Liberalism shouldn’t defend fascism
author: kristian ferguson | news editor
“Instead, I have seen an incessant horde of liberally based ‘violence doesn’t solve anything’ or ‘this will only move moderate people onto their side’ statements. The statement that bothers me the most is ‘it isn’t okay to attack him for expressing his opinion.’”
Following Donald Trump’s inauguration I have been following one particular story quite closely. I love that Richard Spencer was punched in the face. I was ecstatic that, finally, someone took direct action to the self-declared “leader of the alt-right.” I deplore using the term “alt-right” because it is strictly a front to make blatant fascism and Nazism more palatable.
I was so happy that literal Nazis were being met with direct attacks for espousing their dangerous, genocidal, vicious narratives of white nationalism. I assumed that the easiest, most safe political statement one could make would be “Nazis are bad,” but apparently, I’m completely wrong.
Since the fantastic “punch a Dick in the head” event took place, my Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, and assorted other social media accounts have been rife with statements from some liberals that the anti-fascist who struck Richard Spencer is in the wrong. This is a response that I would have expected from a conservative, or someone more right leaning. Instead, I have seen an incessant horde of liberally based “violence doesn’t solve anything” or “this will only move moderate people onto their side” statements. The statement that bothers me the most is “it isn’t okay to attack him for expressing his opinion.”
I am beyond tired of hearing that the alt-right and their Nazi sympathies are simply sharing their “opinions.” Thinking that lower taxes are better for people than higher taxes is an opinion. Thinking that lemon meringue pie is better tasting than key lime pie is an opinion. Wanting the complete and utter genocide of black people and gay people is not an opinion.
Since getting his jaw knocked loose, Richard Spencer has come out to say that he is afraid to leave his home without security or bodyguards for fear of getting his brains rattled again. If you ask me, that’s fantastic. A Nazis first language is violence so greeting them in their mother tongue is only polite.
This also shows that direct action, not change.org petitions, not Facebook callouts, are the primary and most effective method of combatting Nazism. This isn’t to say that those forms of activism don’t have their place, but in the face of fascism, they do little more than provide free advertisement for them. Combatting Nazism requires direct action to remove them from their soapboxes where they can spread their hate, whether that action is a punch or otherwise.
The last time the world had a problem with fascism and Nazism, we didn’t sing kumbaya and ask for Hitler’s opinion while he invaded Poland. It was only through direct conflict that World War Two finally stopped. Any defence, by anyone, of a Nazis ability to tell me that all people of colour deserve to be massacred is a defence of Nazism. Plain and simple.
The anti-fascists in Washington D.C. and the anti-fascists abroad are deserving of my respect and admiration for risking their own freedom to directly address and silence Nazism before it grows out of control. This rampant right-wing populism is indicative of a system that is desperately clinging to life, and needs to go. The only course of action is a complete dismantling of the systems that allow Nazis to so freely peacock themselves in the national media.
If the argument that it wasn’t okay for the anti-fascist to punch Richard Spencer because Spencer had yet to do anything outwardly violent, I would argue that his politics have already historically provided enough evidence of a need to defend oneself. So while anti-fascists, anarchists, communists and leftists alike are fighting Nazism at its roots, some liberals are tending to the stinging nettle of hate that continues to grow with unprecedented force. So while you may disagree with me supporting Richard Spencer’s assault, I will provide you with a quote whose origins you can Google. “History will absolve me.”