What is Antifa ?
Sorry to bring garbage from twitter over here, but this will take more than 280 characters.
Recently, there has been a lot of discussion including the neologism “Antifa”. In particular, Trump has threatened to declare Antifa an “organization of terror” following senators Cruz and Cassidy direction in a nonbinding resolution.
This is crazy. Trump, in particular, is not capable of telling plausible lies. His assertion is obviously false: because whatever Antifa is, it sure isn’t an organization. It would not be possible to list the members of Antifa as there are no conditions for membership and there is no trace of a chain of command. In contrast it is clear that the “Proud Boys”, “Patriot Prayer” are organizations.
On the other hand, there are people on Twitter claiming that I belong to Antifa, because I am opposed to fascism. That is silly too. I don’t consider myself a member of Antifa and I am more expert on myself than they are.
I would define Antifa as the set of counter demonstrators who assemble when one of the far right organizations holds a rally. So it’s a bunch of people who come to a general area with the general intention of contesting the far right organization.
This included the black block of Antifa, who are people who dress all in black often with masks and helmets, and who are clearly looking for a fight (as are the Proud Boys. They are all consenting adults, so I say let them fight provided; they don’t bother normal people, don’t bring deadly weapons, and there are police to referee making sure no one gets hurt (police services provided free because I’m generous with other people’s overtime).
But Antifa is also people who just want to stand and be counted and make sure the number of counter demonstrators dwarfs the mobilization of the far right organization. It also includes people who mock the proud boys and treat them as a joke including the dancing unicorn.
Not terrorists and not an organization. I don’t think the Proud Boys are a terrorist organization either. They are an organization and they are violent, but they are like the Jets and the Sharks not like al Qaeda or the Crips.
I think this is a tiny bit interesting, because it is clear that the talkingpoints memo has gone out directing Republican hacks and conservatives (but I repeat myself) to denounce Antifa. This shows three things. First and like the talking points about white supremacist terror; Republcans need to “what-about” when asked to discuss the violent far right (they doth protest too much). Second it shows how the MSM always fall for it; no matter how many times the GOP demonstrates bad faith, their latest BS is treated as if it were worthy of consideration. Finally, it shows how progressives always fall for it.
For example, I just wrote a long post attempting to refute obvious nonsense.
Antifa has a lot of “white nationalist” in it though. They hate the modern “white supremacist” movement because its basically conservative plutocrats pumping money into keeping the “white sheep” in line. The American Nazi Party got its initial funding from Permindex and the recent “Alt-Right” got it from Israeli backing jews(aka, Donald Trump the kosher nationalist).
Compare that with Antifa which is heavily decentralized and driven by united hatred of modern conservatism which is its real unity. Go to some degrowther/eco events. Charges of racism on both the white/black or more likely with degrowth, white/native american are both very true but the unity is what keeps the piece. Without conservatism though, things could start getting ugly, really ugly.
The dancing unicorn has the right idea. I do not like the fight violence with violence bit as it plays into the hands of people like Trump who is the ultimate White Nationalist.
“driven by united hatred of modern conservatism”
Modern conservatism has found a home in the modern Democratic party. The GOP is not a party of conservatives. Trump and the trumpenproletariat are not conservatives, they are right-wing extremists and race-baiters.
The “antifa” demonstrations are driven by united hatred of right-wing fascism. The same hatred that drove the allies to fight fascism in WWII.
Josh Marshall offers some interesting thoughts:
Antifa isn’t really a neologism. It’s an acronym that transitioned into usage by dint of pronounceability. Consequently a lot of people still have no clue it means. In the case of a neologism the meaning is evident. But then sketchiness and shade is what Antifa is all about.
Well obviously… Antifa is organized along less transparent lines to avoid being the target of the type of thing Trump has proposed… also for other nefarious reasons. I don’t know why anyone would want to defend these louts on any level at all. For one thing their name is really a misnomer because the fascist-around-every-corner meme is really a cornball delusion. But since the current psychosis affecting the left results in accusations of Nazis and concentration camps on the border, then everyone with a moustache, lapel flag pins or prone to odd tics is liable to targeted as a fascist.
What these cowards do is go after easy targets like the Quillette editor, Andy Ngo, who was attacked in the most disgusting fashion. I also looked on slack mouthed as a crew of these black clad wasters – wielding cudgel-like weapons – slowed traffic in New York city, ostensibly to look for something or someone. In the meantime they also cased licence numbers and rained abuse on drivers. One poor man was told “f-off back to Alabama because we don’t want you here.”
And the left is always warning about the threat of violence from the right.
This apologia for AntiFA is very confusing for my troglodyte brain. Waldman asserts that they are “not an organization” yet they have chapters in various cities and regular gatherings and online posts and literature. It may not be the Skull and Bones but those certainly fit characteristics of an organization. Does Robert Waldman think that there are no other organizations where people “just show up”? Regardless, it’s always interesting to hear such tacit approval for a bunch of individuals who are so happy to beat people up for having wrong opinions.
Joel here states that the GOP is “right-wing extremists and race-baiters” as no doubt characterized by trump, yet trump was a 90s democrat. Since an increasing voice on the Left is now saying Obama is a republican, does that make him a race-baiter as well? Perhaps, since I would agree with that assertion, I too am an ardent leftist? Mercy me.
Bert Schlitz actually seems to have it right: there’s a lot of white nationalist in AntiFA. Nothing screams white supremacy like a bunch of politically correct ninjas, overwhelmingly Caucasian in ethnic background, who think it’s their “duty and responsibility” to be anti-racist–i.e. defending the helpless black/brown people from those mouth-breathing conservatives by popping them on the heads with bike locks or crowbars. It’s almost as those AntiFA members think black/brown people are incapable of looking after themselves…as though it’s the “white man’s burden” to uplift them. So strange.
Antifa is not an organization. Who is the leader of antifa ? What are the conditions for membership ? How does one become a member ? I guess I didn’t define organization, but Antifa is not like the Proud Boys, or General Motors, or The American Economic Association.
Since it is not an organization with a defined membership, there is no way to know if members are those who come armed to far right demonstrations and then fight or if the dancing unicorn and the banana band are equally members.
Your comment is not a response to my post. It is based on the presumption that the question I ask is not worth addressing, because you and you alone have the authority to define a neologism (or acronym).
I don’t think the Democratic party is the party of modern conservatism. So Now I ask another question — what is modern conservatism. Conservatives like to define “conservative” to be everything good which is in any way related to politics. So they call values “conservative values”, they claim that only conservatives believe in hard work, thrift, the family, freedom, a government of laws, rights under the law etc.
They assume that all the people who don’t call ourselves conservative and who claim to believe in those things are confused or lying.
Like “antifa”, “conservative” is a word without an agreed meaning. Worse, there is an equivocation. When arguing that conservatism is good, conservatives define it so that almost everyone thinks it is good, freedom, family, industry, thrift. Then once it is agreed that it is good, it turns out to imply cutting rich people’s taxes, cutting social security and medicare and invading Iraq.
I think two things are generally agreed. Conservatism has something to do with William F Buckley author of “why the South must prevail” who place white supremacy above democracy and it has something to do with Ronald Reagan who campaigned against the welfare queen in her cadillac and began his 1980 campaign in Oxford Mississippi (where Chaney Goodman and Schwerner were murdered) praising states rights.
White supremacy is, and has always been, a central tenet of modern US conservatism. Conservatives who claim otherwise are delusional or dishonest.