ModernityBlog

“Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man’s character, give him power.” Abraham Lincoln

Antifascist Action.

with 3 comments

AFA has uploaded a documentary on antifascism, they are posted on YouTube.

I have only seen two so far, but seeing Mickey Fenn again brought back old memories.

There’s a lot of good reminiscences and plenty of sound antifascist common sense. One of the clips has an astute piece of advice, which I wish modern day antifascists, of all shades of opinion, would bear in mind (I paraphrase) “Shouting Nazis at them is of no use, they already know they are Nazis.”

Certainly, we need to move beyond the slogans of the late 1970s, which might have worked with NF but are showing their age now. I think we need to take on the BNP is a generalised neofascist phenomena, make that the point and raise the level of debate beyond merely shouting “Nazi, Nazi”

Unquestionably, many of the leaders of the BNP have neo-Nazi connections and you only need to see the tattoos on the back of Nick Griffin’s bodyguard to appreciate that.

However, it seems certainly possible, if not immediately likely, that the BNP could transform themselves into a “Le Pen” type of generalised neo-fascist movement, so combating them with shouts of “Nazi, Nazi” won’t work.

Rather the whole history of fascism needs bringing up, its barbarism and their quest for a xenophobic dystopia, and in doing so raise the conscious understanding of the threat of neofascism and how the BNP might fit into that framework and what it all means.

There is a potential for a massive increase in support for neofascism and so its opponents must think, rethink, their strategies to guarantee success, because failure and its consequences are not worth thinking about. The advent of the EDL and the BNP’s electoral gains requires us to reconsider the situation anew.

(H/T: Ross)

Update 1: The CST has details of an “alleged” BNP member and suspected would-be bomb maker, Terry Gavan and his recent arrest.

Written by modernityblog

28/11/2009 at 16:10

Posted in Uncategorized

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3 Responses

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  1. Thanks for posting this mate. I have watched this a few times over the past decade or so. It’s amazing to me how prescient AFA were then. Particularly striking is the bit where they say, “Clearly, for a growing minority of the white working class, who have been betrayed by government policies”. It takes 12 years of New Labour for John Denham to notice this. (Denham: “We can only challenge racism and race inequality effectively as part of a strategy that tackles all forms of inequality and disadvantage. This must include poorer white working class communities, as well as disadvantaged minority ethnic communities.”

    Better late than never? Or simply too late?

    Bob

    30/11/2009 at 16:36

  2. In many ways AFA were correct about the diagnosis, and at the time I can’t think of other strategies that would have been so successful in breaking up British neofascism, and the fallout was seen for many years afterwards.

    But some of the analysis was a bit crude, a bit SWPerish, in making the point that the neoascists on the enemy of the working class (which is obviously true) it tended to reduce the political content.

    I’m not sure that they could have done it any other way, given in the medium of TV, but it excludes the fact that the leadership are believers in biological racism and that their ideology is held together with a form of genocidal antisemitism.

    Their worldview is ultimately governed by that, although in the short term they will apply different tactics.

    That’s the problem I don’t think we ever really sat down and said what holds them together? looking at the EDL and photographs of them giving the Nazi salute, it is clear that the underlying ideology is neo-Nazism.

    Having said that I’m not sure how you can bring the two together, and coherently explain it, I’ll have a think.

    modernityblog

    30/11/2009 at 17:10

  3. I think AFA failed to take racism seriously, and this is carried over in the IWCA. Racism is seen as a divisive, middle class issue. Antisemitism was taken seriously, but not as something to really think about; it was more about a romantic memory of partisans and Cable Street. Everything, for AFA, was about class.

    Looking back now, I no longer think that everything is about class. And I am therefore no longer sure about the Trotskyist opposition between “popular front” (bad) and “united front” (good), although I think there is more than a grain of truth in it.

    Bob

    01/12/2009 at 14:44


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