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Culture War Roundup for the week of May 8, 2023

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Culture War in Ireland

The Enoch Burke saga is coming to a close, with the courts deciding not to prosecute him for trespass for repeatedly showing up at the school he was fired from over a dispute about gender pronouns (he aggressively questioned the principal on the matter and she claimed it was assault, it's not clear what really happened), though his fines have reached 74,000 euro and he has already spent time in jail for contempt of court. The Burke family are conservative activists so this wasn't just about him trying to get his job back, he was trying to draw attention to the issue and he succeeded massively given that this is the first big news item I can think of regarding this issue in Ireland. The principal has apparently quit in the meantime so I guess he can count that as a personal victory.

There was some violence around a refugee encampment this week as right-wing protestors clashed with socialists. A Turkish man came out and shouted 'this is my country' as the right-wingers were tearing down 'No War But Class War' signs and swung at them with a metal pole before getting beaten up. Apparently the Turk is deemed a terrorist by the Turkish government and he spent some time in Poland before coming to Ireland. It looks like the encampment has since been destroyed as the right-wingers burned it down in the night. Not the first time people have burned down asylum seeker accomodation but the other instances were in small towns rather than in the middle of Dublin. The police weren't present for any of this but I'm guessing we'll see some arrests down the line, though a lot of the people involved look like minors so I doubt there'll be real jailtime.

Sinn Féin have dropped their pledge to withdraw from NATO and EU defence agreements if they ever get into power. As far as I am aware all big parties are now pro-NATO and Ireland might end up joining at some point. Neutrality was once something we took pride in, and something that the Irish left valued especially, but the malleability in response to current trends that was exemplified by the lockdowns seems to only be accelerating. One consequence of joining NATO might be British troops training in Ireland, maybe we'll even see the Parachute Regiment show their face under a Sinn Féin government. I see this scenario as being much more inflammatory than the Brexit border issue but that risk isn't discussed in the media. The paramilitaries are basically incompetent nowadays but having obvious and hated targets appear can only help them.

A senator has spoken out against the new hate speech bill. Senators don't really have any power in Ireland (we had a referendum a few years back on abolishing the Seanad altogether) so it probably won't come to anything, but it's certainly another tributary in what could become an organised opposition to the way things are going.

A senator has spoken out against the new hate speech bill.

I went to a protest today organised by the Irish Freedom Party. (I've never voted for one of their candidates in a general election before, but given that every major party, including the Greens for whom I usually vote, has backed this piece of legislation, I may have no choice come the next general election.)

The more I hear about this bill the more it draconian it sounds. Literally any police officer, regardless of rank, can tell a judge "I believe so-and-so possesses materials likely to promote violence or hatred against a person or group on the basis of their protected characteristics" and the judge can grant a search warrant. This search warrant gives the police license to search the person's home (using force if necessary), search the property of any person present in that person's home, force the person in question to hand over the passwords for any electronic devices in their possession, and seize anything they so choose from that person's home.

What I find most frustrating about this is that I'm quite confident that if I told an Irish person, in 2019, that Trump was trying to pass a piece of legislation intended to grant sweeping powers to the police to anyone suspected of collusion with Islamic terrorist groups, they'd say it was grotesquely Orwellian insanity. But because this legislation is being proposed with the ostensible goal of combatting racism and transphobia, the response has been a collective shrug (there were a mere ~500 people at the protest today). "Just don't be a cunt and you'll be fine" according to one denizen of /r/ireland.

I'll have to look into the Irish Freedom Party. I was pleasantly surprised with how intelligent Justin Barret seemed in his interview with Keith Woods but a National Party protest doesn't seem like something you'd want to risk showing your face at.

Some of the speakers went a little off-topic and the party as a whole does seem to be anti-immigrant, anti-refugee and anti-LGBT (not just T-sceptical).

Who is Keith Woods?

"Just don't be a cunt and you'll be fine"

First they came for the Communists; but I was not a Communist, so I stayed silent....

I'd have thought that the more poignant counter would be "imagine if the British did something similar pre-independence."

That parallel was repeatedly drawn by the speakers at the protest.

I think this is a big problem with Irish political tradition.

We have two main forms of immune system against bad policy: precedent, which up until recently was a strong conservative force in Irish politics (despite a revolution we kept the common law and many of the older British institutions), and an aversion to making the same mistakes that the British did.

We do criticise our own politicians for doing wrong, but still some threats just have no precedent in our history and we lack the general suspicion of government that allows the Americans to shout tyranny whenever the government crosses certain lines. If hate speech laws and whatever else the government passes in the next few years are going to lead to some soft form of tyranny, it will have to be a painful lesson we learn for the first time rather than something we wouldn't allow to happen in the first place.

And for some reason I can’t fathom the leopard ate my face!

I was following the Irish protests against asylum seekers on various Telegram channels for months. It was something rarely reported in the media but it must have scared TPTB, hence the draconian anti-speech bill.

I think Irish nationalism suffered from two main flaws. First, it was based on Catholicism against the English Protestants, in a world where Pope Francis is trying to outdo himself at every turn in how liberal he can be. Second, it was based on an ethnicity which, let's be frank, barely has any distinction from the English at this point. Even the language war was lost ages ago.

So the old rationales for Irish nationalism have faded one by one. It will take time for the Irish to re-tool and re-adjust. Another fact that needs to be acknowledged is that Ireland has taken in a lot of European migrants. So we may be at the start of a new "melting pot" in Ireland, where various white ethnicities meld into one larger white identity, the way it happened in America during the early 20th century. I suspect this process has just begun and will need time to play itself out.

Even the language war was lost ages ago.

The language was lost even before Ireland gained independence, Irish nationalism is based more on a hope of reviving it rather than asserting it as a fact that already distinguishes us.

So we may be at the start of a new "melting pot" in Ireland, where various white ethnicities meld into one larger white identity, the way it happened in America during the early 20th century. I suspect this process has just begun and will need time to play itself out.

That may happen but the Poles especially are very patriotic and a lot of them either have plans to go back one day or have already done so as Poland catches up economically. They're also surprisingly disinterested in Irish politics, unlike white immigrants in the US who changed the political landscape the Eastern Europeans have mostly kept to themselves (not in daily life, but politically). Having the rights of citizens of an EU member state a lot of them don't even see the point in applying for citizenship.

I suspect most Poles will stay, though the wave of emigration has almost certainly stopped. Your point about EU membership superceding the need for citizenship is well-taken. It probably will act as a break of further rooting themselves. In a way that is a success of the European project, which aims for all Europeans to see the entire continent as their homeland.

I see this scenario as being much more inflammatory than the Brexit border issue but that risk isn't discussed in the media. The paramilitaries are basically incompetent nowadays but having obvious and hated targets appear can only help them.

Really? I could well be mistaken, but I was under the impression that, while not inclined to be particularly favourably disposed to the British armed forces, nor were the Irish notably supportive of nationalist paramilitaries in Northern Ireland, and the anti-British feeling was only virulent among northern nationalists, not especially any more among Irish themselves. Even if it weren't, these things can't exert influence forever. You'd have be, what, pushing 70 to be 18 at the time of Bloody Sunday?

the anti-British feeling was only virulent among northern nationalists, not especially any more among Irish themselves.

The two main political parties in Ireland are Fine Gael and Fianna Fail. They (or their predecessors) have been 1st and 2nd in every Irish Parliamentary election (Ireland uses PR) since independence, except for 2011 (when Labour pushed Fianna Fail into 3rd) and 2020 (when Sinn Fein, FF and FG all got about the same number of seats). A non-diaspora Irishman would be able to explain the true horror better than I, but their policies on social and economic issues are basically the same establishment centre-right slop. They are famously "as different as shit and shite". Why do two separate parties exist? Because FG historically favoured normalising relationships with the UK, whereas FF favoured developing an Irish national identity based on anti-Britishness - which hit peak cringe with De Valera's letter of condolence to Admiral Donitz after the death of Hitler.

Anti-Britishness is sufficiently controversial in Ireland that for most of the 20th century it was able to replace economic and social issues as the main driver of a two-party system - even though Duverger's Law says that Ireland shouldn't even have a two-party system at all because it uses PR.

They are famously "as different as shit and shite". Why do two separate parties exist?

"What is the difference between Fianna Fail and Fine Gael?"

"We win more elections" - W.B. O'Carolan, Fianna Fail senator.

I could well be mistaken but I was under the impression that, while not inclined to be particularly favourably disposed to the British armed forces, nor were the Irish notably supportive of nationalist paramilitaries in Northern Ireland, and the anti-British feeling was only virulent among northern nationalists, not especially any more among Irish themselves.

This is all true, but you don't need to be generally anti-British to have qualms about their armed forces. A couple of years back the Irish government ran into some embarrasment over a planned commemoration for the Royal Irish Constabulary and the Dublin Metropolitan Police. People in the Republic were still not comfortable with the idea of honouring a since dissolved organisation which committed atrocities 100 years ago, the government misjudged this and ended up cancelling the event. The memory of the British military is much fresher, and news stories about the extent of MI5 and British Army Intelligence Corps' collusion with paramilitaries during the Troubles still rile people up.

You'd have be, what, pushing 70 to be 18 at the time of Bloody Sunday?

That quote about 100 miles being a long distance in Europe and 100 years being a long time in America seems relevant. Some very old soldiers have been brought to court for their role in Bloody Sunday and the Ballymurphy massacre and that being in the news has brought a lot of memories back.

It looks like the encampment has since been destroyed as the right-wingers burned it down in the night. Not the first time people have burned down asylum seeker accomodation but the other instances were in small towns rather than in the middle of Dublin.

I cannot believe I, an Englishman, am looking with envious eyes and a hopeful heart at Ireland.

hate speech bill

Oh right, nevermind. Although I do remember it being widely unpopular? Not that that matters.

So for the unfamiliar, why is Ireland the leader in pushing back against the tide of refugees? What unique facet makes its population so much more willing to resist than other Euro nations? And how to we emulate, amplify and export that factor across the continent?

I cannot believe I, an Englishman, am looking with envious eyes and a hopeful heart at Ireland.

Regarding the street fights, with the rise of Antifa it didn't take long for right wingers to get violent too. A couple of hundred members of the National Party were attacked at a hotel last year during a conference with an acquaintance of mine being one of 5 hospitalised. Since then everyone knows a confrontation between the far left and right will probably get violent so they come prepared.

Arson has been going on for much longer. I can think of quite a few incidents in relation to this issue in the past few years. If a building has been earmarked for becoming an asylum centre, simply getting rid of the building works pretty well (especially in small towns where that might be the only suitable building for miles around).

A few examples: Kildare, 3 times in Donegal, Leitrim, Dublin.

Although I do remember it being widely unpopular?

Yes, 70% of people responded negatively in a public consultation on the law. When questioned, our Taoiseach (prime minister) said that the public consultation was likely swayed by organised groups of dissenters and dismissed it as unrepresentative, when asked why they did the public consultation in the first place if it was so flawed he answered "because this is a democracy" and that public consultations aren't the way things are decided.

Yes, 70% of people responded negatively in a public consultation on the law. When questioned, our Taoiseach (prime minister) said that the public consultation was likely swayed by organised groups of dissenters and dismissed it as unrepresentative, when asked why they did the public consultation in the first place if it was so flawed he answered "because this is a democracy" and that public consultations aren't the way things are decided.

I think he is right here. It's useful to know what public opinion is, but it would be a craven politician indeed who dropped a proposed law he believed in just because it wasn't popular. I do have sympathy for a lot of politicians these days because of this; when they follow public opinion at the expense of principle they are called careerists and unprincipled cowards, when they do what they think is right they are accused of being out of touch and ignoring public opinion, you can't win.

Yeah I mean it's a principle of representative democracy that politicians aren't just delegates carrying out their constituents wishes, but representatives with the right to go against the crowd and hopefully be vindicated by the time of the next election.

Still, it's an honest politician that says 'I know you don't like it but here's why we must do it', it's more worrying when they deny the fact that people oppose these policies in the first place, or paint everyone who does as far right (he didn't do that here but they've been using that one more and more).

Again though politicians are only reticent to boldly contradict public opinion and say that they are doing it because the public reaction is/would be so strong. So they always have to try their hardest to at least appear to be in line with public opinion, or at least appear to think they are in line with it, because if they don't even make the effort the electoral cost is so high.

I’ve thought about this question a lot.

There are a few ways to slice it.

  1. Generally defer to public opinion unless it is an area you feel really strongly on.

  2. Generally keep your own counsel unless public opinion is very much against your position.

  3. Some combo of the above.

I think here, with 70% against, there is a strong argument for No 2.

I suppose there's no correct answer, but once you start sacrificing your own judgement to public opinion you're on a slippery slope; surely the same principle that applies at 55% opposition applies at 70% or even 90%?

No, I think you can easily distinguish. At 55%, it is fair to describes public opinion as mixed with a slight lean. In contrast, at 70% there is a clear preference.

It reminds me of overriding a veto. You only need a bare majority to pass a law but a super majority to override a veto.

In lots of legal systems, there’s actually legal recognition of a difference between 50%+1 and a supermajority for certain purposes, so it’s fair to draw the distinction somewhere as part of democratic principles even if exactly where is arbitrary.

why is Ireland the leader in pushing back against the tide of refugees? What unique facet makes its population so much more willing to resist than other Euro nations?

Ireland has a really long history of ethnically driven non-state violence against outsiders. It's just that other countries with the same history have a GDP of something teen thousand a year, so it doesn't come up because "refugees" don't want to live in the balkans.

And how to we emulate, amplify and export that factor across the continent?

Make Croatia wealthy.

I follow Razib Khan on twitter who mostly writes about where different ethnicities came from.Which I do find fascinating.Anyway he has a long post on Ashkenzi Jews - who have had a huge impact on 20th century history - but were a footnote before.And thinking about it I don’t know another “people” who never had their own land in history with an army protecting it and all that. As far as culture war goes I feel like Jewish history fits but I’ve never discussed it or read much more than Nazis kills a bunch of them.Here’s the post:

How and when did the Ashkenazim come to be?

Sometime after the year 1000 AD, a group of Jews began migrating eastward across Europe, into the principalities of Germany and the kingdom of Poland, attracted by the combination of religious tolerance and economic opportunity. These territories were beyond the frontiers of the Roman Empire; they were lands that Jews had traditionally not occupied. By the time these pioneers arrived in the small towns of Germany and the hamlets of Poland, Jewish communities had already been established in Persia and Egypt for 1,500 years.

For the next 800 years, these Jews waxed in numbers due to their essential economic position in the developing lands of Eastern Europe, but unlike the Hebrews of antiquity, they became culturally invisible to their gentile neighbors, quietly navigating a closed social universe organized around adherence to their own laws and focused on their own texts. Their ultimate origins were a mystery to the gentiles around them, and indeed became forgotten even to themselves. Were they the descendants of the ancient Hebrews, converts to the religion, or a mix of both? These possibilities were hidden from the Jews of Eastern Europe as their memory of their past faded and their written culture focused purely on matters of religion.

This curiosity is worth pausing over. Ashkenazi Jewish luminaries have recorded such outsized contributions to every aspect of human output in culture and knowledge over the past two centuries, it’s natural to assume that the familiar intellectual restlessness and insatiable curiosity of the community’s standouts have deep cultural roots. But if the textual record is anything to go by, nothing could be further from the truth. Hunting for attested evidence of Ashkenazi Jewish passage from antiquity to the 19th century is like trying to catch a glimpse of a secretive nocturnal creature. Not only did Jews receive unhelpfully scant coverage from gentile chroniclers, but the community itself also appears to have trained its considerable literacy and intellectual power solely on matters Talmudic, to the complete exclusion of any historical records of the various communities.

And yet, it was these people that flourished in the unknown and wild lands of Eastern Europe who would go on to beget 80% of the modern Jewish diaspora, and join the mainstream of Western civilization after 1800. These are the more than ten million Ashkenazim, whose members have left indelible marks on world history and culture so far out of proportion to their numbers, from Karl Marx to Albert Einstein, since their reintegration into the stream of Western civilization after the Enlightenment.

In the Bible, Ashkenaz is one of the descendants of Noah, and Jewish scholars associated his scions with various points north, initially Scythia, but eventually Germany. So the Ashkenazim were the Jews of Ashkenaz, of Germany and parts east, and their native language, Yiddish, was a dialect of German. The Jews of Spain and Portugal, the Sephardim, loomed large during the medieval period between 1000 and 1500 AD, producing the great rabbi Moses Maimonides and polymath Judah Halevi, and persisting in prominence into early modernity, with philosophers like Baruch de Spinoza. It was only in the 19th and 20th centuries that the history of Jewish prominence and cultural achievement became so disproportionately the story of the Ashkenazim, who were 92% of the world’s Jews in 1930, and have shared in fully 20% of all Nobel Prizes awarded.

And yet, though the Jews are a people whose history is extensively documented, from the Bible to Josephus’ Roman-era The Jewish Wars, the origins of the Ashkenazim remain a bit of an enigma. In 1096 AD, Christian crusaders infamously massacred Jews in the German Rhineland as warm-up for the slaughter they would inflict upon people in the Middle East, and the German-speaking lands saw widespread pogroms in the mid-14th century, at the height of the Black Death. But in comparison to their ubiquity in the 19th century, the Ashkenazim are mentioned only glancingly in the histories of this earlier period. They came to be notable only with their demographic ascendence in the massive dominion of Poland-Lithuania, as the Middle Ages gave way to the Renaissance 500 years ago. Not to mention in their later cultural explosion in the modern world.

Given Ashkenazi Jews’ newfound prominence and mysterious origins, in the late 19th century, European intellectuals began to explore the “Khazar hypothesis” for the origin of the Ashkenazim: the strange idea that Eastern European Jews descended from an ancient Turkic steppe confederacy destroyed by Kievan Rus 1,000 years ago. The Khazars are notable because much of their elite reputedly converted to Judaism while other groups were adopting Christianity or Islam. The Khazar hypothesis’ argument was that the Ashkenazim descended from the scattering of Khazar Jews westward into Europe. It is only with genetics in the 21st century that this theory has been able to be tested, and ultimately found wanting. The Ashkenazim are the synthesis of ancient Levantine Jews and various Mediterranean European populations with whom the former mixed. Their origins date back to the fall of Rome, not the fall of Khazaria.

In the intersection

To understand when and where the Ashkenazim come from, it is important to understand what they were before they became the distinctive people we know from history and fiction. The ancient King David was a simple shepherd, while the Babylonian Talmud outlines how farmers must maintain adherence to the laws of the Torah despite the agricultural season’s cycles. 2,000 years ago, the Jews were both pedestrian and unique. Pedestrian in that they were a nation of farmers and shepherds, as extensively documented in the Bible. Yes, large communities of urban Jews flourished in Alexandria, Rome and other large cities, but on balance, the Jews were not particularly urban. Like the Jews, Greeks outside of their homeland tended to be urban as well, but the average Greek was still a farmer or a shepherd, as were the vast majority of humans in the ancient world (not to mention, incidentally in the world as a whole until the 20th century). The ancient Jews were tillers of the soil and drivers of flocks, like all their contemporaries.

Where the Jews were unique was their strict adherence to a set of laws handed down to them by a god whom they held to be the one true god above all others. The Jews were zealous in their religious particularity, a reality which led to a war of liberation against the Greeks in 167 BC, where they rebelled against the imposition of pagan syncretism by raising an altar to Zeus in the Jewish Temple. Today we know of this war mostly through its commemoration at Hanukkah. Once Rome rose and conquered the Eastern Mediterranean, the Jews rebelled twice against the Roman imperium, once in the first century AD and once in the second. Again, the cause of their rebellion was the fact that they chafed at the rule of the religiously tolerant but unabashedly polytheistic Romans. The first rebellion was triggered by riots that erupted in 66 AD when pagan Greeks provocatively sacrificed birds in front of a synagogue, an act of sacrilege in Jewish eyes meant to inflame tensions in Jerusalem. The first rebellion ended a period when Jews were prominent in Roman elite circles, particularly due to the Judaean client king Herod Agrippa’s friendship with the Roman Emperor Caligula. From then on, Jews were tolerated, but seen to be different: a people apart.

The Jewish farmers and warriors who characterized the nation in the first centuries of the Common Era would eventually fade from living history, recalled only as legends in scripture and oral tradition. By the time European Jews became more than marginal curiosities in early modernity, pure subsistence agriculture and a martial ethos had become wholly alien to the Jewish mode of existence for the urban and small-town Ashkenazim. The Zionist movement made explicit efforts to synthetically re-install the ethos in the new settlers of Palestine. Zionism emerged from socialism and 19th-century nationalism and imagined a robust patriotic citizenry working the land on collective farms, the kibbutzim, at the ready to rise as a nation and take up arms against enemies near and far. Set against this future ideal was the contemporary bourgeois life that was aspiration and reality for many of the European Ashkenazim, who had already made the comfortable transition to material security in the wake of the piecemeal Jewish emancipation that swept the continent over the course of the 19th century.

But these assimilated Ashkenazim still came from an earlier regime, where Jews were set apart from the nations among whom they dwelt. Whereas their biblical ancestors had been farmers, pastoralists and warriors, the Ashkenazim known from later medieval and early modern history occupy professions avoided by Christians. The more modest members of the community were peddlers and artisans serving rural villages, while the Jewish elite were money-lenders and tax-farmers, intermediaries between the aristocracy that ruled much of Europe and the peasants whom they exploited. The enmity toward the Ashkenazim pervasive across much of Europe in the early modern period derived from this experience, as the dirty work of wringing tax

So there really is almost no Jewish history from roughly Romans to 1800? That was one thing I posted for. Like they rebelled against Roman’s some. Invented Christianity. Then sort of chilled for 1800 years. Made Hitler hate them. Then invented a ton of stuff in the 20th century.

Like that’s kind of a simpleton 30 second elevator speech but if I explained Jews to someone who knows nothing is that largely correct?

Hunting for attested evidence of Ashkenazi Jewish passage from antiquity to the 19th century is like trying to catch a glimpse of a secretive nocturnal creature. Not only did Jews receive unhelpfully scant coverage from gentile chroniclers, but the community itself also appears to have trained its considerable literacy and intellectual power solely on matters Talmudic, to the complete exclusion of any historical records of the various communities.

There is an extensive collection of Responsa from the middle ages which shines a light on the history of the jews in that area. While not a historical narrative (nor intended to be one), the Responsa sheds light on where jews lived at that time, and what they were going through in those areas. Of course, almost none of it has been translated into other languages, so modern historians have close to now knowledge of it.

You can read more about it here, and here's a paper reviewing two books that extrapolate history from sets of responsa.

What do you mean by “Jewish history”? Like, there’s easily 10,000+ religious Jewish works which were written in that period (the most famous/important being the Talmud), many which are still studied and having an influence on people today. I realise your typical gentile doesn’t care about the intricacies of Jewish law and hermeneutics but as a cultural product, surely it counts as “history”?

Aside from that, you even mention that Jewish thinkers throughout history have made important contributions to culture as a whole. Maimonides, Spinoza and many others produced important contributions to philosophy.

I’d also take issue with the term “chilled”. They more “survived as a persecuted minority for 1800+ years”. Yes, many Jews today suffer from a victimhood complex but let’s not pretend that Spanish Inquisition didn’t happen resulting in the mass expulsion of the Jews (1492). That’s just the most famous example. This Wikipedia article which has a long list of expulsions also has this very nice graphic.

Finally, I’m not sure why you think “they made Hitler hate them”. Even if you believe the Jews deserved the holocaust or whatever, antisemitism existed in Germany and Europe long before then. Hitler was a product of his generation, not some revolutionary thinker who had the epiphany that the Jews were the cause of all his woes. And why does the holocaust uniquely make its way into your “30 second” elevator pitch? As I tried to point out above, the holocaust was just the biggest and most prominent in a sequence of persecutions which have been going on for millennia. Seriously, skim that list. Not all persecutions are equally bad and not all persecutions are uniquely Jewish but antisemitism has an undeniably long history. Again, whether or not you think the Jews deserve it, why pretend that antisemitism is a 20th century phenomenon?

Come on chum, he said it was a simpleton's 30 second elevator pitch version of Jewish history, and he said it was a topic he didn't know a lot about. Off the top of your head, what's the simpleton's 30 second elevator pitch version of the history of the Bantu, Irish, Hmong or Russian?

resulting in the mass expulsion of the Jews (1492)

Also 1492, The start of the Golden Age

Yes, because opening new frontiers of settlement with a literally once-in-a-thousand-years bounty of new goods (see "Columbian Exchange") tends to result in Golden Ages.

Something to note when considering Ashkenazi in Europe is history is that they really were their own nation, a kind of mobile and extra-territorial nation who 100% believed they were their own peoplehood. The Rabbis had jurisdiction over their subjects and could excommunicate anyone at will. They had their own laws and traditions and tax codes. This means that when you read about “oppression”, you are actually reading about a conflict between two nations. This needs to be dwelled upon, because if you compare European-Jewish conflict to European-European conflict, you quickly see that Jews were the least attacked and the safest group in Europe by a large margin. (Consider this an historical White on White argument if you must). Of course there would be conflicts against Jews, their own nation was in a geographical area made up of many states and ruled by hereditary rulers. And of course they would lose these conflicts, because they chose to be their own traveling nation. But compare the bloodshed between, say, Catholics and Protestants, or even British versus British in the War of the Roses with 100,000 dead. Jews have little to complain about regarding their treatment in European history before the holocaust, as they were the safest group by a large margin.

If the Jews were behaving like sovereign citizens and (e.g.) refusing to pay taxes or follow laws, then "persecuting the Jews is no worse than a conflict with a foreign state" might be somewhat defensible.

But it sounds like you're saying "Yeah you pay French taxes and follow French laws and have lived in France all your life, but you don't follow French culture, so you shouldn't get the game-theoretic protections of being part of France". If you agree that (e.g.) Mormons deserve to live without persecution, I feel like that should also extend to Jews.

Jews in the middle ages often did live under their own laws and pay taxes separately while being citizens of the same state as gentiles.

I suspect "often" is doing some weaseling here. After reading https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taxation_of_the_Jews_in_Europe I see exactly one example, which was in the town of Altona

From 1584 to 1639, as in the Middle Ages, the Jews of Altona paid taxes specific to the Jews, but no further taxes. Each Jewish family was required to pay 6 Reichstaler per year. Under Danish rule this changed: the Jews continued to pay the specifically Jewish taxes plus the same taxes as all other residents.

Do you think it was common for Jews to pay less in taxes than ordinary citizens? Can you provide an example of a kingdom where this happened? Do you think in kingdoms where this didn't happen (I'm guessing the vast majority) Jews shouldn't have received the same rights as other citizens?

The Middle Ages were radically different. Even disputing a Christian doctrine in a Catholic country could you have killed. Apostasy in a Muslim country would have you killed, and apostasy in a Jewish city as a Jew would have you made anathema with the threat of being killed. Today is much different than the Middle Ages. I’m merely asserting that the Jews as a whole did not face more threat than everyone else, because everyone else was dying in wars and starving to death (outside the “urban” center).

Yeah you pay French taxes and follow French laws and have lived in France all your life, but you don't follow French culture, so you shouldn't get the game-theoretic protections of being part of France"

This is of course perfectly coherent and sensible to essentially anybody before 1789.

The idea of nationhood as citizenship is a liberal innovation. And frankly, jury is still out on whether that was a good idea or not. Let alone if it's compatible with any national culture at all.

Not sure this is right. What about Hobbes? Surely the relevant point here is whether Jews were under the French state in a similar manner to Frenchmen, not whether they were considered part of the nation of Frenchmen, which doesn't seem especially relevant. They submitted to the leviathan, paid its taxes, followed its laws etc. so why should they not also benefit from its protection?

What about Hobbes? He's one of the earliest of Liberals and Leviathan, though it justifies this position very well in a way I personally believe, was an extremely controversial book that earned him the contempt of his royalist friends, anglicans and Catholics. He is by no means "essentially anybody".

Protection in exchange for taxes doesn't require hobbes, it's just feudalism. Earlier, even. The world's oldest profession... for men.

As long as the jews or goths or cumans pay taxes and obey the king, they should not be treated as a foreign army or persecuted by the rest of the king's subjects. One doesn't need liberalism to justify this arrangement.

As long as the jews or goths or cumans pay taxes and obey the king, they should not be treated as a foreign army or persecuted by the rest of the king's subjects.

Why?

I mean it, explain as you would to a catholic ruler why you shouldn't persecute those who have no kinship, cultural ties to your realm and whom you don't even share a religion with.

Why not just kill them and take their stuff or convert them except that it might be impractical at the moment?

The catholic church explicitly extended protection and tolerance to the Jews, something not extended to other religious minorities who were persecuted. The only reason Jews could exist in catholic and orthodox Europe was that they were Jews and not something else.

Mutual benefit. Loyalty without competition (as in, a jew cannot replace you as the new king like a catholic could). Honoring your word. You're asking why anyone would act morally. I doubt they do it because of 'cultural ties'.

Just because a policy is ruthless does not make it beneficial to the realm. The dutch and americans soaked up all the religious freaks nobody wanted and it made them rich. Has that king ever heard of the goose with the golden eggs?

Khmelnitsky’s uprising is a pretty clear counterexample.

Did Jews ever declare war on the standard European nations? If you had two countries like England and France who had numerous wars over their history, but every war was initiated by the French, I would say the English were "oppressed" of a sort.

This needs to be dwelled upon, because if you compare European-Jewish conflict to European-European conflict, you quickly see that Jews were the least attacked and the safest group in Europe by a large margin.

The logic in this claim seems completely wrong. You're comparing the number of times, say, England and France declared war on each other, to the times they declared war on Jews. Only, the jews are living in England and France; when an invading English army sweeps through the French countryside, they don't carefully avoid the Jewish settlements. So the jews get hit with the same attacks as everyone else in their country, and they get hit with specifically targeted attacks against jews also. That's a lot more threat, not a lot less.

Jews did not primarily live in the countryside during European history outside of Russia, iirc. They would live in close proximity to the King with whom they had a unique economic partnership. There were no agricultural Jews in Northern, Southern, or Central Europe, unless I am mistaken.

Jews did not primarily live in the countryside during European history outside of Russia

Could they even own or rent land? Or be serfs?

They had their own quarters of a city with nearly full self-rule and a religious freedom that no one else in Europe had. This was clearly desirable to them which is why they traveled great lengths to live in Europe. Humans don’t really value whether they “own land” (after all, in America it’s not yours if you don’t pay taxes), they care whether they have a place of their own with self-rule. They were given their own unique quarters of European cities where they were free of all the pains of the typical serf or peasant and were protected by the personal interest of the King. In practice, is that ownership? In the cases where they loaned money, they held the value of many properties, but as non-agricultural people, they had no interest in owning and living in farm lands in Western Europe. In fact, the Talmud has passages about how farming is a disreputable profession, which is one of the reasons Ashkenazi didn’t farm much.

Humans don’t really value whether they “own land”

Do you have any evidence for this?

More generally, any sources that whether people historically want to live in the countryside is independent of whether they could earn a living, either on their own land or someone else's, in the jobs that exist in the countryside?

It seems that legal restrictions on what Jews could do is a sufficient explanation of why they lived in cities, sometimes with segregation to Jewish quarters. When they could work in the countryside, as in parts of Eastern Europe, it seems they did, like everyone else in the Middle Ages and Renaissance.

In Central Europe during 30 years war:

https://sci-hub.ru/https://www.jstor.org/stable/4545974

The rewards for their cooperation began to accrue to the Jews directly following the crushing of the Bohemian rebels at the Battle of the White Mountain, in November 1620. With the Protestant forces dis-persed, the city of Prague was ruthlessly sacked, all that is except for the Judenstadt. The emperor's soldiery were under strict instructions, which they obeyed, not to enter the Jewish quarter.

The privileged treatment continued under the new governor of Bohemia, Karl von Liechtenstein, a nobleman with close links with Jacob Bassevi, the Jewish financier who was at the center of the efforts to raise Jewish cash for the emperor and who had been ennobled--the first Jew to receive such an honor from a Holy Roman Emperor--by Rudolph II, in 1614.

In conclusion, it does seem that previous views of the fate of Central European Jewry during the Thirty Years' War stand in need of revision. The influence of certain preconceived notions appears to be widely dis-cernible in the historiography, ideas which have tended to distort our view of the question. On the one hand, there is an entrenched expecta-tion that as a defenseless and supposedly constantly victimized group, the jews of Germany and Austria must have been "easy prey for the marauding soldiery."

On the other, there is the marked tendency in pre-1939 German Jewish historical writing to flatly deny that the Jews were affected by or experienced major historical events differently from other Germans. The truth is that the terrible upheavals of the Thirty Years' War mostly worked in favor of German and all Central Euro-pean Jewry, appreciably enhanced the Jewish role in German life, and prepared the ground for the "Age of the Court Jew"-the late seven-teenth and early eighteenth century-the high-water mark of Jewish influence on Central European commerce and finance.

Note that 30% of HRE population died (though, unsure how many from violence and starvation rather than disease; perhaps 3-6% of that number) during the Thirty Years’ War. I also can’t find a number on the the number of Jews in the HRE at that time, but we can be certain they died less due to starvation, pillaging, and combat.

As for all of European history? I don’t think any Academic has crunched those numbers.

I guess a comparison could be made to other peoples in territories ruled by another power (eg the Welsh).

The best example of this right now are arguably the Kurdish.

And the Celts. The celts were obliterated by the Romans and then the Saxons, and Wales was the last Celtic holdout.

The Jews are by far the ethnicity I have the most respect for, they punch so far above their weight class it's ridiculous.

As someone who finds HBD glaringly obviously true, I have little compunction about praising them, if only it wasn't for their propensity to embrace wokeness, at least in the US.

And Israel is the country closest to being an isekai protagonist, absolutely cut off, besieged on all fronts, yet absolutely wrecks armies a dozen times their size. The only potential threat to their hegemony would be the Arab armies embracing automation, unless they decided to train their military AI on Classic Arab Doctrine, it's far harder for them to be as hilariously incompetent.

What other nation tolerates being bombarded with rockets on a regular basis, only to swat them away like inconvenient flies? Palestine should count itself lucky they pose no real threat, because the Israelis could and should clamp down on that cankering sore, and all concerned would come out better.

They punch so far above their weight we should almost declare procreate with a Jew day a national holiday.

If I want to put a tinfoil conspiracy hat on and an alien civ was guiding our development they would 100% be a Jew. Even AI is Sam Altman and Yud. Who interesting enough both skipped college.

Was hoping someone would throw in some more history so I guess I just have to assume this story they were just sort of chilling in Eastern Europe is true.

I’m curious if Civilization (the video game) create a Jewish civ what would their special abilities be.

Jewish civ bonuses:

Chosen people - ancient era bonus for developing monotheism and great prophets

Money lender - middle ages trade bonus, discount on banks

Lie back and think of Israel - modern era fertility bonus

The Civ devs are cowards who decided that religions as disparate as Buddhism and Islam deserve no special military or cultural modifiers in their games, so expecting benefits from Judaism would be pointless!

That said, an Israel Civ could be represented by high science and military production but lower pop growth IMO.

absolutely cut off, besieged on all fronts

I suppose except their entire shoreline from where they can always freely be supplied by the most powerful country in human history which unconditionally supports them diplomatically economically and militarily often to the detriment of its own geopolitical standing.

absolutely cut off, besieged on all fronts, yet absolutely wrecks armies a dozen times their size.

Besieged on all fronts but the one that matters - the air. If Israel gets in trouble, they need only threaten to use their nukes (that curiously fly under the radar of the US-sponsored anti-proliferation treaty) and the US will airlift them as much weaponry as they need and more. No matter the cost! It doesn't matter if the Arabs then organize a devastating oil embargo that costs the West hundreds of billions in economic damage, the US will not suffer Israel to come to any harm. It doesn't matter if they poison US relations with the Arab world, if they sell weapons to China, if they spy on the US, if they create a rather interesting precedent for annexing other people's land in the sacred post-WW2 rules-based international order... They get immense military aid, generous subsidies for their own military industry and all the US's best toys.

Your isekai protagonist metaphor is spot on. I'll add another trope - the strongest warrior in the world inexplicably falls in love with the MC and will stick with him, no matter what wacky and expensive disasters he embarks upon, she'll bail him out.

I'll add another trope - the strongest warrior in the world inexplicably falls in love with the MC and will stick with him, no matter what wacky and expensive disasters he embarks upon, she'll bail him out.

I can't think of an isekai series that does this.

Israel isn’t large enough for resupply from the US to be an option in any serious conflict

It literally happened: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operation_Nickel_Grass

That the Israelis won a couple of battles by the time the C-5s started landing doesn't make the aid useless, the extra aircraft and supplies made it much easier for them to counterattack. One can be much more aggressive when your losses are sure to be replenished.

And of course, it was America that pressured Israel into ending that conflict on terms that were extraordinarily generous (far more generous than any American government had ever previously been in victory in a major war) to the defeated parties.

The Arab war goal was to retake the Golan Heights and Sinai peninsula which they lost when Israel attacked them in 1967. The US persuaded Israel to give up Sinai and bribed Egypt extensively to accept the deal, to sign a peace treaty with Israel. Partly this was due to Soviet pressure on the other side. Golan remains in Israeli hands. The US foreign aid budget to Egypt increased enormously (as it did when other Arab states recognized Israel and signed peace treaties). All the generosity here is flowing from the US to Israel, by bribing its enemies to stand down and persuading the Israeli govt not to bite off more than they can chew.

It's the worst deal in the world. The US got massive enmity from the Arabs, in exchange for forever paying bribes to Egypt, Lebanon and so on so they wouldn't be quite so angry with Israel. And endless military aid to Israel, so they can bomb and invade their neighbours whenever they like.

If the US simply stopped meddling in the Middle East, stopped reflexively prostrating before Israel (the Iraq War was heavily motivated by the perceived need to destroy Israel's enemies), the US would be a lot better off. On the pure logic of national interests, the US should favoured the Arabs (who are numerous and have oil) over the Israelis who are few and lack oil.

This has me imagining a potential counterfactual world, though, one in which Israel sided with the Soviets (which I think they threatened to do in reality), and today exists as a stubborn and nigh-impossible-to-dislodge pariah state with ties to America's modern enemies (a la North Korea), and internet pundits like us ceaselessly bemoan the state of America's Arab allies, all of whom can't fight a war to literally save their lives (a la the Republic of China and the Republic of Vietnam), who we expect will get blown away first the second WWIII starts, and who keep spitting in our faces despite our supposed alliance because we're an insufficiently-pious nation.

Interesting scenario. Would they do so well though? Where would Israel even get oil for their military? North Korea has China and Cuba actually has a surprising amount of oil.

I think Israel would instantly disintegrate the moment it loses its superpower sponsor. North Korea and Cuba could endure losing Soviet subsidies because they were pretty homogenous. How could Israel survive if its fuel and trade were suddenly cut off? The Palestinians and their friends in the CIA would see about the end of the Tel Aviv Regime. Of course, if they had nukes it would be different. Then again, without US support, they probably wouldn't have nukes.

But just think about the gains to be had from the Arabs! Cheap, secure oil supplies. Saddam and Syria would be on our side, no problems there. Osama Bin Laden wouldn't be angry with us. Negligible Islamic terrorism. Maybe we'd get an Israeli terror group to substitute for Al-Qaeda, which could be alarming, especially if Israel has nukes.

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It's been tried before though, hasn't it? Twice, in fact. And both times Israel was able to repulse massive armies before the U.S. got involved. In fact, the U.S. had to intervene because Israel was TOO successful.

Raw numbers don't mean that much in the face of massive organizational, technological, and motivational superiority.

I suppose you could theoretically zerg rush Israel with like 1 million poorly trained soldiers and win. I don't think that's possible right now absent a major casus belli to motivate the troops.

Didn't that get tried, and fail... in less than a week... while Israeli equipment wasn't any better than their opponent's?

Looks like you are right. I just checked Wikipedia and the invaders did have nearly 1 million troops in 1973 and over 500,000 in 1967.

Need more zerglings then. Maybe 2 million would suffice?

I'm not sure that "more manpower" would solve the issue with Arab militaries. A better cohesive structure might have allowed Egyptian and Jordanian military forces to hold together long enough to bring their numbers to bear, but holding together long enough to use superior numbers is a bar that Israel's main historical rivals show an incapacity to meet.

I believe this sentiment is actually very common with online Hindu nationalist types. My best guess is that they see Israel as a country of hyper-competent Brahmins (without the 1.5 billion riffraff bringing them down) and associate its enemies of "Muslim hordes" with Pakistan.

Lmao, if you think that I'm an "online Hindu nationalist type", you literally couldn't be further off the mark (I do accept that I'm technically online).

I absolutely despise Hindutva, neither am I a Hindu, nor am I a Brahmin for the matter.

I grudgingly concede that Brahmins are likely smarter than the typical Indian, at least on the basis of their over-representation in prestige fields, but that's more of an outcome of being a stickler for intellectual honesty than some weird superiority fetish.

Turns out, people can and do hold idiosyncratic views if they try and let themselves be guided where the evidence leads..

But don't let me keep you from armchair psychoanalysis, it's at least entertaining if nothing else.

I'm about as sincere as it gets. Jews are based.

The enmity toward the Ashkenazim pervasive across much of Europe in the early modern period derived from this experience, as the dirty work of wringing tax

More like the enmity is what created those niches (at least partially) - no self-respecting trade guild would accept somebody as lowly as a Jew into their numbers, and trading with them may make your own reputation to become tainted too. However, money lending, activity prohibited to Christians, but necessary for the economy and especially warfare - well, that can be tolerated to a certain measure. With an added bonus that if it proves too hard to return the money, one could just tell the Jews to take a hike (provided you are powerful enough of course) - they're not even proper Christians, who'd defend them?

With an added bonus that if it proves too hard to return the money, one could just tell the Jews to take a hike

And then those same gentiles would be crying about why the Jews were charging them such high rates of interest, I know that "counterparty risk" was not a term at that time but this is just common sense.

How and when did the Ashkenazim come to be?

Post ww2, America became the unofficial homeland for Jews, after Israel. That is where they thrived and became such dominant force, thanks to meritocracies, where Jews really thrive. It was not going to be anywhere else. Great Britain had its entrenched monarchy and parliament. Other countries were too small or too homogenous. America, by being so meritocratic, powerful, and accommodating of diversity, was perfect.

Great Britain had its entrenched monarchy and parliament.

Slightly puzzled by this. What would the nature of Parliament have to do with the status of Jews in post-war Britain, or indeed the monarchy? Surely the more plentiful economic opportunities in America is the more prosaic explanation?

It's not without precedent. According to Wiki, "A law in place until the 1850s stated that no member of the Jewish religion could be elected to Parliament. Some Christian denominations were similarly prohibited. If elected, a member would be excluded if he refused to swear an oath of abjuration with a strong Christian wording."

Perhaps but Jewish immigration to the U.S. didn't take off until very late into the 19th century.

Yeah but it's more about the meme, which lives in memories. It's like how black people think cops are hunting them - they aren't, but black people think they are so they act accordingly. And then America you get the opposite meme - it's the land of the free where anyone can rise to the top.

And don't forget there was no internet, it used to be much harder to find out various laws and rules and procedures. You had to rely on the word of others a lot more, and who are you going to trust, the young clerk who says Jews aren't banned from parliament or your uncle, who insists he is right?

Kind of want to see where this goes before commenting more. But Marxism and the initial basis for monetary policy fiscal spending (Keynes) was pre ww2. And pre-20th century Jesus and the whole Christianity thing. And I’m probably missing a bunch.

Guess he wrote too many words was trying to copy it all. Here’s the link

https://razib.substack.com/p/ashkenazi-jewish-genetics-a-match

And twitter

https://twitter.com/razibkhan/status/1656952555639848962?s=46&t=aQ6ajj220jubjU7-o3SuWQ

I assume this community has above average members of this tribe. I don’t think Jewish history has been much discussed so other sources would be interesting. I feel like I’ve studied every civ at some point. It seems like an understudied area since all of us have been fighting ideological wars that Jews created with weapons Jews created and now debating AI doom from a Jew quite interesting from such a small subset of humanity with no land (Einstein, Marx, Keynes, Friedman, Yud) and even before this century fighting religious wars over a religion (Jesus).

Keynes wasn't Jewish.

You are right on that. Wander why I thought that. Only thing I guess is so many top economists are.

https://www.cnn.com/2023/05/12/us/jordan-neely-daniel-penny-new-york-subway-death-charge/index.html

Daniel Penny, a 24-year old Marine, turned himself to police after being charged with 2nd degree manslaughter for the killing of Jordan Neely. It looks like I was initially wrong. I said that drugs may have played a role given that the original NYTs story, which I replied to, from a week ago said that Neely had been choked for only 2-3 minutes and released and was unresponsive. The updated story is that he was choked out for much longer, as long as 15 minutes, which would have def. been lethal, and the video is pretty bad.

So retract my original argument in which I posit drugs played a role. This is why you should always wait until you have all the information before forming an opinion. I didn't think the story would blow up like it did. I just assumed it was some random altercation. The video is why it went so viral. I think Penny is not without some guilt here. Keeping someone in a choke for so long is going to end in death. It's likely Neely was not rendered unconscious near-instantly from blood loss to the brain, such as from a sleeper hold as I assumed from the original story (I assumed Penny put Neely in a hold, and then Neely went limp in 20-30 seconds and did not come back), but far worse, had been suffocated to death, like being held underwater because his windpipe was restricted. That's why he was flailing around. It would have been more humane had Penny just shot him although that would have carried a worse charge.

A second degree manslaughter conviction is not that bad. only max 15 years for killing someone, and with parole Penny may only spend 5 years, which is a pretty lenient sentence for killing a guy, and not even in self defense or accident. By comparison, Ross Ulbricht faces multiple life sentences despite not killing anyone. I cannot say Penny is not without some blame in this matter. But In Penny's defense, the police took too long to come, and despite Marine training he and his accomplices didn't know what else to do.

I dont understand your theory of the case at all. It is that 15 years in prison is an appropriate sentence for... being inexperienced at restraining violent crazy people?

If they die? Yes.

He clearly committed manslaughter, so he gets the punishment for manslaughter.

If they die? Yes.

So you get into a car accident, which results in the death.

You're cool with with doing 15 years?

Before you start talking about nuance, please see your comment.

What am I doing at the time?

If I'm drunk, or running a stop sign, or driving in the shoulder, or driving above the speed limit, or lane splitting, or making a disallowed turn: yes, I am fine with that.

If you don't want to do the time, simply do not do the crime.

So, in your theory, self defense and defense of other is only available to like, Jon Jones and Chuck Liddel?

I don't know what to say, dude.

Simply do not hold a choke for 15 minutes.

A potentially great insight from miles away with the benefit of hindsight...which also might be horribly wrong.

I don't have to have been their to know that doing the thing that always kills people would kill someone.

It's a simple application of physics and understanding of biology: when you deprive someone's brain of oxygen for 15 minutes, it stops working. You can tell when this happens because it's when they stop moving and they stop breathing and they shit their pants.

Except he never really stops moving and breathing

Given that the dude was found fully a corpse on the scene, I find that hard to believe.

There are countries that don't even have Good Samaritan laws and where you can be held liable for death or injury caused by your inept first aid.

There's no such law for defense of others. So yes, if your defensive actions result in death or injury, the court will determine if your actions were permissible.

whether this was self defense is what's up for debate. if all he was doing was schizo ranting then does that really justify a chokehold?

I wouldn't call it ranting, I would call it menacing, and I think it does justify being restrained. A chokehold is probably the only restraint the majority of humans know for use against humans that aren't children.

There appears to me, to be a fairly common sentiment among people less familiar with violence (and possibly pejoratively I think this is more common on the American left) that violence is some sort of dial you can perfectly calibrate. There is a reason all combat sports are conducted, essentially, on a mat, with a very restrictive moveset, and almost every kid starts before puberty so they cant really hurt each other. But even then MMA does not, in any real way, reflect streetfighting.

In real fights basically everything is potentially lethal. A slap? Well, by a weak woman, probably not, but a real one by a man, for sure. I could rupture your eardrum, while dealing punch-adjacent force, which will cause you to fall. Have I gotten to falling? Anytime someone is forced to the ground they are at risk of dying. Its called head trauma, and its nothing like Hollywood portrayals. Hit someone over the head with a whiskey bottle and they hit the ground. Big chance you've just committed murder. Even if the guy is just in a full nelson for 15 minutes there's a decent chance they are going to have permanent problems, including death. Am I a big rear naked choke guy? Nope. I suck at it comparatively to my favorite, the hammerlock and armbar series of moves. This makes sense, I wrestled at a high level for over a dozen year. But still if I put a guy like this in a hammerlock for 15 minutes he's going to destroy his arm. And the internal bleeding, on a guy with that health profile, we are talking amputation as a >50% probability, and death is certainly not off the table.

Muscle tissue is far more resistant to ischemia than the brain. You are irreversibly brain damaged in five minutes without oxygen and dead in ten. With muscles...the times are measured in hours.

While true, it seems fairly tangential. Like George Floyd, this person more than not, likely died because they came into the incident in such a depleted physical condition. While a cop obviously has the option of just throwing on some cuffs and then taking a deep drag on a cigarette, that wasn't available to our civvies here.

Eh...like, maybe if he was a fit healthy dude, sure, he'd have survived. Same for George Floyd. This being said, both of these guys weren't exceptionally unhealthy or fragile. This is more like a crapshoot: if it took 9 minutes to kill Floyd maybe his hypothetical football-playing 17yo Boy Scout nephew might've survived for 12. Neither of these people were manhandling Grandpa or medically frail hospital patients.

A chokehold is probably the only restraint the majority of humans know for use against humans that aren't children.

Half Nelson or hammerlock are well known natural wrestling moves that are probably safer (for the receiver) than anything choke adjacent -- strictly inferior to the newer MMA tech from the giver's perspective, but as I said before if you want to wrestle bums on the subway you may need to accept some handicap if you want to minimize your legal liability.

Those are both common wrestling moves, but not a lot of people actually wrestle. I don't even think of the half nelson as a particularly good restraint, its good at turning people from their stomach to their back, which isn't useful in real life fights. Hammerlocks, are good, yes, but they are strictly supervised in actual wrestling because its so easy to destroy an arm. Like I said, if you hammerlock this guy for 15 minutes, he's losing his arm.

There were several 911 calls, including some about Neely. Nobody bothers to call for ordinary schizo ranting.

does that really justify a chokehold?

Yes

Why? Neely has been attacking people for years and never got any significant punishment. He served 4 months for assaulting and kidnapping a 7 year old. He served no time at all for punching an old lady. Why is it suddenly so important to charge and punish Penny in particular? We should at most give him some nominal penalty like what Neely got. It's an absurd double standard to allow Neely to rampage around attacking people for his entire life and the the first time someone fights back we make them rot in prison.

By all means, institutionalize mentally ill vagrants.

Also by all means, punish extrajudicial killings. We can do both, NYC police got 10.3 BILLION this year.

Why is it suddenly so important to charge and punish Penny in particular?

Surely the fact that he killed someone should figure in the calculus somewhat, should it not? And in any other context, would you find compelling the argument, "sure, maybe Bob committed a serious crime, but we shouldn't charge him, because his victim was insufficiently punished for completely unrelated crimes"?

What if Joe was a dangerous criminal who escaped from death row, before running into Bob and getting killed in the altercation (Bob knew nothing of Joe’s history)? There’s no real loss here, so punishment would be gratuitous.

And I do think the previously revealed moral character of Joe and Bob should factor in our interpretation of the altercation. If Joe has proven himself unworthy of charity (in the motte sense) , then Bob’s words and actions against Joe should get the benefit of charity in the eyes of the law.

For something like 500 years, Anglo-American criminal law has considered the moral character of the victim, if unknown to the defendant, to be irrelevant to questions of self-defense. So if you are arguing for it to be taken into account in this case, you are arguing for a double standard to be applied.

Can you explain the rationale for the moral character being irrelevant?

Why double standard ? Don't you mean a different standard? Can you refer to, or imagine, a situation where I fall on the other side?

Can you explain the rationale for the moral character being irrelevant?

Note that I said that it is irrelevant if unknown to the defendant

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Along the same lines as "Mary Rice Davies applies" i increasingly feel like we need a "Joker's Dark Knight speach applies".

No one freaks out when a homeless schizophrenic attacks somone because its all part of a plan. But when an ostensible "normie" does so everyone loses thier fucking mind because it exoses the central lie that underpins the entire secular progressive/humanist worldview. Rousseau, Locke, Mill, Rawls, Et Al were wrong.

And that lie is? The equal moral worth and dignity of the two? No, that's not it, you like that one.

And that lie is?

That violence and ultimate agency/control resides with the state (or society) rather than with the individual. That the state of nature is "just".

Aren't you a fan of Hobbes? It's the same conclusion, just without the window dressing. The government keeps you from a state of nature. You owe it everything in return and it owes you nothing else. So if it wants you to refrain from acting against homeless schizophrenics, it is your duty to stoicly accept this and not act against homeless schizophrenics.

Hobbes, while he is the father of modern authoritarianism, would be considered a libertarian of all but anarchocapitalism in the modern era.

I don't see how. His social contract is "You accept this social contract which says that we, the sovereign, own you and can morally command you in any way we see fit. The only thing you get from that is you're no longer in a state of nature. If you reject this contract you're in a state of nature and we can do whatever we want to you, because that's how a state of nature works".

This is the standard leftist caricature of Hobbes yes, but as this case aptly illustrates, it completely fails to adress Hobbes' thesis.

Homeless schitzos menacing people is the state of nature. Upstanding citizens killing homeless schitzos out of hand is the state of nature.

The thing about social contracts that progressives do not seem to grasp is that they are reciprocal, imposing duties and privileges on both sides. A Hobbesian could easily argue that the City and State of New York rejected the contract first (or were at the very least derelict in their duties) because what happened on that subway was the state of nature and thus Sgt Penny was under no obligation to obey their rules.

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I am, and no it is not, because a core component of Hobbes' thesis is that violence and ultimately control resides with the individual not the state. Accordingly, a state that declines to protect the individual is derelict in its duties and is owed nothing.

In the Hobbesian view an individual chooses to obey the law in the hopes that others will do the same. The job of the cops is not to protect the public from criminals but to protect criminals (and those suspected of being criminals) from the public. The cops failed to protect Neely by failing to arrest him and keep him separate from the public.