[Ed. – But they seem so well-informed and cerebral.]
Today at the Daily Beast history professor Ronald Radosh warns that Antifa has been misreading the history of anti-fascism. As Radosh describes it, anti-fascists spent much of their energy fighting with more moderate socialists on the left and wound up laying some of the groundwork for Hitler’s rise to power:
Antifa members should read historians of Nazi Germany, like Laurie Marhoefer of the University of Washington, who writes that anti-fascist street fighters who greeted a Nazi rally with violence thought that they had won by disrupting a rally and fighting its speakers back in 1927. They sent a message that “Fascism was not welcome.” But instead, “events like the rally in Wedding [a Berlin district] helped the Nazis build a dictatorship.” The Reds got media attention, but it led to escalating street violence, all of which helped the Nazis, who painted themselves “as the victims of a pugnacious, lawless left.”
Radosh makes clear that we are not living in the equivalent of 1930’s Germany. President Trump is not Hitler and is not in (or close to being in) a position of absolute power. Also, the people Antifa is beating up are as likely to be reporters as neo-Nazis.