Fascists have escalated to attacking infrastructure

Part of the reason I feel comfortable saying that fascists and other conservatives want the violence we’ve been seeing, is that they have been told, at every step of the way, what the result of their hateful rhetoric would be. It was true of the pro-life movement’s love of stochastic terrorism. It was true of the horrors we’ve seen since the Supreme Court struck down Roe v Wade. It’s true of the current violence against LGBTQIA people.

Mass murder is the desired outcome. When I use terms like “genocide” for this, I mean it quite literally – they want queer people to stop existing.

In Abigail Thorne’s excellent video on the philosophy of Antifa, she says that while fascists can non-violently make themselves safe from anti-fascist activists by ceasing to “do fascism”, the targets of fascism cannot make themselves safe from fascists, because their mere existence is why they’re under attack. The only way to make the fascists happy is for them to stop existing.

This also means that as a fascist movement gains power and confidence, they will keep escalating attacks on the groups they’re scapegoating. You can’t claim that a group of people is causing the downfall of civilization forever, without doing something about it, and as we’ve seen, they’ve reached the stage where they’re openly saying, “if you don’t want to be murdered, follow my rules“.

The response to the Club Q shooting was an escalation. It marked the point at which many conservatives felt safe enough to shed the pretense of disapproval, and to openly support the violence. We’ve now had another escalation, in North Carolina:

Much of Moore County — more than 40,000 homes and businesses — remain without power following an attack to electrical substations. Authorities have confirmed that at least two substations were damaged by gunfire on Saturday night.

Damage assessments are still underway and estimates for the return of power to almost all of southern and central Moore remain uncertain. For now, Duke Energy has estimated restoration by 10 p.m. Sunday night, but that was before full estimates of the damage were available.

This coordinated attack coincides with rhetorical attacks on a drag show that was in one of the affected businesses, and has been followed, as with the Club Q shooting, by right-wing extremists making not-so-subtle implications:

Unsurprisingly, they claim that their god is responsible – who knew he used guns?

As usual, their “all-powerful” deity needs fanatical zealots to interpret and carry out its wishes.

I’ve talked before about how bigots are more than willing to hurt themselves and those they claim to care about, if it means hurting the people they hate more. In this case, shutting down one drag show was apparently worth cutting off power to tens of thousands of people, no matter how much harm that does to anyone else. The long history of blaming natural disasters on “the gays” has primed them to accept massive amounts of collateral damage in their war on most of humanity. If “God” is angry about the drag show, then he’s punishing everyone who lost power for not being bigoted enough towards that show, and towards the people who are OK with such things.

It will not stop here.

This shouldn’t be required for anyone to fight back, but it won’t stop with trans people either, or gay people, or any other group. Fascism is a pyramid scheme fueled by hatred – it always needs new targets. They are coming for queer people right now, and the only way they will stop is if we make sure they no longer have the power to keep going.

The exact mode of opposition is going to vary from place to place. Anti-fascist action tends to be locally organized, and tailored to the needs of the moment. It may be that cancelling an event is the best course of action in a given moment, to avoid an armed confrontation. It may be that groups like the John Brown Gun Club will run a security operation to defend an event. If you think things are safe where you are, and you want to help out somewhere else, follow local leadership.

There is no one-size-fits-all solution here, beyond the importance of collective action. Work with others. Do not assume the police are on your side (they aren’t). This is dangerous. People are getting killed, and the trend is towards more violence, not less. The people who’ve been warning about fascism have not been exaggerating or making stuff up – it is happening here, and without real, organized opposition, it will keep happening.

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  1. lochaber says

    This is the worst “I told you so, I fucking told you so!” feeling ever….

  2. says

    big time, big time. i wish law enforcement wasn’t so thoroughly infiltrated by nazi motherfuckers, because they’re the one group of people in our country that’s supposedly empowered for the exact thing that’s necessary here – stopping violent criminal conspiracy with state-sanctioned violence. bad times.

  3. johnson catman says

    In the interviews with the Moore County, NC sheriff, I heard him call the perpetrators “cowards” but I never heard the one thing that they should be called: terrorists.

  4. says

    So, as usual, I think Beau of the Fifth Column has a good take on this.


    The basic summary is as follows:

    First, since nobody has claimed credit, we don’t know the motive. We’re just, you know, pretty damned sure.

    Second, temperatures are gonna be below freezing tonight, and Moore County has a lot of old people living in it – the odds are very, very good that among those thousands of elderly people without heat, some will die. That could lead to felony murder charges.

    Third, for all I say that fascists are fine with collateral damage, and they know that their actions will hurt innocents, they also don’t always think very clearly (which is part of why they’re fascists). That being the case, at least some of the people involved in this attack may not have realized that they were, by cutting power, killing some number of elderly people.

    That increases the chances that someone will talk to the cops.

    So by that analysis, there’s a decent chance that we’ll find out who did it and why before too long.

    I’ll also say that for all I have a bleak view of who’s still involved in this movement at this point, I’m sure there are some people for whom this will be a wake-up call, and they will, at minimum, cease their active support and involvement in the current hate campaign.

  5. Pierce R. Butler says

    I could, in an abstract sort of way, almost feel sorry for the current surge of wannabe fascists.

    What they want: Civil War II. What they can achieve: intermittent, mostly annoying, terrorism.

    How can they possibly break out of the latter to accomplish the former?

  6. says

    The history of fascism in the United States has been one of terrorism as the primary tool, with law enforcement either looking away, or putting on hoods themselves. I think it’s also worth keeping in mind that this “mostly annoying” terrorism is likely to kill a number of people, as have the mass shootings.

    I think that that’s how things will progress, for now, probably with some armed leftist groups starting to fight back. I suppose gang warfare could be a useful comparison, especially since white supremacist gangs are probably going to be involved in a fair amount of the terrorism, and the cops will mostly be on the side of the fascists.

    The point at which an actual underground resistance will be needed is if the fascists get “legitimate” control of the federal government, and can make the various gangs, terrorist groups, and militias official in some way. Hopefully it won’t get to that point, but I’m not particularly optimistic about the trajectory.

    Still, things can change very, very quickly, so we keep working.

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