using mystery

The expert in warfare says:
Rather than dare make the attack
I’d take the attack;
rather than dare advance an inch
I’d retreat a foot.

It’s called marching without marching,
rolling up your sleeves without flexing your muscles,
being armed without weapons,
giving the attacker no opponent.
Nothing’s worse than attacking what yields.
To attack what yields is to throw away the prize.

So, when matched armies meet,
the one who comes to grief
is the true victor.

Lao Tzu
Ursula K Le Guin’s version

Le Guin’s commentary:

A piece of sound tactical advice (practiced by the martial arts, such as Akido, and yb underground resistance and guerilla forces), which leads to profound moral warning. The prize thrown away by the aggressor is cmopassion. The yielder, the griever, the mourner, keeps that prize. The game is loser take all.

Be like water.

When someone throws a punch at you, it’s better to retreat then lean into it.

This is also why it’s never worth your time to debate with Nazis or white supremacists. All they want to do is inflict violence upon you. It’s not a different point of view: it’s a call to violence, to genocide. What they want is to tear you down, and so the best thing to do is to ignore them utterly.

Which is different from retreat. But if you don’t even bother engaging with white supremacists, their power remains in a niche community. The more we engage with white supremacists on the national stage, the more it legitimizes them as an ideological point of view.

They’re not. They’re an embodiment of violence waiting to be unleashed.

It used to be pretty uncivilized to be racist in public, but now it’s become somewhat normalized, and it becomes normalized because we allow these people to debate on the national stage. By even including these kinds of calls to violence in a debate elevates them to the same level as ideology.

Because a debate implies that these are two things that might be true and/or useful. When you try to debate the untolerably cruel, you’re telling your audience that this is a point of view, and it’s one worth engaging with.

White supremacy is not a worldview. It is a call to violence.