Antifa: Its History
I’m trying to give a relatively unbiased summary of what Antifa was in the post WW1 Weimar Republic for all the right wingers and left wingers here (disclaimer: I am a right winger and a history nerd). Because I see a lot of misinformation of its origins. The original German Antifa is basically totally unrelated from the current day Antifa in America because, well, context. We’ll get into that later. I’m just trying to counter the “zOmG AnTifA wErE jUsT BaSeD StReEtFiGhTeRs” type narrative of pre-Third Reich German politics cause it was much more complicated than that.
Anyways, Antifa aka Antifaschiste Aktion started as a militant wing of the KPD or German Communist Party. The Weimar Republic was economically devastated after WW1 and this led to the rise of undemocratic parties like the KPD and Nazis. Antifaschiste Aktion was, by and large, Leninists/Stalinists. They supported the USSR, period. There’s no away around it. They weren’t democrats. They didn’t like the Social Democrats, who supported a regulated mixed economy informed by the class theory of the left (that’s a simplification, but you get what I mean). I mean it should be kinda obvious why to anyone who has some knowledge of Leninist theory, they viewed Nazism as the logical conclusion of Capitalism and therefore the Social Democrats were no better than Nazis.
I’m no trying to say this conflict was unilateral, though. There are cases where the Social Democrats sided with Fascists against the Communists *cough* Rosa *cough*. But, basically, the KPD was extremely against forming a united front and went so far as to say “after Hitler, our turn”. They thought direct action was ultimately the best way to counter the Nazis, and that reform would not help. Communism, they believed, would triumph when the public achieved class consciousness.
So…why is this completely irrelevant to modern day politics, you ask? Well, Leninism is basically obsolete at this point. The fall of the USSR kinda proved that its useless. You can try to argue with that but basically anything good that happened before Lenin died was because he didn’t Socialism hard enough ie NEP. And Stalinism is only really followed by the tankiest of tankies. Simply put the conditions that made the KPD thrive ie recent Russian revolution and economic hardship following world war don’t exist today. I honestly doubt any of the rose twitter crowd knows anything about the original Antifa because if they did they’d know that they were anti-Social Democrat and Democratic Socialist. If you want to be incredibly miserly to modern day Antifa, you can say they are maybe historically illiterate.
Now, I’m not saying this to support or condemn modern day Antifa-it’s just important to know that the group started out as more than “punching Nazis” it was a foot soldier in Russia’s geo political conflict.
Article from r/Libertarian: For a Free Society