Some comments from a Facebook friend on Antifa:
Just because a group claims to oppose fascism, that doesn’t make their fascistic behavior any less fascistic.
Black bloc so-called anarchists train in organized street fighting, wear uniforms which simultaneously shield them from accountability and mark them as an organized group intent on using violence and intimidation to shut down points of view they deem objectionable.
How is this anarchism? Anarchism is supposed to mean life without rulers, but the people who dress in black, assault those who criticize their tactics and threaten journalists who attempt to document their actions are instituting an alternative rule, replacing rule of law with the rule of paramilitary violence.
“Paramilitary?” Say what?
In my view, the people who train to use violence against the proponents of an enemy ideology, who travel to the places where they expect to find people publically professing enemy viewpoints, and who seem to receive deferential treatment from the authorities qualify as a paramilitary.
As Timothy Snyder warned in On Tyranny: Twenty Lessons from the 20th Century, “Be wary of paramilitaries.”
I think Snyder was thinking about Trump supporters as the paramilitaries to watch out for, but the Antifa groups who use Black Bloc tactics are the mirror image of the violent wing of the white nationalist movement. Each depends upon and validates the other.
In the case of Antifa, I regard them as part half-assed paramilitary and part useful idiots. Their actions strengthen the position of the Oligarchs, who delight in seeing working class people at each other’s throats.
I also see them as drug addicts who are addicted to self-righteousness and the adrenaline rush of paramilitary violence. In this respect, they are much akin to yobs who assault people and damage property in support of their favorite sports team. Like so many drug addicts, they pursue their high at the expense of things that most people think of as important. The opiate addict will choose their high over the respect of the friends and family to whom they lie and from whom they steal. The black-clad hooligans prioritize their violence-induced high over the safety of innocents and over the democratic values of free speech and a free press.