To progressives, violence by the oppressed against their oppressors is virtuous.
The unconscious logic supporting this belief goes like this:
• Society is a Battlefield
• Social interaction is war between groups.
• Warring groups either dominate or are dominated.
• The dominant group ruthlessly oppresses and exploits the weaker group.
• The oppressed tend to be virtuous.
• The actions of the oppressed are generally virtuous.
• Traditional tenets of behavior don’t apply to the oppressed.
• Violence by the oppressed against the oppressors is virtuous.
virtuous violence n : violent behavior which a particular worldview sanctions and honors
Progressives see violence by the various pseudoppressed groups as a righteous rebellion against oppression and exploitation. Violence by the poor exudes progressive virtue because they are felt to be fighting their wealthy exploiters. In some neighborhoods, police are perceived as tools of the rich or of European-Americans, and become targets. Violent behavior by women, whether Thelma and Louise fantasy style or in real life, tends to be seen in devoutly progressive circles as a legitimate tool of liberation, or an understandable reaction to years of abuse by a man or men in general. Similarly, violence by non-European-Americans tends to be seen by newthinkers as righteous rebellion by ethnic groups oppressed by European-Americans. For instance, progressives depicted the Rodney King disorders as an “uprising” caused by a difficult social and economic climate* Violence by non-Christians tends to be progressively virtuous because it is believed that they have faced historical oppression by Christian culture. And violence by non-Americans tends to be progressively-virtuous because of America’s perceived exploitation of foreigners. Fascist dictator Fidel Castro, who is documented to have murdered 14,000 people by firing squad, and that just a fraction of his complete murder toll on his own people, was lionized by newthinkers such as Norman Mailer, who called him “the greatest hero of the century!”**
To be fair, the traditional American worldview has its own virtuous forms of violence: the homeowner defending his family against an intruder, the policeman arresting a criminal, the soldier fighting for freedom. But the progressive worldview’s virtuous violence takes a different form: that of the pseudoppressed battling their pseudoppressors.
The traditional American worldview has its own virtuous forms of violence: the homeowner defending his family against an intruder, the policeman arresting a criminal, the soldier fighting for freedom. But the progressive worldview’s virtuous violence takes a different form: that of the pseudoppressed battling their pseudoppressors.
The more extreme Progressive Crusaders may use progressively-virtuous violence in their battle against their perceived oppressors. To devout progressives, even jihadists are righteous (although perhaps overzealous) warriors whose violence against their Christian oppressors is justified. As President Bill Clinton pointed out 58 days after the 9/11 attacks, “In the first Crusade, when the Christian soldiers took Jerusalem, they first burned a synagogue with 300 Jews in it, and proceeded to kill every woman and child who was Muslim on the Temple mound.”***
These violent Progressive Crusaders are very diverse, ranging from Al-Qaeda, Black Panthers, urban gangs and radical environmentalist groups to the Weather Underground, Castro’s fascist rebels, Nazis, Russian communists, and others. On the face of it, they all seem very different, and some such as Al-Qaeda are influenced by more than one worldview. But omnimarxism creates strange bedfellows. These groups have much in common: their certainty in their own virtue, their struggle against their perceived oppressors, and their violent tactics. The ubiquitous oppressor/oppressed dynamic of omnimarxism is clear in a statement by al Qaeda’s former number two, Ayman al-Zawahri, “I want blacks in America to know that when we wage jihad in Allah’s path, we aren’t waging jihad to lift oppression from the Muslims only. We are waging jihad to lift oppression from all mankind.”†
The perceived legitimacy of newthink’s brand of virtuous violence feeds thug culture. For instance, the African-American prison population is being converted from non-religiosity or Christianity to Islam on a large scale based on a narrative of oppression and a sanctioning and honoring of past crimes as virtuous violence. The fastest growing religion in American prisons is Islam, with about 200,000 followers, mostly African-American men.†† Malcolm X talked about how Muslim prison recruiters worked on black inmates: “When one was ripe – and I could tell – then away from the rest, I’d drop it on him, what Mr. [Elijah] Muhammad taught: ‘The white man is the devil.’ ”††† Thus the burden of guilt and self-responsibility is lifted: crimes against “the devil” are not crimes at all.
Why has virtuous violence flourished under the progressive worldview? Omnimarxists tend to believe everyone is either oppressor or oppressed. The pseudoppressed see themselves as oppressed, which leads to a feeling of righteous anger, and often to violence. After violent acts, even thugs may need rationalizations to soothe their consciences. Newthink provides them.
* Lou Cannon, Official Negligence: How Rodney King and the riots changed Los Angeles and the LAPD, (Westview Press, 1999), p. 348.
** Humberto Fontova, “Historians Have Absolved Fidel Castro”, NewsMax, August 15, 2006, http://archive.newsmax.com/archives/articles/2006/8/14/172147.shtml, accessed July 8, 2011.
*** Dick Morris, Off With Their Heads, (HarperCollins, 2004), p. 134.
† “Obama Blows His OBL Moment,” Investor’s Business Daily, March 8, 2007, p. 13.
†† “The New Face of Terror”, Investor’s Business Daily, June 28, 2006, www.investors.com/editorial/IBDArticles.asp?artsec=20& artnum=4&issue=20060.627&rss=1.
††† Malcom X, as told to Alex Haley, The Autobiography of Malcolm X, (Ballantine Books, 1992), pp. 199-200.