This morning, the Washington Post published this article titled ‘Yes, Antifa is the moral equivalent of Neo-Nazis.’ The article immediately gets off on the wrong foot by calling Antifa “neo-communists”. What exactly is a “neo-communist” is anyone’s guess but it is apparently bad. The author of the article, Marc A. Thiessen says this:
And let’s be clear: Totalitarian is precisely what they are. Mark Bray, a Dartmouth lecturer who has defended antifa’s violent tactics, recently explained in The Post, “Its adherents are predominantly communists, socialists and anarchists” who believe that physical violence “is both ethically justifiable and strategically effective.” In other words, they are no different from neo-Nazis.
It always surprises me when people argue that violence is a tool that is a monopoly of authoritarian ideologies. It is almost as if the entire history of the United States, which is based on revolution and subjugation through violent means, never existed. It is as if revolutionary violence which has occurred in the history of France, the United Kingdom, and practically any place on Earth falls under the realm of Totalitarianism. The line of thinking that follows is that anybody who commits violence is automatically in the wrong no matter how justified their actions are. Thiessen continues:
Neo-Nazis are the violent advocates of a murderous ideology that killed 25 million people last century. Antifa members are the violent advocates of a murderous ideology that, according to “The Black Book of Communism,” killed between 85 million and 100 million people last century.
This is a common argument wherein Neo-Nazis are said to be not as bad as the “communists” who oppose them because of deaths associated with communism. Forgetting the fact that Communism itself is not really one single ideology but an umbrella term used to describe countless different ideologies, those who had flags with circle A’s adorned to them would not have liked the label communist because they neither consider themselves communists nor are they objectively communist. They are anarchists, which is completely different, and wouldn’t be associated with any of these 80 million deaths Thissen cities. This type of argument also ignores the truth that what is known as communism has actually contributed to socialist (another blanket term that means little to nothing anymore) reforms that have bettered the lives of countless millions.
Articles like these are starting to become more common. They ignore more important narratives of how intense organizing after the incident in Charlottesville, VA has backed Neo-Nazis into a corner. Instead, the media is focusing on sensationalized violence which is a very small portion of a larger Antifa movement. That is what I call missing the forest for the trees.