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30 August 2017

The Left v ISIS v Nazism v Stalinism v Maoism: A Checklist

The Left v ISIS:

* Believes in Ideological Supremacism (I ✓; L ✓)

* Subscribes to the catechism of "Everything within the state, nothing outside the state, nothing against the state." (I ✓; L ✓)

* Believes that the state (or mobs) should regulate every part of life (I ✓; L ✓)

* Believes that there is only one true religion (I ✓ - Islam; L ½✓ - Global Warming, Islam)

* Believes that the slightest deviation from its orthodoxy is heresy (I ✓; L ✓)

* Elevates an elite clerical class (I ✓; L ✓) 

* Demands confessions for real, imagined, and orchestrated 'crimes' (I ✓; L ✓)

* Believes that violence is justified to further its cause (I ✓; L ✓)

* Uses intimidation and violence to enforce its orthodoxy (I ✓; L ✓)

* Believes that the state (or mobs) should punish heretics (I ✓; L ✓)

* Supports 'blasphemy' laws (I ✓; L ✓)

* Believes the ends justify the means (I ✓; L ✓)

* Suppresses or bans speech (I ✓; L ✓)

* Punishes dissent and WrongThink  (I ✓; L ✓)

* Prohibits the free association, assembly and expression of out persons (I ✓; L ✓)

* Has a paramilitary wing, which wears a black uniform, head to toe (I ✓; L ✓)

* Engages in iconoclasm (I ✓; L ✓)

* Rewrites and/or erases history (I ✓; L ✓)

* Believes children should be indoctrinated (I ✓; L ✓)

* Separates society by groups, i.e, race, religion, class, intellectualism,etc. (I ✓; L ✓) 

* Controls the media and other forms of communication (I ✓; L ✓) 

* Uses propaganda (I ✓; L ✓) 

* Supports censorship (I ✓; L ✓)

* Burns books, artwork or other information or demands that they be banned/destroyed (I ✓; L ✓)

* Demands absolute conformity (I ✓; L ✓) 

* Uses government, communications, regulation, taxation, manipulation of the money supply, culture, societal pressure, and mobs to enforce conformity and compliance (I ✓; L ✓) 

* Believes in the perfectability of man (I ✓; L ✓) 

* Believes that Utopia can be achieved on Earth (I ✓; L ✓) 

* Believes in an utilitarian view of the individual and that 'defectives' should be removed from society (I ✓; L ✓) 

* Marks dissenters, non-conformists, and members of 'out' groups as enemies of the state (I ✓; L ✓)

* Holds that the collective always trumps the individual (I ✓; L ✓)

* Hates Western Civilisation (I ✓; L ✓)

* Hates Capitalism (I ✓; L ✓)

This poster (circa 1938) reads: "60,000 Reichmarks is what this person suffering from a hereditary defect costs the People's community during his lifetime. Fellow citizen, that is your money, too. Read '[A] New People,' the monthly magazine from the Bureau of Race Politics of the NSDAP."

The Left v Nazism:

The above, but with slight changes...

* Believes that there is only one true religion (N ✓ - National Socialism; L ½✓ - Global Warming, Islam)

* Has a paramilitary wing, which wears a brown or black uniform, head to toe (N✓ (SA, SS); L ✓)

Revisionist History, Stalinist-style

The Left v Stalinism:

The above, but with slight changes...

* Believes that there is only one true religion (S ✓ - National Communism as opposed to Marx/Trotsky International Socialism; L ½✓ - Global Warming, Islam)

* Has a paramilitary wing, which wears a brown or black uniform, head to toe (S✓ ; L ✓)

Mao's Red Guards...and their victims

'[A]ll the experience... accumulated through several decades teaches us... to deprive the reactionaries of the right to speak and let the people alone have that right.'

- Mao Zedong

 The Left v Maoism:

The above, but with slight changes...

* Believes that there is only one true religion (M ✓ - Communism ; L ½✓ - Global Warming, Islam)

* Has a paramilitary wing, which wears a brown (khaki w/ red star) or black uniform, head to toe (M ✓ (Red Guards); L ✓)

The Left loves totalitarianism. Period.

A meeting of 'Antifa' at the Third COMMUNIST International Congress in Moscow, 1921

If you believe that Leon Trotsky was a Fascist, you might be an 'antifascist', which is exactly what Stalin wanted.

The Communist Origins of the Antifa Extremist Group

German anti-fascists (Rotfront) give the clenched fist salute.

[Antifa] was initially part of the Soviet Union’s front operations to bring about communist dictatorship in Germany, and it worked to label all rival forms of government as “fascist.” 
The organization can be traced to the “united front” of the Soviet Union’s third Communist International, held at the World Congress in Moscow in July 1921, according to the German booklet, “80 Years of Anti-Fascist Action,” by Bernd Langer, published by the Association for the Promotion of Anti-Fascist Culture. Langer is a former member of the Autonome Antifa, formerly Germany’s largest Antifa organization, which was shut down in 2004. (...)
Benito Mussolini, a Marxist and Socialist who had been expelled from Italy’s Socialist Party in 1914 for his support for World War I, later founded the fascist movement as his own political party. He took power through his “march on Rome” in October 1922. 
In Germany, Adolf Hitler had formed the Nazi Party in 1920 and mounted a coup attempt in 1923. The KPD decided to use the banner of anti-fascism to form a movement. Langer notes, though, that to the KPD the ideas of “fascism” and “anti-fascism” were “undifferentiated,” and the term “fascism” served merely as rhetoric meant to support their aggressive opposition. (...)
The 2016 annual report by the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution (BfV), Germany’s domestic intelligence service, notes the same point: from the viewpoint of the “left-wing extremist,” the label of “fascism” pushed by Antifa is often not actual fascism, but merely a label they assign to “capitalism.” 
While the leftist extremists launch attacks on other groups claiming they’re fighting “fascism,” the report states the term fascism has a double meaning under their extreme-left ideology, indicating the “fight against the capitalist system.” 
This held true from the beginning, according to Langer. For the communists in Germany, “anti-fascism” merely meant “anti-capitalism.” He notes the labels merely served as “battle concepts” under a “political vocabulary.”
A description of Antifa in the BfV report notes that the organization still holds this same basic definition of capitalism as “fascism.” 
“They argue that the capitalist state produces fascism, or at least tolerates it. Therefore, anti-fascism is directed not only against actual or supposed right-wing extremists, but also always against the state and its representatives, in particular members of the security authorities,” it states. 
Langer notes that historically, by labeling the anti-capitalist interests of the communist movement as “anti-fascism,” the KPD was able to use this rhetoric to label all other political parties as fascist. Langer states, “According to this, the other parties opposed to the KPD were fascist, especially the SPD [Social Democratic Party of Germany].”
Thus, in what would today be considered ironic, the group that the communist “anti-fascists” most heavily targeted under their new label of “fascism” was the social democrats. 
On Aug. 23, 1923, the Politburo of the Communist Party of Russia held a secret meeting, and according to Langer, “All the important officials spoke out for an armed insurrection in Germany.” 
The KPD was at the front of this call, and launched a movement under the banner of “United Front Action,” and branded its armed “anti-fascist” wing under the name of “Antifaschistische Aktion” (“Antifascist Action”) which it still carries in Germany, and from which the Antifa organizations in other countries are rooted. 
At this time, Adolf Hitler and his National Socialist German Workers’ Party (Nazi Party) had begun to emerge on the world stage. In late 1923, Hitler launched his failed coup in Munich, emulating Mussolini.
The Nazi Party employed a similar group for political violence and intimidation, the “brownshirts.” 
Antifaschistische Aktion, meanwhile began to attract some members who opposed the arrival of actual fascism in Germany, and who did not subscribe—or were potentially unaware—of the organization’s ties to the Soviet Union.
However, the violence instigated by Antifaschistische Aktion largely had an opposite effect. The ongoing tactics of violence and intimidation of all rival systems under the KPD’s Antifa movement, along with its violent ideology, drove many people towards fascism. 
“The Communists’ violent revolutionary rhetoric, promising the destruction of capitalism and the creation of a Soviet Germany, terrified the country’s middle class who knew only too well what had happened to their counterparts in Russia after 1918,” writes Richard J. Evans inThe Third Reich in Power.”
“Appalled at the failure of the government to solve the crisis, and frightened into desperation by the rise of the Communists,” he states, “they began to leave the squabbling little factions of the conventional political right and gravitate towards the Nazis instead.” 
Langer notes that from the beginning, the KPD was a member of the Communist Comintern, and “within a few years it became a Stalinist party”, both ideologically and logistically. He states that it even became “Financially dependent on the Moscow headquarters.” 
Leaders of the KPD, with Antifa as their on-the-ground movement for violence and intimidation of rival political parties, fell under the command of the Soviet apparatus. Many KPD leaders would later become leaders in the communist German Democratic Republic, including of its infamous Ministry for State Security, the Stasi. 
As Langer states, “Anti-fascism is a strategy rather than an ideology.”
“It was brought into play in Germany in the 1920s by the KPD,” he states, not as a legitimate movement against fascism that would later arise in Germany, but instead “as an anti-capitalist concept of struggle.”

The notion that Fascism is alien to the Left is absurd. As Irving Louis Horowitz, 1929 – 2012, a radical left-wing sociologist, Fulbright lecturer, author of more than 25 books and articles, and a Professor of Sociology at Rutgers University, wrote in The Decomposition of Sociology:

"Fascism will return to the United States not as right wing ideology, but almost as a quasi-leftist ideology. 
The content of left-wing fascism is heavily based on an elitist vision of the world. At every level of society, it juxtaposes its minoritarianism against majoritarianism. It may take libertarian or authoritarian forms, but it always defends its leadership vision over any populist vision. Some examples are the hip versus the square, the gay versus the straight, the individualistic free soul versus the family-oriented slave, those who believe in the cult of direct action versus the fools who participate in the political process, those who practise nonviolence over those who assert willfulness and violence as measures of human strength and courage, those who have strong affiliations with cults and cultism over the traditional non-believer (a marked departure from the anti-theological vision of most forms of leftist and socialist behaviour), those who argue the case for deviance over mainline participation in the working class or in segments of class society, those who choose underground organisations in preference to established voluntary organisations and, ultimately, those who choose some type of deracinated behaviour over class behaviour and participation. 
Historically, communists, like fascists, have had an uncomfortable attraction to both elitism and populism. The theory of vanguards acting in the name of the true interests of the masses presupposes a higher science of society (or in the case of fascism, a biology of society) beyond the reach of ordinary citizens. The superstructure of science, like culture generally, becomes a realm in which elites act in the name of the public. What happens to the notion of the people determining their own history in their own way? Here populism, or pseudo-populism, steps in to fuse formerly antagonistic trends. In some mysterious, inexplicable manner, these mass forces must be shaped or molded. Under communism, in sharp contrast to fascism, the stratification elements in the national culture are deemed unique or uniquely worth salvaging. But, in the anti-ideological climate of the "new world," people (class) and fold (race) blend, becoming the raw materials for fashioning the new society. 
Left-wing fascism does not so much as overcome this dilemma of elitism and populism as it seeks to harness both under the rubric of a movement. Having its roots in the 1960s, left-wing fascism views the loose movement, the foco, the force, as expanding the élan and the communist vanguard. It permits a theory of politics without the encumbrance of parties. It allows, even encourages, a culture of elitism and crackpot technocracy while extolling the virtues of a presumed inarticulate mass suffering under inscrutable false consciousness. The mystification and debasement of language displaces the search for clarity of expression and analysis, enabling a minuscule elite to harness the everyday discontent of ordinary living to a grand mission. Left-wing fascism becomes a theory of fault, locating the question of personal failure everywhere and always in an imperial conspiracy of wealth, power or status. 
Fascism requires a focal point of hatred behind which to unify. Thus, when fascists advocate anti-Semitism, they are simply using a tactic, one not opposed by communism. It becomes a modality of affixing the climate of a post-Nazi holocaust, a post-Stalinist Gulag, and the monopoly of petroleum wealth by forces historically antagonistic to Jewish ambitions. The new left-wing fascist segments, weak within the nation, can draw great strength from "world forces" deemed favourable to their cause. The unitary character of anti-Semitism draws fascist and communist elements together in a new social climate. Anti-Semitism is essential motor of left-wing fascism. The grand illusion of seeing communism and fascism as polarised opposites (the latter being evil with a few redeeming virtues, the former being good with a few historical blemishes) is the sort of liberal collapse that reduces analysis to nostalgia -- an abiding faith in the unique mission of a communist left that has long ago lost its universal claims to a higher society. This catalogue of polarities, this litany of beliefs, adds up to a lifestyle of left-wing fascism."

My three quibbles with this observation are 1) Fascism, like Communism, is based upon the collective, not the individual; thus, it isn't 'right-wing', at least not in the sense that Americans draw the political spectrum. Compare the platforms of various Fascists, Progressives, and Socialists for yourself; As we have seen, Woodrow Wilson and Franklin Delano Roosevelt both operated governments and instituted policies that had Fascists around the world cheering; 2) The idea that Communism couldn't be nationalistic would be news to Josef Stalin; and, 3) Anyone, who believes that the Left cannot be Anti-Semitic hasn't read about Stalin and the Soviet Union nor ever met people like Linda Sarsour or members of the Students for Justice in Palestine.

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