Since the chaos at Charlottesville, media of various sorts have been hammering away at the evil of white supremacy and neo-Nazis while barely mentioning the evil of Antifa. It is as if we are to believe that we have a binary choice: Will you line up with neo-Nazis or will you line up with Antifa?
Worryingly, the whole situation is reminiscent of the street fights between the Communists and National Socialists (Nazis) that plagued the Weimar Republic during the 1920s. If you’re not familiar with the period, a weakened Germany, hollowed out by the Great War (1914-1919) and financially ruined by the Treaty of Versailles, was besieged by various totalitarian groups attempting to take over. As we know, the National Socialists eventually won, seizing power in 1933 under Adolf Hitler.
These days, the propaganda game is to link all whites with slavery, the KKK, neo-Nazis, and white supremacists. Any pride in Western Civilization or what white Europeans accomplished over the centuries is denounced as an activity of white supremacy. It is the illogical, guilt by association argument that crushes dissent. The false labeling of anyone who is not in your camp is one of the marks of ideologues. They demand purity and there is no room for rational discourse or different perspectives.
Furthermore, what Antifa as well as social justice ideologues seem to forget (or conveniently leave out) is that it was predominantly whites who ended slavery in America, defeated Nazi Germany, brought the KKK to its knees (multiple times), and prevented the rise of neo-Nazis. Nor should it be forgotten that much blood was spilled to do so.
But what about Antifa? Is this a group that should be celebrated for being against the neo-Nazis or the KKK? Absolutely not. Antifa has shown the same, if not higher, levels of totalitarianism in its approaches as the KKK or the Nazis. Who is assuming the guilt of anyone who opposes them? Antifa. And in almost every instance of political violence, even in Charlottesville, who did the initiating? Antifa.
Here’s video from Portland, Oregon where a group held a free speech rally, but was attacked by Antifa members.
Scenes like the one above have been playing out for over a year now at Trump rallies, conservative events both on and off college campuses, free speech rallies, etc.
By now it should be clear that what Antifa doesn't like, Antifa attempts to shut down through intimidation and violence. By no means has Antifa displayed any desire to promote civil discourse or encourage loyalty to the principles behind America’s 1st Amendment and its provisions for both free speech and free assembly.
As for what Antifa stands for, here we come to see one of the greatest hypocrisies in recent American history. How so? To start with, its members are most often wearing red and black -- and, of course, the black hoodie and balaclava. The red is symbolic of communism and the black is symbolic of anarchism. You will also see many of the Antifa members wearing or waving a communist, hammer-and-sickle flag, too. Here’s an example of a typical Antifa member as seen at Huntington Beach, CA:
Below is an Antifa member raising the hammer-and-sickle flag behind a CNN reporter in Chicago after Antifa broke up a Trump rally.
It should be no surprise that the Communists created Antifa long ago in Europe as a shock-group to intimidate those who didn't agree with them. When we look at the language and the symbolism of Antifa, it is obvious that they still believe in the communist ideology and are proud to use its symbols at protests and riots. What should trouble most Americans is how little condemnation there is of Antifa’s symbols, history, or beliefs by the mainstream media in the United States.
The first successful communist revolution, inspired by the ideas of Karl Marx and led by Lenin, began in Russia in 1917. It was a bloody, wretched revolution that brought about the deaths of roughly 10 million people. Millions more died in the 1920s as the Communists tightened their grip on the Russian people and collectivized the economy. Then, under Stalin’s 25-year reign, purges and bloodletting are estimated at killing off 20 million people for political causes. As Martin Malia writes in The Soviet Tragedy:
“This figure is twice the number of all losses in the First World War, and approximately the same as the Soviet losses in the Second World War. As such it is the largest single harvest of terror in history.”
Sadly, the terror didn't stop at Stalin. No, under the hammer-and-sickle flag the Communists spread their poisonous ideology around the world to Central Asia, China, Korea, Vietnam, Cambodia, Africa, Central and South America, Eastern Europe, etc. Hundreds of millions of people were left dead in the wake of the very ideology that also spawned Antifa.
We are taught to hate the swastika and white supremacy groups because 6 million Jews died in the Holocaust. If we truly cared about the purposeful killing of millions of people for ideological reasons, then why do we turn a blind eye to the fact that three times as many people were butchered and enslaved by Stalin alone compared to those butchered by Hitler’s Holocaust? Quite frankly, as mass murders go, the Holocaust is junior varsity work compared to the savagery of the Communists. And as bad as American slavery was, it too pales compared to the mass slavery instituted by Communists.
In the 21st century, communism and its symbols should be absolutely despised. We have had over a century now to watch what Marxist ideas lead to: enslavement and death. At the very least, the hammer-and-sickle should be as reviled as the swastika. By embracing the hammer-and-sickle or the swastika, both Antifa and the neo-Nazis are aligning themselves with ideologies that brought about the greatest human suffering the world has ever seen. Truly, a pox on both their houses.
Devin is the co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of Charlemagne Institute, which operates Intellectual Takeout, Chronicles: A Magazine of American Culture, and the Alcuin Internship. He is a graduate of Hillsdale College where he studied history and political science. Prior to co-founding Charlemagne Institute, he served as the Director of Development at the Center of the American Experiment, a state-based think tank in Minnesota.
Devin is a contributor to local and national newspapers, a frequent guest on a variety of talk shows, such as Minneapolis' KTLK and NPR's Talk of the Nation, and regularly shares culture and education insights presenting to civic groups, schools, and other organizations. In 2011, he was named a Young Leader by the American Swiss Foundation.
Devin and his wife have been married for eighteen years and have six children. When he's not working, Devin enjoys time with family while also relaxing through reading, horticulture, home projects, and skiing and snowboarding.