An essay for Commune magazine about the history of antifascism, how it emerged in North America, why some leftists hate it, and where it should go next:
Antifa’s critics are correct to note that this is not the Weimar era, but they don’t offer any alternative explanations or responses to today’s developments. The street battles of 2017 had their origins in our own time. Trump’s election was part of a sequence of victories for right-populist and “illiberal” authoritarians in Britain, Russia, India, Turkey, Hungary, Italy, Colombia, and the Philippines. Militarizing borders in the face of global trade and immigration, removing all obstacles to capital in the form of unions or regulation, and attacking minority groups and women, this political wave shares enough with historical fascism that some call it “late fascism” or “post-fascism.” While there is no fully revolutionary wave to which this phenomenon responds, it has emerged in response to the Arab Spring, Occupy, Black Lives Matter and other social movements. The Trumpian emphasis on “law and order,” in particular, refers to the riots of Ferguson and Baltimore. These movements and the rightwing “illiberal” reaction to them gesture, respectively, toward revolution or dictatorship–a polarization strengthened by capitalist stagnation and ecological breakdown.
Read the rest at communemag.com