YWC, like BSM and CHISPA, is misguided to promote the finding of identity in inherent characteristics
Today, the Youth for Western Civilization (YWC) student group brought Tom Tancredo, former Republican congressman and anti-legal immigration protectionist, to Chapel Hill.
Tancredo’s proposed cap on legal immigration will to artificially boost wages of domestic workers at the expense of American consumers, who will bear the costs of more-expensive labor.
According to the national YWC web site, the group wants to “inspire Western youth to organize on the basis of identity, with pride in their heritage and their history.” The misguided notion that our inherent characteristics should define who we are is exactly the fault that we conservatives have long pointed out in other campus groups that seek to promote cultural identity. Examples of these other misguided groups include Black Student Movement, CHISPA, and other race and culture-based movements that seek to highlight our differences and divide us along arbitrary and insignificant lines instead of recognizing that all people have equal inherent worth.
Having stated our opposition to YWC policy proposals, it is now time to defend free speech against intolerant protesters who transformed an opportunity for dialogue into an anti-capitalist hate fest. Several of us at Carolina Review observed a protest today against Tom Tancredo’s speech, which was supposed to occur in Bingham Hall.
Protesters even more wrong
Protesters crowd around the door to the room where Mr. Tancredo was speaking. They shouted “no space for hate” and “sexists, racists, anti-gay, white supremacists, go away!” while their cohorts outside handed out a flier condemning free speech:
Hate speech is silencing. Hate speech can silence the people and groups in targets. It can make them feel they do not have the right to stand up for themselves. It can make them scared to speak out.
Before the president of the UNC chapter of YWC, Riley Matheson, was even able to introduce Mr. Tancredo – just when “hate speech” should have been silencing the protesters – their screams became louder. Police officers on the scene had just used pepper spray and a taser arc to ward off the unruly mob.
The crowd moved outside while spoiled college kids hurled shouts of “shame on you!” at the police officers attempting to control the situation.
The clueless anti-capitalists smoked cigarettes created by capitalism and shouted “Western civilization killed my ancestors!”
Several protesters moved around to the back of the Bingham building and used a brick to smash a window. The flying glass nearly injured a professor who was standing next to the window. I doubt that the protesters thought about the low-income janitors who would have to expend their time and effort cleaning up the byproducts of the kids’ socialist mob.
After watching the protesters destroy University property, we went back around to the front of Bingham, next to the quad. I listened to a very excited radical howl at the police. She screamed at officers through a megaphone: “why are you defending [Tom Tancredo and the YWC] when you should be defending us against that violence?”
Considering that they had just smashed a window into a professor and silenced dissent by repeatedly interjecting vile words while Tancredo was trying to present his opinion in a civil manner, I felt that the protesters had no basis for claiming that the anti-legal immigration speaker, however misguided he may have been, was causing violence.
I read a bit more of the flyer that I had been handed.
We choose to silence Tom Tancredo and the Youth for Western Civilization tonight the same way this type of speech silences people every day.
It was now obvious that the protesters did not desire a dialogue with the immigration-cap proponents. They just wanted to silence dissent with physical force. This is exactly why government exists: to protect the freedom of one party from positive compulsion by another party. The police fulfilled the primary responsibility of government. But the protesters tried to compel dissidents, via force, to comply with their views that we should celebrate our differences, ignore our similarities and turn the civilized world into a socialist hellhole. The protesters failed to contribute to the intellectual debate and instead detracted from the stability of civil society.
Today, about 100 people should be ashamed to be Tar Heels. The anti-speech haters who acted like spoiled, rotten children in and near Bingham today should apologize in writing to Riley Matheson, Tom Tancredo, and University administrators. Then these radical socialists should invite all three to a civil dialogue about immigration issues and racial reconciliation.
A fellow who had been puffing an unidentified substance for a bit interrupted my thought process. “Death to Western civilization! Death to the fascist insect!” While I tried to comprehend that one, another kid screamed “enjoy the lawsuit, officers – there were witnesses.” When I thought that was all, a shrill voice hiding behind the megaphone made me feel queasy:
“We know where you sleep at night!”
But since the campus radicals are afraid of dissent, they will not dialogue. They will not confront the false ideals of Tancredo and the questionable intentions of the heads of the national organization of YWC. They are too afraid of these ideas. They will only smash windows and threaten speakers and harass individuals with whom they disagree.
Tancredo left without speaking. But these protesters did not teach anyone anything tonight; they did not debate or discourse; they did not teach tolerance for others’ views. Instead, they extolled intolerance and violence. They marched away in exuberant triumph – but over what did they triumph? They defeated free speech, love for other human beings, the presumption of innocence, and civil discourse.
Note: The protesters are also totally unaware of Carolina Review’s relaxing, reasonable ideas. We believe that in order to reduce poverty and encourage prosperity for all people, the federal government should dismantle the welfare state, open the borders to legal immigration, and eliminate all trade barriers.
16 thoughts on “Anti-Democratic Protesters Preclude Debate”
Very well-written. This was truly a disgrace. I completely agree with you that so many of these people are immature, spoiled brats who have ridiculous delusions of grandeur and self-importance. Breaking windows and screaming curse words is something the KKK would do.
It makes the rest of us, the 99% of college students who are reasonable, look bad.
Agreed. And agreed. And if I may offer a perspective from the inside of the room where Tancredo was actually speaking–it was madness as well. Especially chanting of ‘marco polo’ and the immaturity of the two girls who held their banner in front of Tancredo’s face so he literally could not speak. And to ice the cake, a window was broken as the girls were being taken out of the room.
Wonder how intelligent Tancredo thinks Tar Heels are now…
Oh, and I appreciate the pink flag picture. hah.
Let me be one of the first self-labeled liberals to admit that I read your blog regularly. There are definitely others hiding in the shadows (I guess much like the undocumented immigrants in this country). I regularly and wholeheartedly disagree with most of what is written on this blog, but I have to say that Mr. Dexter nailed it.
It was great to see that you guys/gals took a stab at the YWC, their background, and their implicit mission. We can agree that their views are radical and ignorant. However, we sometimes forget that the views of Tom Tancredo and YWC still hold strong credence outside of our campus, and many (yes, in the South and elsewhere) openly express racist and violent remarks against immigrants, legal and illegal.
So how am I (or anybody) supposed to acknowledge the bankruptcy of Tancredo’s ideas if I don’t even get to hear him speak? Members of CHisPA and other student organizations were planning to let the former Rep. have his say, and then challenge him by the issues, but a small band of students stood up to throw him out before they had the chance.
I was a DJ at the “Dance Party for Diversity” that went on in the Pit before the Tancredo event–a get together designed to show support for multiculturalism on campus as an antithesis to YWC’s ambitions. Meanwhile, a crowd of 20 or so members of SDS (and others), who had already decided for the rest of us left-wingers that Tancredo didn’t deserve to speak, were assembling their group to speak on behalf of those “without a voice.” They failed to realize that Hispanic students in the audience, sons and daughters of immigrants, and immigrants themselves, were categorically drowned out by those who claimed to speak for them.
Now…this particular view of the event is not shared by all liberals, as the views of the protesters are not shared by all liberals. So PLEASE (because I know the Carolina Review loves to do this) do not lump crazy self-obsessed protesters in with the rest of us left-wingers. Some of us actually do like free speech! Here’s the deal: do not use these people to describe the entire left, and others won’t use YWC to describe the entire right.
P.S. WHOOHOO SOCIALISM!
Your pathetic interpretation of this event and those to follow is just another blip of wasted time to throw into the banality of campus “politics.” My friend’s grandfather fought as a Partisan against fascism in Italy and he has always said it was only through force that Naples was made into a commune during Mussolini’s reign. What is at stake in confronting fascism is not the free exchange of ideas, it is an ethical confrontation of practices. Fascism is a politics of desire for power, and a force that has come to bare through the imposition of law. This is what Hannah Arendt gestures to in the Banality of Evil. All law comes a constituting power first, and becomes constituent power. This is made most clear by the nazi jurist Carl Schmitt when he faces the aporia of Law–that the exception is the rule and the sovereign is “he who decides on the exception.” Believe what you’d like to but the state is always as anarchic as the so-called chaos before hand. Take for example the actions of the police officers tonight: Who gave the order to use pepper spray? Who ended up putting this in-force? Police are the evidence of a diffused sovereignty, who acts not as the god of justice but always as the god of judgment.
It is no coincidence that Mussolini was born from revolutionary syndicalism, nor Hitler from the Wiemar Republic–movements that were only possible in the conditions of capitalism at its limit. Fascism takes hold when it is more powerful that other politics of desire for power. Fortunately for us, the biopolitical tissue of society is always called into question when fascism emerges, and many will act without regard to the rule of law and normalcy. The point in this confrontation is to never stop tearing. While some may say that time has passed, or that it was some how a step outside of western history, and thus enlightenment thought, those presently in Camps would beg to differ. There are clearly limits to tear completely to shreds.
Everyone admits it, even The Economist, capital is once again at its limits. And it will not be very long before the words that haunt Primo Levi come back to haunt us all. This “Youth for Western Civilization” may be merely a foolish departure in a more rightwing direction from Carolina Review, but they are consciously appearing as fascists, with explicitly fascist symbolism (see: their website and the use of bundle of sticks with an Axe, then do a short wikipedia scan). What this means is that the Youth for Western Civilization are not just racist dudes you try to avoid at the bus stop, nor are they black metal kids who really like Norway and Oden, but that they are actually trying to build a socio-political movement that will achieve fascism. There is no other way to confront that than to make the university a zone of conflict between parties complicit with fascist and anti-fascist practices. Everything else is an act of neutralization.
The University wants to be market place of ideas; the student organization, a factory of ideology, but the university is nothing more than a space–a position. Fascism is attempting to gain a position, and to be neutral, to be “open to dialogue”, will neither confront, nor impede anything.
Fascism and anarchy draw lines in the sand that will make it totally clear what a University is–and what it can become.
Cheers to those who became uncontrollable and sent politicians and fascists literally running for their lives.
“but that they are actually trying to build a socio-political movement that will achieve fascism”
Have you taken into account the fact that the YWC mission statement is openly opposed to socialism? Note that they are nationalistic, but where is the corporatist socialism?
“Who gave the order to use pepper spray? Who ended up putting this in-force?”
If courts had to hold a hearing during violent events to decide whether police could use pepper spray or other nonlethal force, cities across the nation would fall into chaos. The preservation of order with mild force is hardly an indication of incipient fascism.
“Everyone admits it, even The Economist, capital is once again at its limits.”
It is easy to skew the evidence to claim that ‘capital is at its limits.’ The reality of things is quite a bit different.
“Several of us at Carolina Review attended a protest today against Tom Tancredo’s speech, which was supposed to occur in Bingham Hall.”
I’ll look for your protest the next time Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton, Louis Farrakhan or some other black racist comes to campus.
Zach, go back to school and learn the difference between fascism and socialism.
Also, it is ridiculous to assert that the protesters’ actions represent an equivalence to, or are somehow worse than the actions of those who advocate for white supremacy.
“I’ll look for your protest the next time Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton, Louis Farrakhan or some other black racist comes to campus.”
Although we attended the protest yesterday, we most certainly did not participate. We do not march around and whine and threaten physical force. We engage people’s ideas. We would (and regularly do) challenge the poorly constructed ideas of race-baiters on the political left.
“Zach, go back to school and learn the difference between fascism and socialism.”
I would remind you that school is also useful for learning how to communicate with other people. One crucial skill in such communication is the transmission of logical arguments and the relegation of ad hominem attacks to the trash bin.
“Also, it is ridiculous to assert that the protesters’ actions represent an equivalence to, or are somehow worse than the actions of those who advocate for white supremacy.”
I said that the protesters’ actions (violence) were worse than Tancredo’s (attempting to speak). Respond with an intelligent comment that logically rebuts my argument if you are so offended.
Zach, the second part of that wasn’t directed at you, only the first, and I stand behind its sentiment. Conflating fascism and socialism is the domain of mental midgets like Jonah Goldberg and Pamela Geller.
Socialism, in the modern sense of the welfare state or in the Cold War-era sense of government control over the means of production, is not fascism. Fascism comes in several varieties, but in the most important variety, you have private ownership of industry but government control of industry (from an economic standpoint) and a national-socialist ideology (from a political standpoint).
Nowhere did I say that socialism equals fascism. But both fascism and socialism are misguided collectivist ideologies, and fascism’s leaders and ideas were the result of a merge of socialist and nationalist ideologies. Early fascists fought to control the same political space on the left.
Benito Mussolini lead the socialists in Italy. Adolf Hitler led the National Socialist German Workers Party in Germany. Neither leaders were socialists in name only – both pursued socialist economic ends and used corporatist, anti-competitive means to get there. Both constantly violated classical-liberal principles.
Your “mental midget” charge is not even worthy of response. . . you commit an ad hominem logical fallacy (again) in an attempt to discredit an entire body of work which you may not even have read.
I would call the protesters radical socialists (they nearly admit to such in their mission statement). There is no nationalist component to their protesting.
Considering that I did not personally use the word “fascist” in my original post, I am having a bit of a hard time seeing how I claimed that the protesters are fascists (or that the YWC aren’t, though they are not national socialists, at least according to their mission statement).
“Just how exactly is capital not at its limits? It would appear that economies of scale certainly seem limited.”
Because governments control the capital. Governments make decisions about price signals that with far less information than is available to individual parties to transactions.
Admin, perhaps you’ve been asleep for the last 30-50 years, but there is a reason that governments, who were previously experimenting with liberal and neoliberal economics (global capitalism), are now nationalizing economies. This is not because the liberals have taken over; nor has it been very different considering who was in political power. (see the meaningless differences of global economic policy from Reagan to Clinton to Bush) There was this project, an extension of the early logic of liberalism, to include everyone in a capitalist and democratic world. It was achieved, and it has failed to bring forth the promised land, and now no one knows how to save us. Do you think politicians could run so successfully on the “whatever-slogan” if we weren’t totally fucked?
Although I think we’re departing into a bit deeper water than our lil’ fascist spectacle might appreciate, it would be foolish to not recognize how these events are related.
They’re just nationalizing economies because they are ignorant of the actual problem. Nobody promised utopia. But economic and political freedom are necessary conditions for prosperity for all.
To say that anyone “achieved” a capitalist world (world? I don’t think one can seriously apply such a claim to even the United States) is so ignorant of the fiscal and monetary policies of the governments of the 19th and 20th and 21st centuries that I feel I would max out the blog character limit citing examples of the government interventions that moved us backwards, towards the feudalism of the late first and early second millennium AD, over these three centuries.
It is utterly false to claim that everyone has been included in a democratic and capitalistic world. Zimbabwe? Cuba? China? Europe (see govn’t expenditures as a percentage of GDP)? Mexico (see federal government failing to fulfill one of its only legitimate duties: protecting citizens from the positive coercion of others)? You say that we have achieved a democratic and capitalist world society. But any serious person recognizes that much progress is left to be made.
It here. Its been here, and its as miserable as everything else within the logos of the state form.
“There is no place for us to speak without the sovereignty of capital to clean our words—the outside is at the center and there are only zones of indistinction for us to locate.”
If you want to believe in a world, always untouched, always being made anew, outside of the gates, go ahead and have your dream. The slight difference in policy does not change the very known fact that tomorrow, everywhere, if one wants to eat, one will exchange one’s labor and the time one has left for capital. Even if one wants to be homeless, there is a place in capitalism for that. If one finds oneself as the indigenous hard working folks of wherever, Capital can include you by excluding. The same can be said for the countries that happen to be in the way, or have whatever the shiny thing is that everyone who acts according to the law of value want. Capitalism is a political (practice of ethics, morals, values) economy (ecos: dwelling, home, world and nomos: law, management). Capitalism is the form all human relationships take place in. This or that country may be excluded from certain bits of wealth, but that does not mean this or that country is excluded from the Law of those who manage.
To return to the situation at hand: fascism is the one of the many banal horrors that comes neatly packaged in the state form. It emerges alongside insurgent desire, and it is either given a space to breath by liberalism (and so called political “conservationism”), where it spreads its radical authoritarian practices, or it and the society that births it are engulfed in a far more terrible destruction of capitalist time and being. As our good friend Adorno says, “there is no way out of entanglement.”
“This or that country may be excluded from certain bits of wealth, but that does not mean this or that country is excluded from the Law of those who manage.”
The presumption that some nations are ‘excluded’ from wealth reveals a socialist mindset that is fundamentally unaware of how wealth is generated in this world. It is generated when stable governments perform the proper functions of government; thus, freedom of action is a necessary condition for wealth. It is generated when political freedom and stability attracts foreign investment; thus, political freedom is a necessary condition for true, sustained growth. It is directly generated by individuals pursuing their own self-interested ends.
So now we have generated some wealth. This does not mean that others have also generated wealth. We should not put on a blindfold and proclaim that capitalism has destroyed the others. We should help them achieve the necessary conditions for freedom of private action.
“To return to the situation at hand: fascism is the one of the many banal horrors that comes neatly packaged in the state form. It emerges alongside insurgent desire, and it is either given a space to breath by liberalism (and so called political “conservationism”), where it spreads its radical authoritarian practices, or it and the society that births it are engulfed in a far more terrible destruction of capitalist time and being. As our good friend Adorno says, “there is no way out of entanglement.” ”
Of course fascism is a banal horror. It’s totalitarian. I’m not going to agree with the assessment that fascism rides on the back of the non-totalitarian ideologies, though.