By: David Gonzalez
In the span of 100 years, authoritarian leftists have gone from laying siege to Tsaritsyn to patrolling the streets of America in black masks. The Antifascist movement (Antifa) sees violence as a necessary tool for fighting against symptoms of fascism in the United States political culture and as a means of rejecting the national government. Antifa is not the solution to the problem, and will only serve to fan the flames of discontent and sew discord across the nation. On November 7, 1917, the Bolsheviks began their long and bloody battle against the Russian government and succeeded in establishing Soviet Russia. Antifa does not fight against a tsar and instead fights against fascists and any unlucky citizen caught in their destructive wake.
Antifa, despite the lack of national headquarters or a centralized leader, has collectively decided on suppressing freedom of speech and have actively adopted violence and property damage as a means of protest. To quote Scott Crow, an Antifa member since 1980:
“And so we go to cause conflict, to shut them down where they are, because we don’t believe that Nazis or fascists of any stripe should have a mouthpiece.”
A loose conglomeration of anarchists, socialists, and communists have united under the banner of conflict and disruption. There is no doubt that the rise of neo-Nazism in the United States is troubling. What makes the situation even more precarious is that not only have far-right groups with dangerous ideologies begun to gain traction and supporters, but they are actively shadowed by a far-left organization that aims to destroy them. In championing under the false flag of safeguarding people’s rights and democracy, Antifa has skewed off from the left and entered a realm of authoritarianism. As a response to neo-fascism, the average American now has two extremist groups to worry about.
Antifa and their archenemy, white supremacists and fascists, butt heads on October 19. Both Antifa and Richard Spencer will cause a commotion in the name of their equally obnoxious ideas. As seen in Berkeley, Antifa is more than willing to incite public rioting, assault with weapons, and property damage owing in the hundreds of thousands. One can only hope that the University of Florida is better prepared for not only the vitriolic supporters of Spencer but for the domestic terrorists of Antifa- who are attached at the hip to their sworn enemy.
The purpose of Antifa is not only to counter-protest and be a force that rallies against neo-fascism. Antifa is a catalyst for ideas and desires of a communist revolution. Today’s Antifa mirror the Bolsheviks in that the members are young, disillusioned with the government, and willing to make a change with violent force. Antifa members are inspired by the works and ideas of Lenin, Marx, and Stalin.
Rest assured, Antifa will not plunge the United States into a revolution that will cost millions of lives as the Bolsheviks did. While these discount revolutionaries have no tangible hope of toppling the American government, their threat is still very real. This group has shown time and time again that they are inspired by revolutionaries of history and will wear makeshift armor, wave black and red flags, and take to the streets in a strategic manner of inciting violence and conflict.
The history of left-wing violence in the United States is limited, at best. Many who are accepting of Antifa would argue that right-wing violence has been more prevalent in the U.S. and that, historically, more damage and violence is at the hands of extremist right-wingers. These points are true, yet Antifa should not be underestimated. In response to hate marches and Tiki torches, Antifa has coalesced to become violent thugs with a lack of cohesion and ideals that are corrosive to our nation. Antifa has taken advantage of public sentiment against the alt-right and formed a reactionary force which is not afraid to use violence against citizens and aggressors alike. Peaceful demonstrations are the most effective against bigotry and hate, as we have seen with the Women’s March. These counter-protestors amassed much larger groups and suffered minimal to no acts of violence.
When white supremacists and neo-Nazis are beaten and assaulted, their cause is emboldened. These organizations prey on the victim complexes of select Americans and promote empowerment and strength to a population that feels estranged from modern society and disgusted by modern politics. Antifa is not the solution to this problem. Antifa has decided to mirror the Bolsheviks in attacking without discrimination, and many members seek to enact change in society and government. Anti-fascism has devolved from a noble pursuit against real fascists uprisings and governments to an empty ideology; causing destruction, danger, and hampering national discourse. If the alt-right were to cease all activity, Antifa would set their eyes on another target. Today’s Bolsheviks have no place in America, along with the Nazi emblem-bearing alt-right, and are ghosts of the pasts fighting for failed ideologies.