With antifa’s violent, censorious methods becoming more apparent every day, we’ve started to see this talking point crop up among conservatives: “anti-fascists are the real fascists”. This argument is semantically and historically wrong, and by using it, conservatives are only playing into the left’s hand.
Calling anti-fascists fascists is just a weak bait-and-switch. Anti-fascists are the real fascists? So what does that make Neo-Nazis? It’s like a more advanced version of that tired argument, which has never been effective: “Democrats are the real racists!” It smacks, too, of pedantry about how the Nazis were “really” leftists. They were called National Socialists, after all.
Because there’s no such thing as the radical right, right?
Ideologically, communists have just about nothing in common with fascists. Historically, they got their start in 1932, when they were closely allied with the German communist party. It’s their tactics not their ideas that strike us as being fascist. But still, they aren’t fascists. Totalitarians they may be in their tactics, but they aren’t fascists.
How about we state the obvious? Neo-nazis are fascists, and anti-fascists are communists and anarchists.
But conservatives are reluctant to call anti-fa what they really are. Why do we need to compare violent leftists to the radical right just to make a point? “Communist” and “anarchist” are at least as bad as “fascist”, but they don’t have the same punch. We feel that “fascist” registers a stronger emotional response, so we opt for this term. But when we call them fascists, we are making them into the bad guys by comparing them with the bad guys on the extreme right. We are still working from the base-line that the right is inherently worse than the left.
This is not an effective rhetorical strategy. It’s factually wrong, it’s feckless, and it only gives ground to the left.
Why not take communists to task? Why not call them what they are, and let the American people see the results of their repugnant ideology? At Berkeley, radical leftists could be heard chanting: “No Trump! No wall! No USA at all!” No USA at all? How is that fascism? It certainly isn’t nationalism. It’s just the opposite: Marxism with a twist of Critical Theory.
Why not let the American people see the results of international Bolshevism for themselves? Let them watch anti-fa burn flags, suppress free speech, and incite violence against peaceful demonstrators. Their actions will speak louder than their words about peace and unity. Let the people recognize that anti-fascists are not Americans, they do not practice the American creed, they have no faith in the country or the principles it was founded on, and far from seeking unity and peace, they seek to destroy national sovereignty by any means necessary. They are motivated by an ideology that has already cost the world millions of lives. Let the American people recognize that we have dealt with this ideology before, and that it has a home in Pyongyang, not Washington.