from National Review Angry White People with Money:
Madeleine Kearns: How do the police balance peacekeeping with First Amendment rights?
Kevin D. Williamson: There isn’t anything unpeaceable about the exercise of First Amendment rights. I don’t care for mass protests myself — a large crowd of people all facing one direction and chanting seems to me more properly part of a religious exercise than a political one. But if that’s your thing, then by all means go and bark at the moon. But when people start blocking traffic, pounding on the hoods of cars, damaging property, committing assaults, that’s a different thing. And I don’t think there’s really much of a First Amendment issue presented by policing ordinary crime when that crime happens in the course of a political action.
Madeleine Kearns: You write that their “idol is the proletariat rather than the nation.” Could you please unpack that?
Kevin D. Williamson: Utopian political movements — and all totalitarian movements are basically utopian — love the world, except for all the people in it. They all are antiliberal and they all seek to degrade the individual and individualism. Their liturgy requires an object of adoration, and it’s usually the same object: the People, or, as American populists like to put it, We the People. For traditional nationalists, it’s the Nation in abstract and idealized form; for socialists, it’s always been the proletariat, who apparently are the only people included in the People. If you’re acting in the name of the People, you can brutalize persons. The interests of the People require a gulag, the interests of the People require a death camp, and if the people have to suffer for the People, then so be it.