The Dangers of Antifa Overreaching

In the comments beneath my most recent post, MC writes:

We might laugh at snowflakes, but when they are making the rules and have the power of the state to enforce their will, then we will be in trouble. We know that for them contrary opinions equal violence, so the imposition of violence on the opposition will come easily to them.

I would argue that the snowflakes are already making the rules and have large swathes of the state on their side, plus the whole of the media and academia. As Streetwise Professor notes:

[I]n some jurisdictions, law “enforcement” is ceding ground to violent individuals and organizations, which will beget violence and the Weimarization of America.

From what I can tell it is not so much the police that are ceding the ground but their political masters ordering them to. Quite what they think about that I don’t know.

Antifa is a violent organisation for the simple reason that it has tested the waters and found they can get away with violence. Much the same is true for the BLM movement, and Antifa probably learned a lot from BLM, not so much by watching them riot but by observing the response of the authorities and noting the support the violent elements had from the media and other useful idiots on the left. At the moment Antifa has no real opposition: they can outnumber any groups that meet them head-on, and know that if they started losing badly the police would step in and bash up their opponents. But this depends on their operating only in friendly jurisdictions, where they can count on the local mayor or college administration to take their side. Provided they keep to these areas, they probably won’t do much permanent damage. Antifa are easily avoided: just don’t go to protests taking place in liberal college towns or cities with mayors who want to tear down Confederate statues to score brownie points with their liberal friends. The average American simply isn’t interested in going to these protests, so they’re not directly affected by Antifa any more than the average Brit is affected by football hooligans.

What will be far more dangerous is when the movement, buoyed by their success on friendly turf, start taking on ordinary people. I suspect a quick foray into unfamiliar territory in a town where they don’t enjoy state protection would have them fleeing back to Berkeley and Brooklyn in absolute terror leaving behind multiple casualties, but unfortunately the war isn’t only being waged on the ground. Powerful campaigns are targeting providers of social media, email, web hosting, payment processing, and other services demanding they drop individuals and organisations the protesters don’t like. A combination of cowardly management and sympathy for the protesters’ views has meant the service providers have acquiesced to the demands far too readily: allegedly far-right websites have had their hosting accounts closed without warning and their domain names effectively stolen. Twitter is banning people faster than new people are joining, and PayPal has also got in on the act.

As ZMan has pointed out both on his blog and in his podcasts, people might shrug off a few fringe elements being denied access to the internet, effectively silencing them, but if ordinary people are getting caught up in it, things could get ugly. YouTube/Google has gone into full-on panic mode over the past month or so, demonetarising tens of thousands of perfectly innocuous videos with no political content whatsoever having set their automatic filters to align nicely with Antifa’s core beliefs. Ordinary people suddenly found a handy source of income has been cut off simply because the tech giants were unable or unwilling to stand up to a gaggle of hard-left thugs. It’s only a matter of time before ordinary Americans find themselves denied access to the website or payment processing platform their livelihoods depend on, without ever knowing the reason why. If that happens, people will start throwing their support behind whichever outfit professes to be on their side and against the people responsible, regardless of how nasty and thuggish they are.

I’ve long thought the authorities in Europe have demonstrated considerable irresponsibility by pandering to the sensibilities of Muslim minorities, thus luring them into a false sense of security that the state will always protect them from the native population regardless of how they behave. My fear has been that they will overreach and the much-predicted backlash will finally come to bear, and it will be devastating. The same applied to the BLM movement under Obama, and I thought there was a real danger they’d riot in the wrong city and casualties would run into the hundreds. We’re now seeing the same danger of overreach with Antifa.

If Antifa start to disrupt the lives of ordinary people, either online or in the real world, they are going to make some very dangerous enemies. People will realise that tackling Antifa head-on won’t work, given the support and protection they enjoy from the state, so they’ll have to be more creative. A thousand years of guerrilla warfare has shown that if you can’t beat the main force you pick off the stragglers sending fear through the whole group. The Antifa warriors are brave when ten of them are beating the shit out of some bloke on the ground, but probably less so when walking home alone from the bus station that night. They’ve declared war and are more or less in uniform complete with a flag, so they’d not be hard to spot.

If the American authorities don’t get a handle on this situation soon, we’re going to be reading stories of youths with Antifa hoodies in their backpacks being brutally beaten or worse in alleyways far from any protest. One of the remaining adults in Washington DC ought to take the Antifa leaders (and those who fund them) to a quiet room and tell them that war is unpleasant and rarely works out in favour of those who start them.

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14 thoughts on “The Dangers of Antifa Overreaching

  1. First they came for the fringe elements and I did not speak out because I am not a fringe element.

    Agree with everything you say except that the concept of free speech should be for everyone, however distasteful or it is for no one.

  2. Agree with everything you say except that the concept of free speech should be for everyone, however distasteful or it is for no one.

    I fully agree that free speech should be for everyone. But that ship appears to have sailed.

  3. I see a different potential outcome from most of your commenters.

    Antifa is supported by the educational establishment, many politicians and most of the media. It is staffed by young, violent, brainwashed troops and can command acquiescence (if not actual collaboration) from some large corporations. At the risk of a Godwin, this looks like 1930s Germany & Italy to me.

    I don’t think the next fascist leader of the USA will come from the Right, who are too concerned, as you correctly note, with the Constitution.

    It will come from the Left, and all Antifa, BLM, the Universities & Corporates need is for a credible ‘leader’ to emerge, which so far hasn’t happened. Once they do, and the ‘impeach Trump’ nonsense is intensified, a ‘national saviour’ may be sought who ‘the people’ can turn to for relief.

    My money is on the return of Obama in that role – he seems to be positioning himself accordingly.

  4. “At the risk of a Godwin, this looks like 1930s Germany & Italy to me.”

    Doesn’t to me, yet. It looks like a small group of violent left-wingers creating an enemy to justify their violence and feel righteous about themselves, together with law enforcement allowing them to get away with it. The only real risk is this movement actually propagating a real enemy and polarizing people into the extreme camps.

    This is the dynamic that did lead to the Nazi’s gaining power, the only question are people as blind and weak as those in the Weimar Republic?

  5. I’m with Jack on this.

    I suspect those who fund the Antifa/BLM etc would like to see a bit of open warfare between the snowflakes and the average Joe and they’d be happy to see Joe winning. Then they can crack down on Joe’s freedoms to speak, associate and bear arms.

    Will the establishment Republicans stop this? They have been retreating before the left for decades. Same in the UK, the Grey-Faced Witch and her plastic Tories are probably to the left of the first Blair government and even more authoritarian.

  6. Although I do wonder whether I am getting a bit doom-laden and hysterical about it all, seeing the shadow of the Emperor Palpatine Soros behind every pink-haired loon…

  7. @MC

    While they were pink haired loons (though I prefer ‘crayon-haired’ which one commenter coined) in ineffectual ‘Occupy’ groups and moaning about micro-aggressions, I would have agreed with you.

    Now they seem to have turned to violence as often as possible. They are looking for confrontation and, as you correctly point out, a way to strip their opponents of the freedoms granted under the Constitution.

    It may soon get very ugly indeed (if it hasn’t already).

  8. “There is a lot of ruin in a nation,” and there is also a lot of “I’ll just put up with this until it goes away” in a nation’s people.

    Much as I’d like to see this backlash you’re suggesting, I doubt it is just around the corner. Any satisfying answer to these thugs is probably much further in the future than we’d like to see.

  9. I don’t think the next fascist leader of the USA will come from the Right…It will come from the Left, and all Antifa, BLM, the Universities & Corporates need is for a credible ‘leader’ to emerge, which so far hasn’t happened. Once they do, and the ‘impeach Trump’ nonsense is intensified, a ‘national saviour’ may be sought who ‘the people’ can turn to for relief.

    Haven’t they had him for 8 years already? I don’t see the strongman coming from the left because the left already have the run of the place and everything is heading in their direction. In other words, they don’t need one except perhaps to consolidate their position but I don’t think that’s how they come about. But there is a growing demand for some serious pushback against these people, and Trump was the warning. The next guy might provide it.

  10. The only real risk is this movement actually propagating a real enemy and polarizing people into the extreme camps.

    Yup.

  11. Will the establishment Republicans stop this?

    Such silliness will not be tolerated on this blog!

  12. Much as I’d like to see this backlash you’re suggesting, I doubt it is just around the corner. Any satisfying answer to these thugs is probably much further in the future than we’d like to see.

    I’d agree with that, but time has this unhelpful knack of marching on regardless.

  13. Such silliness will not be tolerated on this blog!

    You forgot to add: Candidly, this is your last contribution here.

  14. You forgot to add: Candidly, this is your last contribution here.

    Heh.

    And: you’re wasting my time.

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