What follows is a letter written to a friend who actively supported Antifa and justified Antifa’s violent actions against supposed fascists. It was written after a fairly heated exchange on Facebook where I encouraged Antifa and their supporters to “go and fuck themselves” after years of violence and antagonism that resulted in the death of a protester in Charlottesville. The letter was hastily written in an effort to save an actual friendship after our virtual one had ended on the social platform. This letter was not written with the intent of being a public article. There were no sources made to any of my claims, all of which were made in good faith based on information I had gathered over the years of watching Antifa’s actions, and many sources on the history of socialism and communism. I present this letter almost intact. I have made some changes to protect the identity of my friend, as well as some editing because I’m a spaz like that and can’t help myself. I may rework this letter into a fully cited text at a future time, but I feel the relevance of this cannot wait for a more thorough or convenient time. This is a long letter, and if I am to hold myself to my high standards, it is also poorly written. But in the words of Blaise Pascal, “Je n’ai fait celle-ci plus longue que parce que je n’ai pas eu le loisir de la faire plus courte” or “I only made it longer because I did not have the leisure to make it shorter.”
I hope I don’t have to say that I am not in favor, or support of Nazi ideology. I also disagree that I am somehow “sitting by doing nothing” or that “my silence is endorsing naziism” by refusing to play a part of bashing Nazi heads at rallies, or justifying violence “by any means necessary.” But I simply can’t support or endorse the violent actions of Antifa. In fact I mean to fight against them. Here’s why:
My problem with Antifa is that they claim to fight fascism, but all the while using fascism to suit their own ends. My problem with Antifa is that they are Communists, and just as Authoritarian as Nazis. My problem with Antifa is that they are not fighting against an ideology that is dangerous and threatening to minorities, but to to wrest control from their National Socialist brethren. And once they do, everyone who stands in their way of ultimate power—including and especially minorities—are in grave danger as they have always been in the past. This. Has. Happened. Many. Times. Before.
There are historically two sides to Authoritarianism that have been fighting each other for power and control: Nazis and Communists. This goes back to the 1920s Germany where the NSDAP was fighting the Communist party for control. And long before that too. Socialism goes back to Plato as an ideology, and before that in Mesopotamia and Egypt where Socialism was the state government. The battle for Socialistic power is rooted in religious heretical fervor which should help explain why Naziism and Communism have always been such vile and violent efforts.
What we are seeing today is the escalation of Authoritarianism and the battle over which side will win that power for themselves. And it looks eerily similar to how it looked in pre-Nazi Germany. This is why I say “Anarcho Communism” is a lie. It is claiming “We are not the Authoritarians we were in the past, we do not seek Authoritarian power this time, we swear, we promise.” I don’t deride anyone in Antifa who actually believes this nonsense—in fact I truly hope that they don’t support Authoritarianism—but it is not them that I am worried about, it is who comes after them that frightens me. It is what happens after the Communists purge the anarchists in pursuit of their authoritarian path to Utopia.
Extremist groups have never—EVER—been a friend of LGBTQ people and other minorities. We have always been the expendable groups. Even Democrats do this. Every election Democrats whisper sweet, private words of support in the ears of LGBTQ people only to abandon them once elected to office. Sure we got Don’t Ask Don’t Tell. Sure we got a party that issued stern words of condemnation towards anti-queer agendas. Sure we got genderless bathrooms in the Federal Government. But words and half-assed measures were the only rewards for our dutiful support of the Left.
The same is true for Antifa, a very extremist group. They have always claimed to represent the underrepresented, until they achieve the power and control that they seek. Unlike Democrats, they aren’t so forgetful of who brought them into power. Lenin had a saying, “Useful Idiots.” Whatever the intentions of those fighting with Antifa on the ground today, they are not the ones guiding the agenda, and they are not the ones who will become the political leaders. The real leaders wait in silence, for the violence to erupt, for chaos and collapse after others die for their cause. Only then will the people who wish to seize power reveal themselves. They will become known after the movement is exhausted and tired from fighting—or simply dead from the act itself. Their first goal is to simply “clean up” what is left, all the while pretending to be “On Your Side.” They will be accepted with open arms because they are hiding in plain sight; only their agenda is hidden.
By “cleaning up” that includes putting in a Communist regime, yes, however you may feel about Communism. It also means “cleaning up” the Useful Idiots who had their ideals exploited for Authoritarian ends. The Useful Idiots will die too. And being Authoritarians “cleaning up” also means an attempt to homogenize their newly won society and culture, “to optimize for future success.” This is one area where Communists and Nazis agree: the extermination of minorities including Jews, LGBTQ, and political dissenters. Threads of this “cleansing” are already showing themselves in what we see as the battle over “oppression olympics,” of who is the most oppressed group and who is the most deserving of a seat of power and voice—and who is in their way. Nothing unites a people like having a common enemy. Unfortunately for LGBTQ people, History shows that we are a convenient target.
I know that Socialists and Communists don’t like being associated with National Socialism and Authoritarianism, but it is nonetheless true. What’s happening now is the same thing that happened in the Russian Revolution that brought Lenin to power. And what happened after Lenin died was the Great Purge of those people who helped to realize Communism. It was they who held onto the utopian ideas of what Communism was supposed to be, and it was them that would have tried to stop the rise of Authoritarianism. They were betrayed by the Authoritarians amongst them to seize power. Hundreds of thousands of Revolutionaries died at the hands of Stalin. Executed, so that nobody would be able to stand in the way of Stalin’s grand dream. This is even before Stalin murdered millions and millions in his Gulag.
In Germany in the 1920s and ’30s, Communist Antifa battled with the National Socialists, not just because of opposition to their ideology (it was hardly this at all), but because it was a battle for which form of Socialism would wrest power. It was the actions of Antifa Communists (the same actions that are now being carried out in the United States) that alienated German people and helped push public support towards the Nazis and ultimately led to the Nazi regime and WWII. I daresay repeating this bit of history sounds unthinkably terrifying.
This is why I am concerned about Antifa’s actions in the United States. They have been fanning the flames of Authoritarianism. They have been avid ideologues, thought police, censors, violent “my way or the highway” thugs that paint every single person who disagrees with them as the enemy, and lumping them all into one group, then viciously attacking them. This is why the words “racist” and “nazi” and “bigot” have been thrown at people without veracity or evidence. It makes them easier to attack without having to justify or validate the Antifa position: anger and violence gets to decide. This is what you call By Any Means Necessary: attacking people who are anti-racist, anti-sexist, pro-LGBTQ, anti-nazi and especially anti-communist. Otherwise known in sensible circles as Allies, if the true goal was the eradication of Fascism. Which, for Antifa, it is not. For Antifa it is the eradication of people who would stand in the way of implementing the Communist utopia they seek.
It has been the actions of Communists and Antifa over the past several years that has caused the erosion of public support for the left, caused antipathy amongst liberal and moderate minds, or has pushed those into more centrist and conservative circles. And it has been the actions of Antifa that is invigorating the Alt Right, re-awakening previously pacified resentments of some people, and pushing others still on the fence into their ideological camps. This is why Trump won the election. The left and moderates were demoralized by Antifa rhetoric. This last election saw a 20 year record low turnout for a presidential election, a 54% estimated decrease from previous elections. This, during an election which held significant stakes for every single party playing in the system. Doesn’t it seem strange to have such low turnout for such high stakes? Bernie Sanders lost the bid for the presidency in a corrupt scandal at the DNC. Antifa were supposed to have their figurehead. Hillary was a liability to them. Nothing left to do but tear the whole thing down. For Antifa right now, it is win or die trying.
Just like any cult, the racists that exist today were not always racists, not all of them. They have been recruited and inducted. What is making this possible is revulsion and opposition towards the extremist actions of Antifa. Antifa is making white nationalism stronger every single time they get on the news bashing free speech, bashing people’s heads in with bats and bike locks.
This is why the Alt Right is more than willing to contribute towards this mess, because it is good business for them and they desperately want it; they had previously shrunk to insignificant numbers. We had damn near wiped them out. During the election, over 90 percent of the racist memes and statements from the Alt Right were tracked down to a mere 1,200 email accounts. In a country of 320 million people, a couple thousand racists is statistically insignificant. However…
They are getting bigger by the day. And they are able to do this because most people revile the tactics used by Antifa and are more willing to listen to people who are NOT Antifa, including white supremacists. Think about that. People would rather listen to white nationalism than Antifa rhetoric. Most people still reject white nationalism, but the problem is one of exposure. Like a disease, racism and white nationalism can spread. Like a cult, people can become brainwashed into believing all sorts of fucked up shit. Just ask ex-Scientologists, or Heaven’s Gate survivors. And giving white nationalists an emotional hook with which to begin their indoctrination and inculcation of non-believers is 100% being fueled by the efforts of Antifa. Why else would the Alt Right be provoking Antifa and engaging so willingly?
You have to understand that, just like Antifa are the Useful Idiots of Communists, White Nationalists are the Useful Idiots of National Socialists. It is after the battle is won that the Great Purge begins, on either side. Most of the Useful Idiots of Antifa can justify Communism as a better option than Naziism. But you and I as queer folk don’t have that luxury. Either way, we’re fucked.
I know that Antifa rhetoric is that Hate Speech Isn’t Free Speech, and that it is their duty to smash down any and all forms of hate speech before it leads to white supremacy and their other ilk. I understand the appeal in shutting down hate speech, but this is a fallacy.
You can’t have “regulated free speech” because whoever is in power is the one doing the regulating. Once you go down the road of entrusting the Government with the responsibility of controlling what people can, and cannot say, you are allowing one group to censor another based on political ideology. This may seem all fine and good when it is your people in power, or at least controlling the dialog as Antifa currently is. But understand that power changes hands, and thus regulation of “acceptable speech” can also change. Once you convince people that it is not their inalienable right to free speech, but a right with which they are “blessed” at the whims of people in charge, you then hand over your mercy to those same whims and prejudices. Imagine Donald Trump controlling what is and isn’t free speech. Doesn’t sound like a good idea, does it?
This doesn’t become any less true when regime change comes with violent overthrow of the government. When the only way you get to have free speech is by murdering the people currently in charge, our society will devolve back into the dark ages. The Dark Ages™, also known as the Golden Era for Queer People. Need I point out my sarcasm here? When entire nations are in upheaval, what are the needs and value of queer people to the rest of society? Nothing. We become expendable. In fact I’d say we become a nuisance towards everyone else vying for power, while we will be trying to establish a place for ourselves in whatever society grows from the ashes. Our participation and protection in a civil society requires that the civil society exists in the first place. During an overthrow, LGBTQ people become a liability to other groups seeking power because of effort dilution and segmentation, regardless of their former ally status with the queer community. The term “faggot” should come readily and horrifically to mind. We serve a different kind of political power when scapegoated as an enemy of the people. One that ends badly for us.
Currently the government cannot control what free speech is, and this is a good thing. This is why we need to protect the free speech of all, even when that speech is most vile and repugnant. For one thing, it brings those vile and repugnant people out into the open, where they can be seen, and watched. Silence them and they go underground. Now how do you combat them when you can’t see where they are and you can’t hear what they’re saying? Just because they’ve become invisible doesn’t make them gone.
We need to let the white nationalists have their stupid fucking pity parties and march around with (OMFG I was dying laughing) Tiki Torches. We need to let them do this all by themselves, without any interaction or engagement with anybody else. Every single person who opposes them should avoid their rallies like the plague (or show up and do this.) Once their rallies become nothing but idiotic rants about race superiority, the media will stop covering their bullshit marches because—yawn—racism.
But when Antifa shows up and puts on a good old-timey fist fight, well, that’s fucking entertainment. The media will air that stuff all day, because it generates interest. It generates eyeballs. It generates ad revenue. It fuels the fucking fire. Because now these fucking racists have cameras connected to millions of people where they can spew their rhetoric in the mainstream. The media loves showing this because it reinforces butts-in-seats ad revenue for themselves. Antifa is amplifying racist agenda and giving white nationalists a broader audience. And Antifa are looking like the assholes that they are when they’re doing it. This is what white supremacists want. It helps them recruit new members. PERIOD.
The converse of this is also true, that white nationalist useful idiots are helping to recruit more Antifa useful idiots. See why this is a problem? See why Antifa is not the solution to the problem? See why White Nationalism is not the solution to the problem? See how this can only end in a blood bath?
I don’t have any reasonable expectation that I can convince white nationalists to simply not show up to their rallies and stop fueling the fires of Antifa in the interest of peace. First, I don’t know any white nationalists with which to try and reason. Second, I don’t have much hope that I can reason with them to begin with. Lastly, I have about as much hope of reasoning with Antifa as I do with White Nationalists. This is why I am placing my hope in you, my friends, to see Antifa for what it is and help shut it down before this country goes up in flames. This is why I need you to understand that there are real and actual alternatives to fighting racist nazi extremism that will have a better outcome for this country. It certainly will have a better outcome for LGBTQ people. If either Nazi or Antifa win, we lose. There is no room for compromise for us when Authoritarianism rises to power.
You are not a stupid person. Far from it, I know you to be a highly intelligent person.
Please. Don’t let them turn you into a useful idiot.
We can continue to disagree about Socialism. We can continue to have these debates. But Communism is evil. Just like Naziism is evil. There is no such thing as a “one size fits all” government, no matter how large you make it. This clumsy, imperfect and bumbling Republic we have is the most successful experiment in freedom this world has ever seen. We can only make it better if it survives. Every known alternative has already been tried, and fails to come close to what we have achieved. The irony is that we have so much freedom that it is being used to tear us apart. Ultimately freedom isn’t a right as much as it is a responsibility, to each other and to ourselves; not only to protect our freedoms for the future but to use them wisely today, with respect and civility.
Here are a couple links that I think will help illustrate why I am fighting against Antifa as much as I am fighting against Naziism.
These are quite long, but they really get into the how and why of Communist infiltration in our society, and the things that Antifa are designed to do. They’re by a guy named Yuri Bezmenov who worked as a propagandist for the KGB before escaping and fleeing to Canada in the 1970s. Very interesting stuff!