2017/09/01/The Idiot Boys of Antifa and the Alt-Right/woozle

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I've read down to the bit about the "elephant in the room", and... what I get from this is basically one long emotional/associational argument in which the audience is being invited to think in a certain way, without any actual logic behind it.

Well... okay, be fair, there are some bits of logic. Here's the bit I was reading:

It seems to me the elephant in the room people that keep breezing past is whether or not these people are psychologically similar. I remember when Antifa types first started showing up on television breaking stuff, setting fires, punching people, and the like, my wife said, “Those are just idiot boys looking for an excuse to break stuff and get in fights.”

Can anyone really dispute that this is a huge part of what’s going on with all these radicals on the left and the alt-right? A big swathe of the bad things that have happened over the last 10,000 years can be attributed to hormonally charged young men pulling stupid crap.

The reader is led, via highly selective examples, to think of antifa as being basically violent (they're not, but there have been a few incidents in which antifa took self-defense to a point where, with the proper editing, it could look as bad as what the fascists do routinely – and other examples in which right-wingers posed as antifa, behaved badly, and got antifa blamed for it), and then it's suggested that maybe they're "psychologically similar" to the fascists – leaving the reader with very little by which to distinguish them.

...unless, of course, we actually think independently and remember that fascists like to threaten and kill people for no good reason, while antifascists only use that level of violence when they perceive (rightly or wrongly) a threat, and that none of the setting fires or breaking stuff was in fact antifa.

So why is the author trying to draw an equivalence between these two very different groups? Why is there no mention that the neutrally-mentioned "people" who were being punched were in fact fascists – a group the United States has historically opposed to the point of declaring war against it within living memory?

I can only speculate.

Note: One of my claims is being challenged:

"right-wingers posed as antifa" to get antifa blamed for it? OFFS remove your tin foil hat and no there are no black helicopters either. Playing that BS card I could easily say that antifa types posed as alt-right or Nazi's to give antifa something to protest. Totally unprovable in either scenario. Let's just go with what we see... assholes on BOTH sides. I mean really wooze WTF?

My response:

1. No, you couldn't claim that antifa infiltrated violent right-wing groups, because violent right-wingers are stupid (I agree with the author on that point) and go on Facebook to boast about what they did. They aren't ashamed of being atrocious.

2. Unless you have evidence that antifa was behind property violence in Berkeley or anywhere else, then Goldberg is being irresponsible (at best) when he says they were.

Given #2, the argument mostly falls apart: the only time antifa were seen behaving violently was in one video where they were attacking a couple of people who, I gather, were known fascists.

I don't yet have enough information to evaluate the ethics of that attack, but given what I do know there's at least room for reasonable disagreement about it.

I also I don't yet know the allegiances of the various people arrested at Berkeley (13 of them) and which of them were dressed as Black Bloc when arrested. Some are likely antifa, but at least one is known to be a fascist.