Read More >>
The reality of Antifa is not what Trump suggested. There is no centralized control or even anything that hints at an organization. Antifa is more of a basic ideology that emerged in Europe in the wake of World War I, and it does not even conform to an established political movement such as communism or nationalism.
The Essence of Anti-Fascism
In a nutshell, Antifa is short for anti-fascism, a principle that opposes fascist behavior and ideology. It should be noted that opposition to fascism did not emerge until Italian dictator Benito Mussolini organized a few political parties based on tenets of oppression, which included nationalism, militarism, expansionist rhetoric, autocracy, and an aversion to democratic rule. The original Antifa movement opposed Mussolini and all his supporters.
The idea of racial purity is implied within fascism, thus making Antifa supporters enemies of individuals and movements who espouse racial inequality and injustice. The fascism promoted by Mussolini in the wake of the Great War found favor with the Nazi Party founded by Adolf Hitler, and this is when Antifa became a more widespread ideology indirectly supported by Allied forces when they fought against the Axis powers in World War II.
Antifa in Politics
Depending on the political zeitgeist and socioeconomic conditions of certain regions of the world, Antifa sentiment can align to the left, right, or even center of the political spectrum. During World War II, for example, Dutch resistance groups actively fought against Nazi occupation; they were supported by American forces such as the 101st Airborne Division, and their only political motivation was to oppose invasion of the Third Reich.
For the most part, Antifa will align to the left, but history shows that anarchist organizations also reject fascism and racial injustice. Antifa in Germany was closely aligned to extreme leftist factions, but in the United Kingdom was mostly political. Antifa in the U.S. used to be apolitical, but it has shifted to the left in opposition to the Trump administration. The global social democratic movement, which has enjoyed political power in many countries across Europe and the Americas, is generally supportive of the base Antifa ideology.
Antifa Militancy and Radical Action
The Dutch resistance groups of World War II were not the only Antifa armed movements; sympathizers included Jewish resistance and Catholic fighters in Germany, French insurgents, Italian rebels, Spanish volunteers, Baltic resisters, and many others groups that fought alongside the Allies, including the Red Army. After World War II, these groups disbanded and put their weapons down, but some radical factions inspired by the original Antifa groups are known to engage in direct action and violence.
In Europe, regional Antifa chapters have been operating since the 1970s; they are mostly comprised of men who respond to racist incidents with direct action, which in many cases results in violent confrontations. These groups are loosely organized, but they seem to have inspired Antifa in the U.S. They eschew the use of weapons because of the legacy of the Dutch and Jewish resistance groups that fought with limited arsenals. Hand-to-hand combat and vandalism are the radical calling cards of these groups, but they also engage in activism and political canvassing, typically in support of political leaders who oppose racial injustice.
This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author. This content has not been paid for by any advertiser nor does Answer.Expert recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. This article is provided for informational purposes only. Answer.Expert does not provide professional advice of any kind. You should seek guidance from your medical, financial, legal, or other professional representative with any questions you many have about your personal situation.