antifa? no, thanks

Submitted by fischerzed on May 12, 2017

A short piece of anti-fascism by Internationalist Perspective

Fischer
--------------------

ANTIFA? NO, THANKS

Recent comments on the Intsdiscnet-list on “Fascists March on Berkeley” (4/27/17) raise that issue with which those committed to the struggle against capitalism have grappled since the 1930’s: anti-fascism.

Historically Antifa or anti-fascism within the worker’s movement became the clarion call of Stalinism, and then the veritable basis of the Grand Alliance between Stalin, Roosevelt and Churchill to, yes, crush the Axis powers, and – yes – to divide the world between American imperialism, American capitalism and its British partner, and the no less imperialist ambitions of Stalinist Russia. The logic of Anti-fascism was played out on the streets of Barcelona and Madrid in 1936-37, even before the outbreak of World War Two as the Stalinists crushed the working class of Spain even before Franco and the fascists could then finish the job. Anti-Fascism then became the ideological basis for the mobilization of the working class for the second inter-imperialist war, first for its no-strike pledges in Britain and the U.S., and then for sending the sons of the working class in Britain and the U.S. to die for their national capital, for the demands of Anglo-American imperialism and its alliance with Stalin. Anti-fascism, then, was historically the ideological basis of capitalism’s response to the great depression and its accompanying sharpening of inter-imperialist antagonisms. Its success could be seen in the triumph of Anglo-Saxon and Russian imperialism, displayed for all to see in the wanton destruction of defenseless cities like Dresden, Leipzig, and Hiroshima and Nagasaki, when the war had already been militarily won, and in the subjection of half of Europe to Stalin.

And now? And today? Once again anti-fascism emerges as the clarion call of the “resistance” (sic.), of that faction of American capital represented by the Democratic party: the call of Sanders and Warren as they prepare for the next election; the call of Hillary Clinton, the war hawk and Senator from Wall Street, who successfully argued as Secretary of State for American military intervention in Libya, who argued – this time unsuccessfully -- for the U.S. to back up its “red line” in Syria against Assad, and to once again wage imperialist war in the Middle-East. There is where the actual logic of anti-fascism today is being played out, that is what the ideology of Antifa serves. And like its Stalinist progenitors in the 1930’s, anti-fascism today has nothing to do with anti-capitalism. Indeed, Antifa today, as it was yesterday, is an ideological trap, a basis for one more mobilization of the working class behind the interests of capitalism. At a time when the historical logic and trajectory of capitalism needs to be grasped and theoretically and politically exposed, anti-fascism once again holds out its promise that it can still serve to mobilize the working class in the interests of the very system that exploits it, and to ideologically bind it to that system.

Is fascism really what Trump, Le Pen and others of their ilk represent? There’s nothing that indicates that their aim is to do away with the basic rules of the democratic game. That doesn’t mean that they are not dangerous. But democracy can accommodate repression, war crimes and attacks on the working class just as well, if not better, than fascism. The common denominator is increased nationalism and militarism. Most of the ruling class may have preferred Clinton but they are more than willing to see if Trump can use these tools to protect and increase their profits. The health care bill, recently approved in the House of Representatives, amongst other measures, shows clearly that the new administration is launching a ferocious attack on the proletariat. No wonder it evokes disgust and anger, which we share. We express our solidarity with the protests and struggles against the attacks of the state, while at the same time pointing out that this is capital attacking the working class, not fascism attacking democracy. In fighting back, the choice comes up: do we ally ourselves with factions of the ruling class in opposition in order to defeat the faction in power, or do we fight them both? By framing the conflict as one between fascism and democracy, the partisans of antifa are making the first choice seem logical and necessary, and are thereby, despite their combativity, acting as water carriers for capitalism.

Internationalist Perspective

admin: don't post thread titles in all caps

Hieronymous

5 years 2 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Which Side Are YOU On?

Internationalist Perspectives' piece above was written in response to a digest I sent to the Intsdiscnet-list, based on my first-hand accounts of the anti-white nationalist demonstrations in Berkeley, California -- although you'd never know it by reading their piece, because it's as if they never even saw it -- originally posted here on libcom. So it is appropriate to post my response to them from Intsdiscnet-list.

Others responded as well, which reached a kind of consensus that IP's comments were "bloodless."

Here's my response, edited for clarity and to add further details:

Which Side Are YOU On?

First, students at Bethune-Cookman University had no problem with which side they were on today when they heckled and turned their backs on Betsy DeVos during her commencement address at their own graduation ceremony. In my own working class multi-ethnic immigrant neighborhood, I never run into people of color who are confused about which side they're on. Race and class are not some abstract categories for polite debate in salons, but are their everyday lived experience -- and that existence is increasingly defined by fear and exploitation, whether from the threat of the immigration agent and white nationalist militiaman or from physical exhaustion from working two, three or even four jobs as precarious proletarians.

I've been immersed in learning about the alt-right non-stop since Trump's election and the only, and let me say that again for emphasis, the only place I have ever seen the debate framed as "democracy v. fascism" was by Internationalist Perspective comrades. Bloodless, indeed!

All of the comrades in my proximate circles see the election of Trump as unleashing reactionary forces in the class war, enabling and emboldening racists to come out of the woodwork to not only scapegoat but also to physically attack immigrants, Muslims, non-whites, LGBT people, homeless people and anyone not conforming to their narrow view of who is American. The result of their rise is that our class, the working class, gets further divided and weakened and our attempts at class struggle are undermined. Defending our working class brethren against these attacks is clearly in our own material self-interest, so we should be sharing accounts of inspiring examples of acts of solidarity -- like "Tigertown Beats Nazis Down: Reflections on Auburn and Mass Anti-fascism" that Oliver Twister posted.

Internationalist Perspectives accounts have implied that I "raise that issue with which those committed to the struggle against capitalism have grappled since the 1930’s: anti-fascism." I did nothing of the kind. I gave my own first-hand account of youth in Berkeley going toe-to-toe with white nationalist goons -- many with both police and military training (rumors are circulating that some are still active in both) -- armed with only their skateboards, sticks, fireworks, mace, and their bravery. My comrades and I have meet and talked with several of them. We can confirm that at the two conflicts in Provo Park, many combatants were from Berkeley High, which is across from the park; others attend Berkeley City College, a half block up the street the other way. Many are youth-of-color. I talked with a south Asian college kid, whose parents are immigrants, about his involvement in the Black Bloc and he said that white reactionaries had called him "sand n-word" one too many times. I have read accounts, written by friends, who talked with young black female college students who said they came to fight because they had been called the n-word too, as well as being called "ISIS" and told to "go back to Africa." Their involvement goes beyond simple community defense; they see it as self-preservation. I have been to all of these "anti-fascist" battles in Berkeley, but have yet to hear the debate delve into "Stalinism, and then the veritable basis of the Grand Alliance between Stalin, Roosevelt and Churchill to, yes, crush the Axis powers" or "Spain" and anti-fascism "played out on the streets of Barcelona and Madrid in 1936-37" [from a post to Intsdiscnet by someone from Internationalist Perspectives]. Sorry IP comrades, you are creating a straw man. These are kids who simply don't want to get their asses kicked -- or to end up like Amadou Diallo, Sean Bell, Oscar Grant, Trayvon Martin, Mike Brown, Renisha McBride, Eric Garner, Jordan Davis, Tamir Rice, Walter Scott, Sandra Bland, Freddy Gray, Philandro Castile, Jordan Edwards and on and on and on and on and on and on and . . . .

As a reference to the above, I implore everyone to watch the James Baldwin documentary, I Am Not Your Negro [the above screenshot is from the documentary, showing white Southern protestors in Birmingham in the 1950s] and read Wesley Lowery's "They Can't Kill Us All": Ferguson, Baltimore, and a New Era in America's Racial Justice Movement (despite whatever reservations I have about the latter's liberal, reformist slant, it's excellent on-the-ground journalistic reporting).

Edward Crawford Jr. of Ferguson, RIP

Many of us from the ultra-left/left communist/anti-Bolshevik communist milieu have marched in the streets when the pigs -- or vigilantes like George Zimmerman -- killed another unarmed man or woman. And we know that this systemic racism does not just oppress black and brown people, although they are shot in disproportionately high numbers, which gets excused away due to the legacy of white supremacy. Working class whites, both unarmed and many times armed, get shot down in large numbers too. Systemic racism on the West Coast, where I live, has a long legacy predating the 1930s by centuries, when the Spanish came to North America and attempted to enslave the indigenous population as early as 1769 in Alta California. The Yankees coming from the other side of the continent launched a genocidal war against the Native Americans, justified by the ideology of Manifest Destiny. They also brought the first slaves from Africa in 1619. Railroad capitalists recruited Chinese laborers to build the railroads, then abandoned them when the transcontinental line was finished in 1869. Then it was left to working class white reactionaries, in San Francisco led by Denis Kearney, to start pogroms against the Chinese beginning with the Sandlot Riots in 1877, building his white supremacist Workingmen's Party of California, and culminating in the 1882 Chinese Exclusion Act which was the first ever immigrant ban in the U.S. So Trump is fully within this 135-year-long racist lineage (as was Obama before him). The banning of immigrants from China further empowered legally codified racist laws against the "Yellow Peril" in the 1920s, and again enabled the imprisonment of 120,000 Japanese-Americans during World War II. As working class militants, aiming to abolish class society and the category of work, we must oppose Denis Kearney-like class traitors everywhere, as well as their contemporary manifestation in all the alt-right white nationalist reactionaries who have been mobilizing to march on Berkeley, Auburn, and Austin -- and seem emboldened with Trump's presidency to keep trying to rear their ugly heads everywhere.

So it's kinda stupid to say that those of us who identify with the traditions opposed to racist exploitation are "water carriers" for capitalism and the state (an accusation made against anti-fascist militants a couple times on Intsdiscnet). You can't be a water carrier for something you are fighting against and that is trying to kill you. All of us anti-capitalist radicals are obviously in favor of uniting the class in order to fight against the social relations of capital -- and the value-form -- and are opposed to divisions based on race, ethnicity, gender, sexual preference, religion (or lack thereof), and all the oppressions created by capitalist society.

Why is Internationalist Perspectives regurgitating the debates of the 1930s and not talking about the conditions of the working class -- and potential for class struggle -- in 2017?

The class composition of the global proletariat, especially in the U.S., began to change drastically around eight years ago. Obama took office, presiding over the greatest crisis since 1873 (perhaps this point is debatable, but read on). Seven month before Apple Inc. had launched the iPhone, which runs apps that allow forms of instantaneous communication never before heard of. Facebook and Google, with their own platforms and apps, started taking off with wild popularity. The use of broadband internet was reaching across the U.S. and hardly anyone was untouched by this technology. And into this breach stepped new forms of the exploitation of labor, like Uber, Lyft and Juno in transportation, and the commodity form expanded -- potentially -- into every living space with Airbnb. This new model of exploitation goes by many names: the sharing economy; the gig economy; the on-demand, peer, or platform economy. They are based on ratings-based labor markets and in-app payments. Examples are TaskRabbit, Thumbtack, Postmates, Handy, Dogvacay, etc., etc. In certain cities Amazon and Google can have commodities to your door within an hour. Entertainment content can now stream into your cellphone anywhere with internet connectivity -- which more and more is everywhere. Through this digital invasion, the commodity form -- including labor power -- is just a click or swipe away. How long before Uber, Google, Apple or one of the global auto producers will have autonomous cars or trucks driving down our streets and highways? I can sometimes see the experimental versions out my apartment window in San Francisco. How can class struggle take place on the shopfloor -- or point of production -- when it becomes digitized with no fixed location and capital has created the legal fiction that permits everyone to become an "independent contractor," with the delusion that we are all our own bosses?

And parallel to these changes, working class whites are finding racist, reactionary ideas as a pole of attraction where they blame immigrants, people of color, and society's most oppressed and downtrodden for social problems not of their making -- a classic case of blaming the victims for the social deterioration and exploitation of class society, while white proletarians driven by feelings of ressentiment play the role of victim by claiming to have been "passed over," becoming enraged at losing their entitlements based on white supremacy.

How do we deal with the concerns of the side we're on, our class, in 2017? How do we fight the class war today? How do we fight the rising tide of white nationalism and spark widespread class struggle, which offers an alternative pole of attraction?

And if Internationalist Perspectives weren't stuck in the rut of endless debates about inter-imperialist statecraft during and after the World Wars, they'd realize that the medium of debate of the culture wars today is social media. In the age of Twitter, it's kinda like they keep up with world events by watching newsreel footage during weekly visits to the cinema[youtube]7tvhOLkzNk4[/youtube]

I'll finish with a couple quotes:

Rosa Luxemburg:

"The modern proletarian class does not carry out its struggle according to a plan set out in some book or theory; the modern workers' struggle is a part of history, a part of social progress, and in the middle of history, in the middle of progress, in the middle of the fight, we learn how we must fight.." (from The Politics of Mass Strikes and Unions, Collected Works 2)

Bertolt Brecht:

"People who fight may lose. People who do not fight have already lost."

For the Abolition of Class Society,

Hieronymous

10 May 2017

Juan Conatz

5 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

For a political ideology which can analyze slight miniscule changes in capitalism and make pronouncements saying how everything is different now, left communism sure likes to directly compare every contemporary left movement and sect to the period between the World Wars.

Chilli Sauce

5 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Is fascism really what Trump, Le Pen and others of their ilk represent?

While this is an important question to ask, this article really is quite a load.

First, there are two distinctions it fails to grasp. One, while Trump may not be a fascist (La Pen on the other hand...), he's brought fascists out of the woodwork. That means when antifa goes out to counter these demonstrations, many of the people they're opposing are fascists. Two, there's a big difference between state-sponsored anti-fascism and a working class anti-fascism rooted in the labor movement and in immigrant/oppressed communities.

Second, seriously?

Once again anti-fascism emerges as the clarion call of the “resistance” (sic.), of that faction of American capital represented by the Democratic party:

Ed

5 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Chilli Sauce

Is fascism really what Trump, Le Pen and others of their ilk represent?

While this is an important question to ask, this article really is quite a load.

While I'd agree that it's an important (or at least interesting) question, it's actually completely unimportant for the scope of this article: even if IP decided Trump etc. were fascist, they'd still be against 'anti-fascism' so I don't even get why that question is in there. It's like they half realise how weak their argument is and so need to qualify it ('they're not even really fascists anyway')..

And as for that section you quoted about anti-fascism as "that faction of American capital represented by the Democratic party", what a huge sweeping statement which is not once backed up with any evidence. As if everything that's happened in the recent anti-fascist street mobilisations could be boiled down to just loving the Democrats!

Spikymike

5 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

'Democratic ideology' as promoted by capitalist political parties, has used and might well again seek to use an 'anti-fascist ideology' (as now to some extent in France) to recruit/derail independent working class struggle and defence against actual street level fascist and racist intimidation and turn it to their advantage, but being aware of that genuine danger from our history should not be an excuse to avoid, let alone condemn, the need for practical street level solidarity across the racial divide within our class however messy the formation of that might proceed. Disappointed with this bland IP text - they are capable of much better.

S. Artesian

5 years 1 month ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Removed in protest of Libcom allowing publication of texts by racists

OliverTwister

5 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Amazing how the times we're living in are bringing certain parts of the ultra-left around to the opportunist right.

Hieronymous

5 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

S. Artesian

Water carriers? IP is calling the rank and file individuals confronting the fascists as water carriers for capitalism? That's fucked-up.

word

Hieronymous

5 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

OliverTwister

Amazing how the times we're living in are bringing certain parts of the ultra-left around to the opportunist right.

word

Craftwork

5 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Some thoughts:

1. Communism is against fascism, but it is not antifascist; in the same way that communism is against imperialist, but it is not antiimperialist.

2. One of the typical refrains against Internationalists is that we're logically inconsistent, we are inconsistent with the logic of our [supposed] political commitments, that we are only half-hearted in our commitments, etc., because if we were truly, 100% antifascists, we wouldn't refuse to side with the leftist government in Venezuela, or the Rojavists, or the Democrats, or Remain, or Macron, or the Allies, ..., but by this refusal, we reveal our inconsistencies.

3. The point at which simply being against fascism becomes consecrated as a new ideology, is the point at which it assumes new ideals and goals as ends-in-themselves which, over time, reveal themselves to diverge significantly from the communist perspective.

This new ideology is possessed of a certain underlying political logic, which tends to obscure the general, long-term, class perspective (i.e. struggle against the state/capital in general) in favour of the particular struggle (against a particular form of the state/capital - fascism); to overlook the long-term communist perspective and prioritise the immediate. In other words, it involves a mystification or distortion of the terms of class struggle (labour vs. capital/state), and their substitution for new terms (antifascist vs. fascist), and a redrawing of boundaries.

Taken to its logical conclusion, the political ends of antifascism diverge signficantly from the destination communists want to reach.

4. Related to '1.': it seems to me that most of the working-class are disgusted with fascism but do not positively identify as 'antifascist'.

Sander

5 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Craftwork seems to be the only one in this “discussion” who grasped the difference between standing up against fascists and the ideology of antifa.

IP’s text was not meant as a critique of Hieronymous’ report on his encounters with alt-right, and even less did it want to condemn or denigrate vigourous defense against attacks by racist thugs, emboldened by the rise of Trump et consorts. After all, these attacks are all expressions of the identity-politics which the ruling class uses to divide and defeat us. It benefits the ruling class to spread the belief in the phony communities of race, religion, ethnicity and nation. Our concern is that alternative identity-politics are not the answer, that it is necessary to recognize the hand of capitalism in the attacks waged on us. In order to develop an alternative, it’s essential to know what we oppose.

A critic on the Intsdiscnet list thought that it was inconsistent that we oppose antifascism while also participating in protest marches against police murders. He did not understand that we stand in solidarity with struggles against the attacks by capital and its state on the proletariat while opposing the
narrative of the capitalist left, according to which the enemy is not capital but a specific part of it, the fascists. Craftwork is right to draw the parallel between antifascism and anti-imperialism. It’s the same issue.

Several critics of our statement have written that people they encounter in struggles (many black youths, they emphasize) , don’t think about anti-fascism per se, about its role in history, about how it was used by the ruling class, about its functionality to the capitalist left, that it’s ridiculous to bring that up. They just fight to survive, Hieronymous says. As if that implies that no political questions arise in the struggle. But they do, especially when the struggle increases. As the IP statement says:
In fighting back, the choice comes up: do we ally ourselves with factions of the ruling class in opposition in order to defeat the faction in power, or do we fight them both? By framing the conflict as one between fascism and democracy, the partisans of antifa are making the first choice seem logical and necessary.

None of the critics adresses the question where the logic of antifacism is leading to. Instead, we got emotional outbursts, as if we had called the defense against racists wrong, as if we had taken the side of the fascists. But none has bothered to explain where antifascism is leading to, how it can lead to anything else than the struggle for a better democracy. So the question Hieronymous asked, “which side are you on” is relevant, though not in the way he meant. Artesian, who never says no to an opportunity to show his warm feelings for IP, is one who seems to long for a purer bourgeois democracy, reproaching IP for not participating in the protest against voter supression. Against the false hope that a better democracy can save us, we stress that democracy is just as deadly and dangerous and destructive as fascism, that they are two heads of the same beast.

Hieronymous

5 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Sander

So the question Hieronymous asked, “which side are you on” is relevant, though not in the way he meant. Artesian, who never says no to an opportunity to show his warm feelings for IP, is one who seems to long for a purer bourgeois democracy, reproaching IP for not participating in the protest against voter supression. Against the false hope that a better democracy can save us, we stress that democracy is just as deadly and dangerous and destructive as fascism, that they are two heads of the same beast.

What way was my question "meant"? It was pretty straightforward. The question still stands (and remains unanswered): which side are you on?

And if you think S. Artesian is being an asshole, just say it. Please don't be cute (or passive-aggressive); play the ball, not the player. If you feel he "longs for" bourgeois democracy, you should take it up in a new thread. You could title it: Water carriers for the state/capital.

Khawaga

5 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Sander, pretty much everyone got your point. You're will just making excuses for not bothering to oppose actual Nazis and fascists. Your entire analysis would be better posted at a cosplay forum, replete with costume tips.for historical figures in the era when anti fascism actually​ had the ideological function you say. The situation is not the same today. Deal with the world today,not the one 100 years ago. Who is the standard bearer for antifascism? Nobody. But you've been lured in by the fascist; don't you wonder why all of a sudden there is a general attack on antifa by the fascist because they know that unless antifas are beaten, they won't have as an easy time. Good on you for taking part in this; willing idiots comes to my mind.

Hieronymous

5 years 2 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Sander

None of the critics adresses the question where the logic of antifacism is leading to. Instead, we got emotional outbursts, as if we had called the defense against racists wrong, as if we had taken the side of the fascists. But none has bothered to explain where antifascism is leading to, how it can lead to anything else than the struggle for a better democracy.

Perhaps we missed the homework assignment. Or perhaps you forgot to give it. Regardless, the "interventions" by IP and Craftwork are so ahistorical -- to the point of being unsupported presuppositions and groundless trans-historical statements of fact -- that there isn't really anything to debate. It would be abstraction vs. abstraction. Where would that get us? (sincere question)

Since I witnessed four events in Berkeley, California that get billed as anti-fascist or led by antifa, I need to make some clarifications, based on what I experienced and my own analysis from that.

FACTIONS OF PROTESTORS

The most consistent participants in all four events were The Coalition to Defend Affirmative Action, Integration and Immigrant Rights and Fight for Equality By Any Means Necessary (BAMN).

• BAMN tactics include direct confrontations with racists/Nazis/KKK/fascists

• BAMN has electoral and legal strategies for court challenge over a laundry list of issues, from affirmative action to anti-police brutality (also, many of their members got serious stab wounds during fights on June 26, 2016 at the California State Capitol in Sacramento)

• BAMN are radical liberals, yet they engage in street fighting with their enemies from the far-right; I have to admit that they are tenacious and brave fighters and they don't mask up

Since there was a Black Bloc presence at all but the last event (the canceled Ann Coulter speaking event at UC Berkeley), there's a lot of confusion about these protest methods and tactics. Neither Black Blockers nor antifa have been in the majority, so this has to be taken into account.

The Black Bloc gets conflated as antifa. The former is strictly a tactic and the latter is an ideology. They're not the same.

• Most antifa mask up and use the Black Block tactic

• Not all Black Bloc participants are antifa

• Some anarchists use the Black Bloc tactic and identify as "antifa"

• Some anarchists came to the Berkeley demo and neither participated in the Black Bloc nor identify as antifa

Most of these events have attracted a small group from RefuseFascism.org, an RCP front group.

• Cadre from Refuse Fascism are the most ideologically antifa, but their numbers are tiny and their Maoist dogma is extremely off-putting

The remainder of the protestors in Berkeley have been a random smattering of proletarians who identify as left communists, ultra-leftists, communisateurs, Wobblies, social-democrats, liberals, and university and high school students. At none of these events have I seen anyone from the Democratic Party.

FACTIONS OF WHITE NATIONALISTS

They have been a real hodgepodge, ranging from Trump supporting grandpas who get their politics from Fox News to straight-up Nazis, from current/ex-cops and military thugs to separatist militia types, from patriotic paleoconservatives to the alt-light and alt-right racists.

Again, from my subjective observations, this is what unites them:

• Most are not college educated

• They are stridently anti-immigrant and tolerant of racism

• Several were industrial workers who had been displaced by new technology or trade, hence they were anti-globalism and had anti-semitic conspiracy theories -- among many loony far-right conspiratorial ideologies

• The extreme right has serious contradictions: the Oath Keepers joined their white nationalist brethren for the Berkeley protests on April 15, 2017, but members of their group had also visited the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) camp in support of the protestors

SOME CONCLUSIONS

• There was no theoretical or ideological unity among the protestors against the white nationalists. So it's erroneous to call these events "anti-fascist" except in the most cursory fashion

• There was no theoretical or ideological unity among the white nationalists (the term I now prefer using); most were pro-Trump, but after the bombing of Syria several in the alt-right have turned against him. So it's erroneous to call these groups fascists except in the most cursory fashion

• To my mind, having been in street battles that also passed through Provo Park during the Rodney King Rebellion in 1992, as well as other fights over the Berkeley Police's racial sweeps and crackdowns elsewhere in town in the 1980-1990s (much like what the Oakland pigs had been doing for decades just a couple miles down the road, which gave birth to the self-defense of the Black Panther Party in 1966), I'd have to say that these struggles are not rooted in the 1930s, but rather they began with the creation of chattel slavery in reaction to second phase of Bacon's Rebellion in 1676-1677

• Hence the protests in Berkeley have more in common with that 340-year legacy of racial cleavages dividing and weakening class struggle than with inter-World War inter-imperialist anti-fascist statecraft or German antifa and Black Bloc autonomen of the 1980s

The question still stands (and remains unanswered):

Which side are you on?

Craftwork

5 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

https://www.facebook.com/londonantifascists/photos/a.654636877883458.1073741828.654619391218540/1892714594075674/

Proud to have our flag and comrades on the front line in the fight against ISIS. The battle against reactionaries is an internationalist one

Posted by London Antifascists on Monday, 15 May 2017

Hieronymous

5 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

A Wobbly from northern California died last December in Syria fighting with YPG.

Despite whatever strong differences I have with antifa, I will not denigrate his memory by mocking those politics here.

Craftwork, your post lacks content -- unless you're having a go at London Antifa -- and is pretty bloodless. If you have a specific critique,of anti-fascists in the U.K., let's hear it (instead of your one-size-fits-all boilerplate above).

Sike

5 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

In it's present manifestation, at least within the United States, it appears as though what the writers of the Internationalist Perspective piece prefer to label 'anti-fascism' is in actual practice nothing much more sinister then working-class opposition to fascism. Or if one prefers historical parallels, more Arditi del Popolo then Stalinist Popular Front.

Juan Conatz

5 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

I have yet to see a ultraleft critique of antifascism that defines what antifascism means in 2017.

However, I've seen some stuff around the Trump rally in St. Paul, Minnesota a little while ago where alt-right/fascists types got into it with Trump supporters. I've seen some celebrating of Trump supporters separating themselves from the alt-right/fascists. I could see a situation where an attitude of "normal" right-wingers condemning fascists is encouraged, leading to weird alliances between the loose grouping of what could be considered antifascists and this "normal" right-wing. Not saying this is happening. Only that I could see a situation where it is possible. With this in mind, I think critiques that draw from the interwar experience are more valid.

Also, I've posted this before, but here's a piece by a member of the IWW's General Defense Committee responding to Dauve being used to critique contemporary anti-fascism.

Comrade Motopu

5 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

The video of the IWW General Defense Committee separating out fascists from Trump supporters until they just left. "Nazis got called Nazis in Minnesota and weren't allowed a platform"
https://vimeo.com/216810119

Spikymike

5 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Well some of those identifying as 'anti-fascists' over here in the UK certainly have a poor understanding of what imperialism and anti-imperialism involves and I'm sure Craftwork thought their post no 16 was a reasonable illustration of the point they made earlier even if it lacked the usual textual elaboration for those who needed it! I'm not up on all the details of the situation in the USA (which Hieronymous post no 15 helps with) but some of the minority leftist groups around over there would seem to be no better irrespective of their opposition to the Democratic Party and it's supporters. Ultra-Left critiques of anti-fascism are often stuck in the past it's true and used rather lazily as a broad brush critique of traditional left concentration on their opposition to the capitalist right wing and support for left capitalist political platforms but the substance of that critique is still valid it seems to me.

Hieronymous

5 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Comrade Motopu

The video of the IWW General Defense Committee separating out fascists from Trump supporters until they just left. "Nazis got called Nazis in Minnesota and weren't allowed a platform"
https://vimeo.com/216810119

Check out the video at minute 7:25.

What the speaker says shows the intellectual level of the white nationalists:

"Black Lives Matter is part of a mosque"

Their ignorance knows no limits.

Craftwork

5 years 2 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

It seems to me that there's a deeper split within this thread.

When it comes to present-day antifascism, some people here (i.e. the partisans [partigianos] of antifascism) are merely concerned with questions of its being - their approach focuses on how antifascism manifests itself today, in the here-and-now, and how this form of antifascism, at this particular point in time, differs from past forms; what makes it special, hence how it can avoid the degenerations of the past, etc., But the friends of antifascism fail to apprehend that for the critics, it's not a question of what antifascism is today, but a question of its becoming. And in answering this question, we say that from the fact that the latest variant of antifascism in the US/UK hasn't yet collapsed, it doesn't follow that it's a qualitatively different phenomenon from that of the '30s/'40s. We look to the future by looking at the past.

As illustrated by that image of antifascist-Rojavism1 , the logic of antifascist political reasoning compels its followers along a trajectory that ultimately leads to the abandonment of internationalist positions, because for them the greatest imperative is to stop fascism, even if this entails delaying/selling-out the class struggle, taking sides in imperialist wars, etc.

Just like with the unions, antifascism today might not be a big-enough phenonomenon for its counterrevolutionary function to be plain to see, but that doesn't mean that a counterrevolutionary function isn't there.

  • 1one could also point to AFA Irish republicanism, or the resort to anti-German chauvinism among antifascists during WW2

radicalgraffiti

5 years 2 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

action opposing fascism is antifascism, and to me the claim that action opposing fascism invariably leads to nationalism and siding with factions of the bourgeois is quite extraordinary and would require really impressive evidence, which no one has come close to providing so far

Khawaga

5 years 2 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Yeah, Craftwork you're arguing as if you're an Austrian economist.

Flint

5 years 2 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Hieronymous

your post lacks content -- unless you're having a go at London Antifa -- and is pretty bloodless. If you have a specific critique,of anti-fascists in the U.K., let's hear it (instead of your one-size-fits-all boilerplate above).

They are being clear.

if we were truly, 100% antifascists, we wouldn't refuse to side with the leftist government in Venezuela, or the Rojavists, or the Democrats, or Remain, or Macron, or the Allies

Antifa = Maduro Venezuela = Rojava = Hillary Clinton = Remain = Emmanuel Macron = Allied Powers of World War II

Spikymike

5 years 2 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Not every action by the working class on the streets to resist the intimidation and attacks of either official or unofficial agents of capitalism and the state need be classified as an expression of 'antifascist ideology' even if some of those agents themselves claim the 'fascist' label. Such resistance is necessary and to be encouraged but primarily on a class basis and there is a role for pro-revolutionaries to actively encourage that and discourage political interpretations that tend towards divisions based on alternative 'identity politics' or false divisions between capitalist democracy and dictatorship. That task however is not a simple one given that people will initially get involved in such practical resistance with a whole host of conflicting ideas in their heads so questions on the role of 'antifascist ideology' are relevant and lessons from the past are still relevant even if such lessons need to be applied with some sensitivity to the different experiences of where people are coming from.

Hieronymous

5 years 2 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Antifa = Maduro Venezuela = Rojava = Hillary Clinton = Remain = Emmanuel Macron = Allied Powers of World War II

Craftwork could just as easily have written:

apples = oranges = Joe Jacobs = "Uncle Joe" Stalin = Roosevelt/Churchhill/Hillary Clinton/Bernie Sanders = John Brown = Huey Newton = Pol Pot = Provo Park = Cable Street = Bomber Harris = Berkeley High protestor = Antideutsch = IDF = BAMN/RCP/IWW-GDC = up = down = Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold = the metanarrative breaks down = history is bunk = there's no truth or objective reality = we all live in a Yellow Submarine/Postmodern Condition

OliverTwister

5 years 2 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

I think Flint's point was to show the logical breakdown in the chain of equivalencies.

Hieronymous

5 years 2 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

My bad. Apologies to Flint. Above post edited.

Alf

5 years 2 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

I don't get Khawaga's reference to Austrian economists. I would say that Craftwork is arguing like a left communist.
His reference to Rojava is rather accurate: a section of the anarchist movement is precisely repeating the errors of the anarchists ( and Trotskyists) in1930s in Spain and during World War Two by aligning with an imperialist front in the name of the social revolution.
In regard to today's movements in the US: it's obvious that there is a reality to the social movement against the police killings of black people and the demonstrations against Trumpism (some more than others - like the ones in the airports for example). But given that one of the main problems of the social revolts of the last five years (including the most important ones, like the Indignados in Spain) has been their lack of class identity and their vulnerability to democratic ideology, it seems short-sighted to deny or downplay the danger of democratic recuperation of the current reactions against the populist upsurge.

Jim

5 years 2 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Craftwork

It seems to me that there's a deeper split within this thread.

When it comes to present-day antifascism, some people here (i.e. the partisans [partigianos] of antifascism) are merely concerned with questions of its being - their approach focuses on how antifascism manifests itself today, in the here-and-now, and how this form of antifascism, at this particular point in time, differs from past forms; what makes it special, hence how it can avoid the degenerations of the past, etc., But the friends of antifascism fail to apprehend that for the critics, it's not a question of what antifascism is today, but a question of its becoming. And in answering this question, we say that from the fact that the latest variant of antifascism in the US/UK hasn't yet collapsed, it doesn't follow that it's a qualitatively different phenomenon from that of the '30s/'40s. We look to the future by looking at the past.

As illustrated by that image of antifascist-Rojavis, the logic of antifascist political reasoning compels its followers along a trajectory that ultimately leads to the abandonment of internationalist positions, because for them the greatest imperative is to stop fascism, even if this entails delaying/selling-out the class struggle, taking sides in imperialist wars, etc.

Just like with the unions, antifascism today might not be a big-enough phenonomenon for its counterrevolutionary function to be plain to see, but that doesn't mean that a counterrevolutionary function isn't there.

This is an incredibly academic position, theory devoid of any connection with practice. Of course there are problems with some anti-fascist's support for the status quo, support for national liberation struggles etc. but that doesn't mean anti-fascism should be dismissed in its entirety.

If you knew anything about anti-fascism beyond some hackneyed left communist critiques you would know that there are active anti-fascists in the UK who are solid internationalists. Anti-fascism as a political ideology is fucked, but anti-fascism as the practice of responding to the activity of far-right groups can be a necessity.

If your political activity is academia and posting online then what is happening on the streets isn't going to matter. But if you're organising in everyday life then there is always a risk of fascist violence. How great that risk is at any given point should define how involved we are in 'anti-fascism', not some abstract political position.

Zanthorus

5 years 2 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Jim

But if you're organising in everyday life then there is always a risk of fascist violence.

I have, honest to God, never seen a fascist in real life. At my secondary school some years back, there was an incident involving gang violence, which the BNP tried to exploit by running a candidate for the town council. It was discussed for all of two days perhaps and people forgot about it pretty quickly. The first time I saw 'anti-fascism' being discussed online I thought it was some kind of weird 1930's Germany historical re-enactment fetish.

I think this might be a regional thing, it seems a lot of libcom users live in London, whereas I'm all the way over here in the south west.

Hieronymous

5 years 2 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

In the U.S., the fascist label seems to only apply to a fraction of the white nationalists. More seem to come out of a home-grown reactionary tradition rooted in the KKK that dates to the end of the Civil War in 1865 (formal white supremacy began centuries before, in reaction to Bacon's Rebellion).

Since Trump became president what seems to unite them -- from the Fox News-watching Trump-supporting grandpas to Identity Evropa fascists (who've been working actively to get permits to set up tables at college campuses across the U.S. to recruit) -- is patriotism, an ideology of white supremacy, and being fanatically anti-immigrant.

And this tradition is clearly based on violence and attacks on their perceived enemies. The number they've murdered is in the tens of thousands (if not more). Klansmen have historically had strong bases in law enforcement agencies and government bureaucracies (Anaheim and Oakland California in the 1920s are typical examples). Frankly, homicidal violence is a greater threat than "vulnerability to democratic ideology" (not to dismiss how dissent and resistance gets recuperated).

Jim

5 years 2 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

In the past few years, in the UK, the far-right have physically attacked protests, meetings, benefit gigs, squats and football fans. One of them even killed an MP. In addition to those attacks, there have been a number of threats to things like conferences and marches.

If people think we shouldn't be taking those threats seriously then they're naive at best.

el psy congroo

5 years 2 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

I wonder if Marx had killing MPs in mind when he stated the need to win the battle for democracy

Jim

5 years 2 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Zanthorus

I think this might be a regional thing, it seems a lot of libcom users live in London, whereas I'm all the way over here in the south west.

In the south west you've got a far-right which includes former EDL supporters, neo-Nazis and remnants of the BNP. There are often street protests in Bristol and the former BNP branch has turned into a regular meeting called the 'South West Forum'.

A South West Forum meeting was attacked by anti-fascists in January:

http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/anti-fascist-gang-dressed-balaclavas-9751666

There was also a far-right protest in Bristol earlier this year:

http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/far-right-protesters-anti-fascists-9966102

So there are fascists in the south west, but they're not that large or well organised that you'll necessarily have come across them. The question for us is do we support "antifa" in keeping them disorganised and small, or do we wait until they're a larger threat. Tbh, I think at the moment their is an argument in the UK for people to be scaling back anti-fascist organising. But this is a slightly different question to the one this thread is posing.

S. Artesian

5 years 1 month ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Removed in protest of Libcom policies allowing posting of texts by racists

el psy congroo

5 years 2 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

How would you distinguish the 'liberalism' of IP's with your own, Artesian? You've got me curious now.

S. Artesian

5 years 1 month ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Removed in protest of Libcom policies allowing posting of texts by racists

Hieronymous

5 years 2 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Hieronymous

Frankly, homicidal violence is a greater threat than "vulnerability to democratic ideology".

The killing of Ricky Best and Taliesin Namkai-Meche, and near fatal stabbing of Micah David-Cole, in Portland on Friday bear this out.

As do:

Arjun Singh Sethi

In February, a white American allegedly killed Srinivas Kuchibhotla, an Indian American in Kansas whom he had mistaken for Iranian. The attacker yelled “get out of my country” before firing. In March, a known white supremacist allegedly killed James Jackson, an elderly black man in New York City, apparently because Jackson was black. Last week, a white American allegedly killed Richard W. Collins III, a young black man, on the campus of the University of Maryland. The suspect was a member of a Facebook group called Alt-Reich: Nation. And now there’s Portland. These are just a sample. Threats, assault, vandalism, nooses and murder make the headlines almost every day.

Last Thursday (25 May 2017), 100 longshore workers in ILWU at the Port of Oakland, 60% of whom are African American, walked off the job for half a day after finding a noose inside a dockside truck, as well as seeing the n-word scrawled on port equipment inside the customs-secured area of an intermodal container terminal. This shopfloor strike should be a model for working class resistance to the increasing number of attacks executed by white nationalists emboldened by the election of Trump.

Comrades, abstract musings and ahistorical prescriptions do fuck all to prepare us for these attacks. Stop the academic polemics and pull your heads out of the sand!

Ricky Best and Taliesin Namkai-Meche, Rest In Peace.

petey

5 years 2 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

how to take the recent killings and turn them 180 degrees around

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/may/29/portland-attack-republican-james-buchal-militia-groups

Asked if this meant Republicans making their own security arrangements rather than relying on city or state police, Buchal said: “Yeah. And there are these people arising, like the Oath Keepers and the Three Percenters.”

Asked if he was considering such groups as security providers, Buchal said: “Yeah. We’re thinking about that. Because there are now belligerent, unstable people who are convinced that Republicans are like Nazis.”

the irony, like

Joseph Kay

5 years 2 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Are they trolling, or does 'I want to show I'm 100% not a Nazi, so I'm considering deputising a right-wing paramilitary force to answer to me personally' seem like a reasonable thing to that dude?

petey

5 years 2 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

i'm as sure as i can be that he said that seriously. it's just assumed that anti-fascists are the real fascists, and that rightists are liberty-lovers.

what seems to be going on rhetorically here is the same thing that happened a few years ago when the BLM were cast as the aggressors and the cops were the victims.

Sike

5 years 2 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Joseph Kay

Are they trolling, or does 'I want to show I'm 100% not a Nazi, so I'm considering deputising a right-wing paramilitary force to answer to me personally' seem like a reasonable thing to that dude?

Buchal's proposal appears to have been made without any sense of irony. The oath keepers and three percenters don't brandish nazi flags so perhaps Buchal fails to perceive any association between his proposal and fascism in spite of the fact that he is a right wing politician proposing to recruit a police force consisting of right wing paramilitaries to assume security functions at political protests. However, most probably Buchal understands exactly the duplicity involved in his proposal and just doesn't care.

petey

5 years 2 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

more of it

Organizers of an anti-Muslim demonstration planned for June 10 announced Wednesday that they've canceled the event.

Organizer Scott Presler cited Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler's "inflammatory" requests to cancel other protests, which he said endangered people who might attend them.

...

"Due to Mayor Wheeler's inflammatory comments and what we feel is an incitement of violence, he has shamefully endangered every scheduled participant," Presler wrote. "Consequently, in order to ensure the safety of those who had planned on attending, we have taken the decision to cancel the Portland March Against Sharia."

http://www.oregonlive.com/portland/index.ssf/2017/05/organizers_cite_mayors_opposit.html

this bunch, unlike the guy above, are surely self-aware.

mn8

5 years 2 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

I have, honest to God, never seen a fascist in real life. At my secondary school some years back, there was an incident involving gang violence, which the BNP tried to exploit by running a candidate for the town council. It was discussed for all of two days perhaps and people forgot about it pretty quickly. The first time I saw 'anti-fascism' being discussed online I thought it was some kind of weird 1930's Germany historical re-enactment fetish.

I think this might be a regional thing, it seems a lot of libcom users live in London, whereas I'm all the way over here in the south west.

Fascists are a perennial danger, perhaps you have just overlooked them. They can be covert or nonobvious ordinarily.

Mike Harman

5 years 2 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

This looks like either an undercover cop or an 'oathkeeper' at the Portland demo/counter-demo, assisting the police with an arrest: https://twitter.com/libcomorg/status/871607954277109761

shug

5 years 1 month ago

In reply to by libcom.org

IP have referred to this thread here: https://internationalistperspective.org/antifa-no-thanks/

S. Artesian

5 years 1 month ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Removed in protest of Libcom policies allowing posting of texts by racists

Hieronymous

5 years 1 month ago

In reply to by libcom.org

In Charlottesville, Virginia 50 members of the KKK came to protest the now-tentative removal of a Robert E. Lee statue. They were outnumbered at least 30 to 1 and had to be protected by the pigs.

Here's a New York Times story that has a photo showing the cops protecting the Klan as they were being evacuated: https://www.nytimes.com/2017/07/08/us/kkk-rally-charlottesville-robert-e-lee-statue.html

I return the question to the doubters: if you lived in Charlottesville, which side would you be on when these white supremacists from North Carolina came to town? Would you ignore them and go to one of the city sponsored concerts?

OliverTwister

5 years 1 month ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Hieronymous

In Charlottesville, Virginia 50 members of the KKK came to protest the now-tentative removal of a Robert E. Lee statue. They were outnumbered at least 30 to 1 and had to be protected by the pigs.

Here's a New York Times story that has a photo showing the cops protecting the Klan as they were being evacuated: https://www.nytimes.com/2017/07/08/us/kkk-rally-charlottesville-robert-e-lee-statue.html

I return the question to the doubters: if you lived in Charlottesville, which side would you be on when these white supremacists from North Carolina came to town? Would you ignore them and go to one of the city sponsored concerts?

They wouldn't live in Charlottesville. They would move to New York or California.

Craftwork

5 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Comrade Motopu

The video of the IWW General Defense Committee separating out fascists from Trump supporters until they just left. "Nazis got called Nazis in Minnesota and weren't allowed a platform"
https://vimeo.com/216810119

Has anyone else watched this?! This pretty much encapsulates what kind of an ideological hole revolutionaries get themselves into in the name of antifascism.

What we see here is IWW uniting with Trump supporters in the name of antifascism to defend the existing political system against fascists.

Comrade Motopu

5 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

I can see what you're saying. Other things to consider are that part of what's happening at white nationalist rallies is the attempt by communities to defuse them and prevent them recruiting. In the "Tiger Town Beats Nazis Down" article, the author noticed fascists working the crowd in plain clothes and getting some possible traction while black bloc protesters seemed like aliens. You can say the IWW defended the bourgeois state, or you can say it peeled off a layer of the Right from itself, and helped define the fault lines between the groups.

Clintonite neoliberals use rhetoric about all Trump supporters being racist sexists who are in the thrall of some amorphous eternal self-replecating monster called "racism" which is apparently part of their very essence now, part of their genetic code as poor whites. The problem is that racism is formed in specific historical circumstances. It was created intentionally by the ruling class as a tool of labor control. One identifiable "moment" in the US where that happened was Bacon's Rebellion (a complex mix of anti-Indian forces uniting along class lines to unite black slaves and white frontier settlers in Virginia against elites. The result was the strengthening of race laws to seperate black and white workers/indentured servants/slaves.) Complex as it is, the clear aspect is that racism is not inherent, and had to be intentionally created by the ruling class.

The IWW action defeated the white nationalists on that day, while showing people duped over to the far Right capitalist party their own humanity. This leaves open the possibility of modelling anti-racist action and leaving the door open to people to leave the Trump camp. Maybe it just means they vote for the "left wing of capital" Democrats, or maybe they become active in some kind of class based action. I don't think that one action that appears purely reformist out of context means that this action was done in support of the bourgeois state. I don't know the politics of these particular IWW members, and maybe some of you have more critical things to say about them.

Hieronymous

5 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Comrade Motopu

I don't know the politics of these particular IWW members, and maybe some of you have more critical things to say about them.

I've met some of them. Can't say I know them, but when we met I realized they are solid class struggle militants with tons of shopfloor experience.

Crafty, you gotta watch the video again -- and give some supporting details. Otherwise your account is completely unsubstantiated. How are they defending the existing political system? It's not just true because you say so. We've seen before how you kinda do this shorthand in lieu of thinking. And to be blunt Crafty, your dismissive, contentless clipart is sophomoric. One of the guys killed in Portland was an acquaintance of a friend, so I don't look as this threat so abstractly -- or flippantly and callously.

OliverTwister

5 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

In the "Tiger Town Beats Nazis Down" article, the author noticed fascists working the crowd in plain clothes and getting some possible traction while black bloc protesters seemed like aliens.

Worth noting that that article was co-written by three GDC members.

Also there was the confrontation between Auburn students and white supremacists at the end of that action. Presumably some of those Auburn students were conservative. Is that a "defense of the bourgeois state"?

Hieronymous

4 years 12 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Boston was pretty massive today. I talked with a comrade there who said at least 15,000 protestors showed up to confront 30 white nationalists. The latter had to be protected and escorted out by the pigs.

el psy congroo

4 years 12 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

By every account I've seen, there's less than 10k militant white nationalists in the US. Where's the great fascist threat? It's not real. And the popular talking point right now is "Hitler had like 20 supporters only in 1922".

Hieronymous

4 years 12 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

el psy congroo

By every account I've seen . . .

Comrade, in all due respect, you can see better with your eyes open.

Clay Claiborne

6 days before going to Charlottesville these Nazis declared "race war" on Santa Monica [California]

Friends and comrades,

When I started putting together a video report on the much enlarged white supremacist attack on the Santa Monica Committee for Racial Justice that took place Sunday a week ago, I didn't even know the US neo-fascist movement was planning a huge "United the Right" rally in Charlottesville, VA. I soon found out about it from listening to their livestream chatter. Not only did I find out about this planned racist rally ahead of time, I learned that three of the leaders of their self-declared "race war" on Santa Monica were going to Charlottesville, and two of them were scheduled to speak before the assembled fascists.

Since that meeting 9 days ago, I have been working almost non-stop to put together a documentary report about the latest battle in this struggle. After the events in Charlottesville over the weekend, I realized that my little local activist project had much greater significance. In addition to the footage I personally shot from inside the meeting, I was able to gather about 15 hrs of video and live stream from the other side. In some of that they were bragging about their activities and outlook until the wee hours of Monday morning. What I have been able to produce is now much more than a report on what they are calling "round two" in their fight to take down the Committee for Racial Justice [because they see it as anti-white], it is a rare inside look at the people that make up this movement, what they really believe, and how they are organized.

Although I threw it together in less than 10 days, I believe it is my most important documentary effort since Vietnam: American Holocaust.

Please watch and circulate widely.

Before Charlottesville:
6 August 2017 - From the livestream chatter among white supremacist "red elephants" after they just spent the evening harassing a social justice group in Santa Monica.[youtube]6W20Rv3fnTg[/youtube]

el psy congroo

4 years 12 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

H: your politics suck and I'm not your comrade. You've been caught up in this leftist activism since before the election. Wanted to get that out of the way first.

“It’s a small group of real bad people,” Simon (of the SPLC) writes.

http://www.thedailybeast.com/how-many-nazis-are-there-in-america-really

Hieronymous

4 years 12 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

el psy congroo

H: your politics suck and I'm not your comrade. You've been caught up in this leftist activism since before the election. Wanted to get that out of the way first.

“It’s a small group of real bad people,” Simon (of the [color=#FF0000]SPLC[/color]) writes.

http://www.thedailybeast.com/how-many-nazis-are-there-in-america-really

El psy congroo, you'd benefit by thinking more and typing less. And I don't know where you live, but since Trump's election I've seen racial tensions on the rise everywhere I go. While commuting on public transit I've heard drivers called the n-word several times, something I hadn't heard in decades. I've seen racially motivated fist fights, again something I hadn't seen in years.

Frankly, if you'd been watching, the whole leftist political establishment -- by which I mean the whole spectrum of parties, alphabet soup of sectarian groups, and political non-profits -- have been saying exactly what you, el psy congroo, are saying. Namely, this whole fascists on the march hysteria is a myth. Those hundreds of white nationalist thugs -- from the campus-based Identity Evropa to the Sovereign Nation biker gang to the current and ex-police and military in the weapons-carrying Oath Keepers -- converging on cities like Berkeley are just figments of the imaginations of wild eyed antifa. Well, el psy congroo, I've seen them randomly beat the shit out of people, wolf pack style, with my own eyes.

And since when do working class militants get their tactical and strategic instructions from the liberal non-profiteers funded by corporate foundations at Southern Poverty Law Center? (SPLC has assets of a fucking mind-blowing $338,470,618 and annual income of $54,267,891; el py congroo, they are our class enemies!) Here's what SPLC says in their "Ten ways to fight hate":

SPLC

#2 Reach out to allies from churches, schools, clubs, and
other civic groups. Create a diverse coalition. Include
children, [color=#FF0000]police[/color], and the media. Gather ideas from
everyone, and get everyone involved.
#7 Elected officials and other community leaders can be
important allies. But some must overcome reluctance —
and others, their own biases — before they’re able to take a
stand.

O.K. el psy congroo, we're going to make common cause with the pigs, mainstream media, and hacks from Republican and Democratic Party machines based on marching orders from the capitalist racketeers at SPLC? You're going to have a coalition with pedophile priests, Officer Friendly who shoots black teenagers in the back, the anchor from Fox News, and your Republican Tea Party mayor, city council and DA? All because corporate funders dictate to their non-profit allies at SPLC that this is the only "proper" course of action in a bourgeois democracy?

El psy congroo, are you smoking crack again?

spacious

4 years 12 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

It is really pretty silly to assume that everyone means the same when they utter the word "antifascism" or label themselves as such. Or that the use of that term would automatically result in a particular outcome.

Left communists are right to object to "co-operation with bourgeois forces in the name of 'anti-fascism'", or at least turning that into the highest aim, because they think that this has the result of turning communist/radical and working class antifascism into an effective support for capitalism. The object of their critique is not the antifascism, the struggle against fascist violence and fascist ideas, as such, but its particular limitation by bourgeois democratic rules and horizons, which means making your own political action conditional on maintaining coalitions with liberals and respecting the existing social relations.

Then again, assuming that everything which calls itself 'antifascist' is automatically characterized by such cooperation and such limits is really quite idiotic. Criticizing practices/aims and self-imposed limits rather than equating them to the label they happen to carry would be the first step, if you want that critique to actually be understood.

meerov21

4 years 12 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

My opinion
https://libcom.org/forums/general/antifa-charlottesville-20082017

petey

4 years 12 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

el psy congroo

By every account I've seen, there's less than 10k militant white nationalists in the US. Where's the great fascist threat? It's not real. And the popular talking point right now is "Hitler had like 20 supporters only in 1922".

i think you've contradicted yourself here. hitler had 20 (surely more but still very few) supporters in 1922 - and what happened in 1933? yet a number like 10K is not real enough to worry about. the threat was real enough for alan berg, for the people in the murrah building, for the people in the tennessee valley UU church, from this year alone for taliesin meche, rick best, srinivas kuchibhotla, and heather heyer. fash leaders have called for whitists to come to demos armed and loaded because "we want a war." if you ignore them they won't go away.

you impute to others talk of "the great fascist threat." the threat to what, do you think? do you think there's some natural limit to how many people would tolerate fash talk, and therefore we ought not over-react? take one half step outside unite the right territory into milo and steve bannon nativist, build-the-wall territory and you've got millions. and trump's not franco but if he ever decided to become a franco more millions would follow right along.

i know the argument that antifascist work isn't class-focused and therefore is a distraction, but i reject the argument that antifascism is actually antithetical to class work because it makes cross-class alliances and accommodates to liberal rhetoric, because, again, if you ignore these people they won't go away. they'll be spreading racialist and nationalist venom and killing people along the way.

one microscopic benefit out of charlottesville is that bannon got cashiered and the administration is starting to look like a bunch of GOP party operatives. that's a very bad thing in itself, but the message to the rightists seems to be "you're not wanted here anymore." if that lets the air out of them we can thank the antifa. (of course this could be proven wrong next week.)

el psy congroo

4 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Hieronymous

El psy congroo, are you smoking crack again?

for breakfast. Whats it to you punk?

Insulting my intelligence...

Youre the dilletant arguing the American bourgeoisie could ever pull something like a Hitler off in a million timelines in a million different universes

el psy congroo

4 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

They couldn't

el psy congroo

4 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Petey - are you calling for reprisals?