Saturday, September 16, 2017

A few thoughts on fascists and anti-fascists

I just read a great OpEd by Michael Coren at, and I wanted to write a few words in response.

Mr Coren writes about his father who returned from military service in 1946, and found fascism on the rise in London. He and other veterans who had seen the Holocaust first-hand formed the 43 Group and took direct action against the fascist movement.

Their slogan was "After the holocaust, there are no rules." Despite that, they did not riot or loot, but planned campaigns and carried them out as disciplined former soldiers. They collapsed stages at fascist rallies, so that the police could then end the meetings. They raided fascist headquarters to capture intelligence about British fascists and their plans. In other words, having returned from fighting fascists around the world, they finished the job at home. Within a few years, Mr Coren writes, "the brief resurgence of British fascism had dribbled into a collection of basement-dwellers and fringe eccentrics."

Here's Mr Coren's essay:

I was pleased to read about the 43 Group at a time when many people are trying to suggest that anti-fascists must choose to be pacifists, or be labelled as terrorists.

I think there is a deliberate reason behind this oversimplified categorization. Please allow me to offer a simple illustration.

Stopping a mugging doesn't make you a terrorist. Please consider that the muggers might see you that way, regardless of the methods you use... after all, you've imposed your will over theirs.

Furthermore, please consider that those muggers (and those who support them) might try to create a prevailing attitude that anyone who does not peacefully stand by while they go about their mugging is morally equivalent to a terrorist.

I trust you can see how that would serve muggers and those who support them, and how it would fail to serve anyone else.

Now let's get back to discussing anti-fascists.

I believe that it is an obvious truth that the vast majority of humans everywhere are "anti-fascist", in the same way that we are "anti-slavery", "anti-murder", and "anti-assault". Anyone who claims to be in favour of any of those ideas can only feel that way if they expect to be on the dominant side of the relationship. If you aren't willing to take on any role in the system you are promoting, including the role of victim, then you are not truly in favour of that system.

For example, I live in a democracy and I am willing to be on the losing side of an election, in exchange for the right to organize, and campaign, and protest; using the democratic processes afforded those who do not support an action taken by the party in power.

If a self-proclaimed fascist is unwilling to be on the losing side of a fascist system, then they do not really support the system of fascism. They just have a pitiable desire to consider themselves innately superior to their neighbours.

People who overlty or covertly support fascism need to be helped to see the illogic of their ideals. They need emotional support and education, so that they can learn to control the egocentric and shallow impulses that we all struggle with and accept responsibility for making considered decisions and respecting others.

People who overtly or covertly spread fascism need to be stopped, as quickly and efficiently and peacefully as possible... just like a mugger.

At least that's my opinion. I could be wrong. It wouldn't be the first time today.