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“I am a black and white thinker:” Autopsy of the Philosophy of the Enemy

“I am a black and white thinker:” Autopsy of the Philosophy of the Enemy

A member of Antifa and its armed, fighting component — the John Brown Gun Club — recently attacked an ICE facility in Tacoma, WA with a rifle and explosives. This should be no surprise to those who are familiar with the military concept of a “low-intensity conflict,” and who understand that we are presently in such a conflict.

Nor should it be any surprise that the first confirmed case of seriously-armed Antifa action resulted in no serious damage (excluding one burned car) and the Antifa member dying. Eventually, they actually will have to be taken seriously — contrary to over-confident conservative dismissal, history shows that anarchists and communists not only fight wars, but very often win them. There is no reason to assume they could not do the same here. But in the meantime, the left is still suffering from ingesting its own bullshit, regarding weapons, violence, pacifism, and so on, leading to extraordinary displays of ineptitude. This ineptitude will pass, so enjoy their goofy antics while you can.

But what really interested me the most about this case was the contents of this Antifa member’s manifesto (his name was Willem Van Spronsen). Jack Posobiec was able to acquire this manifesto, which was apparently mailed out to a few close friends before Van Spronsen’s suicidal attack:

Manifesto 1

Manifesto 2

Manifesto 3

When you read it, its a surprisingly consistent worldview. Given the accepted moral premises of the majority of the country, one may even be tempted to ask whether Van Spronsen is actually the more moral one than the moral majority, who will look down on his actions because they were illegal and ineffective. Yet these same people will often think more positively of Van Spronsen’s hero, John Brown, who set off the first American Civil War, simply because Brown’s side won in the end. It takes no thought or moral courage to be a herd-animal, and the person who condemns Van Spronsen but applauds Brown is merely that: a herd-animal.

But how deeply did Van Spronsen actually think this through?

There is a temptation to jump on the surface-level contradiction between valuing equality (“evil says one life is worth less than another”) with the intense hatred of prosperity (“…jeff bezos, warren buffett, elon musk, tim cook, bill gates, betsy de vos, george soros, donald trump…”). But in my opinion, this is not actually contradictory. If one truly views humans as “equal,” then the inequality between the haves and the have nots is, indeed, an injustice.

The deeper and more serious question is this: why would anyone presume that humans are equal?

Van Spronsen clearly holds a fairly literal idea of what human equality entails, but even a more liberal view has no reasonable answer to his questions. The classical liberal says that “equality” only means “equality before the law,” but how can this be valid without some assumption of equality between people? The law itself rejects this premise: minors are not treated in the same manner as adults. The mentally incompetent are not treated as “equal” to the lucid and competent. And of course, citizens and non-citizens are not — and should not be — treated equally before the law. The justification is simple: “justice” is limited in its enforcement by the power of the state, and this power is not infinite. Its protection is promised to those who have paid into its coffers. Out of respect to those people — who are already given a rather mediocre return on their investment — the state should not be squandering its resources protecting those outside of its jurisdiction (this jurisdiction is not just a geography, but a demography). If outsiders come in and attempt to steal resources from citizens, then it not the state’s right, but it’s duty to remove those outsiders.

An acceptance of this argument makes a stupid platitude out of liberal “equality.” We are not equal. We are not equal in height, in weight, in intelligence, in skill at all variety of tasks, and we are not equal before the law either. At best, we can say it is a functional presumption on behalf of a state that has to account for 330 million people, and simply cannot take the time to understand us all… but even this is an acknowledgment of a fault, not the establishment of some reliable truth. We are not equal, and it is dishonest to pay homage to “equality” of any kind.

And yet, “equality” is cherished by most Americans.

Can we really blame anyone but ourselves — as Americans — for the eventual, inevitable emergence of misguided, moralizing terrorists like John Brown and Willem Van Spronsen?

There actually is a particular source at fault for the emergence of “equality,” and people who take the ludicrous principle seriously enough to act upon it. I may end up including it in some future writing, but here’s a hint: notice the way in which Van Spronsen writes about “love” and “joy.”

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