When Trump said there was violence on both sides in Charlottesville, jaws dropped. How could he? Let's look at the commonly acknowledged facts. On one side you had white supremacists, veritable fascists, and card-carrying members of the KKK. On the other you had anti-fascist counter-protesters who only want equality and compassion - a world without racism and oppression. One side is so obviously evil and degenerate, and the other is so obviously good and noble, that to equate the two sides must not only be morally wrong, but also a sign that Trump must secretly be a white supremacist. Unfortunately, pretty much every one of these "facts" is wrong, incomplete or misleading. And the collective blindness to that fact is seriously dangerous.
  • "Alt" fact #1: Not everyone protesting in Charlottesville was a white supremacist. It seems there were some fine people there. This goes both ways. I'm sure there were some fine people among the counter-protestors too.
  • "Alt" fact #2: As subsequent events at Berkeley have made clear, Antifa is more than just a group of well-meaning anti-fascist protesters. They are a radical group that endorses and commits violence against those they deem to be fascists. The MSM has finally noticed this (Nancy Pelosi too!).
  • "Alt" fact #3: Whether you think Trump is really racist or not, he was right to condemn violent extremists on both sides. Call me old-fashioned, but adopting the view that violence is justifiable only in self-defense is a good rule of thumb. But Antifa seems to have adopted the Bush doctrine on violence.
I watched a video of the protesters and counter-protesters in Boston a week or so ago. (I can't find the exact video this time around, but these two are worth watching.) The free-speech counter-protester made a comment about how Antifa protesters engaged in the same tactics as fascists. One of the Antifa people scoffed, laughed, and pointed out how the guy was making a "moral equivalency" between fascists and people fighting fascism and oppression. How could anyone reasonably do such a thing? Well, I doubt that person will read this article, but I'll try to explain why it's absolutely essential that we do exactly that.

I share some sentiments with Antifa. Just read my author bio: I don't like fascists. (I'd probably never be invited to an Antifa get-together, though, because I also happen not to like communists.) I think oppression is evil. Same with racism. I think one of the best things a person can do in their life is to study the history of Nazi Germany so that such a nightmare never happens again.

But if groups like Antifa really want to understand evil in order to fight it, they're woefully naive. And just plain wrong. They've fallen into the exact same trap that other revolutionary protest movements have fallen into for generations: misidentifying the true nature of political evil. To put it simply: fascism is not the root problem. Focusing on it will never be effective, and it will never prevent the kind of evil the Nazis exemplified from happening again. In fact, an "Antifa regime" might end up looking an awful lot like Hitler's in all its essentials, if not in the specifics.

A system of government based on the Antifa ideology would be unlikely to survive very long because 'Antifa' is made up of advocates of disparate 'identity groups' and does not, therefore, have an evolutionary mandate to remain cohesive. Having gained power, such a grouping would inevitably descend to infighting and pogroms. If it survived this process, its eventual form wouldn't bear much resemblance to what it started out as. White nationalism - the ideology that is being enlivened by Antifa - on the other hand, does have an evolutionary basis for cohesiveness - but it lacks widespread popular support at this time. So in both theory and practice, identity politics fails as a viable ideology on which to base social and governmental structures. (And no, I don't consider Israel to be a success in this department.)

Here are some things everyone should understand:

Blacks are not collectively evil. Whites are not collectively evil. Asians are not collectively evil. It's possible some countries may have a higher or lower number of evil people, but averaged out, such people are always a fraction of the global population. And by evil I simply mean people that engage in behaviors that cause a level of harm to others that most people generally find to be unacceptable: physical assault, rape, chronic abuse, malicious deception, scams and thefts of various sorts, and so on. Every group has these types of people. Lumping people into easily identifiable groups - usually based on some biological category that has nothing to do with their actual character - is rarely effective for understanding, fixing, and preventing the problems of our world, and is not a good basis on which to structure a society.

The same goes for most of the other categories we habitually use to make sense of the world. Some examples:
  • Nation states: Not all Russians are evil. Not all North Koreans are evil. Not all Iranians are evil. Some Americans are evil. Some Brits are evil. Some Canadians are evil. That said, some governments are more evil than others.
  • Religion: Not all Muslims are evil. Some Christians and Jews are just as evil as the people in ISIS. However, some religious movements are more influential and more evil than others.
  • Economics: Not all communists are evil. Some capitalists are. Some economic systems are arguably better than others, but it takes something more than economic policy to result in evil on the level of the Nazis or the Soviets.
  • Politics: Not all fascists were evil. Not all Democrats or Republicans are great people. Democracies aren't free from political evil, either.
  • Classes: Not all rich people are evil. Some poor people are evil.
It's almost too obvious. I'm sure most people could bring to mind specific examples in all categories: con-men preachers of all faiths, corrupt and disgraced politicians of all parties. But that doesn't stop people from getting confused. A church congregation might vehemently refuse to accept that their pastor is a pedophile. A national army may justify torture and summary executions all the while believing that engaging in such atrocities is somehow less evil than their enemies doing the same things. The evil within our own group is negligible or justified, but the same evil in our enemy is collective and unacceptable.

If SJWs who blame everything on white people would stop and think for a second, they might realize how idiotic their comprehension of political and social evil actually is. Imagine a world without white people for a minute. Would that solve any of the world's problems? Hardly. There would still be plenty of psychopaths. There would still be con artists, rapists, torturers, murderers, and wannabe tyrants who would gladly kill millions of other non-white people and create "fascist", totalitarian regimes. To think otherwise is racist, among other things.

Now imagine a world without fascists. There was no fascism in the Soviet Union and look how that turned out. Enough said.

There's a simple fact underneath all the previous examples: every group contains a variety of people. And the members of said groups cannot be "averaged out" as if they're all identical. There are always wolves among the sheep - and the sheep can turn fairly violent too. The "anti-communist" movement in the latter half of the 20th century was stocked with former and current Nazis. And the "anti-fascist" movement has long been stocked with extreme communists. Forgive me if I opt out of the choice between death by snake or scorpion. The left has its tyrants and authoritarians just the same as the right.

Groups like Antifa fear a Trumpocalyptic future where Mexicans, Muslims, and CNN reporters are sent to concentration camps - and anyone who supports them. "Reject all those people we hate, or we'll imprison or kill you." The ideological right fears a future where the cultural Marxists enforce a politically correct regime where anyone who questions their agenda is sent to the gulag. "Accept all those people you hate, or we'll imprison or kill you." Either nightmare scenario could come true. But such regimes would have a lot in common. They both enforce totalitarian conformity and dispose of their enemies with bureaucratic efficiency. Again: snake, scorpion.

Then there's the problem of who decides who's a fascist. We can all agree fascists are bad. Can we all agree who's a fascist or not? Seemingly everyone in the Soviet Union agreed that fascists and "collaborators with the enemy West" were bad. But here's the problem: they condemned an awful lot of completely innocent people to life sentences in the gulag - or a bullet in the head - based solely on trumped up charges, malicious denunciations, and the slightest evidence of opposition to those in power and the official ideology. If such a vision entices you, by all means, join Antifa.

Dr. Debra Soh posted this recently on Twitter. It's only a half joke:

More to the point:

Groups will always disagree with each other. That's the way it always has been and always will be. So there will always be conflicts drawn down the line of all those categories I mentioned above: nationality, politics, race, religion, etc. But there's one thing on which the majority of all those groups can agree and work together: preventing the worst kinds of political evil. The vast majority of conservatives don't want a Hitlerian regime. The vast majority of liberals don't want a Stalinist regime. They might get one of course, but only as a result of their own ignorance and inability to spot the wolves in their fold.

And here's the key point that everyone misses: the same types of people are responsible for the same types of political evil, whether fascist, communist, Islamist, or whatever. And it's all laid out in Lobaczewski's Political Ponerology. In a nutshell, here is how the scenario evolves, over and over again, regardless of the ideology 'du jour':
  • Some schizoid ideologue comes up with a utopian piece of nonsense - the solution to all "our" problems.
  • That nonsense fires up a lot of people, because it speaks to their grievances and promises a better future.
  • Those people form a movement to fight and oppose those who have been designated as "responsible" for the current state of things and to "take the power back".
  • Their focus on the 'evil without', blinds the movement to the evil within.
  • The evil within steadily gains power, because they thrive on this sort of thing and know how to maneuver within it.
  • The "true believers" excuse the movement's violence because it's all for a good cause. But even some of the true believers have limits.
  • The psychopaths in the group - now in key positions - cull all those who start to question what direction things are going.
  • After several cullings, the movement gains political power. No one is safe from the "justice" meted out by leadership.
  • Totalitarian nightmare.
That's the direction Antifa is headed. If they get what they want, it might not be "fascism" that results, but it'll be no better than fascism. And if they don't succeed, the reaction they provoke from the right could be just as bad. The real political operators don't care which side "wins", as long as they can exploit the chaos and integrate themselves into whichever side "wins".