“By Any Means Necessary”

“By Any Means Necessary” October 1, 2018

By any means necessary.”  This phrase, originating with Jean-Paul Sartre and made famous by Malcolm X, has become a slogan for the hard left.  It now has wider currency.  I heard it last weekend from a sportscaster.  It even has an acronymn, BAMN, that you’ll see on lots of protest signs.  “By any means necessary” means that the end justifies the means, that the goal–racial justice, women’s liberation, gay rights, the revolution, etc.–is of such importance and all-commanding moral significance that those devoted to that cause should do absolutely anything to bring it to pass.

I wish some researcher or one of the major polling organizations would survey the public and especially those on the left to see what percentage agree with that maxim.  I also wish that these questions would be asked:

(1)  Do you believe it would be justified to frame a judicial candidate for sexual assault, even if he were innocent and even if the charges would ruin his reputation unjustly,  if doing so would preserve the right to an abortion?

(2)  Do you believe an accusation is enough to determine a person’s guilt, or should the accusation be verified?  Would it make a difference if the accused might undermine the right to an abortion?

(3)  If a person is accused of a crime and the charge calls on eyewitnesses, does it matter if the eyewitnesses deny that the crime took place?  Would it make a difference if the accused might undermine the right to an abortion?

(4) If evidence arises that exonerates a judicial nomination charged with sexual assault, would you accept that evidence, if the right to an abortion were at stake?

(5) Would there be any conceivable possibility–however hypothetical or theoretical, however unlikely you believe it to be–that some argument or evidence could make you doubt an accusation against a judicial nominee if the right to an abortion were at stake?  In other words, is the accusation falsifiable?  (An assertion that cannot, even in theory, be shown to be false, is not the kind of assertion that can be said to be true, either.)


Photo:  “Berkeley Free Speech Week Protest,” by Pax Ahimsa Gethen [CC BY-SA 4.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)], from Wikimedia Commons


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