On August 28, those left-wing terrorists known as “Antifa” (“anti-fascist”) violently attacked “peaceful right-wing demonstrators in Berkeley,” as even the leftist Washington Post characterized the victims.
People were ambushed and set upon by mask-clad thugs armed with a range of potentially deadly weaponry. At one point, according to the Post, at least five Antifa members wailed and kicked on a man who they knocked to the ground all while screaming: “Fascist, go home!”
Riot police eventually arrested 13 people for assault with a deadly weapon, obstructing a police officer, and an assortment of other violations.
What we recently discovered is that under the administration of none other than Barack Obama the “activities” of Antifa were labeled by the FBI and the DHS as “terrorist,” and it was officially confirmed in April of 2016 that “most” political violence over the span of the last nearly two years has been “instigated” by those “anarchist-extremists” that are Antifa.
First, it is a tragic commentary indeed that the professional moral posturers within the political and media classes, whether they are “conservative” or “liberal,” “right” or “left,” insist upon either vilifying “white supremacists” while lauding the members of Antifa as idealistic crusaders against “hatred” and “bigotry” or, what’s nearly as bad, suggesting that there is moral parity between the two.
Upon hearing Eichmann testify to his role in the Holocaust (and other atrocities), Hannah Arendt remarked that she was most struck by his “banality.” Eichmann’s words and demeanor were not those of a monster.They were, however, reflective of a man possessed by a “curious, but quite authentic, inability to think.” Arendt then proceeded to argue for a link between the latter and bad moral character.
In other words, the inability or unwillingness on the part of people to think beyond the clichés, stock phrases, and conventionalities of the herd correlates with immoral conduct on their part. Conversely, there is a connection between a person’s moral goodness and his readiness to think critically by refusing to blindly “follow orders,” i.e. the conventional wisdom.
The response on the part of the movers and shakers of public opinion to Charlottesville made it painfully clear to those of us who value truth and virtue over the embraces of “respectable society” that what Arendt saw in Eichmann she would’ve seen just as clearly in them:
Even if (counterfactually) every attendee at the Unite the Right rally had been covered from head to toe with swastikas, in refraining from initiating physical violence against innocents, in refusing to act criminally, they proved themselves to be a cut above those “counter-demonstrators” who attacked them with a variety of lethal instruments.
That all first-tier commentators and politicians, particularly self-styled “conservatives,” were more concerned with proving their opposition to “racism” than they were with making the sorts of basic moral distinctions that we imbibed from our parents when we were barely out of the nursery shows that Arendt’s “inability [refusal] to think” is all too common.
As children, most of us learned that for as upset as we may be with our peers, including those of our peers who insult us, we are to put our hands on others if and only if we are physically threatened and force is necessary for self-defense.
Most of us also learned that there is a morally relevant difference, not of degree, but of kind, between those who trash talk, on the one hand, and, on the other, those who repudiate civilization by resorting to savagery, i.e. non-defensive violence. I am reminded of when, in my wild teenage days, I partook in my own share of savagery and my late father leveled with me in no uncertain terms: People who engage in unprovoked violence, the old man said, are “losers,” “scumbags,” “guttersnipes,” “wastes of sperm.”
It wasn’t, of course, only thugs, bullies, and criminals to whom my father thought his colorful descriptors applied. But in case I wasn’t already clear about the matter (I was), my dad impressed upon me that it takes a special sort of waste of sperm to physically prey upon others.
Yet one could be forgiven for concluding that the legions of public figures who were knocking themselves out to see who could decry “white supremacy” the loudest after Charlottesville were deprived of this pearl of wisdom, this basic moral fact, when they were kids. Or maybe it’s the case that while they received it, they prefer to avoid being branded as a “neo-Nazi” sympathizers rather than speak to what they know is right.
Second, as the government under Obama determined, there is no moral parity between Antifa and any groups on the right (or pseudo-right) inasmuch as it is Antifa and leftist groups like it that are responsible for the wave of political violence that is sweeping over America. If, as we’re supposed to believe, “white supremacists” of various sorts are the moral equivalent of Antifa, then, in this age when everyone has a camera on them, there should be mountains of video of “white supremacists” crashing Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders, and other left-wing rallies, attacking men, women, veterans, the elderly, young teenagers, police, business owners, and journalists. We should see them beating people with their punches and kicks; clubs; bats; pipes; Molotov cocktails; bike locks; flame throwers; sticks of dynamite; rocks; knives; bottles; bottles of feces and urine; flag poles; and bear mace.
We should be able to effortlessly retrieve video on Youtube of “white supremacists” burning American flags, decrying America, shouting “F**k the police!” and other obscenities.
But in the real world, we see none of this—except when it is coming from the rabidly anti-American left, the strong arm wing of “the Resistance.”
Third, every “conservative” public figure, beginning with the president, should be continually pressuring self-declared “resistors” to loudly, unambiguously, and, yes, repeatedly disavow Antifa. They have all dropped the ball in failing to do so. Trump especially should be routinely informing Americans of who and what Antifa are and of what they’ve been doing for quite some time. Not only does the president have the bully pulpit; it is his supporters who Antifa and their violent leftist ilk have been attacking for the better part of two years. He owes it to his supporters, and to the country, to reveal Antifa as the Enemy of America that it is.
Finally, those in D.C. and in the media who style themselves “conservative” need to do all that they can in launching a national conversation on the relationship between the left and violence. We need to spotlight the undeniable fact that these “anarchist [leftist] extremists,” these unabashed anti-Americans that Obama’s law enforcement agencies determined were the “primary [sole] instigators” of political violence, invariably side with, when they aren’t actually voting for, the Democratic Party.
What is the premise within the logic of the ideology of one of our two national political parties that leads to Antifa and, by implication, violent anti-Americanism?
Every American should know the answer to this question. But, first, they must know the question.