|Antifa member fights "Fascist."|
I used to follow Warren Kinsella’s blog. He has recently tweeted something remarkably dumb, or sinister:
“’Antifa’ is short for anti-fascist. The only ones who should oppose antifa are fascists.”
There is an exact historical parallel:
“The Fascists are anti-Bolshevik. Nobody should oppose them except Bolsheviks.”
And that is exactly how Hitler and Mussolini got into power.
First they came for the Communists. But I was not Communist...
Whether he knows it or is just naive, Kinsella’s advice serves Fascist objectives perfectly.
Is he that naive? Does he really believe that simply saying something is so makes it so?
Yes, I think. I think this comes from a chain of prior assumptions, common on the left.
1. There is no objective reality
2. We each, therefore, have the right to “construct” our own reality.
It follows from this that, if I say a thing is so, it is so. It is my reality.
So if I say I am “anti-Fascist,” I am necessarily “anti-Fascist.” This cannot be questioned.
If you question it, this is an act of aggression against me. You are violating my rights to define myself. Similarly, if I say I am a woman, this cannot be questioned. If you will not use the pronoun I specify, you are committing an act of aggression against me.
This immediately means that free speech is no longer possible. Anything said can count as an “aggression.” Now to say something upsetting to someone is just as troublesome as punching them in the nose. And it is up to the listener to decide: there can be no objective standard for this. If I say I feel offended, the case is made. You have committed a violation of my rights.
We are all criminals now. Anyone can be declared an enemy of the people. Perhaps, for example, a disliked minority. Hearing Jews speak in their own behalf offends me. Or hearing straight white males.
But that is only the beginning of our problem. It is necessarily true that, if we each get to invent our own reality, these realities will quickly and regularly come into conflict. In your mind, you are a woman. In my mind, you are a man. If I refer to you as “he,” I am aggressing on your reality. But, equally, if you require me to refer to you as “she,” you are aggressing on my reality.
So whose rights prevail?
You might say, relying on that old distinction we used when we believed in an objective reality, that your rights end where my body begins. But that does not work when there is no agreed reality. That would include bodies, or selves. I could choose to say your body is not separate; it is just a “clump of tissues.” And it is in my way. I could choose to believe that your body is not there, or you are not. I could decide to believe you are not human in the same sense I am.
The only option left at this point is “might makes right”; and this point is inherent and inevitable in the initial premise. Whoever has power, in sum, gets to do whatever they want to whoever does not have power.
This is what we now see on the streets of America.
One side defines itself as “Anti-Fascist.” This justifies any action whatsoever against “Fascists.” But this side also reserves to itself the absolute right to declare who is Fascist and who is not.
Along with “Fascist,” you see the term “white supremacist” a lot recently. Its common usage is interesting, because in fact, there is probably no group anywhere in the US today who would call themselves “white supremacist.” At most, they would say that are “white nationalists.” Perhaps one or two small bodies, granted, would accept the term “Fascist” or “National Socialist.”
If they are not objectively correct, if they are lying, you would need to make the argument. You would have to demonstrate from things they say that they are in fact calling for the legislated superiority of people with pale skin.
Nobody seems to be doing this. Why?
Because whether or not they are objectively telling the truth is irrelevant. There is no truth. In my reality, they are white supremacists. Case closed. Lock and load.
But wait. If there is no objective truth, don’t they have the same right you do to define their own reality? If I say I am a woman, I am a woman. So if they say they are not white supremacists, they are not white supremacists, right?
Of course not, you fool. White supremacists have no rights.
In other words, might makes right. Each one of us is now, by this logic, in a struggle to the death to impose our will on everyone else. By any means necessary: by violence, by fake news (as if there were some objective standard!), by shouting opponents down, by falsely characterising their views, whatever.
And here we are.
So far, the right has been handicapped by feeling itself bound by all the old rules. This has given the left an immense tactical advantage. One thinks of poor Chamberlain and Daladier at Munich—naively thinking that everyone wanted peace, compromise was possible, and treaties meant something.
But where must this inevitably lead?