Is Antifa the American ISIS?

I’ve been trying to analyze the behavior of the far left wing in America over the past few weeks.  I speak as one who’s been through one national revolution (the transformation of South Africa from apartheid to democracy), and witnessed several others in the continent of Africa.  I know what political extremism means, what terrorism means . . . I’ve experienced them at first hand.

As a starting point, let’s take Peter Beinart’s view of ‘The Rise of the Violent Left‘.  I’ll quote extensively from it, but you really should go read the whole article.  It’s worth it.

To most left-wing activists during the Clinton, Bush, and Obama years, deregulated global capitalism seemed like a greater threat than fascism.

Trump has changed that. For antifa, the result has been explosive growth. According to NYC Antifa, the group’s Twitter following nearly quadrupled in the first three weeks of January alone. (By summer, it exceeded 15,000.) Trump’s rise has also bred a new sympathy for antifa among some on the mainstream left. “Suddenly,” noted the antifa-aligned journal It’s Going Down, “anarchists and antifa, who have been demonized and sidelined by the wider Left have been hearing from liberals and Leftists, ‘you’ve been right all along.’ ” An article in The Nation argued that “to call Trumpism fascist” is to realize that it is “not well combated or contained by standard liberal appeals to reason.” The radical left, it said, offers “practical and serious responses in this political moment.”

Those responses sometimes spill blood. Since antifa is heavily composed of anarchists, its activists place little faith in the state, which they consider complicit in fascism and racism. They prefer direct action: They pressure venues to deny white supremacists space to meet. They pressure employers to fire them and landlords to evict them. And when people they deem racists and fascists manage to assemble, antifa’s partisans try to break up their gatherings, including by force.

Such tactics have elicited substantial support from the mainstream left.

. . .

Antifascists call such actions defensive. Hate speech against vulnerable minorities, they argue, leads to violence against vulnerable minorities. But Trump supporters and white nationalists see antifa’s attacks as an assault on their right to freely assemble, which they in turn seek to reassert. The result is a level of sustained political street warfare not seen in the U.S. since the 1960s.

. . .

What’s eroding … is the quality Max Weber considered essential to a functioning state: a monopoly on legitimate violence. As members of a largely anarchist movement, antifascists don’t want the government to stop white supremacists from gathering. They want to do so themselves, rendering the government impotent.

. . .

Antifa believes it is pursuing the opposite of authoritarianism. Many of its activists oppose the very notion of a centralized state. But in the name of protecting the vulnerable, antifascists have granted themselves the authority to decide which Americans may publicly assemble and which may not. That authority rests on no democratic foundation. Unlike the politicians they revile, the men and women of antifa cannot be voted out of office. Generally, they don’t even disclose their names.

. . .

Revulsion, fear, and rage are understandable. But one thing is clear. The people preventing Republicans from safely assembling on the streets … may consider themselves fierce opponents of the authoritarianism growing on the American right. In truth, however, they are its unlikeliest allies.

There’s more at the link.  Bold, underlined text is my emphasis.

Where else have we seen such tactics recently?  Oh, yes . . . ISIS/ISIL!  The fundamentalist Islamic terrorist movement that has plagued Iraq, Syria, Libya and many other countries in recent years appears to follow almost exactly the same principles, albeit from a religious rather than a political perspective – but the results are the same.  ISIS dictates to people how they should and may behave, in moral, political, social and cultural terms.  Dissent is not only not tolerated, it’s punished severely, frequently with death or torture.  There is no ‘state authority’ to whom to appeal:  ISIS is both the religious and secular authority, and makes no distinction between them. Its propaganda and indoctrination reach from the cradle to the grave.

Death sentences for conduct such as homosexuality are immediate and automatic, and there is no appeal.  Conform, or else!

If Antifa and its ilk are like ISIS (and I believe they are, although not [yet] so far sunk into terrorism and depravity), they can be expected to be just as intolerant of doctrines and positions that differ from their own.  Isn’t that exactly what we’re seeing on the streets of America right now?  It hasn’t yet gotten to the point of Antifa throwing dissenters off buildings . . . but they will gather with sticks, stones, clubs and improvised flamethrowers, and attempt to disrupt the gatherings of those with whom they disagree – often violently.

What’s more, Antifa’s leaders and organizers are simply not prepared to accept that they might be wrong in their interpretation.  They are fanatical in their views, and are not open to discussion.  Take, for example, the views of Yvette Felarca, one of the organizers of the riots in Berkeley last year.

I see in her precisely and exactly the same fanaticism that I see in ISIS spokesmen.  Facts don’t matter:  only her interpretation of those facts is relevant.  Her tactics may not be so far gone in violence and bloodshed as those of ISIS, but that may not last.  In pursuit of her ideals, her perspective, I doubt that she would flinch from personally using violence on her opponents.  She may already have done so during the Berkeley riots, for all I know.  Certainly, her Antifa allies don’t shrink from the prospect.

(Readers may recall that I linked to the “It’s Going Down” web site last Saturday, and provided examples of its propaganda.)

Antifa, Black Lives Matter, Occupy . . . all those movements appear to involve the same organizers, and follow basically the same principles.  They all try to disrupt the existing order and violently oppose it.  They refuse to entertain the idea that there might be another side to the issues they raise, instead insisting that only their views are correct.  In their intolerance, in their political and social obsessiveness (which borders on religious fanaticism), I submit that they have become the equivalent of ISIS in America.

The only question is, can we deal with them more peacefully than we have had to deal with ISIS in the Middle East?  That remains to be seen.



  1. Sounds like she's just like you, only on the other side of the road.

    Looking at what you write and what she says, the only difference I see is the point of view. The lack of tolerance for differing views, etc., is the same.


  2. Horse pucky, Stephen. Show me where Peter demands conformity with his views, to be enforced with doxxing, loss of job, and/or injury.

  3. "What’s eroding … is the quality Max Weber considered essential to a functioning state: a monopoly on legitimate violence. As members of a largely anarchist movement, antifascists don’t want the government to stop white supremacists from gathering. They want to do so themselves, rendering the government impotent." that is exactly right. My son was a sheriffs deputy. He would say — LE has to always win, by de-escalation or other wise. When the police stand down, it is not good for us all. This will not end well.

  4. Ana Navarro says this sort of thing on national television.
    She's literally saying a white person trying to talk is violence, thus all left violence is justified.
    She should be fired, but she is also proof antifa is only different in degree, not in kind.
    Smarter leftists subvert our institutions- it has now been made clear the state of Virginia is no longer America, for instance.
    They get the dumber people to vote stuff in when they can, and they get zealots to do violence in the streets when they can't.

    I think Trump will find out he won the popular vote.

  5. Hey Peter;

    ANTIFA are the "true believers" and the soldier of Soros. They are the ones that compare your faith to theirs and of course yours will be lacking because they are ideologically pure. It don't matter that their standard can move around as long as they believe in their heart that they are right and everyone else is wrong. Once that has been established, the view all other thought, to be "Nazi's" and to be suppressed because it deviated from "grouphivethink". And because you deviate from "grouphivethink" you will be punished, your job threatened, you will be beaten until you apologize and atone for your past misdeeds. Once you do all that, then you can strive for ideological purity.

  6. Your impression that Yvette Felarca is violent is correct. She was recently arrested for felony assault and inciting a riot (this was a Sacramento riot, not the Berkeley riots where she was instead directing some of the violence.) She is an active member of the violent political cult By Any Means Necessary, which is allied with Black Lives Matter and Antifa. She is a well-liked middle school teacher in Berkeley, where no doubt her political views never color her teaching. Felarca will continue to teach in Berkeley unless she is convicted on the felony charge.

    When the current principal of Berkeley High School was a middle school teacher, she organized a hoodie and Skittles demonstration following Trayvon Martin's death, and considers part of her job to be inculcating "activism."

    Teachers at various public schools in California and beyond have led their middle school and high school students out of the classroom and onto the streets opposing Trump's election without any repercussions.

    Primary and secondary education is where the snowflakes who equate being offended with being physically attacked got their initial indoctrination; we see the results in the corporate world with James Damore's firing from Google.

    Many of the mainstream Democrat funding channels are also involved in funding BLM, Occupy, and various antifa groups, and there is currently an internal struggle in the Democrat party as to how far Left it will move; I suspect that it will be quite far. My work brings me into regular contact with upper middle class "progressives.'

    They regard Hillary Clinton's defeat as an intolerable interruption of the trajectory that Obama's administration had the USA on. They are willing to condone Black Bloc violence since it gives them cover and allows them to deplore while understanding.

    The Left, which has long sympathized with revolutionary antisemitism, is now more directly antisemitic.

    Peter Beinart, himself Jewish though at bottom a doctrinaire man of the Left, advocates for the specious distinction between anti-Zionism and anti-Semitism and allies himself with overt antisemites.

    William Jacobson at Legal Insurrection has extensively covered this in the case of terrorist Rasmea Odeh and her supporters.

    You mentioned South Africa's movement from apartheid to democracy; driven by big D Democrats and their supporters, we are now beginning to see the resegregation of education as racially segregated student groups and even student housing proliferate.

    Finally, antifa is not the American ISIS. As we saw in Bakersfield in 2015, we already have one. Antifa is tactically allied with them, and both consider the United States to be their enemy and a legitimate target of violence.

  7. I suppose this is what America felt like in the early 1860s but probably more accurately what Yugoslavia felt like in the late 80s early 90s. If the U.S. doesn't split into various parts and/or be wracked by widespread open warfare levels of violence in the next 25 years it'll be a miracle. There's been an invasion of foreigners in numbers the likes of which have never been seen in modern history. There is, whether we like to admit it to ourselves or not, a low grade race war happening in America right now with Whites and to a lesser extent Asians the targets, and there exists a large segment of the population which hates "heritage" America and everything it and its people stand for. They will remove every vestige of it and eliminate anyone opposing them by any means necessary.

    I don't see how this ends in any way other than bloodshed on a national scale.

  8. Today on a Facebook discussion, I saw leftists denying that the left does any violence at all. In the same discussion, also, that leftist violence is justified because (racism, or whatever the excuse of today is.)
    I have noticed that the more violent demonstrations have a couple of things in common: They occur in areas where the government is either passive or actually supportive of the left; and where the police "stand down" and only intervene after the violence starts. (Word to the wise: Riots are like forest fires, once they get started they are uncontrollable.) Unfortunately for the US, the MSM rarely reports how violent the left has become. For me, the MSM has become so slanted in its coverage that it is no longer news, it's propaganda.

  9. When George W. Bush was president, the left constantly referred to conservatives and Republicans as the American Taliban. Now we see that was just projection.

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