Antifa's hatred for democracy

  • 28 August 2017
  • NormanL
Antifa's hatred for democracy

There is a lot of copy split on the far-left "Antifa" -- who they are, what they want, how they are organized, and financed. In this item, from Vox, we get some insights into the group, and some answers on what it's ends really are, from Dartmouth historian Mark Bray. Bray's book, "Antifa: The Anti-Fascist Handbook," seeks to put the entire movement into context. That is valuable. So, too, are some of the things Bray told Vox reporter Sean Illing, such as this:

They don’t care about liberal democracy

Sean Illing:

So Antifa’s logic is that fascism is a rejection of liberal democratic norms, and therefore it can’t be defeated with what we’d consider conventional liberal democratic tactics?

Mark Bray:

Well, certainly the latter is correct. They argue a couple of things. First, they argue that in Europe you can see that parliamentary democracy did not always stop the advance of fascism and Nazism — and in the cases of both Germany and Italy, Hitler and Mussolini were appointed and gained their power largely through democratic means. When Hitler took his final control through the [1933] Enabling Act, it was approved by parliament.

They also say that rational discourse is insufficient on its own because a lot of good arguments were made and a lot of debates were had but ultimately that was insufficient during that period, and so the view that good ideas always prevail over bad ideas isn’t very convincing.

They other key point, which probably isn’t made enough, is that these are revolutionary leftists. They’re not concerned about the fact that fascism targets liberalism. These are self-described revolutionaries. They have no allegiance to liberal democracy, which they believe has failed the marginalized communities they’re defending. They’re anarchists and communists who are way outside the traditional conservative-liberal spectrum.

How nice. So what do they want?

For the most part, these are pan-leftist groups composed of leftists of different stripes. They all seem to have different views of what they think the ideal social order looks like. Some of them are Marxists, some are Leninists, some are social democrats or anarchists. But they cohere around a response to what they perceive as a common threat.

So they can't decide, but they really do desire to stick it to the man. So that means they could care less about helping Democrats win elections, too, right?

This group loathes the Democratic Party, and they don’t hide that.

In other words, what we have aren't so much Leninists or anarchists running amok, or even toadies of some wider conspiracy to retake Congress in 2018.

They are more akin to nihilists bent on destruction for its own sake.