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Antifa Has Backed Its Message With Violence for Decades in Europe

Homegrown or foreign, Antifa is a major challenge to the liberty we cherish.

It is a cold and dark January night in the Swedish town of Eskilstuna. Fredrik Nyqvist and a friend are walking home from the founding meeting of the local section of the minuscule Libertarian Party.

Suddenly, four men in black clothes and facemasks show up, knocking the two unconscious. One of the offenders later bragged about jumping on Fredrik's head, causing injuries that kept him hospitalized for days.

The two libertarians had no way of identifying the perpetrators and assumed it was just a regular criminal incident. They could not know they had just become victims of political terrorism. But they would soon find out.

At his home a couple of days later, a third party member received a note from a group claiming responsibility for the attack, and was warned:

We hereby give you a chance to terminate all political activities. Failing to do so, you may be the next one to be physically reminded of the consequences of pursuing anti-working class policies.

The Antifa, or anti-fascist, movement of Charlottesville, Portland, and Berkeley fame did not come out of nowhere. It is a carbon copy in name, tactics and ideology of groups that have been active in Europe for decades. The website of the Swedish organization is www.antifa.se.

Originally an anti-Nazi body in a pre-WWII Germany, organizations resurfaced in various European countries in the 1980s and 1990s, attracting plenty of attention during the anti-globalization protests at the turn of the millennium. Since then, Antifa have systematically used violence as a political tool. Victims are in no way limited to Nazis or the alt-right. Mainstream center-right politicians, leftist mayors and government bureaucrats have been targeted. Apart from the usual assaults, Antifa members have made arson and gas attacks.

An original Antifa specialty is rioting, making up the Black Bloc of more mainstream leftist demonstrations, not least in protests against summits of international organizations such as the International Monetary Fund and the World Trade Organization. The most recent example was the G20 meeting in July, when large parts of Hamburg, Germany were under siege and private property worth millions of dollars was vandalized. "Welcome to hell" was the message.

The American outfit copycats its elder siblings from across the pond, blending in with democratic leftist groups (acting as self-appointed bodyguards), creating Lenin-style united-front coalitions to gain legitimacy (who is not an anti-fascist?) and applying a very wide definition of the term fascist (most people they don't agree with).

The extreme-left tradition of misusing terms to their own benefit is not only an Orwellian cliché, but also an historic reality. Remember that the official East German name for the Berlin Wall was "Antifaschistischer Schutzwall" or Anti-Fascist Protection Rampart.

In The Washington Post, Dartmouth historian Mark Bray, author of the recent book Antifa: The Anti-Fascist Handbook, whitewashes the movement, putting forward the argument that Nazis need to be dealt with at an early-stage. But neither libertarians nor Social Democrats are Nazis. Do the ends really justify the means, especially when the end is undemocratic socialism?

In Germany, with its particular history, freedom of speech is more restricted than in the US. Nazism and its symbols are forbidden. And recently, after the Hamburg riots, authorities closed down a website used to coordinate the extreme-left activities. It is in this context that Americans should remind themselves that the First Amendment also protects authoritarian right-wingers and white supremacists.

Just as its European counterparts, the US Antifa is a mix of mainly left-anarchists and hard-core Marxists. Not trusting the government to protect them from authoritarian right-wing rule, they rely on pre-emptive "self-defense." The more experienced Europeans, working in loose networks and strategically appearing under different group names, opportunistically set up and dissolve bodies as they go along. The same people commit one crime under one banner, going with another headline for the next deed.

One particular difference is that some European Antifas have close ties to certain labor unions, anarcho-syndicalism being a weak tradition in the US. This is one of the reasons why the struggle against capitalism is considered just as important as the fight against fascism. In fact, the latter is viewed as an integral part of the former.

Which brings us to the paradoxical enmity between European Antifa and libertarians, something that to my knowledge has not yet revealed itself in the US. In many ways, anarcho-syndicalism/left-anarchism is a cousin of libertarianism, or at least of anarcho-capitalism. After all, the US Anarcho-Syndicalist Review used to be called the Libertarian Labor Review.

So, should libertarians not be favorably inclined towards a movement that fights authoritarianism and centralization, standing up against the ugly collectivist ideology of racism? Well, it takes two to tango. And Antifa itself does not seem to think we have much in common.

Our beliefs in the rule of law, property rights, and markets are anathema to them. So, on the contrary, they are not allies, but rather a major challenge to the liberty that we cherish. Libertarians do not subscribe to threats, physical violence, and vandalism as political methods. The non-aggression principle, remember?

Somewhat ironically, European Antifa activists tend to belong to the intellectual middle class, later going on to careers in the media and academia. This is one of the reasons why they are handled with kid gloves by parts of the establishment here. Important parts of the chattering classes identify with or are apologetic of the group, a tendency that also seems to be copied in America.

True, the very top of the establishment in the US is more inclined to make excuses for the other kind of extremism. So the American problems might not be the same as the European. But beware.

Due to its political sophistication, the Swedish security police reckon that the autonomous leftist groups, of which Antifa is the most important one, constitute a more serious threat to the functioning of the country's democracy than do the two other forces being watched, namely radical Islamists and neo-Nazis.

The false equivalence is less false in Europe. And may become so in the US as well.

Photo Credit: Romy Arroyo Fernandez/NurPhoto/S/Newscom

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  • Diane Reynolds (Paul.)||

    Fredrik Segerfeldt writes.

    You know who else had a German-sounding name who was skeptical of anti-fascist sensibilities?

  • GILMORE™||

  • AlmightyJB||

    He likes animals so totally trustworthy.

  • GILMORE™||

    Fredrik Segerfeldt is a Swedish writer and libertarian

    \

    Finally! Maybe he can explain to the rest how it works.

    Good piece Fredo

  • SIV||

    Was Moynihan doing missionary work over there?

  • Diane Reynolds (Paul.)||

    An original Antifa specialty is rioting, making up the Black Bloc of more mainstream leftist demonstrations, not least in protests against summits of international organizations such as the International Monetary Fund and the World Trade Organization. The most recent example was the G20 meeting in July, when large parts of Hamburg, Germany were under siege and private property worth millions of dollars was vandalized. "Welcome to hell" was the message.

    Why is it the longer "Antifa" groups talk, the more they sound like National Socialists?

  • AlmightyJB||

    See my comment below. They are national socialist without the national (ie they hate their respective Nations). That's the only difference.

  • Deven||

    Which is really no difference. They still worship the idea of the state, just not the state they have.

    It does bother me that the idea of Nationalism is some sort of pre-req to fascism. American Nationalism is or could very well be loving the principles of liberty and individual freedom. How is that the same as Nazi Nationalism?

    The true pre-requisite of fascism is the idea that the correct top men know better than the individual.

  • Jgalt1975||

    The true pre-requisite of fascism is the idea that the correct top men know better than the individual.

    Except that's a prerequisite for all forms of authoritarianism/totalitarianism, making it of marginal value in identifying fascists.

  • Robert||

    No, they worship lawlessness. They think they can win in the fight of each vs. all.

  • ||

    American Nationalism is or could very well be loving the principles of liberty and individual freedom. How is that the same as Nazi Nationalism?

    Also, had the Nationalist Socialists remained strictly Nationalist, they wouldn't have had or been much of a problem. It's when they aspired to and became Multi-Nationalist Socialists that they really became troublesome. This is true for several multi-nationalist socialist movements.

  • Trainer||

    The left/right political spectrum is curved so that the further you go in each direction, the closer you get to the other side. Fascists and antifa/communists are cut from the same cloth because they are the two groups who finally meet at the end point of the spectrum. Their cloth is woven from hate, violence and power. The way to manifest that is through violence to achieve power which is what they both so dearly want.

  • Azathoth!!||

    This entire concept--the 'horseshoe' theory was devised by leftists to explain away the fact that the national socialists did nothing that could be explained as traditionally 'right wing'. There was no individualism, no minarchism, no respect for the idea of liberty none of the basic ideas that lie behind right wing movement.

    So they created the 'authoritarian' right wing--that did everything exactly the same as left wing movements, that desired the same or similar goals as left wing movements--but was nonetheless 'right wing'. Because.

    In reality, each 'side' proceeds out to an extreme version of their core ideas that are radically different At one end is a society that we'd be hard pressed to identify as human--at the other is no society at all. The need for such a thing is gone.

  • SIV||

    Not trusting the government to protect them from authoritarian right-wing rule

    Which includes that "libertarian moment" your middle-aged editors tout.

  • BillEverman||

    Yes, because the opposite of a thing is the same as the thing itself. You're a genius! (but see the first sentence)

  • AlmightyJB||

    "Victims are in no way limited to Nazis or the alt-right"

    It's always simply been just an excuse to do violence in the name of socialism. Just l Iike the leftist blackshirt fascist and the leftest brownshirt Nazis who were at there core Socialist.

  • AlmightyJB||

    The only differences between the pre-war left-wing nazi/fascist terrorists and today's left-wing Marxist terrorists is the numbers and the fact that the fascists and Nazis didn't hate their own countries like the Marxists do.

  • buybuydandavis||

    Marxists have always fought Nazis.

    They don't like any competition in mass murder.

    Commies are #1!
    The 100 million corpses can't all be wrong!

  • AlmightyJB||

    + death to the (((1%)))

  • Deven||

    Commies don't like fascists because the fascists embrace what communism actually is in practice, rather than their ridiculous utopia that could never happen (at least until free market capitalism creates robot slaves to cater to our every need).

  • Episteme||

    Communists and fascists are just totalitarian socialists with different organizational charts.

  • GILMORE™||

    the paradoxical enmity between European Antifa and libertarians

    yes, it is strange that libertarians and violent communists aren't bosom-buddies

  • AlmightyJB||

    They call themselves anarchist but they're clearly not. I think they do it because they think it makes them sounds cool and edgy. It really just makes them sound like idiots since everything they espouse is authoritarian and statist, the polar opposite of anarchy.

  • Microaggressor||

    It hinges on property rights. Marxists believe that anarchism wouldn't have property rights without a state to enforce it. In practice, they're wrong, because individuals can and will protect their property and hire security to assist with that.

    So not only are they wrong about what happens in anarchy, but they're wrong about what benefits the working class (erosion of property rights e.g. tax hikes sure as fuck does not benefit them). In effect they are working against the interests of the working class, and the working class knows this, which is why your stereotypical Marxist is an unemployed basement dweller or student. People with jobs like to keep the fruit of their labor for some weird reason.

  • AlmightyJB||

    Yes, even beyond that, these clowns are just your run of the mill, I want colossal government to rob from the rich and give to me.

  • Microaggressor||

    Indeed, they just really, really want other people's stuff. They're just too fucking stupid to realize you need a state to do that on your behalf, or else you'll end up eating lead.

  • Brandybuck||

    There is a theory, articulated by Marx, that once you use the state to mold society into the semblence of anarchism, that you can then take away the state and the semblence to anarchism because actual anarchism. Withering away of the state, or some such nonsense.

    It explains why Noam Chomsky can call himself an anarchist while being fully on board with every authoritarian progressive idea. He just thinks if the state can force society into a progressive shape, then you can remove the state and the shape will remain. Yet another genius who's a blithering idiot outside of his narrow specialty.

  • AlmightyJB||

    Yeap, I've heard the theory, funny how that works in reality cause the power structure always voluntarily lets go. I'm pretty sure the antifa losers haven't ever given anarchy much real consideration. They're happy with big Daddy gov.

  • Microaggressor||

    cause the power structure always voluntarily lets go

    That was always a headscratcher for me. These people don't understand bureaucracy very well.

    that once you use the state to mold society into the semblence of anarchism, that you can then take away the state and the semblence to anarchism because actual anarchism.

    The New Soviet Man is a eugenics program designed to stamp out any form of self-interest or independent thinking and replace it with pure altruism. This is their way of getting around the incentive problem of socialism, without having to resort to icky property rights. If a worker is motivated by benefiting the collective, rather than himself, then everything will work out just fine!

    Trouble is, each attempt at this eugenics program backfired due to economic failure and subsequent famines, which rewarded thievery, backstabbing, and murder as the only way to survive.

  • UnrepentantCurmudgeon||

    The "withering away of the state" was one of Marx's more utopian notions together with "A man can be a critic in the morning and a carpenter in the afternoon without ever becoming a critic or a carpenter" (or words to that effect).

    The "withering away" notion was that when political power devolved to the people themselves (communes in Paris, soviets in post-revolutionary Russia), there would be increasingly less need for the state power because the people themselves would have the power and means to govern themselves. Nice idea. Unfortunately in Russia, which was historically its best laboratory, the scheme bumped up against famine, pogroms and the war against Germany. These catastrophes could not be met by a Balkanized government. And once the centralized government was reestablished (it was never really eliminated), it was there to stay with all the evils attendant on it.

    As I say, utopian. Of all the Bolshevik leaders Trotsky alone clung to the idea, holding to the idea that "permanent revolution", a continuing state of revolution against capitalism everywhere, was key to soviet political power; it could not be achieved in one country alone. He was correct in principle of course, and we all know how that worked out.

  • ChipToBeSquare||

    "I want my anarchy well-regulated"

  • Zeb||

    And yet left-anarchists are more plentiful (or visible at least) than an-caps. Always seems weird to me, but here we are.

  • ChipToBeSquare||

    Left anarchism is just a childish attempt to reject all forms of hierarchy: religion, businesses, classes, and government. But it's an easy sentiment to understand: they probably just hate their parents. They have an end goal in mind, and almost no sense of morality with respect to how they want to reach it. But they're pretty clear with the unrealistic utopia that they sell

    Anarcho-capitalism is a rejection of all forms of aggression. So we're starting from the idea that the proper means are the only way to achieve our end, and I think that's a much tougher sell. We're also starting with a relatively positive outlook on humanity: that we're not infinitely changeable, but we're also not as bad as you might think. That isn't so popular an idea anymore. The leftist mindset is that we're all horrible if we haven't accepted their vision, but with their help we can move beyond self-interest towards their vision of moral perfection (and if not, you're dead). And so it's easy to prey on some of the guilt that we naturally feel as human beings. The feeling of unearned privilege compared to someone else is very real, and they exploit that feeling very effectively until pretty soon you're throwing a brick through a minority shopkeeper's window in order to apologize for your own white privilege

    Plus we're selling prosperity and freedom to people that are already relatively prosperous and free. They're basically selling a chance for revenge against your parents/boss

  • Zeb||

    Yeah, that sounds about right.

    I've been thinking about what really distinguishes the morals/ethics of a libertarian or an-cap from the left (or really collectivist politics in general). It seems to me that the big, essential difference is that libertarian ethics is all about how people treat each other as individuals. You can judge any action by the NAP, and that's all you need. The "greater good" isn't really a factor in judging the morality of an interaction. But for statists of all stripes, if some people have to get screwed over for the greater good (whether that means being taxed excessively, punished for expressing the wrong kinds of thoughts or imprisoned in the war on drugs), that's an acceptable cost.

  • Trainer||

    The reason why communism will never work is because it denies human nature and deals in a fantasy world where some type of utopia can be created. You may want to think about that a little.

  • Sanjuro Tsubaki||

    They'll never get to utopia until everyone has been purged, dead, or locked up in the gulag. Some utopia.

  • Diane Reynolds (Paul.)||

    bosom-buddies

    Take the patriarchy outside, Gilmore.

  • BestUsedCarSales||

    Don't slur Tom Hanks, he is legend.

  • Sanjuro Tsubaki||

    I though Vincent Price was legend.

  • Sanjuro Tsubaki||

    Maybe if he just sits back and lets the anti-fa thugs keep hitting him on the head, it will all start to make sense.

  • buybuydandavis||

    Real article with news and facts and everything! Best article I can recall on Antifa anywhere! No gratuitous tie in to Trump hatred!

    Reason looks like journalism instead of a wannabe Salon!

  • SIV||

    Today was pretty good. Bonnie Kristian had a nice piece on Trump not living up to his non-interventionist principles laying partial blame on his establishment advisors.

  • Hank Phillips||

    True dat. This is more like the old Reason, the magazine I used to hoard till it took over the house.

  • tommhan||

    Often it is leftist slanted so when not it is refreshing.

  • Microaggressor||

    We hereby give you a chance to terminate all political activities. Failing to do so, you may be the next one to be physically reminded of the consequences of pursuing anti-working class policies.

    Communists are really stupid.
    They vehemently oppose property rights, which is the one thing that has made it possible for the working class to become the well-off middle class.
    And they believe political movements in favor of property rights are "anti-working class".

    How's the working class doing in Venezuela, by the way?

  • AlmightyJB||

    Living like cavemen just like the left wants everyone to.

  • Hank Phillips||

    Remember what Rambo said about first blood...

  • ChipToBeSquare||

    "The working class is doing just fine. All the unrest is just from the upper middle class capitalists and foreign businesses who were unhappy with the government"

    ^They basically say this

  • Deven||

    Here is a fun commie trap:

    Ask them to explain why the bourgeoisie are the problem with society. Let them dig themselves a really deep hole. Then kindly ask them exactly who the bourgeoisie are. When they claim "the rich" you can explain to them that the bourgeoisie are actually the middle class and point out the entire Marxist ideology is designed to destroy said middle class.

    It works 90% of the time. The vast majority of them don't even really understand the basics behind their ideology. As others have pointed out, they just want other people's stuff.

  • Trainer||

    I don't see how that would work on 90% of the commies. The bourgeoisie was the "middle class" in that were rich and lived a very comfortable life but were not the filthy rich ruling class who didn't have to actually work. They often owned the means of production. They shouldn't be confused with the proletariat- the actual working class. So, yes, the commies are fighting against the middle class for the working class.

  • UnrepentantCurmudgeon||

    A key point about the bourgeoisie was Marx's recognition that as small capitalists they were in fact the principal employers -- and therefore oppressors -- of the proletariat. The bourgeoisie were the face of capitalism for the people Marx/Engels sought to educate and organize.

    They saw monopoly capital in an entirely different light, as a pathway toward state ownership of the means of production. The bourgeoisie was a roadblock to that because the bourgeoisie represented independent capital and individual enterprise, anathema to the Marxist vision of a single economy flowing through the state itself

  • Sanjuro Tsubaki||

    Property rights prevent unemployable fanatics (ie communists) from doing whatever they please with other peoples' property. Marxism is little more than theft and violence justified by sophistry.

  • Episteme||

    But, if the working class joins the middle class and the middle class is able to join the capital class, where do we draw the dialectical lines?

  • Rockabilly||

    Making Fun of Antifa at the Boston Free Speech Rally (Guest Video)

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lplhIxgtVH0

  • Hank Phillips||

    I surveyed these groups and YAF in the 1980s, and they are ideologically nearly identical. The "left" looters don't spout Bible homilies. Orwell, who also lurked at rallies, noted "English writers who consider Communism and Fascism to be THE SAME THING invariably hold that both are monstrous evils which must be fought to the death: on the other hand, any Englishman who believes Communism and Fascism to be opposites will feel that he ought to side with one or the other."

  • GILMORE™||

    that's an interesting quote. the whole essay seems worth reading, and has some other choice observations about US vs. European perspectives on the similarities/differences between communism and fascism.

  • Set Us Up The Chipper||

    Thanks for the da link

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    Cue the conservatives/wingnuts here to claim that Nazis really wanted to give Jews/non-Aryans "to each according to their needs" rather than kill and eradicate them.

  • rudehost||

    They wanted to kill Jews and set up an enormous left wing authoritarian state. They are not mutually exclusive.

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    "Left wing" means egalitarian or equality for everyone so your remark is ridiculous. Marxism is left wing.

    Aryan supremacy is pure right wing.

    Right-wing politics hold that certain social orders and hierarchies are inevitable, natural, normal or desirable,[1][2][3] typically supporting this position on the basis of natural law, economics or tradition

    Wikipedia.

    Most societies have a class of people who believe they are superior and should therefore govern.

  • Sevo||

    Oh, and don't bother dragging out Wiki to 'prove' claims you didn't make:

    "Aryan supremacy is pure right wing."
    Assertion claiming to be argument

    "Right-wing politics hold that certain social orders and hierarchies are inevitable, natural, normal or desirable,[1][2][3] typically supporting this position on the basis of natural law, economics or tradition"
    No-sequitur.
    Go play with the kiddies; they miss someone to laugh at.

  • MarkLastname||

    Doubtless the Ukrainians would disagree that what they endured at the hands of Stalin was 'radical equality.'

  • BillEverman||

    Someone here will doubtless read that as proof that Stalin was a right-winger.

  • Sevo||

    Suggest "Wages of Destruction" (Adam Tooze).
    He spends quite a bit of ink specifying exactly how Hitler intended to take over ownership of 'the means of production'; he was in the beginning of the program much as Lenin was in the early '20s (I think).
    Lenin avoided war to keep pushing his (international) socialism, Hitler sought war to make his (National - German) socialism the equal of the US or the Brit Empire.
    Weinberg in "World at Arms..." makes the same point and includes Il Duce besides (albeit with far less chance of succeeding)

  • Sevo||

    Palin's Buttplug|9.8.17 @ 7:15PM|#
    "Cue the conservatives/wingnuts here to claim that Nazis really wanted to give Jews/non-Aryans "to each according to their needs" rather than kill and eradicate them."

    Where does turd come up with such shit? Is it just demented fantasies? A total inability to understand the written word? Intentional dishonesty?
    Yeah, I know; all. But rational people would like some explanation.

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    There are several idiotic posters here who claim that Nazis/fascists are leftists.

    You might be one of them - I can name at least two others.

    Aryan Supremacy would hardly fit Marx's idea of a classless society. But the idiots Rufus and Love Cons claim exactly that.

  • Sevo||

    Palin's Buttplug|9.8.17 @ 8:40PM|#
    "There are several idiotic posters here who claim that Nazis/fascists are leftists."

    See above, turd. Neither Tooze nor Weinberg are 'idiotic', and I'm pretty sure you can include Judt in "Postwar" in making the point.
    You're a fucking uneducated imbecile.

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    You're such a GOP apologist.

    You don't want the taint of fascism on your beloved Republican Party. Yet every racist, Islamo-supremacist, Neo-Nazi, and KKK asshole is attributed to the "right" in the rest of the world and all your constant re-defining won't change that.

  • Sevo||

    Palin's Buttplug|9.8.17 @ 9:05PM|#
    "You're such a GOP apologist."

    Damn, those facts really hurt, don't they turd?
    So much so that you avoid the issue whatsoever and try to misdirect the 'argument' (such as it is) 'way over somewhere else, like claiming I'm an 'apologist'.
    I've called you on that total bullshit for years: I repeat, find ONE case where I promoted the GOP other than pointing out it is preferable to the Dems on certain issues. You can't because I haven't.
    But you, you slimy piece of shit, have NEVER seen ANY problems with the D's, going so far as to defend that disaster known as O-care as "market-based", for pete's sake.
    Go fuck your daddy, you pathetic excuse for a human being.

  • AlmightyJB||

    The KKK was terrorist arm if the Democrat party (The pro-slavery party and the party of the slave owners just prior to the Civil War) and was revitalized when Woodrow Wilson showed the Birth of a Nation at the White House. FDR sent Japanese-Americans to camps and was a huge fan of Mussolini who was a socialist who

  • AlmightyJB||

    FDRs New Deal looked very much like the platform of the Italian fascist basically because it was. Jim Crow laws were written by Southern Democrat politicians and enforced by Democrat sheriff's. Before Hitler went with his final solution policy he talked about putting the Jews in ghettos. I guess we can be glad that LBJ are at ghettoization.

  • AlmightyJB||

    Stopped at.

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    AlmightyJB|9.8.17 @ 9:40PM

    You are in serious need of a political science education.

    By your reasoning the People's Republic of China is the same as the Republican Party in the USA.

    THEY IS BOTH REPUBLICAN!

  • Sevo||

    Palin's Buttplug|9.8.17 @ 10:03PM|#
    "THEY IS BOTH REPUBLICAN!"

    Turd assumes posting lies in CAPS will somehow make those lies other than what they are.
    There is scan doubt that turd is both lacking in intelligence and in education, and really ought to stop making a public ass of himself

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    The KKK was terrorist arm if the Democrat conservative party.

  • Sevo||

    Palin's Buttplug|9.8.17 @ 10:01PM|#
    The KKK was terrorist arm if the Democrat conservative party."

    Tell us turd, which party opposed emancipation.

  • DesigNate||

    I love that you called Sevo a GOP apologist, and here you are trying to whitewash the history of the a Democratic Party.

    Goddamn you are one slimy motherfucker.

  • Deven||

    Woodrow Wilson and FDR are two Democratic heroes, who were president during/around the height of the KKK.

    I never understood this switching of the parties. The KKK was undoubtedly an arm of the same Democratic Party.

    Just because you now disavow the racism, doesn't mean the authoritarian garbage you spew didn't cause the rise of it, just like with eugenics, Nazism, or the economic scapegoating that caused the famine deaths of 100s of millions of people. Authoritarians need a scapegoat to consolidate power. Just because today's Democrats are smarter about their scapegoating doesn't magically make today's far more classically liberal Republicans liable for all the past Democrat/Authoritarian screw ups.

  • AlmightyJB||

    Exactly

  • MarkLastname||

    Islamists routinely allied with the left throughout the Middle East; nationalists were considered leftist (the right being aristocratic paternalism) until the late 1800s. Additionally, the left historically aligned with racist ideologies as often as the left; the only difference being that leftist racists targeted groups they perceive as 'perpetrator races.' See Chonsky's support for the Hutus in Rwanda. Or anti white sentiment in South Africa and Zimbabwe; anti-Chinese sentiment in SE Asia. Socialist movements often seek to annihilate ethnic groups viewed as 'oppressors' or too rich. Not unlike antisemitism in Europe.

    Your entire worldview seems to be retrospectively created to portray modern American progressives as the eternal heros of history.

  • AlmightyJB||

    Exactly

  • ChipToBeSquare||

    People don't agree on what right vs. left even means. Is it reactionary vs. progressive, an acceptance or rejection of blank slate egalitarianism, large government vs. small government, property rights vs. equality of outcomes, individualist vs. collectivist, a particular vision of humanity (constrained vs. unconstrained), deference/skepticism towards the military, or something else?

    The Nazis were the ultimate reactionaries, did not believe that people were born equal in both ability and protection under the law, favored large government, explicitly rejected laissez-faire capitalism/property rights, were the ultimate collectivists, saw themselves as capable of changing the hearts and minds of their countrymen towards their murderous utopian vision (but obviously did not extend this consideration towards non-Aryans), worshiped the military and deliberately pitted themselves against the left. That's...a mixed bag to say the least

    I tend to call them the right mostly because of the last point, and I favor the reactionary/progressive dichotomy the most, but it depends entirely on what criteria you're using. I bet most people also don't realize that North Korea has slowly shifted from Stalinism towards something pretty similar to National Socialism, because Juche and Songun guide them more than Marxism. They're very explicitly racist, in particular towards the Japanese, and preach national greatness and military worship all the time. Are they on the right?

  • AlmightyJB||

    Both the Nazis and the Fascist got tired of waiting for the Marxist's workers revolution to manifest itself as Marx predicted. Mussolini having fought in WWI saw the power of nationalism and so married it to socialism (he was a life long socialist taking after his father). Hitler saw how well that worked for El Duce and copied

  • AlmightyJB||

    The schema for his national socialist party. They were both a more fanatical and hard core strain if socialism. Seems to me that would put them to the left of socialism, not the opposite. If course after the gas chambers the acedemia and faux intellectuals couldn't have that which is why they've worked so hard to to shift them to the other side of the spectrum

  • AlmightyJB||

    The progressives also started calling themselves liberals because back then their mutual admiration with Mussulini was well known, so they called themselves the opposite of what they were (because they had ruined their brand) just like they did switching leftest monsters over to the right.

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    People don't agree on what right vs. left even means.

    "People" or laymen may not but experts and scholars use the definition I copied from Wikipedia.

    It is really simple.

    Egalitarianism (equality) is left-wing and a favored class or governing order is right-wing.

    Authoritarianism is a means to enforce each and can be either Communist/Marxist (left) or fascist (right wing).

    Big Government can be either side.

  • DenverJ||

    Sorry. National Socialism has socialism right in the name.
    "experts and scholars use the definition I copied from Wikipedia." Huh. I was a political science major, and I don't use that definition. Also, Wikipedia is not an unbiased source.
    Again, they called their ideology, accurately, National Socialism.

  • Unlabelable MJGreen||

    And why can't there be 'right-wing' socialism?

    I'm with the square chip above.

  • Sevo||

    Unlabelable MJGreen|9.8.17 @ 10:32PM|#
    "And why can't there be 'right-wing' socialism?
    I'm with the square chip above."

    Square chip admitted he didn't know the difference between left and right. What is it to which you're agreeing?

  • Telcontar the Wanderer||

    "Democratic People's Republic of Korea"

    "German Democratic Republic"

    "Committee of Public Safety"

    "National Socialist German Workers' Party"

    Pattern recognition says: tyrants name themselves according to what they think the people want to hear. The Volk wanted a Socialist Workers' Party, and so that's what the National Industrialists' Party named itself.

    Whether or not they actually were "socialist", has nothing to do with their decision to *call* themselves socialist.

  • Sevo||

    "Whether or not they actually were "socialist", has nothing to do with their decision to *call* themselves socialist."

    That may be true enough in general, but as regards the Nazis, you don't know what you're talking about.

  • DenverJ||

    Yeah, I thought about that before I posted, but we're not talking about the name of a country, it's the name of the party. For instance, say it's the libertarian moment, and the people are clammering for libertarian government If you call yourselves The Libertarian Party, but are really just warmed over SJWs, the people who want libertarian policies aren't going to support you.

  • DenverJ||

    Also, you were replying to me saying this "Again, they called their ideology, accurately, National Socialism."
    See how I used that word "accurately"? Please tell me which party of their ideology was not nationalist? Please tell me what part of their ideology was not socialist? The answer to the second question is "Not at all. They were completely socialist." would seem to place them firmly on the authoritarian left.

  • Telcontar the Wanderer||

    That depends on what your definition of "socialist" is. Like "capitalist", it has a lot of meanings.

    Is it "someone that wants government to control the economy"? Then yes, the NSDAP were socialist, but still not *as* socialist as the USSR, who demanded complete control over the economy to the point of eliminating private business. Whereas Krupp and Mauser and the rest had to pay fealty to the Reich, but were never destroyed by it.

    However, there is another definition for "socialist", and it is the one I prefer: a synonym for "Marxist". And the Nazis were not Marxist, even if they came from a similar place. Karl Marx wanted a classless, equal society, and while that was decidedly not the *product* of Marxist-Leninist and Maoist regimes globally, that was their *avowed goal*. The appearance of slavery and inequality in their empires came as a genuine surprise to the Marxist footsoldiers and fellow travelers.

    This is not true of the Nazis, who overtly boasted that Inequality was their express goal. Slavs and Africans were to be property; Jews were targeted because they were considered a rival "master race". This is borne out by other fascistic societies like South Africa or the Confederacy: no pretensions to equality there.

  • DenverJ||

    I have posted before, perhaps elsewhere, that racism is not the curse of any particular ideology: racists can be, and have been, monarchists, communists, democrats, prohibitionists, catholics, presbyterians, even abolitionists.
    Every category listed above has also produced people genuinely concerned about, and speaking eloquently against, racism and classism.
    You are trying to put progressives on a platform by claiming they are for egalitarianism, while impugning the right with racism.
    Woodrow Wilson, the first and greatest American progressive was an advowed racist who re-segregated the US military.
    Just because you wish your side to be free from racism, doesn't mean it is; and just because the Nazis were racist doesn't mean that they weren't socialists.

  • Telcontar the Wanderer||

    Not "my side", thank you very much. And the fact that Wilson, FDR and the rest (I'll even add a few more: LBJ, Che Guevara) were racists doesn't make *that form of racism* "non-right-wing", any more than Ronald Reagan's expansion of Social Security, Republican preservation of Obamacare or Trump's thoughts about monopsonizing Medicare drug prices makes those ideas "non-left-wing". Every human being is a combination of right- and left-wing ideas, and most American presidents are actually fairly centrist on net.

    The point is that those states usually identified as "left-wing" tend towards imposing artificial Equality (robbing the rich and forcing equal racial outcomes), whereas those identified as "right-wing" tend towards oligarchic crony capitalism (see: Argentina, Venezuela pre-Chavez, Cuba under Batista, arguably Singapore) and propertarian racism and sexism (darkies in the field, women in the kitchen): imposing artificial Inequality. The Right and the Left create the same outcome- people as property- but the Left gets there via a naive utopianism that blows up in their face, whereas the Right knows exactly what it's getting and gets it.

    "Left-racism" exists, but only in the form of Affirmative Action, Robert Mugabe's kill-Whitey initiatives, and other programs intended to *equalize* the races. Again: the *result* is the same (discrimination and bloodshed), but the *excuse* is *opposite*.

  • DenverJ||

    Oh, and plans were in the works to nationalize all industry, like the Soviets did. But, there was a war going on, so Hitler decided it probably wasn't the best time to restructure his manufacturing.
    So, your just wrong. It's ok, I'm wrong all the time. But the fact is, there was a deliberate and successful campaign to group the Nazis on the right.
    On a similar note, few Americans know that Stalin and Mao each rivaled Hitler's genocide. Oh, and Pol Pot, how many millions did he kill?

  • DenverJ||

    Actually, WWII Russia had squat for industry, in the first place. There was nothing to nationalize, if it was there it was because the government built it for the war effort. 1930's Russia was at the level of France in the 1830's. And that's not much of an exaggeration: Russia was poor peasants, a vast and cold waist land where you plant early and pray, no transportation or communication across an entire continent, just emerging from the chaos of the Bolshevik Revolution against the weak Nicholas III, his hemophilic son, and his top advisor, a man named Rasputin. Against the might of, at that time, the greatest manufacturing/industrial/advanced/militaristic nation on Earth. Germany in those days what was Rome, it the US today: top of the food chain.

  • Telcontar the Wanderer||

    Well, I appreciate your politeness at least.

    But I am afraid you have nonetheless slandered me most perniciously; by implying I am somehow a Leftist. Equality is not a worthy goal in and of itself. When I say that Leftism is "egalitarian tyranny", I am in no way complimenting them. It is one's actions (aggressive or retaliatory, EG authoritarian or libertarian), not one's motivations, that decide one's worth.

  • Telcontar the Wanderer||

    Hitler and Mussolini's economically tyrannical aspects, and Stalin's and Mao's racist aspects, are explained by a glance at the Nolan Chart: none of them were "Due East" or "Due West". Both were approaching Due South, that magical land (or ravine) where you don't have to choose between Right and Left-wing tyranny, but instead get both in full measure. In short: both were approaching North Korean Juche.

    But the Fascists were still approaching from the Right, whereas the Communists were approaching from the Left: even as they were coming shoulder-to-shoulder with one another as they descended.

    And yes, I damn well know how murderous the Marxists were. That doesn't make them the same as Nazis, any more than the common use of vehicle ramming attacks makes the wan supremacists in Charlottesville and Finsbury Park and the radical Islamists in Nice and Barcelona the same.

  • Deven||

    And yes, I damn well know how murderous the Marxists were. That doesn't make them the same as Nazis, any more than the common use of vehicle ramming attacks makes the wan supremacists in Charlottesville and Finsbury Park and the radical Islamists in Nice and Barcelona the same.

    Incredibly disingenuous analogy. A better analogy would be a Sunni terrorist attack vs a Shiite terrorist attack.

  • Deven||

    As I stated above, the fascists simply embraced Marxism in practice, while the communists were like oh we didn't mean to do that, but we also still just killed millions of people.

    Because, as you failed to point out, Marxism still has winners and losers, there is, never was, nor ever will be true equality. One side tried to convince the masses that reality didn't exist, the other simply defined who was going to be equal and who was not.

    It is highly disingenuous excuse Marxism or distance it from fascism. Supposed intentions/excuses mean fuck-all especially when history and logic have proven the outcomes.

  • Telcontar the Wanderer||

    @ Deven

    You:
    "Because, as you failed to point out, Marxism still has winners and losers, there is, never was, nor ever will be true equality. One side tried to convince the masses that reality didn't exist, the other simply defined who was going to be equal and who was not."

    Me:
    "The Right and the Left create the same outcome- people as property- but the Left gets there via a naive utopianism that blows up in their face, whereas the Right knows exactly what it's getting and gets it"
    "Again: the *result* is the same (discrimination and bloodshed), but the *excuse* is *opposite*"

    Are you so certain that your diagnosis of disingenuousness is correct now? Are you still certain that you did not, perhaps, even manage to get it reversed?

  • Telcontar the Wanderer||

    Wait, were you replying to PB? Shit. Oops.

    Reason needs to figure out how to organize threads better.

  • Sevo||

    Palin's Buttplug|9.8.17 @ 9:54PM|#
    "People" or laymen may not but experts and scholars use the definition I copied from Wikipedia."

    You stupid shit, that copy and paste didn't even make sense internally.
    What a fucking idiot. Go away and die; the world will be a better place.

  • ChipToBeSquare||

    That was a pretty long Wikipedia page that you were able to condense into a single line. But you do apparently hang out with experts and scholars

  • JoeBlow123||

    Telcontar was and is absolutely right. Some of you Republican fanboys are rather sensitive about definitions, as if all the evil of the world can only spring up from Marxism and it is impossible to come from the benevolent right. Never mind apartheid and Cecil Rhodes or the White Mans Burden and repeated massacres in India to secure British investments. Stop being so naive and petty.

    One point about Nazism is worth making and I read it one of Hannah Arendt's books. Nazis were in a full scale wartime economy for the entire time they were in power so it is impossible to examine their actions economically and make a prediction where it would have gone. They did, however, position themselves as enemies of communists for whatever that means. At the root of it all they were simply authoritarians broadly similar to their brethren in the USSR.

  • Red Rocks White Privilege||

    Never mind apartheid and Cecil Rhodes or the White Mans Burden and repeated massacres in India to secure British investments. Stop being so naive and petty.

    There was never anything explicitly right-wing or conservative about these things, particularly in the modern sense. Arguing as such shows the lack of intellectual depth that's come out of public schools since the end of World War II, when leftists promoted the presumption that fascism was a far-right movement while communism was far-left, instead of them being the different degrees of modern-age authoritarianism.

  • Telcontar the Wanderer||

    "since the end of World War II, when leftists promoted the presumption that fascism was a far-right movement while communism was far-left"

    Hmm. You'd think if there was a "vast left-wing conspiracy theory" to classify lefty-Nazis as right-wing, they'd go ahead and throw communism in as well. Oh, but what am I saying- Trotsky and Chomsky DID do that, didn't they? It's almost as if there's an ongoing battle by right- and left-wingers to foist all tyrannies around the world off on the other side...

    Anyway, Apartheid was primarily supported by the 1980s by the Conservative Party (for whatever names are worth), was implemented alongside crackdowns on homosexuality and abortion, and was opposed by a wide coalition of Leftist Communist governments in Africa directly supported by the Soviet Union. Given that "conservative" and "anticommunist" are the only definitions that Wikipedia's schizophrenic page and my Merriam-Webster Encyclopedia can agree on for "right-wing", I think it can safely be said that Apartheid was, if nothing else, "not left-wing". So, if you say it "isn't right-wing" either, then it looks like we're going to have to invent a new term for this mystery ideology that consistently springs up around the world offering a form of anti-egalitarian statism directly in opposition to the local leftist groups. If only "left" had a convenient antonym... Frustrating!

  • Sevo||

    ChipToBeSquare|9.8.17 @ 9:26PM|#
    "People don't agree on what right vs. left even means...."

    My use here is quite simple: They both intended (and one succeeded) in the governmental take-over of the entire industrial base; the government ownership and control of the means of production.
    Further, both intended to control the activities of the populations to the extent of controlling at least the expression of thoughts.
    ----------------------
    "The Nazis were the ultimate reactionaries, did not believe that people were born equal in both ability and protection under the law, favored large government, explicitly rejected laissez-faire capitalism/property rights, were the ultimate collectivists, saw themselves as capable of changing the hearts and minds of their countrymen towards their murderous utopian vision (but obviously did not extend this consideration towards non-Aryans), worshiped the military and deliberately pitted themselves against the left. That's...a mixed bag to say the least"

    I think you misspelled "Russian Soviets" right at the beginning, since your comments pretty much defined what they DID accomplish other than the specious claim of "deliberately pitted themselves against the left" which is an interesting claim from someone who states they don't know what the left or right are.
    Cont'd.

  • Sevo||

    More:
    I would suggest spending time on the books mentioned above; AFAIK, none bother with the terms 'left' or 'right', but they all go to great lengths pointing out that there was scant difference between the National Socialists and the Russian commies.

  • AlmightyJB||

    Tribalism exist in all societies, that doesn't make it right-wing. In the USSR, if you served in the military and you were from one of the satellite countries you better hope to help you weren't bunking with a bunch of Native Russians because they would torture you literally. The fact that a group would take an ideology and apply it only within the tribe is as old s the Bible.

  • AlmightyJB||

    If anyone doesn't think the left can be pitted against the left, they missed the dnc presidential primaries.

  • DenverJ||

    Or the French Revolution. Or the Bolshevik Revolution. Or the Cultural Revolution. Or any time in history these evil people were in power.

  • ChipToBeSquare||

    For that last point about pitting themselves against the left: even if I wasn't sure of what right and left means (which isn't entirely true), I think it's hard to argue that the Nazis solidified their support in part by offering themselves as the only available alternative to the growing influence of the far left, i.e. as a reactionary movement

    Yes, the USSR accomplished much of the same thing. I didn't say it explicitly but that similarity was kind of the point. I do believe in the horseshoe. Much of the difference does indeed come down to branding rather than results. It's not news that authoritarian governments all look pretty similar, but I think it is important what side they're coming from, because small differences do still exist. I probably meet the criteria for execution under both regimes, but there are certainly people who would make one list and not the other, and isn't that kind of meaningful to know?

    And I still don't think this necessarily disproves the ambiguity of right vs. left in political discussion. Too often a debate on the Nazis/Soviets isn't really a debate on what the Nazis and Soviets did and why, it's just another debate on what's considered right and what's considered left, which seemingly never ends (and is why the authoritarian/libertarian axis is important, so it's at least a 2D picture). According to your definition, yes, they are both leftist. I see that argument

  • Sevo||

    "For that last point about pitting themselves against the left: even if I wasn't sure of what right and left means (which isn't entirely true), I think it's hard to argue that the Nazis solidified their support in part by offering themselves as the only available alternative to the growing influence of the far left, i.e. as a reactionary movement"

    You seem to change definitions of "left" and "right" as convenient, but "Wages of Destruction", pg 106:
    "The first years of Hitler's regime saw the imposition of controls on German business that were unprecedented in peacetime history".
    You already admitted you don't know what "left" and "right" means. I suggest you look beyond PBS for your sources.

  • ChipToBeSquare||

    I admitted no such thing. Don't be a Tony. I merely said that there could be many ways of defining it and I listed some. Then I said I most favored the reactionary/progressive dichotomy, even if it's imperfect

  • DenverJ||

    ""When I use a word," Humpty Dumpty said, in rather a scornful tone, "it means just what I choose it to mean- neither more nor less." "The question is," said Alice, "whether you can make words mean so many different things." "The question is," said Humpty Dumpty, "which is to be master-that's all.""

  • Sevo||

    ChipToBeSquare|9.9.17 @ 12:30AM|#
    "I merely said that there could be many ways of defining it and I listed some. Then I said I most favored the reactionary/progressive dichotomy, even if it's imperfect"

    And then went on to show you don't know what the fuck you're posting about.

  • Telcontar the Wanderer||

    North Korea has reached True South on the Nolan Chart: total economic *and* cultural tyranny. Fully racist, fully classist, fully a command economy (black market aside), fully nationalistic and autarkic (Juche actually means "self-reliant" in Korean), fully sexually and domestically conservative (they love to talk about how "pure" they are).

    They have fallen completely down the left- and right-facing diagonal slopes of the Chart, landing in the ravine at the bottom where man and pig reveal themselves to be the same.

  • DenverJ||

    Well smythed

  • ChipToBeSquare||

    I accept that

  • Deven||

    On your right hand side you have blunt objects, on your left hand side you have sharp objects.

    Nazis used slightly more blunt objects to murder, but still made great use of the sharp objects, Commies used slightly more sharp objects to murder but still made great use of the blunt objects.

    The lesson here is obviously that sharp objects are preferable to be murdered with, and we'll ignore all the instances where the Nazis used the sharp objects and all instances where the Commies used the blunt objects and make the claim there are vast differences between the two groups while also implying that the Commies were better because they murdered more people in the more preferable way of getting murdered.

  • Telcontar the Wanderer||

    You can differentiate between two ideologies without apologizing for them.

    I was in no way advocating for the virtues of being murdered by sharp objects over blunt objects; merely pointing out that, if one is seeking to deflect a thrust or swing before it hits, it is useful to know the difference between them, no? A defense that works against a knife may not stop a morning star- put on a chainmail hauberk without padding, and you'll find that out the hard way.

    Eg: trying arguments about racial equality and tolerance on an Antifa isn't likely to make them question themselves- indeed, it will likely strengthen their resolve. Just as making arguments about the failures of government regulatory and environmental initiatives is unlikely to calm the rage of a white supremacist who already agrees with those assertions.

    Different 20th century utopian death cults demand different approachs.

  • Robert||

    They're Juche? Funny, they don't look it.

  • Azathoth!!||

    ...and deliberately pitted themselves against the left.

    Except that they didn't.

    They competed with communists for members--which led to gang war style fighting in Germany and were allied with the communists in the USSR after they took over Germany until they decided that they could take them over instead of being allies.

    Excepting the USSR, every single member of the Allies was far to the right of the Nazis.

    And our systems do not lead inexorably to fascism

  • Episteme||

    "People don't agree on what right vs. left even means."

    Which side of the French Parliament do you side on and, by extension, what views on the King do you choose to express by that seating?

  • buybuydandavis||

    There are several idiotic posters here who claim that Nazis/fascists are leftists.

    What part of "National Socialism" don't you understand?

  • Zeb||

    Oh, who gives a fuck? Commies and Nazis and Fascists are all authoritarian pieces of shit. Arguing over what political labels apply is pointless. It's stupid to claim they are exactly the same. It's also stupid to try to identify either with American mainstream left or right politics. Libertarians should really know better than to try to fit everything into binary political divisions.

  • AlmightyJB||

    I personally only care about the labels only to the extent they influence major public opinion. The progressives today, particularly those teaching the next generation of leaders are Marxist. They have specific propaganda goals. They convince today's youth that "real" communism has never been tried.

  • AlmightyJB||

    They also convince them that Nazism and Facism is the opposite of Marxism by using the left-right spectrum. In fact, they are close cousins. Particularly Mussolini was a committed socialist. I'm directly addressing their propaganda which are lies. I wish I didn't have to. I shouldn't have to given the history of Communism but it is what it is.

  • Zeb||

    Yes, I understand those concerns, and agree that the way these things are covered in most mainstream news is rather slanted and seems to draw a closer link between the "alt-right" and mainstream American right than actually exists without doing the same with the antifa and other far-left groups.
    My objection is that just insisting that they are all leftists and that's that obscures the real differences and oversimplifies things. It seems to me that the left/right dichotomy is only really meaningful in a particular political context. And as I keep arguing, neither neo-Nazis nor antifa or other radical Marxists really fit in with the left/right division of American politics. And that if you look at the context of the original Nazis and antifa, it does make sense to call one left and one right since in that context, they were the opposing political factions and had very different views on the desired end state, even if they did agree on some points about socialism. And Nazis (as distinct from Fascists), with their strong racial/ethnic nationalism and appeals to tradition and history (even if a lot of it was made up) makes it accurate to call them the right in that context.
    So pushing back against attempts to tie all of the American right to racist nationalists is good. But in a context like this comment section, it would be nice to see a little more nuance than just "nuh-uh, their leftists".

  • Trainer||

    Considering neither fascists or communists can ever have what they want (a utopia based in their ideology) they are left with hatred and violence in the quest for power. That makes them the same once we remove the impossible goals.

  • BillEverman||

    Maybe the whole left-right thing is kind of pointless. The real issue is liberty vs. authoritarianism. On that important spectrum, it's clear that the Nazis and the Communists were both far to the wrong side of that scale. If your boot is on my face, I really don't care if you're oppressing me in the name of Hitler, Stalin, Jesus or Barbara Mandrell, radical equality of the superiority of the One Chosen People.

  • Trainer||

    Excellent comment and really sums everything up.

  • Leo Kovalensky||

    Jackbooted Barbara Mandrell Thugs would be a great band name.

  • Azathoth!!||

    Try these axes--

    Social
    Collectivist/Individualist

    Motivational
    Authoritarian/Voluntarist

    Scope
    Totalitarian/Minarchist

    Economic
    Managed Economy/Unregulated Market

    The first two can replace the Nolan chart with something more specific. Add the third and fourth to get a clearer picture of where someone stands.

    It kills the 'horseshoe' idea, places Communists and Nazis into position by their policies(and ends the argument about where they stand 'left' or 'right' pretty decisively.

  • Pro Libertate||

    RIP, Jerry Pournelle. Dang it.

  • buybuydandavis||

    Yeah, just started reading his blog in the last year. Didn't go there enough. And now he is no more.

  • Alcibiades||

    Great SF writer, enjoyed many of his books. Better and more interesting writer than Niven, his frequent collaborator.

  • Robert||

    I didn't even know he was sick. Fuck!

  • DenverJ||

    True, the very top of the establishment in the US is more inclined to make excuses for the other kind of extremism.

    Da fuck? Seriously. Am I misreading that, or is Fredrick trying to say that there are right wing riots all the time, with mass vandalism and looting, and that the authorities just wink at it?
    I did not realize that Occupy Wall Street was right wing. Or that the reason the police in Charlottesville were told to stand down it was because antifa was right wing. Or that all the burning and looting of cities over the decades was done by white conservatives.
    What planet is Fred living on?
    Other than that, good article. But Jesus Tap Dancing Christ.

  • Bra Ket||

    I suspect that's a reference to Trump. And that by "excuses" he means Trump's provably accurate claims about violent behavior on both sides and not all protectors being neo-nazis.

  • Ken Shultz||

    "In Germany, with its particular history, freedom of speech is more restricted than in the US."

    It isn't just Germany. It's also the UK, Australian, and Canada. The difference is the First Amendment.

    The First Amendment in the U.S. Constitution is what makes us American. We share similar histories, language, religions, etc. with the commonwealth countries. Our First Amendment is what makes us different from them.

    The reason Australian, Canadian, etc. politicians can and do successfully sue newspapers for getting a story wrong is because their libel laws are such that they don't need to prove malice or damages like we do in the United States. The reason our libel laws are different is because they have to compromise with the First Amendment.

    In Europe, when antifa shuts down free speech, let's face it, they aren't fundamentally violating anyone's legal rights--since people in Europe and elsewhere do. not. posses. First. Amendment. rights. Remember that when you're responding to a millenial spouting off about how hate speech isn't free speech.

    Being legally obligated to tolerate the stupidity of other people's speech and religion is what makes us American. Pressuring the government to shut down speech in other countries is morally wrong, but it isn't always illegal.

  • AlmightyJB||

    If you don't have the right to be an asshole, do you actually have any rights at all?

  • Ken Shultz||

    I hope it's clear to everybody, too, that there's a difference between our natural right to free speech and our legal right to free speech. Every human being has the right to free speech--our legal rights simply protect our real rights from being violated by the government.

    Some of the anti-violence rhetoric I hear from Europeans (not in this article, necessarily) is actually anti-free speech. They'll say that people should rely on the government to shut down hate speech--where the problem is that Antifa takes the law into their own hands.

    They get it exactly backwards. In fact, I suspect a lot of people on the left in Europe and elsewhere may resort to violence specifically because they don't feel free to say what they really think in public. In the U.S., one of the reasons the extreme left and extreme right has been relatively non-violent is because they are free to speak their minds. We don't have anything like the National Front in the USA.

    We can consistently condemn violence in this country so long as people are free to speak their minds. If that weren't so? If the government is violating people's free speech rights? That's a recipe for violence.

  • DenverJ||

    Excellent.

  • Bra Ket||

    "If the government is violating people's free speech rights? That's a recipe for violence."

    Well technically that is violence already. Because that's the basis for govt. Either directly or at least threats of violence.

  • Robert||

    The difference is that natural rights are vaporware.

  • Mark22||

    It's Europeans that "have rights"; Americans are supposed to have limited government with enumerated powers.

  • Sevo||

    "Remember that when you're responding to a millenial spouting off about how hate speech isn't free speech."

    And when that millenial or un-reconstucted lefty whines about how the US is 'far behind civilized nations'.
    Yep, those 'civilized nations' can toss your ass in the can for saying something they don't like, as the US lefties would hope to do.

  • Sanjuro Tsubaki||

    You're forgetting "hate speech". Canada has found all kinds of ways to shut people up.

  • Sports Reporter Charles Manson||

    Going around in a black uniform calling yourself an antifascist doesn't make you an antifascist any more than going around in white robes calling yourself a Christian patriot makes you a Christian patriot.

  • DenverJ||

    Does too. Right now, I'm self identifying as a lesbian trapped in a man's body who used to be a tennis champ but then was Napoleon and is, right now, the Pope. And I'm taking a poop in the woods.

  • Bra Ket||

    It's not fair to judge the antifa by the misbehavior of a few bad apples.

    Also did you see that neo-nazi guy on youtube killing someone with his car? The "alt-right" are clearly violent racists who must be stopped at any cost.

  • buybuydandavis||

    You can be a Marxist and an antifascist.
    Commies have always been anti fascist.
    They don't like the competition in Leftist mass murder.

  • Aloysious||

    More from Fredrik, please.

  • JoeBlow123||

    Agreed this was a good article. Very well written and well measured with a good tone and pace.

  • Cranedoc||

    Marxists/communists are totalitarian, as are Fascists. Thus their natural enemies are not each other (though this is constantly asserted) but people who believe in the opposite: rule of law, freedoms, and rights. No political group is more respecting of these values than Libertarians, so of COURSE totalitarians like Antifa attack Libertarians! In the circle of politics, one azimuth lies Libertarians with the opposite side being totalitarians.
    Fascism and Communism are both snuggled up close to the Totalitarian system of government, just giving different justifications for usurping all power by a few.

  • Robert||

    Nazis are totalitarian, fascists not...or at least no necessarily.

  • Mark22||

    Fascists are, of course, totalitarian. Mussolini: "All within the state, nothing outside the state, nothing against the state." That's what "totalitarianism" means: that all spheres of human life are managed by the state. Many of today's progressives are also totalitarian.

  • tommhan||

    They better be more careful over here since many people carry firearms. Hate groups on both sides are maniacs.

  • Sanjuro Tsubaki||

    "Somewhat ironically, European Antifa activists tend to belong to the intellectual middle class, later going on to careers in the media and academia. This is one of the reasons why they are handled with kid gloves by parts of the establishment here. Important parts of the chattering classes identify with or are apologetic of the group, a tendency that also seems to be copied in America."

    Wow, sounds like the way the Weimar republic establishment coddled aspiring fascists. Nothing to see here, folks. Everything's just hunky dory apart from some curtailed liberty here and there. A pity, but what can you do?

  • Sanjuro Tsubaki||

    " One of the offenders later bragged about jumping on Fredrik's head, causing injuries that kept him hospitalized for days."

    If you want a vision of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face - forever.

  • Mark22||

    Originally an anti-Nazi body in a pre-WWII Germany

    Antifa was literally part of the communist party; they were "anti-Nazi" only because the Nazis were anti-communist. And
    this was just the battle of two similar, murderous, totalitarian ideologies: the vicious and violent conflict over small differences between two very similar ideologies: communism and fascism.

  • Uncle Jay||

    RE: Antifa Has Backed Its Message With Violence for Decades in Europe
    Homegrown or foreign, Antifa is a major challenge to the liberty we cherish.

    The antifa crowd fights fascism with fascism and cannot connect the dots of what they're doing is hypocritical and wrong.
    Then they wonder why people laugh at them.

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