While I have doubts about the efficacy of militant anti-fascist actions in the US, like the one that shut down a certain self-professed internet troll in Berkeley for a myriad of reasons, the response to the riotous events from the liberal mouthpieces merits a response from anarchists that rejects the language of the Left that has always walked hand in hand with the Right. Anarchists would be wise to discard this language because by accepting it is to already violate the most basic unifying principles for us; that we are enemies of Government and State.
What makes the US the leader of the “free world”? The illusory (see Free Speech Zones) freedom Americans enjoy, we enjoy because others are enslaved, exploited and terrorized. Freedom is a deceptive term. The truly free are exterminated. Freedom of Speech, is an essential part of the marketing of the idea that we are free in the first place, as Freedom of Choice is for Capitalism, and Europe is often juxtaposed against “backward” countries that carry harsh penalties for speaking against the ruling elite.
Predictably, over the last couple of days, opinion pieces from both sides of the aisle came out saying the same thing; that the violent, destructive chaos perpetrated by so-called anarchists was wrong because it is a violation of the very first amendment of the US Constitution. It is here that a lot of anarchists fall into the trap of making the same arguments, even if those arguments are couched in radical rhetoric.
Anarchists should feel comfortable espousing views that make people uncomfortable, including those liberals in anarchist clothing. But lately a lot of people see nothing wrong with the beautiful idea becoming part of the spectacle, reproducing the same riot porn, while simultaneously trying to be more palatable to the masses in an attempt to recruit. Instead of putting energy into anarchist campaigns, including long term projects and infrastructure, many desire joining the Left, the same Left that will then denounce them for their extremist views, or for violating the constitution that grants us our “freedoms”.
One defense of “the Bloc” that caught my eye posted on Its Going Down briefly identifies the contradiction of defending Freedom of Speech yet being against the legal institutions that construct this Freedom, but goes on to say that anarchists should not only get on board with the communists (note who must follow who), but go so far to say that we must create a unified front with liberals and other leftists to defeat fascism because “the ethical obligation to win is ours.” The article does not say what counts for winning, but implies that simply by shouting our displeasure in one voice we will defeat fascism. We’ve seen this all before.
They go on to make this ridiculous assertion:
“We must seek solidarity with one another. True, there are many ways to resist the rise of fascism in the U.S. But two major steps in fighting that existential threat is for liberals to stop undercutting the left and agreeing with the fascists at every step and for everyone to stop relying on the Constitution to protect our society.”
Protect this society? You mean like the Constitution itself? Nothing like this should ever come out of the mouth of an anarchist! I certainly don’t consider this article to put forward an anarchist position, but anarchists are surely reading it. They admit here that fascism is an existential threat, not yet materialized. There is an uncritical rush to band with our enemies and accept the status quo out of fear of this unknown terror in the name of protecting this society, the very society we wish to devour. We must have a more nuanced view of these actions, because politics is messy enough, but its about to get even messier.