A Brief History of Anti-Fascism
June 24, 2020 9:58 PM   Subscribe

 
I was aware of so little of this. Thank you.
posted by treepour at 10:51 PM on June 24


Nth-ing the thanks. An eye-opener [looks down at tattoo that reads 'I'm woke' and biro-scrawls on the end '-ish'].
posted by k3ninho at 12:32 AM on June 25


*Ctrl-F* Wilson - nope, nothing there.
*Ctrl-F* FDR - nup.
*Ctrl-F* Roosevelt - yay! … no,wait, that's one of the pilots.

Seems very remiss to write about America's anti-Fascism cred without mentioning two of the world's most powerful admirers of Mussolini (at least, until about the point he invaded Abyssinia).
posted by Pinback at 1:31 AM on June 25


This article is about people with very little power who are nevertheless very powerful.
It's about the lasting power of an idea, in sometimes violent opposition to the power of another idea.

It makes me angry that the anti-fascist movement has been rebranded as "antifa," because that is a marketeer's way of hiding the truth. Not only that there is and always has been a large part of the populace for whom "no pasaran" means something (and they will fight and even die for it), but that the other side are actual fascists.
posted by chavenet at 4:06 AM on June 25 [9 favorites]


It makes me angry that the anti-fascist movement has been rebranded as "antifa," because that is a marketeer's way of hiding the truth.

It's a fascist's way of hiding the truth.

The 'antifa' groups don't represent more than a tiny fraction of all those opposed to fascism. The alt-right have been gaming the media to slip into the habit of using the term as a synonym for 'anti-fascist'.
posted by Cardinal Fang at 5:07 AM on June 25 [4 favorites]


i mean yeah there's much much more to antifascism than stuff that's under the antifa umbrella, but also anyone who's heart doesn't swell when they see big groups of leftist kids dressed all in black is a little bit dead inside.
posted by Reclusive Novelist Thomas Pynchon at 8:04 AM on June 25 [11 favorites]


Terrific. It brings together many things i knew with many i did not, and shines a bit of a harsh light on those WWII memes. The true antifascists in the US shared a brief moment of solidarity with anti-nazis, but were left wanting when they came home to the same old racism, mccarthyism, anti-semitism they had been fighting all along. Too bad the skull and crossbones emblem just conjures talk like a pirate day in this country.
posted by OHenryPacey at 8:07 AM on June 25 [2 favorites]


Excellent link, thanks y2karl.
posted by Rash at 8:19 AM on June 25 [1 favorite]


It makes me angry that the anti-fascist movement has been rebranded as "antifa," because that is a marketeer's way of hiding the truth.

These days, I am very proud to be called "anti-fascist", or "libtard" or "SJW", or any other of a number of slurs or insults that they come up with.

This is a great article, Pocketing it to read later tonight.
posted by Bill Watches Movies Podcast at 8:49 AM on June 25 [6 favorites]


It links to this 2017 article in Football Paradise, which IMO is deserving of an FPP of its own: The Punk Rockers of Football: A Story of Pirate Flags and the Anti-Nazi St Pauli.
posted by Rash at 8:54 AM on June 25 [3 favorites]


It makes me angry that the anti-fascist movement has been rebranded as "antifa," because that is a marketeer's way of hiding the truth.

Also, conservatives seem intentional about placing emphasis on the second syllable--"an-TI-fa", rhyming with "Aunt Tifa"--which further obscures the "anti-fa(scism)" meaning.
posted by technodelic at 12:05 PM on June 25 [2 favorites]


Also, conservatives seem intentional about placing emphasis on the second syllable--"an-TI-fa", rhyming with "Aunt Tifa"--which further obscures the "anti-fa(scism)" meaning.

It also makes it sound like it doesn't derive from English words, which I'm sure makes it sound like a scary foreign organization.
posted by treepour at 12:15 PM on June 25 [4 favorites]


Personal and collective self-defense.
''My own research has found that a significant proportion of anti-fascists are women, people of color, members of LGBTQ communities, or otherwise have some characteristics fascists seek to control or eliminate''.
On the Antifascist Activists Who Fought in the Streets Long Before Antifa
The Rich American History of Nazi-Punching.
posted by adamvasco at 12:37 PM on June 25 [5 favorites]


In Continental Europe it's always been commonly known as antifa, and to a degree in the UK too.

I'm shocked at how quickly the lies took hold. Someone at work patronizingly explained to me that it stands for "Anti First Amendment" which is just so stupid it's hard to know where to start.
posted by TheophileEscargot at 1:16 PM on June 25 [3 favorites]


It also makes it sound like it doesn't derive from English words

According to the article, it doesn't:
The leftists of Germany’s Roter Frontkämpferbund (RFB) first used the famous clenched-fist salute as the symbol of their fight against intolerance; when, in 1932, they became Antifaschistische Aktion, or “antifa” for short, they fought Nazi anti-Semitism and homophobia under the flags with the red-and-black logo that antifa groups wave today.
That said, I've been thinking that using the term "antifa" makes it far too easy for bigots and fascists to use it as a scary monster to frighten people with.

It's easy for them to argue against "antifa". Maybe it would be better to use the full words "antifascist" and "antifascism" to make it clearer.

On preview: Someone at work patronizingly explained to me that it stands for "Anti First Amendment" which is just so stupid it's hard to know where to start.

I think I'm going to lean towards using the full words. There will always be people pushing hateful lies, but it would be harder to lie that "antifascism" stands for "anti first amendment".
posted by Lexica at 1:21 PM on June 25 [6 favorites]


question for europeans: is it actually pronounced with the stress on the second syllable over there? i always said anti-fa until i heard other folks around me saying an-ti-fa
posted by Reclusive Novelist Thomas Pynchon at 2:05 PM on June 25 [1 favorite]


Yes, an-tii-faa, stress on second syllable, in the original German at least it's pronounced that way so it seems that has carried over in English usage too
posted by bitteschoen at 2:16 PM on June 25 [1 favorite]


Interesting article, specially given the source.
I live in an area where the fascists can't enter without massive police protection, and it's been like that forever (since the neighborhood was built from 1850 and onwards). We have had our own homegrown fascists and they have been disposed of in time.
In return, we get called a ghetto, though our population is a perfect balance of all people.

I remember when I moved in here, my then neighbors were a very sweet elder couple who were born and bred here. There was some sort of riot, and a lot of press coverage. My neighbor explained: young men setting fire to stuff, that's tradition. I did it in my day. Don't think about it.
posted by mumimor at 2:59 PM on June 25 [2 favorites]


The team, with its skull and crossbones logo borrowed from Hamburg’s 14th century anti-authoritarian pirate hero Niolaus Stoertebeker, might represent the coolest anti-fascism has ever been.

I appreciate this article for many reasons, including for how it reminds me of the pirate flag my father had on the wall of his office when I was a kid, his references to 14th century pirates, and all of his going on and on about the Spanish Civil War. That flag was already one of my prized possessions, and now even more so.
posted by katra at 9:45 PM on June 26 [1 favorite]


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