It’s always good to reach across the aisle. I’m a firm believer in communication, even with your opponents. Without it, the world is doomed to slip into chaos. I also believe in our right to free speech. Our right to criticize our government, our law enforcement, our friends, and our enemies. In the worst fascist states, criticizing your government can land you dead in a ditch, in more civil places it can still land you a petty fine.
Recently I commented on a fellow WordPress user’s blog post, Rancid Ravioli, who runs the page But I’m Always Right. I encourage you to check out his posts and maybe leave a comment. Engaging with one another is how we make progress. It’s a notably right-leaning blog, but I find it’s important to stay informed on the thoughts and happenings of both sides of the American political spectrum.
My point is that suppression of conservatives on social media isn’t some nefarious, globalist persecution of all people right-of-center. It’s that the right has a lot skeletons, and they aren’t in the closet. They’re dancing in the streets wearing MAGA hats like some perverted twist on Cinco de Mayo, and that users of social media don’t want to experience the hate that they commonly spread online. Therefore it’s not much of a stretch to imagine that users, moderators and administrators on the internet have a tendency to remove or prevent what they view as vitriolic opinions from their sites.
The internet is not America; websites are under no obligation to tolerate your opinion. In my opinion, a lot of conservative content online is in fact spiteful, disrespectful, often factually dubious, and far too reactionary. It plays on emotion rather than reason; what feels good and not what is true. That’s a bit of hyperbole, but what the hell? This is the opinion section of the website. Ravioli has some critiques on my line of thought, and that of other leftists that I want to publicize and explore here. Let’s just run down the list. The following are taken directly from his blog post, wherein he declares that he “could easily demolish [my] argument”
1. Tasking him to specify what is “so much” and to provide at least 10 examples in the last 2 and a half years.
So here he’s asking for “10 examples in the last 2 and a half years” for conservative’s being responsible for, as I said, “so much death and violence.” So, since February 2017. One, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, ten.
2. I could point to all the massive ugly history Democrats have in dealing with black people which includes their record on slavery and their creation of the KKK.
You could, except the only issue with that is what a Democrat was, historically. From its creation in 1828 until the 1930’s, the Democratic Party was made up of Southern conservatives. The Party didn’t become pro-big-government, pro-social programs, and begin its Northward shift until FDR in the 1930’s. So when you hear Republicans espouse the motto “Party of Lincoln,” it’s a big falsehood. They were the “Party of Lincoln” in name only.
I could point out how fascism actually has deep historical ties to leftist ideology such as socialism and communism. In fact it is a natural evolution of those ideologies.
I’m lumping my response into the next quote’s.
I could point out how those very leftist ideologies have been responsible for the most disturbing and violent regimes in history. Stalin was a Leftist, Hitler was a fan of leftist ideology, and so much more throughout history. Research it.
I’m actually not going to deny Ravioli’s initial statement. Like every bourgeois regime in human history, leftist ideologies have been adopted by dictators and authoritarians alike to oppress and control populaces. The only caveat I’d add is that this isn’t a problem with leftist ideology, it’s a problem with the bourgeoisie (a catch-all term for the wealthy elite who end up controlling the populace and government in any given society). In the past there have been violent regimes of both leftist and conservative ideology. There are even militant Buddhists. Anyways, I do want to set the record straight on Hitler and Stalin’s dubious relationships with socialism:
“Whatever interest Hitler had in socialism was not based on an understanding of socialism that we might have today — a movement that would supplant capitalism in which the working class would seize power over the state and the means of production. He repeatedly pushed back efforts by economically left-leaning elements of the party to enact socialist reforms, saying in a 1926 conference in Bamberg (organized by Nazi Party leaders over the very question of the party’s ideological underpinnings) that any effort to take the homes and estates of German princes would move the party toward communism and that he would never do anything to assist “communist-inspired movements.” He prohibited the formation of Nazi trade unions, and by 1929 he outright rejected any efforts by Nazis who argued in favor of socialistic ideas or projects in their entirety.”Vox, “Adolf Hitler Was Not A Socialist”
“Stalin’s personal character is not the dominating factor of Soviet history since 1914. Far greater forces have been at work. But if Lenin’s individual gifts were on the side of progress to Socialism, Stalin touched only to corrupt. Of political economy he was, and to a great extent is, quite ignorant; in Marxism he and his henchmen are to-day capable of errors that a raw Social Democrat would not be guilty of. These things will be proved in their place. For the moment it is sufficient to give some significant incidents in his early history.”C.L.R. James, “World Revolution” 1937
On to the next…
How Antifa is running around Canada and the US assaulting people they don’t like simply because those people have an opinion they don’t like. Antifa also distributes information on how to commit violent crimes and how to get away with it. http://destructables.org/about
Ravioli, once again I have to say you’re right… kind of. Anti-fascism is on the rise in the US. Anti-fascists have assaulted people, and sometimes unnecessarily. And yes, anti-fascists do have websites where they share tactics and methods for combating fascism. On the note of “distributing information” I will point out that the right-wing also keeps a public database of people they deem the enemy because they “have an opinion they don’t like,” or as they call us: “subversive politicians, activists, communists, agitators and out and out traitors”
It’s admittedly hard to keep all ‘members’ of ‘antifa’ accountable, because antifa does not exist as some national organization like the Proud Boys or Three Percenters. “It is impossible to know how many people count themselves as members. Its followers acknowledge that the movement is secretive, without official leaders and organized into autonomous local cells.” writes the New York Times “It is also only one in a constellation of activist movements that have come together in the past few years to oppose the far right.”
But, the whole point of anti-fascism is to stamp out fascism. Anti-fascism exists solely as a unified act of self-defense. Anti-fascists do not exist without fascism. We (oh yes, I am an antifa boogeyman) are all from different political sects, be it social democrats, democratic socialists, communists, anarchists, or centrists. But when fascism rears it’s ugly head in America, the nation that fought to save Europe from fascism just 70 years ago, we unite in our amelioration of the American spirit of freedom and liberty, against fascism. Faaaaascism. I feel like people have forgotten what fascism is and what it has done historically. Tell me if any of these characteristics of fascism sound familiar:
- Powerful and Continuing Nationalism
Fascist regimes tend to make constant use of patriotic mottos, slogans, symbols, songs, and other paraphernalia. Flags are seen everywhere, as are flag symbols on clothing and in public displays.
- Disdain for the Recognition of Human Rights
Because of fear of enemies and the need for security, the people in fascist regimes are persuaded that human rights can be ignored in certain cases because of “need.” The people tend to look the other way or even approve of torture, summary executions, assassinations, long incarcerations of prisoners, etc.
- Identification of Enemies/Scapegoats as a Unifying Cause
The people are rallied into a unifying patriotic frenzy over the need to eliminate a perceived common threat or foe: racial , ethnic or religious minorities; liberals; communists; socialists, terrorists, etc.
- Supremacy of the Military
Even when there are widespread domestic problems, the military is given a disproportionate amount of government funding, and the domestic agenda is neglected. Soldiers and military service are glamorized.
- Rampant Sexism
The governments of fascist nations tend to be almost exclusively male-dominated. Under fascist regimes, traditional gender roles are made more rigid. Opposition to abortion is high, as is homophobia and anti-gay legislation and national policy.
- Controlled Mass Media
Sometimes to media is directly controlled by the government, but in other cases, the media is indirectly controlled by government regulation, or sympathetic media spokespeople and executives. Censorship, especially in war time, is very common.
- Obsession with National Security
Fear is used as a motivational tool by the government over the masses.
- Religion and Government are Intertwined
Governments in fascist nations tend to use the most common religion in the nation as a tool to manipulate public opinion. Religious rhetoric and terminology is common from government leaders, even when the major tenets of the religion are diametrically opposed to the government’s policies or actions.
- Corporate Power is Protected
The industrial and business aristocracy of a fascist nation often are the ones who put the government leaders into power, creating a mutually beneficial business/government relationship and power elite.
- Labor Power is Suppressed
Because the organizing power of labor is the only real threat to a fascist government, labor unions are either eliminated entirely, or are severely suppressed .
- Disdain for Intellectuals and the Arts
Fascist nations tend to promote and tolerate open hostility to higher education, and academia. It is not uncommon for professors and other academics to be censored or even arrested. Free expression in the arts is openly attacked, and governments often refuse to fund the arts.
- Obsession with Crime and Punishment
Under fascist regimes, the police are given almost limitless power to enforce laws. The people are often willing to overlook police abuses and even forego civil liberties in the name of patriotism. There is often a national police force with virtually unlimited power in fascist nations.
- Rampant Cronyism and Corruption
Fascist regimes almost always are governed by groups of friends and associates who appoint each other to government positions and use governmental power and authority to protect their friends from accountability. It is not uncommon in fascist regimes for national resources and even treasures to be appropriated or even outright stolen by government leaders.
- Fraudulent Elections
Sometimes elections in fascist nations are a complete sham. Other times elections are manipulated by smear campaigns against or even assassination of opposition candidates, use of legislation to control voting numbers or political district boundaries, and manipulation of the media. Fascist nations also typically use their judiciaries to manipulate or control elections.
Not all of the links included here track with these tenets of fascism, but there have been hundreds of concerning trends in America that only become more prevalent each year. The right’s trend toward authoritarianism and fascism is not only factual, but the only people who actively deny it are the right themselves. Whether it’s willful ignorance or deliberately playing dumb to hide an agenda, American conservatives have doubled down on “their team.” Conservative politicians nakedly support fascistic principals that run contrary to the American spirit set forth by the Founders. Carrying on…
The reality is Cal is ignoring reality. Sure everyone can name Christchurch or the recent Garlic Festival attack. But how many more can anyone name from the last couple of years? Now google how many far leftist attacks occurred and you’ll find the Left’s argument of a rise in alt-right extremism is flawed. If there were such a massive increase you’d see alt-right assaults being reported in the Hate Media, such as CNN, every single day. Remember they will report every single alt-right attack no matter where in the world it occurs. But they will only report alt-left assaults when they have to.
Yes, there have been leftist attacks. I am in no way declaring leftists and anti-fascists incapable of violence. The anti-fascist movement, in fact, promotes violence when necessary to suppress fascism, which unsurprisingly includes modern Nazis.
I know this response was long-winded, but I hope you stuck around to the end. All of this is in the spirit of healthy and civil discourse. While I support the anti-fascist movement and its propensity for Nazi-beat-downs, I encourage violence only as a last resort and in self-defense. Fascism is a disease and has no place in the land of the free, where we believe in self-determination and personal liberty. As a proud leftist, I respectfully disagree with Ravioli’s characterization of the leftist movement, and encourage him to respond in kind.
Cal Knight, WriteLeft