HUGHES-CARR, AOIFE,MAGDALENE (2022) PUNCHING VIOLENT EXTREMISTS: VIOLENCE AS A LEGITIMATE MORAL TOOL FOR DEALING WITH FAR-RIGHT EXTREMISM. Masters thesis, Durham University.
This dissertation seeks to provide an argument in favour of the use of violence against those who perpetuate violent extremist ideologies, for example Neo-Nazis, in order to protect marginalised communities and to prevent reoccurrences of historical injustices. Furthermore, it contends that non-marginalised agents of virtuous character have a responsibility to act on behalf of marginalised people, or should at least feel favourably disposed towards the performance of such action. It is argued that though we are preconditioned to believe all violence to be immoral, there is a case in favour of using violence, so long as the agent carrying out the violence is a virtuous agent and that they follow certain necessary criteria to ensure that their action is morally acceptable in the circumstances. The dissertation seeks to show via a discussion of tacit consent that violent extremists in effect consent to violence being used against themselves, through their holding an ideology which accepts that violence is a legitimate tool to achieve the ends they wish to achieve. Good people may intuitively wish to ignore the behaviour of violent extremists, due to the fear of sinking to their level, rather than respond in the language of extremism itself. However, violence is a key component to ideologies such as Neo-Nazism and therefore may be a valuable communicative tool in the battle against extremism. By acting violently, the virtuous agent may be more likely to provoke lasting or significant change and advance the goal of protecting marginalised people. Rather than dismissing violence as inherently immoral, we should consider the intention behind violence to determine its morality, rather than the action itself. As the Neo-Nazi (or other variety of violent extremist) perpetuates an ideology that promotes the use of violence to achieve their ends, they cannot consistently complain of injustice should violence be used against themselves, as a moral agent may universalise the intolerance of Nazi ideology to communicate intolerance for Nazism itself. Therefore, violence may, under certain limited conditions, be used by virtuous agents in order to protect marginalised communities and to break the cycles of historical injustice whose pernicious influence continues to stimulate the reoccurrence of such events in our own day.
|Item Type:||Thesis (Masters)|
|Award:||Master of Arts|
|Faculty and Department:||Faculty of Arts and Humanities > Philosophy, Department of|
|Copyright:||Copyright of this thesis is held by the author|
|Deposited On:||29 Jul 2022 10:37|