We Asked an Ethicist if It’s OK to Punch Nazis in the Face

“But this punch inspired a lot of debate. If you think nonviolence is generally the answer, is it OK to hit someone if you really, really don’t like them? On the other hand, if you disagree with socking Nazis in the face, are you giving a pass to literal fascists? If you’re conflicted about all this, is it still OK to giggle at the whole thing?

“To settle this, I called up Randy Cohen, the former ethicist from the New York Times Magazine, and the person I generally ask when confronted with moral quandaries.”


In movies, punching is the way to deal with Nazis. Reality is more complicated.

“We’ve seen it so many times before that our reactions are instinctive, no matter the brutality. When Nazis go down, our spirits lift. Theaters full of people clap and whoop. Movies have taught generations of film-goers to revel in righteous violence.

“Things are a little more complicated in the real world.”


Antifa Violence Is Ethical? This Author Explains Why

We have seen multiple occasions of violence against white nationalists and Trump supporters in general from so called “Anti Fascists.” Some argue that the violence we witnessed was a reaction to violence directed at them which can easily be justified. Other, like the article linked below, argue that preemptive violence against those with some ideologies is justified.

“What I’m trying to say is that the various differing ways anti-fascists go about resisting fascism are legitimate to be considered, that they are historically formed and ethically reasonable. I try not to wade too far into “What about this and what about this.” I like to leave it as general as “I support collective self-defense against fascism and Nazism.””


Why you shouldn’t punch a Nazi

“Yet another Nazi-punching video is making the rounds on the Internet, to cheers from quite a few people on the left. The clip, shot in Seattle, shows a man in a swastika armband getting knocked down with a punch to the face as he tries to talk to the assailant. Using violence to stop someone who espouses a violent ideology, many say, is legitimate self-defense. The man in the clip may or may not have been acting aggressively before the start of the video. It’s also unclear whether he is an actual neo-Nazi or simply mentally ill.”


Is It OK To Punch a Nazi? We Asked Berkeley Students

A year after fiery political protests erupted on campus, we visited to find out when students think it’s OK to respond to words with violence.


And one last video on the topic…



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