Is this doing battle or shooting oneself in the foot?

This is from Andrew Klavan: The Attack on ‘Julius Caesar’ Was Wrong in Every Way. The question is, was it wrong in every way or not wrong in any way at all? Here’s his article.

There was a lot of Twitter hysteria over the weekend around a two-person assault on Shakespeare in the Park’s offensive version of Julius Caesar. In a conformist and shallow piece of political whinery, the playmakers opted to dress Caesar up as Donald Trump (which I guess made him Orange Julius). Audiences could thus watch the president of the United States brutally assassinated each night for their edification and delight. No matter what the point was supposed to be, it was a disgusting and despicable thing to do. Shame on them.

At the Friday performance, Rebel Media journo Laura Loomer charged the stage, screaming, “This is violence against the right.” Alt-right activist Jack Posobiec stood up in the audience and shouted, “You are all Nazis.” Loomer was arrested and must appear in court to face charges.

A segment of the right vociferously supported the attack online. #FreeLaura was the top trend on Twitter for part of Saturday. There was the usual taste-of-their-own-medicine braggadocio about how we on the right had to use the tactics of the left to beat the left and anyone who disagreed was a coward and we weren’t going to knuckle under to any of this Alinskyite stuff where the right has to live up to its values while the left can do whatever it wants, etc. This was civil disobedience! This was Jesus among the money changers! This was what winning looks like!

If we become the anti-speech people, what are we protecting? What are we fighting for? What are we trying to win?

This is not a question of cowardice or of being too fine to play smash mouth politics. Five-foot-nine Ben Shapiro has repeatedly faced down Social Justice Snowflakes and Black Lives Matter thugs to speak the conservative truth on campus in no uncertain terms. But he doesn’t stop others from making their speeches and delivering their points of view. Because then he could no longer represent his own values. He’d be them, not us.

This is not a question of two-wrongs-don’t-make-a-right either. Sometimes, awful as it is, the other side plays so dirty you have to play dirty back. If a peaceful conservative demonstration is attacked by Anti-fa fascists while the police stand by and do nothing, protecting such gatherings with right-wing vigilantes may become a terrible necessity. But if right-wing vigilantes respond by attacking a peaceful left-wing gathering, the battle is lost. Because then, you’ve destroyed the very principle you were trying to protect.

I voted for Donald Trump in large part because I thought Hillary Clinton would destroy the First and Second Amendments. I knew there were moral hazards to a Trump presidency, but I thought the risk was more than worth it to stave off leftist oppression. So far, I’ve been well pleased with my decision. Wild as Trump can be, he has stood up for our rights and reinvigorated the freedoms eroded under Obama. The continued grumbling of Never Trumpers has seemed to me poorly reasoned, unhelpful and ill-advised. I’m glad Trump won.

But there is no point in winning if you forget what it is you’re fighting for. A conservatism that can’t tell the difference between doing battle and shooting itself in the foot is a conservatism that will not win anything except perhaps the power to become the very tyrants they opposed.

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46 Responses to Is this doing battle or shooting oneself in the foot?

  1. NewChum

    Are we reading about it? There was nobody hurt?

    Then it was the right way.

    No apologies, no enemies to the right.

  2. dweezy2176

    So he’s basically saying .. the left can do what they like but the right must stay silent/responsible!
    Geeez, no wonder we are on a hiding to nothing when the media let loose!

  3. Cassie of Sydney

    Stefan Molyneux has uploaded an interview with Laura where she explains what happened and why they did what they did. Personally, I think that she and Jack did the right thing. They were trying to highlight the rampant hypocrisy of the left. The incident involved NO violence. As she says in the interview, can you imagine the absolute hysteria and outrage if a conservative drama group had done something similar about Obummer? I am tired of being virtuous. The shooting attack on Steve Scalise was the result of months of malignant and venal denigration of Trump and the Republicans. I think that it is time we used Alinsky’s tactics on the left, tactics that do NOT involve violence that is. However, as the Andrew Bolt incident showed, we can and will fight back if physically attacked.

  4. Fisky

    Nope. Not interested in hearing from bow-tie wearing conservatives about the need to fight “honorably”.

  5. Chris

    Call me when you need stretcher-bearers on standby. I’ll be ready.

  6. Confused Old Misfit

    There comes a time in any real conflict, a conflict where there are no safe spaces in which to cower, when one of the protagonists faces a fight or surrender moment. Not fight or flee – fight or accept a humiliating enslaved defeat.
    Sometimes to win you must get down and dirty with your opponent. That I think is a reality that too many intellectuals have never had to face. They need to get into a stand up, shirt fronting shouting match in the front bar of a grubby pub.
    Klavan is craven. Preening from a self centered moral high ground will lead only the door being smashed in at 3 AM, and it won’t be the Avon lady calling.

  7. Arky

    I am tired of being virtuous.

    ..
    You had better think carefully where the alternative ends up.
    If you want to see street fighting and escalation just so you can get the sense that we are fighting back or having some wins, you need to know the long term strategy.
    You need financial backers with deep pockets.
    You need motivated foot soldiers and an ideological driver.
    Does this sound like the type of thing you really want to happen?
    My preference is to best these bastards in the realm of ideas.
    Seeing as we have been, until very recently, so far behind the progressives in organising our opposition using ideas and peaceful capture of institutions, I don’t hold out much hope for your new tactic of taking it to the streets sister.
    The correct exploitation of this stupid Shakespeare in the park shit was to ram home the hypocrisy and danger of these fascist bums teetering on the edge of incitement to murder.
    Trust me, there will be plenty of provocateurs on “our” side wanting to initiate actions that discredit our arguments.
    No.
    Don’t get sucked in.
    Our side is the rational, the non- racist, the sane, the civilised.
    Learn how to make your arguments.
    Relearn how to build networks and take over “their” institutions, like they took over ours.
    Violence and mayhem are losing tactics.
    Did anyone complain to police and council about this play? Did anyone try to start a movement boycotting the sponsors?
    Or did you all just rush head first into doing what they want you to so they can paint you as the fascists and get you charged?
    Are we learning anything yet?

  8. iampeter

    Free speech cuts both ways Steve.

    Although this article is pretty funny. Money quote:

    I knew there were moral hazards to a Trump presidency, but I thought the risk was more than worth it to stave off leftist oppression. So far, I’ve been well pleased with my decision.

    Doomed.

  9. Bruce of Newcastle

    Maybe the Caesar-stabbers should be indicted for incitement to murder and jailed for twenty years.
    It was only last week that one of their fellow lefties attempted to assassinate up to 25 Republican representatives.

  10. Cassie of Sydney

    Goodness me Arky, so very pious and sanctimonious. Are we learning anything yet? Well, I do think that the thugs who attacked Bolt learnt something after their physical altercation with him.

  11. bobby b

    If you’re not willing to slap on your Glock or sling up your AR and head over to the next Antifa gathering, then any disagreement with Mr. Klaven’s thesis is merely mine-is-bigger-than-yours signaling.

    The post in question has almost 1000 comments. We have lots and lots of signalers in our midst.

  12. wes george

    Klaven misrepresents what happened. Two right-wing protestors staged a ‘happening.’ There was no attempt to shut down the play. They were well aware that they would be quickly led away by security. They made no attempt to harm anyone or chain themselves to the stage or in anyway shut down the show, as is the progressive anti-free speech activist modus operandi at conservative events.

    The play continued after a brief interruption. The protesters were not arrested for their protest action in the theatre. There was no violence.

    This a a classic how-to example of a perfectly acceptable direct action. Short and sweet. Point made. No one hurt, no one’s rights violated.. It’s a form of free expression.

    What they achieved was to alert the audience to the irony and hypocrisy of attending a play depicting the murder of an American president only days after a Bernie bro tried to mass murder Republican congressmen with a hunting rifle and the NYT responded with an editorial reminding readers that Sarah Palin’s crosshairs flyer – in their pathetically twisted worldbubble – led directly to the shooting of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords in 2011.

    Yet the brain dead liberals in the audience watching Trump/Caesar get knifed night after night, imagine their very real fantasies of assassination are piously righteous. Hello???? This amazing lack of self-awareness and consistency of values in the American left is screaming out to be exposed by not just rational analysis by also by passion driven direct action. Street theatre works on a gut level that rational analysis can not reach.

    For instance, the principled right at the NRO, the WSJ, and elsewhere, have long been rationally analysing university campus censoring of conservatives for years now to the sound of crickets.

    Yet this 3-minute direct action has elevated the conversation about the state of free speech rights around the country into the national consciousness. After all, thus far the Left has ignored or in some cases cheered the shutting out and physical attacks that many conservative speakers have suffered on numerous occasion in the last year. Now they are saying… whoa, you want us to live by our own rules? WTF?

    Now we can compare and contrast the principled actions of this protest with neofascist violence of Antifa in Berkley and the mob brutality of Middlebury and the conniving faculty enablers at Yale. This could be a teachable moment. 😉

  13. Tim Neilson

    Cassie of Sydney
    #2416735, posted on June 19, 2017 at 3:36 pm

    Cassie, I didn’t read Arky as saying we shouldn’t defend ourselves, nor did Klavan write that.

    I’m all in favour of violence in self defence, but that’s not what happened in this case.

    Bruce of Newcastle
    #2416734, posted on June 19, 2017 at 3:35 pm

    Or a civil action. In the USA where there’s no costs orders against an unsuccessful plaintiff, there’s sure to be some ambulance chasing types who would sue the theatre company on spec for the victims. Just let the fuckers know that either they pony up a truckload of cash to the victims or they pony up a truckload of cash to defence lawyers.

  14. struth

    Klavan is not a great thinker or that right wing.
    He is Christian first and foremost and is on a journey of learning publicly.
    Somebody shouod explain the difference between protest and prohibited.

  15. Arky

    Cassis I fully understand your point and feelings and agree with them.
    But channel it into something productive.
    They own all the major institutions now.
    If we want to win it will take long hard work.

  16. Arky

    Cassie I fully understand your point and feelings and agree with them.
    But channel it into something productive.
    They own all the major institutions now.
    If we want to win it will take long hard work.
    Not a bonsai charge.

  17. Cynic of Ayr

    Jeez, I’m glad this bloke hasn’t got anyone’s back.
    If someone came at the “someone” with a knife, this moron will be there ready to pull the blade out.
    After all, can’t be stooping to the stabber’s level, and actually stop the stabber, can we?
    His sort of opposition to the Lefties has been the norm for many many years, and it’s made it worse!
    Actually made it worse! Ya hear that, you idiot! Worse!

  18. Cassie of Sydney

    Klavan is a dill. He refers to Jack Posobiec as “Alt-right activist Jack Posobiec”. That is a slur. Jack Posobiec is “new right”, not alt right.

  19. cui bono

    Interrupting the event and getting arrested might have got publicity … and it was too easily portrayed as anti-free speech.
    Might be better to stage a protest outside the venue asking patrons ‘Do you realise this play portrays the murder of the US President?’.

  20. thefrolickingmole

    Arky

    While agreeing its a rotten road to take, just how do you “police” unacceptable behavior from left extremists which is excused, or even praised as virtuous, because “they didnt stop Hitler, but we will”?

    Im of the opinion it will take pain, real legal or bodily pain to force the left back to the contest of ideas rather than their current MSM enabled escalating violence and rhetoric mode.

    In an ideal world the law would be applied fairly and impartially, in reality this hasnt been happening for a long time.
    If you reward bad behavior (Hey, Bob Brown made a career out of it) and punish the law abiding then you are effectively signaling the deplorables are fair game.

    Vigilantism, weather online doxxing of individuals and getting them sacked right up to violently disrupting peaceful, legal gatherings should not stop unless both “sides” agree its self defeating.

    And no I dont think its good, quite the opposite, but its going to get there before a lot longer.

  21. Stimpson J. Cat

    Five-foot-nine Ben Shapiro

    Ha ha ha ha ha ha!
    Little Benny!

  22. Mother Lode

    Not sure what they really expected to accomplish.

    I doubt anyone in the audience said, “Hey. They’re right. We have been naughty.”

    I would expect the audience and theatre company feel more license to carry on with this garbage.

    I suppose the point is to rally the right to righteous indignation.

  23. Mother Lode

    Not sure what they really expected to accomplish.

    I doubt anyone in the audience said, “Hey. They’re right. We have been naughty.”

    I would expect the audience and theatre company feel more license to carry on with this garbage.

    I suppose the point is to rally the right to righteous indignation.

  24. Stimpson J. Cat

    Let’s go from this:

    Sometimes, awful as it is, the other side plays so dirty you have to play dirty back.

    To this:

    But there is no point in winning if you forget what it is you’re fighting for.

    But but Muh Principles..

    F$cking joke.

  25. Crossie

    Andrew Klavan may just be envious that younger activists are getting results so he has to rubbish them to seem relevant. Sad.

  26. Tel

    Nope. Not interested in hearing from bow-tie wearing conservatives about the need to fight “honorably”.

    I think you should always fight just slightly more honorably than your opponent fights, but excessively honorably. To make up the difference, you should always be a bit smarter.

    Under the circumstances, I think that Laura surpassed both of these requirements, neither of which was particularly stringent. As others pointed out, it was a non-violent protest, it did not deprive anyone else of their free speech, and that particular theater group claim to be edgy and provocative so they should welcome the occasional legitimate heckler.

    It’s generally accepted that the limits of free speech happen when you are inciting violence. We can argue about the exact dividing line but when Breitbart quickly identified 15 different clear incitements to violence all with a hint toward assassination of Trump, there’s clearly a bit of an identified MO here.

  27. Tel

    I think you should always fight just slightly more honorably than your opponent fights, but excessively honorably. To make up the difference, you should always be a bit smarter.

    Drat! I meant to say NOT excessively honorably.

  28. So essentially Klavan is saying turn the other cheek.
    That’s all well and fine if one can also deliver the message necessary. But too many live in the bubble of left wing MSM and don’t even realise there are people out there who object to faux art such as this Ceaser play and the beheaded Trump photos etc etc. NOW THEY KNOW.
    Job peacefully well done IMHO. Hope to see more of it.

  29. Rev. Archibald

    Mole.
    Don’t interrupt your enemy while they are making a mistake.
    Plus this:

    Might be better to stage a protest outside the venue asking patrons ‘Do you realise this play portrays the murder of the US President?

    Spot on.
    Let them highlight what murderous turds they really are.
    And track down the sponsors.
    Played correctly, that theatre company could have been destroyed.
    Well, they have fucked that up.
    Now it is an argument about free speech.
    Idiots.

  30. wes george

    Bobby B sez:

    If you’re not willing to slap on your Glock or sling up your AR and head over to the next Antifa gathering, then…

    Hold on right thar Cowboy!

    Anyone who advocates vigilante violence to counter violent leftists, such as the Antifa mob, must be persuaded to cease and desist.

    Here’s why:

    Alt-right violence prone nutters who wants to fight Antifa nutters in the street is exactly what Antifa wants: A running street fight with Alt-right Glock carrying, AR slinging white first-person shooter gaming nerds.

    Bobby B’s glock fantasy is an Antifa wet dream come true playing right into the Alinksy playbook. Antifa wants to turn Berkley into the Weimar Republic with Nazis in nightly running street battles with Communists.

    Antifa’s real goal is the collapse of civil order, as the prerequisite first step towards a dictatorship of the proletariat. If no one fights Antifa, other than riot police, civil order can not be disrupted and the regular bourgeois business as usual continues on the morning after. Utter fail in Antifa’s book.

    3. But let’s assume our superhero Bobby B organises a Good Guys Posse and they take on Antifa in street to street combat. After the Antifa street fighters – who are often tactically experience WTO rioters, stand-over thugs and gang members, etc – take Bobby B’s Glock from him, kneecap him with it then break his jaw, they’ll spend the rest of the week giving paid interviews to Huffpo Journolists about how they saved Portland (or wherever) from REAL Trump Fascists. Just like they said they would do all along.

    The FBI will track down Bobby B in his hospital bed via the Glock a Journolister got from Antifa and passed on to the Feds. Bobby B’s name, photo and vitals are leaked back to the Journolists by the Feds and Bobby ends up on the front page of the NYT and WP, etc. under the headline: THE FACE OF RADICAL WHITE HATE. Subtitled: Antifa protestors save Portland (or wherever) from a radical white terrorist group formed by President Trump as his personal death squad. Accompanying sidestories on the front page include: PROFILES IN COURAGE: Meet the youthful and colourfully masked Antifa heroes who saved downtown Portland from Trump’s Death Squad.

    In other news: Special Counsel Mueller expands Russia probe into Trump’s White Supremacist Death Squad Link After Street Warfare Erupts in Portland.

    After a long trial by media Bobby B is sentenced to ten to twenty in the Pen and becomes a black Muslim lifer’s gurlfriend for protection, naturally, Bobby converts to Islam.

  31. 2dogs

    Loomer was arrested and must appear in court to face charges.

    Do I detect some political bias on the part of the police there? Are Leftists arrested for similar behaviour?

  32. johanna

    I noticed that too, 2dogs.

    We have seen countless examples of leftists beating people up, destroying property, lighting fires etc while the police stand idly by. A couple of peaceful protestors stage a one minute disruption to a play and the wallopers are out in force, while Republican cucks collapse on the fainting couch.

    As for the GOP cucks, they would always rather lose than get their hands dirty in the real world. The never-Trumpers epitomise this. They are scum.

  33. Bela Bartok

    Arky and others have assumed the Waleed Doctrine: don’t object; remain calm; don’t be offensive; we can ‘intellectualize’ ourselves out of this; use love not hate. Also called Faine’s Folly.
    Like that’s helped in the past 40 years of leftist violence?
    If they all got Bolted, then perhaps they’d not be so eager to attack innocent folk?
    Oh Noes, it might get violent? Um, so we should just keep being attacked?
    When the ‘right’ does push back, yee hah!

  34. Marcus Classis

    Klavan:

    If we become the anti-speech people, what are we protecting? What are we fighting for? What are we trying to win?

    What twaddle. Klavan’s usually better than this. This was an example of disruption, nothing more

    Using their own tactics against them will:

    1. Highlight their hypocrisy.
    2. Cause them to soil themselves.
    3. Embolden more people to confront the Gramscians andAlinskyites
    4. Start to exert the same ‘chilling effect’ on their actions as they have themselves been doing for decades.

    There is no downside.

  35. Marcus Classis

    bobby b
    #2416740, posted on June 19, 2017 at 3:41 pm
    If you’re not willing to slap on your Glock or sling up your AR and head over to the next Antifa gathering, then any disagreement with Mr. Klaven’s thesis is merely mine-is-bigger-than-yours signaling.

    The post in question has almost 1000 comments. We have lots and lots of signalers in our midst.

    You are insane. Barking mad. This plays completely into Antifa’s hands, it’s what they are trying to provoke.

    Turn up instead with fists, maybe a stick, some PPE and a bunch of others, and push them off their turf. Unmask them, take photographs, take their flags as trophies.

    Show them up as weak, ineffectual powder puffs.

    That humiliates them and weakens their base, eats away at their support, eats away at their funding, demoralises them.

    In a surprisingly short time it will wreck Antifa as most of them are snivelling parlour pinks doing a low-risk LARP. If they come back humiliated and bruised, having had no fun at all, they won’t go again.

    Doing the madness you suggest will give the Antifa muppets their Horst Wessel.

  36. GerardO

    Only kooks wind themselves up over public entertainments. These people are losers.

  37. Jannie

    The provocation of daily acting out the stabbing of Donald trump is bound to create some negative reaction, its probably what the producers want, great publicity.

    This normalises killing, makes it a work of art, and there are many who want to act it out in reality, its just a matter of time.

    The Left don’t realise they are poking a sleeping giant in the arse with a sharp stick. When he awakes it will be hard to stop the killing.

  38. Helen

    Julius Caesar had been stabbed to death in Shakespeare’s play time after time for several hundred years. This surely has already normalised killing and made it a work of art (not to mention the killings in thousands of other plays, films, TV dramas, books). Our culture routinely normalises killing and makes it a work of art. Perhaps this demonstrates killing is central to (a core value?) of our culture. Think of the elision of Trump with Caesar in the play as a compliment to Trump, a recognition of his power and especially the unpredictability of his use of that power, and the way that engenders fear.

  39. Zatara

    Think of the elision of Trump with Caesar in the play as a compliment to Trump, a recognition of his power and especially the unpredictability of his use of that power, and the way that engenders fear.

    Horseshit.

    Let’s look at the people who haven’t been lampooned in publicly funded Shakespeare productions.

    Obama
    Castro
    Chavez
    Stalin
    Pol Pot
    Hitler
    Mussolini (wow, somebody missed the boat on that one)

    Interesting that the artiste class don’t see their own as suitable subjects for their ‘humor’.

  40. Jannie

    Julius Caesar had been stabbed to death in Shakespeare’s play time after time for several hundred years.

    In this case its not Julius Caeesr who is being stabbed to death, its allegorical and is merely the medium in which the killing of Donald trump is being portrayed.

  41. Stimpson J. Cat

    If you’re not willing to slap on your Glock or sling up your AR

    You need a gun for unarmed Commies?
    Really?
    Sigh.

  42. cui bono

    Yeah resort to your opponents weapons and tactics. Working well for the Libs now ain’t it?

  43. Mother Lode

    Look I think the entire production to be daggy and tacky. The politics of depicting Trump as Caesar so blindingly obvious that the left will likely call it ‘nuance’ – like so many other words they have recast as their opposites, like ‘Freedom’ (which can only be achieved through more regulation), and ‘Justice’ (which involves penalising individuals who have done nothing wrong to the benefit of those individuals who have suffered no actual grievance.)

    But I think it is tempting to mistake the exhilaration of fighting with joy of achievement.

    This particular act was angry, defiant, and loud.

    And that was it. Undoubtedly felt good, but it is an ephemeral satisfaction.

    I doubt anyone in the audience was not aware of what the depiction of Trump was supposed to mean, and I doubt any changed their minds.

  44. Sisipus

    I wonder if the theatre company might have done”Taming of the Shrew” had Hillary won the election I picture the ranting and raving coming from somebody dressed in a slack suit with a perpetual drugged look on her face.

  45. Aleister Crowley

    This is a literal clash of cultures ,and anything that can disrupt such dark happenings is a very good thing.
    The portraying the assassination of Trump is not just a matter of public desensitization for such an occurrence ofsomething to be devoutly wished for but rather more a case of major sympathetic ceremonial magic to achieve it.
    You dont have to be Stanley Kubrick or to believe in the effectiveness or not of such things ,to know that our ruling elites have a touching belief in the effectiveness of such things ,with similar ceremonies being the norm before any major endeavour.
    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3620446/A-winged-baby-semi-naked-dancers-man-bird-s-nest-head-Switzerland-decided-mark-opening-world-s-longest-rail-tunnel.html
    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3746669/Human-sacrifice-ceremony-Geneva-s-CERN-laboratory-involving-cloaked-men-stabbing-woman-night-investigated-chiefs-world-famous-science-centre.html
    As an aside ,re the survival ( political &/ or physical ) of DJT , astrologers for the past 12 months have been shouting out about the coming total solar eclipse creating the same sort of vulnerability in DJT for the next 6 months ,that the previous eclipse did with JFK 54 yrs back ,as both solar eclipses just happen to be consecutive members of the same family of eclipse

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