A Giant Step Toward Civil War

The Nation has given its seal of approval to violence against the Alt-Right:

“The Nation does not support violence directed at individuals for their speech, however reprehensible that speech may be. Not everyone shares that view or interprets it in the same way, as was clear in the reaction—from left, right and center—to the video of neo-Nazi Richard Spencer getting punched in the face by a masked demonstrator. We published one article, by Natasha Lennard that reported, approvingly, on the black bloc organizing behind that incident and other actions taken at the Disrupt J20 Inauguration Day protests. We’ve since published another article, by Peter Van Buren, that condemns such tactics. Editorially, The Nation is committed to nonviolence. But it is also committed to airing differences of opinion, as well as candidly reporting on the strategies different movements choose to take at this time. …”


Suppose for a moment that Richard Spencer was to release a statement that said, “Editorially, is committed to nonviolence. But it is also committed to airing differences of opinion, as well as candidly reporting on the strategies different movements choose to take at this time.”

Is initiating violence against the Left a legitimate difference of opinion?

Ari Paul writes in The Observer:

“A viral video of a masked protester socking white supremacist and anti-Semite Richard Spencer in the jaw as he was being interviewed about protests at the presidential inauguration prompted an increasingly common question: when it is acceptable to use non-lethal violence against those who advocate ethnic cleansing?

It’s difficult for many to say out loud, but the violent attack against Spencer does not deserve condemnation. …”

I’ve been writing for years now about how the Left has been inching toward this explicit embrace of anti-White political violence. It can be seen in the rise of the racial snuff film genre: Inglourious Basterds, Machete, Django Unchained, The Hateful Eight and most recently The Birth of a Nation. It is no coincidence that I have been arguing with a Twitter character who goes by the nickname “Lt. Aldo Raine.”

Hollywood movies have been normalizing the idea that political violence is legitimate when it promotes the cause of social justice. This is why, for example, it is commonplace now to be treated to movies that glorify mass murderers like Nat Turner. What is more *woke* than the slave rioting against his master or the Jew who hunts Nazis or the Hispanic illegal alien who kills border vigilantes?

All of that is being taken out of the realm of fantasy and into the real world now. Inevitably, the consequences are going to be significantly more far reaching than identity politics and social justice. What is the argument against vanguardist violence now? If the Left treats political violence as just another difference of opinion or a strategy that some are pursuing and that translates into blood in the streets, where does this go except straight back to the battlefields of Bleeding Kansas?

It is worth recalling the story of John Brown’s raid on Harper’s Ferry in 1859. More than any other single polarizing event, John Brown’s actions destroyed the Union. It pushed the average conservative to moderate Southerner off the fence and into the radical camp in key states. The secessionist vanguard had languished for twenty years in the Deep South until abolitionist violence – and this is key, the Northern reaction and celebration of that violence – demolished trust in the federal government.

Richard Spencer getting sucker punched is a very small story, but the principle that is being established here is a big story. We’re seeing the mainstreaming of political violence on the Left. It is going to have a big impact on our community and eventually the nation at large.

Hunter Wallace
the authorHunter Wallace
Hunter Wallace is the founder and editor of