i have a, i think at this point on this forum, well received critique of universalizing ethics.
However let's take a thought experiment which will push towards each other what I see as a thesis (critique of universal ethics) and its antithesis (an opinion which I believe is widely shared on this forum)
After receiving essentially cold-call suicide goads recently, I began to think-- what if they were better at it? What if they surreptitiously befriended me online, embedded themselves in my communities there, and then did what they tried to do with much more effective and personal language? The possibility chilled me. Sure, an intrusive thought, yet-- that would undeniably have been an effective way to kill me, given the right timing and a good measure of patience on the part of my enemies.
The conversation in my head then turned in another, perhaps more disturbing direction. One that I would never endorse personally, but which occurred to me nonetheless. The implications of which, while not relevant to my life or choices directly, brought up what I think is a fascinating dialectic which might interest people here. It was fascinating because I have trouble finding real objections to it.
We are, now, in a situation of germination for the fascist movements of the future. They have even been able to draw significant political power from the vapid weakness of liberal capitalist hegemony. Unfortunately, radical movements are only now beginning to take root in many areas. There is an alarming similarity to the European situation of the 1930s, and the global situation of the 2020s.
In my country, the fascists are much better armed than anyone else except the state itself. This presents, on the face of it, a serious problem. In open battle, the revolutionaries could easily be crushed, just as the commune of 1871 or so many other efforts were. If we wait, surely something like this will happen eventually, just due to the material conditions of the political situation i am in.
However, might this situation, when taken into context with the profound epidemic of mental unwellness which reaches deeply into far-right communities, actually present an asymmetrical advantage to revolutionaries with no commitment to universalist morals?
Is it possible to convince fascists to kill themselves without causing harm to others? Is this desirable, in the overall resistance to fascism? (Edgy takes today...)
I don't know. I immediately saw a number of counterpoints, including but not limited to: collateral damage from suicide-by-massacre situations, reification of right wing gun culture (although that ship has sailed centuries ago imo), and collateral losses of dead fascists who might otherwise have withdrawn or disengaged or defected from fascist political movements to non-combatant or revolutionary communities if approached by a different praxis.
Of course, there is also the possibility that these people will go on to kill people, whether institutionally or in extrajudicial massacres, militias, so many things which I feel that even now we are not seeing nearly the full extent of. If we really mean "never again", and we are able to discern reasonably well which people are working for "again", shouldn't we use "any means necessary", to take inspiration from Malcolm X? I don't have a moral reason not to fight dirty.
But the thing that I came back to is the fact that the investment of time and energy of revolutionary people in death dealing or psychic manipulation like this is anathema to our goals and thus is not good praxis. However that's only true in my personal context-- for other people, the calculus might be different. I might get downvoted a lot for bringing up something as...inherently controversial here, as this, and maybe it deserves to be buried or pushed back on. That's part of the reason I brought it up, actually. I thought this inner monologue I had deserved a thread to manifest itself.
Thanks for reading