US (PT) – “Where justice is denied, where poverty is enforced, where ignorance prevails, and where any one class is made to feel that society is an organized conspiracy to oppress, rob and degrade them, neither persons nor property will be safe.” – Frederick Douglas
In a recent Huffpost article, the nature of the neo fascist group The Proud Boy’s were revealed in all their machinations to be subversive and cunning. They are adapting to evolving currents of popular and political climes, and modifying their tactics and strategy accordingly. They are accruing sympathizers in police forces, using code words and dog whistles in order to wrap their racist supremacist views in a cloak of patriotism and appeal to nationalism in order to garner a modicum of popular acceptance. This push for legitimacy and acceptance is crucial for them, and it is more crucial that we thwart it.
In the national political scene, we see pushes for legislation to label antifascists as terrorists. The President has made no equivocation in his denouncement and scorn for them, and it comes as no surprise that his State Department has directed the Federal Bureau of Investigation to back off white nationalists and to, instead, direct their attention towards ‘black identity/anti authority’ groups. So, to be clear, our Commander-in-Chief is actively using the power of his office to direct a domestic intelligence and law enforcement agency to wield the power of the state in oppression of political opponents and in the protection of political allies. Think about that for a second… Take all the time you need.
Antifascist activists come from all walks of life, all types of political leanings, and share only one belief; that the political ideology of fascism is a blight on humanity and pose an existential threat to life and decency. This is a known and established fact, so much so that you’ll often here crypto fascists try to attribute it to leftism, attempting to cast their own vile beliefs upon those that stand counter to them. Classical projection and obfuscation at a glance, but it tells us something else. It tells us that they know their ideology is bereft of any intellectual or humanistic value and that the majority of the country knows this. They tend to berate antifascists for hiding their identity, but isn’t it telling that they lack even the most fundamental fortitude to even be able openly claim their ideals?
Indeed, they must ascribe their values upon the opposition in order to have even the smallest hope that some mainstream outlet or entity will grant them the clout and acceptance they most desperately desire. Theirs is a failed ideology, first in the Civil War, then in the World War II. Yet their determination coupled with strains of anti-intellectualism and economic hardship is just enough to keep pockets of support alive, and we know their tactics are improving.
“They want the ocean without the awful roar of its many waters. This struggle may be a moral one; or it may be a physical one; or it may be both moral and physical; but it must be a struggle. Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will.” -Frederick Douglas
The FBI reported some years back about white nationalists infiltrating police departments and positions of authority. This is a shrewd tactic, and one which their anti authoritarian opposition fail at on that very basis. It’s hard to be an enforcer for an institution that works largely for the wealthy while oppressing marginalized portions of the population. Perhaps a re-evaluation of this line of thought may be needed, and if so, then action must follow ideas.
In addition to any ideas, the framework for successful antifascist actions may need to entail other evolving, asymmetrical activism. We are all equally citizens of this nation, and we all have the right to seek whatever positions we choose. It’s unfortunate that this is the state of our nation. Our rulers love nothing more than when the peasants are fighting each other, but make no mistake about it, antifascist action too is class warfare.
As this situation continues to evolve and as we near the 2020 elections, we can expect an escalation in rhetoric, violence, and increased police scrutiny by executive decree. While we can expect limited support from select members of the liberal political class, the responsibility falls on us to be vigilant, intelligent, and proactive in our efforts.
“Whoso would be a man must be a nonconformist. He who would gather immortal palms must not be hindered by the name of goodness, but must explore if it be goodness. Nothing is at last sacred but the integrity of your own mind. Absolve you to yourself, and you shall have the suffrage of the world.” -Henry David Thoreau
Internal strife and endless semantic debates centered around ideological differences cannot hinder our solidarity. Cointel operations and agent provocateurs cannot deter us or quell our commitment to identifying, exposing, and countering the growth of fascism in our time. We must find strength in that solidarity, knowing our cause is just. Work within the system where you can, work cautiously where you cannot, and realize that while our opposition is evil, that doesn’t mean they are strong, and they are far from infallible. History is on our side, and we are not only on the winning side of history, we are on the right side of it as well.
We shall see what the coming months will bring. Increasing political pressure may well see a frightening precedent set concerning antifascist action, a harkening back to the good old days of McCarthyism and a using of our government as an overt tool of political suppression. It’s conceivable this could happen, and if it does, there are far, far darker days ahead for this nation.
I read it somewhere once that, when governments become corrupt, good people become outlaws… And here we are.
“The people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world are the ones who do.” -Rob Siltanen