Can the Anti-Fascism movement be fascist? That’s what some politicians are claiming. However, who and where did this come from, who paid for this idea to be put forward, and why is it being used against people who are against fascism? How can you be anti-fascist, but be fascist at the same time? I thought that I would look into this fascinating idea, and I have to say that I was not surprised at all by what I found.
One of the places to find this idea is Reason.com which is funded by the David H. Koch Foundation, and the Sarah Scaife Foundation. Both Koch and Scaife are affiliated with most, if not all the large Libertarian Think Tanks. David Koch, along with his brother, have been leading influencers in the Republican Party (it is estimated that they have given over 1.5 billion dollars to extreme conservative groups, including the GOP). The Sarah Scaife Foundation also contributes extreme amounts of money to the far-right, including anti-immigrant and Islamophobic organizations such as The Center for Immigration Studies and the David Horowitz Freedom Center.
This is why Reason.com has pushed an agenda of Antifa supposedly being a fascist organization. This idea has spread far and wide and is being touted by Trump. So now that we know who is paying for this idea to be spread, lets discuss whether or not it is a legitimate stance to take.
Scholars have agreed that fascism has core elements that need to be agreed upon to make the organization fascist. These include: Nationalism – and using large amounts of money to make the nation stronger and more powerful – this national strength makes the nation “good”; Allegiance to a specific group of people that are thought of as superior in some way or another; Propaganda – various news outlets that promote only one view and denigrate opposing points of views (including facts); Support of a leader, regardless of what that leader does or says; and the “beauty of violence” as perpetrated against the “others”.
So, does this sound like Antifa to you? There is no “group” known as antifa. It’s basically a bunch of different people who loosely agree on various subjects such as equality for all – including LGBTQIA; BLM; Indigenous Peoples’ Rights; health-care for all – including reproductive rights; higher wages; equal opportunity; immigrant rights; and inclusivity. I’m sure there is more, but this a loose list. There is no superiority, no nationalist viewpoint. It’s a “we are all here together” and “we are all one” view of the world. Most importantly, there is no one leader in charge. As such, there is no media outlet that they own creating propaganda in order to push their agenda on others.
So, if we use this idea of fascism against those who say Antifa is fascist, what do we find? The answer is some damning evidence. The conservative party (GOP), is quite nationalist – after all, their most powerful member ran on the platform of “America First” and “Make America Great Again”. This party is almost entirely made up of white people, many of whom are aligned with members of white supremacist groups. This also gives them a “leader” to whom the GOP has basically pledged allegiance to regardless of what he says or does. For example, just look at Trump’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic and the chorus of Republican Congressmen/women, who continue to support him. Furthermore, the GOP has multiple media outlets that push their agenda, including, but not limited to, Fox News. They have also spent extraordinary amounts of money on the military, spending $738 billion in just one year.
Finally, to come to a conclusion, the GOP itself has a long history of being against anyone who is “different”. How have they done this? By fighting against Civil Rights, LGBTQIA – refusing to fund a cure for AIDS, equality, etc. These examples are endless – the fight against equality and healthcare for all is an on-going battle that I quite frankly am tired of fighting – but they unfortunately are not. So, if Antifa is a loose group of people who are not part of any one organization, do not believe in Nationalism, have a leader, nor media outlets producing propaganda and have no way of building up a military, how are they fascist? Answer, they are not. However, their detractors are.