Playing the Indian Card

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Lynch Mobs

Laura Nelson, lynched 1911.

Xerxes my leftist columnist friend has raised the dire spectre of right wing lynch mobs in the street. He suggests they are to be expected due to the rise of the right wing and “white supremacy.”

But lynch mobs are not a “right-wing” phenomenon. Historically, they are more often found on the left. The term itself seems to have been invented by the American left during and after the US War of Independence to suggest the proper treatment of Tory Loyalists—the political wing of their day. The same term and techniques were then used against blacks (and Catholics, and immigrants, and Republicans) in the US South by the KKK—which was, in its day, when it was a real force (1860 to 1870, then 1915 to 1925), a leftist organization, or at least ambiguously either left or right. They were one of the pillars of Woodrow Wilson's “Progressive” administration.

Will Brown being tortured and killed in Omaha, Nebraska, during "Red Summer," 1919.

The French Revolution was a golden era of lynch mobs—virtually always on the left. The same is true of the Spanish Civil War. The Cultural Revolution in China was probably the great global heyday for lynchings and mob rule. 

It makes sense: the right is generally for “law and order.” The left is generally for “taking it to the streets.” Lynch mobs are almost necessarily on the left. A right-wing lynch mob is almost a contradiction in terms.

There have certainly been, of late, no lynchings in the name of “white supremacy.” But then, there do not seem to have been any white supremacists.

The number of actual “white supremacists” In the US is probably vanishingly small. Even the notorious Robert Spencer, who is always trotted out as prime example, with his perhaps several hundred followers, is not really a white supremacist, and would never use the term for himself. Instead, the term “white supremacist” seems to have been invented by parties on the left in order to justify lynch mobs and vigilante justice against anyone to whom they assign this label.

So far, any recent vigilante “justice” of a literal sort has almost all been coming from the organizations “Antifa” and “Black Lives Matter,” who are on the left. Of a less literal sort, the threat has also been coming, and increasingly, from the left. Extrajudicial proceedings and punishments without due process from the various “Title IX” enforcement structures in US colleges; from the Human Rights panels in Canada. Granted, these are not mob rule; these are things set up by an elite holding power. It is not quite the same problem as a lynch mob. More like a Star Chamber.

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