It would be nice if OP provided more context to the situation. While nobody likes white supremacists, you have to remember that they have the same rights as everyone else, no matter how despicable. They still have the freedom of speech, and are allowed to peacefully assemble.
Again, it depends on the situation and what exactly each party was doing. Otherwise, throwing bottles at police officers doing their job (protecting the people and their rights) is kinda fucked up.
And here we see a central contradiction of the Liberal Social Order laid bare. Racialized fascistic violence is “free speech” to be protected by the state. Violence in resistance to racialized fascistic violence is an atrocity.
For theartofconfusion contention that organized racists have the same rights as everyone else to be true, one has to:
Either: accept that there is a right to arbitrarily enact violence against others. This is of course absurd, but if it was true then it also leaves him in no position to decry force used to counter the original violence.
Or: accept that racialized aggression is not violence. This is also absurd, but it’s in fact exactly what the Liberal Social Order demands we believe.
What we’re seeing here is the unequal nature of the Liberal conception of equality playing itself out. Everyone has a right to free speech, the Liberal Social Order tells us, no matter how despicable their views, yet no one has a right to harm others through their speech (“reasonable probability of harm” is the test the US judicial system uses). So what’s going on here that neo-nazis are given warrant to do violence through their speech under cover of the 1st amendment, while resistance to that violence is vilified?
The Liberal Social Order is incapable of recognizing organized racism as violence. Why? Because if it did so it would have to recognize the invisible violence inherent in its order, the racialized violence of white supremacy and the exploitative violence of capitalism as being unacceptable under its own conceptions of liberty, justice and equality. In other words, it would have have to acknowledge it’s own internal contradictions.
The tension of this dialectic can be seen most plainly in legislative debates over hate-crime laws. Hate crime laws come very close to recognizing the contradiction of how the LSO deals with violence predicated on descriptive supremacy. You know who hates the very idea of defining hate crimes as a special class of crime? Crass libertarians. Their notions of equality and liberty, the two things they say value most, depend on this stuff remaining invisible. Progressive Liberals at least want to address the issue, even if they don’t recognize that their social order is structurally incapable of doing so without collapsing on itself. It’s an example of what sets Prog-Liberals apart from crass libertarians. It’s not simply a debate over the size and scope of government. The divide between Prog-Libs, and crass libertarians is a debate over how fundamental Liberal notions are conceptualized and enacted. It’s a divide between progress and reaction.
Thus I propose a new name for the Liberal ideologies which have appropriated for themselves the inaccurate label “libertarian”. They should be know as Reactionary-Liberals, a term which should contrasted against Progressive-Liberals to give a clear picture of their relative relationship within the Liberal Social Order. This brings needed clarity to the typology of Liberal ideology within the radical discourse which has too often either blurred the two together or treated them as fundamentally different creatures.
Neither the Prog-Liberals or Reactionary Liberals will like being contrasted against each other thusly, but perhaps it will inspire some from both groups to consider their relationship to the established social order and how they may have, against their better natures, acted in support and service of it.
While this criticism works well within the realm of social relations and the realm of liberties and where we draw the line but in the realm of modern economics, it’s far from the truth in the economic sphere. It may be very misleading because of the way the debate is painted but the libertarians are acting as a sort of progressive element in economic affairs compared to the Prog-liberal base. Prog liberals are attempting a return to the New Deal and the Great Society, where the government is committed to human rather than corporate interests in the economy. They long for the days of Keynes, of days where bailouts were for war torn Europe, not for Detroit and Wall Street. In that they seek an odd type of economic conservatism which is oftentimes the root of their failure because in calling it progressive and denying that it is economic conservatism, leaves Republicans with ample room to criticize what they call and the American people recognize as “Old Washington”, with no chance of a spirited defense, invoking Kennedy and FDR.
Libertarians however (Or Reactionary-Liberals) seek a new type of economic model that hardly existed in America at all, the strange non interference of government in economic affairs and abandonment of empire that would allow the private tyrannies to take over what was left behind by the corrupt representatives of the people. This has never before been done and is actually a newer ideology than any Prog-Liberal bastion. A cohesive Libertarian identity was not formed until the 1970s, Austrian economics only predates the Keynesian school by a small number of years and the Monetarist school which seems very prominent in many libertarian schools of thought is a reaction to the problems of Keynesianism.
In this you have the oddest sort of economic debate in which the radical proponents of property rights have taken the position as the progressive in our system and the one for the limitation of property rights and equality has become the conservative.
I suspect that it is a product of the lack of a consolidated left wing in the United States. Without socialists, anarchists and communists vying for power in the government, the libertarian school of thought rises to prominence by appearing to offer an alternative to state capitalism, which itself is an idea that is a fairly recent construct, because of the absence of powerful people offering an alternative to capitalism in general.