The Blood Libels of the Left
Contrary to assertions by useful idiots like Robert Reich that the Berkeley riots were the work of paramilitary right-wingers, it has become increasingly evident that black-clad Antifa anarchists coordinated with Bay Area community activists and UC Berkeley student groups to orchestrate the violent protests against Milo Yiannapolous. The Antifa rioters are the same mask-wearing, black-outfitted, Molotov cocktail-throwing, fire-burning, stick-carrying pugilist punks featured in The Occupation Manifesto and The Occupation Devolution videos chronicling Occupy Oakland in 2011.
Although some of us sounded the alarm, too few paid attention.
Antifa is short for “anti-fascist” and is pronounced an-TEE-fah. According to left-leaning tech magazine Wired, they are “militant anti-fascist[s]” and “anarchists prone to property destruction and online abuse.they double down on political polarization, driving the national narrative even further from center.” For a deeper explanation into its historical roots, see The Washington Post, Wired Magazine, and USA Today.
Antifa is believed to have been born in 1970s Germany -- a far left, communist, anti-fascist reaction to far right, neo-Nazi fascist groups ascendant at the time. It spread throughout Europe and found its way to the US where it seems to have first appeared at the WTO riots in Seattle. Like a bad rash, they keep popping up, having been actively engaged in the Occupy Wall Street, Black Lives Matter, and anti-Trump movements. Like ISIS, independent “cells” exist all over the world.
They are incredibly well-networked, trained in effective paramilitary tactics, and have a nuanced and sophisticated understanding, use and manipulation of the internet -- especially trolling, DDoS attacks, and their Bash the Fash and Meme Wars with the fascist alt-right.
They are known for employing “Black Bloc” tactics at protests to achieve their ends -- forming a monolithic bloc by dressing in black and wearing black balaclavas or bandanas so as not to be identified by facial recognition software or cameras. According to the Washington Post, the hordes move in unison as one large, black-clad unidentifiable mass to “achieve both violent and nonviolent ends.”
By putting on our masks we reveal our unity; and by raising our voices in the street together, we speak our anger at the facelessness of power,” reads a popular anarchist credo that was printed on the inside of masks distributed at a violent anti-capitalist protest in London in 1999.
They carry thick poles to threaten, menace, and maim.
In a 2015 article published in Police Magazine, author Kory Flowers said anarchists use protests such as the ones in Ferguson, Missouri, after the shooting death of Michael Brown, to launch their signature "chaos- and havoc-laden tactics." The article described Black Bloc strategy as "throngs of criminal anarchists all dress in black clothing in an effort to appear as a unified assemblage, giving the appearance of solidarity for the particular cause at hand."
Robert Reich was halfway correct -- they are paramilitary -- but they are not conservative right-wingers. They are Reich’s fellow travelers on the communist magical mystery tour.
We tend to think of the political spectrum as a line with the far left at one end, followed by Democrats/liberals, centrists in the middle, Republicans/conservatives to the right, and the far right at the other end. But it is actually more of a circle with the far left and far right overlapping where the circle closes. The extremes share an intolerance for alternate viewpoints and a commitment to force the adoption of their viewpoints under threat of incarceration, injury, or death; they share an ease imposing martial law and tactics to gain power; and they share a proclivity to limit the freedoms of ordinary citizens once they are in power. Their shared end goal is the creation of an omnipotent State in whatever form it takes, while browbeating the masses into submission to achieve whatever ends are desired.
This is the point of the smiley face with the Hitler mustache on the cover of Jonah Goldberg’s Liberal Fascism. It is no coincidence that this seemingly innocuous icon of the 70s would don the mustache of history’s most notorious fascist -- a creamy hippy-socialism inside, covered by a chocolately National Socialism on the outside. Sickeningly sweet.
But there are some differences between how each side regards the extremes. The left embraces the far left -- in this case, the Antifa. But the average rightwing conservative, Republican, or tea partier, abhors both the far left and the far right. Fidel, Mao, Stalin, Hitler, Goebbels, David Duke, and chameleon-opportunists who fit in nowhere and anywhere like Lyndon LaRouche have no place in the conservative agenda. All are equal-opportunity despots under whose rule none of us wants to live.
But the left doesn’t understand that -- they think conservatives are allied with Nazis or Nazi-sympathizers. They cast mainstream conservatives in with these monsters, knowing full well that the only commonality the two share is what appears to be a random and meaningless placement on the right side of the political spectrum.
Hillary Clinton was the mastermind behind this mindset: she conflated mainstream conservatives -- especially those who supported Trump -- with neo-Nazis and White Supremacists in her August 2016 Reno campaign speech. She singlehandedly primed the pump for the radical Pussy Hat March, Inauguration Day violence, and the Berkeley riots.
Falsely accusing mainstream conservatives of being members of the far right is akin to saying the Jews drank the blood of Christian children. Blaming the Berkeley chaos on conservatives is like blaming the Jews for killing Jesus. Such blood libels do not end well for the victims, as charismatic rabble-rousers -- whether in the Pale of Settlement or Berkeley, CA -- rile up hysterical mobs that scapegoat their misery on the targeted group and ransack on demand.
Rights become malleable or irrelevant in such situations. And, as reported in Berkeleyside.com, the freedoms to speak and assemble only apply to those who agree with the mob:
Yvette Felarca, a [Berkeley Unified School District] teacher and a leader of [By Any Means Necessary], who has been captured on film engaging in violent resistance to right-wing speakers, declared the night a success.
“I think shutting down and forcing the cancellation of a white supremacist like Milo Yiannopoulos was a stunning achievement….”
“It isn’t a question of free speech,” said Felarca. “This is about our right to be free of intimidation.”
And thus, their hypocrisy is on full display: protesters and rioters have a right not to be intimidated but Milo, the College Republicans, and those who wanted to hear his presentation, do not enjoy the same rights. The Berkeley Socialist Students posted on Indybay that Milo is “a figurehead for some of the most hateful right-wing elements in Trump's camp. We should allow no space for his message at UC Berkeley.” Socialists have the unfettered freedom to express their views, but capitalists like Milo, do not. These radicals are so blinded by their Weltanschauung, that they cannot see how their quest for tolerance and equality yields quite the opposite.
Conservatives, who believe we should just sit back and watch the left be hoisted by their own petard, are naïve. It is wishful thinking to believe with each protest, riot and absurd comment, conservatives will look better while liberals implode.
Here is the cold hard truth: with each riot and outrageous accusation, the left is emboldened. It doesn’t matter that their message is chaotic, their delivery cacophonous. It is irrelevant that WE think they look ridiculous. What matters to them is that they can manipulate the political scene today to achieve long-term goals ASAP. This is the culmination of decades of liberal efforts behind the scenes. They are simply leveraging the online infrastructure they have constructed, the vast networks they have built among the schools, the culture, the media, ex-Presidents, and current politicians, and the unity they have cultivated. They have just been waiting for the right moment to pounce. The election of a guy like Trump at a time when the fate of the Supreme Court hangs in the balance, when all political power in the states and federal government has shifted right, has provided them with that Arab Spring, Cuban Revolution, Bolshevik moment that gives them a collective thrill up their legs.
This is all about building momentum towards a General Strike, a Revolution, the Fundamental Transformation.
UC Berkeley student organizations may claim that they didn’t physically partake in the violence, that they merely pressured the university to cancel the event and, if that did not happen, they would (and did) take to the streets. Yet, when they failed to get the desired results, they were perfectly content to stand by and let Antifa throw police barricades through storefront windows, beat up Milo supporters, and start fires. This does not absolve them of responsibility. Via standing by and doing nothing while hoodlums in black shirts suppress speech and assembly, spread blood libels, batter fellow citizens, and destroy property, they incriminated themselves
This is not simply leftwing hysteria we should ignore because we believe it will reflect poorly on liberals. It represents decades of rancor and resentment rising to the surface after a deliberate and systematic policy of dividing the country along gender, racial, and all manner of demographic lines. By dividing the nation into haves and have-nots instead of focusing on the “possibles,” the leftwing agenda has destroyed our great melting pot in all of its variety where the American Dream is achievable for all, and created instead, a cesspool of black and white between those who have achieved the American dream and others who are entitled to share in that success.
Do not brush off these protests as the usual left wing rent-a-mobs. This is the stuff coups and revolutions are made of. Will our brainwashed children turn against us or worse yet, turn us in? Will our neighbors shoot us? Steal from us? Jail us? When the young and those who feel marginalized because of their color or economic circumstances are repeatedly told that conservatives are the devil, their parents are deplorable, and their neighbors are alt-right Nazis, they can actually see the horns on their parents’ heads and the brown shirts covering their neighbors’ bodies.
When Democrats characterize mainstream Republicans and conservatives as members of the alt-right, they aren’t just on a slippery slope, but a sheer vertical drop from which there is no return. If this continues unaddressed, they will have our blood on their hands.
I think the Berkeley College Republicans said it best: “It is tragic that the birthplace of the Free Speech Movement is also its final resting place.” Conservatives must decide if they want to prevent these self-proclaimed anti-fascist fascists from digging the grave, or stand by and watch.
Hat tip: long time Bay Area resident, Lia, the inspiration for this article.