Friday, September 1, 2017

Antifa Defenders Attack Liberals and Liberalism Too

Liberalism is a death cult. Chris Hedges is a public menace... Matt Sedillo, The Southwest Political Report
I'm not a pacifist, and there is a place for defensive violence when dealing with Nazis, the Klan and their ilk....Antifa can potentially serve a useful purpose as the defensive "marshals" of a non-violent mass movement, present if needed to fend off white supremacist goons.They are dangerously deluded, however, if they think they can successfully compete with the will-to-violence of the Fascists and the State. ....
Michael Fiorillo
Michael, a leftist, over the years has taught me a few lessons about the left. In my 45 years of activism in the left-wing of the UFT, I have learned a lot about a certain segment of the left and have developed some mistrust - I would say that the actions of some on the left have moved me more to the right - which means for me from the anti-capitalist socialism wing into the more liberal democratic socialism - like the Bernie wing of thought. (I know some of you will laugh but in terms of the "left" Bernie is considered to the right of the left.) I have often found myself lining up with Michael on many issues -- as do others who were connected to the ICE caucus in the UFT.

When it comes to anarchists, history has shown that they often end up with some kind of violence as their solution -- maybe the idea that by forcing a physical response, they will get the rest of the populace to rise up with them. But their capacity to turn off even other segments of the left just dooms them.

It doesn't take long for self-declared defenders against Nazis to turn their attacks on their critics on the left. As I've been saying, I don't have as many issues with standing up to Nazis but the problem with Antifa, Black Bloc, etc. but it doesn't take much for them to turn their vitriol against against anyone who disagrees with them. Not to say that there is still a lot of ambivalence from progressives. The left has always been under attack not just from the right but from government, corporations, etc. Police have been used against them and in fact were founded to control people like those wanting to form unions. Can fighting police in the streets be a winning strategy?

Michael Fiorillo's comment on my post "Yes, What About the “Alt-Left”? What the counter-p...": expresses this ambivalence:
I'm not a pacifist, and there is a place for defensive violence when dealing with Nazis, the Klan and their ilk.

My main issues with Antifa is that 1) they need to be disciplined and act strictly in defense of the anti-right wing Popular Front that needs to come/is coming into existence, as well as to defend communities most endangered by it. Aggressive violence against the Right, which is far better armed and trained, is doomed to failure.

Second, wearing black hoods and masks is just bad politics, enabling police provocateurs (who are ALWAYS seeking to infiltrate these groups and discredit the movement).

Antifa can potentially serve a useful purpose as the defensive "marshals" of a non-violent mass movement, present if needed to fend off white supremacist goons.They are dangerously deluded, however, if they think they can successfully compete with the will-to-violence of the Fascists and the State. Only a mass movement across class lines can hope to do that.

I posted a piece by Chris Hedges - How ‘Antifa’ Mirrors the ‘Alt-Right’ - Truthdig

As expected there would be a counter attack on Hedges. Here it is --I give Matt Sedillo credit for taking Hedges' arguments on piece by piece but he had to go beyond that and make a Trump-like comment by declaring Hedges an enemy of the people. Which has been my very point of why I mistrust the Antifa crew who will not stop at going after Nazis.

Chris Hedges is a Public Menace

Chris Hedges is a Public MenaceThe Southwest Political Report
By: Matt Sedillo

If 500 Nazis are allowed to march unharassed, 10,000 will march the following the month. Whether Nazis, Confederates, Minutemen, Christian Crusaders, whatever particular strand of white supremacy or combined strands of hate brings the hatemonger to the party they must be confronted immediately.
The self deputizing, vigilante, already quasi-death squads must be confronted. They must be forced to crawl back to their basements and hotel rooms. The threat is real, so must the resistance be. If we are to transform society more work than this need be done. If we are to prevent self deputizing death squads from roaming the street they must fear public gathering. There is no way around this and there is no reason to think of this work as mutually exclusive.
Liberalism by definition is counterrevolutionary. In times of crisis it calls for the pacification of struggle and the return to normalcy. It posits that both right wing calls for ethnic cleansing and the resistance to that as equally menacing to the liberal order of society.
Liberalism is an ideology and practice not a state of being. Anyone can express “both sides ideology”, even eugenicist fascists like Donald Trump. Donald Trump is not a liberal by any means, but his infamous “many sides, many sides” response to the White Supremacist violence of Charlotsville was a textbook liberal response and increasingly is undiscernible from many prominent liberals particularly those posing as “leftists.”

The liberal onslaught of false equivalencies and its war cry of “both sides” is an ideology of death. In times of absolute crisis liberalism it is a death cult most often practiced by those not directly targeted by whatever platform of mass vigilantism is gaining momentum. When practiced by those who are directly targeted by fascist vigilante ideology, be it in White Supremacy, Male Supremacy, Christian Supremacy, American Exceptionalism, to name a few, or various other combinations of hate platforms, liberalism often takes on even greater levels cult like devotion to its cry of “both sides.” The notions that all sides have their point, that all sides know suffering and that all sides can be redeemed becomes the central focus of the liberal argument rather than defense of a given community or even a given self. In times of absolute crisis liberalism is death cult regardless of who is expressing it.

A favorite talking point of the liberal is the common economic pain and social alienation of fascists. The pain of fascist vigilantes is irrelevant to the conversation concerning the threat of fascist vigilante culture and organization.

Chris Hedges recently wrote in the opening paragraph to his latest article attacking Antifa that,
“Behind the rhetoric of the “alt-right” about white nativism and protecting American traditions, history and Christian values is the lust for violence. Behind the rhetoric of antifa, the Black Bloc and the so-called “alt-left” about capitalism, racism, state repression and corporate power is the same lust for violence.”

This is a bizarre statement that makes one wonder is Chris Hedges arguing that there is some kind of peaceful way to go about the organization of “white nativisim” or a non violent way to go about “protecting American traditions, history and Christian values” and if there were it would be respectable. His characterization of the so called “alt-left” is equally absurd. The term “alt-right” was possibly coined but definitely popularized by hipster eugenicist and ethnic cleanser Richard Spencer to obscure the fact that he was calling for ethnic cleansing. The term “alt-left” is a creation of the very same white supremacist politics that produced Richard Spencer and is now  being promoted both by the Ultra White and their liberal enablers to create false equivelancies.

Throughout his article Chris Hedges reaches across the oceans of space and time to make further false equivalencies between right wing death squads of central america and leftist revolutionaries, the Yugoslavian government and CIA sponsored literal Neo Nazis, Argentine fascist generals and leftist revolutionaries, and finally to the actual Nazis as led by Adolf Hitler and the communist resistance to Nazism. In short Chris Hedges gave “many sides, many sides” presentation of much of the 20th century in order to attack the idea of revolution from below.

In Chris Hedges presentation Donald Trump is seen as “a narcissistic kleptocrat, con artist and pathological liar.” He is correct in this. But this is not the basis of his appeal. Donald Trump’s appeal lies not in his casual realtionship with facts, or his vainglorious public persona and certainly not in his personal corruption. The appeal of Donald Trump is his call for a wall on the southern border with the demand that Mexicans pay for the wall. Donald Trump demands that Mexico pays for what they have done to White America. Donald Trump’s legion of vigilantes feast on the promise of vengeance and of putting Mexicans in their place. Mexico will pay and for more than just a wall. Donald Trump’s appeal lies in the fact that he calls MS13 and by fascist extension all Salvadorans “animals.” Donald Trump’s appeal legion of white supremacist vigilantes feast on the promise of this as well. Donald Trump’s appeal is that he calls for a ban on Muslims. That the middle east an area of the world peopled by so many of the victims of US imperialism shall also pay for what they have done to the US appeals to Trump’s Christian Crusader base. Donald Trump’s appeal lies in calling Black Lives Matter a terrorist organization and in calling Black protesters “thugs.” Donald Trump’s appeal is based on the demand that Black protest must be silenced and punished for having offended White America. The Donald Trump appeal is based on false victim narratives of fascists who are calling for ethnic cleansing.

Chris Hedges is light on specifics when it comes to the content of their cry. Chris Hedges will not address the content. Only throw his hands up in typical liberal fashion in defense of the “grand republic.” Hedges is likely aware that in times of absolute crisis neither side has use of liberals.

False equivalencies spread confusion. Confusion strengthens the fascists. Liberalism is a death cult. Chris Hedges is a public menace.


  1. It's more than a little ironic that Chris Hedges, who a few years ago who a book entitled "Death of the Liberal Class," is now a "death cult liberal."

    And moi, a Leftist? Who even knows what that means anymore?

    1. And based on Sedillo's thesis of Donald Trumps coded liberal ideologies in his post-Charlottesville rhetoric (he was once a Democrat, lest we forget), who even knows what it means to be a liberal anymore, let alone a leftist. I think about Al Shanker (blessed be his name) in times like this, who espoused a liberalism that was staunchly anti-communist and anti-socialist, a tough liberalism nonpareil in the age of folks like Sanders. What happened to tough liberals of yore like Shanker, Kennedy, and Johnson?

      As for being a leftist, I'd venture to guess it's eerily equivalent to what it means to belong to the right: tolerance for fascist goons, a belief in free speech so long as it conforms to standards of the contingent, and an utter disrespect for the subtly and nuance of any position founded on a blend of liberal and conservative ideologies, as opposed to a slipshod amalgam of right/left ideologies.

    2. Unlike the Straw Man you set up, to this Leftist it means universal health care, well-funded public education, the right to form unions, policies that put working people first, personal freedom and privacy, and a reduction in the power of law enforcement and the military-industrial complex.

    3. You mean the "tough" al shanker who stood by while Reagan savaged the unions? The tough guy who went along with attacks on public education and came up with carters as an alternative? Who felt teacher accountability based on testing was kosher? He was only tough on the left and his anti communism which blended into anti progressivism was more important to him than improving education.

  2. Thanks for running an interesting symposium.

    My commitment to maintaining some semblance of equanimity in my older age inhibits me from wanting to respond to/engage in it publicly but it's been useful.

    I also no longer need to be lectured and exhorted (not by you!) about my pernicious and deluded attachment to a liberalism situated somewhere between very luke-warm capitalist and even more resistant-to-pedantry socialist versions.

    Antifa, and some of the arguments for it, penetrate my almost complete commitment to non-violence, probably because I never expected to live to see real Nazis (neo or otherwise) marching through the streets of our towns and cities and not the George Lincoln Rockwell 'I play a Nazi on TV' sorts of the 60s and 70s.

    Be well...

  3. Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King Jr. led non-violent struggles. "Selma", the movie shows some of the strategizing and preparations for their march and the non-violence that was a critical part of the march's success. Also- just read that October 2, Gandhi's Birthday is the International Day of Non-Violence.
    Another reason not to fight-

  4. "At this point, pretty much every conservative position on abortion, homosexuality, border security, the police, affirmative action, immigration, terrorism, etc., has been labeled as hate speech by the establishment left and many in the media." The intolerant left and its media allies then condone and promote violence as the only way to check conveniently - and falsely - labeled 'hate speech'

    1. They are not liberal and they are not left. As for "progressivism." It is really Nihilism. Look around. Do you like what you see?

  5. Two totalitarian ideologies are responsible for 130 million deaths in the 20th century. One killed 30 million , the other 100 million. You can speak nostalgically of the higher grouping and not be estranged from American society. Strange that!!


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