With yet another protest in Melbourne this past weekend, one dominated by hate groups and their anti-fascist opponents, I had to ask myself: Does Fascism Still Exist? Or is it just the go-to trump insult used by the radical left to dismiss any opposition?
Hate groups like those seen in Charlottesville, and Melbourne to a lesser extent, are despicable, yes. But being a bigot doesn’t equate to being a fascist. Just as being an ‘anti-fascist’ doesn’t automatically make someone actually anti fascist. Deceptive names are a political tradition. From the National Socialist German Workers’ Party to Australia’s right of centre Liberal Party.
In the wake of the Charlottesville incident, The Telegraph’s Tim Stanley wrote an article with a similar aim to this one in which he outlined the characteristics of fascism as:
- Hatred of democracy. Power should be held by those strong and clever enough to seize it, preferably a dictator.
- The necessity of violence. Force is a legitimate way to achieve power and war is good because it binds us together.
- Biology as destiny. Men are born to work, women to have lots of babies. Europeans are inherently superior thanks to a mix of breeding and education.
- National identity. People are better off sticking to their own, and competition between nations is inevitable and even a constructive force in history.
- Politics is everything. There is no aspect of society that is separable from political theory and action, a view that climaxed in totalitarianism, as depicted in George Orwell’s novel 1984.
In the article, Stanley used the above symptoms to diagnose France’s Marine Le Pen and those responsible for Charlottesville. Here is where our two articles diverge. I won’t be applying Stanley’s identifiers to these obvious candidates but to radical left groups, like Antifa, that might fly under the fascist radar. Not because I disagree with Stanley’s assertion (the groups he labels as fascist almost certainly are) but because those on the radical left are traditionally seen as being in opposition to fascism.
Jordan Peterson has a great analogy: “The Nazi is the guy who knifes you in the alley and steals your wallet and the Communist [which an alarming number of radical leftists are] is the white collar criminal who takes your pension. And you’re actually more afraid of the first person than the second person because the damage they do is more proximal and emotionally recognisable. But the second guy, who takes your pension, is perhaps even more dangerous.”
Nor do I want this to be a juvenile hit piece on the radical left (Relentless has enough of those already). Anyone who simply accuses those they don’t like of being a ‘Nazi’ usually has no real argument. In fact, that behaviour is probably the biggest problem most people have with the radical left as well as being the reason radicals aren’t taken seriously. But, as Stanley said in his article: “if it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck, it’s a duck.”
Before we delve into the comparison, a quick history lesson:
The etymology of fascism goes back to the Ancient Roman fasces, a bundle of sticks tied to an axe and used as a weapon by the bodyguards of Roman Senators inside the demilitarised pomerium. The term came to be associated with the ideology because a bundle of sticks is much harder to break than a single stick.
Even applying this analogy to the modern anti-fascist provokes a similarity. It is Antifa that actively seeks to align itself with any group they see as being in opposition to the establishment. Transgendered people. People of colour, Homosexuals. The disabled. Juggalos. Anyone.
Hatred of democracy.
Love him or hate him, Donald Trump was duly and democratically elected as the President of United States in 2016, yet his inauguration was accompanied by protests and campaigns aimed at overthrowing the democratic process, which continue to this day.
Not only do these ‘anti-fascists’ resist the democratic process but many also refuse to partake in it at all. KGW claims that 79 out of the 112 Portlandians arrested protesting Trump’s election on result night didn’t even vote.
Despite this undemocratic behaviour, democracy allows the perpetrators the right because freedom of speech is one of the most sacred ideals in any democratic society.
Recently though, there has been too many people and events shut down by the radical left simply because they disagree – Jordan Peterson, Milo Yiannopoulos, Ben Shapiro – but the most alarming was Boston’s recent “march against right-wing ‘Free Speech’rally.”
The first lines of the article: “Tens of thousands of people have taken to the streets of Boston to protest against a “Free Speech.””
The headline even states that it was a ‘right wing’ rally as if this justifies its shut down. Right wing has almost become a dirty word. But the disparity and competition between the left and right is almost as integral to democracy as the freedom of speech.
The necessity of violence.
No one is off limits if you disagree with the radical left. Granted, there are just as many videos of radicals being beaten and attacked but all those clashes appear consensual with both parties equally responsible and able, not the unprovoked and unnecessary violence linked above.
And, if the above showcase wasn’t enough to prove leftist radicals violent intent, there are countless examples on the Internet of radicals justifying their use of violence. Here is one ‘antifa’ giraffe explaining why to Tucker Carlson.
Biology as destiny.
“We don’t care what terms you want to speak on. This is not about you. We are not speaking on terms of white privilege.” One [white] radical leftist Evergreen State protester yells at her professor Bret Weinstein in response to Weinstein standing up against racial segregation.
It is a sentiment rampant amongst the radical left. That your race, the biology you have absolutely no say about, defines what you can and can’t do, what you can and can’t say, what your destiny is and isn’t, if you deserve to live or die.
It is the radical left, more than anyone else, who believes “Europeans are inherently superior thanks to a mix of breeding and education.” After all they are the ones who insist that racial privilege is an inherent and innate attribute. And the ones who demand marginalised people be treated differently, despite people with real disabilities taking offense at this eggshell behaviour.
What is a nation really but a tribe? A collection of people bound together by nothing more than a collective fiction.
What is the radical left really but a tribe? A collection of people bound together by nothing more than a collective fiction.
Anti fascists are proud of their tribe. They wear uniforms showcasing this fact and to let other anti fascists know they are one in the same. Because anti fascists only associate with other anti fascists. Anyone else is the enemy and needs to be competed with to constructively change society.
Politics is everything.
20th Century fascist regimes created an atmosphere of total war, with every aspect of the nation being completely dedicated to the war effort. This extreme state was fostered by what could be called total politics, where every aspect aspect of life, society and the individual is dominated by politics. Just like the ‘intersectional’ warriors that claim to fight modern fascism who see everything – race, biology, gender, sexual orientation, socio-economic status, entertainment, vocabulary, social media – as being political are consumed by their own brand of totalitarian politics.
I have seen more innocuous things being slammed for some sort of discrimination than I can believe. Video games, historical movies, air conditioners, peanut butter jars, hand gestures, emojis and, as noted earlier, even standing up against racial segregation.
The radical left continues to mistake simple bigotry as fascism, which undermines their whole argument. It is Clinton calling Trump supporters ‘deplorables’ on a global scale.
They are like Anakin Skywalker. Well intentioned but naive, ignorant, quick to anger and destined to fail, to become slaves of fascism and usher in a totalitarian dictatorship.