American fascism is ascendant.
For the entire summer, across the country, protests have been viciously cracked down upon by police armed to the teeth with military-grade weaponry. Protesters are being tear gassed, beaten, maced and shot. The national guard has been called into over a dozen states. Vigilantes in Philadelphia, Omaha, Kenosha and elsewhere have murdered and assaulted protestors.
Meanwhile, the media is continuing to feign neutrality, even as they themselves are being beaten, gassed and shot in the streets. Mainstream cable news outlets and centrist newspapers cast protesters as the protagonists of the riots, while on the ground videos show the police cracking down viciously with little to no provocation.
On one side of this rebellion are protesters calling for an end to police brutality against Black Americans, for the diversion of policing funds into social services and ultimately, abolition of the police.
On the other side are cowardly, jackbooted thugs enforcing the hegemony of private property and white supremacy. The full apparatus of the state — from cops to prosecutors to the bully pulpit — is being brought down forcefully upon protesters.
These happenings need to be put in historical context. In every nation-state where fascism has arisen, from Italy to Germany to Brazil to Indonesia, the same events have unfolded. The state, with help from mass media, condemns and demonizes marxists, communists and the left. Trump, cable news corporations and Democrats like Joe Biden have participated in this propaganda. In May, President Trump announced via Twitter that: “The United States of America will be designating antifa as a terrorist organization.” Antifa, as many commentators have noted, is not a formal organization. It is a set of tactics meant to accomplish a very simple task: stamp out fascism. This week, Trump announced that the DOJ would be working to prosecute “left-wing unrest” after riots in Kenosha, Wis. and Portland, Ore.
Vicious state repression is enabled by the demonization of certain groups, in particular Black Americans and leftists. The state’s rhetoric and the mass media’s influence embolden vigilante fascist groups to roam freely, which is how we arrive at Kyle Rittenhouse murdering two protesters in Kenosha. Vigilante groups are often explicitly supported by the state, as we saw in Kenosha when Rittenhouse was able to murder two protesters and then freely walk away from the scene.
The United States is displaying inarguable symptoms: fascism is on the march.
And when the forces of fascism are on the march, whether in Italy in the 1920s, Germany and Spain in the 1930s, or the United States today, there are no shades of gray. You either stand against fascism, or with it.
Right now, if you take any stance other than unequivocal anti-fascism, unyielding support for the rebellion in the streets, you are on the side of the fascists. Liberals, socialists, libertarians, communists, anarchists — I don’t care what your political affiliation is. Stand against fascism, or stand with it. Stand on the side of the long-overdue rebellion, or stand against it.
The only option is mass resistance, every day, in the streets. We cannot bow down to repression. Mass resistance until Trump runs back into his bunker like the coward he is, mass resistance until the police are disarmed, mass resistance until police funds are distributed to education, housing, healthcare and social services. Mass resistance until we take back our cities. Mass resistance until the police state is smashed into a million pieces.
If you can go to the streets, go. If you can donate to bail funds and on-the-ground organizers, donate now, and keep donating. If you can make masks for protestors, that is your mission. If you can organize mutual aid in your community, now is the time. If you are a cop, quit. All hands on deck.
We have the numbers. We will prevail, if we persist. We will win a better world if we don’t back down. We can’t grow tired. We can’t let the media’s willful distortions get us down. We can’t shirk our responsibility to fight for a more humane world.