Antifascism in Charlottesville: What are revolutionaries fighting for?

Michael Shraibman

By listening two representatives of the antifascist movement on the American channel Fox News, I heard the following: “anti-fascists attacked the right wing in Charlotsville because anti-fascists are ‘against Haight-speech, freedom of speech is not for those who spread hatred”. Also, they said that antifa unite different people: there are not only anarchists among them. Also the following thing: in the reports of the various teams they constantly emphasized that American anti-fascists unite “anarchists, socialists and Communists (Leninists)”. In this regard, I have few small comments.

Anarchism, communitarian self-government and anti-fascism

Anti-fascist movement was formed as an Alliance of all or many of the opponents of fascism in the so-called Era of Fascism (if we use the definition of the famous German historian Ernst Nolte), in 1930-1945 years of the 20th century. This movement suffered a crushing defeat in Spain, before reaching the goal.

Moreover, anarchist self-governing communes in Aragón and self-managing factory in Barcelona was captured by anti-fascist Republican government, which United the social Democrats and Stalinists. Thousands of anarchists and activists, members of the commune movement were arrested or shot. Anarchists somehow decided at that time that for the sake of anti-fascism to abandon resistance to the left state (Republic). In the end anarchists suffered a heavy defeat from the blows of anti-fascists that destroyed the self-management of factories and local communities. And then, the Republic still lost the war to the fascists.

We can discuss to infinity how could anarchists act (it is highly likely that the coalition with left-wing parties and the Republic (the enemies of the anarchists) was required for tactical purposes, but it was necessary to prevent the arrival of the left-partys’ troops to the anarchist areas, like the Kurds (PYD), periodically entering into a coalition with Assad but not allowed on its territory troops and officials of Assad out of 2 small areas). In any case, historical experience of anti-fascism proved to be very bad for anarchists and for the social revolution in Spain.

Anarchists received from those who mistakenly believed as “friends” shocks in the back. Self-management in Barcelona and Aragon and the anarchist revolution in Spain became a victim of anti-fascism.

What are anarchists fighting for?

The main point of activity of the anarchists is the transformation of society. So, the attempts to initiate the establishment of an Autonomous self-governing territorial communes (libertarian communalism) and direct action of workers at the place of work (revolutionary anarcho-syndicalism or councils).

Today, revolutionary syndicalism is missing: all attempts of the anarchists to create such structures ended with the transition to civilian pacifist legalists trade Union’s activities, collective agreement with the business and governmental mediation committees and state courts.

Communitarian system, however, work in Mexico (Oaxaca, Guerrero, Michoacán, Chiapas), in some areas of Syria (Arabic, Kurdish). In addition, similar initiatives exist in Greece, France and some other countries. Everything else can be at best only as supplement and complement to this kind of real work for the radical transformation of society.

If now the right-wing threaten to libertarian communes in United States, the logic of the anarchists would have been absolutely clear: they need fight against right-wing with goal to expand the boundaries of libertarian communitarian influence. But, as far as I know libertarian communes almoust does not exist in USA. Then, why do you unleash street war with a powerful enemy? (And why this war is initiated with a right-wing, but not with a supporters of Hillary Clinton, for example?). In Russian it is called “put the cart before the horse”.

Street war

American militia are armed, have tens of thousands of people. Among them and among the American right-wing, there are many those who can use arms. You have to be very stupid to think that if you’re getting into a fight with fist or stick, you wood get answer only with a fist or stick. The opponent may reply with a pistol shot or deadly attack of the car (it happened). No one ever agreed on the rules of Boxing. If no such arrangements, we should not be surprised when the fight turns into a massacre. Therefore, I ask: “Are you really sure you want war right now?”

American right-wings is not so strong to unleash big street war, they are pretty marginal and they are under the scrutiny of the security services of the government. But at the same time they are armed and may be dangerous. But if the anarchists, together with the Leninists, want to start a war with the right wing it can happen. Are you sure you want it now? Because no one promised you “a fair fight”.

Hate-speech

Some American leftists and part of the anarchists believe that they have the right to use violence to muzzle opponents. I don’t feel sorry for white supremacists. But on the other hand I want to ask: what else do American leftists think as “Hate-speech”?

American leftis infinitely expand the concept of “fascism, nazism and racism”. They often call as “fascists” everyone who disagrees with them… including each other.

I saw many did not adequately respond to the discussion, for example, such as debates about “black racism”. If you only speak of it, for example about the Nation of Islam, many of the leftists immediately respond with insults and call you “nazi”.

Finally, I have suffered in this environment from insults on a national basis. For example I was told : “Shut up white Jew!”. And none of them stopped the anti-Semites. I want to add that I have a negative attitude to the state of Israel and Zionism, and anti-Semitic insults were caused not by discussing the issue of Israel. No, it’s just part of the American left wing considers acceptable to offend Jews with white skin.

Finally, explain to me one thing. Those who cooperated with the Leninists, Stalinists, Maoists, those who carry on the demonstration flags of the USSR, at the same time talking about the ban of “hate speech”. But what is the flag of Soviet Union at the demonstration of anti-fascists? Isn’t it a symbol of hatred and repressions?

Conclusion

I don’t think the war with the right wing is a good point todey. Would be better if the anarchists are engaged in initiatives related to the development of autonomy of local communities (or workers councils if it is possible). There is the place to use many skills and aspirations.

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