The Corner

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Forget the Name, Antifa Is No Better Than the Fascists

A counter protester holds a sign outside of the Boston Free Speech Rally in Boston, Mass., August 19, 2017

Perhaps the most nonsensical talking point offered by Antifa apologists was to claim that the group couldn’t possibly be nefarious or violent because its members are anti-fascists — it says so right there in the name!

I apologize for singling out Rob Delaney, but he’s consistently shown the insight of a scholastically stunted preschooler. As the prominent anti-fascist Joe Stalin supposedly said, “Everybody has a right to be stupid, but some people abuse the privilege.”

Now, I only bring up the mass-murdering Communist because the group of radicals instigating violence, vandalizing and burning cities, and undermining the valid grievances of those peacefully protesting police brutality is named after a militant Stalinist German organization. Then again, Antifaschistische Aktion didn’t spend the vast majority of its time chasing imaginary fascists.

Like their latter-day inheritors, though, Antifaschistische Aktion was a parasitic organization that fed off of the anger of peaceful opposition to the state. Like their namesake, Antifa often accuses free and democratic institutions of engaging in “fascism” to further their own authoritarian cause. Then, as now, useful idiots parroted the lie.

For one thing, any thinking person understands that simply because a group cloaks itself in the name of a principled cause doesn’t necessarily mean it represents a principled cause. The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea is not democratic, run by the people, or a republic. Nor was the German Democratic Republic, nor was Hungarian Peoples Republic, nor was the People’s Republic of Angola.

Second, even legitimately anti-fascist organizations are not, by default, champions of virtuous causes. There are competing evils in the world, and there is no better example of this struggle than the one played out between fascists and Communists over the past century.

Only one of these ideologies gets a pass in the American media. Outlets have been downplaying the violent nature of Antifa for years. Even now, Don Lemon says no organization is perfect. But you might remember CNN’s Chris Cuomo posting pictures of American soldiers storming the beach on Normandy as if this was somehow comparable to the anarchists who throw rocks through coffee shops.

In 2017, we were offered one defense of Antifa after the next. In a Teen Vogue interview with historian Mark Bray, perhaps the country’s leading Antifa apologist, the adolescent readership of that magazine was informed that, “antifa grows out of a larger revolutionary politics that aspires toward creating a better world, but the primary motivation is to stop racists from organizing.”

Don’t let the platitude hide the lie. Though now embedded in media coverage, Antifa’s primary goal isn’t to disrupt genuine racists. These days, anyone who diverges from the far Left’s agenda is deemed a racist, a fascist.

The Antifa Twitter account encouraged followers to engage in acts of wanton vandalism this weekend. The Associated Press reported that law enforcement offices warned that Antifa had told followers that Minnesota National Guard troops were “easy targets,” and to steal their weapons and body armor.

These alleged anti-fascists and alt-right Nazis deserve each other. America deserves neither. The difference is that one group is rightly condemned by all decent people, while the other gets high-fives from the celebrity class and apologias in the Washington Post.

David Harsanyi is a senior writer for National Review and the author of First Freedom: A Ride through America’s Enduring History with the Gun

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