By Ben Pensant
I can’t be the only progressive still purring over the events in Charlotteseville two weeks ago. Sure, the violence was somewhat underwhelming: one dead, a handful injured and nowhere near enough arrests for us to frame as either a calculated assault on the peaceful left or a damning indictment of the violent right.
But the march itself is as irrelevant as the woman who was killed. No, what really mattered was the glorious aftermath; the way leftists worldwide worked tirelessly to rebrand a gang of anti-democratic street thugs as contemporary equivalents of the young men who stormed the beaches of Normandy.
It’s been a joy watching liberal media whitewash domestic terrorists who subscribe to a totalitarian ideology which killed millions simply because their enemies are domestic terrorists who subscribe to a slightly different totalitarian ideology which killed millions. As CNN put it while promoting a gushing profile, Antifa ‘seek peace through violence’. I look forward to them following this up with a report on the Muslim grooming gangs who spent the last decade keeping children safe by raping them.
Inevitably, people on social media played their part, many of whom had never heard of Antifa a week earlier and still don’t have a clue what they represent but have decided they must be the good guys because they like fighting Nazis so fuck the system or something:
‘Nazis hate and want to exterminate Jews, POC, homosexuals, gypsies, the disabled. Antifa hate and want to get rid of Nazis. No comparison’ raged a thoughtful tweeter in response to the ludicrous, offensive and demonstrably true suggestion that Antifa are a terrorist group as deserving of condemnation as white supremacists. The peaceful revolutionary then emphasised his opponent’s wrongness with four ‘cry laughing’ emojis – a clear sign you’re debating someone who knows their shit – before repeating the same point in a series of brilliantly smug Tweets, each one more educated and informed than the last.
Then there are those who know fine well what Antifa are but deploy standard left-wing tactics – misdirection, whataboutery, sticking their fingers in their ears and shouting ‘I CAN’T HEAR YOU!’ – in the hope that the first group are too stupid to do the five minute’s worth of research required to find out what they’ve been told about these brave activists is utter horse-shit.
And let’s not forget those who know fine well what Antifa represent but couldn’t care less because they too oppose democracy, free speech and universal human rights. These far-left die-hards have so much in common with white supremacists it’s sometimes hard to tell them apart. But then you remember, for all their shared love of identity politics and beating people up, the difference is clear: Antifa are right about everything and Nazis are Nazis. And when you’re right you can beat up as many people as you like.
This mass delusion – embraced by the same people who regularly tell Brexit voters how gullible they are – was achieved in part thanks to Antifa’s clever decision to crib their name from the anti-fascist movements of the ’30s. (Y’know, the ones who actually were anti-fascists rather than merely fascists.) Because one sure-fire way to convince progressives of your organisation’s wholesomeness is to give them a monicker promoting a simple, universal value that every decent person can get behind. Hence Stop The War, Unite Against Fascism, Black Lives Matter and now Anti Fascist Action have successfully blue-pilled millions into believing they are worthy, progressive movements despite the fact that in practice these names reflect their ethos about as accurately as calling Hezbollah The Peaceful Jew Lovers.
This sly branding has been so successful even mild criticism of Antifa is now viewed by the moderate left as akin to pissing on the war-graves of everyone who died fighting for freedom and tolerance. Two things that the modern versions of Antifa are fundamentally opposed to if their recent noble history of violently shutting down college talks is anything to go by.
All of which helped kick-start the widely disseminated meme that Antifa only protest white supremacicts and wouldn’t dream of assaulting anyone who isn’t a Nazi. And this narrative has been swallowed whole by the mainstream despite the freely available mountain of first hand accounts and video footage proving Antifa’s history of protesting and assaulting anyone even slightly to the right of them. But hey, nothing illustrates the tolerance of the modern left more than showing solidarity with people who hate us.
And Charlottesville was their greatest PR coup yet, with even Sajid Javid weighing in to laud those peaceful guys and gals attacking people with metal pipes: ‘Neo-Nazis: bad. Anti-Nazis: good. I learnt that as a child’. It’s not often I agree with a Tory MP though his logic is impeccable, despite the fact he seems blissfully unaware that the ‘anti-Nazis’ he’s referring to are ‘anti’ quite a lot of things Sajid holds dear and come the revolution would happily string him up from a lamp-post on Downing Street before you can say ‘Glavnoe upravlenie ispravitel’no-trudovykh lagerei’.
But far-left extremists being praised by a Conservative just shows how thoroughly the characterisation of Antifa as The Good Guys has taken root. And it shows no sign of letting up. So the fact that a large number of peaceful protesters turned up to demonstrate against the white supremacists means we can ignore all the non-peaceful ones who turned up to break their skulls with bike locks. Indeed a Guardian column written by Charlottesville attendee Emily Gorcenski did just that, skilfully failing to mention the word ‘Antifa’ once and giving the impression that the only people imvolved in the counter-protest were harmless students and anyone who says otherwise is Mussolini.
Gorcenski, of course, is the delightful progressive who a week earlier Tweeted that if she worked at Google she’d have beaten the shit out of evil sex-killer James Damore so it’s refreshing to know a liberal newspaper thinks she’s one of the peaceful ones. And as she wrote, the fact that a bunch of Nazi cowards beat up a black man in a parking garage proves they alone are capable of attacking innocent people, despite Antifa’s well-documented penchant for, well, attacking innocent people.
But fear not, if presented with this evidence simply point out they were probably white supremacists therefore deserved it. Because it’s not our job to fret about mistaken identity. It’s safe to say in all of these instances – many of which have been caught on camera – the men in question clearly incited their own assaults by virtue of being white and male. In which case we should applaud the brave leftists who selflessly keep the streets safe by targeting innocent people. You can’t be too careful.
And the fact that incidents like this frequently occur when Antifa are in town is of no concern to progressives. That anyone with eyes can easily find out they are not quite the brave warriors CNN and the BBC say has done nothing to damage their brand, because leftists’ eyes don’t work like everybody else’s. Hence the honourable urban myth that Antifa are courageous liberal knights keeping society safe from impotent racist cretins in crewcuts.
Because in these dark times we need all the allies we can get. As one centrist enchanted by the hip new thugs on the block put it on Twitter: ‘People criticising Antifa seem to have forgotten we literally allied with Stalin to beat the fuckers last time’. Which makes sense, provided you ignore the fact that Stalin was allied with the fuckers in the first place.
But still, it proves that the best way to defeat extremists is to enlist the help of other extremists, especially extremists whose ideology is every bit as authoritarian. Not that this bothered Twitter liberals: ‘Ally with anyone to beat the Nazis’ screeched one, though he stopped short of forming an alliance with the EDL to combat jihadists on the grounds that ‘the EDL are Nazis too’. And as for making equivalence between jihadism and Nazism: yeah right. Everyone knows that unlike white supremacy jihadism is a perfectly rational response to oppression and anyone who disagrees is a fascist. See how easy this shit is?
Point being: when we say ‘ally with anyone’ we mean ‘anyone left-wing’. Because if a group is on the left they get a free pass to be as illiberal or murderous as they like. In fact, they don’t even have to be left-wing: as long as they hate the West they can be more right-wing than a Eugene Terre’Blanche lookalike contest and still get lauded by everyone from John Pilger to St Jezza.
So it stands to reason that Stalin helping to defeat the Nazis means Antifa are the good guys, despite the fact that these good guys would gladly nailbomb the people defending them if it struck a blow against capitalism or something. And this indoctrination has been a roaring success, if comments such as this one from the middle-class vegetarian I mentioned earlier are anything to go by: ‘Why are people scared of the alt-left? Media savvy militants ready to feed, house and provide meaningful employment to everyone. Sounds great’
Indeed. It’s great to know that sane liberals are so dedicated to whitewashing left-wing violence they’ve convinced themselves that thuggish extremists loot shops and shut down free speech to help out their fellow citizens. That the rag tag melting pot of communists and anarchists who make up Anifa would rather destroy society than contribute to it is irrelevant. They’re on the left so they must be good. Viva something-or-other!
As ever though, the left-wing response to Charlottesville was dictated entirely by Donald Trump. It’s amazing that someone so ridiculous manages to shape the narrative of everything from racist marches to lunar eclipses. But we need him like he needs us and we’d have a torrid time deciding what to think of an issue if we didn’t have an arrogant, ginger lunatic to guide us.
So when Trump had the temerity to say there was violence on ‘both sides’ we had to assume he was wrong, ignore the footage proving he was right, and cling to the narrative that every non-Nazi who turned up to Charlottesville was there to peacefully protest and those lovely Antifa folk are harmless boy scouts who only wear masks so the Nazis don’t doxx them and all the ones setting fire to bins and throwing flares are Zionist provocateurs and dude, did I mention the evil Nazis?
So we can’t just debate with fellow liberals who have issues with Antifa and Communism. No, we have to accuse them of being related to Hitler.
We can’t simply dispute Trump’s claim that there were ‘fine people’ at the protest. No, we have to say that the only fine people were the counter protesters, even the ones threatening journalists and hitting women with poles.
And we can’t limit our anti-fascist activities to actual Nazis. No, we have to hijack a tiny free speech rally in Boston a week later, then proudly boast how thousands of us ‘shut down’ all 30-or-so attendees, approximately none of whom were Nazis.
And if several Antifa folks still get themselves arrested despite the lack of violent torch-wielding white supremacists to ‘defend’ themselves against, well, simply blame it on heavy-handed cops and their disgraceful decision to protect a handful of citizens over a 10,000+ mob. The fascist pigs.
Luckily our side is armed and ready for combat. And it’s exciting to hear people who bristle at the merest hint of direct action against jihadists who’ve murdered hundreds this year are remarkably keen on using force against a pathetic bunch of far-right virgins who’ve killed one person. Even The People’s Puritan (Owen Jones) recently viewed to ‘fight fascists’ while hanging out in a carpark drinking G&T, a stance somewhat at odds with his calm pleas for solidarity that have followed every Islamic terrorist attack since he appointment himself The Regressive Of Hearts.
And why not? They’re fascists, silly! If the last glorious fortnight has told us anything it’s that they are few groups better qualified to decide who is and isn’t a Nazi than the contemporary left. And should we continue to get it wrong and occasionally punch, kick, stab or kill people who aren’t Nazis? Don’t sweat it.
They’re white for god’s sake. They’re bound to have done something wrong.
(Photo: Alfred Dixon)