'Debating' Nazis Is Dangerous
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Politics and Activism

'Debating' Nazis Is Dangerous

Just punch them in the face.

'Debating' Nazis Is Dangerous
Wikimedia Commons

Let me start with what I think should be an uncontroversial point of view. There is no negotiating with fascism. There is no debating it. It simply needs to be resisted by any means possible.

However, it seems liberals haven't gotten the memo on that yet. Apparently, men like Richard Spencer who literally believe in genocide of black people should still not be victims of violence because of "liberal norms" and "free speech."

What liberals are not getting is that defending a Nazi's right to "free speech" is playing right into their game. Nazis and all other groups of fascists always hide behind the right to free speech until they grab power. It's a strategy that's been used time and time again.

In 1928, when the Nazis entered the Reichstag for the first time, their future Minister of Propaganda proudly declared, "We do not come as friend nor even as neutrals. We come as enemies: As the wolf bursts into the flock, so we come." He continued to write that democracy was "stupid" for even allowing them to enter the Parliament.

Seven years later, when the Nazis had completely taken over the government, he wrote, "we have declared openly that we used democratic methods only in order to gain the power and that, after assuming the power, we would deny to our adversaries without any consideration the means which were granted to us in the times of opposition."

Back then, it was a mistake to even allow Nazis to participate in democracy when they explicitly stated their intentions. And right now, men like Richard Spencer and Milo Yiannopoulos have also made their intentions very clear. We need to believe them.

Liberals often like to argue that even though Nazis are despicable, we should debate them to prove how awful they are. Sadly, liberals' debate skills will not defeat fascism. In fact, it only further legitimizes it by making Nazism seem like a legitimate opposing viewpoint rather than the destructive force it truly is.

Plus, debating Nazis fuels the central myth of fascism. Fascism functions by creating mythical "ubermensch" who almost manage to transcend humanity. This is often based around the white male body.

But the alt-right has created a new version of this myth. Sociologist Katherine Cross has discussed the rise of the "Trollermensch," which involves creating a "trolling" ethos that disregards empathy and compassion as weakness. Cross argues that this ethos is very appealing to young white men who feel powerless due to a changing world in which their relative power is decreasing. It is an ethos that men like Spencer and Yiannopoulos have used to recruit for the alt-right, often to great effect.

Debating with Nazis often helps reproduce this image. Alt-right trolls see their heroes as debating with "triggered snowflakes" and "cucks" who are too PC to handle the harsh truth of the world. The way to get around this is to not play their game at all.

When Richard Spencer was punched in the face at the Inauguration, as Cross points out, the facade was immediately broken. Spencer became completely terrified after being punched, even telling his followers that he now felt uncomfortable going out in public without bodyguards.

SEE ALSO:29 Questions I Have For The Protester Who Punched Neo Nazi Richard Spencer

This was no member of some "master race." This was a pathetic human being who was too scared to face the consequences of his rhetoric.

So to be clear, I will not be making space for Nazis to share their viewpoints. I will, however, do everything I can to make sure they are ostracized from every level of society.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.

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