Fighting Fascism in a Complex World: A Response to William Gillis
There are many threads in Will’s post, spiraling out in several different directions, and it would be impossible for me to fully respond to all of them within the length appropriate for a response post. Furthermore, much of what I have already said can be cross-applied to his post – for instance, he seems to…
On the Disease Theory of Fascism: Response to Bevensee & Yershov
Emmi Bevensee & Logan Yershov’s “Free Speech Dreams and Fascist Memes” is probably the single most thoughtful and nuanced defense of violently disrupting fascist assembly. Of particular note is the way that it draws out something lingering implicit in most other defenses of that tactic. This is what I will call the “disease theory of…
Determining a Threat When You’re the Target: A Response to Several Authors
Common Ground It’s worth mentioning that there is some shared intent here. I take issue with Jason’s framing of it as being ‘liberal’ but appreciate his search for common ground. I assume that we are all: Opposed to fascism: Although we debate its exact boundaries, there is a clear center mass that we are all…
Is Narrative The Whole Point? A Response to Jason Lee Byas
Obviously, I strenuously object to anarchism being classified as a “liberal” — I find Jason Lee Byas’ attempt to reclaim that term profoundly misguided and I’ve written my thoughts on this before. Jason claims that fascism cannot survive in liberalism and so seeks to disrupt it, but this is ass-backwards in a lot of ways….
On Antifa’s Critics
I’m old enough that I can remember when even showing up to oppose fascists was considered controversial. Never mind the fact that the best way to stop racist scum from organizing in public is through a strong show of resistance, or that NOT having a show of resistance on the ground helps fascists in their…
Beyond the Whack-A-Mole of No Platform
In my first post, I explicitly avoided phrases like “No Platform,” “de-platform,” “denying fascists a platform,” etc., because they’re used to refer ambiguously between some strategies that are good and some that are bad. I still think that’s true, but here I’ll be using those terms in a way that allows for that ambiguity. This…
We Must Defeat Fascism by Any Means Necessary
Fascist movements are made with political violence. At any stage of their development they pose a threat to the safety of individuals they target. As fascism gains momentum it becomes a threat to society in general. If national leaders open the doors of political power to fascists, disaster results. Authoritarian nationalists, like those currently in…
A Pacifist’s Take on Punching Nazis
In this piece I ask readers of whatever anti-fascist persuasion to contemplate critiques of stereotypically violent no-platforming as well as defenses of that controversial practice. Though I’m personally guided by a utopian vision of anarchist nonviolence, I’m not convinced popping Richard Spencer in the face conflicts with this dream. It’s a long slog from here…
Antifascism and Historical Memory
I am not here to discuss political strategy but historical memory. I grew up in that European country that had the dubious historical distinction of having invented fascism. Since the end of the Second World War the country’s national holiday has been dedicated to the Antifascist Resistance, on that day of the year when, in…
Campus Speech and Anti-Fascism
Commitment to freedom of speech is a weighty political litmus test for liberalism—libertarians and anarchists often engage with radical liberalism’s awesome propensity towards freedom. However, within the anarchist and anti-fascist locus there is an intense scrutiny of liberal ideals, a sentiment which grows seemingly in proportion with alt-right publicity. I commend libertarian thinkers for generally…
A Meditation on Violence
CW: descriptions of war, violence, and torture One of the key debates around antifascist action centers on the question of defense and aggression. For many in the liberal and libertarian milieus, the heuristic for acceptable versus unacceptable violence is the non-aggression principle (NAP), which states that the only justified violence is that which seeks to…
Nonviolence and the Benefits of ‘Cowardice’
When discussing political nonviolence and its various means, one is likely to encounter much sneering and indignation. Advocates of political violence not only appear not to understand our disagreement, they often appear to find it reprehensible and cowardly. The charge of ‘cowardice’ especially fascinates me, and I would like to examine it more closely. For…
Antifa as Agorist Defense Organizations
These days I run a small business and no longer literally wear my politics on my sleeve, but in the late nineties I was a member of a chapter of Anti Racist Action in the Midwest. The politics of ARA members were eclectic, to say the least—a mixture of anarchists, libertarians, liberals, communists, and plenty…
On the Need for a Distinctly Libertarian Anti-Fascist Praxis
Much of the contemporary debate in libertarian circles about free speech and anti-fascist activism takes the form of asking whether libertarians should support or oppose the various actors operating under the name “antifa.” I find this framing of the issue inadequate and artificially limiting. First and foremost, it conflates the question of whether libertarians should…
Free Speech Dreams and Fascist Memes
Part 1: FASCIST RHETORIC You fight them by writing letters and making phone calls so you don’t have to fight them with fists. You fight them with fists so you don’t have to fight them with knives. You fight them with knives so you don’t have to fight them with guns. You fight them with…
Holding Our Ground: A Critique of the Ethics & Strategy of Violence Against Fascist Assembly
Individualist anarchism is the most radical form of libertarianism, which is in turn a radical form of liberalism. From this perspective, the threat of fascism poses a unique challenge. One reason for this is that fascism is individualist anarchism’s polar opposite, as far as one can go in a comprehensive rejection of liberalism. Fascism is…
Antifa Activists As The Truest Defenders Of Free Speech
Anarchists have always paid a lot of attention to feedback loops. Seemingly small actions, small arrangements, small evils tolerated, can rapidly or inexorably build up to systematic and seemingly omnipotent power relations. Things that, in isolation don’t seem that bad, can lead to the formation of states or make those states even more authoritarian. Certain…
Antinomies of Democracy
I thought I had pretty well had my say on the subject of democracy and anarchy, but comparing the material I’ve written to the contributions I’ve submitted, I see a couple of responses languishing among the drafts. I also find that the real impasse in my exchanges with Wayne Price leaves me considerably less than…
Non-Coercive Collective Decision-Making: A Quaker Perspective
In previous articles in this symposium, a sticking-point has emerged, among both pro- and anti-democracy anarchists, concerning the presumed impossibility of a collective decision-making process that doesn’t resort to coercion. I believe the anti-democracy camp are rightly hung-up on this point; if collective decision-making is necessarily coercive, such a process cannot be reconciled with anarchism,…
A Last Response to Shawn Wilbur
Shawn Wilbur is correct when he writes, “Price and I have enough in common to have a useful conversation about anarchy and democracy, and that we could start with something very close to a shared political language.” Since I have a great deal of respect for Shawn as an interpreter of Proudhon, let me try to…
Free Markets & Capitalism?
Markets Not Capitalism
Organization Theory
Conscience of an Anarchist