I, for one, support assaulting Nazis but I do not support assaulting Antifa, yet I do not consider that stance to be hypocritical in the least. Do you know why? Because there is a stark asymmetry in the comparison, those are not two sides of the same coin, those are two different coins. Antifa and Nazis differ in principle.
Firstly, Antifa are a reaction to Nazis. If there were no Nazis, there would be no Antifa, so there would be no-one for Antifa to assault. But if Antifa disappear overnight, there still will be Nazis assaulting LGBTQ and POC etc. Secondly, Nazis are historically proven to be inherently violent. If not violently and consistently opposed to the point when they have no real power anymore, they will only use compromises and dialogues to slowly normalize more and more extreme measures, they will get bolder and bolder – right until the point when they run the government and war and/or extermination camps become official policy.
The asymmetry here is that Nazis are active, whilst Antifa are merely reactive. Argumentum ad absurdum to illustrate the point: It is not hypocritical to condemn Operation Barbarossa whilst condoning Operation Overlord.
Appeasing Nazis does not work, they can’t be content without killing those they deem inferior. Debating Nazis does not work, they can’t be reasoned with. Ridiculing Nazis does only work to a limited extent, they can’t be shamed.
The only thing that works is to scare them into hiding. In Europe, this is today mostly done by outlawing Nazi speech. It is not perfect, but Nazis here have learned to be coy and to hide their Nazism, because they know they are treading a very thin line and that a word out-of-order could put them in jail. Is it perfect? No, racism and xenophobia unfortunately still abound ana fascism and nazism still rear their ugly heads again. Is it better than leaving them spout their bile publicly whilst flying Nazi flags as they do now in USA? Hell yes.
And until the USA sorts out its idiotically naive notions about “freedom of speech”, violence is one of necessary ways of opposing Nazis. If you do not take it early on, you will be forced to do so sooner or later. They won’t give you another option, the have proven that in history, extensively.
On the other hand a Nazi who whines when one of their lot gets punched but cheers when one of our lot gets punched is hypocritical, because – as I said – Nazis are inherently violent. They venerate violence in the best tradition of toxic masculinity. Violence is at the very core of their political stance that violence against any opposition is desired and heroic course of action. They only pretend to be peaceful when it suits them, but peaceful coexistence with anyone is never their goal. Their goal is extermination of “the other”.
I was warning about Trump being outright Fascist from the day I learned about his candidacy and how he runs his campaign. Now, mere two years later, USA has outright concentration camps and finally some of those who initially thought comparing Trump to Hitler is over-the-top started to wake up to that reality. But there are still nearly two years left until next election. And we are debating whether to punch Nazis or being polite to them? Gimme a break.
Marcus Ranum says
Eventually we are going to have to start shooting them. And by then we’ll be saying “I wish we had shot a few of them sooner because it might have had more effect then.”
Well said, Charly. It shouldn’t have to be said, but sadly it does.
I was going to post this over at TNET in case it interests anyone, but I think here it fits better. The people behind Black Flags Over Brooklyn (the anti-fascist and anti-racist extreme music festival that is trying to confront metal’s Nazi problem) have put together a compilation from 33 metal, hardcore and punk artists called Riffs for Reproductive Justice. All money raised will be donated to two abortion funds. If you are into this kind of music consider heading over to their bandcamp page to support abortion access and also to show solidarity with those within the extreme music community that are pushing back against the infiltrating fascists. After all, music is like the right not to be punched: it should be for everyone, except Nazis.
I have copied your comment to TNET because I think it’s important and someone may see it there that misses it here.
Very well said. Thanks for saying it.
Very well said, Charly. It needs to be pointed out again and again, that Antifa and Nazis are not “just some thugs that like violence”. Having been on some Anti-Fascho demonstrations, I am very thankful for the Antifa-Persons standing where the police would not dare.
Thank you for that link, Nightjar. As a metal fan, this was an pretty much instant buy for a good cause! :)
Well said Charly, though I too am sad that it needs saying.
Calling someome a “fascist” has become a trend these days. I’ve read texts with strong Trump-bias but also many anti-Trump texts that were biased just as strongly.
Anyway, here’s my Trump & Hitler comparison:
Anti-rationalism: Hitler preferred actions over ideals. Trump constantly brags “Look, what I did!”
Fight: Hitler’s worldview was about great fight between Good (“true Germans”) against Evil (Jews etc.) Trump’s rhetoric is often about “us” vs. “them” (terrorists, immigrants, press, etc.)
Militant nationalism: Hitler used military force to spread his nationalistic ideals. Trump supports use of military force and holds strong nationalistic views.
Leader: Hitler presented himself as a strong, charismatic man, made grandiose speeches etc. Trump is, basically, doing the same.
Women: Hitler wanted patriarchal society and women were discriminated under his rule. Trump has a long history of sexist comments and actions.
Propaganda: Hitler lied, used extremistic and divisive rhetoric in order to mobilize masses for his cause. Trump’s rhetoric follows the same pattern.
Opposition: Hitler hunted and crushed opponents of Nazi regime. Trump hasn’t gone that far, but he’s very aggressive towards his opponents.
Golden age: Hitler promised to make Germany great (Großdeutsches Reich). Trump is exciting similar sentiments with MAGA.
These points are valid not just for Trump but also, to some extent, for other US presidents. The strength with which all of these points are held and communicated by Donald J. Trump is unprecedented in US history. He’s far on the right, true, however, I’m still not entirely convinced that he’s as deranged as Hitler.