Monday, June 19, 2017

Andrew Klavan: The Attack on 'Julius Caesar' Was Wrong in Every Way

Via Instapundit: The attempt to shut down the play was wrong in every way: morally, politically and tactically. It wasn't winning. It was losing.
Putting on a tasteless and ugly version of Shakespeare is not an injustice, not an outrage, not an act of war. It is speech — the very stuff we right wingers are fighting to keep free. This is more than a mere matter of law. The First Amendment, which protects us from anti-speech legislation, is not worth the crinkly brown paper it's written on if the values of free speech are not upheld in our hearts and minds.

Clearly, a large swath of the left — with their snowflake riots against conservative speakers on campus, their push for hate speech legislation, their blacklisting and career destruction of anyone who violates their politically correct pieties — has lost those values. They are trying to destroy free speech. We on the right are trying to protect it. You can't protect it by stopping it. You can only become what you're fighting against.

If we become the anti-speech people, what are we protecting? What are we fighting for? What are we trying to win?

This is not a question of cowardice or of being too fine to play smash mouth politics. Five-foot-nine Ben Shapiro has repeatedly faced down Social Justice Snowflakes and Black Lives Matter thugs to speak the conservative truth on campus in no uncertain terms. But he doesn't stop others from making their speeches and delivering their points of view. Because then he could no longer represent his own values. He'd be them, not us.

This is not a question of two-wrongs-don't-make-a-right either. Sometimes, awful as it is, the other side plays so dirty you have to play dirty back. If a peaceful conservative demonstration is attacked by Anti-fa fascists while the police stand by and do nothing, protecting such gatherings with right-wing vigilantes may become a terrible necessity. But if right-wing vigilantes respond by attacking a peaceful left-wing gathering, the battle is lost. Because then, you've destroyed the very principle you were trying to protect.
Link to the whole thing. Here is also the top voted comment at Instapundit...
That's quite a leap you got going on there. Shouting out an objection to a filthy piece of violent theater is hardly becoming what we object to. Get a grip, pal. If someone attacks you tell me if you don't fight back. After all - you don't want to become what you object to. When we fight against evil, are we becoming evil? If we do NOTHING does that make us morally superior? Were we evil to fight in any of our wars? To sin by silence when they should protest makes COWARDS of men - a quote attributed to Lincoln sums up your position quite nicely.


chickelit said...

Did the right wingers actually shut down the play?

This is theater at large, Lem -- meant for an audience greater than the one seated at the theater. It's performance art in the same sense as the the dog peeing on the girl stopping the bull.

The play went on. No speech was abridged. More speech was added to free speech. What's the problemo?

Chip Ahoy said...


*signs "burp on you"*

It's only the beginning. And it has nothing to do with winning or losing. It has to do with returning sentiment. And interest is due. Klavan's analysis is prosaic. Archaic. Unfit for the times.

And it's not just us. As you know by now a British citizen drove a van into a group of Muslim worshippers. A message, no doubt. The first of its kind. The long-predicted backlash is upon us.

Read the whole thing? Thank you, that was enough Klavan to last the next few months. Possibly forever.

Pretentious anachronistic sermon rejected. *throws cream pie*

(Crust was soggy)

It was not wrong in every way, such hyperbole, it was exactly right and correct.

More of this, much more, not less.

edutcher said...

One thing to protest a Lefty wet dream, another to go full Ernst Rohm on cast and crew.

One thing to remember is Klavan is still something of a NeverTrumper.


Leland said...

I almost get Andrew, but the post is fairly tone death after the past week. Disrupting a play is hardly a thing to cause anyone to clutch at pearls. And what should cause alarm was greeted with cheers, or at the very least blaming of the victim from even the most moderate of lefty. So with that, I don't even have much to say about the events in London last night. It's like watching the curtains catch fire next to the kids playing with matches, did someone expect a different outcome?

William said...

I'm sympathetic to Klavan's point, but I also think that the Central Park people were especially obnoxious for putting on the play after last week's events. The play was far more offensive than the disruption.

Sixty Grit said...

Klavan is a kommie.

Methadras said...

This is form of "if you sink to the level of your opposition then you become like them." it's an odd form of moral equivalence. What Klavan doesn't get is that the left hsa run roughshod on conservativism for decades. This is the culmination of their mob mentality come full circle. The only difference is, is that their rage and anger is now translating to actual violence and wishes of death against their opposition. I've said it here many time. Fuck them before they fuck you.

The baseball park shooter got the message, but the problem is that he was a leftist, a special kind of lunatic.

Eric the Fruit Bat said...