June 17, 2022

Abolish the filibuster.  Codify Roe.  Expand the Supreme Court.  Protect abortion rights by any means necessary.  We need all the above.  This is an emergency.

“Squad” House member Cori Bush, Tweet, May 3, 2022

The Democrats, as usual, see the current situation as an emergency.

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It is, as always, so bad that many of them call to use “any means necessary” to get “all” of what they want, even overturning longstanding American norms like the filibuster, the electoral college and a nine-member Supreme Court. 

The House “Justice Democrats,” which includes “Squad” members Alexandria Ocasio-CortezAyanna Pressley, Ilhan OmarRo KhannaRaúl Grijalva, Pramila Jayapal, and Rashida Tlaib, see socialist Ocasio-Cortez as “the opening act in an ambitious plan to … re-imagine liberal politics in America … by whatever means necessary,” an implicit threat to use violence if they cannot get what they want any other way.

There is also a “civil rights” group active in Michigan and California called “By Any Means Necessary,” or BAMN (the full name is “Coalition to Defend Affirmative Action, Integration and Immigration Rights and Fight for Equality By Any Means Necessary”) that took their name from Malcolm X’s 1964 statement, “We want freedom by any means necessary … justice by any means necessary … equality by any means necessary.”   When BAMN pledges to use “any means necessary” to get their way, they mean it.  BAMN members have been accused of harassing petition circulators on Phoenix streets and filming people who sign petitions in order to bully them not to sign petitions they don’t like.  Even the very liberal ACLU has reported that the FBI has investigated BAMN for potential involvement in unspecified “terrorist activities.”

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 Bobby Seale of the Chicago 8 adopted Malcolm X’s slogan “Freedom by any means necessary” as a motto for their new organization, the Black Panthers.  Seale advocated violence and Newton vowed to “live by the gun.” Seale was later charged with the 1969 murder of a Black Panther suspected of being a police informant but the trial ended with a hung jury.  Newton was widely believed to be responsible for several murders.

            Within days of George Bush taking office in 2001, Democrat Leader Tom Daschle (S.D.), who always tried to look respectable to get elected, vowed to use “whatever means necessary” to defeat Bush’s judicial nominees. 

            Unfortunately, the expression “any means necessary” has a long association with violence.  It was first used, invoking the Marxist idea of the class struggle, by French existentialist/communist, Jean-Paul Sartre in his 1948 play Dirty Hands,

[W]e will abolish lies … by eradicating class by any means necessary.

                  Act 5, Scene 3 (1963 translation)

The play revolves around a conflict between communist factions in Illyria, a fictional Eastern European country.  In the play, a communist, Hugo, is told that a party leader, Hoederer, who is very charming and trusting, has pursued talks with non-socialist groups to form a post-war coalition government. That is, Hoederer has committed the sin of compromising with his political opponents to achieve something positive.  Hugo sees this as treacherous and plans to assassinate Hoederer.  Welcome to the compassionate “social justice,” actually injustice, Utopian brotherhood of communists and socialists.  Hugo eventually murders Hoederer, not because of political disagreements, but because he sees his wife kiss Hoederer.   One of the morals of Sartre’s play seems to be that once one decides to start killing people because of their political beliefs, it becomes easy to start killing them for anything, perhaps even jealousy. 

Sartre’s expression was soon picked up by Martinican intellectual Frantz Fanon.  In his 1960 Address to the Accra Positive Action Conference titled “Why we use violence,” Fanon stated that the colonized people of Martinique “are soon logically confronted by the problem of ending the colonial regime by any means necessary.”             

Since the call to use “any means necessary” is a call to use violence, if that is the only way to get what one wants, and since that expression has in fact been used by various violent revolutionary figures and movements, its use by Democrats like Daschle and “Squad” members is also a threat to use violence and threats of violence to get what they want. Indeed, the expression, “by any means necessary” is often accompanied by an image of a black fist to threaten racial violence or a red fist to emphasize socialist or communist violence.