Charlottesville, Moral Equivalence, and Donald Trump

Charlottesville, Moral Equivalence, and Donald Trump, by Walter Block.

Which side is most blameworthy for the fighting? That is an easy one: it is the alt-left. … The “antifa” has made a habit of protesting, with the use of violence, pretty much any and all verbal or other manifestations with which they disagree.

Had the alt-left stayed away from Charlottesville totally and completely on the day of that march, the almost certain presumption is that there would not have been any violence committed … This is not to excuse her cold-blooded murderer, but this young woman [Heather Heyer] would not have perished did she not attempt to interfere with the free speech rights of others. Further, those two policemen who died in a helicopter accident would still be alive. As well, some dozens of other protesters would not have been hospitalized.

Here is another bit of contrary to fact hypothetical history: if the neo-Nazis had been unarmed, and thus at the mercy of their ideological enemies, some of them, many of them, would have been hospitalized, if not killed. …

Moral condemnation:

The heroes of the neo Nazis are of course the National Socialists. Those of the anti-fa are the Communists, or the International Socialists. When the Communists and the Nazis are at odds with one another, how is the libertarian to react? …

We note that the Communists murdered far more innocent people than did the Nazis: Mao: some 60 million, Stalin, roughly 20 million, Pol Pot, about 3 million; Hitler, only an estimated 11 million. So, if we absolutely had to pick and choose (no such choice is incumbent upon us) the nod goes to the, gulp!, Nazis.

Then, too, the Communists had a far more all-encompassing theory than their fellow socialist counterparts. As long as you were not a Jew, or a black, or gay, or Romany, and did not oppose them, the Nazis would leave you more or less in peace. The same cannot be said for the Communists. … For the libertarian, the case for moral equivalence is weak. The left is to be more bitterly opposed than is the right.

Communists, Nazis, who cares?

Libertarians, of course, are neither of the right nor the left. We are unique. We maintain that the initiation of violence from whatever source, with no exceptions, is unlawful, uncivilized. Apart from the numbers of innocents murdered, see above, we take equal exception to the right wing National Socialists and to the left wing International Socialists. As to the alt-left and the alt-right, pale carbon copies of both, we abjure both. Equally. We libertarians simply have no dog in this fight between the two of them.

hat-tip Matthew