Editor’s note: click here to view a partial list of the sources that helped develop the arguments contained within this article.
Fascism is always on the minds of radical leftists, but as of late they have been more active than usual in speaking out against it. A number of factors have caused this, including: President Trump’s hardline rhetoric against illegal immigration, terrorism, and other crimes; the mainstream’s newfound awareness of the radical “alt-right”; and the recent significant increase in hate crimes against immigrants, blacks, Muslims, Jews, and the LGBTQ community.
Let’s make no mistake about this: the increase in hate crimes is real. The alt-right’s white supremacy is real. Some of the people committing these crimes really are emboldened by Trump’s hardline rhetoric. Orderly Conduct is obligated to acknowledge all of this and to let it be known that we condemn white supremacy and all other forms of intolerance and hatred.
Though these are issues that truly transcend politics, politicians and activists understand that politics can help shape the fight against these issues, and in this fight radical and non-radical leftists alike share common ground. What must come to be understood, however, is that the radical left is exploiting this common ground in an attempt to make their politics and their destructive, often violent protest tactics more appealing to non-radical leftists – and if any of their reports are accurate, they appear to be gaining some ground. Ordinarily, the non-radicals might dismiss or condemn the radicals, but since (mostly young) liberals and progressives are increasingly becoming discontent with the Democratic Party’s shortcomings – including the inability to stop Trump, the inability to win elections, and the sabotaging of Bernie Sanders in favor of embracing establishment politics – the radical left appears to be having a modest degree of success in converting some of these people. This is in no small part due to the propaganda campaign they have been waging.
Through an innumerable amount of recent blog posts, online articles, television appearances, and other forays into the media, the “us-and-them” narrative the radical left has been spinning goes like this: Trump, his administration, his followers, the alt-right, the people committing the hate crimes – they are fascists. The anarchists and other radical leftists who wish to stop them by any means necessary, they are the “anti-fascists,” or “antifas” for short. According to antifas, Democrats cannot do anything meaningful to combat these ever-growing fascists. While liberals organized the January 21st Women’s March on D.C. and similar peaceful rallies, the antifas organized the militant and confrontational DisruptJ20 black bloc (click here to view our must-read in-depth article on it). Their message is clear: if you want to resist Trump and you want to stop the recent hate crimes – if you want to combat this fascism – liberals’ ineffective peaceful protests will get you nowhere, and the only real chance you have is to become a radical leftist who isn’t afraid to engage in destructive and violent behavior. That antifas are smarter, faster, better, and way more effective, this is the propaganda that they have been spinning.
Emboldening radical leftists historically has had disastrous consequences, and this is why Orderly Conduct is writing about what they have been doing ever since Donald Trump was inaugurated. We have a moral obligation to stop the radical leftists’ propaganda campaign from growing even further, and to expose it for what it is: a campaign rife with false promises, irrationality, lies, and an infectious sense of hysteria.
It all start with Donald Trump.
TRUMP, FASCISM, & POLITICAL IDEOLOGUES
All of the radical left – and certainly some non-radicals as well – believe 100% without a doubt that President Trump is a fascist. Let’s make something clear, however: this has also been said about every Republican U.S. President since Dwight Eisenhower, maybe even of Presidents before Ike. Though they consider themselves experts, radical leftists absolutely aren’t the go-to authority in determining who is and who is not a fascist. In fact, a lot of radical leftists are quick to call almost anyone of a right-wing persuasion a fascist, and at times they’ve even given other leftists that label.
The most concrete and obvious historical examples of real fascists – namely, the fascist leaders of the mid-20th century, including Hitler’s Germany and Mussolini’s Italy – are probably who one should look towards in order to determine if Trump truly is a fascist. Sure, there are some parallels between Trump’s populist and nationalist sentiments and Hitler’s and Mussolini’s. Realistically though, that is where the similarities end. Did Trump at times during his campaign make unfair generalizations about refugees, Muslims, and immigrants? Sure. Did his populism, nationalism, and hardline stance against terrorists and illegal immigrants inadvertently inspire white supremacists to commit the recent spate of hate crimes? Absolutely. To consider this to be proof that Trump is a fascist or a white supremacist, however, is inadequate. Trump’s concerns regarding terrorist Muslims and illegal immigrants are by no means the same as, say, Hitler’s bigotry against Jews. Trump’s “Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry into the United States” executive orders – though they may be flawed and overreaching – realistically are not precursors to concentration camps.
Undoubtedly President Trump has many faults and shortcomings, but rather than focusing on the reality of those shortcomings, the left (and the media) instead chooses to jump to conclusions about him. Trump probably isn’t bigoted against Muslims, he is just fearful (and rightfully so) of Islamic terrorists. He probably doesn’t hate Mexicans, he just understands that illegal immigration can potentially harm our economy and take resources away from actual citizens. He doesn’t want to isolate the United States from the rest of the world, he just wants fair trade deals and wants to secure our borders from foreign drugs and criminals. He isn’t a white supremacist, but he may just be a United States supremacist.
Yet nobody on the left – whether it be Democrats or antifas – can allow themselves to acknowledge those nuanced details, because those details do not fall in line with their political narratives. Since their politics mandate that they must depict Trump as a monster, they therefore will hold convenient misperceptions against who he is and what he means, and they will contort reality into perfectly fitting their narratives. Democratic politicians do this primarily to pander to their political base, while radical leftists do this because they are rigid ideologues. It’s not as big a deal that the Democrats believe all of these Trump misperceptions, however, as it is that the antifas do – because the antifas will use them to justify their destructive and violent behavior while growing their numbers.
ANTIFA DELUSIONS OF GRANDEUR, CENSORSHIP OF THE ALT-RIGHT
So far it has been proponents of the alt-right who have been the target of the latest wave of antifa violence. While in D.C. during Trump’s inauguration, Richard Spencer was sucker-punched in the head by an antifa who was taking part in the DisruptJ20 black bloc. On February 1st, a black bloc of about 150 antifas caused an appearance by Milo Yiannopoulos at the UC Berkeley campus to be canceled, resulting in numerous assaults against members of the crowd and police, as well as over $100,000 in property damage. The next day, more black bloc antifas caused a fistfight at New York University because Gavin McInnes (who they pepper sprayed) was scheduled to speak at an event there.
Whereas realistically it is easy to argue that Trump is not actually a fascist, it isn’t nearly as easy to make that argument with regards to these and other proponents of the alt-right. It is no secret that many of the alt-right profess to love Hitler. Regardless, does that necessarily justify censoring them, or committing acts of violence against them? After all, leftists of all varieties (along with some right-wingers) consider these people to be mere trolls, or people who shouldn’t be taken seriously. During an interview, VICE News Tonight correspondent Elle Reeve even said so much to Richard Spencer’s face, calling him a fraud who exploits hatred that always has been and will be around, and that alt-right proponents are just teenagers who are too committed to a joke. Though the alt-right ideology is hateful and the spread of it certainly can be problematic and ultimately be very dangerous (it remains to be seen how much the alt-right is to blame with regards to the recent increase in hate crimes), it certainly hasn’t brought the United States to the same place that Germany got to in the 1930s. Violence really can’t be justified against these people. As far as censoring the alt-right goes, well, there’s a reason why Mein Kampf can still be bought today, and that has less to do with promoting its message of hatred and more to do with laying bare its ugliness for all to see. The truth is there for us to learn and to experience, to put together like pieces of a puzzle; it can hardly ever be wholly understood if others who claim to have solved the puzzle simply dictate their terms to us. That is one way to view censorship and it is why Orderly Conduct chooses to acknowledge and challenge antifa propaganda – to display how it collapses in on itself – rather than argue that antifas should be ignored or violently repressed. It would serve antifas well to approach the alt-right in a similar manner.
Nonetheless, antifas completely disagree. Not only do they believe that violence against the alt-right (and anyone else they consider to be a fascist) is a necessity, but they also believe that alt-right proponents shouldn’t even so much as be allowed to speak in public – antifas refer to this as denying these people a “platform,” denying them mainstream attention. Bizarrely, they feel that in censoring these so-called fascists, they are literally defending and saving people’s lives; that they are preventing genocide. That is why they feel it is their duty to censor these people – and yes, the fact that they constantly cite the First Amendment to justify their right to do or say virtually anything they want, the hypocrisy of denying this right to their ideologically opposite contemporaries is lost on them. They have no problem throwing the First Amendment out the window when someone they don’t like or disagree with tries to have his own voice heard, only then rationalizing that the First Amendment guarantees protections only against government repression.
Of course, this plays into the antifas’ narrative that the state and police have been on the wrong side of history before (true) and have at times illegally investigated radical leftists (also true), so there really isn’t anyone trustworthy and capable left besides them to practically resist fascism. This, however, is unequivocally false – radical leftists always play up how it was their antifas who were the first to combat Franco, Hitler, Mussolini, and other 20th century fascists, but obviously their efforts weren’t good enough. The Allied Powers were the ones who defeated fascism, and the most brutal of nations then proved to be those governed by radical leftists, not fascists. Communist nations ultimately succumbed to a capitalist federal republic, and it was the United States that went on to shape the world after World War II, not the radical left. Given the world we have come to live in, it should be clear that antifas are absolutely delusional about their role in history, past, present, and future.
THE ENLIGHTENED ONES? HARDLY
The radical left is also delusional with regards to what constitutes violence, which leads into another big part of the antifa propaganda campaign; namely, how they understand that they will not be able to adequately grow their cause if they are seen by the mainstream as violent thugs. This is why they rationalize that since nobody is really “hurt,” the property damage they cause during black blocs is not actually an act of violence. However, juxtapose this rationalization with how radical leftists view Gavin McInnes merely speaking at NYU as literally being violence, and this only further exposes these radical leftists. They are farces who truly do not have the ability to reason, nonetheless offer any feasible solution to the political conundrums our country face today.
This uncritical and irrational line of reasoning is deeply ingrained within the radical leftist, and it perhaps is best exposed within the context of their overwhelming acceptance and approval of criminal actions committed by impoverished black people, especially lootings during times of racial tension. Radical leftists purport that such lootings are not criminal acts, but rather are a kind of extension of the civil rights movement; that they are acts of social justice. The radical leftist argues that slaves who freed themselves in the 19th century are a kind of social predecessor to looters in the 20th and 21st centuries. Looting is therefore a righteous, political act against white supremacy; it is a modern day form of liberation and self-determination for black people, who the radical left believe have continued to be completely and totally oppressed despite the abolition of slavery and Jim Crow. Looting is therefore a kind of reparation that blacks force upon business owners and capitalists, who are viewed as the 20th and 21st centuries’ successors to 19th century slave owners. According to the radical leftist, if you at all disagree with their view and see these looters in a negative light, that 100% makes you a racist white supremacist and a fascist.
Again, Orderly Conduct acknowledges that racism is real and that some blacks in this country have been over-sentenced for their crimes, or unjustly criminalized. Nonetheless, the radical leftist’s view on black looting and “oppression” is extensively flawed and ignorant, to put it mildly. Take for instance the rioting and looting that occurred on March 11, 2013, in Flatbush, Brooklyn, after black teen Kimani Gray was killed by two NYPD officers after he pointed a gun at them. One victim of the looting was small business owner Suk Bak – a minority – whose Church Farm Market suffered tens of thousands of dollars in property damages. A Rite Aid was also looted and the Hispanic manager Lorenzo Evans was assaulted. Days later, when another riotous protest was scheduled to occur, minority-owned small businesses in Flatbush preemptively closed down for the day, losing hundreds of thousands of dollars in business.
Similarly, the limousine that was destroyed by the antifa black bloc during DisruptJ20 was owned by Muhammad Ashraf, a Muslim immigrant – the very type of person who the radical left purport to be protecting against President Trump. Ashraf estimated that he stood to lose up to $100,000 in business due to the black bloc’s destruction.
CHOOSE TO RESIST BLIND LEADERS, NOT TO FOLLOW THEM
Unmistakably, this country is far from perfect. There are too many people out there who are ignorantly intolerant and hateful of people of color, Muslims, immigrants, Jews, and the LGBTQ community. We do give the radical left credit for understanding that fact and for wanting to directly do something they believe would make this world a better place. However, what this article should have made clear is that, despite their best intentions, antifas and radical leftists do not see the whole picture and absolutely are not the ones we should be listening to if we indeed do want to improve things. We cannot allow gullible people with good intentions to be fooled into accepting antifa propaganda that portrays radical leftist politics as the solution instead of a smart, pragmatic, diplomatic, and moderate politics.
What we have illustrated today is a realistic portrait of the antifas, exposing them truthfully as ideologues who are uncompromising, undiplomatic, destructive, delusional, ignorant, arrogant, violent, irrational, ironically authoritarian, and prone to censorship. We have illustrated a realistic portrait of a people who lack the ability to think critically and who abide by numerous sets of hypocritical double standards. These are not at all the people we should ever listen to or let make the rules. We’ve seen how disastrous that can be: from Occupy Wall Street’s chaotic Zuccotti Park encampment all the way to the Khmer Rouge Killing Fields; from the Black Liberation Army and Black Lives Matters sympathizers murdering police officers in the streets to the murderous FALN setting off a bomb in NYC’s Fraunces Tavern; from the Symbionese Liberation Army’s kidnapping of Patty Hearst to radical attorney Lynne Stewart going to prison for aiding a terrorist imprisoned for the 1993 World Trade Center bombing – there are an innumerable amount of instances that have proven over and over that radical leftists clearly shouldn’t be emboldened, cannot be trusted, and should not be making decisions for anyone who doesn’t hold their same politics.
There is no glory in becoming an antifa, and anyone who thinks otherwise is foolish.