Socialists from the nation over are gathered in Denver, Colorado for the annual Socialist Rifle Association’s National Convention. Faye, Alex Humva, and Breht O’Shea take questions from a live audience consisting of members and organizers of the SRA, America’s most popular armed, socialist movement.
The SRA was founded in 2016 and since then has spread rapidly. Chapters now exist nationwide, each with their own events and social media. On their website they have educational materials to help newcomers learn about both socialism and responsible firearms use.
The Socialist Rifle Association is an educational organization dedicated to providing the working class with the information they need to be effectively armed for self and community defense. This includes all manner of community defense, from the right of the working class to possess firearms to the ability to be well versed in the fields of medicine, disaster relief, logistics, agriculture, and survival skills. Our goal is to provide an alternate to the mainstream, toxic, right-wing, and non-inclusive gun culture that has dominated the firearms community for decades. We seek to provide a safe, inclusive, and left-leaning platform for talking about gun rights and self defense, free from racist and reactionary prejudices, while providing a platform for the working class to obtain the skills necessary for all aspects of community defense.
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.”
“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.”
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 fascismjust 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:
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.
Disdain for Intellectuals and the Arts Fascist nations tend to promote and tolerateopen 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.
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.
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.
“The UK has a world-leading record in protecting workers’ rights, setting the highest standard, and a labour market we can be proud of, with more people in work than ever before. We are determined to maintain this record of leadership after we leave the EU, with or without a deal.” says a UK Government Spokesperson. But insiders are telling a different story.
TUC general secretary Frances O’Grady has delivered public remarks, warning of the dire straits that UK workers are now in: “Boris Johnson claims that he intends to enhance rights at work after Brexit. He and his advisers should be focused on delivering that promise.” O’Grady says. “But instead they’re threatening a catastrophic no deal, which would strip away existing legal protections and leave essential rights open to attack. Working people must not be dragged off this cliff edge without getting a Final Say.”
Johnson, a conservative and seemingly openly racist man, oddly evocative of the US’s own Donald Trump, has the nation worried about the future of social issues in the UK. The freshman PM has already announced plans to increase the size police forces and their powers. With the US already struggling with police brutality and false arrests, the UK’s future appears grim.
“The new Tory government will make life harder for black and Asian people, and migrants. One of Boris Johnson’s first announcements was a plan to hire 20,000 more cops and give them “greater powers to use stop and search”.
“Black people were nine times more likely to be stopped and searched than white people in England and Wales in 2017/18, according to government figures.”
“And whenever other workers strike, we should raise solidarity with them. It won’t just help strikers—it will get people talking about walkouts in your workplace. The key opportunity for organising workers’ action is the global climate strike on Friday 20 September. Socialists should go into every union and staff meeting arguing for strikes, and try to organise unofficial walkouts on the day. Inaction by Labour and union leaders has relegated working class people to being spectators to the Tory crisis.”
“Action on 20 September could mark a break from this.”
Two members of the Proud Boys allegedly made a threatening appearance at the home of a popular critic of theirs, Gwen Snyder, in Philadelphia. “My partner went down to get details. The neighbor said that a group had approached, and two Proud Boys had identified themselves, tried to find out if he knew me,” Gwen tweets, “and told him to relay the following message to me: ‘Tell that fat bitch she’d better stop.'”
The Southern Poverty Law Center describes the Proud Boys as a hate group, with members and leadership who “regularly spout white nationalist memes and maintain affiliations with known extremists. They are known for anti-Muslim and misogynistic rhetoric. Proud Boys have appeared alongside other hate groups at extremist gatherings like the “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville.” The group purports to be a men’s club, and Republican lawmakers and public figures have repeatedly been seen publicly with members of the Proud Boys.
The far-right Proud Boys recently had a less-than-successful rally in Washington DC after the group experienced internal troubles, their main speakers mostly canceled their plans, and anti-fascist counter protesters arrived to drown out the Proud Boys’ speeches and chants.
The growing pro-firearms non-profit Socialist Rifle Association is bristling after receiving a letter from the CEO of the NSSF, a popular alternative to the NRA, informing them that the SRA’s membership has been rescinded. The reason cited in the letter (attached below) specifies that the NSSF “embraces free-market capitalism” and “is aware of (sic) that your organization does not share these same values”
On Monday, July 22nd, the SRA received an email informing us that our membership in the NSSF had been rescinded and our $200 nonprofit membership dues were refunded. In a followup email, a representative of the organization claimed that the NSSF stands for “free market capitalism” and that a socialist organization being a member of their trade association would be contrary to their “core values”. Further, they claimed both publicly and in the followup email that the SRA had joined through their “automated membership system”, with the clear insinuation that they had accepted our membership without knowledge of our organization’s values and purpose.
– Socialist Rifle Association
The NSSF claims that the SRA was only granted membership due to their application process being automated. The SRA refutes this claim in their public statement, stating “we followed up with both phone and email correspondence to set up our account and spoke to an individual claiming the title of “Manager, Retail and Range Services”. While setting up our online account, an NSSF employee even created the temporary password “Socialist1″ for us.” The statement includes a follow-up email from NSSF Director of Public Affairs, Mike Oliva:
The SRA’s statement shames the NSSF for the expulsion and expresses a desire for acceptance of firearms and pro-Second Amendment beliefs among the US political left. ” The SRA not only represents gun owners who align politically to the left, but also minority groups and members of the LGBTQ+ community who feel unwelcome in many circles that claim to support the Second Amendment rights of ALL Americans. The people that make up these circles represent the same voices that seem to have scared the NSSF away from its initial decision to broaden its scope to include a large contingent of gun owners that feel voiceless in regards to mainstream gun politics.”
The Socialist Rifle Association, a dues-paying, pro-firearms, leftist organization, is celebrating its annual SRA National Convention in Denver, Colorado beginning today. The movement has steadily grown in popularity, with chapters in many states.
The SRA seeks to educate the American Left about firearms, something they consider pertinent to the struggles of the working class. “We seek to provide a safe, inclusive, and left-leaning platform for talking about gun rights and self defense, free from racist and reactionary prejudices, while providing a platform for the working class to obtain the skills necessary for all aspects of community defense.”