Antifa, the group that fancies itself as the face of modern anti-fascism, has a handbook. Really. It is named, appropriately enough, Antifa: The Antifascist Handbook. The author, Mark Bray, also wrote Translating Anarchy: The Anarchism of Occupy Wall Street, and co-edited Anarchist Education and the Modern School, so we can see where he is coming from. And, as a lecturer at Dartmouth College, a prestigious Ivy League institution, he is also teaching your children, or someone’s children.
The obvious thing about Antifa is that they oppose fascism, which, on its face, is a good thing. Fascism has a horrid history of oppression, genocide, racism, and all manner of other violations of rights or human decency. Who wouldn’t be against that? Antifa, the book, gives the history of atrocities at the hands of fascists, where and how it gets initiated, and how prior anti-fascists handled the situations, from which lessons are taken.
Antifa’s marketing program proposes that its purpose is the denial of any fascists or potential fascists to any platform to speak, disrupting or preventing any event held by any fascist, anywhere, any time. If fascists are not allowed to gather and to communicate, they can prevent such things as the Nazi genocide of the Jews in war-time Germany, or so the rhetoric goes.
What is not so obvious about anti-fascism to outside observers is what gets included under the umbrella of “fascism.” As it turns out, anything that radical leftists don’t like fits the bill. Since they are primarily far left socialists or anarchists, capitalism takes center stage, and anyone who promotes capitalism, free markets, or freedom in general falls within their scope. If you disagree with leftist policies, no matter how bad they are in reality, you may be a target. If you think people shouldn’t be compelled to say things they know are not true, you might be treading on thin ice. If you show any support for the ultimate evil, the Darth Vader of modern capitalism, President Donald Trump, then you have a big swastika on your back.
Being against genocide is good, right? Killing millions of people because I don’t like them, because they don’t support my policies, because they are not of the proper race or nationality, or because they are obstacles to my own power is certainly something that should be vigorously opposed. That, however, is not what Antifa opposes. They only oppose genocidal murderers who are purportedly on the right. Not a single word in the book mentions the Soviet gulags, where millions of prisoners died, usually after a hellish nightmare they didn’t deserve. No criticism of the annihilation of entire Russian villages who resisted. No mention of the deliberate murder of millions of Ukrainians by starvation by Soviets or Chinese by Maoists after they confiscated all food, destroyed all crops, and sealed the borders. The list goes on and on and on. As long as the brutal murderer is a leftist, all is well. As long as the oppression comes from the correct part of the political spectrum, then no fascism and no foul.
Antifa, however, in spite of their rhetoric, is not just “deplatforming.” As the well-organized and coordinated violence they instigated and participated in during the recent protests makes obvious, the group’s real purpose is to destabilize American society, to cause economic and social collapse so they can usher in their perfect Utopia. The anarchists and communists can fight about the details later.
What we know, though, is that there is very little difference between the Nazi Brown Shirts and the Antifa Black Suits. The purpose of both groups is intimidation, disruption, and mayhem. Both groups were and are made up of anti-social criminals, thugs who should be treated as such, and people who support them are as bad as the people who supported the Nazis.