Possibly that is because moderation itself — with its emphasis on tolerance and rational cogitation — is vulnerable to violence in ways that the raw human instinct is not. The moderate Tunisians are far too well mannered to act against extremists. Like tolerant people the world over, they withhold judgment until the last. Their moment of presentiment never happens; rational thought is retrospective to start with and the decision point may come not at all.He explains in more detail (In the comments):
The basic man still has some advantages over the supreme intellectual in the immediate face of danger. What saved [some people] was not their education or refinement. It was the memory of living in dangerous places and the instincts formed thereby. ... education as much as anything else, prepared many Jews to voluntarily walk into the gates of Auschwitz. They could not conceive of something as awful, as barbarous as that death camp, even as they passed it portals. Only the men who had seen others at their worst could perceive the danger and ready themselves to resist what rational man could not apprehend.
It is fundamentally a good thing to be tolerant and civilized. But in order for civilization to work, barbarism must be constantly kept at bay. In the state of nature tolerance is repaid with death. Hence, it is the duty of the King’s Justice to keep totalitarian influences in check in order to preserve the luxury of civility. You need a fund of safety in order to afford to be decent. Run out of safety and you run out of civility.
Tolerance spent wastefully may eventually so empower extremists that it will destroy the tolerance itself in the long run. So while tolerance is good it must shelter beneath a roof through which the rain must never pour.
Barbarism was defeated so thoroughly 70 years ago that most of the Western World think it is just a boogeyman story; something that never existed except in the stories of old people to scare children today. They feel so secure they can’t comprehend the dangers of letting the plague get a foothold again. It is unfortunate they cannot conceive of the Design Margin running out.In Michigan today, barbarism reared its ugly head. In addition to a union thug punching out conservative comedian Steven Crowder at a protest, the crowd pulled down a tent and began walking across without knowing whether or not people were left inside the tent. If there had been people inside, they would've been killed.
We're seeing more violent protests like this one in the west and in the United States. Violent mobs that don't meet violent resistance and/or rapid retribution and punishment for their violence are likely to embolden others who have a penchant and/or use for violence, possibly causing violence, intimidation, and terrorism to snowball. Like the moderate Tunisians, conservatives in the west may also be too well mannered to resist effectively. The curse of interesting times may be rapidly approaching.