My co-author Ramon Elani wrote an interesting article well worth reading on anti-fascist action (“antifa”) in the U.S. context. Here I will offer my thoughts from a personal perspective.
I am afraid that I will have to go a bit beyond what Ramon said and state that not only do I not care about antifa, but I don’t even care when people are racist, bigoted, or give the Nazi salute. It barely registers on my radar of emotions. There’s a simple reason for this: I don’t expect much from humans. I expect something from those I have direct and somewhat indirect interactions with, because personal interaction holds people accountable. But people I don’t know? Social groups? My own “ethnic group”? That’s out of my hands, and frankly I can’t control that anymore than I can control the weather.
In Trump’s America, I’m the “target”: my family is from Mexico, I am visibly not white, and my family is visibly not white. I also live in the South. Yet when I see groups of hipster (mostly white) anarchists and leftists fighting wannabe Nazis and white nationalists in the street, I don’t feel represented by the former side. Why? Who are these people to me? Do I owe them moral support, or some sort of ethical obedience? People have always been against “my kind” in this country: have the victories of any other “militants” in the street benefited me in any way, or are they just propagating a system I do not like but aim to give me a “higher place” in it? Or doesn’t it always end up being a certain privileged sector of “non-white”, “non-male,” “non-straight,” “non-cis” etc. etc. that gets the benefits, and the rest uphold the system out of fear of something worse? Is that any way to live, or conceive of your place in the world: your identity is your only real protection? Like any other individualist, I prefer to go out on my own, regardless of the consequences.
Also, I see racism as “rational” and much more materialistic, even if I am the “Devil” in that context. Notice I put “rational” in quotes. It is more plausible for a person to believe in solidarity based on superficial phenotype or culture rather than to believe in some spiritual attribute that unites all people regardless of race, background, culture, etc. The Enlightenment belief in the unity of mankind is a leap of faith, and not a particularly warranted one. Even if genetics dictate that we are all the same, humans are not mere products of their DNA. It is far more reasonable to base solidarity on things you can see rather than future human potential that you don’t. Thus, I don’t believe for a minute that progressives, anarchists, or Marxists are “materialists”: they are selective idealists. They cling to certain aspects of material reality but anxiously avoid others to prevent the soiling of their ideals of liberty, equality, and fraternity. These are articles of faith based on wishful thinking.
That would make me a “fascist” plain and simple if I believed in government, the State, or society. I don’t. Just because the rightist system is more rational doesn’t make it viable. It simply isn’t. No matter how you try to bind together millions or billions of people: by race, nationality, creed, etc. the coercion is the same, the alienation is the same, and, most of all for my purposes, the destruction of the Earth and deification of humanity are the same process. It’s secular Christianity, the only catch is how consistent one wants to make it. How much must the individual sacrifice to the Human Idol, and which Human Idol: the Nation, Blood and Soil, Communism, Anarchy, etc.? What difference does it make which option I choose? I choose none.
I do not see the point of subordinating myself to a community, nation, race, religion, etc. where my existence will always be a means to an end. This is not because I think that I am worth more than being mere fodder: I die and decay like everyone else. No, I just think that the election portion of that subordination is stupid. Let me be subordinate to that which I was subordinate to when I came out of my mother’s womb: Wild Nature, the Unknowable, Chaos, and let the rest crumble into ruin. And let those who depend on any other order be wiped away by the cruel gusts of Time; what is any of that to me? What meaning does the Human Order give me, why should I care about it? Even if I take into consideration those who I actually care for, will it defend them in the end? Of course it won’t, they are fodder like all the rest, sacrifices to the Higher Human Good that humans can’t agree upon. All calls of solidarity offer protection but they also demand obedience. Fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me. I have already been fooled more than once.
If the choice is between those who outright hate me and false friends, in the end that is not a choice.