On punching Nazis

In a recent post I shared a cartoon based on Karl Popper’s paradox that intolerance needs stood up to, that you need to be intolerant of intolerance. There is an image of someone kicking Hitler in the cartoon. This has caused some of my friends to question the use of force. I share their concern. I worry about polarisation, I worry about vigilantism. I worry about righteous indignation being an excuse for fighting fire with fire.

But I have also visited Auschwitz. I have seen what happens “when good men remain silent”. I have seen what happens when bullying and intimidation become political instruments. I know that there comes a point when it seems that you need to use force to resist.

But then I also know what Ghandi achieved in India with passive resistance. I know that once you have resorted to force you have lost, you become as bad as them.

What to do, what to do... ?