The details of the protest are uninteresting: it was the usual in-your-face transgressiveness and refusal to give opponents a fair hearing.
It's that refusal that is interesting.
One of the commenters on Bonald's post takes the position that
“Good and evil” and “absolute truth” are child’s fictions. I only believe in good (stuff I like) and bad (stuff I don’t like). All that matters is that one possesses enough force to make what one believes is good prevail. Everything else is window dressing and obfuscation.
To which someone else replied that this position is self-refuting.
I don't think that reply is as effective as it might seem at first glance.
Here is my comment on that thread:
Perhaps we misunderstand the “sons of Thrasymachus” when we take them to be making a truth-claim when they say there is no truth?
Perhaps it is merely an assertion of their own will? Not an argument, but an argument-ending, table-banging snarl?
“All that matters is that one possesses enough force to make what one believes is good prevail.” Someone who says things like that should not be mistaken for one who could be persuaded by arguments.
The situation is
theremarkably similar in the case of the students protesting at Prof. Esolen’s lecture. They’ve hardened their hearts and plugged up their ears. They’re not open to persuasion. Argument is only interesting to them when it serves as a rationalization of what they have already willed to do.
The "sons of Thrasymachus" view argument as a contest of strength, like those medieval trials by combat I've mentioned before. The only point of the contest is to determine a winner -- which simply means the one who kills or beats his opponent into submission. Winners get their way, losers don't.
What's missing are the ideas that "I might be wrong" and "By reasoning and reflecting on this together, perhaps we can come closer to the truth."
Dialectic, as opposed to mere contest, presupposes that there is a truth to be found. The "sons of Thrasymachus" reject that presupposition and therefore it is inappropriate and usually futile to engage them in dialogue.