What is anti-fascism?
The terms ‘fascism’ and ‘anti-fascism’ are so overused, and so inaccurately today that they have been opportunistically used to push all manner of agendas.
Fascism may have its grey areas but it is not a byword for ‘anything I don’t like’.
Fascism is not simply authoritarianism. Fascism is not ‘being mean’ or offensive.
Fascism is not all things reactionary or conservative.
Fascism is at heart designed to smash the organised working class. It is counter revolutionary. It is a tool of the bosses. It is an end to class struggle by cementing class relations permanently. The working class is allowed no independent agency of its own under fascism. Any complaints or actions about our exploitation are tantamount to treason under fascism. For this reason we advocate the working class movement defend itself against all attacks. We do not give platforms to fascists and we do not allow fascists the chance to organise and have control in our communities.
Anti-fascism in the UK is a tactic and a temporary alliance of varying left wing and minority groups.
Currently the trades councils outsource ‘official’ anti-fascism which become seen as impotent paper-selling jamboree for Trotskyist sects.
Other, very small groups claiming the mantle of ‘anti-fascism’ are increasingly using it to push their own very specific niche agendas – some barely concealed, some not at all.
All successful political strategy employs the most effective tactics available at anyone time. The consequences of any actions must always be weighed up. It is not simply a matter of cathartic self expression for individuals wishing to let the world know they care.
Some political actions are counter productive to our goals and intentions. This may seem to be stating the obvious yet it is a lesson that many need to learn especially in the modern age of social media.
There are currently people forging lucrative careers spreading reactionary values off the back of hysteria whipped up by liberal elements. The two feed off each other symbiotically in a culture war that leaves class as merely a side issue. Cool heads are needed, not seemingly earnest, passionate not naive recklessness.
We advocate both a ‘in-house’ trade union and community controlled official anti-fascism with a central class analysis and message and when necessary a disciplined militant response to violent fascist elements which must by necessity be to some degree anonymous and whose tactics must be kept out of the public domain.
We advocate working class MMA clubs to both benefit communities and train stewards to protect demonstrations.
We advocate using spotters, spotter cards, infiltration, dressing to blend in, sharing information and high levels of coordination of volunteers at ground level. Meet points must be defended by large disciplined groups of capable stewards.
Propaganda and controlling the narrative is key especially on social media where small incidents can become the overall story of the day.
We are NEVER ‘victims’.
We engage with fascists when opportune. On our terms. No turning up and hoping for the best. Everything is to be measured by how smart and effective it is. Sometimes it is smarter to be OFF the streets until an opportune moment. Tactics need to be adaptable and fluid. Make the best of each situation. There is no one size fits all approach.
AVOID giving away easy morale boosting victories to the opposition at all costs. There are no medals for gifting propaganda to the fascists.
Intelligence is key. Cut the head off the snake – target organisers. Fake social media accounts are indispensable. Identify key organisers, isolate them in your communities and persuade them to change their ways or at least cease stirring up division.
The new era of YouTube and social media also means that fascists have a platform to spread their poison from which we cannot stop.
The media and propaganda game of the left needs to be upped to a much higher standard as soon as possible. Media is needed to cut across fascist support – not for liberals to feel smug at their ‘wokeness’.
We in Manchester are part of building a wider network throughout the UK.
NB: 0161festival.com is a platform for sharing a variety of articles about sports, arts, politics, history and Manchester. This article was sent in and written by a local Manc antifascist.