[Marxism] Fwd: The Fetishization of Violence: Reflections on Charlottesville, WWII and Activism

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Fri Aug 18 06:33:01 MDT 2017

Recently, I posted an article written by Louis Proyect entitled, “Antifa 
and the Perils of Adventurism,” on social media and received some 
limited backlash, but also some interesting reflections. Unfortunately, 
it’s clear that many people in the U.S., including seasoned activists 
and organizers, are having a very difficult time processing recent 
events in a way that’s not overly emotional or irrational in nature.

One person wrote, “Bottom line: Either you’re with Antifa or you’re with 
the Fascists!” This lack of nuance is symbolic of a Left that doesn’t 
look in the mirror, a Left that refuses to ask serious questions about 
its movements, organizations and members, and a Left that lacks 
discipline, vision and strategy. Remember, vision should dictate 
strategy, which in turn dictates tactics. Today, many leftists in the 
U.S. have the equation backward: they focus on tactics first, fail to 
discuss strategy, and a lack a long-term vision.

Existing anti-Fascist groups such as Antifa and the more militant 
organization Redneck Revolt, have filled a vacuum at protests, but their 
tactics are sloppy and their strategy and vision is non-existent. The 
overwhelming majority of Antifa activists are white, male, middle-class 
and disconnected from the ongoing day-to-day efforts of organizers and 
activists. To be fair, some do all of the above, but that’s a rare breed.

Proyect’s point about ‘adventurism’ is well understood: I’ve encountered 
many ‘adventurists’ over the years, especially during the Occupy Wall 
Street protests. I also experienced similar phenomena at antiwar 
protests during the Bush Era. In Charlottesville, the evidence is clear 
that leftwing protesters weren’t prepared for the Right’s violence, nor 
were they prepared to provide security for their marches.


More information about the Marxism mailing list