

First assert absolutely anything not your preference is a return to robber barons, women barefoot pregnant & in the kitchen, back alley wire hangers, or Jim Crow. Then instigate your followers to take the most extreme actions they can. Then ameliorate the consequences by ensuring the most radical among them will always have jobs available in academia and the NGO world.

This plays into a common liberal mindsets. Older liberals look back at those days and yearn for the sense of belonging and accomplishment. And the younger regret they missed the social crusade of the last 150 years, of which the modern stepchildren are a faint whisper. Liberals with these mindsets are easily manipulable.

Paddy O said...

"Many of the comments by your readers clearly convey contempt for the education and intellectual prowess of liberals."

What's interesting to me about this comment is that it seems to suggest an anti-intellectualism by conservatives on this site. Well, maybe that's not the interesting part.

The interesting part, to me, is how much education the readers here actually have. It would be interesting to do a survey of some kind, but what happens around here is significantly less about anti-intellectualism and more about often highly educated people, in one way or another, critical of their peers of equal or lesser education.

That's not the case on every site, but it tends to be the case here. Althouse, for instance, isn't critical of another professor as a way of sniping at the academy in general. She's critical of a professor as a professor herself.

Which means the critiques here tend to be calling the educated to actually act like they're educated instead of using their credentials to puff up their snobbery and fallacies.

shoutingthomas said...

And to be fair, it is a LEGITIMATE QUESTION. When is “Political violence” justified? Would you argue that it is NOT a legitimate question?

No, I wouldn't argue that.

You can see, in the violent imaginings of this prof, and in the street antics of the spoiled children of Madison a similar problem.

We've created a class of ingrate brats who get fat while thumbing their noses at us.

What to do about this? Who the hell knows?

Michael K said...

That was an interesting post. He seems ready to see the death threats against the Republican Senators in Wisconsin carried out.

Of course, he would never think of getting his hands dirty with "wet work" as his colleagues in the USSR would call it.

Cato Renasci said...

I went and read Leitner's post -- he talks about Republican criminals when it was the Republicans who followed the law and the Democrats who did not.

What astounds me is that this man can hold himself out as a philosopher - with philosophy such as this, Leitner is no more a philosopher than Mussolini or Lenin, both of whom fancied themselves as philosophers but were just thugs. Vicious thugs.

MarkG said...

I don't automatically accept that people with humanities degrees are "more educated."

shoutingthomas said...

I'm curious about these acts of brazen viciousness.

What are they?

After all, the state workers in Wisconsin still enjoy greater bargaining privileges than Federal workers.

And it was Jimmy Carter who rescinded collective bargaining for Federal workers. And President Obama had two years with a compliant Congress to do something about this brazen viciousness, and he did nothing.

It it only brazen viciousness when done by Republicans?

Would the same actions taken by Democrats not be brazen viciousness?

lyssalovelyredhead said...

Two observations:

1) Leftism believes in the greater good, moral relativism, and that the individual has less value. The idea of violencce, if it achieves the goals, is a logical extension of that. If you believe that killing someone will lead to a better world, well, there you go. . .

2) Many true lefties believe the fantasies about conservatives being absolutely evil and truely have goals that are truely absurd. This is not a function of a lack of "education", but of experience and worldlyness.

A few weeks ago, I got in a conversation with a woman (and attorney, not uneducated) who truely believed that conservatives (she specifically named Beck and Palin) are attempting to make the U.S. into a world where only Christians have certain rights and where homosexuality would be punished by death. (Among other things, and I am not exaggerating.)

If you believed that, I mean really believed it, and thought that they had the power to make it happen, would you not believe that violence was acceptable and justified? Wars have started over far less.

Leftism denies the humanity of their ideological (American) opponents, and rejects the idea of trying to understand their opponents' arguments and motivation. Is there any reason to doubt that this would lead to violence?

- Lyssa

Clairvius Narcisse said...

meh. i don't agree with nietzsche either.

shoutingthomas said...

Leftism denies the humanity of their ideological (American) opponents, and rejects the idea of trying to understand their opponents' arguments and motivation. Is there any reason to doubt that this would lead to violence?

And, yet, preposterously, the left has embraced the Jihadis (see the NPR squabble and the general hate Israel campaign).

These people really do plan to execute gays, enslave women and kill Jews and Christians.

So, go figure.

Joe said...

(The Crypto Jew)






What I have seen from the Left, is a classic “De-Humanizing”/”Demonizing” their opponent. You see it in Garage, or R-V, the Republicans are criminals, gutting rights, they have conducted a coup d’├ętat, they are sh!t-bags, etc.., etc. Our opponent is EVIL, and Less Than Human, it justifies our actions against them. In the beginning legal, extra-legal actions, but if needs be apparently violence, too…

Now I realize that Garage or R-V aren’t likely to be planting bombs, any time soon, I believe that they have fellow travelers who would be willing to. Of course, for the moment, there’s court, and the recall elections. After that we’ll have to see.

Randy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Almost Ali said...

Stop complaining. Prof. Leiter is telegraphing their #1 plan of action. We should be thankful, and in turn, prepared. No excuses, no faux shock when the liberal shit hits the fan.

As for NPR's Ron Schiller, he's simply embracing his inner racist. Not intentionally, but certainly unequivocally - like reading a Freudian bulletin board.

In sum, we're dealing with a pervasive, violent disease - a segment of society so corrupt that murder and mayhem become its order of the day.

Joe said...

(The Crypto Jew)


And, yet, preposterously, the left has embraced the Jihadist (see the NPR squabble and the general hate Israel campaign).

These people really do plan to execute gays, enslave women and kill Jews and Christians.



They are “The Other” exploited by a Hyper-Rational, Phalli-centric, Mega-Technical, Mechanic-Capitalist System, run by Rich White Men to the detriment of Gaia, Womyn, the Poor and People of Color. It is our Human Duty to oppose this travesty and support the Other in order to bring down this vile system of exploitation and provide Social, Economic, Environmental and Gender Justice to those for so long denied it.

Paul Zrimsek said...

I went and read Leitner's post -- he talks about Republican criminals when it was the Republicans who followed the law and the Democrats who did not.

That's not necessarily wrong in itself; "criminal" is a moral as well as a legal category. But it would be a lot easier to accept coming from someone who grants others the right to use the same sort of conclusory language even when he disagrees.

J said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
J said...

Aynhouse conservative moralists are hardly superior to Leiter, the frat-boy Nietzschean--they routinely mistake their own subjective goals/preferences for Justice as well (more or less, lower taxes, goldangit--notwithstanding the fact that taxes are still at BushCo levels--a point the TP overlooks routinely).

A closer reading of Nietzsche (rather challenging for AAsters) would allow them to see, like...anything goes, when done correctly. So you have mormonic-WASP crypto- nazis supporting Walker, vs. quasi-- collectivist rabble--Chandala!--favoring the unions and workers. Perhaps Truth will arrive via historical synthesis of a sort. Perhaps not

Joe said...

(The Crypto Jew)






So an Insult Troll has turned to insult BOTH Walker AND his detractors, puzzling….kind of like Lonewacko.com, only less literate.

Candance Moore said...

We are simply seeing in plain sight what conservatives have known all along: without double standards they would have no standards at all.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

Joe said...

And to be fair, it is a LEGITIMATE QUESTION. When is “Political violence” justified? Would you argue that it is NOT a legitimate question?

That question is legitimate, but is not the offensive part of the quote. The offensive part is that he thinks that the Republican's brazen and vicious actions will lead to greater interest in the question. It's clear from the rest of his comments that he believe this greater interest is appropriate because the Republican's actions are getting close to the point where the violence is justified.

J said...

Don't start with yr shofar playin' Joe, or your usual half-witted whines. You don't know fuck about Nietzsche, or the problems here. Save it for like Eric Cantor-log cabinGOP.com.

Yll be saying "Lone whacko" when yr headed off to prison, chester. You fuck yrself, shit

John said...

How quickly the left forgets.

An economic Liberal once said "You can not fight violence with violence, you can not fight hate with hate".

He was referring to the fact that escalating violence only made things worse for everyone.

I can only imagine what today's left would do a christian minister preaching the same kind of non-violent message.

Almost Ali said...

Leftism denies the humanity of their ideological (American) opponents... Is there any reason to doubt that this would lead to violence?

No.

Violence follows this scenario like night follows day.

Mwalimu Daudi said...

Now that the Wisconsin protesters have gone so far beyond anything that could be attributed to Tea Partiers or to Sarah Palin maps-with-crosshairs, I suppose the MSM will act as if there never was a new civility movement at all. Suddenly, virulent dissent will be portrayed as noble.

It will go beyond that. The MSM will portray violent dissent as noble.

Joe said...

(The Crypto Jew)






You know I kinda miss Old Lonewacko, and America’s Politico….ESPECIALLY America’s Politico…I mean the relentless trolling was annoying, and yet quite funny at times too, his/her claims of hi-powered polling jobs, the continual espousal of the imminent doom of the GOP… I was never sure if he was “real” or just someone spoofing.

And Lonewacko is a veritable Aristotle as compared to the current resident troll. I never thought I’d miss Lonewacko excoriating Obama’s opponents for being stupid and dense, and complaining about how IF ONLY we’d listen to him/her we’d be saved…Sure his/her website had no visitors either, but even so Lonewacko shines as compared to certain posters. I guess I felt s/he was less PATHETIC, Lonewacko had his/her convictions, as well as his/her hatreds, to keep them warm at night. And others just seem lonely, pathetic and angry voices “raging against the night” of their pointless and unknown existences.

Harsh Pencil said...

I agree with Joe (the Crypto Jew). When is political violence morally acceptable IS a legitimate philosophical question. What is obscene is that Leiter brings this up right after talking about the "Republican criminals". Where exactly is the criminality?

But again, the idea of the proper uses of political violence is neither a left or a right thing. Neither side is morally obliged to renounce political violence in all cases.

Right now, the left in this country is following an anti-democratic strategy of getting its policy outcomes by appointing judges who declare these outcomes, absurdly, as part of the Constitution, requiring a huge supermajority to overturn.

I think we are far far from this point, but at some point this tactic from the left may need to be confronted. What do you do if a future liberal Supreme Court (and a complicit President) declares that not having a 20% value added tax is unconstitutional? What do you do if a future liberal Supreme Court and a complicit President) declares marriage itself, as a civil as opposed to purely religious institution is unconstitutional? One could go on with hypotheticals. Surely (stop calling me Shirley) there is SOME point where one stops going along with the fiction that the Constitution is whatever the Supreme Court says it is. (Or maybe not?)

J said...

Heh heh.


Yr too f-ing stoooopid for political blogging, Asshousers (excepting you Maestra AA, mi mujerzuelta caliente)

Almost Ali said...

Now the question is: How will [we] deal with the inevitable leftist violence/fascism? Exactly how far will you allow the left to go before you react? In kind.

roesch-voltaire said...

And how eagerly he Right wing continues its acts of violence on the population as it guts the EPA, while its coal companies continue to poison the well, as its million dollar insurance CEOs continue to insure that health care is unaffordable, and the list goes on. But as this reporter writes:And yet there hasn't been a single episode of serious conflict between protesters or with the police. And there's no sign of any such confrontation to come. How is this possible? It's not an accident, and it's not a miracle. It's the product of a sophisticated, unbreakable culture that has evolved in the hallways of the Occupied Capitol. And that's exactly why Scott Walker is so desperately tightening the screws.

Joe said...

(The Crypto Jew)


It will go beyond that. The MSM will portray violent dissent as noble.



Dissent IS the Highest Form of Patriotism…unless it’s supporting this Historic and Transformative President or passing 3,000 page bills no one has read or understands….Really, Patriotism is whatever Katie Couric says it is.

Kevin said...

Leiter appears to be teaching safely in England.

I guess he thinks he can unleash the furies of violence in the United States without affecting his person, his property, or all the other accruements of his doubtless well-fed academic life.

edutcher said...

Leo Ladenson said...

Welcome to the 19th century.


There's a lot to be said for the 19th century: the abolition of torture and slavery, a LONG peace in Europe


Slavery, much of it, existed until the American Civil War shamed a lot of Euros into abolition - you find many countries (France, Belgium) outlawed it in the 1861 - 65 period.

As for peace, there's the go between Prussia and France, the business over the Crimea, some unpleasantness between Germany and Austria, Signor Garibaldi, and several wars in the Balkans.

Not picking a fight, just making a distinction.

J said...

A closer reading of Nietzsche (rather challenging for AAsters)

Anybody care to bet J's understanding is off Cliff's Notes while a good many Althouse Hillbillies spent semesters with it?

Joe said...

(The Crypto Jew)


And how eagerly he Right wing continues its acts of violence on the population as it guts the EPA, while its coal companies continue to poison the well, as its million dollar insurance CEOs continue to insure that health care is unaffordable,….


R-V continues in the fine Leftist meme, made famous by Marcuse, of creating “violence”…it’s the “structural violence” of the Capitalist System, and even though there is NO violence, there IS in R-V Land, ergo violent resistance is OK…Just as there is no Fascism in America, Marcuse and his followers, turn America INTO Amer!kkka, the Land of the Crypto-Fascism to justify their otherwise unjustifiable or even silly opposition to the status quo.

virgil xenophon said...

"So, go figure."

"The enemy of my enemy," ST, nothing more. And as usual the conceit of the lefty "intellectuals" ALWAYS leads them to believe that they will be able to manipulate their "less educated" Muslim 'friends" once THE ENEMY (read: Conservative white, straight, capitalists) has been disposed of--little realizing that they'll be the first put up against the wall in the New World Order. And the otherwise straight, white conservative union types? (male AND female) The union shock troops so willingly sacrificed/used in the cause? Willing useful idiots--the product of over half a century of unrelenting class warfare propaganda aided & abetted by the MSM acting as an un-modulated megaphone for leftist causes--as witnessed in the current coverage (or lack thereof) and mis-characterization of events at Madison by old national media.

Birkel said...

Kevin,

Leiter is in Pennsylvania.

BoboFromTexas said...

I would suggest that Leiter also consider what end of the political spectrum would suffer the most if political violence became morally justified. In my experience the percentage of liberals who are gun owners, served or serving in the military, etc. is disproportionally low.

shoutingthomas said...

And how eagerly he Right wing continues its acts of violence on the population...

Fuck you jerk-off.

Take your incitements to violent revenge and shove them up your ass.

tsotha said...

liberals today might be more educated, fair and balanced than conservatives.

Just how many hours of each day to leftists (they aren't liberals) spend telling themselves just how smart and educated and, gosh darn it, lovable they are?

Martin L. Shoemaker said...

Harsh Pencil said...

But again, the idea of the proper uses of political violence is neither a left or a right thing. Neither side is morally obliged to renounce political violence in all cases.

But again, the local liberals (along with plenty of others) condemned Sharon Angle for essentially the same statements. I see that as I predicted, none of them have seen fit to condemn Leiter for it today, nor to take back their criticism of Angle.

Hence the tag: civility bullshit.

tsotha said...

And how eagerly he Right wing continues its acts of violence on the population...

You guys spend a lot of time talking about right wing violence, but the actual violence seems to be coming mostly from your side.

Joe said...

(The Crypto Jew)


You guys spend a lot of time talking about right wing violence, but the actual violence seems to be coming mostly from your side.


It’s like that line, “Fascism is always descending on America, but landing on Europe”

Chase said...

Paddy O,

I am not anti-intellectual - I am anti-believing that being intellectual gives you the right to decide to rule in some sphere other people - call it the smugness.

I am conservative, passionate, socialize with and enjoy my relationships with numerous politically left, liberal professionals, friends, and family members.

I have 2 bachelors (a BS and a BA), and a Masters - all in different disciplines. I listen to NPR for it's detail and often fine reporting, but am not for a minute fooled by the "middle of the road" appearance it tries to purvey.

And with that - I have never seen such disdain for non-leftists andsuch constant levels o public discourse dishonesty - the literal baring of false witness and outright twisting of facts and truth - in my lifetime as I am seeing right now. The left in this country is coming radically unhinged and throwing absolutely every weapon at it's disposal - short of outright anarchaic violence - to keep its media control and political favoritism from slipping away.

And now violence itself is seriously being considered by the left as a tool!

This is literal mental illness thinking on the part of liberals and the left, and it will have catastrophic consequences that will severely and negatively affect generations in this country.

From Inwood said...

Prof A

For various reasons, I've not been able to comment regularly here of late, but remain a “faithful reader” & absorber of much wisdom.

Just let me say that you & Meade have performed some service in these Wisc posts.

Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

And Pogo, Bruce Hayden, Palladian, & even (sometimes) Trooper (sound like I think I'm at the Academy Awards), have said enough, even better than what I would've said anyway.

And paddy O @1:46 nails it re arrogant narcissistic profs.

And the trolls will vote me the worst slobbering person in the world award!

Erik said...

"Anybody care to bet J's understanding is off Cliff's Notes while a good many Althouse Hillbillies spent semesters with it?"

One semester only. But I did have to translate a page of Nietzsche for the German language requirement in my Phd program. I wanted to wash my mind out for a week after that hell.

Ernst Stavro Blofeld said...

Discussing the philosophical underpinnings of revolution over paying a slightly greater share of retirement and health benefits?

Um, yeah, excitable much?

Stanley Kurtz's "Radical in Chief" is something of an eye opener on the tactics Obama is steeped in and has engaged in in the past. The far left probably views this event as a major victory, not based on any concrete gains or losses, but because it radicalized a lot of people. The over-the-top rhetoric is both a symptom and a cause of the radicalization. I'm not so sure it will play very well outside of the excitable demographics, though.

From Inwood said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Erik said...

Honestly, I find the idea of any consideration of political violence in the current climate absolutely ludicrous. We're so very far from any real justification for political violence that anyone who even raises the question should be ostracized. Especially given the very real (and sometimes justified) expressions of political violence we see in the Middle East right now.

Again, despite the rhetoric on the right (occasionally overheated) there hasn't been any Tea Party violence. The same can't be said on the Left right now. So even the same level of rhetoric on the Left is generally more concerning simply because they've shown themselves willing to act on it. Context matters. And unlike the Tea Party protests, the Leftist protests lately haven't demonstrated any real sense of control.

Tom said...

"Now that the Wisconsin protesters have gone so far beyond anything that could be attributed to Tea Partiers or to Sarah Palin maps-with-crosshairs, I suppose the MSM will act as if there never was a new civility movement at all."

I doubt it. I think they'll just ignore Wisconsin and repeat the meme when it suits them. Case in point: A couple of weeks ago at a town hall meeting, Congressman Broun failed to slap down a geriatric who asked when someone was going to shoot Obama. This was after the vicious protests had begun in Madison. Without a trace of reflection or irony, Chris Matthews and a couple of guests spent a long segment on Hardball wondering why conservatives resort to violent, uncivil rhetoric. It was surreal.

Chase said...

J wrote:

A closer reading of Nietzsche (rather challenging for AAsters) would allow them to see, like...anything goes, when done correctly.

J,
I wrote a thesis on Friedrich that was footnoted in 2 different books on Nietzsche. You cleanly demonstrated that you do not understand Ayn Rand, Nietzsche, or how this blog operates.

Drop the attempt at appearing intellectual, amateur.

Maddad said...

a renewed philosophical interest in the question of when acts of political violence are morally justified

That's a lot of letters to spell "tantrum"

roesch-voltaire said...

Dear Thomas my pointing out the continued harm to our drinking water, our low wages and high costs of health insurance is not a call for violence, but a reflection on how we ignore one kind of political violence which has pervaded our society for years, while focusing on say who put the handcuffs on the door. Tomorrow you will see another form of Wisconsin violence when hundred of farmers drive their tractors around the capitol in a unified protest. Yea cool Wisconsin!

Jim Ryan said...

J, I was wondering if you could, like, get me any weed?

Joe said...

(The Crypto Jew)


Dear Thomas my pointing out the continued harm to our drinking water, our low wages and high costs of health insurance is not a call for violence, but a reflection on how we ignore one kind of political violence…


Dear R-V please pull your head from your @rse and realize all the things you quoted, ARE NOT VIOLENCE….hence they cannot be used as justification or explanations FOR Violence. This illustrates the “loss of language” or “Conceptual divide” between Left and Right. To most on the Right, “Violence” is me taking a large bat to your body and then “booting the boot in” with my Doc Martens…Apparently to YOU, violence might be that, but also a failure to fully fund Pre-K and Kindergarten Classes.

As I said you might like to trot this Marcusian definition of “violence” out to “explain” violence from the Oppressed Other, but realize that to 90-95% of us, what you quote as “violence” is NOT violence. You might profitably wander into the poorer neighborhoods of America, and flash your cash for a better, less intellectual, explication of “violence.”

Martin L. Shoemaker said...

...a reflection on how we ignore one kind of political violence which has pervaded our society for years...

The "political violence" that troubles you so much isn't violence at all. It's a metaphor.

I know intellectuals often confuse metaphors for facts (or pretend to confuse them as a rhetorical trick to sway crowds); but in the real world, we know the difference.

wv: yagrasm. When roesch-voltaire gets his fellow-travelers and his Chinese students to shout "Yeah!", it gives him a yagrasm.

tsotha said...

Roesch-Voltaire, you need to invest in a dictionary. Your definition of violence covers quite a few things that aren't, in fact, violence.

Jim Ryan said...

To a leftist, leaving people well enough alone is easily categorized as violence, letting them keep their property as theft, preventing them from being dominated by the state as oppression, and a rage disorder as a sense of justice.

roesch-voltaire said...

Joe tell Mrs. Hal-Massey and the 264 neighbors who sued coal companies accusing them of putting dangerous waste into local water supplies resulting in all sorts of health problems that their community did not suffer a force of injury against them.

tsotha said...

To a leftist, leaving people well enough alone is easily categorized as violence...

Maybe that's the crux of it. Once you mislabel your opponent's non-violent actions as "violence", you have a sort of phony intellectual justification for actual violence.

jerryofva said...

Mr. Shoemaker:

Someone may have already said theib but there are Second Amendment solutions that are applicable to Wisconsin. If the Police decided to abandon their posts and allow the mob to disrupt and threaten the elected legislature then it would be proper for the law abiding citizens of Wisconsin to come together and use their firearms to enforce the law.

Joe said...

(The Crypto Jew)


Joe tell Mrs. Hal-Massey and the 264 neighbors who sued coal companies accusing them of putting dangerous waste into local water supplies resulting in all sorts of health problems that their community did not suffer a force of injury against them.


1) ASSUMING the complaint has any merit;
2) “Injury” is NOT violence…..I can be injured and not the victim of violence.
I’m sure that’s difficult for you to realize, but put down the Marcuse or the Sarte…join the vast majority of us, here in the Real World.

tsotha said...

Joe tell Mrs. Hal-Massey and the 264 neighbors who sued coal companies accusing them of putting dangerous waste into local water supplies resulting in all sorts of health problems that their community did not suffer a force of injury against them.

"suffer a force of injury?" Maybe you should buy a grammar book as well.

It's still not violence, and we have a civil court system with which they can seek redress.

Squid said...

It's still not violence, and we have a civil court system with which they can seek redress.

And here's where R-V steps on his crank once again: Where a community has evidence that the local industry is poisoning their children, they take the industry to court and look to the justice system to provide justice.

Compare and contrast with a group of unionized "professionals" who are so deeply invested in paying mandatory dues that they will take over and occupy a state capitol for weeks on end, rather than shrug and continue paying dues voluntarily.

Is it any wonder that we question the sense of proportionality embraced by R-V and his fellow travelers?

Milwaukee said...

As a one time Wisconsin high school teacher, I have "facebook friends" who are still teachers. Some them have posted language which is disturbingly threatening, which they describe as "warnings". When somebody posts a contrary opinion, some of them are quick to say "I would like to hear you say that to my face.", which I take as "you say that to my face, and I will react violently towards you." One of them has posted pictures of himself with an AK47. A later post had "I really feel the need to go shot something." His daughter commented, "Would that be something that started with S and ended with cott Walker?" This individual has posted comments about how Walker has a target on his back and "uneasy sleeps the head that wears the crown", refers to Walker as a dictator, and cautions that violence could happen to Walker. Fortunately, the poster claims to be sane and stable, but suggests there are other teachers not so. The rhetoric is clearly incendiary. I haven't reminded them that they are teaching at a high school which has been low performing for as long as Wisconsin has been administering state wide tests.

harkin said...

Leiter invalidates his entire post with his blast predicting "10 years from now, public higher education, at least in many states, will have ceased to exist".

If he really thinks that rational remedies for out-of-control, secret and corrupt collective bargaining practices are going to cause entire state university programs to close their doors in a decade, he's delusional.

Put his quote up there with the Brits who said by 2010 UK children wouldn't know what snow is.

cubanbob said...

What Leiter doesn't seem to get is that while the left has the monopoly on hyperbole and incendiary language, the right has the monopoly on guns. The rest is commentary. Fortunately for the far left the right views the far left as merely stupid unlike the far left that views the right as irredeemably evil. Were that to be reversed there would be one hell of a neck tie party in this country with Leiter among the guests of honor.

J besides being a stupid communist you are also a bigot. No doubt it must comfort you to be a soul-mate with C4

mockmook said...

Stuff r-v almost said (3/11/11 2:26 PM):

And how eagerly The State continues its acts of violence on the population as it guts the Constitution, while its Bureaucracies continue to poison man's dignity, as its Trillion dollar President continues to insure that health care is unaffordable, and the list goes on. But as this reporter writes:And yet there hasn't been a single episode of serious conflict between Tea Partiers with the police. And there's no sign of any such confrontation to come. How is this possible? It's not an accident, and it's not a miracle. It's the product of a sophisticated, unbreakable culture that has evolved across this great land. And that's exactly why Dear Leader Obambi is so desperately tightening the screws.

3/11/11 2:26 PM

kent said...

My question of the day is:

How many truly stupid people do we have in this country?


Why, Crack, I'm genuinely gob-smacked that you'd even ask a question like that.

Everyone knows South Park answered it years ago, already.

Kevin said...

And how eagerly he Right wing continues its acts of violence on the population as it guts the EPA, while its coal companies continue to poison the well, as its million dollar insurance CEOs continue to insure that health care is unaffordable, and the list goes on.

That's the same line of logic that led to the Sterling Hall bombing.

kent said...

And how eagerly he Right wing continues its acts of violence on the population as it guts the EPA, while its coal companies continue to poison the well, as its million dollar insurance CEOs continue to insure that health care is unaffordable, and the list goes on.

The Loughner is strong in this one.

EDH said...

Ted Honderich's somewhat controversial work on Palestinian terrorism is a recent exception.

I love how lefty professors are always talking about each others "work."

Is it suppose to give them gravitas or proletarian cred?

virgil xenophon said...

BobofromTexas is on the mark. Be careful what you wish for. This gun-toting, "clinging" dead-shot Morlock will heartily enjoy utilizing my real-world superior mini arsenal to cower the lefty pretentious softy "morally-superior" Eloi and joyfully and forcibly relieve them of all their toys at gunpoint when "the great day of the rope" arrives. LOL.

Ann Althouse said...

From Inwood said...

"Prof A

"For various reasons, I've not been able to comment regularly here of late, but remain a “faithful reader” & absorber of much wisdom.

"Just let me say that you & Meade have performed some service in these Wisc posts.

"Thank you from the bottom of my heart."

Thank you!

somefeller said...

BobofromTexas is on the mark. Be careful what you wish for. This gun-toting, "clinging" dead-shot Morlock will heartily enjoy utilizing my real-world superior mini arsenal to cower the lefty pretentious softy "morally-superior" Eloi and joyfully and forcibly relieve them of all their toys at gunpoint when "the great day of the rope" arrives. LOL.

With so many tough guys here on this weblog, we can rest assured that America will always be safe.

Persistent Cipher said...

Just more evidence from the left that sadly education often prevents learning.

Kim said...

The Left only respects the law when they're controlling its creation and application. When not, they take to the streets.

As for ivory-tower twerps by this Leiter cockroach: it's all well and good when they fetishize violence by intellectualizing it. But the Left understands violence in only two ways: by the State (when they're controlling it) or "in the street" (ditto).

The parallel between the two above should be obvious to everyone. The Left is all about control, whether of the law, or of violence.

Say what you like about us conservatives, but we know how to control both with responsibility. The Left, not so much. They're like children.

virgil xenophon said...

Well, somefella, this "fella" was only trying to be playful while at the same time echoing those who would remind those on the left that their calls for violence perhaps should be tempered by the knowledge that most of the people who own guns and know how to use them are those who are the very object of their scorn and tough talk.

Btw, I'm a retired USAF fighter-pilot veteran of Vietnam who was a scholarship varsity athlete at LSU and all-state footballer in HS who was also a varsity athlete in Basketball & tennis. I don't have to prove either my physical or moral courage to anyone..but what you DO prove to me is that lefties are tone-deaf humorless literalists, totally unable to recognize tongue-in-cheek humor--are so immune to sarcasm & irony--that they wouldn't know it if it hit them square in the face.

DADvocate said...

The misuse of the terms freedom, equality, democracy, justice, morality, criminal, etc is truly Orwellian. There's no question any more that they approve of violence to achieve their goals.

We need to be prepared, be vigilant and work like hell to make sure they have even more losses in the next election.

Here's a really great cartoon the sums up the public union situation.

roesch-voltaire said...

Interesting how so many miss the second point of my post which quoted a reporter, not myself, who has pointed out how non-violent this protest has been, in spite of the hopes of many. Frankly I doubt that any TA's have read Marcuse; this movement seems fueled by outrage over the false claims that many items in this bill have to due with budget deficits, when clearly it is aimed at the middle class.

roesch-voltaire said...

Meanwhile the Sovereign Citizens of Alaska were arrested for an alleged plot to murder police and a federal judge-- so I guess the folks on the right have also read this article?

virgil xenophon said...

PS to somefella: I even threw in a movie reference in the form of dialog for good measure--but I see that went right over your humorless, literal head.

Temnota said...

What Professor Leiter overlooks is that the philosophical debate on political violence has been ongoing for years, just not with disputants that he would associate with, and we've already reached conclusions we're willing to work with.

1. We understand the difference between a pure democracy and a Constitutional Republic that uses democratic processes to elect some officials. The law trumps the popular will.

2. Our fundamental rights, those of life, liberty, and property, are not on the bargaining table, and are not subject to the whims of voters, politicians, or courts.

3. To the extent we are allowed to do so, we will use legal means to confront infringements on our rights, but understand that we do not view this as a game and will not consider losing an option.

4. If the law fails us, we will ignore you as much as we can. If you insist on making a nuisance of yourselves, we will hurt you until you go away. If you really aren't getting the message, well, that's what the Second Amendment is there for.

5. The star on the beret on those Che t-shirts makes a dandy center-mass aiming point, just sayin'.

III

murgatroyd666 said...

And how eagerly [t]he Right wing continues its acts of violence on the population as it guts the EPA, while its coal companies continue to poison the well, as its million dollar insurance CEOs continue to insure that health care is unaffordable, and the list goes on.

Progressives will assure us that the Soviet Union, the various East European democratic republics, the People's Republic of China, Cuba, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, and a host of other worldly paradises led by enlightened Socialists all managed to escape the environmental degradation that is inherent in the evil Capitalist exploitation of resources that rightfully belong to the proletariat. Only evil capitalists have ever despoiled Mother Gaia's environment, and always for loathsome, criminal motives.

But R-V forgot to mention that RethugliKKKans put kittens and puppies in blenders to make smoothies.


wv: ochir -- Capitalists took over the fabled land of Ophir, raped the environment, and turned it brown and desolate.

Marshal said...

"roesch-voltaire said...

Meanwhile the Sovereign Citizens of Alaska were arrested for an alleged plot to murder police and a federal judge-- so I guess the folks on the right have also read this article?"

This idiot cannot evaluate facts. The left largely supports violence by its members. This particular lefty fulfills the roles of minimizing lefty violence, defending lefties urging violence, and blurring the difference between violence with non-violence, pretending that there is no difference.

For those on the right to be similar just to this particular commenter we would have to defend the group he cites. Yet I see no one doing so. I see those on the right supportive they were arrested. So I'm sure this person thinks of himself as appropriately moral, yet he is taking actions supporting violence beyond anyone here on the right, all while blathering that the right is violent.

Mental help seems in order. Living in the academic cocoon does this to the weak minded.

ken in sc said...

Just a comment on the credentials commenter here. I have an ABD from Clemson. I dropped out when I realized it was not worth my time, and my chairman went GTT (Gone To Texas), a common notation on 19th century credit reports in the south. Everyone who does not have a doctorate is not necessary stupid.

dave in boca said...

Loons like Leiter are outed by a study of the history of the twentieth century in almost every instance where the intelligentisia called for violence. In the end, the intelligentsia were eliminated, "liquidated" in Stalin's gentle parlance! This was true in totalitarian countries of both left and right.

Instead of getting a PhD in Philosophy, Leiter might have put put his time to better use by studying history. Now, he's so unconsciously ignorant that he doesn't realize that he's more or less signing his own death warrant---if things go the way he wants them to proceed.