Antifa and capitalism: “Hate is not an isolated occurrence, detached from the rest of society, but very much a symptom of a system built on exploitation.”

0
23

This one’s going to go down nicely at the Friday night fish fry.

The Anti-Capitalist Politics of Antifa, by Stephanie Basile (CounterPunch)

As antifa has burst into the mainstream in recent weeks, suddenly the efficacy of confronting Nazis in the streets is being debated on the national stage. Antifa is not one particular group, but a term used to describe anti-fascists committed to stamping out fascism before it can rise to power. The debate around antifa tends to stay narrowly focused on the use of physical self-defense in public spaces. What’s received less attention is the anti-capitalist politics of antifa, and how some anti-fascists and are putting these politics into practice through workplace organizing.

Two workplace examples are given.

Phoenix, Tiffany, and Kenny all identify as anti-capitalists and anti-fascists. They see combating fascism, racism, sexism, and capitalism as inextricably linked. “They’re inseparable, they are the pillars of white supremacy,” says Phoenix. “They can’t exist without each other.” Tiffany frames the connection between capitalism and other forms of oppression as being rooted in our material reality. “When I think about the connections between capital and white supremacy, I think- who owns what, and how did they come to own it? Slaves were working the land, producing cotton, or tobacco, or sugar. Where did that money go, and what does that mean?” For Tiffany, using concrete material conditions of workers’ lives as a starting point is the easiest way of making connections between systems of capitalism and white supremacy.

In his new book Antifa: The Anti-Fascist Handbook, Mark Bray places current antifa struggles within a larger political ideology that is explicitly anti-capitalist. He notes that antifa has historically brought together broad segments of the left, including anarchists, communists, and socialists. “Many anti-fascists will argue that you can’t really be an anti-fascist without being an anti-capitalist, because they argue that capitalism breeds the conditions for fascism,” says Bray.

While anti-fascists have differing opinions about how fascism takes roots and grows, “what they agree on is that you can’t take fascism as a blemish on capitalist society, but instead as a key part of it.”

The compelling argument builds from these, which are excerpts only, so go and read the damn article — and enjoy your “osters.”

LEAVE A REPLY