America has been on the path to fascism since European settlers arrived on the shores of Turtle Island. The founding fathers were white supremacists who replaced British rule with their own vile brand of racist terror. The fear that has been building in the bones of white Americans since 2016, or sooner depending on just how “white” Nazis think you are, has been present in the lives of our comrades of color for over 243 years!
I start by discussing America’s earliest days to illustrate that electing more neo-liberal shills in the guise of populist heroes, be they red or blue, won’t get us out of the mess we’re in now. We are the ones who must stop our collective descent into fascism. We either fall further into a fascist pseudo-Democracy or tear it ALL down and build something that serves us, the proletariat. The systems of power that exist now, police, the 2 party system, the electoral college, all of these are tools of the elites to subjugate, divide, and rule the working class! As Audre Lorde said “For the master’s tools will never dismantle the master’s house. They may allow us temporarily to beat him at his own game, but they will never enable us to bring about genuine change”.
To build the type of genuine change Lorde speaks of, we must put down the master’s tools and pick up the revolutionary weapons of mutual aid, community defense, and political education. I use martial terms because this is a struggle of life and death. The bourgeoisie dictatorship’s continued reign, regardless of which party’s bloated corpse of a figurehead sits on the throne, means exploitation, death, suffering, and financial serfdom for the workers of this country. As always, those who will bear the brunt of this suffering are Black and Indigenous people. This unequal distribution of misery is another tool of the elites. Whiteness and the material benefits it unjustly confers to those recognized as white by society are a bribe to keep us divided, fighting for table scraps, while the elites carve up their profits, the unpaid the wages of the workers, the same way they carved up Turtle Island.
What we witnessed on the 6th was the manifestation of whiteness, entitlement, and privilege. The rioters who stormed the capitol building hardly faced any resistance as they proceeded to ransack the building. Compare the response of law enforcement to the capital building rioters with the Black Lives Matter demonstrations of this summer. Officers posed for selfies with these fascists while they tear-gassed peaceful protestors without a second thought. Federal agents snatched people off the streets of Portland without warrants, but were nowhere to be seen as the reactionary horde advanced on and then through the capital building.
Now that we have seen the identities of many of the rioters, it is clear that the class character of this mob is dangerously similar to that of the masses who embraced Nazism in Weimar Germany prior to WWII. Small business owners, police officers, and other members of the labor aristocracy, the petit bourgeoisie. I have heard this event compared to the Burning of the Reichstag, a key event in Hitler’s ascent to dictator status. I believe that this is more analogous to the Nacht der Longen Musser, the Night of Long Knives. This was a purge that targeted the paramilitary Strumtruppen, commonly referred to as “Brown shirts”. They played a key role in Hitler’s rise to power, but once they threatened his power, them and their leader were liquidated.
An even more apt reason this echoes the events of Nacht der Longen Musser is that it is fash fighting fash. These aren’t the rural, disenfranchised working poor, these are small business owners, cops, and off duty military. This is one arm of the fascist state fighting the other, and then blaming the communists for the bloodshed.
We’ve already seen the main-stream media and lawmakers begin to scapegoat us, the militant left, for the Right’s attack on the capitol. That will only get worse as the right-wing reactionary violence escalates. We must challenge the mainstream media’s stranglehold on our conception of reality. Their lens is one bought and paid for by the elites, created to display a distorted version of reality that attempts to convince the viewer that this bourgeosie dictatorship serves anyone other than the 1%. We must dispel their false narratives by courageously showing up for one another, standing up to fascism and the forces of reaction however they manifest in our lives.
The myth of antifa as a violent group of left-wing extremist is one we must deal with swiftly and correctly. Antifa is short for anti-fascist. Antifa is not a group, it is an ideology shared by many on the left. To oppose antifa, is to side with fascists. Anti-fascist action is only violent towards fascists.The way the media and elected officials use the brand of antifa as a weapon is very similar to the McCarthyism of the Cold War era. What these bloodsucking fiends want to avoid at all costs is the working class realizing that communists and anarchists aren’t authoritarian dictators or erratic vandals, but their friends, neighbors, coworkers, and most importantly, their comrades.
You may hear all of this and wonder where our hope for a better future is. There is hope between the pages of the books they tell you not to read. There is hope in rubble of every shattered racist statue. There is hope in the bonds we forge with one another as we struggle for our collective liberation!
Post-Script: This was written in the immediate wake of the DC riots. As such, we feel it is important to address how things have (and haven’t) changed during the very early days of Biden’s administration. The elephant in the room is his slew of executive orders. While it cannot be overstated the material differences and improvements these will make for many of us, we cannot lose sight of how temporary these gains could be. With the same ease Biden swept away Trump’s slate of executive orders with, so to could a future POTUS undo Biden’s. We need to continue to fight for our rights through collective struggle. Orders from on high cannot change how people think and act in regards to those who fall outside of the dominant white-cis-hetero “norms”. That kind of change needs to occur from the bottom up.