The hazard of progressive propaganda.
Recently, in Germany, a gang of Antifa punks broke into the home of a 34-year-old female real estate agent and beat her up for the simple reason that she was a real estate agent, i.e., selling property. In her case it was luxury property. Antifa does not approve of private property, especially expensive private property. So they beat her up…
Here in the good ole’ USA, Mike Adams wrote a column titled “Three Essential Firearms for Civil Unrest,” the ‘civil unrest’ likely being a “mob of Antifa ‘anti-fascists’” coming into your neighborhood and crossing your property line, Molotov cocktails in hand.
This may seem farfetched, but I’ve seen things progress at an alarming rate since 2011, when I observed and wrote about the Occupy Wall Street movement from which our present-day Antifa movement has evolved.
I was living in the Atlanta area so I went to the “occupation” of Woodruff Park downtown. In my article I noted the “hippie art festival” atmosphere among the tents, but also wondered, as my title indicated, whether the “occupations” were “anarchy waiting for crisis.” Occupiers protested the sale of a building used as a homeless shelter to Emory University for a medical facility. Back then I saw George Soros-supported “Cop Watch” punks in orange t-shirts putting their video cameras in the faces of police simply trying to stop protestors from blocking a hospital emergency entrance or an ambulance going down a downtown street. Today we have masked protestors with weapons calling for the death of police and attacking reporters and attendees of public events, like campus speeches and political rallies.
Back then, in response to the lag in police response to a 300-strong, rush hour march up Peachtree Street, and then the mayor’s revocation of his order to end the “occupation” of the park, I asked, “Is it endangering public safety to allow an anarchic group of young people, the homeless (often with mental and substance abuse issues), and ne’er do wells to take to the streets on their own?” Noting the chants against private property and sales of socialist newspapers, I detected “unfocused, but revolutionary” aims of protestors. The young man selling the Socialist Worker told me that he had learned about its publisher, the International Socialist Organization, from his professors at nearby Georgia State University.
Today we have Dartmouth history professor/Antifa activist Mark Bray author of Antifa: The Anti-Fascist Handbook, openly advocating violence. According to Bray’s book, Antifa has been fighting the resurgence of fascism in Europe for decades. This applies not only to the neo-fascist groups (actually few and tiny), but also to anyone owning rental property. Antifa fights for the rights of “squatters.” Their latest campaign is an international crusade against public transit police and fares. By a historical sleight of hand, transposing European developments, Bray claims that fascism is ascendant in the United States and is leading up to a Holocaust like the one under which his relatives suffered in Europe.
However, the relatively few fascist sympathizers living in the United States in the 1930s were dispatched with by the House Committee on Un-American Activities and the FBI. Still, such “demagogues” as Father Coughlin, Huey Long, and newspaper publisher William Randolph Hearst provided grist for Raymond Gram Swing’s Forerunners of American Facism and Sinclair Lewis’s It Can’t Happen Here, both published in 1935. Lewis’s novel has become a favorite reference point by leftist writers.
Shortly after Donald Trump rode down the golden escalator, Salon Magazine published “It really can happen here: the novel that foreshadowed Donald Trump’s authoritarian appeal,” and the Daily Beast warned, “Sinclair Lewis Predicted Trump—And Us.” Jules Stewart drew parallels in the October 9 issue of The Guardian. In the novel, “Buzz” Windrip wins the 1936 election by standing up for “Americanism” and vilifying Mexico, Jewish bankers who refuse to assimilate, and communists. “Substitute ‘Muslim’ for ‘communist’ and ‘Hispanic’ for Jew and there emerges an uncomfortable picture of what is taking place in the US today,” intoned Stewart. A week after the election the novel had sold out on Amazon. Before the inauguration, the New York Times published “Reading the Classic Novel That Predicted Trump.” (These writers were not quite so original, however. Sociology professor Brian E. Fogarty had reflected back on the George W. Bush administration in his 2009 book, Fascism: Why Not Here?)
Although fascism rejects traditionalism and shares with Marxism the embrace of progressivism and state control, Communists have associated fascism with conservatism. CPUSA Chairman William Z. Foster, in his 1951 “history,” Outline Political History of the Americas, linked fascism to capitalism.
That same year, 1951, Howard Zinn was teaching Marxism at the Communist Party headquarters in Brooklyn. In 1980, he published A People’s History of the United States, essentially an updated version of Foster’s book (and of course factually wrong). Used widely in classrooms, especially since the guidelines for Advanced Placement US History courses were rewritten under the Obama administration, it has become the bible for such precursors to Antifa as Occupy Wall Street and Black Lives Matter. Willem Van Spronsen, who went out in a blaze of gunfire after he tried to blow up an ICE detention facility last summer, claimed in his “I am antifa” manifesto, “’we are living in visible fascism ascendant.” His authority was Zinn.
The addled 69-year-old folk singer was vulnerable to Zinn’s siren song, but so are students who are subjected to Zinn’s book in high school and college, and to the “Young People’s” version in middle schools. A Young People’s History of the United States is the official textbook for eighth-graders in Portland, Oregon—Antifa Central.
Zinn-indoctrinated Americans see fascism baked into the American character. The Storm Troopers are the police and Nazi Party members are everyday Americans – bank managers, school bus drivers, real estate agents. According to A People’s History, fascism’s “essential elements – militarism, racism, imperialism” have been “absorbed into the already poisoned bones of the victors.” Similarly, Foster claimed that capitalist countries are full of “fascist conceptions,” with “Wall Street imperialists” stoking the “anti-Communist crusade.”
For Bray, the American equivalent of Nazis are Republicans and capitalists, “Nazis in pinstripes.” Donald Trump supporters are “tuxedoed fascists” who deserved the attack from Antifa for attending the “Deplorables” ball during the 2016 presidential inauguration. Many had belonged to tea parties. Their permitted rallies never disrupted traffic or polluted parks, as I noted in that same 2011 article and others. These solid Americans, mocked by socialist-sympathizing elites as “Babbits” during the 1930s, were also vilified by Democratic political leaders and the media. Bray claims that “Trump supporters voted for their candidate either because of or despite his misogyny, racism, ableism, Islamophobia, and many more hateful traits,” and warns, “these popular bases of support create the foundation for fascism to manifest itself.”
Bray admits that the goal is to make such “everyday fascists” fearful of leaving their homes, and to make their views “recede into hiding.” Americans who refuse to yield will find it “politically, socially, economically, and sometimes physically costly to articulate [their views].”
These are chilling words. Bray has enjoyed a teaching gig at an Ivy League university and has been invited to lecture around the globe. On the eve of the 9/11 anniversary he spoke at Bucknell University at the invitation of the Humanities Center to kick off the year-long series on “Confronting Fascism.” One faculty member wrote an article for The Federalist protesting the choice of this advocate of violence. The student newspaper, the Bucknellian, published no articles before or after Bray’s visit.
But no fewer than seven articles appeared in that newspaper condemning the visit of Heather Mac Donald, who writes about crime and violent suppression of speech on campuses. The counter-rally to “drown out” Mac Donald’s speech was seen by a student editorialist as a “good thing” because it “served as a key sign that members of the University community” were going outside their “bubble.” It is common now to read about students physically blocking and attacking speakers and those wanting to hear them.
In 2011, I mocked the plastic drum-beating, kazoo-playing Occupy misfits marching down Peachtree Street, and wrote about student antics on college campuses. Today, “tent cities” occupy public spaces in Los Angeles and other major cities, and law-abiding Americans are finding themselves chased out of political rallies, restaurants, and stores, and finding no help from police who have been ordered to “stand down.”
Antifa home invasions are not far-fetched. We have a generation educated to believe that average Americans are capable of starting another Holocaust by virtue of their “hateful” words, thanks to Communist propaganda handed down from the CPUSA and Howard Zinn, to Mark Bray and other Antifa-sympathizing professors.
Written by Mary Grabar for Front Page Magazine ~ December 11, 2019