lWhat are Fascism and Antifa, and what is the difference between them? Although Donald Trump uses the term “Antifa” interchangeably with “anarchists,” they are not the same. Anarchists want to tear down, and they are a closer fit to Trump with a desire for the absence of government, disorder, and chaos.
Antifa members are literally anti-Fascists. Some well-known Fascists are:
- Mussolini’s National Fascist Party (Partito Nazionale Fascista) in Italy.
- The National Socialist German Workers’ Party (Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei) aka or Nazi Party led by Adolph Hitler.
Fascism can be defined by these characteristics, according to Britannica:
- Hyper-nationalism. This “is central to all fascism,” and is in line with “America first.”
2. Praise their military institutions and military virtues, especially to resolve political issues.
3. Admires violence and uses it in politics. Some fascists thought violence would “would cleanse and redeem a tarnished nation,” especially against Antifa. Consider this:
‘They encouraged loyal thugs to rough up, and occasionally kill, people whose politics differed from theirs…His rallies, according to many reports, have a frisson of menace to them; he has said things that could be interpreted as invitations to assassinations…[T]rump recommended using torture and killing the families of terrorists.’
4. Masculinity. US fascists have been all for supporting male authority within family and society. Trump mocks men whom he deems deficient in virility:
‘Whereas Mussolini liked to hold up his own mother, devoted to home and hearth, as the feminine ideal, Trump’s vision of the proper woman seems to be a supermodel, more in line with Hugh Hefner’s ideology than Mussolini’s.’
5. Leader cult: “Fascists always looked to a leader who was bold, decisive, manly, uncompromising. and cruel when necessary:”
‘Because the parlous state of the nation required such qualities. Mussolini and Hitler, both veterans of World War I, drew their models of leadership from army officers and worked hard to polish their images as dauntless rulers beholden to no one. They encouraged their followers to idolize them as Il Duce and der Führer.’
They claimed special insight into the will of the people:
‘[Trump] offers his business experience as evidence of his decisive leadership and is very testy when his business acumen is doubted. He also claims to channel the common man.’
6. National Rebirth. Mussolini and Hitler encouraged their supporters to believe in lost (or stolen) greatness such as MAGA:
‘Trump makes this appeal to a golden age the centerpiece of his campaign, assuring audiences that only he can “make America great again.”’
7. Bulwark Against Evils:
‘Fascists defined themselves as the bulwark against various evils and menaces to the nation. Those included communism, routine democratic politics, the traditional conservatism of industrial and agrarian elites .’
8. Mass mobilization and mass party. He turned the Grand Old Party, into his.
9. Kill Enemies Even Children, Purge Disloyalty. “Anyone who displayed only tepid loyalty to the leader or who showed the potential to outshine the leader risked being purged or killed.”
‘So did followers who outlived their usefulness.’
10. High Theatricality. Mussolini and Hitler looked. like “clownish buffoons” on film:
‘Film and audio of Mussolini and Hitler make them seem like clownish buffoons, with their exaggerated gestures, their salutes, their overheated speeches full of absolutes and superlatives.’
11. Rails Against Elites and Minorities. “Trump constantly rails against politics as usual, against political correctness, against elites:”
‘[Eletes] of all kinds (including, curiously, business elites), and he has made a habit of vilifying minorities.’
So what is Antifa? “Its members live on the “far-left” side of the political balance sheet, but do not associate with a particular party. Britannica defined them as:
‘[O]pponents of the right-wing proponents of white supremacy, white nationalism, and neo-Nazism.’
Antifa stands for “anti-fascist,” The New York Times reported:
‘[There is] no leader, “set structure, or membership roles.’
Supporters try to protect marginalized people from fascism, racism, and far-right groups…including racial minorities, women, and members of the LGBTQ community:
Conversely, Antifa is connected by shared “philosophies and tactics.” They reached the national stage in Charlottesville, VA. by opposing the “Unite the Right” rally in 2017.
Rose City Antifa was founded in 2007 in Portland, OR. It has a large following of Antifa on social media.’
Check out The Latest Lincoln Project ad below, describing Anti-Fascism as “paid for in blood:”
‘Anti-Fascism: It’s not a cable news talking point, it’s an American ideal that should be memorialized’
Anti-Fascism: It’s not a cable news talking point, it’s an American ideal that should be memorialized. pic.twitter.com/9HVP44O5U3
— The Lincoln Project (@ProjectLincoln) June 4, 2021
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