Last week, fascists across the nation took to the streets to protest against Islam under the guise of “anti-Sharia.” This was clearly an attempt to draw in “moderate” conservatives and right-center liberals who used the facade as a justification for their white supremacist violence, as it is much more socially acceptable to be “anti-Sharia” than anti-Islam. Of course, those who attended these events had no idea what Sharia actually is. It was truly ironic to witness neo-Nazis waving American flags and complaining about alleged anti-semitism, slavery, and lack of women’s rights in Islam, as if their entire ideology wasn’t embedded in them.
Fascism marks the decay of capitalism and the mirage of “individual liberty” and “freedom” that comes with bourgeois democracy. Under fascism, the forces of the state are turned inwards onto its own population to violently suppress and exploit the most vulnerable segments of the population as scapegoats, as part of the hypernationalism and xenophobia that goes along with it. Fascism builds off the structures formed by capitalism, such as the centralized state, patriarchy, racism, colonialism, etc.
Of course, the only sustainable way to fight against fascism is through organized revolutionary action. Fascism can only be (and has only ever been) defeated through revolutionary violence. It is useful to remember that 80% of all Nazi soldier deaths during WWII were inflicted by the revolutionary Red Army. This comes in opposition to the normalized liberal narrative of bringing change through electoral politics and voting. Revolutionaries and anyone who considers themselves a “leftist” must cast aside all illusions that simply voting for a new candidate in 2020 is going to stop fascism, as voting is likely the least meaningful political action one can take. Hillary was just as much of a white supremacist as Trump, and the entire foundation and status quo of the US is rooted in white supremacism. Electing certain officials to office doesn’t change the structure of the system, and ultimately classes rule—not individuals. The u.s. is standing on over 200 years of slavery, genocide, and war, and electing just another face or another platform cannot realistically change this, regardless of how much a certain candidate may want to. Thus, we must move past the myth of electoral politics bringing about concrete change, and confront our problems with the power of the people—not the power of the bourgeois system.
The fight against fascism is a fight for self-defense and the protection of the people.
On the demonstration in Lansing
Fascists brought their racist rally to Lansing this Saturday and some members of Revolutionary Youth Alliance participated in shutting them down and screwing up their plans. This march brought a number of problems to our attention that we felt needed to be addressed.
Firstly, security is something of critical importance for antifascists in the modern world, where smartphones are omnipresent and the internet is a greater part of public life. Facial recognition technology has gotten a lot better and people have been identified through this software and arrested before. Doxxing (putting people’s personal informatoin on a public internet forum) is a real threat to antifascists who are willing to engage in militant demonstrations. Comrades have been harassed before by pigs and fascists alike because they did not pay enough attention to security. As a general principle in RYA, we think think that any time you go out in public for a revolutionary action where you might be drawing the attention of pigs or reactionaries, you should always wear a mask. Keep yourself and your comrades safe! But we also need to use the fascists’ tactics against them. They’ll try to dox us, so in response we need to dox them right back.
It’s important not to underestimate the enemy or take chances with them. We’re not here to debate with them, we’re here to shut them down and deny them a platform. Trying to debate with fascism is liberalism, like thinking that you can solve the world’s problems through discussion and intellectual arguments. We have nothing in common with people who think genocide is a good idea.
Though we outnumbered the fascists and reactionaries, we were still unfortunately outgunned. There was a fear of escalation as a result among the side of the antifascists that seriously needs to be dealt with. Our tactics should always be “10 against 1,” we should never have to take chances if we can help it. That is not to say that it was wrong in this instance to fight back, of course it was the right thing to do, but mass mobilization and showing up are absolutely critical.
A more militant perspective needs to be taken at rallies like this. The left needs to get serious about self-defense and keep pace with (and eventually overtake) the fascists. Liberal chants aren’t going to be enough, it’s important to mobilize as much of the community as possible under proletarian leadership and politics to defeat fascism.
To go along with this statement we are publishing a guest post on our website from a supporter of our organization who was able to show up to confront fascism with us in Lansing, titled “Counterdemonstration in Nazi Land.”