Fight Fascists, Destroy Fascism

The ruling party of the United States has embraced fascism, but people throughout the country are resisting.

Donald Trump had fascist tendencies and appealed to fascists since the early days of his campaign, but by now he has clearly embraced a fascist style of governing. The Republican Party has mostly gone along with it. The character of the regime, the enemies they choose, and the way they attack them, together mark a fascist movement struggling both to monopolize power in the government and to exercise power throughout society.

The advance of fascism is everywhere met with the resistance of people with decent values. We beat fascism once, we can defeat it again, and we can destroy its sources of power by changing society.

A Fascist Movement is Taking Control

Fascism is a particular kind of right-wing authoritarian nationalism. It seeks to remake society to better serve the nation, to strengthen and clarify social hierarchies, and to mobilize a chosen mass of people against designated enemies. Typically it calls back to some imagined glorious past, proclaims a need for national regeneration, and claims that greatness can be achieved only by following the fascist movement.

Any country’s history offers a variety of traditions to choose from, and the elements a movement embraces or rejects can say a lot about the movement: the Statue of Liberty or the Trail of Tears, the bloody struggle of emancipation or the deadly oppression of the plantation, the ideals proclaimed in fighting the fascist powers or the images of war removed from their political context.

Fascism is a participatory movement. The masses are expected to participate in oppression. For those in the in-group, fascism substitutes political liberty for the freedom of acting without consequence against people in the out-group.

Fascists’ enemies are those they blame for weakening their ideal of the nation. Fascist movements find some combination of political minorities to target. 

The designated enemy groups of the Trump regime represent populations that modern fascism sees as threats to the national community. The fear of losing cultural dominance is seen in attacks on Muslims and Spanish-speaking migrants. Its message was seen in the “birther” movement that boosted Donald Trump’s political career: the belief that an urban Black Democrat talking about change and taking political power over white people represented some vague foreign threat. The related fear of international connections is seen in the pogrom-inspiring rants against “globalists” and “disloyal” Jews, often heard from the regime and its propagandists. The fear of dissolving gender hierarchy is seen in attacks on feminism and the promotion of misogyny, in attacks on transgender people’s ability to exist in public spaces, and in a general crackdown on what roles queer people are allowed to step into. 

It is also important to consider the American fascist attitude toward Native people. When the White House celebrates Andrew Jackson and Trump talks about reversing Obama’s restoration of the Indigenous name for Mount Denali, they are sending clear signals. Pushing ahead on the Dakota Access Pipeline threatens the water supplies of Native communities. Scaling back Bears Ears National Monument was a blow to Native influence over their ancestral lands. How American fascists see Native people is related to how the dominant fascists see the national relationship with the land and environment. It is a drive to conquer and exploit. Similarly, they see climate change as a question of winners who will profit, and losers who will suffer and die. 

Fascists are threatened most by open resistance. The current trend towards labelling any disruptive opposition as “Antifa terrorists” reflects this.  Antifa are sometimes absurdly labelled “the real Nazis” even when they literally face off against people who give Nazi salutes and advocate ethnic genocide. Of course, groups that use the label “antifa” are among the most important anti-fascist resisters, and many have been exposing members of fascist groups to public scrutiny well before Trump ran for president. The fear of resistance can also be seen in reactions to the Black Lives Matter movement by those who see it as a threat to white supremacy and police impunity.

Fascists work to strengthen the economic hierarchies that put them and their benefactors on top, and help them divide society into the in-group and the outsiders. Official policy is unfriendly toward organized labor while fascist street gangs try to intimidate socialists and radical labor organizers like the IWW. Immigration restrictions control the movement of labor, undermine the stability of undocumented workers and workers in the long process of legal immigration, control the demographics of labor, and (when combined with racist appeals from the podium) are meant to prevent solidarity among workers and make them more easily controlled by bosses. The existence of homeless people in large numbers is used both as an issue to blame on political rivals and as an opportunity to “clean up” society through a brutal crackdown on a population that many people would rather not see.

Fascist disdain for the lives of designated enemies is seen most obviously in the constant dehumanization in their rhetoric. It is also seen in the atrocious conditions of ICE concentration camps, and the related policies of blocking migrants and refugees, focusing on enforcement rather than processing or integration – let alone considering the humane solution of borders that are open to poor people. There is also a consistent disregard for foreign lives shown by a president who has loosened restrictions on airstrikes and expanded every war he has inherited from the post-9/11 era. Trump even approved the Turkish government’s invasion of Rojava in Northern Syria with the clear goal of committing ethnic cleansing and destroying the democratic society created by those who led the fight against ISIS. His public fight and quick reconciliation with Erdogan only provided cover for the violence on the ground.

An important element of fascist movements is the command of a charismatic leader who gained his position through struggle. These days, the leader need not wear a military uniform and boast of actual wounds, but can instead be a self-promoting manipulator of social struggle. Trump knows how to work a crowd, since his whole career revolved around talking people into giving him money and making others suffer the consequences of his business decisions. Trump puts his name on everything in the tackiest way. His followers fly flags emblazoned with his name, including confederate flags. There are guns with Trump’s name and likeness inscribed on them. There is even a religious element to the Trump cult of personality in the evangelical fundamentalists who see him as a flawed king who is doing God’s will by punishing sinners and bringing the apocalypse closer with his policy in Jerusalem.

A key element of classic fascism is that the fascist party has an official militant sector to intimidate and attack opponents and to make shows of force in the street. By now, it is clear that Trump has both formal and informal militant followers, though their official function is not acknowledged. This is not the 1920s and today’s fascists did not come of age during the First World War. Their uniforms will not be in the military style of that era, but will fit in more with today’s subcultures and the style of today’s wars. This is the era of the Global War on Terror, reality television, and viral videos. 

There is a growing relationship between the Proud Boys, a right-wing gang in black and gold shirts, and the Republican Party. As It’s Going Down reports,

Last December in New York, Proud Boys beat anti-racist and antifascsit protesters after then leader, Gavin McInnes spoke at a GOP event. In June at a Trump rally in Florida, Proud Boys marched in support of Trump and were blocked by police from engaging with liberal counter-protesters. In Modesto, California, local Republican organizers pushing a white nationalist ‘Straight Pride’ event openly called for members of the Proud Boys to attend and other GOP groups have attempted to invite the Proud Boys to speak at various functions.

It is worth remembering that many Proud Boys joined the fascist attack on Charlottesville. But their main role is not to be a fringe element with torches or skull masks, rather it is to bring displays of street power and violence into the mainstream while cultivating a strict adherence to cultural hierarchies and nationalist values.

In a less-organized fashion, commands from the podium are heard by heavily armed militias and other far-right actors. Trump used Twitter to signal his support of a far-right rally in Portland, a city that has seen numerous hate crimes and fascist attacks. He did not retract his statements after it was revealed that American Guard, a group with roots in notorious neo-Nazi gangs, was embraced by the rally leaders. Online mobs and threats of violence have been central to the rise of American fascism since hate mobs were sent after feminist commentators, and these online warriors have been encouraged by official statements. There are also instances of masked fascists attempting to intimidate protests against Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

A counterpart to violence and intimidation by paramilitaries is the loosening of institutional restraints on the use of force by the state, and a greater focus on party loyalty in making appointments. Police officers and government officials whose careers began before a fascist takeover are often complicit in fascist crimes or are perpetrators themselves. Of course, state enforcers often have a low opinion of rules that restrict them and not the people they police, but fascism encourages this attitude. This is seen in the concentration camp complex’s refusal to follow transparency procedures and failure to abide by court orders. We see it when Trump tells cops that roughing up suspects is a great thing to do. It is an attack on the limited restraints that liberal democracy places on the state’s ability to do harm.

Fascism is disorderly, despite the image of order that fascist propaganda often portrays. Infighting and graft are features throughout the fascist movement as its members live the struggle for dominance. Hans Frank, a Nazi official in occupied Poland, set up his headquarters in a castle full of stolen artwork. Most trains in fascist Italy were not run efficiently. The disorder spills out into society with frequent violence against marginalized people and political enemies. 

Fascist groups today may some include people who at first seem out of place, like Latino and gay members. Yet this only shows that fascism does not need Third Reich ideology or Jim Crow era racism to define in-groups and out-groups. It should also be remembered that fascism is a power struggle and fascists will not hesitate to purge each other with violence when they are no longer useful, starting with those of marginalized identities.

Ernst Röhm was a gay man and a leading figure in the Nazi SA, the paramilitary group whose street violence helped the party gain power. He was killed under Hitler’s orders in 1934 when he was no longer useful to Hitler. By then the Nazis had already sacked the Institute for Sexual Science, burned thousands of pages of research on human sexuality, and destroyed the Institute’s existence as a leader in advancing the freedom and welfare of queer people. Soon they would put suspected homosexuals and other queer people into concentration camps. The Nazis also found members of subordinate nationalities to collaborate in their race war. 

It is not new for people from marginalized groups to try to buy into oppression with loyalty. In some cases this loyalty may be rewarded. In an interview with Three Way Fight author Matthew Lyons, antifascist researchers Daryle Lamont Jenkins and Cloee Cooper describe how the new “multiracial far right” defends hierarchies of class, traditional gender roles, and antagonism toward new foreigners. It is necessary to look at the content of their character and the consequences of their politics.

Fascist politics are a competitive process prone to violence. The groups that come together make for a coalition of people trying to be the ones who decides who belongs, who is to be exiled or sent to camps, and who is to be murdered.

Enforcing gender hierarchy is one goal that unites fascists across their particular allegiances. They want strictly defined gender roles with women subservient. Many want women to dedicate themselves to birthing and raising the kind of children they want to see in order to address their fears of demographic change.

Fascists today have a range of opinions on Jewish people, and nearly all are dangerous to Jews. At best, they would divide Jews into acceptable, loyal servants of nationalism and unacceptable, “disloyal” Jews. At worst, they admire the Third Reich’s genocide of Jews. In between, anti-Semitic comments and images are often found on fascist message boards. Anti-Semitic propaganda is used even by the Trump regime. The meme of the untrustworthy Jew without roots in the nation, found in the Third Reich’s propaganda about international conspiracy as well as the Stalinist regime’s campaigns against “rootless cosmopolitans” is seen every time the Trump regime or its propagandists rail against globalists and claim George Soros is out to get Americans. This will not stop them from claiming that their opponents are anti-Semitic for accepting Muslims, because — to the mainstream of fascists in the USA — Muslims are evil and Jews are supposed to help fight them. 

Fascists in the USA, from the ranks of torchlight rallies to the offices of the White House, are embracing violent exclusion of people based on ethnicity, subjugation of people in a gendered hierarchy, and attacks on labor and anti-capitalist movements.

The stakes could not be higher.

Fascism means death and subjugation. 

The crimes of Nazi Germany should be widely known but must still be reviewed. After being handed power by the German establishment in January 1933, the Nazis immediately began constructing an authoritarian regime. The first concentration camps were operational in March. Political opponents and people the regime did not want in society were sent to camps and abused. The camp system evolved into an infrastructure of forced labor and death by deprivation, and in only a few years the Nazis would build killing centers with massive gas chambers and crematoria.

The Nazis and their accomplices murdered six million Jews and five million other people, by gas, by bullets, by starvation, and by deprivation. In a week of mass shootings, the Nazis murdered more than 33,000 Jews at Babi Yar. They later built gas chambers capable of killing 2,000 people at a time. The Nazis killed others with hunger and deprivation, including millions of Soviet prisoners of war and civilians under siege. The Nazis planned for even more horrors if they won their race war, and expected that tens of millions of people would die in Eastern Europe as their land and food was taken by Germans.

This is the legacy that people embrace when they adopt the symbols and ideology of the Third Reich. In 2017, a crowd of torch-wielding fascists chanted “Jews will not replace us” as well as the Nazi slogan “Blood and Soil.” Despite what Trump apologists claim, the president called the violent hate rally an assembly of very fine people. Donald Trump is by definition a Nazi sympathizer. The fact that he has Jewish grandchildren does not change this, but is a factor in the question of whether he cares about any person outside of their ability to get him power and money.

Even though it is absolutely atrocious to be a Nazi sympathizer, it is not as bad as being a Nazi oneself. Perhaps Trump is more like Mussolini, Hitler’s closest ally and biggest foreign inspiration. It is then necessary to consider some of fascist Italy’s crimes against humanity. 

In 1935, the Italian fascist regime launched an openly racist invasion of Ethiopia that brought mass murder, poison gas, and concentration camps. In 1936, they joined with the Nazis in supporting Franco’s fascists in Spain. Mussolini’s regime passed aggressive anti-Jewish laws before putting Jews in concentration camps and ultimately delivering thousands to Nazi murderers. And they were part of the Axis that helped Hitler fight his race war across Europe and the Middle East.

Mussolini’s name may be too disreputable in the USA, but fascists have other leaders to look to. Proud Boys chanted “Pinochet did nothing wrong” at Trump rallies. The Pinochet regime killed 3,000 people and tortured tens of thousands. One of their methods of execution, where a prisoner is thrown from a helicopter, has become celebrated as a meme in the far right. 

By one method or another, wearing one symbol or another, fascists want to kill people, they want to brutalize people into submission, and these are their stated policy goals.

At street level, fascists pursue their goals with mob violence and hate crimes. A study by the Washington Post found that “counties that had hosted a 2016 Trump campaign rally saw a 226 percent increase in reported hate crimes over comparable counties that did not host such a rally.” The ADL tallied at least 50 murders linked to the far-right in 2018, a year in which right wing assailants killed more people than in any year since Timothy McVeigh bombed the Oklahoma City federal building in 1995. These are crimes recognized by the authorities, but fascist rallies are intentionally violent events and  police often assist by attacking counter protestors. From Charlottesville to Portland, fascists who tell each other how much they look forward to committing violence have brought their hate into city streets and attacked people when they had the opportunity, while their cadre of propagandists spins events their way.

On an official level, there are now concentration camps in the United States. As bad as prisons are, concentration camps bring with them a new level of oppression. They are meant to remove the regime’s designated enemies from society and make them suffer. Legal procedures are sidestepped, ignored, or delayed as a matter of policy. They are intentionally overcrowded and unsanitary places. Authorities have resisted giving children soap and denied medical care to the ill. 

Resist the Fascists

We should not ignore how dangerous the situation is, but we should also not ignore reasons for hope. Countless people have stepped up and resisted fascism in numerous ways. 

It is necessary to disrupt and frustrate the ability of fascists to effectively operate at both the street level and official level. Through individual and collective action, people can prevent orders from being carried out, demoralize and spread dissent in fascist ranks, and weaken their hold on political power. Actions should not intentionally hurt or recklessly endanger innocent people.

It is not a question of doing as much as you are comfortable with, because fascists are bullies who will rush to make opponents feel uncomfortable. It is a question of what actions could you accept the likely consequences of carrying out. 

Showing up to oppose fascists is critical. As the saying goes, “The more of us there are, the safer we are.” The British Union of Fascists was defeated in the 1930s because people targeted by fascist violence fought back and allies joined them. The most well-known incident is the Battle of Cable Street, but it was not the only skirmish, as Working Class History has documented. In recent clashes too, fascists are less inclined to attack people when they are outnumbered.

Fascists cannot be allowed to have the streets unopposed. The spectacle of black-clad antifa fighting against fascists may look scary but the alternative is fascists controlling the streets and brutalizing whoever they want either out of sight or on camera when they want to inspire other attacks. This is an unacceptable situation. The sight of people with rifles and body armor facing each other may be frightening, but a situation where fascists are the only ones armed is deadly.

Fascism is not about democratic coalition building. It either takes power through force or is handed power by established elites trying to maintain order. Fascism gains support from elites to the extent to which it appears to establish control. A fascist rally shut down by thousands of people in the streets, where the fascists who start fights with smaller groups of people get beaten, presents the opposite of an image of fascists in control. 

There are many reasons why coming out in the streets to oppose fascists, on one occasion or in general, could be too difficult for a person. There are ways to support anti-fascist action without leaving home.

The far-right has an online propaganda machine that is often effective, regardless of how unsophisticated it might be. Taking action on social media means countering the lies of fascists and collaborators in order to prevent them from controlling the narrative: sharing the un-doctored footage and photos of incidents, providing context and background information on actions and people involved, sharing content from accounts that provide valuable information.

Information and propaganda are not only spread online. Face-to-face conversations with relatives, friends, and neighbors can help people understand the political situation and figure out how to support each other. Recognizing fascist symbols and stickers on the streets, removing them, and making the community and anti-fascist activists aware of the situation is important as well. 

People who have money can invest in a better future by supporting anti-fascism. Bail money and legal defense funds are often needed, as the state does not approve of autonomous actions against fascists. Supporting anti-fascist media, like It’s Going Down and Unicorn Riot, is another important task. Funding or sharing campaigns of organizations that assist people targeted by fascists with humanitarian or legal aid is also very valuable.

Politicians and institutions will not save us, but institutional resistance can disrupt fascism. The actions of the masses can sway politicians or stiffen their resolve to actually resist instead of pontificating while bodies burn. One does not have to believe that politicians are going to lead society to a better world to recognize that it matters when different politicians are in power, and take the time to vote. The ruling party is, after all, trying to make voting difficult for people they do not trust.

Fascist activity by the government should be opposed with a diversity of tactics. Actions against Trump’s inauguration and occupations of airports in response to the Muslim ban set the tone for resistance to the regime. The occupations, blockades, and protests targeting ICE offices are inspiring and necessary. People helping others get out of ICE custody is an exercise in solidarity that can save lives. Students who disrupt campus recruitment by ICE and corporate concentration camp collaborators show that the future will be anti-fascist. It is important to remember that fascism gets a lot of mileage out of inspiring fear, and that mass resistance can scare fascists away from advancing their agenda.

A number of tech companies profit from fascism, from propaganda ad revenue to software for filling concentration camps. Companies whose business model relies upon mass surveillance seem to have an affinity for political authoritarians. There is also a cultural affinity when people who feel they are superior to others respond positively to ideologies that coddle this belief. 

The best defense against fascism in the tech sector is people in the tech sector who stand up to fascists. It is time for every worker to ask which side they are on: the side profiting from building the infrastructure of authoritarianism, or the side that looks to build a brighter future for as many people as possible. Tech workers who do not want their work to support fascism are beginning to understand that they have power here. Individual actions can be powerful, like the programmer who removed his open-source code from a repository used by an ICE contractor. But individuals can often act with greater effectiveness when they organize together.

The economic power of fascism should be undermined. Collaborators should lose money and ideally face expropriation of their assets or see the businesses they run taken over by anti-fascist workers. Those who fund fascist movements should be exposed and treated as pariahs. To undermine the economic power of fascism, it may be beneficial to create alternative economic structures and cooperatives that make it easier to boycott oppressors. 

Willem Van Spronsen was apparently setting fire to concentration camp vehicles when police arrived and shot him dead. In his last message to the world, he said, “You don’t have to burn the motherfucker down, but are you going to just stand by?” That is a good question to ask.

Defend Each Other

Fascists will always create a pretext for violence they want to commit. It does not need to stand up to scrutiny if it is just a story they can use either to motivate their troops or to spread misinformation that will no longer be needed after the attack is done. Fascist violence is not caused by anti-fascism. Anti-fascism is a response to the threat posed by fascism.

We must think of the world we wish to build and understand that our actions cannot simply be reactive to fascist actions. Building up community defense organizations that are inclusive and anti-authoritarian can help defend against fascists and also create framework for a better future.

Information is the first line of community defense. Antifa groups have been great at identifying and exposing members of fascist organizations to public scrutiny. This means that fascists lose jobs where they are a threat to co-workers and customers, lose streams of income that finance attacks on their opponents, and have more problems building up organizations that can effectively oppress the public. It also means that individuals in the community are better able to understand who is a threat and how to respond. Striking at fascist economic power and organizing spaces undermines the ability of fascists to build more effective organizations.

Informal community defense takes place whenever people look out for each other. This is especially important when fascist rallies are active in the area, as they often attract people looking to harm anyone they see as a vulnerable opponent.

Many people are realizing the benefit of armed community defense. Armed people are harder to oppress and it is more difficult for street fascists to do what they want to a crowd that includes armed people. Self-defense and solidarity are fundamental to community defense. Arms do not help if they are only held by people who do not oppose the regime. Many community defense organizations also practice conflict de-escalation, demonstrating that making the community safer is a great priority for them. They also practice mutual aid, which helps individuals live securely and builds stronger communities. Improving food security and access to necessities is important in an era of climate disaster, official neglect, and threats of civil war coming from numerous corners of the authoritarian right.

It is outrageous to take weapons away from those who are targeted by fascist violence. Advocating any further gun control laws without addressing the question of enforcement is problematic, to say the least.  

Rifles like the AR-15 became extremely popular when fear of a Black president gripped the nation, and they have been used to kill large numbers of innocent people in a short amount of time. However, they are also carried by anti-fascists defending people against violence. A defensive posture means that one must be prepared to meet fascist violence when it strikes. 

Giving police more arbitrary power to seize weapons from people will give them greater opportunities to oppress the opponents of fascism while leaving people more vulnerable to fascist violence. This is not merely theoretical.

From the Italian police who armed and sometimes joined Mussolini’s insurgent squads, to the German police officers who joined mass shootings of Jews when commanded, to the Greek police who support Golden Dawn, to American police who collaborate with violent fascists, police forces have proven that they cannot be counted on to oppose fascism. They often do not act against fascists until they are confronted with public pressure or fascists let their optics slip outside the window of acceptable political violence.

Right-wing gangs travel around the country with the stated goal of violently attacking their political opponents and making life difficult for people in liberal cities, yet they operate with few legal consequences until members of the public expose their most serious and blatant offenses and public pressure demands the police take action. Yet homes were raided and conspiracy charges were brought against people suspected of disrupting the Trump inauguration, and they may have served lengthy prison sentences were it not for the public exercising its jury power. 

Police in Portland, Oregon colluded with a fascist gang and let a far-right group go on their way after finding them on a rooftop with rifles. They push Portland residents out of the streets to allow fascists from out of town with a history of violence to march through the city. They shot an anti-fascist protester in the head with a riot control weapon, which may have killed him if he hadn’t been wearing a helmet. Boston police attacked people protesting the Straight Pride parade, whose organizers had ties to violent fascists. The NYPD arrests working people for carrying utility knives, but they stood by when the leader of the Proud Boys brandished a sword on the street after he reenacted an assassination and before members of his gang assaulted anti-fascist protesters. The FBI investigated its invented threat category of “Black identity extremists” while Nazis were openly plotting to commit violence in Charlottesville. How they view threats depends on what they see as a problem.

Nikolas Cruz was known to be abusive to women and posted online that he wanted to kill antifa and be a school shooter. He still had an AR-15 that he decorated with swastikas before he went on a shooting spree in a high school. Banning certain guns or giving more arbitrary power to police is a way to avoid addressing the deeper problems at the root of society, like the sense of entitlement felt by those who believe they should enforce their power over other people through violence, and the damage taken by communities targeted by state violence, all of which will kill and maim numerous people regardless of what weapons are illegal.

A system that targets and punishes people unequally, often for violations that should not be crimes in the first place, will not enforce gun control equally. And with an administration going out of its way to call any opposition illegitimate, encouraging violence, and scapegoating mentally ill people, it will be even worse. They will use fascist crimes to attack anti-fascists.

In the face of the fascist threat, people must protect each other. Fortunately, people are finding and practicing ways to do so.

Solidarity Must Cross Borders

Right-wing authoritarianism has international connections, and anti-fascists will succeed with international solidarity.

While fascism is a disorderly power struggle and people of similar ideologies can find reasons to fight, they also recognize where their interests are. When Putin uses money looted from the Russian people to support autocrats and lackeys in DC and Damascus and authoritarian parties across Europe, he knows what he is doing. Americans who want to profit off oppression in South America think the fascist Bolsonaro can help them do it. ISIS may be too extreme and anti-western for the average fascist, but that does not stop the authoritarian Erdogan from helping religious fundamentalists attack the autonomous region of Rojava, the home of a Kurdish-led libertarian socialist movement that battled ISIS for years. The Trump administration used the Syrian Democratic Forces while they were on the front lines against ISIS but appears to have abandoned them to Turkish authoritarianism.

Borders of capitalist states are largely open for rich people and their money to cross, but are strictly controlled when it comes to less privileged people who want to improve their lives, and even stricter when questions of ethnicity or religion are raised. The only respectable responses are to open borders or to abolish them entirely, and to extend solidarity to people rising against authoritarians of any ideological dressing.

To Destroy Fascism, Revolt Against What Gives it Power

Fascism builds on oppressive behavior and institutionalized power, and it is supported by those who fear losing power and those excited about oppressing others. A fascist movement can be subdued by mass opposition or state violence, but nothing less than a revolution in society can destroy the base that fascism builds itself upon.

There is a reason the authoritarian right and its propagandists are so invested in defining “working class” as an undifferentiated mass of people, usually white, who will enforce whatever oppression the nationalist ruling class requires of them. When they say that “the working class” does not care about trans rights or “the working class” is against immigration, as if trans people and immigrants do not work and are not restricted by the barriers of class and race, they are really making a statement describing what they want the working class to be.

The nationalist working class is supposed to be loyal to the nationalist ruling class, a group of elites who adhere to fascist principles. There may also be a space for an underclass that is never allowed to have a secure existence, though some may be admitted into the working class when needed.

White supremacy, patriarchy, and heteronormativity are reproduced when people with social clout or economic power show others that these are the norms to be followed in spaces they are in. To change society, people who oppose these pillars of fascism must push back as far as they can effectively do so. Understand that the authoritarians would like to make this an uncomfortable experience. There are little authoritarians in many spheres of life, in many communities, in many workplaces, who have a strong interest in securing the social capital they gained through displays of “being politically incorrect,” or in other words knowing how to be an asshole to the right people in order to impress the right people.

From an economic standpoint, little authoritarians and authoritarian elites may see their place in society threatened by the people Trump’s fascist movement is attacking: immigrants, organized labor, academics, women outside of their place, queer people who used to be easier to push out of the way, people of color who challenge the status quo. They believe the underclasses need to be kept under strict control and forced out if they do not comply.

Economic domination is reproduced when people with money, whether wealthy or middle class, refuse to consider poor people as much beyond a nuisance or a burden. It happens when people do not ask why some live in gilded towers or use empty living spaces as bank accounts while thousands of people in the same city are homeless and thousands more struggle to have the bare necessities. It happens when people choose empty platitudes and wealth-serving stories instead of real answers.

Actions that undermine fascism in the present can help prevent it from growing again in the future. The future does not belong to the fascists, no matter what they say.

We Are Going to Win

The fascists want to create a new tyranny inspired by the worst of the old world. We will eradicate the cages their vision would place upon this world and build freedom on the ruins. The fascists are up against too many people who realize they have so much at stake and know how to fight.  We carry a new world in our hearts, as the famed anarchist Buenaventura Durruti said. With solidarity, courage, and a commitment to liberation, we will defeat the fascists and build a better world.

Anarchy and Democracy
Fighting Fascism
Markets Not Capitalism
The Anatomy of Escape
Organization Theory