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So should conservative activists engage in the kind of street theater the Left does, or not? June 20, 2017

Posted by Tantumblogo in Basics, cultural marxism, disconcerting, fightback, General Catholic, persecution, pr stunts, Revolution, secularism, Society.

Many readers may be aware of a despicable play being staged – at least partly at taxpayer expense – in the city of New York, a version of Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar set in modern times with an obvious Trump stand-in as Caesar and with a particularly gruesome assassination scene involving the pretended president.  This is of course extremely nasty and just the kind of perverse fantasizing the Left frequently resorts to when they get their feelings hurt by a public repudiation of their political-social program (i.e., when the lose a presidential election).

Many on the right see on this just a small part of the environment that led an avowed and extreme leftist loser to try to murder a number of Republican Congressmen at a baseball practice last week.  Only Steve Scalise among the Congressmen was hit, and he badly, but the intent was to murder many others if possible.  The gunman even had drawn up a target list.  He felt justified in his action after steeping himself in the fetid bathhouse air of the leftist fever swamps of the internet, wherein it is constantly claimed that even the minor changes to Obamacare proposed by the timid Republicrats in Congress amounts to MURDER, because millions were dying in the streets before Obamacare, and even slight changes will bring the same or even worse.  Thus, since Republicans intend to kill millions (or thousands, or whatever number they make up out of whole cloth), it is thus entirely justified to kill them before they get the chance to callously kill others.  It’s practically self-defense!  Or so it goes in the far Left, where attachment to reality has become increasingly tenuous.

At any rate, this play is, to many increasingly troubled conservatives, just part of an over-arching effort by the Left not only to make any non-Leftist views completely verboten in the public sphere, but also to create an environment in which actual physical attacks against the Left’s perceived enemies is not just tolerated, but practically a life or death necessity.  We have seen steadily increasing violence from the Left since the shock of Trump’s election and the entire ridiculous #resistance movement, from the Berkeley riot on Feb 1 through several other Berkeley riots (with increasingly effective conservative counter-revolutionary action), to New Orleans, Portland, Olympia, WA, and other locales.  In virtually every instance it is the Left  that is either initiating the violence, or ramping it up to an entirely new level.

And as I mentioned, there have been increasing responses from the “right,” or even centrist free speech advocates.  One of those responses was seen this past weekend, where people associated with Gavin McGinnes/Rebel Media stormed the Julius Caesar travesty cum play and briefly interrupted it with shouts decrying the play’s seeming incitement to violence.  As seen below:

A bit to my surprise, many on the right, at least in the form of Youtube videos and comments, were troubled by this action.  They felt that in disrupting this play thse people were just aping some of the worst aspects of the Left. Given that, here is another video where those interrupting the play defended their actions:

So what do you make of this?  Is it bad practice to do what the Left has done for decades, and take the fight into their bastions and call them out for the evil they are promoting?

I have seen these brief interruptions described as an assault on free speech.  I’m not sure I agree with that – first of all, as a Catholic, this country has made an idol of certain liberties that are disordered at best and positively destructive at worst, free speech permitting blasphemy and sacrilege being just one example (and far from the worst – the cult of official state religion as agnosticism is the worst).  I am not a free speech absolutist, in that sense.  To me, however, even granting the erroneous assumption of free speech as a practical absolute short of incitements to violence, it seems just as much free speech to interrupt the event as it is to put it on in the first place.  These protesters were not nearly so disruptive as the Left has tended to be at conservative events.  They made their point, and were quickly dragged off stage.  Thus, they did not deny anyone else’s ability to speak – contrary again to how the Left tends to behave in these situations.

But is it bad precedent, or tending in the same direction many rightly revile the Left for? Possibly.  I do think there is some value in the Right – if it is the Right – making these kinds of demonstrations, especially where they occurred, in the very belly of the beast, amongst the most fervent and destructive adherents of the religion of leftist secular paganism.  Right smack dab in the middle of NYC.  That’s much more speaking truth to power than any of the leftist shenanigans we’ve seen in recent months and years.  And it points up an important fact – that the Left has become the establishment, that it is not in the least bit countercultural or cutting edge, it is the forcibly ingrained status quo, the default setting of the vast majority of the economic, political, and especially cultural elites.  There is great value in showing the corruption and evil inherent in the status quo, even in what many may see as an ineffective way.

So, I’m pretty sympathetic to the protesters and their aims.  Then again, I’m the kind of guy who thinks large format photos showing the brutal reality of abortion are a key way of demonstrating the reality of this evil to a callous and uncaring world.  In fact, I’d be up for some of the civil disobedience tactics of the 70s and 80s, like human chains blocking access to abortion mills and the like.  Maybe I just have a default setting towards confrontation.  I could be wrong.

Then again, if “we” on the Right make broad use of our adversary’s nastier tactics, do we lose moral standing and, even unwittingly, adopt some of their “might makes right” attitude?  I can definitely see some issue with that.  Unfortunately, the Left is not going to back down.  This is the new normal folks.  It is not going to go away – and it may be a bit worse because of the person of Trump, but the Left is increasingly showing they will refuse any but their own as President of the United States.  They got warmed up with that attitude with Bush ’43 and it has sunk in, metastasized, and grown far worse.

I am very interested to know what readers –  if there are any left – think about this.  Let me know in the comments.

PS – It may be some time before I finish the posts on the San Antonio Missions.  I had transferred all the pics from my phone to my laptop, then my son set my laptop down in a puddle of water on the kitchen table that another kid failed to wipe up properly, and my laptop is now toast.  I lost some blog-related things, including the Mission photos, but much more, I lost a boatload of work.  I would have had a little time to post this week, buuuut……..now I’m having to recreate about 2 weeks worth of work.  Goes faster the second time, but anyway……


1. NickD - June 21, 2017

Let’s extend the old analogy of the conservative, shouting at the train, to the end that has been occurring for 8+ years: he stands athwart the tracks of history, the train of leftism/communism/progressivism approaches, he shouts “stop!”, and the train vaporizes the conservative and keeps on rolling. That’s what’s happened.

Now, what we see above may be akin to jumping on the train when it’s stopped due to an obstacle (Trump) on the rails, and proceeding to tell everyone on the train that they’re nuts, promoting evil, and have become the establishment they fought against for years (in so many words). They’re then unceremoniously chucked off the train.

There’s no property damage, no physical harm inflicted, and at least doesn’t end with the vaporization of the conservative. Part of the appeal of the alt-right is that they pillory conservatives over the last 50 years for fighting by the rules of the Left–which inevitably leads to victory for the Left, as it usually does for those making the rules–and losing with “honor,” and then urge “taking the fight” to the enemy.

The stakes in the culture war are higher than ever; further, the culture war looks like it is heating up to a hot, civil war, of which the first skirmishes we may already have seen. So, to me, this response is not polite or according to the rules, but, given the benignity of the demonstration, ignoring manners or rules is not all that concerning.

Now, I’m not set on what I’ve set forth above, particularly the train analogy. I’m certainly up for discussion/debate/argument/convincing otherwise.

2. Baseballmomof8 - June 21, 2017

“Then again, I’m the kind of guy who thinks large format photos showing the brutal reality of abortion are a key way of demonstrating the reality of this evil to a callous and uncaring world.”

That is exactly what I did when we stood for many years on a busy California street in front of a PP abortuary. And it saved lives. Not sure about these protesters- we will NEVER GET good media using tactics the Left uses. I recall the ’80’s when we had Operation Rescue going full speed – many of us thought we would get sympathetic press using “civil rights/leftist” tactics. We were wrong. I do believe in action, but I think the increased emphasis on prayer, fasting and sacrifices has been a good development.

3. Molly Alley - June 21, 2017

This falls into a topic which we’ve heard discussed from the pulpit many times, namely: Gossip, Calumny, Detraction, and Scandal. So, even if Trump is a tyrant, calling him such would probably not be just. Disrupting the play then becomes much easier to justify, since it is speaking out to those participating in the detraction (both actively and receptively), rather than criticizing someone who isn’t present, to people who have no influence on the person whose actions are being criticized.

That being said, i’m not good at the morality of speech and tend to err on the side of silence. And i know you know who to ask if you have questions about if it’s appropriate to call out someone’s sin.

To the more general question of if we should use leftist tactics, it sort of begs the question, “Is there an alternative?” Other than leftist tactics and normal political actions which surround elections, what sorts of actions are we still allowed to take? If the question is only between leftist actions and capitulation through taking no action, it would seem that leftist tactics are the only real choice.

P.S. I agree with the use of pictures of the victims of abortion. It is obviously communicating a Truth. The only question is if the bodies are being treated with the dignity due to a human body. Dignity which i would say is being restored through the use of their image.

Tantumblogo - June 22, 2017

Thank you for the thoughtful comment. I really did not factor in the unjustness of certain speech and the moral imperative to try to stop/correct it. That’s a very valid and important point. Thanks again!

4. Richard Malcolm - June 21, 2017

If this is what I have to do to do win, I’m just not interested. At what price to my soul and psyche such a victory?

The question of graphic anti-abortion signage is one I’ve long pondered. There’s some evidence it’s effective – at least for some people. But the evil in question is so stark, so clear, that it goes beyond typical political issues.

Maybe the best thing to do is to divide the country up, and let people move as necessary to the one they want to be in. I don’t see how this ends well otherwise.

Tantumblogo - June 22, 2017

Fully agree with the last paragraph. People are not coming together, we’re hardening in our positions, at times severely so. The Left started all this and has always been further out in extremis, and has been utterly resistant to fact, reason, logic, or even decency, so I share your dim prognosis for this country.

5. Barbara Hvilivitzky - June 21, 2017

The restoration of Christ as King begins in each family, and progresses one child at a time. In this worldly milieu aping the enemy will not be effective. It lowers our aim to what’s happening on the nightly news instead of eternity.

That’s the challenge, in my opinion; staying untouched by the burning pitch the world represents, and curbing our natural desire to smash heads. This can only be done by living a life of recollection. Let the world go by and look after those close to you.

6. dthy - June 21, 2017

We shouldn’t call out publicly sins that are private, but this is a very public demonstration of hatred. There is a well known saying, “All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.” And, just by way of contrast, can you imagine the outcry of the media if a similar play had been promoted about Obama?

skeinster - June 21, 2017

Well, my kid’s FB friends point out that there was a 2013 version of Julius Caesare at the Guthrie Theater that featured a tall, bald black actor as Caesar. Ergo, Obama. So, both sides do this.

Because a 200-seat black box theater is exactly like the long-running and famous Shakespeare in the Park.

And 2008’s “The Assasination of George W. Bush”? Well he deserved that…

Deborah Cole - June 22, 2017

Not equivalent. To say that the black actor represented Obama is a form of “they all look alike.” A tall, bald, black actor is not Obama. Obama is Obama.

I challenge the producers to recast Caesar with an actor who is unequivocally and unmistakably representing Obama, the individual, not the generic “black” place holder.

Wouldn’t hold my breath.

7. skeinster - June 21, 2017

Good essay on this from Ace of Spades (language warning):

I tend to agree. There cannot be two sets of laws. If you never suffer the consequences of your actions, you will continue them.

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