Antifa and “the black bloc” are everywhere currently, if they’re not tipping bins over at inauguration celebrations, they’re smashing up Starbucks because Milo is nearby. That amongst several assaults. It was a pretty clear attempt to disrupt the speech, which credit where credit is due – they did stop the speech. However they didn’t stop people buying Milo’s book and pushing it waaaay up on the Amazon sales. So well done, you played yourself.
Given the buzz around antifa, the black bloc currently I figured I’d capitalise on the situation and write a piece I’ve wanted to write for a while. This post is going to be a comparison between the 14 defining characteristics of fascism by Dr Lawrence Britt, and the behaviours of the anti-fascist & anarchist groups which make up the black bloc.
Powerful and Continuing Nationalism – Fascist regimes tend to make constant use of patriotic mottos, slogans, symbols, songs, and other paraphernalia. Flags are seen everywhere, as are flag symbols on clothing and in public displays.
So that’s 1/14 right off the bat, and this is only for the specific group called antifa. All the various other groups of anarchists, from ancoms to anpacs all have their own flags and doctrine. A great quick summary of all the groups and their flags can be found here if you’re interested.
Disdain for the Recognition of Human Rights – Because of fear of enemies and the need for security, the people in fascist regimes are persuaded that human rights can be ignored in certain cases because of “need.” The people tend to look the other way or even approve of torture, summary executions, assassinations, long incarcerations of prisoners, etc.
Well, that’s just one case, its not like anyone made a website saying this was a standard we could apply to anyone where there’s a “need”. Right? And there’s nobody online defending political violence like this at all is there?
Shit. 2/14. Not to mention the various other accounts of assault which have taken place as a result of these people. Including a woman being pepper sprayed in the face while giving a TV interview at the most recent protest in Berkeley.
Identification of Enemies/Scapegoats as a Unifying Cause – The people are rallied into a unifying patriotic frenzy over the need to eliminate a perceived common threat or foe: racial , ethnic or religious minorities; liberals; communists; socialists, terrorists, etc.
A perceived common threat or foe, such as Nazis? Or Trump? 3/14.
Supremacy of the Military – Even when there are widespread domestic problems, the military is given a disproportionate amount of government funding, and the domestic agenda is neglected. Soldiers and military service are glamorized.
The “soldiers” of anti-fa are certainly not glamorised by articles supporting their work and encouraging other people to take up the cause. And there’s nothing on antifa facebook groups that would suggest this either!!!
How about celebrity endorsements? I bet there’s none of those glamorising this kind of crap, right?
4/14. Well shit.
Rampant Sexism – The governments of fascist nations tend to be almost exclusively male-dominated. Under fascist regimes, traditional gender roles are made more rigid. Divorce, abortion and homosexuality are suppressed and the state is represented as the ultimate guardian of the family institution.
Now this one’s not an easy one to find any evidence for or against. There is this one clip, which involves some antifa guy totally ignoring the fact that a woman tried to punch this guy AND spat on him before he punched back both times. Which is pretty sexist against men – to call them sexist for defending themselves against a woman – yet her actions of initiating the violence aren’t called into question at all.
But a group of largely anonymous people is really hard to find out if there’s true sexism amongst their ranks. So we’ll just stick with 4/14 to be safe. Benefit of the doubt and all that.
Controlled Mass Media – Sometimes to media is directly controlled by the government, but in other cases, the media is indirectly controlled by government regulation, or sympathetic media spokespeople and executives. Censorship, especially in war time, is very common.
Amongst the sources already provided which shed a sympathetic light on the antifa crowd there are many more – including big news sources which paint antifa as the victims rather than aggressors. Like we can see here with the Guardian’s coverage of a Milo fan who shot someone in self defence. Not only this but antifa groups are known to target the media and attempt to snatch cameras from people. Though they do not have control of mass media, mass media does lend the sympathetic ear towards them, its taking alternative media sites to actually cover and talk about the issues properly. Not to mention the celebrity endorsements we saw above. This definitely makes it 5/14.
Obsession with National Security – Fear is used as a motivational tool by the government over the masses.
People don’t tend to dress up in black, wear masks, carry weapons and attack people for their opinions if they aren’t trying to spread fear. Not to mention the sheer amount of lies spread about Trump and his administration. Some I’ve already covered, such as the accusations against Pence in regards to conversion therapy. Plus there’s this making it 6/14:
Religion and Government are Intertwined – Governments in fascist nations tend to use the most common religion in the nation as a tool to manipulate public opinion. Religious rhetoric and terminology is common from government leaders, even when the major tenets of the religion are diametrically opposed to the government’s policies or actions.
I’d argue instead of religion there’s a lowest common denominator of ideology here. The anarchist ideology. Though this one is really hard to argue for as antifa groups are not the Government. Still 6/14.
Corporate Power is Protected – The industrial and business aristocracy of a fascist nation often are the ones who put the government leaders into power, creating a mutually beneficial business/government relationship and power elite.
Again, hard to argue for because they’re not in power – and they actively target corporations for vandalism because they put people they believe to be fascists in power.
Labor Power is Suppressed – Because the organizing power of labor is the only real threat to a fascist government, labor unions are either eliminated entirely, or are severely suppressed.
Unfortunately again, this one is inherently linked to being a government, so we can’t make a good argument for it.
Disdain for Intellectuals and the Arts – Fascist nations tend to promote and tolerate open hostility to higher education, and academia. It is not uncommon for professors and other academics to be censored or even arrested. Free expression in the arts and letters is openly attacked.
Free expression was most definitely attacked at the recent Milo speech. Antifa are okay with academia as long as it isn’t the kind of academia they don’t like. Milo was definitely censored from this event as a result of the antifa efforts. 7/14.
Obsession with Crime and Punishment – Under fascist regimes, the police are given almost limitless power to enforce laws. The people are often willing to overlook police abuses and even forego civil liberties in the name of patriotism. There is often a national police force with virtually unlimited power in fascist nations.
As we’ve seen with the sympathetic coverage of antifa involved events, people are often willing to over look antifa abuses and even forego civil liberties in the name of anti-fascism. Especially when it comes to punching people you believe to be a nazi, even moments after he’s said he’s not a nazi. 8/14.
Rampant Cronyism and Corruption – Fascist regimes almost always are governed by groups of friends and associates who appoint each other to government positions and use governmental power and authority to protect their friends from accountability. It is not uncommon in fascist regimes for national resources and even treasures to be appropriated or even outright stolen by government leaders.
The anonymous nature of these groups makes this one hard to prove either way also.
Fraudulent Elections – Sometimes elections in fascist nations are a complete sham. Other times elections are manipulated by smear campaigns against or even assassination of opposition candidates, use of legislation to control voting numbers or political district boundaries, and manipulation of the media. Fascist nations also typically use their judiciaries to manipulate or control elections.
I’m not sure this one can really apply either, as they didn’t hold or interfere with any elections – that was the Russians, obviously. Still 8/14. If we take out the ones that can’t apply to a non-governmental organisation we’re left with 8/10 – the two that aren’t only aren’t because I can’t prove they are given their anonymous nature.
When you’re guilty of over half of the things that are considered essential for fascism, you might want to rethink the way you’re acting. Especially if you’re acting the way you are to fight fascism. You’re not helping, its like dumping napalm on a forest fire.