[Marxism] Fwd: Trump’s Antifa Moment: Police Repression, Nonviolence, and Movement Building on the Left

Jeffrey Masko j.alan.masko at gmail.com
Mon Aug 28 10:19:34 MDT 2017

Hi Mark,

I sent this to you alone, because I cannot deal with any mass of responses
right now and I respect your opinion and work as a scholar and I am asking
these questions sincerely.

I think we all get why antifa members who black bloc may not be utilzing
the best tactics for the moment and that the motivations behind many
members vandalizing property and fighting with the right is suspect and
counterproductive. Yes, I think many, if not most are really kind of acting
out in a juvenile manner and that talks more to the individuality mentioned
in the article. So I don't support the kind of actions we normally see in
demo's, although vandalizing property isn't a big issue for me.

But I wonder why any type of physical reaction from the left is disregarded
as ineffective in the U.S.? How can a so-called "muscular left" be built?
And if it cannot be built, how can a truly revolutionary moment arrive?
Finally, why is it that commentators can never envision a leftist group
engaging in militant and sometimes "violent" tactics in the U.S., but can
support it when it's not on U.S. soil?

I am not supporting any confrontations with the right or the State, but
certainly it's fair for citizens to protect themselves? Especially in rural
areas where radical leftists are being targeted by Neo-nazi's, KKK members
and others by physical attacks and doxing? Is armed revolutionary tactics
and strategies only available to those in the global south or in places far
from western industrial nations? If not, how do we begin with being labeled
useful idiots (as the antifa people are commonly called by those with far
more cultural capital).

I think the tactics of the IWW and other militant unions was successful in
part (so much that they needed to be routed by the government and big
business), so where do we look now to work outside of established protest
repertoire and party rituals? Some activists, especially working class
people not drawn into middle class socialist parties, are not going to
follow middle class leaders and pundits like Chris Hedges and never will.
What do we tell those not resigned to anti-violence and pacifist tactics? I
think of folks I know who have served time in prison and sons and daughters
of Black Panthers who are still involved in the struggle, not white middle
class kids radicalized at Cal Berkeley.

​I may post this when I have more time to respond to others, but I don't
want to post and "ghost" now. I have a lot of class prep and two article
deadlines to deal with this week. But I'm still not sure I want to get
anything going as the list is obviously very against antifa types and I
think generalize about them a bit too much, but I do agree that they are
usually pretty young, either in age or political sophistication. ​




J.A. Masko
College of Communications
Penn State University
State College, Pa 16801

  "The challenge of modernity is to live without illusions and without
becoming disillusioned."

           Antonio Gramsci.

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