Scott Adams errs badly in excusing Antifa on the grounds that it’s just risk-craving young men having fun committing non-lethal violence against bad guys.
When Scott Adams first heard about the way Antifa brutally attacked gay Vietnamese-American journalist Andy Ngo, he was as outraged as any decent person would be. (Leftists, by celebrating the attack or, in Jim Acosta’s case, ignoring it despite an entire book about journalists — i.e., Jim Acosta — being under siege, have shown themselves to be indecent people.) A problem arose, though, when Adams, who rightly prides himself on being logical and thinking out of the box, watched a video that made him do a 180: suddenly, he has no problem with Antifa. All I can say is that this bright man had a short in his logic circuit.
Adams watched a video in which an Antifa member claimed that it wasn’t really a political group at all. It was just young men finding an outlet for their natural craving for risk and a way to prove their manhood. Pounding on neo-Nazis in non-fatal ways, he explained, is a fun proving ground.
Adams found that argument so compelling that he says we should ignore Antifa and just let its members and the neo-Nazi groups pound away at each other. He didn’t say so, but I think his theory is a combination of “boys will be boys” and “it would be great if both sides lost this war.” If we view Antifa this way, says Adams, its political powers goes away and it just becomes a gangster group. (I think he’s envisioning a kind of Wanderers versus Ducky Boys fight scene.)
By taking this position, Adams proves that, while he isn’t often wrong (indeed, I think he’s mostly right about things or at least thinking about them creatively), when he does go wrong, he’s really wrong.
First, regarding a young man’s urge to engage in risky activity, I agree that both Adams and the Antifa guy he listened to have a point. Many young men do feel the need to prove themselves through dangerous displays. As a mother, I worry every time my son goes off skiing or doing some other activity in which, through showing off, he can really hurt himself. I never have that worry with my daughter. However, the biological push to prove oneself through dangerous activity is not a justification for crime. [Read more…]