Lo! - the genteel, Zen brownshirt
April 2, 2003 2:08 PM   Subscribe

The Zen Thug (or how to handle an anti-war protester) [via Orcinus] A fascistic yet strangely Zen-like approach to winning a pacifist over to the way of violence [versions now propagating across the net - Google search]. To paraphrase:

Listen politely to their pacific, nonviolent, antiwar arguments...then, without warning, punch them in the nose. When they get up off the ground, remind them of their belief that retaliation only breeds more violence, and note that if they are fully committed to this position they must turn the other cheek. Insist that they must lead by example. When they agree, punch them in the nose again!...[more inside]
posted by troutfishing (20 comments total)

This post was deleted for the following reason: old. really old.

I laughed anyway, through my PC-clenched lips...then I thought of this incident [scroll down to "Sings of the times"]. Orcinus covers, at length, the right wing talk radio blitz to vilify dissenters as traitors. Here's a sample "Traitor list" at ProBush.com.
posted by troutfishing at 2:11 PM on April 2, 2003

Warning: do not try this if the peace activist you are confronting is trained in Aikido.
posted by sfenders at 2:13 PM on April 2, 2003

This was stupid and fallacious when half the people who have ever used the internet heard it a year and a half ago on whatever message board they frequented.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 2:14 PM on April 2, 2003

Eh. That's been around for a while, and it's idiotic.
posted by muckster at 2:16 PM on April 2, 2003

This anti-war person will gladly kick 99% of MeFi's ass on demand...
posted by i_cola at 2:16 PM on April 2, 2003

Actually, I just remembered a conversation about this came up on a thread I posted a while ago. The Ultimate Warrior finds this hysterical.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 2:16 PM on April 2, 2003

I'm sure Ghandi would be interested to hear how ineffedtive non-violence is...

Stupid right-wing claptrap.
posted by Windopaene at 2:18 PM on April 2, 2003

I and many of my pacifist, buddhist leaning friends have also spent some time coming to terms with aikido. So, if you were to try and punch one of us, you would most probably find yourself held in an uncomfortable position unable to harm anyone.

Why do some people seem to think that pacifists are stupid and unable to defend themselves? Opposition to violence as a way of settling disputes does not equate to not defending yourself!
posted by daveg at 2:18 PM on April 2, 2003

XQUZYPHYR - I don't know: I must have missed it when it first appeared, but it's certainly still circulating (through emails and blogs). I wouldn't call it stupid at all but, instead, surprisingly well written and even blackly funny - but with the intention of provoking real violence.
posted by troutfishing at 2:23 PM on April 2, 2003

I think we should take a cue from our leaders:

Anytime you see someone who you think may or may not punch you in the nose at a later date, you should punch their nose pre-emptively. If their children happen to be around and get in the way, you can punch them too.
posted by 4easypayments at 2:24 PM on April 2, 2003

Heh. 4-Stars, 4easy!!!
posted by Perigee at 2:27 PM on April 2, 2003

I've never been that keen on Ghandi's idea of pacifism since I read this (fourth from last paragraph). Sometimes it's right to fight. I'm not convinced this is one of those times, but I am convinced those times exist.
posted by vbfg at 2:27 PM on April 2, 2003

Easy solution:
  1. Carry camera with you.
  2. Get punched in face by illogical right-winger.
  3. Respond to this by taking illogical right-winger's photograph.
  4. Press charges and put them in jail.
  5. Sue them and take their money.
  6. Repeat as necessary.
posted by oaf at 2:30 PM on April 2, 2003

But - I would add - it's a lot more germane now, as the drums of war pound out their deafening martial beat as a backdrop to the push to suppress dissent as unpatriotic, and to even to brand dissenters as traitors (see link at top of thread).
posted by troutfishing at 2:32 PM on April 2, 2003

The reason the pro-war camp finds this funny is because they see the war on Iraq as self-defence. Since we're acting in self-defence, anti-war protestors must therefore not believe in self-defence.

Whether you see this war as aggression or self-defence depends on how much you believe that Iraq supports terrorism.
posted by Loudmax at 2:32 PM on April 2, 2003

Ghandi's and King's non-violence worked because the British and American citizenry were by-and-large civilized and moral.
posted by techgnollogic at 2:33 PM on April 2, 2003

Nice troll,

there's a difference between being a pacifist and not supporting a war you feel is being waged for unjust reasons.

I don't walk down the street and beat the shit out of anybody who might pick a fight with me. That's my opinion of the original case in favour of this war.

Now if I'm walking down the street and somebody tries to beat the shit out of me then I will do my best to beat the shit out of them first. I might try to talk them out of attacking me first (diplomacy), but if I see that the attack is imminent then I defend myself.
posted by substrate at 2:33 PM on April 2, 2003

Loudmax: or on how much you think the various regimes of the middle east support terrorism and violent anti-americanism in general, and what should be done in response to that support, and where to start.
posted by techgnollogic at 2:36 PM on April 2, 2003

4easypayments - Wow. kaaatchiiiiiiing!!! The ten thousand dollar comeback. Couldn't that become a book? - "Everything I needed to know in life, I learned from our President":

"Anytime you see someone who you think may or may not punch you in the nose at a later date, you should punch their nose pre-emptively."

*bows head, in acknowledgement of comment*
posted by troutfishing at 2:37 PM on April 2, 2003

This was oligophrenic the first time it was posted, a year and half ago.
It's just plain stupid now.
posted by signal at 2:39 PM on April 2, 2003

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