Antifa: The Anti-Fascist Handbook
More than twenty years ago, as a very young man, I traveled in Ukraine. In one place, the local authorities were excavating a mass grave from the 1930s. Hundreds of skeletons, men and women, many with flesh and clothes still attached, had been laid out on wooden platforms, for attempted identification before reburial. If you looked, it was easy to see the cause of each person’s death—a square hole in the head. Why square? Because the Communists had hammered in a railroad spike. Why does this matter? Because what screams from every page of this book of Antifa apologetics is that the author, Mark Bray, and his compatriots, today’s direct ideological successors of those murderers, want to do the same to you.
Bray, who works as a “part-time lecturer” at Rutgers University, and who was a sometime organizer of Occupy Wall Street back in 2009, published this book in 2017. No surprise, he claims relevancy for his book based on a supposed surge in fascism due to Trump’s election. But it was only this past summer, with the rise of Antifa to prominence during the nationwide BLM-led Floyd Riots, that this book really became relevant. It is the only book-length treatment of modern organized left-wing violence directed against the Right, and although it is tendentious in the extreme, reading it is very instructive. (I bought it used, naturally, so that Bray didn’t get a cent from my purchase.)
My first purpose is to understand the violence generated by Antifa. I mean not the fact of violence itself, which (and what should be the immediate response to it) is a tactical question, not difficult to understand. What I want to explore is the thought that drives that violence. And then I want to compreh
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