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Antifa

antifa anti fascist leftist

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#1
zEVerzan

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Antifa (Anti fascism) is a recurring counter-protest movement that has always arisen throughout the 20th century whenever the threat of fascism was felt. They prioritize direct action over compromise and capitulation. They have a long, storied history of fighting fascists in the streets, most often winning the battle but losing the war.
 
First, a bit on fascism: Fascism is a far-right authoritarian movement that has always arisen in reaction to a developing class consciousness among the working class (leftism). While fascists identify the same problems with liberal capitalism that leftists do, they put forth a set of far more harmful solutions: absolute hierarchy, national identity replacing personal identity, a fixation on a return to past glory, conquest as a way to sustain the nation, scapegoating of minorities and external conspiracies, power for its own sake. Fascists blame the problems of liberal capitalism on external factors rather than on the system itself, and promise to make things right in exchange for control.
 
So, Antifa are reactionary against reactionaries. Antifa are the people we wish had been able to prevent the rise of people like Hiter, Mussolini, and Franco. This is because the ruling class, capitalists, ALWAYS side with the fascists when pressed as they seem to pose a lesser threat to the status quo. Because at least fascists respect authority, hierarchy, tradition, and capital! Not like those unwashed, rabble-rousing leftists that claim capitalism is the problem.
 
Liberal capitalists often bankroll fascist movements covertly. This is why we're told by the media to fear and distrust Antifa at every opportunity, "Antifa are the real fascists" for example.
 
Of course, fighting in the streets isn't all that Antifa do. These days at least, a big part of their operation is infiltrating extreme right-wing groups and subverting them from within - sowing drama, leaking their plans, and revealing the names and faces of fascists to their friends and families.
 
Antifa aesthetic throughout history has always reflected their tendency toward direct action, focusing on solidarity and activism. Yea, they've always been angry and insurrectionary-looking. And yea, it's badass.
 
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I always imagined the future as a time of more reason, empathy, and peace, not less. It's time for a change.
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#2
Alislaws

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To Expand a little on my comment from earlier:

 

 

Antifa, uses a lot of stuff that out of context looks could be fascist imagery, Its people who want to be fascists, but have a moral compass so they're stuck just menacing fascists.

 

The same (very effective) techniques that fascists use to appeal to people are also in use by antifascists, as a good example there's a reason a lot of fascist iconography involves black and red as primary colours, they're strong and intimidating (as much as colours can be).

 

I said it jokingly, but ultimately a lot of the practical features of fascism are about building a collective group, and reinforcing this solidarity. Antifa uses similar techniques, but directed against intolerance instead of against minority groups who can't really fight back.

 

Antifa seems to me to consist of people who would really enjoy being fascists, (for the sense of purpose, unity, and the neat uniforms!) if only they could ignore the fact that fascists are wrong about pretty much everything important. They have a moral compass, and so cant just blame all their problems on some foreigners and go out and kick their heads in. 

 

I think the desire to get together with your mates and go kick some bastards head in is a pretty universal one in humans (especially angry young men!). So since Antifa members know that fascism is monstrous and morally unsupportable, they get to have the best of both worlds, and all dress up in intimidating uniforms and go beat up a minority group*. Except obviously the minority group is fully voluntary and explicitly self selecting for assholery.

 

(*Hopefully they're a minority, if not whichever hypothetical country we're discussing is fucked) 

 

I think this is deliberate, after all if you get an angry young person, and you grab them before they start blaming all their problems on other people who look different to them, you can help channel their anger into something more constructive, like fighting fascists! 

 

This is not to say the two movements are equivalent.

 

One is built around oppression fear violence, xenophobia and kicking random innocent people's heads in.

 

The other is built around kicking a bunch of total asshole's heads in. 

 

EDIT:

 

AS I understand it the primary problem non-fascists have with ANTIFA is that they are not to discriminating in their targeting, if true then the movement may not be too far from what its trying to stop, If false then the complaint being raised is probably along the lines of: "Woah, don't kick my head in dudes! I'm not a fascist, I just have authoritarian political beliefs and am concerned about standing up for white rights in a white dominated society!"


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#3
starspawn0

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Here is something amusing:

https://art19.com/sh...10-9bc05e0b359a

Beginning around 22 or 23 minutes in, Corey Robin mentions how in a speech by white nationalist Richard Spencer, Spencer says that the white nationalists just want to have fun, talk about ideas, that sort of thing, and then here are these violent Antifa thugs. He really sees himself as a victim.
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#4
zEVerzan

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I said it jokingly, but ultimately a lot of the practical features of fascism are about building a collective group, and reinforcing this solidarity. Antifa uses similar techniques, but directed against intolerance instead of against minority groups who can't really fight back. 

 

Fascists put forth the pretense of solidarity but this is only another ruse to draw in more people. Fascism by its nature seeks to create a Community of Strength, where you're fit to be in the community only if you're strong in the same way as everyone else. Whereas the Left, Socialists and Communists seek to create a Community of Need, where people find solidarity in the vulnerabilities they have and the struggles they face. Fascists want the aesthetics of a Community of Need to foster solidarity but under fascism you will never be allowed to be vulnerable, and so there can never be true solidarity under fascism - you will constantly be fighting to prove that you're pure enough, smart enough, strong enough, useful enough to be worthy of existence.

 

It's important to remember that Fascism has always wanted to make things confusing for leftists and libs. They've always appropriated and retooled leftist aesthetics and talking points in order to more effectively spread their message. Since they want power by any means they will gladly play dirty and co-opt the opposition.

 

For example, the Nazi flag took its bold color scheme and aesthetics from other radical leftist insurgents of the time. It's not only a bold and aesthetically imposing look, but it also drew in uneducated working-class people who were angry but didn't know what they were angry at, saw a revolutionary-looking flag and thought it must be the answer.

 

So really, you might have it backwards. Fascists sort of ripped off lefty revolutionaries in terms of the imposing, insurgent aesthetics.


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I always imagined the future as a time of more reason, empathy, and peace, not less. It's time for a change.
Attention is currency in the "free marketplace of ideas".
I do other stuff besides gripe about the future! Twitter Youtube DeviantArt +-PATREON-+

#5
starspawn0

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I think the desire to get together with your mates and go kick some bastards head in is a pretty universal one in humans (especially angry young men!). So since Antifa members know that fascism is monstrous and morally unsupportable, they get to have the best of both worlds, and all dress up in intimidating uniforms and go beat up a minority group*. Except obviously the minority group is fully voluntary and explicitly self selecting for assholery.


It's worth pointing out that, although some of the Antifa are violent, they are not generally violent. Mark Pitcavage of the Anti-Defamation League:

https://www.npr.org/...olitical-protes
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#6
Yuli Ban

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For example, the Nazi flag took its bold color scheme and aesthetics from other radical leftist insurgents of the time. It's not only a bold and aesthetically imposing look, but it also drew in uneducated working-class people who were angry but didn't know what they were angry at, saw a revolutionary-looking flag and thought it must be the answer.

 

So really, you might have it backwards. Fascists sort of ripped off lefty revolutionaries in terms of the imposing, insurgent aesthetics.

I feel you're denying the working & middle class origins of fascism, which is a very dangerous gambit. Fascism absolutely was not created by the upper class to delude the poor to keep the system intact. It attracted the wealthy because fascists sought class collaboration rather than class war, which means that the same revolutionary passions have to be directed somewhere. Capitalists typically support conservative causes because conservatism is all about maintaining the status quo or an idealized earlier point. Combine the actionist passion of revolutionary socialism with conservatism and reactionary politics and you typically arrive at fascism. The only reason why conservatives distance themselves from fascism is because of how demonized fascist regimes are.

 

Fascism can be thought of as "communism for those who trust capitalists". It's conservatism radicalized. The working poor will always have a conservative slant, even when they are leftist. It's why there's such disdain for the modern idpol and intersectional ideology that often downplays class conflict for gendered, racial, ethnic, etc. conflict— it's so clearly bourgeois in origin because the working class typically doesn't care about pronouns or which bathroom someone uses or microaggressions; the working class cares about how it's going to survive when it is not in control of its own means of survival, and everything else comes across as a distraction. 

 

Elites never lose sight of this, whether they be capitalists or nobility or theocrats or whathaveyou. When the working class is in a revolutionary mindset, they're not going to immediately overthrow existing social conditions and establish a society based on each according to his own need— they're going to establish a society they feel they want, period. If you fiddle around with things that don't matter to the working class (like solving these problems), they're going to look to someone else. 

 

In the 1910s and 1920s, fascism arose because capitalists & nobles were frightened by communism, recognized they couldn't tame proletarian passions with the status quo or even with war (the war just made those passions worse), and found a revolutionary ideology that was friendly to them and they could further exploit. Fascism started out essentially as nationalist socialism (no, not National Socialism). Mussolini circa 1914 was still socialist in mindset, but he was disillusioned with traditional socialism while excited by the nationalistic festival of war and the ancient glory of Rome. He had a mindset that even Mao Zedong would have decades later— that the classes ought to collaborate and someone from any social class could lead a revolutionary vanguard. Mao never renounced socialism or a proletarian vanguard as Mussolini had, which is one reason why Maoism never became fascist in nature (but many see Xiist China as being at least quasi-fascist). 

 

The alt-right is essentially the farcial version of this. There was clear proletarian passion after the wage stagnation of the '80s, the age of austerity + neoliberalism, and the Great Recession, and we saw a little bit of what could have been with Occupy Wall Street and, dare I say, even the Tea Party. But as I said before, mainstream liberals and leftists were too focused on bourgeois leftism, e.g. progressivism of the  "World's first PoC Transgender CEO" sort. PoC and transgender? Progressive! A sign of resistance in Trumpist America! Meanwhile, actual leftists want to focus on the 'CEO' part as being problematic. Except saying that a Black Trans CEO isn't good is, itself, "problematic", even if your hangup is with the fact they're a CEO and earning 500x more than you will in a year for vague, abstract reasons. You don't have anything against PoC, and even if you can't understand the mindset behind transgenderism and gender diaspora, you're not going to be a dick about it. But no, you dared to talk bad about a progressive victory for any reason, so now you're a racist, misogynistic Nazi.

 

The result? Potential comrades remain pissed off and listen to the other guy who calls the CEO a leech, but also happens to focus on the fact he's a Black and Trans leech for extra oomph. But they can focus on them being Black and Trans and only whisper the 'CEO' part as to not threaten capitalists, which nets him support from wealthy donors and airtime from mainstream media. The other guy exaggerates the problems of leftism (of which there are still plenty of problems since nothing's perfect), appeals to emotion, shapes your views and values by creating conflicts & identities where there weren't previously, creates strawmen that aren't so cartoonish as to be unrealistic (everyone does this, but vanguard movements are intelligent about it because they know you'll do most of the work later on when you see the less unrealistic aspects of the strawman be validated), and gets you to see anything that runs counter to this as false so you can insulate yourself and self-radicalize.  And in the end, you might genuinely wind up a fascist. You didn't go fash because the lefties called you a Nazi; you went fash because the lefties (in the mainstream) stopped caring about the most fundamental social issues. The problem is that fascists won't let you think that because caring about social inequalities reeks of socialism when you're supposed to keep your head down and stay in your pre-chosen social class— social problems are caused by other groups, not the upper classes. You're not poor because of extreme outsourcing or union busting or hoarding of capital or debt traps or institutional biases. You're poor because of screeching man-hating feminists, porch-dwelling welfare niggers, border-jumping unintelligible spics, gold-loving nation-killing kikes, and a liberal nanny state that won't let the job creators give you a job (or because you're just too lazy to do better or, for advanced fascism, because you ought to be poor and should have pride in being a lowly expendable worker because no peasant should care about a king's issues). 

 

You can think of social issues as occupying different levels of a hierarchy of needs. Identity politics would be a well-valued source of political discourse if Western society was resoundingly healthy and stable for the same reason worrying about your hair color is something to focus on when you're able to pay your bills and get enough to eat. When you're not eating enough, worrying about hair dye is likely not going to be of high importance. For example: identity politics of the Black & native American nationalist variety of the 1960s can only barely be considered "identity politics" as we understand it because it was something much more class-focused in nature. '60s Black nationalists wanted to uproot capitalism, which they saw as being responsible for the nigh-dystopian state of Black America; same thing for Native Americans, Gays, etc. Compare to today, where idpol may mention police brutality and lingering systemic issues but does so in the most unflattering of ways, supporting the most dubious individuals and ignoring much more tragic situations, and getting upset over not being represented in the media a certain way (the same media owned by about six megacorporations and a tiny handful of movie studios), leading to what might as well be token representation and lip service but is treated as the height of progressive action.

 

You'd be fine with letting a fascist government run those SJWs through because honestly, who gives a shit about what gender some blue-haired Starbucks-drinking cunt thinks she is that day when there are White children literally starving and going without running water in the Appalachians? Who gives even half of a shit about what a gold-haired million-dollar nigger in Hollywood says about systemic racism and police brutality when Blacks make up 12% of the population but do 70% of the crime? Who gives a shit particle about how many strong womyn and People of Shit are represented in the latest $200 million video game or blockbuster when your neighbor just lost their job to some pajeet 5,000 miles away and his whole company is going under? Who cares about the memory of shit what some side-shaved faggot thinks about LGBTXYZ shitroom rights when you can't even afford your meds? MAGA. Kill 'em all and let Karl Marx sort 'em out.

 

 

Through it all, you can find a much more generalized problem, one which socialists can see— it's affecting all of the aforementioned groups, and if only they could all unite then maybe some real progress could be made. All of that hatred, all of that vitriol, it's all coming from the same roots you can find revolutionary socialism but it's pointed in the wrong direction. There's communal solidarity, but only with an insular group that further stokes divisions. There's a recognition of class conflict, but it's between effete liberal elites & their brain-dead lackeys vs the popular, humble many— which includes the wealthy. However, the wealthy can't be demonized because this side believes in hierarchy and class harmony, so the wealthy who are villainous are the ones who threaten your Nation, your Blood, your Land. 

Your sides' wealthy are just humble Christians (or Muslims, or Buddhists, or Hindus, or whatever your country's dominant religion is) who seek a better life, have innovative ideas, and worked hard to climb to where they are. They're basically hard-working gilded farmers, while the other side is full of out-of-touch anti-Christian (etc.) aristocrats who might as well live in Versailles, openly mock hard & honest work, and only care about the pettiest of things. 

 

Bourgeois leftism/idpol, for all that I said to mock it, also recognizes these problems but makes the mistake of thinking it can resolve social issues without some level of revolutionary change (because, as the name suggests, the bourgeoisie aren't keen on uprooting their basis of their socioeconomic power). It's like someone trying to find self-actualization before they've managed to achieve food security. So when those problems naturally persist, they begin seeming unreasonable. It's like trying to cure cancer by taking aspirin.
You don't necessarily need a revolution to achieve this change. It's just the easiest way to eventually get there without much resistance. Bourgeois leftism doesn't really make the attempt, though, because it's not seeking a revolutionary change in society; just one better for non-White non-male non-hetero groups. Straight leftism seeks the same but does so in what is an increasingly novel way— via solidarity, not antagonizing different groups, and keeping class struggle central.

 

To put it another way, the Democrats' mocking of "financial insecurity" or whatever the meme was in lieu of continuing to focus on idpol is pure bourgeois leftism at its finest. If bourgeois leftists were given by a Leftist God the option of choosing "Make an amendment saying there are 52 genders that all must be respected" and "Democratize the means of production", they'd go with the former and claim the latter isn't important to anyone but straight White men if gender politics aren't harmonious. And they'd probably claim it would ruin the economy, that straight White men would hoard everything and continue marginalizing everyone else, and there'd still be social inequity because of unresolved racial, sexual, religious etc. issues. It'd probably be easier to resolve those issues if the means of production were democratized and a handful of ultra-rich capitalists didn't control the flow of virtually all information, but what do I know?

 

 

Surely you can see how fascism can fester in such an environment. Now I'm not saying that absolves the alt-right of any wrongdoing, that I oppose all arguments presented by idpol types (far from it), apologizing for fascism, or that socialism = fascism but smarter. Just that the same proletarian passions that can give birth to socialism can also give birth to fascism if leftists don't focus on the right issues at the right time. Unions and organized labor movements in the USA are almost dead. The UK is suffering from poverty rates similar to what we saw in the Victorian era. Neoliberalism has squeezed as many pennies from the average person as it could and is demanding hundreds of dollars more at penalty of forced labor in prison. The Great Recession quite literally stole an entire generation's fortunes and prospects while the media relentlessly insults that generation as lazy and entitled for not accomplishing the impossible; those responsible for the theft are richer than ever and got away with it with assurances they can do it again with no repercussions. 

 

There is a lot of socioeconomic tension bubbling underneath Western civilization, sending up a highly charged cloud of uncertainty all around us. All it needs to explode into revolutionary change is a spark, and the right has a match and is watching whole tails of fire follow their hand motions, ready to drop the match to start the eruption. Meanwhile, the mainstream left has a hand grenade that could get everything going at once, but they're unwilling to pull the pin because they're afraid of hurting the grenade's feelings— and they're also pushing away (with help from the right) the agents who are trying to grab at that pin, all the while trying to create sparks by snapping their fingers.

 

 

 

 

_______________

 

I'm not going to lie, I've been writing this for about an hour and have no idea if anything makes any sense.


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#7
zEVerzan

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Just got around to reading this.

 

You're definitely right about fascism originating with the working class and getting to a point where it's propped up by the elite when push comes to shove. We're on the same page there.

 

Your point is that the onus is on leftists to not annoy the working class with issues of personal identity they can't relate to, right?

 

But then, what do you suggest we do with our hypothetical shrieking strawman blue-haired feminists, the LGBTQRSTUVWXYZs? Reject them? The ideas they've had can't be taken back and they've been allowed to proliferate by the internet. Are we supposed to make enemies of them because their rhetoric is counterproductive? Because I'm afraid the fascists already beat us there.

 

If you only want to include people in your movement for the utility they can provide, or reject them on the grounds of bad optics, congratulations you played yourself. Your Community of Need is now a Community of Strength and you may as well be another fascist movement.

 

Left unity comrades, we'll take your huddled, wretched, masses of annoying vegans, silky femboys, mexican trans whatevers not because you're good for our movement, not because we'll profit by representing you, but because you have been outcast and rejected by society and your experiences are valid dammit


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I always imagined the future as a time of more reason, empathy, and peace, not less. It's time for a change.
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#8
Erowind

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I agree that the folks in question should be included on the grounds of equality. I'm actually dating a trans girl and am very conscious of this sort of thing as much as possible. But there is also a genuine complaint to be made that the reason capitalism is even accepting queer people is because they're not an abstract threat. Queer rights in the modern day are actually a product of liberalism not leftism. (Although historically anarchists and socialists first fought for them.) Angela Nagel's Kill All Normie's does a really good job of explaining why and I don't remember the exact argument just that it made sense when I read it. I'm not saying we should alienate these people, or be hostile to them in any way, quite the opposite. But they also shouldn't be the bulk of our efforts. We do actually need to fight the rich at some point after all. It's really easy to see how this manifests when Lockheed Martin is funding corporate pride parades. To the credit of radical queers I know they refuse to attend and run an anti-pride parade.

As for the community of strength bit. Yes, we should be focusing on a community of need. But at the same time being strong is good when that strength is well placed. A good community of need is also strong enough to meet their needs. We do actually need to focus on other things than being the victims sometimes. The steelworkers from The Battle of Homestead and The Battle of Blair mountain were surely a community of need, but they seized that need through strength. Both focusing on strength and need solely are dead ends in my opinion. Strength because it's totalitarian on its own and need because its unable to actually meet that need in its own right. That's not to discount emotion and intellect either, both theory building and emotional labour are vital to the revolution.

Edit: In retrospect much of this post is just me arguing for arguings sake. Apologies.

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#9
Yuli Ban

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This is what I mean by "peak liberal/bourgeois leftism"

PNB0ytH.jpg


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And remember my friend, future events such as these will affect you in the future.


#10
zEVerzan

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Yeah, that's just Liberalism. Huge companies scrabbling to represent minorities because they know minorities have money sometimes too. No need to confuse that with any variety of leftism ("bourgeois leftism"? The Right called, they want their scapegoat back), the terms are confused and muddled enough already. A good thing to focus on doing, probably, is bringing awareness to the fact that pandering to minorities for money, and valuing the experiences of minorities because they're human beings too are two different and opposed philosophies.

 

The last few decades of right-wing propaganda have so thoroughly confused everyone about leftism that we even have people on this forum who derisively call anyone to their left "looney big-government liberals" - that's laughable, and sad.


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