Dear Liberals and Democrats, Stop Telling People To Be Nice To Fascists

President Donald Trump blends all too nicely with Italy's fascist dictator Benito Mussiloni. (Photo: Screenshot), Via- Common Dreams

Fascists don't care how polite you are, or how eloquently you can debate them. Your rational arguments are their toys.

"Never believe that anti-Semites are completely unaware of the absurdity of their replies. They know that their remarks are frivolous, open to challenge. But they are amusing themselves, for it is their adversary who is obliged to use words responsibly, since he believes in words. The anti-Semites have the right to play. They even like to play with discourse for, by giving ridiculous reasons, they discredit the seriousness of their interlocutors. They delight in acting in bad faith, since they seek not to persuade by sound argument but to intimidate and disconcert. If you press them too closely, they will abruptly fall silent, loftily indicating by some phrase that the time for argument is past." Jean Paul-Sartre

Trumpist white nationalists are not seeking understanding or compromise, their objective is total domination. Period. They chuckle at efforts for rational reasoning, civility, and polite discourse. The well meaning liberal employing those adult techniques becomes a plaything to them.

White nationalist fascists will not be deterred by eloquent oration or playing nice. They will only be defeated by forcing them to the margins of society. They're woefully outnumbered, they know that. But they make their numbers appear larger by being loud, and demonstrating total commitment. They have most white liberals beat in the devoted commitment department. Fascist and Neo-Nazis understand many liberal Democrats prefer order over justice. Liberals and Democrats are also susceptible to intimidation and bluster.
The liberal Democrat's absence of gut level commitment to people of color, lgbtq, and working poor communities, beyond lip service, gives the Trumpist fascist white nationalist room to breathe.

When fascist bigots have breathing room they concoct deflective rhetorical tactics like the following:
"...We probably should have anticipated the disingenuous firestorm that followed. We should have anticipated the accusations of being the real fascists for refusing to make nice with white supremacists, the harassment and YouTube hobgoblining from self-appointed defenders of free speech, who seem to have forgotten that for Bates, for me, and for any other woman who flashes the merest inch of independent thought online, harassment is nothing terribly new. It’s just Tuesday.

There’s a term for this sort of bad-faith argument: it’s called the justification-suppression model. The theory is that bigots refrain from directly defending their own bigotry but get hugely riled up justifying the abstract right to express bigotry. So instead of saying, for example, “I don’t like foreigners,” they’ll fight hard for someone else’s right to get up on stage and yell that foreigners are coming to convert your children and seduce your household pets.

Focusing the conversation on the ethics of disseminating speech rather than the actual content of that speech is hugely useful for the far right for three reasons. Firstly, it allows them to paint themselves as the wronged party — the martyrs and victims. Secondly, it stops people from talking about the actual wronged parties, the real lives at risk. And thirdly, of course, it’s an enormous diversion tactic, a shout of “Fire!” in the crowded theatre of politics. But Liberals don’t want to feel like bad people, so this impossible choice — betray the letter of your principles, or betray the spirit — leaves everyone feeling filthy.

There’s no way to come out of this convinced of your own political purity. The thing is, though, that establishing your own political purity isn’t what progressive politics are supposed to be about. As Ms. Marvel says: Good is not a thing you are. It’s a thing you do. This is not about censorship. It never was. It’s about consequences, about drawing a line in the sand." ~ Laurie Penny, Longreads

There's a reason Neo-Nazis are obsessively focused on and fearful of Antifa, Antifascists are committed to Community Self Defense, the whole community. Antifascists actively resist fascism, by any means necessary.

"To our peace-loving heroes who are bound by a commitment to non-violent counter-protesting like hand-holding, song-singing, and standing bravely, but non-aggressively, to combat neo-Nazis, I salute you. You are the pure of heart. Your work is invaluable. However, so are the people that will stand by to protect you from the irrational, violent haters. Hate groups are not bound by peace pledges, non-violence, or human decency. To all the peaceful social activists I say, you'll need a buffer or a bulwark against tribal hate and swaggering, deranged ignorance. Neo-Nazis tend to mock people who engage in peaceful resistance and then run over them.

The purpose of Antifa is to be a shield..."
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Let go of the fallacy that white nationalists and fascists can be turned by reasoned debate and civil discourse. That is a fool's errand. Force them to the margins of society, deny them platform and microphone. Help them be the pariahs they've chosen to be.

One Love, Duane Townsend, Community Independent Journal

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