Antifa: The New Antifascists?

Section Editor: Malcolm Green

Fascism after World War One had risen to international prominence. Hitler would use his newly attained autocratic power to persecute the historically marginalized communities. He used violence and divisive policies that restricted free speech to dismiss any political opposition. This is often our modern and distorted view of what fascism is.

Hitler’s violence was equated with his fascism, so nowadays whenever a new movement expels what they deem alienation they are labeled fascists. A fascist will rise out of situations where the impoverished conditions of squalor seek respite in scapegoating and nationalism.

A fascist defaces all his opposition through slander and denounces them as not being patriots or loyal to the national cause.

There is a new movement that uses their inviolable rules of egalitarianism to restrict fascist supporters across the world; they call themselves Antifa (Anti-Fascists).

Antifa Flag

The flag of Antifa, it is commonly seen as an alternative to the increasingly present and volatile alt-right movement in America (Photo Courtesy of Creative Commons).

 

This is one difference between the fascist and the Antifascist. Antifa loathes the authoritarian national zeal of fascists. The fascist revels in its autocracy.

The fascist utilizes all forms of violence at his disposal. All his acts are ones of channeled discrimination, pressured by the primal urge to hate. Antifa is angry, but only against the fascist. The fascist is angry and dictates his life by such a creed of vindictive exasperation and petulant barbarism against the operative fighters of production, the worker.

So, the comparison between the two practices is a false dichotomy, a non-starter which serves no purpose greater than to suppress their movement.

As Juandres Rincon, Junior Woodstock High, explored “The difference between fascists and Antifa is that fascists are intolerant totems that don’t reflect the true character and moral content of people, while Antifa acts on the reverse. They see the purity in all people’s hearts, while the fascist sees only a quality to be exploited.”

Antifa Protest

Antifa protests have often erupted into what many would call riots, but they usually begin with the same peaceful manner of resisting fascism on the street (Photo Courtesy of Creative Commons).

 

The one unifying ideology of Antifa is that fascism must come to a halt. They do so through violence, Molotov cocktails, and the intimidation of an intimidating people. There is no neutrality in their mind, a fascist is a fascist; a nationalist who flaunts his authoritarian rule with no discretion.

This is why they are hailed as the new fascists. They are viewed as modern opponents to free speech, and in some ways they are. To them, the violence is a necessary evil. Even John Locke, an avid proponent of modern day republicanism and often a point of critique for Antifa members, agreed that “When the government becomes tyrannical, revolution becomes a responsibility.”

They are devout in their belief that the government shall never become an infallible entity. They believe that the government of any authority must be held to scrutiny.

But many continue that their mannerisms of revolt and riot are counteractive to democratic values. They suggest that these aggressions are
only pacifying civility and prevent any meaningful discourse. However, the Antifa members maintain that this resistance is not terrorism and this revolt is not fascism. With a resolve of passion, oration, and minimal and precise violence when necessary, Antifa continues in defamation of fascism. They will suffer the torment of other evils, but refuse the universal struggle of fascism.

However, their devotion to opposing fascism has propelled them onto the national stage of examination. Their actions at UC Berkeley were heralded as bigoted itself despite being in directed towards Milo Yiannopoulos, a man who is the antithesis of anti-fascism.

Milo

Milo has become a figure of controversy with his recent firing from Breitbart News (Photo Courtesy of creative Commons).

 

Antifa refused to allow him to speak. This caused many, such as Woodstock High Junior Murphy Stark, to note “Antifa, while having good intentions, a good background, and a good cause, has morphed into an organization that oppresses almost as much as the ideology it opposes through restriction of free speech and other forms of expression in places such as college campuses in Berkeley. They use a blanket definition for fascism, encompassing a wide web of people who may not inherently be fascist, but Antifa does not care.”

These criticisms are justified, Antifa has ensured that fascists and fascist supporters are not allowed to exercise their first amendment right, something they own up to. However, as Holocaust survivor Franz Frison says “If fascism could be defeated in debate, I assure you that it would never have happened. Neither in Germany nor in Italy.”

Despite Antifa not being fascists themselves, they do force an important piece of debate. Do we allow those who espouse ideas that could potentially conflict great pain upon the world a right to speak, or do we refuse them their rights altogether?

Comments

  1. Jared Smith says:

    lots of bias in this article, can’t say I wanted to read it any more than I wanted to jump in a hole.

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