The Boy Who Cried "Nazi": A Warning About Exaggeration and False Accusations

in libertarian •  2 years ago 

The Boy Who Cried "Nazi": A Warning About Exaggeration and False Accusations

Throughout the last year, I have written extensively about the alt-right infestation of the libertarian movement and have tried to draw attention to it through social media. One needs to look no further than a quick scroll through a Facebook group to see self-proclaimed libertarians clamoring for Donald Trump to build a border wall, extolling the “virtues” of racism, and saying things like “white genocide is the greatest threat to liberty” (by this they mean race-mixing and other races living within predominantly-white countries, not actual killing).

Luckily, I am far from the only libertarian to recognize this issue. There are more individuals than I even have room to name here that have been doing great work to combat it. However, I would be remiss if I were to ignore a prevalent issue that could vastly weaken our credibility.

When we say that someone is a white supremacist, or a racist, or a Nazi, we need to be able to back it up. If we simply called everyone we disagreed with on certain things a Nazi, we’d be devaluing the term for when we really need to use it: that is precisely what I fear has been happening in certain libertarian circles.

A Facebook page called Libertarian Anti-Fascist Committee recently posted a picture of Ron Paul in a KKK outfit (see above) and said that the people angry about it should "stop hero worshiping white supremacists." This isn't the first time something like this has come from them; they've called the large Facebook group "The New Libertarian" a “white supremacist front group” (which is hilarious, no matter what criticisms one may have of them, given how often the minority of alt-righters within the group get angry at the admins).

One of the LAFC's more prominent admins has gone around calling Tom Woods a Nazi, as well. I was part of a page with this admin for a short time several months ago; that ended after an argument between us over Woods. To make a long story short, the admin wanted to go full-steam ahead in labeling Woods a white supremacist fascist over the fact that he had said he agreed with Chris Cantwell on a lot of things in 2014 (before Cantwell took his hard turn toward white supremacy and the alt-right).
I said that maybe we should try to get an answer out of Woods instead, to see what he actually believed; I had publicly asked Woods earlier in the day whether he agreed with Cantwell's current actions, and Woods had responded with something along the lines of "of course not, it's disgusting." For wanting to get to the truth instead of labeling people things they might not be, I was accused of "backtracking."

I am not saying by any means that people like Ron Paul and Woods cannot be critiqued. I love Ron Paul for the fact that he brought me into the liberty movement, but I absolutely have disagreements with him. Likewise, I absolutely believe that someone can bring up a legitimate critique of Woods's past associations without going as far as to call him a Nazi.

Applying the terms "Nazi" or "white supremacist" to people who are simply culturally conservative or with whom we have other disagreements makes these accusations lose all their value. We should be saving these words for Christopher Cantwell (the “crying Nazi”), who has said that he wants to “gas the Kikes”, and others like him. If we do not, they lose the vast majority of their meaning.

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