On Protests and Fears of Alienating the Reserve Army of Fascists
By: Matt Sedillo
The Southwest Political Report
Since the inauguration of that demonic tangerine three instances of street shit have taken place. Two of which have been elevated to the level of national debate and one of which flew under the radar but was no less hilarious and glorious a moment for the lovers of truth, justice and a better way.
On January 19th during the installation of Agent Orange, white nationalist enthusiast Richard Spencer was twice struck by fists of glory in hilarious fashion. A series of think pieces, memes ,venn diagrams and flow charts all made their way into the frontlines of internet asking the burning question of the day: Am I my Nazi’s assailant?
One of the heroic fistic feats was caught on camera and the righteous deed was set to a collective remembering the 80’s mixtape. My favorite was the Born in the USA. Though Blue Mondays was also very winning. I personally wasn’t hoping for Flock of Sagulls to be set to his cowardly exit. Sadly you cant always get what you want. Unfortunately a bullshit article or two appeared in the Guardian and Vox. The one in Vox was particularly garbage. So many words thrown at the defense of white nationalism as distinct from Nazism and so little actually said. This theyarentreallyasbadasnazism were paragraphs of deplorable and Vox should be deeply ashamed. Repent Vox!!! Repent!!
For the most part however the internet rejoiced. A Nazi was punched and scorned. And the wide majority of people seemed to agree that it was right that a Nazi was punched and scorned.
Five days earlier on January 14th Martin Shkrelli came joined Breitbart’s white nationalist Milo Yiannopoulos at UC Davis and was rightly pelted in the face with dog shit. It was a hilarious but sadly overlooked moment in the struggle against metrofascism.
All of this was a prelude to the February 1st confrontation between Black Bloc protestors at UC Berkeley and the forces of evil that had converged to celebrate a hate revival led by professional fascist Milo Yiannopoulis of Breitbart. The confrontation resulted in less no life threatening injury. Not so of a confrontation that took place in Seattle where a supporter of Milo shot someone in the stomach. The fascist shooter was released by the police and the story faded from public memory. Not so of the Berkeley shut down.
Liberals came popping out of their clown cars one after another to discuss the best means to debate fascists. Twitler himself intervened bemoaning the rise of “professional anarchists.” No less than liberal giant of grand delusion Robert Reich himself entered the discussion with his own set of alternative theories. He claimed that the Black Bloc protesters were undercover agents of Trump, planted to make Anti Trump sentiment seem violent and scary.
The notdontdoitlikethatdoitlikethisberichbornintoaworldofconnectionshaveadegreefromharvardandactuallyjustbeapiedpiperforthedemocraticpartyism of Robert Reich appeals to larger audiences on the basis of the delusion that all this rough stuff is alienating to people who would otherwise be on your side.
Milo Yiannopoulis according to various sources was planning to Doxx undocumented students who attend Berkeley. Milo Yiannopulis is someone who was too racist for Twitter. David Duke is on Twitter. Milo Yiannopoulis is a professional fascist and should be shut down everywhere he goes. Because hate gatherings need to be broken up. Hatemongers need to fear congregating. Because the fight is already upon us and it always has been.
There is no way to confront fascism that will appeal to would be fascists. They like fascism. They like the identification with power. They are not apolitical, they are not ignorant. They are adherents to the wave of political backlash that dominates the current political moment. They may not be hanging nooses or building walls on college campuses or yelling at baristas or customers while buying coffee or groceries but they are on the spectrum of hate. They hold views on society that by definition call for ethnic cleansing, religious inquisition and gender oppression. They do not simply prefer life a certain way for themselves but demand the whole of society be restored to something claimed to have been lost. Make America Great Again is the call for the restoration of an overwhelming White majority, Christendom, and the unbearable ubiquity of the nuclear family.
Appeals to understand the plight and concerns of the Zombies who make up the legion of Custers, Confederates, Crusaders and Fatherknowsbestists composing this Apocalypse of political reaction is foolish. Their proletarian material conditions, which 99.99999999999% of humanity shares to one degree or another does not change what they think. It does not change what they will do. To think that the fact that they are workers prevents them from being the foot soldiers of a fascist Armageddon is not only ahistorical it is absurd. It is ahistorical immaterialism. It is a fancied flight from material reality. It not only foolish, not only dangerous but at its heart rooted in white supremacist fantasy. Reactionaries so long as they are reactionaries are reactionaries. The majority of those who make up the core of the lynch mob will remain on their side of history. They will not be the ones to put down their pitchforks and fight for the abolition of class. White people, on individual levels, can, do and will continue to join, participate and build the fight for social justice on every front. White supremacists and the surplus army of fascists will not unless they defect. There will be reaction. The shape of reaction will be what it always is and has been.
There are some unpleasant truths in life. For instance you and everyone you know will one day die. It is also true that as society polarizes political reaction is unavoidable and people you know and love will be swept up in it. This is inevitable.
As the confrontation intensifies and society as a whole is agitated by the ongoing struggle real people in real time will rush from their collective sidelines and rumble it out accross the pages of history. Fighters by the millions will clear the bench as this all unfolds, which side of history they join will be determined by factors that cannot be resolved by one conversation, slogan or sign and will not be determined by how opposing forces wage their struggle. Which side of history real people in real time choose to fight for will be determined but by the content and aims of those struggles and the beliefs of real people in real time for any given set of reasons. The best we can do is raise our collective flags of liberation and see who comes running. Would be fascists will join active fascists. Freedom fighters will join the fight for freedom. As sad as this may sound given what is actually at stake and just few actually benefit from the system as it is currently configured, it is what it is and cannot be wished away.
It is good that Milo was shut down. It is good that Richard Spencer was punched. Martin Shkreli can eat shit. Rebellion is contagious. We do not fight fascists to awaken their class consciousness. We fight fascists so that society may survive. Courage is contagious. Anyone who believes that the forces of reaction are simply confused are as confused and dangerous as the reactionaries themselves. In the immediate fight against fascism agitate for the abolition of the class system and capitalism as a whole. Agitate for the fight to expand to all corners of society and against every unjust way that society is currently configured. Fight like hell, go for broke and don’t be afraid to break some shit in the process. Don’t worry about the haters and certainly don’t worry about upsetting would be Nazis. It’s not your fault they are Nazis. It’s their fault. We can win. We must win. We must fight.