(If you haven’t already, please read Part 1 first)
Having made the necessary historical digression concerning the mass erection of Confederate monuments and their connection to the proto-fascist Ku-Klux-Klan, let us now discuss specifically the clashes in Charlottesville and their consequences. Upon examining the incident and the informational wave that it produced, three anomalies jump out in front of one’s eyes.
Anomaly #1: The absence of police during the clashes between the far-right and their opponents
Whether we are discussing the clashes between the far-right and the leftists along with Black Lives Matter activists during the nighttime torch rally on August 11, the clashes in Emancipation Park (the former Robert E. Lee Park), or when the neo-Nazi driver ran over a group of counter-protesters in the afternoon of the same day, we do not see even the semblance of a police cordon on the many video recordings from the scene. The police show up with their excellent equipment only much later, proceeding to break up the sides without much enthusiasm.
Such riot police tactics are quite unusual for the United States. Everyone remembers the forceful and decisive suppression of the still-recent Occupy Wall Street protests. The police set up sturdy barricades, and they acted as though waiting for a provocation to have an excuse to respond brutally.
Charlottesville police chief Al Thomas’ explanation, “we were hoping for a peaceful event,” does not hold water. The organizers of the Unite the Right march, which gathered Ku-Klux-Klan members, members of the National-Socialist Movement of the USA, and other neo-Nazi movements under its colors, declared it their goal to make themselves known as a real, capable, but “not necessarily peaceful” force, in the words of Christopher Cantwell, one of the organizers. The far-right members demonstrated their knives, baseball bats, and firearms with pleasure. The members of the “Antifa” movement, who also gathered in the city far from unarmed, were not far behind.
It is indicative that in the eve of the protests and counter-protests, the University of Virginia Medical Center canceled all of its elective surgeries, and activated its mass-casualty response plan in advance. The police chief justifies his subordinates’ inaction by saying, that they were not expecting violence, while town’s largest hospital had already prepared to respond to a mass-casualty incident. Whether one likes it or not, the hypothesis begs itself that that three deaths (the two-man crew of the crashed police helicopter, and Heather Heyer, the counter-protester who was run over by a neo-Nazi driver) and approximately 38 wounded were necessary for something.
Anomaly #2: President Trump’s reaction
During their torch rally, the neo-Nazis yelled out, along with direct translations from German (like “Blood and soil!”), slogans in support of Donald Trump. Former Imperial Wizard of the Ku-Klux-Klan David Duke, who attended the event, said, “We are going to fulfill the promises of Donald Trump.” The leftists chanted in response, “No Trump! No KKK! No fascist USA!”
When fascists publicly depict themselves as your best friends, only to then commit bloody acts of terror, the instinct of political self-preservation suggests a single proper solution: to decisively and unequivocally distance oneself from such “well-wishers”. But on the evening of August 12, Trump did quite the opposite, quickly condemning “violence from many sides,” to then proceed to list his economic successes. The multiple requests to comment on the neo-Nazis’ participation in the clashes were simply ignored by Trump.
After such a reaction, the predictable informational wave soon arrived. Major publications like The New York Times and The Washington Post expressed indignation over Trump’s inappropriate reaction to the bloody incident. Two days later, Trump finally condemned “racism… the KKK, neo-Nazis, white supremacists.” However, he did not stop at this, continuing instead by complaining about the hostile media in his usual fashion. Another informational wave followed this, a wave of ridiculing Trump on late night television shows, which have long ago turned into weapons of political battle in the United States. In response to this PR-catastrophe, members of Trump’s inner circle, including Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, had to distance themselves from their boss, by firmly condemning the far-right, and adding that Trump’s public statements on the matter were expressions of his personal opinion.
Even while Trump was still being discussed as a presidential candidate, some people proposed the hypothesis that the awkward and dubiously acting Trump is a “Trojan horse”, meant to discredit those who defend traditional American values through his behavior. From this standpoint, Trump’s blatant disregard for the elementary instinct of political self-preservation, which predictably led to a wave of indignation, very much resembles the informational equivalent of playing to lose.
Anomaly #3: “Antifa” or antifascists?
While most of the American mass media and a good half of the politicized users of American social networks accused Trump of sympathizing with the far-right, another group of users, conservatively-minded people, who had never previously shown signs of sympathizing with neo-Nazis, began to focus attention on the provocative behavior of the leftist “Antifa”, who they claim bore the responsibility for the bloodshed. These statements were accompanied by more general musings about how communism is just as bad as fascism, or even worse, and that it would be a good idea to tear down Lenin’s statue in Seattle.
Meanwhile, the American “Antifa” members and their sympathizers (who collectively refer to themselves as “the resistance”) limit their statements to the idea that it is acceptable and necessary to combat fascists using violent means. While the World War II era antifascist resistance saw nothing wrong with shooting Nazis, much less punching them, it also had a clear vision of what it was fighting for. Contemporary “Antifa”, however, offers no discussion of their own program or of their own positive substance.
Conceptually empty fighters “against” something, devoid of a clear understanding of their own values and identity, become easy prey for that entity of meaning, against which they supposedly fight. This brings to mind the story of the Belgian antifascist Jean Thiriart, who attempted to infiltrate the ranks of the SS, but turned into a real SS man, because he was unable to give an essential response to the spiritual challenge of fascism.
Fighters “against” something, devoid of an inner core, are deeply prone to manipulation. One of the most notorious examples of this were the Italian Red Brigades, who considered themselves to be fighters against the “transnational imperialist state”, while they, in fact, became cogs in NATO’s secret Gladio network by killing Italian leaders (like Prime Minister Aldo Moro) who tried to establish a dialogue with the Soviet Union, all the while discrediting the Left Movement as a whole with their indiscriminate terror.
What are the contemporary western “Antifa” engaged in? Are they engaged in all-encompassing physical, intellectual, and spiritual combat against fascism, as were the Red Army, the Soviet people, and the Resistance fighters on the occupied territories, or are the “playing to lose” against the resurgent neo-Nazis?
What did we see in Charlottesville itself? Law enforcement acted half-heartedly, pursuing not the goal of preserving public order, but rather some different kind of goal, for which it was necessary to allow for large-scale clashes between the two groups of protesters.
What did we hear from the White House? Trump’s neglect of the elementary political instinct of self-preservation, with his indiscernible mumbling and accusing the mass media, instead of decisively condemning all forms of neo-Nazism. Having contaminated himself in such a way, it is unlikely that Trump will ever be able to wash himself clean.
Who opposes the fascist thugs on the streets of America? Leftist poseurs, who through their actions cause a significant part of American society to reject them, and who discredit the very word “antifascism”.
Acting alongside them are the activist of Black Lives Matter, who have their own experience of street violence in places like Ferguson, Baltimore, and Dallas. During the protests in Dallas, a five police officers were killed by a sniper (who BLM quickly distanced themselves from, and who the police killed using an explosive drone, an unprecedented police tactic).
In this way, we see that, like in other many other countries, street violence in the United States is becoming an effective instrument for internal political battle, with neo-Nazis on one side, and “Antifa” and BLM on the other. Both sides take turns disrupting the social balance. It is quite likely that Charlottesville will become not a unique and extraordinary incident, but rather part of a long-term tendency of political violence in the US. Will the American constitutional order survive this?
This is the translation of an article by Lev Korovin, first published by Rossa Primavera News Agency
We encourage republishing of our translations and articles, but ONLY with mentioning the original article page at eu.eot.su (link above).