Fascism and Antifascism

These days I’m hearing a lot about Trump’s progress toward fascism. I hear Trump and his supporters denouncing “antifa,” apparently an organized group of violent Trump opponents. So I did some research.

Merriam-Webster online defines fascism as “a political philosophy, movement, or regime (such as that of the Fascisti) that exalts nation and often race above the individual and that stands for a centralized autocratic government headed by a dictatorial leader, severe economic and social regimentation, and forcible suppression of opposition.” That does sound an awful lot like the direction the Trump administration is going.

Merriam-Webster online defines “antifa” as “a person or group actively opposing fascism.” Wikipedia says that “Antifa (/ænˈtiːfə, ˈæntiˌfɑː/) is an anti-fascist political movement in the United States comprising a diverse array of autonomous groups that aim to achieve their objectives through the use of both non-violent and violent direct action rather than through policy reform. Antifa political activists engage in protest tactics such as digital activism and militancy against fascists and racists such as neo-Nazis, white supremacists and other far-right extremists whom they seek to combat. This may sometimes involve property damage, physical violence and harassment against those whom they identify as belonging to the far-right.”

There is certainly no question that I am strongly opposed to Trump’s slide toward fascism, but I am equally opposed to political violence. Trump on numerous occasions has encouraged his followers to use violence again the opposition. Biden, in contrast, has consistently decried violence.

So what does that make me? A pro-Biden anti-Trump nonviolent antifa practitioner who doesn’t belong to any organized group.

As it becomes clearer that Trump will lose the election in November, maybe by historical proportions, Trump shocked me by refusing to commit to abiding by the election’s outcome and leave the White House if he is defeated. That’s fascism writ large. It amounts to a coup d’etat. I am equally shocked that the Republicans have maintained their silence—and therefore their complicity—in the face of Trump’s stance.

These are the seeds of civil war.

3 thoughts on “Fascism and Antifascism”

  1. Tom, you have given a dictionary type definition of Antifa as anti-facist, but that does not describe the organization as it truly exists. Although loosely knit, most active Antifa groups march under the banners of Marxism and anarchy, and they resort to any means, including violence, to achieve their ends. I hope you don’t really identify yourself with those people.

    By the way, Tom, I can understand your bitter dislike of Donald Trump. Millions of Americans, including the mainstream media, feel the same way you do about him. I do, however, disagree with you on two of your observations about him. First, I have seen no evidence that Trump has called for violence against his political opponents. Second, if he loses in November I believe that he will peacefully, albeit loudly, exit his Presidential office in January.

    I’m not a Trump lover, but I believe that Biden, Harris, Schumer and Pelosi would be an absolute disaster for our country.

    Sincere regards,

    Sandy

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    1. Thanks again, Sandy. What is your evidence that antifa people march under banners of Marxism and anarchy? I’ve seen no indication of that. You’ve seen no evidence that Trump has called for violence against his opponents? He has repeatedly suggested that people who disagree with him be “roughed up.” Several times he’s called for action against those who criticize him. Finally, when asked about leaving the White House if he is defeated in November, Trump refused to commit himself. I am genuinely worried that he may insist on staying president despite the election.

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  2. Tom, I believe our problem is that we are relying on different sources. The ones I go to seem to offer amply proof of Antifa’s Communist and anarchist roots. You are not aware of such proof. At the same time, you have discovered sources saying that Trump espouses violence against his opponents. I have not seen evidence that this is true.

    Both of us are suffering from the bias of the media. Left wing commentators are giving us there own interpretation of the news, and the right wing commentators present an opposite view. It is terribly difficult to get at the truth.

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