| 10.4°C Dublin

Close

Premium


We can’t change the internet, so we have to change ourselves

Conor Skehan


The language of truth and consideration for others may be the best weapon against online bullying

Close

'Online mob rule is an increasing threat to mental health that has very real consequences in the real world.' (stock image)

'Online mob rule is an increasing threat to mental health that has very real consequences in the real world.' (stock image)

PA

'Online mob rule is an increasing threat to mental health that has very real consequences in the real world.' (stock image)

In Ancient Rome, magistrates were accompanied by burly men who carried symbols of their right to inflict punishment. These were bundles of wooden rods called fasces, from which the word ''fascist'' emerged in the early 20th Century, to describe those who believed that violence was an appropriate way to obtain and hold power.

Those who debate such matters often convince themselves that political violence is an exclusive characteristic of the right, forgetting one of the most famous statements of China's Chairman Mao, who wrote in 1938 that "every Communist must grasp the truth; political power grows out of the barrel of a gun".

Murderously totalitarian regimes usually begin with seemingly minor violence by bands of unarmed thugs who beat up opponents. In the 1930s, Fascist Italy had its Blackshirts, while Nazi Germany had its famous Brownshirts. Today, Venezuela's 'Colectivos' continue this tradition. Punishment beatings are usually a reliable indicator of fascist political tendencies.