Antifa in Theory and Practice: Storm Troopers of the Neoliberal War Party

by Diana Johnstone, 9 October 2017, via Counterpunch
Fascists are divided into two categories: the fascists and the anti-fascists.”
– Ennio Flaiano, Italian writer and co-author of Federico Fellini’s greatest film scripts.

In recent weeks, a totally disoriented left has been widely exhorted to unify around a masked vanguard calling itself Antifa, for anti-fascist.  Hooded and dressed in black, Antifa is essentially a variation of the Black Bloc, familiar for introducing violence into peaceful demonstrations in many countries. Imported from Europe, the label Antifa sounds more political.  It also serves the purpose of stigmatizing those it attacks as “fascists”.
Despite its imported European name, Antifa is basically just another example of America’s steady descent into violence.
Historical Pretensions
Antifa first came to prominence from its role in reversing Berkeley’s proud “free speech” tradition by preventing right wing personalities from speaking there. But its moment of glory was its clash with rightwingers in Charlottesville on August 12, largely because Trump commented that there were “good people on both sides”. With exuberant Schadenfreude, commentators grabbed the opportunity to condemn the despised President for his “moral equivalence”, thereby bestowing a moral blessing on Antifa.
Charlottesville served as a successful book launching for Antifa: the Antifascist Handbook, whose author, young academic Mark Bray, is an Antifa in both theory and practice. The book is “really taking off very fast”, rejoiced the publisher, Melville House. It instantly won acclaim from leading mainstream media such as the New York Times, The Guardian and NBC, not hitherto known for rushing to review leftwing books, least of all those by revolutionary anarchists.
The Washington Post welcomed Bray as spokesman for “insurgent activist movements” and observed that: “The book’s most enlightening contribution is on the history of anti-fascist efforts over the past century, but its most relevant for today is its justification for stifling speech and clobbering white supremacists.”
Bray’s “enlightening contribution” is to a tell a flattering version of the Antifa story to a generation whose dualistic, Holocaust-centered view of history has largely deprived them of both the factual and the analytical tools to judge multidimensional events such as the growth of fascism.  Bray presents today’s Antifa as though it were the glorious legitimate heir to every noble cause since abolitionism.  But there were no anti-fascists before fascism, and the label “Antifa” by no means applies to all the many adversaries of fascism.
The implicit claim to carry on the tradition of the International Brigades who fought in Spain against Franco is nothing other than a form of innocence by association.  Since we must revere the heroes of the Spanish Civil War, some of that esteem is supposed to rub off on their self-designated heirs. Unfortunately, there are no veterans of the Abraham Lincoln Brigade still alive to point to the difference between a vast organized defence against invading fascist armies and skirmishes on the Berkeley campus.  As for the Anarchists of Catalonia, the patent on anarchism ran out a long time ago, and anyone is free to market his own generic.
The original Antifascist movement was an effort by the Communist International to cease hostilities with Europe’s Socialist Parties in order to build a common front against the triumphant movements led by Mussolini and Hitler.
Since Fascism thrived, and Antifa was never a serious adversary, its apologists thrive on the “nipped in the bud” claim: “if only” Antifascists had beat up the fascist movements early enough, the latter would have been nipped in the bud.  Since reason and debate failed to stop the rise of fascism, they argue, we must use street violence – which, by the way, failed even more decisively.
This is totally ahistorical.  Fascism exalted violence, and violence was its preferred testing ground. Both Communists and Fascists were fighting in the streets and the atmosphere of violence helped fascism thrive as a bulwark against Bolshevism, gaining the crucial support of leading capitalists and militarists in their countries, which brought them to power.
Since historic fascism no longer exists, Bray’s Antifa have broadened their notion of “fascism” to include anything that violates the current Identity Politics canon: from “patriarchy” (a pre-fascist attitude to put it mildly) to “transphobia” (decidedly a post-fascist problem).
The masked militants of Antifa seem to be more inspired by Batman than by Marx or even by Bakunin.
Storm Troopers of the Neoliberal War Party
Since Mark Bray offers European credentials for current U.S. Antifa, it is appropriate to observe what Antifa amounts to in Europe today.
In Europe, the tendency takes two forms.  Black Bloc activists regularly invade various leftist demonstrations in order to smash windows and fight the police.  These testosterone exhibits are of minor political significance, other than provoking public calls to strengthen police forces.  They are widely suspected of being influenced by police infiltration.
As an example, last September 23, several dozen black-clad masked ruffians, tearing down posters and throwing stones, attempted to storm the platform where the flamboyant Jean-Luc Mélenchon was to address the mass meeting of La France Insoumise, today the leading leftist party in France. Their unspoken message seemed to be that nobody is revolutionary enough for them.  Occasionally, they do actually spot a random skinhead to beat up.  This establishes their credentials as “anti-fascist”.
They use these credentials to arrogate to themselves the right to slander others in a sort of informal self-appointed inquisition.
As prime example, in late 2010, a young woman named Ornella Guyet appeared in Paris seeking work as a journalist in various leftist periodicals and blogs. She “tried to infiltrate everywhere”, according to the former director of Le Monde diplomatique, Maurice Lemoine, who “always intuitively distrusted her” when he hired her as an intern.
Viktor Dedaj, who manages one of the main leftist sites in France, Le Grand Soir, was among those who tried to help her, only to experience an unpleasant surprise a few months later.  Ornella had become a self-appointed inquisitor dedicated to denouncing “conspirationism, confusionism, anti-Semitism and red-brown” on Internet.  This took the form of personal attacks on individuals whom she judged to be guilty of those sins. What is significant is that all her targets were opposed to U.S. and NATO aggressive wars in the Middle East.
Indeed, the timing of her crusade coincided with the “regime change” wars that destroyed Libya and tore apart Syria.  The attacks singled out leading critics of those wars.
Viktor Dedaj was on her hit list.  So was Michel Collon, close to the Belgian Workers Party, author, activist and manager of the bilingual site Investig’action.  So was François Ruffin, film-maker, editor of the leftist journal Fakir elected recently to the National Assembly on the list of Mélenchon’s party La France Insoumise.  And so on.  The list is long.
The targeted personalities are diverse, but all have one thing in common: opposition to aggressive wars.  What’s more, so far as I can tell, just about everyone opposed to those wars is on her list.
The main technique is guilt by association.  High on the list of mortal sins is criticism of the European Union, which is associated with “nationalism” which is associated with “fascism” which is associated with “anti-Semitism”, hinting at a penchant for genocide.  This coincides perfectly with the official policy of the EU and EU governments, but Antifa uses much harsher language.
In mid-June 2011, the anti-EU party Union Populaire Républicaine led by François Asselineau was the object of slanderous insinuations on Antifa internet sites signed by “Marie-Anne Boutoleau” (a pseudonym for Ornella Guyet).  Fearing violence, owners cancelled scheduled UPR meeting places in Lyon.  UPR did a little investigation, discovering that Ornella Guyet was on the speakers list at a March 2009 Seminar on International Media organized in Paris by the Center for the Study of International Communications and the School of Media and Public Affairs at George Washington University.  A surprising association for such a zealous crusader against “red-brown”.
In case anyone has doubts, “red-brown” is a term used to smear anyone with generally leftist views – that is, “red” – with the fascist color “brown”.  This smear can be based on having the same opinion as someone on the right, speaking on the same platform with someone on the right, being published alongside someone on the right, being seen at an anti-war demonstration also attended by someone on the right, and so on.  This is particularly useful for the War Party, since these days, many conservatives are more opposed to war than leftists who have bought into the “humanitarian war” mantra.
The government doesn’t need to repress anti-war gatherings.  Antifa does the job.
The Franco-African comedien Dieudonné M’Bala M’Bala, stigmatized for anti-Semitism since 2002 for his TV sketch lampooning an Israeli settler as part of George W. Bush’s “Axis of Good”, is not only a target, but serves as a guilty association for anyone who defends his right to free speech – such as Belgian professor Jean Bricmont, virtually blacklisted in France for trying to get in a word in favor of free speech during a TV talk show.  Dieudonné has been banned from the media, sued and fined countless times, even sentenced to jail in Belgium, but continues to enjoy a full house of enthusiastic supporters at his one-man shows, where the main political message is opposition to war.
Still, accusations of being soft on Dieudonné can have serious effects on individuals in more precarious positions, since the mere hint of “anti-Semitism” can be a career killer in France. Invitations are cancelled, publications refused, messages go unanswered.
In April 2016, Ornella Guyet dropped out of sight, amid strong suspicions about her own peculiar associations.
The moral of this story is simple.  Self-appointed radical revolutionaries can be the most useful thought police for the neoliberal war party.
I am not suggesting that all, or most, Antifa are agents of the establishment. But they can be manipulated, infiltrated or impersonated precisely because they are self-anointed and usually more or less disguised.
Silencing Necessary Debate
One who is certainly sincere is Mark Bray, author of The Intifa Handbook.  It is clear where Mark Bray is coming from when he writes (p.36-7): “… Hitler’s ‘final solution’ murdered six million Jews in gas chambers, with firing squads, through hunger and lack of medical treatment in squalid camps and ghettoes, with beatings, by working them to death, and through suicidal despair.  Approximately two out of every three Jews on the continent were killed, including some of my relatives.”
This personal history explains why Mark Bray feels passionately about “fascism”.  This is perfectly understandable in one who is haunted by fear that “it can happen again”.
However, even the most justifiable emotional concerns do not necessarily contribute to wise counsel.  Violent reactions to fear may seem to be strong and effective when in reality they are morally weak and practically ineffectual.
We are in a period of great political confusion.  Labelling every manifestation of “political incorrectness” as fascism impedes clarification of debate over issues that very much need to be defined and clarified.
The scarcity of fascists has been compensated by identifying criticism of immigration as fascism.  This identification, in connection with rejection of national borders, derives much of its emotional force above all from the ancestral fear in the Jewish community of being excluded from the nations in which they find themselves.
The issue of immigration has different aspects in different places.  It is not the same in European countries as in the United States. There is a basic distinction between immigrants and immigration.  Immigrants are people who deserve consideration.  Immigration is a policy that needs to be evaluated.  It should be possible to discuss the policy without being accused of persecuting the people.  After all, trade union leaders have traditionally opposed mass immigration, not out of racism, but because it can be a deliberate capitalist strategy to bring down wages.
In reality, immigration is a complex subject, with many aspects that can lead to reasonable compromise.  But to polarize the issue misses the chances for compromise.  By making mass immigration the litmus test of whether or not one is fascist, Antifa intimidation impedes reasonable discussion.  Without discussion, without readiness to listen to all viewpoints, the issue will simply divide the population into two camps, for and against.  And who will win such a confrontation?
A recent survey* shows that mass immigration is increasingly unpopular in all European countries. The complexity of the issue is shown by the fact that in the vast majority of European countries, most people believe they have a duty to welcome refugees, but disapprove of continued mass immigration. The official argument that immigration is a good thing is accepted by only 40%, compared to 60% of all Europeans who believe that “immigration is bad for our country”.  A left whose principal cause is open borders will become increasingly unpopular.
Childish Violence
The idea that the way to shut someone up is to punch him in the jaw is as American as Hollywood movies. It is also typical of the gang war that prevails in certain parts of Los Angeles.  Banding together with others “like us” to fight against gangs of “them” for control of turf is characteristic of young men in uncertain circumstances.  The search for a cause can involve endowing such conduct with a political purpose: either fascist or antifascist.  For disoriented youth, this is an alternative to joining the U.S. Marines.
American Antifa looks very much like a middle class wedding between Identity Politics and gang warfare.  Mark Bray (page 175) quotes his DC Antifa source as implying that the motive of would-be fascists is to side with “the most powerful kid in the block” and will retreat if scared.  Our gang is tougher than your gang.
That is also the logic of U.S. imperialism, which habitually declares of its chosen enemies: “All they understand is force.”  Although Antifa claim to be radical revolutionaries, their mindset is perfectly typical the atmosphere of violence which prevails in militarized America.
In another vein, Antifa follows the trend of current Identity Politics excesses that are squelching free speech in what should be its citadel, academia.  Words are considered so dangerous that “safe spaces” must be established to protect people from them.  This extreme vulnerability to injury from words is strangely linked to tolerance of real physical violence.
Wild Goose Chase
In the United States, the worst thing about Antifa is the effort to lead the disoriented American left into a wild goose chase, tracking down imaginary “fascists” instead of getting together openly to work out a coherent positive program.  The United States has more than its share of weird individuals, of gratuitous aggression, of crazy ideas, and tracking down these marginal characters, whether alone or in groups, is a huge distraction.  The truly dangerous people in the United States are safely ensconced in Wall Street, in Washington Think Tanks, in the executive suites of the sprawling military industry, not to mention the editorial offices of some of the mainstream media currently adopting a benevolent attitude toward “anti-fascists” simply because they are useful in focusing on the maverick Trump instead of themselves.
Antifa USA, by defining “resistance to fascism” as resistance to lost causes – the Confederacy, white supremacists and for that matter Donald Trump – is actually distracting from resistance to the ruling neoliberal establishment, which is also opposed to the Confederacy and white supremacists and has already largely managed to capture Trump by its implacable campaign of denigration. That ruling establishment, which in its insatiable foreign wars and introduction of police state methods, has successfully used popular “resistance to Trump” to make him even worse than he already was.
The facile use of the term “fascist” gets in the way of thoughtful identification and definition of the real enemy of humanity today.  In the contemporary chaos, the greatest and most dangerous upheavals in the world all stem from the same source, which is hard to name, but which we might give the provisional simplified label of Globalized Imperialism.  This amounts to a multifaceted project to reshape the world to satisfy the demands of financial capitalism, the military industrial complex, United States ideological vanity and the megalomania of leaders of lesser “Western” powers, notably Israel.  It could be called simply “imperialism”, except that it is much vaster and more destructive than the historic imperialism of previous centuries.  It is also much more disguised.  And since it bears no clear label such as “fascism”, it is difficult to denounce in simple terms.
The fixation on preventing a form of tyranny that arose over 80 years ago, under very different circumstances, obstructs recognition of the monstrous tyranny of today. Fighting the previous war leads to defeat.
Donald Trump is an outsider who will not be let inside. The election of Donald Trump is above all a grave symptom of the decadence of the American political system, totally ruled by money, lobbies, the military-industrial complex and corporate media.  Their lies are undermining the very basis of democracy.  Antifa has gone on the offensive against the one weapon still in the hands of the people: the right to free speech and assembly.
Notes:
* «Où va la démocratie?», une enquête  de la Fondation pour l’innovation politique sous la direction de Dominique Reynié, (Plon, Paris, 2017).


Diana Johnstone is the author of Fools’ Crusade: Yugoslavia, NATO, and Western Delusions. Her new book is Queen of Chaos: the Misadventures of Hillary Clinton. She can be reached at diana.johnstone@wanadoo.fr
 

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Arrby
Reader

“The facile use of the term “fascist”…” Diane’s article is marred, in my opinion, by a weird bias. She makes the case that antifa prefers violence over words – which ‘can’ be dangerous, which must be acknowledged – and then dismissed those who don’t agree with her concept of fascism. She unnecessarily complicates things, as so many who talk about fascism do. Historical fascism and fascism are still fascism Diane. Conversations about fascism don’t require your stamp of approval. Do they?

Big B
Reader
Big B

Talking of fascist anti-fascist organisations – working to further the globalist agenda: I would add our very own prototypical Hate not Hope, sorry, Hope not Hate, to the list. Calved from New Labour – featuring such luminaries as Ruth Smeeth MP (former deputy leader), Nick Lowles, and Brendan Cox – most recently deployed (with Avaaz – to defend Soros’ ‘weapons of mass migration’ programme) and discredit the Defend Europe mission to chronicle (illegal) NGO activity in the Med. Talking of Soros – he has recently declared open (society) warfare on humanity – by bequeathing $18.9bn to the Open Society Foundation.… Read more »

Peter
Reader
Peter

Some of you may remember a terrorist group in Germany in the 1970s called the Red Army Faction. They also used to call themselves anti-fascists, but that didn’t stop them killing innocent men, women and children.
I have no doubt that sooner rather than later, some unhinged member of antifa is to go snap and set off a bomb somewhere.

jag37777
Reader

Didn’t the Red faction end up being stooges for a Gladio op? Or am I confused?

BigB
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BigB

My thoughts exactly. Prada-Meinhoff (RAF) – beloved by the leftist intelligentsia (including Sartre I believe) – put the anti-imperialist chic into terrorism. Trained and infiltrated by the Stasi. I think they fooled everyone.

Frank
Reader
Frank

Seeing as the word ‘Fascism’ has become meaningless due to improper and repetitive use it may be useful to define it in historical and political terms. The term Fascism started life with Mussolini’s movement in Italy (1)and then a little later in Germany. It was a mass counter-revolutionary movement from below involving hundreds of thousands of adherents, including many embittered returning war veterans during the 1920s and 30s, a period of mass unemployment and post-war austerity in both Germany and Italy. The fundamental tenets of fascism were aggressive nationalism, cultural symbolism, a charismatic leader, rabid anti-semitism (at least in Germany)… Read more »

jag37777
Reader

Thanks. Well written.

Eric Blair
Reader

The mainstream left has been so completely hoodwinked by the establishment that they apparently never stop and ask themselves why CNN, MSNBC etc. are all of a sudden singing the praises of Antifa? Do these media organizations usually praise self-styled “radical leftists” (or actual leftists)? No they do not. So why now? Radical change of heart in the boardrooms of corporate media or are Antifa and other nominal leftists letting themselves be used as tools of the ruling elites? And why are a lot of otherwise pretty sharp-minded people falling for this ploy?

Arrby
Reader

Succinct and right on.

Jerry Alatalo
Reader

Ms. Johnstone refers to Donald Trump as “an outsider who won’t be let inside”, which is possibly? expressing some measure of support for Trump on her part, and makes her point, whatever it is, quite difficult to grasp. Nobody in Antifa has come out and spoke powerfully about 9/11. And come to think of it, unless we missed something nobody at Counterpunch has been outspoken about 9/11 either, possibly because its editors censor articles questioning the official government narrative on what (never) happened on September 11, 2001. Think “left” gatekeeper. The same ill-informed Americans who voted for Clinton like lemmings… Read more »

Big B
Reader
Big B

Unless someone wants to disabuse me of the notion: Antifa seem to be the latest marginal acquisition onto the books of Capitalist utilities … joining the more established core tenets: such as the ‘independent’ central banking system (laugh until I cry); the CIA; and the various franchises of Daesh/AQ [who. like the Strolling Bones before them, seem to have departed on a perennial ‘Clash of Civilisations: The End of the World Tour’.] Whether they are an organic grassroots; or inorganic astroturf organisation doesn’t really matter. They are being manipulated and co-opted into the Capitalist pantheon. Taking a reactionary social movement… Read more »

Anonymous Coward
Reader
Anonymous Coward

What is it with the rubes that think the government is shady enough to launch wars around the world, poison, torture, experiment on and rip off its own citizens, but when it comes to harming its citizens with terrorist violence then it will play pretend and use actors, sound effects, official secrets act signings, all sorts of fantastical nonsense because of some sort of internal moral compass. The truth is that if the government was behind it they would have just used live ammo and a man with a gun for the authenticity and deniability. To believe anything else outs… Read more »

Big B
Reader
Big B

So to achieve socially acceptable ‘sanity’: you can (safely) challenge part of the received narrative – but must on faith, blindly accept other parts of that very same flawed narrative? [And the arbiter of who is a ‘discredited joke’ is …] Interesting applied peer pressure social conformism theory: forgive me if I choose to opt out.

Anonymous Coward
Reader
Anonymous Coward

Ah, the classic “but what if, like, the world was the crazy one, maaaan?”. Start explaining the logic behind your theory at any time, your Icke-esque complaining about appeals to using your brain don’t sway me at all.
You are peddling Francis E. Dec tier nonsense and hiding behind its non-falsifiability. There is no reason or logic to calling in the CIA black helicopter special effects and sound and lighting engineer regiment when you can use a single man with a gun.

Big B
Reader
Big B

If you wanted to put meat on your theory that this was a “single man with a gun” live fire shooting: that went down the way the media said – there is the perfect opportunity to do so on the next post. Or do you plan on living up to your name? Vaguely peurile ad homs make no case or argument at all. You are basically acting as an alternative authority and surrogate proxy for the Lügenpresse. Your appeals to join you by not using my brain don’t sway me at all.

Eric Blair
Reader

So the relatives who lost people in the shooting, sorry, “shooting”, are all actors or where the “victims” dragged into a government warehouse and executed by Democrat operatives? Perhaps they were killed in the “ambulances” en route to the “hospitals?” Or maybe it actually [i]was[/i] a lone whack job killing people with a high-powered rifle. You know, the kind of thing that happens all the time in pre-collapse America. Like inner-city violence…or is that “faked” too? Seeing hidden conspiracies behind [i]every[/i] kill event makes you a lazy thinker at best, and a paranoid fool at worst. But hey, who needs… Read more »

Big B
Reader
Big B

In the words of the famous surrealist painter, Rene Magritte – “Ceci n’est pas une pipe” [the Treachery of Images: this {pipe} is not a pipe.] Lazy thinking it may be, but in over 30 years of ‘official versions’ of events: I’ve yet to find a credible one. The ‘truth’ is ALWAYS manipulated to an ends. [Even at Grenfell Tower, which was a bona fide disaster: the BBC {Victoria Derbyshire} were on the scene with a ‘crisis actor’ reading from a script … to create the ‘official’ narrative. That’s what the media do: corral the truth. {The truth: they can’t… Read more »

Eric Blair
Reader

Whoops…the [ ] should have been < >

Greg Bacon
Reader

Antifa claims to be protesting against fascism by demanding that their voice is the only one heard and if you don’t agree to that, they’ll descend upon you like a gang of street thugs and bash your skull. And destroy property along the way and as long as the windows are broken, they’ll do some righteous,/i> looting.
So what makes Antifa different from the Hitler-type brown-shirts they claim to protest?

rehmat1
Reader
rehmat1

Antifa is against non-white immigration but supports the Zionist entity – that’s why it’s supported by American patriots.
https://rehmat1.com/2017/08/24/alan-dershowitz-antifa-is-anti-american/

klarity
Reader
klarity

The simplistic comments on the facebook feed typify the current lack of analysis in much of the now so called left. It boils down to “if your not with antifa, then you must be fascist.” No ability to see that there might be a bigger agenda at play, or to consider that the great manipulators, the imperialistic oligarchs, might be once again using the average persons goodness and sense of right to instill outrage and allow further carnage. It is really great to have the workers of the world fighting each other, rather than their true oppressors.

Harry Stotle
Reader

‘It could be called simply “imperialism”, except that it is much vaster and more destructive than the historic imperialism of previous centuries. It is also much more disguised. And since it bears no clear label such as “fascism”, it is difficult to denounce in simple terms’ – indeed, yet there is a willful sort of blindness to such realities, as Pinter spells out in his masterful ‘Nobel’ lecture. And as bad as he is, endless attacks on Trump only muddy the waters further. Yesterday Freedland was trotting out a fairly typical anti-Trump piece in the Guardian. https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/oct/13/donald-trump-can-be-removed-from-presidency-democrats-winning-elections Yet mods were… Read more »

Alambar
Reader
Alambar

This was going to be a great website, but unfortunately the fascistoid garbage is starting to find its way here…first Giulietto Chiesa, now Diana Johnstone…a real shame.

manfromatlan
Reader

You just proved the writer’s point, that if someone’s against your methods, you must be a fascist.

Andrew
Reader
Andrew

Excellent piece. Diana Johnstone is one of the few who can restore my faith in Counterpunch. I basically stopped reading it a few weeks ago, because in my opinion it was becoming a bit dubious, kinda like Alternet or Salon. Eric Draitser in particular, was getting on my t1ts. But thanks for posting this one Off-guardian.

Seamus Padraig
Reader
Seamus Padraig

You spoke too soon. CounterPunch has just hit back at Diana Johnstone for her anti-antifa piece: https://www.counterpunch.org/2017/10/16/the-nimpe-critique-of-antifa/

Arrby
Reader

Well, I’m reading that one right now (Thanks!) and I agree with much that Abitai Ben-Abba says, but not all. Diane sets herself up for arrows, in my view, by going on about non-existent fascism. Which is too bad because she makes many good points. For example, When she noted that examining immigration isn’t the same as examining immigrants, I immediately recalled the Brexit argument of folks like John Oliver, in which it was posited that we must think about the economy. We must defend the economy yadda, yadda. Bosses hated Brexit and that told those of us who genuinely… Read more »

Arrby
Reader

Amitai Ben-Abba’s too easy defense of violence is, in my view, his big no no. He slams Noam Chomsky (which more and more people these days like to do, but they overlook his Syria myopia) and Chris Hedges for their slamming of those (like Antifa) who promote violent solutions to violence. He loses me here. But, If he’s sincere in his position and his position is anti-Corporatocracy, I think that we have to cut him some slack, not by approving of his pro-violence position, but by informing him that he’s got some issues. He does no better a job at… Read more »

Nils
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Nils

And John Wight and the EU lovers.

flybow
Reader
flybow

When nazi types used to come to the bloody sunday marches in London. we used to deal with them. (red action) Otherwise they just picked off people who were on their own.

bevin
Reader
bevin

“When nazi types used to come to the bloody sunday marches in London. we used to deal with them. (red action).” And how did those sort of tactics pan out? Into Blairism, on the one hand, and obscurantist neo-Trotskyist sectarianism on the other. Socialism as a popular and living idea almost disappeared as Chris Harman and Jack Straw took over. The Antifa view appears to be that fascism stems from the ancient hatreds and prejudices of the unenlightened, uneducated, dark people and its relationships with capitalism and imperialism are purely coincidental. The notion that fascism triumphed in Germany, Italy, Spain… Read more »

flybow
Reader
flybow

Bevin. why don’t you answer?

flybow
Reader
flybow

Hey bevin. You want respond? I am sick of pussies like you, who have no idea of what is like dealing with racists. Are you going to respond?

flybow
Reader
flybow

You ever going to answer the question? We took these scum off the street. When the thugs that way come for you, use a polemic. They will kill you. But I will be there to batter them. Your polemic? Or would you like help? Please respond, as you have no FUCKING IDEA about racism/neo nazism. HAVE YOU EVER taken on a real nazi skinhead? Have you? You are deluded. But the likes of me will protect idiots like you.. You ae a moron. You have no fucking idea. Have you seen a flat petrol bombed front and back? Have you???????… Read more »

flybow
Reader
flybow

You ever going to answer the question? We took these scum off the street. When the thugser that way come for you, use a polemic. They will kill you. But I will be there to batter them. Your polemic? Or would you like help? Please respond, as you have no FUCKING IDEA about racism/neo nazism. HAVE YOU EVER taken on a real nazi skinhead? Have you? You are deluded. But the likes of me will protect idiots like you.. You ae a moron. You have no fucking idea. Have you seen a flat petrol bombed front and back? Have you???????… Read more »

Norman Pilon
Reader

“Socialism as a popular and living idea almost disappeared as Chris Harman and Jack Straw took over.”
Question: in what sense — as I think you are implying — would the like of Chris Harman be responsible for the demise of socialism as a popular and living idea?
I’m not challenging your implied thesis. Merely looking for a little elaboration.

flybow
Reader
flybow

So do you think they should be allowed to walk the streets and beat people up?
will the democratic trade unions, community movements and socialist parties. Deal with them? NO. How did it “pan out”? We took these scum off the streets.

Big B
Reader
Big B

@bevin: don’t forget the funding. “… but the state, and the intelligentsia, the ‘clerisy’ in class society, [and the Wall St bankers] consistently sided with fascists…” Hitler was funded by Brown Brothers-Harriman (through various fronts; most notably the Union Banking Corp – facilitated by the industrialist Fritz Thyssen on the German side) from 1920-1942 (when they were partially closed down under the Trading With The Enemy Act – and Prescott Bush had his assets frozen.*) The organic resistance movements: including the original Antifa (Antifaschistische Aktion) – didn’t stand much of chance once Hitler started to receive Capitalist backing? And now… Read more »

manfromatlan
Reader

Supported Lenin too.

flybow
Reader
flybow

B. Don’t forget Montague Norman, the then gov of the bank of England

Big B
Reader
Big B

flybow: I hadn’t – I was just trying to keep it short and sweet!

flybow
Reader
flybow

Fair enough mate.

flybow
Reader
flybow

I wonder about some of the people who visit this site.

Arrby
Reader

You’re going to get that everywhere where commenting is allowed. Once I find that a commenter is someone who I think is up to no good, I simply ignore all their further posts. Nothing says that you have to read them. Someone can tell me that I should or that I must, but I don’t agree. Is arguing all the time, in anger, with someone, who you can instead get away from, productive?