In 1937, a judge quietly asked Meyer Lansky to form a squad of Nazi-punching gangsters to raid Bund meetings


#1

Originally published at: http://boingboing.net/2017/02/26/nazi-punching.html


#2

Nice to see Boingers coming around. My 9th grade physics teacher used to get very animated/pissed at the fact that the US space program imported so many former nazis. He hyperbolically questioned why so few (prominent ones) fled to the Soviet Union post war.


#3

(Psst: fix the “Judiasm” tag, unless I’m missing some reference)
EDIT: Now fixed, to Judaism.


#4

I bet having their meetings violently ended by a millionaire Jewish gangster with the tacit approval of the judiciary played neatly into Nazi antisemitic paranoia.


#5

(maybe off-topic, please move it if it is)

My sympathy has nothing to do with pleasure. I hate that I think that violence may be a solution, but sometimes I close my eyes and see myself getting beaten by a fascist with a metal bar (it might have been a pipe), on a bright sunny day just metres away from a busy road. Those flashbacks have been far more common in the last three months, even though Trump is in a different country.

All I wanted was to be left alone, but I can’t see that happening now. Whenever I see someone punching a fascist, I see someone who will stand up for me when the fascists come back.

I know I am gazing into the abyss, which is why I don’t like it. I want a better solution. Until then, it looks like nazi punchers are the best I have.


#6

Agreed. Though it is highly satisfying to see Richard Spencer getting cold-cocked on camera, this isn’t the primary reason a whole lot of otherwise completely pacifistic folks are fine with it. Neo-Nazis and Fascists are already so far down the spectrum of violent rhetoric that it’s no longer a conversation, but the inception of a battle. We’ve already heard all of their justifications and seen the consequences of their acendance. Swing first.


#7

Mostly because Russia was the brunt of nazi atrocities so there’d be the very real risk of stalin going ‘no we do not need you so badly.’ And then you’re eithrer dead or wishing you were.

To be honest even with my enjoyment of this, my favorite America moment is when a Jewish Lawyer represented a group of nazi’s wishing to march in skoki. ‘The best way to prove someone a fool is to give them ten minutes and a microphone.’

That said, zero fucks would be given if… oh… say the Hell’s Angels were to have shown up after the fact and put boots to the lot of them as they were armtwisting the words of the constitution so that they could preach a message that would, if followed, destroy it.


#8

I am happy to cheer a good nazi-punch after the fact. But as a tactic, I agree with Popehat (a site I often find to be authoritarian-in-sheeps-clothes).


#9

With respect, there are no “otherwise” pacifists. If you meet violence with violence because you believe your current situation is exceptional, you have failed the test, and are no pacifist.
It’s a long-standing pacifist tenet that wars are fought by people who all believe they are acting in self defence. This certainly applies to the current culture wars in America. Therefore the only rational response is to stand down and de-escalate.


#10

This is easy to say for someone whose country (I suspect) has neither been invaded nor taken over by the Far Right from within, and whose history has been generally progressive.


#11

I’m wondering if videos have been appearing in response to the virality of the Spencer one. Maybe, Punch a Vegan? Punch a Feminazi?


#13

More antifascists in jail doesn’t sound like a good thing to me.

I’ve often used war as a metaphor for this kind of things, and I always tell people: War is boring, and wars fought skillfully are even more boring. Most warfare is about maneuvers, maintaining force strength and trying to divide the enemy’s forces. Bloodlust isn’t a virtue in literal war, so why would it be a virtue here? We don’t need antifascists paying fines and ending up in prison when they could be in the streets imposing costs on their adversaries and protecting vulnerable populations. Punching Nazis and flag snatches in broad daylight are stunts that are rarely worth the tactical cost.

Bluntly: I would rather see one antifascist keeping a watch on a mosque like the ones that have been burned down recently, than see a thousand punched Richard Spencers.

Edit: I also think it’s telling that work like patrolling vulnerable sites and keeping a watchful eye is much more boring than punching Nazis. It explains the relative popularity of one over the other. Again: War is boring, sentry duty is particularly boring. Look up the typical penalty for a sentry who falls asleep on watch. It’s boring, but it’s important.


#14

Now we are getting to the better solutions.


#15

If you’re being attacked for nothing, you might as well do something.


#16

Luckily in the USA if you can’t tell if someone is a NAZI or not you can torture them first to find out.


#17

This is one of the most inspirational stories I have ever read. :cry: :heart_eyes_cat: Thank you :heart_exclamation:


#18

Yes, I agree. We all need to keep a watch for antisocial behaviour directed against any institutions, whether it is mosques, synagogues, churches or infrastructure. The problem that I cannot solve is what to do when one side decides to escalate its violence. Keeping a watch wouldn’t have dealt with Kristallnacht. Of course by then it was really too late, but was there a point at which determined action by the Weimar government, rather than appeasement, would have stopped Hitler?


#19

It’s also less effective when it’s just me walking down the street alone.


#20

I’ve never met a Hells Angel who would feel out of place at a Nazi gathering, mind. Though I’ve also seen them punch skinheads. People are weird.


#21

Quite right, I live in relative privilege and safety. Now back to the topic, can you see that the other side thinks they’re acting in self defence too? Will you fight them or talk?