Beyond ‘Bash the Fash’: A Critical Discussion
From It's Going Down
There’s no question that antifascism has taken up a lot of space on both IGD and within the wider anarchist movement. Talk about antifascists has also spilled into the mainstream, with many journalists treating it, along with the tactics like the black bloc, as a new phenomenon that has arisen in the past few months in reaction to Trump.
But is this really the case? If we trace the genealogy of resistance to white supremacy, colonialism, and racism in the United States, we find a rich history of indigenous and Afrikan insurrection against colonial states in so-called North America. In these struggles, people fought not only paramilitary formations such as the Klan but also against police forces that grew out of the slave patrols. If these struggles are to inform us, just as much as formations such as Anti-Racist Action (ARA) have, we should remember that these rebels fought not against ‘fascism’ or ‘national socialism,’ but instead against settler colonialism, white supremacy, and democracy itself.
Even today, many of the largest formations on the far-Right, from militia groups such as the Oath Keepers and III%ers, Trump supporters, to the hoards of ‘Based Stickmen,’ are not fighting for a revolution against the American system and democracy, but instead pushing to restrengthen white supremacy, borders, and patriarchy within it. Ironically enough, it is these same groups that are also best positioned to launch an armed uprising and also serve as an auxiliary force to the State itself in the face of social breakdown or unrest.
Thus, are we setting ourselves up for failure by only focusing on the outwardly fascist, Alt-Right, and white nationalists elements of the far-Right, and what would it mean to expand our analysis beyond them? Is the real danger of Trump and his ‘Deplorable’ support that they are ‘fascist,’ or that they mark a far-Right pole within white settler democracy?
Furthermore, how can we ensure that by nurturing and expanding the antifascist struggle, not just against a few set groups of neo-Nazis, Alt-Right trolls, and white nationalists who by and large cannot operate without the cover of the larger far-Right, we in turn also grow and expand the anarchist movement as a whole? Moreover, how can the wider anarchist movement learn and grow from the wealth of tactics that antifascism has popularized, expanding them outwards in all struggles that we engage in?
Join us for this critical discussion between several comrades as we tackle these in depth issues and more!