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White privilege and fascist violence

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TOPSHOT – A supporter of US President Donald Trump sits inside the office of US Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi as he protest inside the US Capitol in Washington, DC, January 6, 2021. – Demonstrators breeched security and entered the Capitol as Congress debated the a 2020 presidential election Electoral Vote Certification. (Photo by SAUL LOEB / AFP) (Photo by SAUL LOEB/AFP via Getty Images)

What happened yesterday is that a mob of insurrectionists, who had planned for weeks out in the open to attack the U.S. Capitol when Congress was in joint session, were told to do so by the president of the United States.

They then launched their long-planned attack, and were met by . . . nothing. They violently shut down Congress, trashing the offices of various members, including the Speaker of the House, and celebrating their accomplishments on camera and on the Internet for everyone to see.

And nothing happened to them.

Joe Scarborough of all people actually just went on a righteous rant , but he said “fuck” on teevee so I guess he was being violent too according to the Guardians of Civilty:

Joe Scarborough: “What happened was, the Capitol Hill Police weren’t ready, the DC Police weren’t ready, the National Guard wasn’t ready, nobody was ready!!

Mika Brzezinski: “Or was it OK because they are white? I just have to ask.”

JS: “Oh my God, oh please… please.

MB: “Because… I don’t think this would have happened with Black Lives Matter protesters.”

JS: “Let me tell you something. We don’t even have to go there. If these insurrectionists were black, they would have been shot in the face. And my God… if these insurrectionists were Muslim, they would have been sniped from the top of buildings. So I wanna know from the Capitol Hill Police… what is it, is it just white people? Or is it Donald Trump supporters? Why do you scream at people for walking across the street three blocks away from the Capitol? Why are you known as bad asses around the Capitol, but then… Trump supporters come in and you open the fucking doors for them!?! You opened the doors for them and you let them breach the people’s house! What is wrong with you?!?

I also wanna know, are we a nation of laws, or are we a nation of one man? Donald J. Trump called for insurrection against the United States of America. He called for it! Rudy Giuliani called for combat justice just an hour or two before this happened. Donald Trump, Jr. said, ‘WE ARE COMING FOR YOU!’ That’s insurrection against the United States of America, and if Donald Trump, Jr., Rudy Giuliani, and Donald Trump are not arrested today for insurrection and taken to jail and booked, and if the Capitol Hill Police do not go through every video, and look at the face of every person that invaded our Capitol, and if they are not arrested and brought to justice today, then we are no longer a nation of laws, and we are only telling people they can do this again.”

This is why the Antifa movement, to the extent such a thing even exists, is actually right about fascist violence. Fascist violence is enabled rather than squelched by the violence of the state (Recall Max Weber’s definition of the modern state as the entity in society that is supposed to have a monopoly on the legitimate use of violence). And it is enabled because much of the law enforcement mechanisms of the state are either overtly or covertly sympathetic to extra-legal fascist violence.

In such a situation, simply saying “violence is wrong” is far too simplistic. The violence of the state, when deployed against fascist violence, is always justified. The violence of non-state actors, when deployed against fascist violence, is a form of self defense, that is also absolutely justified when proportionate. The failure to deploy the violence of the state against fascist violence is not justified: it is in fact an extension of fascist violence.

This isn’t a political philosophy seminar: it is, as Frankie Pentangeli would put it, a street thing. And that’s where these people need to be crushed.

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