The Fascist Roots Behind Today’s Justification of Political Violence

By Doug Petrikat

A few weeks ago, I met an old friend who is a professor.  We discussed various issues, but when the subject of Antifa came up I was surprised by what he said.  He stated that the acts of violence committed by Antifa are justifiable because we know what fascists have done and should do anything to prevent that from happening again.  When I mentioned that some of the people being assaulted are ordinary Americans wearing MAGA hats, he merely said maybe Antifa should be more specific about whom they target.

Justifying Antifa’s violent actions is nothing new.  I have heard or read enough similar statements that I was starting to think new members of Antifa and its fan club in academia, the media, and in the Democratic Party, all receive the same flyer instructing them how to respond if anyone criticizes their acts of violence, even when journalists and bystanders are among the victims.

But now someone I personally know and consider a rational, intelligent person was justifying political violence.  It made me think that we have reached the point where apparently normal people believe violence is an acceptable way to resolve internal political differences.  This is a disturbing development.

In a civilized society, freedom of speech and open discussion enable those with different views to learn from each other and consider their own positions from a more critical perspective.  However, where threats, intimidation, ridicule, and political violence are the norm, open discussion is suppressed, and progress is hindered.

Ironically, those who support Antifa, mob violence, and ending freedom of speech, and are intolerant of those with other views, often call themselves progressives, while theirs are regressive thoughts.  They are regressive because this goes back to the days of kings, dictators, street brawls and political chaos, when dissent was not tolerated and anyone could arbitrarily be attacked, imprisoned, or killed.

Antifa began a century ago in 1921 as a front group under the direction of the Soviet Union to incite a Communist revolution in Germany.  In 1923 the Politburo of the Communist Party in Soviet Russia held a meeting to plan an armed insurrection to overthrow the struggling democracy in Germany’s Weimar Republic.  Following the Politburo’s instructions, the German Communist Party formed its armed movement to silence rival political parties through violence and to overthrow the government.  The party named its movement Antifaschistische Aktion.

The party chose the name Antifaschistische Aktion, now known as Antifa, because an Italian Marxist fell out with his nation’s Socialist Party, founded his own party, and took power in 1922.  Although he still held leftist views, nationalized 75% of Italy’s economy, and expanded the state’s social safety net, he believed that a hierarchy should be part of society and ignored the dictates from both the Socialists in his former party and the Communists in Moscow.  For this heresy, his new party was branded as a rogue movement.

His name was Benito Mussolini and he was the founder and leader of the Revolutionary Fascist Party.  This was another socialist party, which French socialists supported but the Soviets condemned. Even before seizing power, the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics was never very tolerant of other socialist parties; after it seized power, it executed those parties’ members.

For the communists, the word “fascist” came to mean renegade socialist and eventually became a derogatory term to be used in attempts to vilify anyone they disapproved of, socialist or not.  However, contrary to what we may have been told, fascism was never a right-wing movement.  The reality was, and still is, that fascism is a socialist political ideology of the left. Antifa was one left-wing movement’s battle against another left-wing movement.

Similarly, the National Socialist German Worker’s Party, usually referred to as Nazis, was also a socialist party of the left.  National Socialist Germany under Hitler provided citizens with subsidized health care, housing, day care, vacations abroad, state jobs, a social safety net, and strong gun control laws.  Factions within the party also advocated nationalizing the economy.

Unlike the fascists, the National Socialists wanted to eliminate social classes and advanced a social experiment to achieve that goal.  Nevertheless, the communists in Germany and the Soviet Union still called them fascists and considered them bitter rivals.  The reality is that the communist, National Socialist, and fascist governments were ideological siblings — totalitarian, one-party states, which focused on collectivism, and centrally planned economies, where individual rights had to be given up for the collective good.

Considering these facts, any accusations that Trump and his supporters are fascists or Nazis are absurd.  The President is a businessman who favors limited government.  He has also recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, has a Jewish son-in-law, and a daughter who has converted to Judaism.  However, facts do not seem to matter to the delusional.

Members of Antifa claim they oppose fascists, or those that they label as fascists, because they are oppressive and violent, while simultaneously expressing open admiration for Joseph Stalin, one of the greatest mass murderers in history, who took total control of the Soviet Union in 1929 after having his rivals executed or assassinated.

Dr. Norman Naimark, a Stanford University historian of East European Studies, and author of the book Stalin’s Genocides has stated that estimates on the number killed under Stalin run from 15 to 20 million.  Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, a Russian historian, Nobel Prize winner, and author of the book The Gulag Archipelago, argued that the number killed in the Soviet Union was as high as 60 million.  The total number of people communist regimes killed in the 20th century has been estimated to be 120 million.

When a commission from the U.S. met with Stalin to inform him that clergy in the Soviet Union were disappearing, he said the clergy were being exterminated, but that the problem was they had not all been exterminated yet.  After the fall of the Soviet Union, Alexander Yakovlev, a former Politburo member, led a human rights commission that concluded that 200,000 Russian clergy had been executed.

Millions of Christians were executed or worked to death in gulag labor camps.  Millions were also victims if it was suspected that they did not support the state.  Black vans would appear at about 3:00 AM and the secret police would haul people away, never to be seen again, as their families screamed.  Soviet citizens could not leave the country and even needed an internal passport for domestic travel, when permitted.

When the Soviet Union attacked Poland, it sent 1.7 million to the gulags.  When it invaded Lithuania, Estonia, and Latvia, 1.2 million disappeared in the Siberian camps.  Some of the victims were worked to death mining for gold in sub-zero temperatures in Siberia while others were sent to camps for immediate execution.  This included women as young as 17 years old.

In the 1930s, over 170,000 ethnic Koreans living in the Soviet Union were deported, which resulted in 40,000 dying from starvation and exposure, due to their race.  Other minorities in the Soviet Union, such as Chechens, Turks, and Romanians, also suffered from deportation and ethnic cleansing.

This is the ideology Antifa embraces, as shown by the hammer and sickle whenever its supporters appear. They also use it to justify assaults against people wearing MAGA hats (people who want less government and support individual rights), allegedly to prevent bad things from happening again.  The irony is truly Orwellian.  The hammer and sickle should always remind us of the Socialist terror, the atrocities, and the 120 million killed in the name of Communism.


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