A couple weeks ago a friend posted a video on Facebook – Ben Shapiro’s “Undercover in Antifa: Their Tactics and Media Support Exposed!”, available on YouTube – which was full of enlightening information. I’d already guessed, from studying the Charlottesville caper, that Antifa (like BLM) was an unofficial goon-squad for a very-well-funded branch of the anti-Trump crowd, but I hadn’t known so many of the details.
I noticed in the video that the Antifa crowd are uniformly young, at least a little on the pudgy side, soft-handed, physically unskilled, and nonchalant about their own money – as if they’ve never imagined being without enough of it. They’re eager to use assorted hand-weapons, or even guns, but don’t seem to have much experience with or knowledge of them. Above all, they’re supremely self-righteous – as if assuming that all the proper people in the world – including the government -- automatically must think as they do, and anyone who doesn’t simply must be a lunatic or a Nazi. In brief, they look like middle-to-upper-class college students, with none of the practical skills, knowledge or attitudes that working-class or poor kids would pick up just by surviving.
The video confirms that they’re most often found around liberal university campuses, actively supported, encouraged, and even protected by liberal university professors. In short, Antifa is the extreme action-faction of the Special Snowflake/Social Justice Warrior/Limousine Liberal crowd that infests most of the more expensive liberal-arts and state universities these days. They’re particularly dangerous young Parlor Pinks. And yes, they’ve been declared a “domestic terrorist” organization by the FBI. Yet they’re still lionized by the Liberal media, who give much coverage to their abundant anti-Nazi – and anti-Trump – picket-signs, particularly over their “counter-protest” role in the carefully-sculpted Charlottesville incident.
Besides my general dislike for Parlor Pinks, I’m especially incensed by reporters and editors who describe Antifa enthusiasts as “anarchists”. As a lifelong ideological Anarchist myself, I can tell you that they’re anything but. Real Anarchists, whether they come to it from the non-Marxist Left or the Libertarian Right, are people who have done a lot of serious research, self-examination, and studying – of everything from history to psychology – pondering the question of how to maintain a decent and free society without even the possibility of tyranny: in other words, how to have order without “law”.
This means, clearly, that they themselves must live outside the protections of law and government; they must provide such for themselves, and they’re on their own. The Anarchist and the outlaw have much in common, and must learn the same lessons to survive. Chief among these is Bob Dylan’s famous line: “To live outside the law, you must be honest.” Because humans are social animals, nobody survives alone; we all need our social support networks. To keep a network, one has to make bargains and adjustments with other people – and stick to them reliably. The Anarchist and the outlaw have to manage this without a government’s law and enforcement to fall back on – quite the contrary, if anything – and that takes considerable thought, and work.
Even as youngsters, these are not the kind of students who plot how to use accusations of racism/sexism to blackmail a professor into giving them a better grade. They’re not the sort to evade facts, manipulate statistics, sneer at logic, and elevate their own precious passions – particularly their cherished Outrage – to the position of moral standards. They’re not such flaming hypocrites as to demand absolute freedom of expression for themselves while noisily – and violently – denying it to anybody else. These are not the type to believe that “the only thing that matters is what other people think of you.”
Above all, real Anarchists must be realists – or they don’t last very long. Whether they come from the working class – like Nestor Makhno and Murray Bookchin – or the aristocracy – like Prince Peter Kropotkin and Count Leo Tolstoy – they know full well that they are a minority even among rebels, are feared and hated by tyrants from both ends of the political scale, and don’t have (or really want) enough power to enforce their will on “the masses”, or actually much of anyone. They approach political situations with the watchful caution of a soldier in a war-zone, not with the thoughtless arrogance of elitism. (Isn’t it ironic that the Antifas accuse everyone they don’t like of “privilege”, while unconsciously assuming it for themselves? There are many other such ironies, not to mention hypocrisies, in the wonderful world of Antifa – including their name.)
The working weapon of real Anarchists is persuasion – with verifiable facts and logic, with thought-provoking art, or with a tactic called “reality tripping”: luring people into experiencing a situation for themselves. This tactic is attributed to no less than Will Rogers, for his famous quote: “There are three kinds of people: the few that can learn from reading or being told, the few more that can learn from seeing someone else do it, and all the rest of us who have to learn by p!ssing on the electric fence for ourselves.” Using this tactic takes extensive forethought, study, and planning – activities for which Antifa is not at all famous.
Real Anarchists will consider using violence -- with extreme caution, not from moral objections but from tactical ones. The 19th-century stereotype of the bomb-throwing (usually at some Czar’s or Emperor’s relatives) Anarchist is long obsolete, if only because surviving Anarchists observed the effects of all those bomb-throwings, and concluded that it was a tactic of extremely limited usefulness.
Anarchism has survived as a political movement for well over a century, despite heavy “evolutionary pressure”, precisely because of its intelligence – in both senses of the word. Thoughtless, excitable, morally arrogant, mentally lazy, emotionally childish, unconsciously “privileged” Anarchists do not exist – at least, not for long. Antifa is not an Anarchist organization in any sense of the word.
“By their works ye shall know them”, and by their actions the Antifa crowd have shown themselves to be the very Fascists they claim to oppose. This seems to be par for the course in modern American politics, where loyal Democrats sneer at “populism”, self-styled “Conservatives” welcome Black, Jewish, gay and female supporters and even leaders, and People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals are notorious for trying to exterminate whole species of domestic animals. Welcome to the age of hypocrisy.
--Leslie <;)))>< (To be continued)