Are you morally obligated to punch a Nazi?

Photo from ‘Was a Protester Throwing Explosives into a Berkley Crowd Before She Was Punched?’ from Snopes.


Katherine Cross’ article ‘Why Punching Nazis Is not Only Ethical, but Imperative’ has come up in my newsfeed a couple of times. I find Katherine Cross’ argument helpful even though I don’t agree with it. I don’t think you can you teach someone that violence is wrong by use of violence. That said, there needs to be a response, and I think that punching a Nazi is better than doing nothing.
I agree that it’s important to show that these people aren’t as powerful as they would like to pretend. I think that was demonstrated by the person who punched Richard Spencer. I think it has also been demonstrated in Melbourne when anti-immigration rallies have been organised and the counter-rallies have swamped the original rallies. I think this is demonstrated by parody groups like the Million Flag Patriots, when they anger alt right groups by taking the piss.
Some of my concerns with the left choosing a violent response are the likelihood of escalation and of the possibility of the left becoming as much a threat to safety as the right.

3 thoughts on “Are you morally obligated to punch a Nazi?

  1. Interesting thoughts. I agree that violence is usally a bad solution, but still, when repression is about to occure or already a fact, it might be the only solution. Toleranse of intoleranse equals intoleranse.


    1. I don’t want to say that violence is never the only option. But I do think that often we can’t imagine other otpions because we haven’t learned to intervene in other ways. Our societies invest a lot in violent solutions, and I think that’s part of why we go to those solutions.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I agree, often violence is a solution because of lack of information or/and intelligence. It’s even worse when it’s because of profit. The weapon industry is the most powerful industry in the world, which is probably the main problem.

        Liked by 1 person

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