Character Flaws vs Ideology

After watching the news, I’m not liking the narrative that is formed around the events in Charlottesville. You don’t need decency, courage or compassion to denounce neo-Nazis and feel deeply disgusted by them. 

You know what you need?

Not to be a neo-Nazi. That’s all. 

People who avoid denouncing neo-Nazis are not doing it because they are lacking in courage or empathy. They are sympathizers. It’s not a bug, it’s a feature. It’s not a character flaw, it’s a system of beliefs. 

It’s wrong and dangerous to psychologize this and move it to the realm of character flaws from the realm of political sympathies. 


17 thoughts on “Character Flaws vs Ideology”

  1. I don’t even like this ‘denounce this, have you no decency, sir?’ business. It lets them off the hook so easily, and they’ll pretty much lie anyway or issue a mealy-mouthed statement that condemns both sides, and now you have to pretend things are cool now. Chapter closed.

    Fuck that.


    1. Exactly. In this context, “the president isn’t denouncing the neo-Nazis because he’s lacking in decency and courage” is making excuses. This isn’t about decency. He’s one of these people, he’s their leader, he agrees with them. That’s the problem and not whatever his character flaws are.


        1. Putin actually condemns his neo-Nazis. And they detest him in return. The only successful protests in Russia were by the neo-Nazis because Putin knows that they mean business. Putin’s only real political opponent is a neo-Nazi.

          The point being that even Putin knows that it’s not ok to support Nazis. Even Putin isn’t this low.


  2. Also, I don’t understand why the ACLU (and I’m a big supporter) is defending the rights of these militias to march. Look, if you’re taking a AR-15 to a protest, you have no intention to make it a ‘peaceful assembly’ or you’re trying to threaten and intimidate the general public with violence. This shouldn’t qualify as ‘speech’, right?

    Want to protest? Leave your fucking rifle at home.


    1. I agree completely. I’m all for freedom of speech, it’s a central issue for me. But I’m not seeing speech here. These are terrorists who wanted to act violently. And they did.


  3. Another brave leader who renounces ‘hate’ in a way that makes it applicable to anyone you want it to apply to. Again, it’s not a bug, it’s a feature. Trump’s not transforming the party, he’s only unmasking it.


    1. “Their actions.” From the logic of the statement, it follows that the actions in question were committed by hate and bigotry. I’d like to know what the last names of hate and bigotry are. If they can commit opposable actions, they got to be human beings with agency. Nothing else makes sense.


  4. Did you happen to see this article? About identity politics and the White nationals? Of course, I don’t agree with all of it, but I think he has a point about people being alienated by identity politics. I have been recently. I’m not going to vote republican because of it, but I do wish we could work more intersectionally on the left instead of further alienating those who would like to be supportive of people living free, safe, and unbigoted existances.

    What do you think of the article?


    1. There’s definitely a problem, definitely. I posted a link the other day to this fellow who was saying how the greatest number of murders in the history of humanity were committed by “straight white males”, the greatest damage to the planet throughout history was done by “straight white males”, and so on and on. What the goal of all this “straight white males are the devil” ideology is, I have no idea. But it’s off-putting as hell. I don’t want to have anything to do with these people. Of course, they are better than Nazis but that’s a sad choice to have to make.

      These days, whenever I hear or read somebody start on this inane litany of “white, able-bodied, heterosexual, cis,etc”, I just tune out because it’s what dumb people have instead of religion. What I wonder, though, is there going to be anything on the left beyond this? Beyond this litany of identity grievances?


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