Add new comment

But nihilist communism is a form of anti-politics, it has already taken into consideration the futility of confronting, never mind arguing with, liberal and leftist ideological sacred cows. It serves no purpose to oppose anti-fascism politically, and thereby further populate the discursive field with yet more bifurcating specialisations. A hundred years of fascism is proof enough of the inadequacy of anti-fascism to its object. And no critique of anti-fascism will ever defuse the revenger's thrill in recognising the bad other; when the blood is up, and the hunt is on, nothing will prevent the inevitable outcome. Anti-fascism is the crusades, the last crusade, the one crusade without troubling ambiguity and tortuous self-questioning. The anti-fascist gives himself up, without reserve, to the last great true enthusiasm. Then, we must avoid the field of conflict and let the forces gathered there play out eternally. We must skulk in the undergrowth like little brown jobs, dunnocks perhaps, until the field itself collapses beneath a meteor or plague.

But, as we 'give it up' and let it go, we should also take a last 'backward half look, over the shoulder' at an iconic, or at least for us 'telling', moment and consider what moves it when the obvious has been filtered out. A photograph circulated in the mass media captures the moment when a conventionally beautiful young woman (sometimes designated as 'brown', sometimes as 'Asian') under the supervision of a police officer casts a disdainful glance at a 'fascist' protester. Undoubtedly, even taking into consideration the police presence, the woman's intervention was courageous and selfless but that is of less concern here than the specifics of the anti-fascist use of the photograph, and what it tells of the image-repertoire constraining it.

The woman's conventional beauty becomes a synonym of moral courage. She is apparently relatively tall and this also proves her right to exist. In contrast, the man she looks down upon is small, we are told he is 'runty', it is observed that he is poorly dressed and that he cannot grow a proper moustache, and as is usual in such images it is ironically observed that here stands an example of 'the master race'. In short, the woman is well made and conforms to bourgeois ideals of moral health, and the man conforms to bourgeois representations of the degeneracy of the undeserving poor. In the iconodulic representation of their confrontation, we begin to make out the movement of class hatred... anti-fascism is deployed here as a weapon of actually existing fascism to secure the rational ordering of its own ideological power. Under its gaze, the man appears badly made, he is typical of the good for nothing scum emerging from growing surplus populations, and therefore as a 'type', we are required to judge him as morally repugnent.