Mark Bray, ANTIFA, The Anti-Fascist Handbook Melville House publishers
Bray was asked to write this book a month after protesters in Black Bloc shut down Milo Yiannopoulos when he tried to spew his poison at the University of California, Berkeley last February. He was also planning to name undocumented students on the campus in his presentation and the university felt powerless to stop him. The Black Bloc disruption led to the cancellation of the event. This followed the prior fall and summer where antifascist protestors disrupted Trump events on a regular basis.
Fascism is hard to define as it is not a particularly intellectual pursuit. It thrives on racism, anti-Semitism, antifeminism, homophobia and with Milo and Trump, anti-immigrant organizing. Haters like this are not the smartest tools in the shed, from the Neo-Nazi KKK member to the idiots who persist in the belief that Obama was not born in Hawai’I --including the Idiot in Chief whose presidency seems to be solely about undoing everything Obama did, ignoring the fact that Obama pulled us out of the fires of 2008. Antifa does not listen to these people; it silences them, both from self-defense and because once these idiots gain power, the unthinking masses seem to follow them as they did in Germany and as they do now with Trump.
I suspect the strongest clue that one is a fascist is that Antifa takes notice and works to disrupt your hate speech, which is still banned in some countries. If you are a police chief and Black Lives Matter is protesting your headquarters, there may just be a problem of racism among your officers. Fascism is based on fear and fearing that someone might be armed is not reason to shoot them until you see a weapon. Any officer who can’t hold their fire until then is too much of a coward to protect and serve the public.
The book starts with the lead-up to World War II and the inadequacy of the resistance in stopping the fascists, who did not take power by revolution. They maneuvered their way into it and were largely accepted by the masses in the right ethnic majorities. It would take too much space to describe the resistance during the war, but after the war it came about sporadically when fascists started to organize and Jewish veterans in England would not let them hold their demonstrations. The veterans kept standing in their way until the fascists’ own infighting doomed that particular outbreak. That was the pattern through the early 2000s and that is the pattern now. It is what works, with new tools such as doxing (putting names to faces on the Internet and sending their employer the pictures) as well as traditional physical resistance, from blocking entrances to trains to marching routes.
Bray presents a whole lot of tools and a serious discussion on why they are used. Anyone interested in helping or who thinks Antifa goes too far should buy the book. Bray seems to know everyone, from England to Greece to Syria (although his knowledge may be from secondary sources).
The book also relates to the socialist nature of Antifa, although not all anti-fascists are socialists. Black Lives Matter is not a socialist organization but it is antifascist. Fascists do seem to be tools of capitalism, using racism et al. to keep the order needed to operate the economics of worker, consumer and citizen domination. Finding a workable socialism is one way to solve the fascist problem permanently, not just the Scandinavian version, which retains the capitalist elite, or state capitalism, which is a form of fascism, but something more cooperative. The other solution is to dispense with the advantages of whiteness. Having a permanently coddled group standing ready to vote for fascists like Trump is not healthy for the growth of society. Cooperative socialism that looks for talent wherever it may be rather than among the socially favored is one way. Making the majority aware that what it clings to is a myth is the other. It’s why we march.