We’re only a month in to 2017 and the entire world has already gone to shit. Barring fire raining from the skies and the appearance of a six-headed dragon and the Whore of Babylon, it’s looking pretty likely we’re careering towards the End of Days pretty quickly, doesn’t it?
Donald Trump is, of course, a massive twat. That’s always been clear; what’s becoming even more irrevocably clear is that he’s also a massive facist twat. The way he twisted the American working-classes in conservative areas using a vitriol filled with hate, oppression and empty promises was despicable to watch but also kind of enthralling. You couldn’t look away, you couldn’t believe that he was actually getting away with it. And get away with it he did – he’s now the 45th President of the United States of America and we’ve seen a massive increase in the influence of right-wing movements in both the US and on our own shores after the massive shit-show that was Brexit.
Now, I’m not calling Donald Trump a Nazi per se (although, if the shoe fits, mate) but one man you can definitely pin to the neo-Nazi bandwagon is your enemy and mine Richard Spencer. Think Nigel Farage, but with more open ties to far right-wing fascism and a tighter fitting human skin suit around his lizard scales. Last week, Richard Spencer was giving an on-camera interview when he was punched in the face. Square in the jaw. Bullseye. The internet went crazy – memes were flying out of every orifice of social media. Richard Spencer getting punched to music. Richard Spencer as Pepe. People just happy that Richard Spencer was actually punched.
Some have called into question the physical action taken against Spencer; violence is never the answer, they say, you’re only stooping down to their level, they say.
And, yes, this is all very correct.
Violence is not a means to an end – you cannot provoke or prove any points under the duress of violence because, yes, it only makes us as bad as the people whom are trying to oppress us and send our world to the ninth circle of Hell. But (and this is a big but) most right-wing figures that you will meet – or have even seen on the TV – roll around like pigs in shit with a big, smug smile on their face because they know that the majority of left-wing resistance is non-violent, based on the entire principle that we see ourselves as better than stooping down to their level.
They use hate-filled rhetoric to bully and provoke people, we simply take the higher ground and engage in debates with them. We never get violent, we never fight back. Until, it appears, now. And why is that? Is it because, after the last months, that saw every core belief we all thought we shared have been slowly dismantled by increasingly feverish and demonic means on both sides of the pond.
Most of Britain is in denial that its country is in ruins. Meanwhile, America seems to have elected an actual lunatic as the leader of the free world and has opened the flood gates to every right-wing hate figure to gain a massive public platform for their views. Now, we don’t just have fact, we have alternative facts. We now live in a world where the truth means nothing; it’s just another factor that can be twisted and mutated to serve anyone’s needs. It’s malleable. Everything we thought we knew can be changed against us.
People are angry. Of course people are angry – they have every right to be. And punching Nazis in the face, this is a reaction against this anger. Attacking the people that actually believe that what’s happening is good and acceptable. They’re wrong – but they won’t, they can’t listen to words or figures or facts, they can be bent into any shape they want them to.
We have to find other ways to rebel, to stand up to them. And violence is never the answer, but as a short statement, well – it certainly has its impact.
Of course, you can’t punch everyone you disagree with in the face, and most people don’t deserve it. But what is acceptable is showing far right-wing oppressors that this has, finally, gone too far. That we won’t take this lying down and that, ultimately, this is not an argument based on the use of violence. It’s not even an argument; it’s the end-game of years of pent-up anger, madness and sorrow at the behest of the rise of bigotry in the face of everything we hold dear.
So yes, punch a Nazi in the face. Tell them you know that everything they stand for is abhorrent, that their core beliefs are based on a hatred for the human race that most normal people find unfathomable and that no matter how many weak-willed, low-educated or mis-informed people they hypnotise to their cause, that we know their game. We know their wrong and we know that, ultimately, they’ll be stopped. Just like they were stopped before by the same countries that are now falling into chaos and just as they will be stopped no doubt in the far future. To err is human, and hatred is part of our DNA, whether we like it or not. There will always be hatred, but it always needs to be stamped out.
This isn’t a permanent solution, it isn’t even a solution but things are only probably going to get worse, and as you sink into your bed late at night, living in a society that shifted and slipped into full-blown carnival madness, you can rest easy knowing one thing. It is perfectly acceptable for you punch a Nazi. Obviously.
Words by George Griffiths