“My thought is that while violence is always regrettable…”

In the context of a successful, and now several years old, community boycott of a formerly fascist-friendly Melbourne pub, (The Worst) Scabs Don’t Prosper… is a proposition that has provoked a good deal of ire, not least from ‘a concerned bystander’. Anonymous, a self-proclaimed anarchist, and a mate of some rather dim-witted locals, ‘a concerned bystander’ has successfully trolled my blog — and this is my howwible rewenge.

Soundtrack for this post:

‘a concerned bystander’ starts off swinging, proclaiming that, given a choice, he would rather that I was beaten than some graffiti be sprayed on a local social centre:

My thought is that while violence is always regrettable and I’d agree that this was a massive overreaction, I’d prefer for you to be beaten up than for loophole to be targeted.

slackbastard:

Fair enough.

My own thought is that, while thoughtless commentary is always regrettable (and I’d assert that yours is a recent example), I’d prefer for Collingwood to have kicked two moar goals on the weekend, to have remembered to have taken my washing off the line before it rained, and for the vegan pies at the local bakery to have remained at the very reasonable price of $1.20. But let’s face it: you can’t always get what you want, your friends have thus far failed to beat me up, and several years ago some people whom you claim to know — but have chosen not to name — sprayed some graffiti at Loophole.

It’s a funny old worlde.

You may not have stated previously that these bands were neo-nazis or were supporting them perhaps, though you did insinuate it in a post above as I have already pointed out, but you have been generally antagonistic, again as explained above and as is obvious from the even more recent comments.

No, I didn’t state that The Worst (or The Boots) were neo-Nazis.

No, I didn’t state that The Worst (or The Boots) ‘supported’ neo-Nazism.

Congratulations on making some token concessions to reality: “perhaps”.

Regards insinuations to the contrary: yes, you yourself are responsible for making such insinuations. That is, you’ve claimed, without evidence, that I claimed such things as the above. You did this in a previous post, as well as in this, your ‘final’ post. When pressed for evidence to support your insinuations, you’ve provided none, and merely regurgitated your previous claims. And yes, I have been ‘antagonistic’: for reasons which I’ve re-articulated over the course of almost four years now.

You may feel all safe in your anonymity to act however you damn please, but if loophole cops the shit from your antagonism, then fuck you. Just be polite. Think about the other people in your community.

Leaving aside the fact that anonymity is a relative concept, yours is an intriguing argument, and employs some truly extraordinary logic. For example: should you, in fact, assume responsibility for my actions? If you fail to assume this responsibility (and thus, inter alia, display very poor manners), would it be better for you to be: a) beaten up; or b) for someone to spray some graffiti on the wall of an institution anybody, for any reason, believes has something to do with you? Finally, if, on the basis of some person’s false belief, I stated that “I’d prefer for you to be beaten up than some social centre to be graffitied”, would you still invite me to your birthday party?

Think about it.
Think also about the other people in your community.
Then write the answer on the back of a postcard, and send it to your local MP: the neatest, correctest entry wins a prize.

And yes, it was not shaun or chunga, but another guy I know in that same scene, who I had a long argumentative conversation with, in which he admitted and boasted about having been the one who with his friends […] attacked loophole and painted swastikas on their window. His attitude: I’m not a neo-nazi, but if that’s what they’re going to call us, that’s what we’ll give them. I’m not supporting these guys, I was pissed off at this dude, but I am just pointing out that your actions have consequences. They may not impact on you, all the more reason for you to be responsible and treat people with some sense of respect regardless of their position as scabs, which as you have now acknowledged, you understand their reasons for being so. And yes it may have been 2008, I can[‘]t remember, and at the time I made sure the loophole crew knew about the reasons for the attack.

OK.

So.

A self-described ‘concerned bystander’, you claim to know who was responsible for painting swastikas on the windows of a property housing a social centre, but you choose not to name them. You further claim that this action, despite being ill-thought, committed by people you yourself know, and targeting people with whom I have no relation, is somehow my responsibility.

At the risk of being impolite — and therefore, perhaps, by your logic, providing you with moral justification to daub a Nazi symbol on some property, somewhere, at some point in the future — I feel compelled to point out that your argument has a few flaws.

To begin with:

The principle that I think we ought to follow is not the one that you stated… You know, it’s a very simple ethical point: You’re responsible for the predictable consequences of your actions. You’re not responsible for the predictable consequences of somebody else’s actions… The most important thing for me and for you is to think about the consequences of your actions. What can you affect?

Secondly, the chain of events — in which my having said or done something has ‘inevitably’ resulted in a handful of moarons painting swastikas on Loophole — is hardly clear. Neither is the nature of the moral calculus you’ve used to cast the blame for their stoopid on to my shoulders. In other words: it doesn’t follow, logically, that because some meathead feels aggrieved at something he imagined I claimed, painting a swastika on a social centre is a reasonable response. Or, that I bear responsibility for this act of vandalism. That said…

Let’s suppose, for a moment, that the meathead in question contacted me, stated his intention to paint a swastika on Loophole, and also provided me with his reasoning — which, as you’ve described, is as follows: “I’m not a neo-nazi, but if that’s what they’re going to call us, that’s what we’ll give them”.

At this point, I could have responded in any number of ways. For example, I could have replied to his assertion in the same manner as I’ve replied to yours: ‘I’ve never claimed that [Band X] are “neo-Nazis”: if you have any evidence to this effect, why don’t you provide it?’.

Meathead’s inevitable failure to provide any such evidence would immediately, and unequivocally, demolish his argument.

I also could have asked him why, if he was upset at something he imagined I claimed (but in reality didn’t), why target Loophole?

In summary, had “another guy you know in that same scene, who you had a long argumentative conversation with, in which he admitted and boasted about having been the one who with his friends […] attacked loophole and painted swastikas on their window” contacted me prior to his action, then it might have been possible for me to assume responsibility — not for his action, but for pointing out to him precisely why it was a bad idea.

Finally, in ordinary circumstances it would be redundant to point this out, but if for some reason the meathead very much in question had gone ahead and painted swastikas on Loophole (or painted a smiley face on his stomach, for that matter) his daft behaviour would, nevertheless, have remained his responsibility.

You appear to have some difficulty in understanding this concept, but I’m sure you’ll figure it out eventually.

In the meantime, note that David Berkowitz, also known as Son of Sam and the .44 Caliber Killer, at one point blamed his neighbour’s dog for his murderous rampages. Thus:

During questioning, Berkowitz said that the “Sam” mentioned in the first letter was Sam Carr, his former neighbor. Berkowitz claimed that Carr’s black labrador retriever, Harvey, was possessed by an ancient demon, and that it issued irresistible commands that Berkowitz must kill people. Berkowitz said he once tried to kill the dog, but was unsuccessful due to supernatural interference.

In any event, your line of argument does raise some other, interesting questions. Thus:

    Children were especially vulnerable in the era of the Holocaust. The Nazis advocated killing children of “unwanted” or “dangerous” groups in accordance with their ideological views, either as part of the “racial struggle” or as a measure of preventative security. The Germans and their collaborators killed children both for these ideological reasons and in retaliation for real or alleged partisan attacks.

    The relevant concepts here are ‘preventative security’, ‘retaliatory violence’ and, by extension, ‘collective punishment’.

    One of the ways in which the Nazis sought to combat partisan activity was by way of engaging in ‘disproportionate’ forms of retaliatory violence. Say, by murdering large numbers of non-combatants drawn from the communities and populations upon whom the partisans relied on for support. For example: “On 10 June 1944, the idylic French village of Oradour-sur-Glane was completely destroyed and 642 innocent men, women and children were massacred by soldiers in Hitler’s elite Waffen-SS army. The ruins of the martyred village have been preserved as a reminder of German barbarity.”

    In adopting this approach, the Nazis were forcing the partisans to make some very difficult choices, and escalating the costs, to the general population, of that resistance. Leaving aside its morality, the logic governing such a policy is fairly clear, and is precisely what leads you to conclude that “while violence is always regrettable… I’d prefer for you to be beaten up than for loophole to be targeted”.

    But let me spell it out for you.


      A hanged Jewish partisan with a sign stating, “We are partisans and have shot at German soldiers.” Zolochev, Poland, between 1941 and 1944. ~ United States Holocaust Memorial Museum

    The Nazi policy of collective punishment — in fact, any policy based upon this principle — is intended to encourage the adoption of self-policing by subject groups. In the case of partisan activity, the policy was intended to encourage their support bases, for fear of such punishment, to cut off all ties with the partisans.

    Of course, collective punishment did not originate with Nazi war planning, nor did it cease when the regime collapsed. Rather, it remains an important instrument of state policy (which also, incidentally, is contrary to international law). Thus:

    Israeli authorities urged to commission international inquiry
    Amnesty International Australia
    June 1, 2010

    …“Beyond this tragedy, however, it is imperative that Israel lifts the blockade of Gaza without delay, as it is a form of collective punishment in contravention of international law and primarily affects the most vulnerable among the population.”

    For nearly three years, Israel, which is the occupying power in the Gaza Strip, has implemented a policy of banning all movement of goods and people, except for the most basic humanitarian necessities, which are imported by international aid agencies. Only a fraction of patients in need of treatment outside Gaza are allowed out, and dozens have died waiting for Israeli permission to travel.

    Israel has a duty under international law to ensure the welfare of Gaza ’s inhabitants, including their rights to health, education, food and adequate housing.

    A much moar mundane example of collective punishment occurs when teacher (boo!) informs you that, following some minor infraction, the entire class will be detained — at least until such time as the naughty child responsible confesses her guilt (or is betrayed by one of her classmates).

    Finally, if your career as an ‘anarchist’ should fail, you would do well to consider a career with the Israeli government. Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Avigdor Liberman:

    First of all, I want to express my admiration for the IDF soldiers, who showed responsibility, restraint, and great courage in impossible conditions, under the brutal attack of a bunch of anarchists, hooligans and terror-supporters…

And yes, loophole recently had their windows smashed in. If you were involved with loophole at all you would know about it as they did a big call out for donations to cover the cost of the repairs. I’m not accusing any of these guys of this incident at all, it does seem unlikely that it was politically motivated… just pointing out that loophole has security issues and if there is any way in which you could be contributing to them (through your anonymity and association with the anarchist scene of which loophole, barricade and MARC are three physical symbols) then you should get a life and start acting responsibly.

Again, some curious logic is on display here.

1. Loophole had its windows smashed. You don’t know who was responsible (or why the incident took place).
2. Loophole has “security issues”. I may, in some unspecified fashion, “be contributing to them”. This is by way of: i) my ‘anonymity’ and; ii) my ‘association’ with “the anarchist scene” (of which Loophole, Barricade and MARC are three “physical symbols”). If correct, I should: i) “get a life” and; ii) “start acting responsibly”.

I see things slightly differently.

1. A few young men got upset at something I didn’t say, then did something stoopid.
2. According to you, this means I should somehow be nicer. To a handful of strangers. Who paint swastikas on the walls of a social centre.

How old are you?

12?

And yes, by that I mean your language. I don’t give a damn if you think you’re a good writer. I haven’t read much of your blog so I’m not going to say. I’d expect that your actual posts are more coherent, well researched and less attacking than your comments. However that is what I am referring to when I speak of your language.

Jesus fuck a shit soufflé. Where are my manners? I’m such a negative creep.

Your abuse of shaun on the basis that he can’t spell…

And other figments of your imagination.

I haven’t abused Shaun, I’ve responded to his comments, specifically by way of questioning his assumptions, correcting his errors, and lampooning his moar nonsensical observations. I confess to having described a number of the things he’s claimed as being “silly”, and a number of his complaints as being “childish”. Apparently, this is too much for Shaun to bear.

I’d suggest that this is the price you pay for trolling my blog.

…again condescending as all fuck. Just because you are educated does not mean that shaun does not know how to think and does not hold valid opinions. You may not agree with them, that’s all well and good, but at least engage from a position in which you don’t abuse others for their lack of education. Again as anarchists, is that really useful to our cause?

What you mean ‘we’, paleface? It’s a label, not a warranty, and I think that your stated preference for physical harm to an anarchist — for the crime of vocally supporting the (successful) boycott of a pub which hosted neo-Nazi events, and which was managed by a person with clearly racist political sympathies — over and above some minor vandalism to a building — an act committed by parties whom you claim to know but refuse to identify — kinda disqualifies you from my application of the term ‘comrade’.

With regards Shaun’s ‘education’ (that is, schooling), if I gave a fuck, I would’ve said so: what’s not “useful” to “our” cause is tolerating fools, whether highly educated or functionally illiterate.

As to the whole understanding and responsibility issue, you misunderstand my point. I was suggesting that in understanding where they are coming from, perhaps you could say something along the lines of ‘well i understand where you are coming from, but disagree for these reasons…’ as opposed to ‘you are silly… ignore everything you’ve said… post racist lyrics… talk about other things… make further insults…’ Responding in such a way would not have made you a social worker, it would have made you someone engaging in non-violent communication – a way of resolving conflict and yet still getting your point across. Instead you escalated the situation and created conflict. This is the crux of my issue with you.

Don’t piss on my leg and then tell me it’s raining.

Your capacity to ignore the fact that I’ve engaged in numerous discussions regarding the boycott — over the course of almost four years, in dozens of posts, prompting hundreds of comments — is remarkable. But like it or not, the issue didn’t emerge either at the moment it came to your personal attention, or when either you or Shaun bothered to comment on my blog.

I stated that I was not a social worker because, as I also stated, “it’s not actually my job to listen to other people’s problems, and to try to help them overcome them”. And, like, there’s other things going on in the world, and my world, which are, like, more important, and stuff, than making sure Beavis Butthead Shaun feels OK about my calling him a scab.

Mmmkay?

Of course, I could play the role of a concerned parent, and treat you, and Shaun, like children. But you’re not children: you’re grown-ups. And I respond to you as a grown-up would: I assume that you say what you mean, and that you mean what you say. (Well, I don’t really believe Shaun when he declared that he was going to “download burn and distribute for free 20 albums by this band the bully boysLOL.) I further assume that you don’t simply blurt out the first thing that comes to your mind, but think before you speak.

I freely admit that I could be — in fact, almost certainly am — wrong in these assumptions. But if you wish to complain at being treated as an equal, feel free to do so

elsewhere.

In terms of your responses to me pointing out the ways in which you escalated the shaun comment flame war/whatever, your comments are ridiculous, they continue to be beside the point and escalate the situation. When I point out that shaun never mentioned Gary, you post the lyrics of a song that Gary played. How is that relevant to the point at hand? It isn’t. It[‘]s a tactic to sway readers to your perspective as if you’re an anarchist Andrew Bolt, and it’s poorly done if you ask me. Throughout all of the above it should be obvious to readers that you are not at all interested in engaging in any kind of serious conversation about these issues. Only in escalating them further.

I either don’t agree or don’t understand you when you refer to flame wars, arms races, or the price of fish in China. With regards Gary, Shaun’s failure to mention him or his love of Johnny Rebel, and the significance of this fact:

By quoting the lyrics to the song “Nigger Hatin’ Me” by Johnny Rebel — a US artiste much-favoured by the KKK, whom Gary chose to play for the benefit of the boneheads who’d gathered at his pub to enjoy the 2005 ISD gig — I was attempting to remind the reader of: a) the nature of precisely what I was objecting to and; b) why I supported a boycott of Gary’s pub (a boycott which Shaun chose to disregard). In this context, it’s worth noting that Johnny’s songs were played by Gary at the 2005 gig, not the 2006 gig (the event which triggered his downfall). As such, quoting these lyrics also serves to remind the reader that the 2006 gig was not the first such event held at The Birmy, and that Gary’s relationship with B&H and the Hammerskins extended even further — to the beginnings of his tenure as manager of The Birmy. Thus, several years prior to the 2005 gig, The Birmy also hosted, inter alia, a gig to celebrate Hitler’s birthday.

At the time, Gary was informed that playing host to neo-Nazis wasn’t kosher, but it obviously didn’t alter his behaviour. Well, not much: upon being asked for comment regarding the 2006 gig, he lied, stating that it was a gig ‘like any other’.

Given Gary’s obvious disregard for the concerns which had been raised with him, over a period of many years, at this stage it was equally obvious that if anything was gonna change at The Birmy, it would have to start with Gary. To be precise: with new management.

Hence the boycott.

Explaining my reasoning for citing the lyrics to one of Johnny Rebel’s songs is thus rather like explaining a joke; which, as Mark Twain put it, is rather like dissecting a frog: you understand it better, but the frog dies in the process.

As for Andrew Bolt, I’d be moar than happy if Uncle Rupert were to pay me, like Andrew, lots and lots and lots of lovely, lovely money to express my opinions. Sadly, he doesn’t. In fact, I’ve not received a single cent for anything I’ve written on my blog, ever.

Vents sent me a copy of his last album but, which was nice.

This will be my last post. Go ahead and have the last word on all of this. I think the above comments make the situation fairly obvious to readers.

I feel ambivalent to read that this is your last post. On the one hand, it saves you from any further embarrassment. On the other hand…

Well.

Anyway.

Thanks for generously offering me the chance to have The Last Word on my blog — an opportunity which I’ll handball over to a Jew from New Yawk.

I think the above comments make the song’s relevance fairly obvious.

Bonus!

Sauce : Meet the Slackbastards.

    @ndy: Did I not clearly explain the circle A of trust to you, concerned bystander?
    concerned bystander: Mm, yeah, I think I got it.
    @ndy: Then is there something you wanna tell me?
    concerned bystander: Mm, I-I don’t think so.
    @ndy: Didn’t we have a discussion yesterday on the blog about this?
    concerned bystander: Oh, yes! You mean– Yes! You mean me and Shaun. Yes, I would love to talk to you about that.
    @ndy: We’re not talking about Shaun. We’re talking about you. See, if I can’t trust you, concerned bystander, then I have no choice… but to put you right back outside the circle A. And once you’re out, you’re out. There’s no coming back.
    concerned bystander: Mm, well, I would definitely like to stay inside the circle A.
    @ndy: Well, then, tell me the truth.
    concerned bystander: Okay. @ndy, I don’t know what we’re talking about.
    @ndy: All right, now look, concerned bystander, I’m a patient man. That’s what years in a marginal political movement will do to you. But I will be watching you, studying your every move. And if I find that you are trying to corrupt my blog, I will bring you down, baby. I will bring you down to Chinatown.

About @ndy

I live in Melbourne, Australia. I like anarchy. I don't like nazis. I enjoy eating pizza and drinking beer. I barrack for the greatest football team on Earth: Collingwood Magpies. The 2021 premiership's a cakewalk for the good old Collingwood.
This entry was posted in !nataS, Anti-fascism, Broken Windows, History, Music, Student movement and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to “My thought is that while violence is always regrettable…”

  1. Paulie says:

    I’m absolutely non-plussed [sic]…
    “Birmy” instead on the ‘Brum’. “Shaun” instead of ‘Sean’…
    And isn’t “you can’t always get what you want” a ‘Stones’ toon

  2. Ken Sez says:

    Lol!

  3. Little Kev says:

    [?]

  4. @ndy says:

    Murderer says death was victim’s fault
    Patrick Caruana
    AAP
    June 10, 2010

    A Tasmanian man who pleaded guilty to the murder of a Chinese student told police it was her own her fault because she asked him for sex…

    “I’m saying whose fault is it? Every girl knows not to jump in stranger’s cars,” Papadopoulos said.

    “I’m saying if I wasn’t pushed to the point where I was pushed, it would not have happened.”

    He makes a pretty convincing case eh.

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