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Books, Literature & Ideas

Books, Literature & Ideas

Drawing Equivalencies Between Fascists and Anti-Fascists: A Pox on Both Their Houses

  • Part 1: Antifa and Neo-Nazis: A Pox on Both their Houses
    • Both Antifa and the Neo-Nazis align themselves with ideologies that brought about the greatest human suffering the world has ever seen.
  • Part 2: Drawing Equivalencies Between Fascists and Anti-Fascists Is Not Just Wrong—It’s Dangerous
    • We must be very wary of any attempts to excuse or normalize white supremacy.

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Part 1: Antifa and Neo-Nazis: A Pox on Both their Houses

Both Antifa and the Neo-Nazis align themselves with ideologies that brought about the greatest human suffering the world has ever seen.

Devin Foley, Intellectual Takeout

August 18, 2017 | Since the chaos at Charlottesville, media of various sorts have been hammering away at the evil of white supremacy and neo-Nazis while barely mentioning the evil of Antifa. It is as if we are to believe that we have a binary choice: Will you line up with neo-Nazis or will you line up with Antifa?

Worryingly, the whole situation is reminiscent of the street fights between the Communists and National Socialists (Nazis) that plagued the Weimar Republic during the 1920s. If you’re not familiar with the period, a weakened Germany, hollowed out by the Great War (1914-1919) and financially ruined by the Treaty of Versailles, was besieged by various totalitarian groups attempting to take over. As we know, the National Socialists eventually won, seizing power in 1933 under Adolf Hitler.  Devin Foley is the co-founder and president of Intellectual Takeout. He has been a commentator on a variety of TV and radio stations, and was named a 2011 Young Leader by the American Swiss Foundation. He is a graduate of Hillsdale College where he studied history and political science.

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Part 2: Drawing Equivalencies Between Fascists and Anti-Fascists Is Not Just Wrong—It’s Dangerous

Neo-Nazis, white supremacists and fascists descended on Charlottesville, Virginia on August 12. (Photo by Albin Lohr-Jones/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images)

  • The flaw in the “both sides” position is that the violent protest actions of antifa are equivalent to the violent actions of white supremacists. A brief examination of the two movements’ approaches to violence points to the fallacy of comparing the two.
  • We must be very wary of any attempts to excuse or normalize white supremacy.

Stanislav Vysotsky, In These Times

August 15, 2017 | After a fascist march in Charlottesville, Va. left one anti-Nazi protester dead and 19 others wounded, there has been widespread criticism of President Donald Trump’s failure to forcefully denounce white supremacists. However, this condemnation has rarely included a genuine understanding of the actions of antifascist protesters in Charlottesville and elsewhere, creating a continued justification for the “both sides” argument that paints antifascists, or antifa, as equivalent to the white supremacists they oppose.

As a researcher who has attended numerous political and social events with antifascist involvement, and interviewed many antifascists, it is clear to me that politicians and pundits are drawing a false equivalence between white supremacist and antifa actions—and ignoring the direct threat posed by supremacists that motivates antifascist responses. Antifascists often serve as the first line of defense when police and civil society fail to protect marginalized groups from fascist threat. Their actions must be understood in that context.

Stanislav Vysotsky is an Assistant Professor of Sociology and Criminology at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater. His research focuses on the conflict between supremacist groups in contemporary American society and their militant antifascist opposition through ethnographic and interview research with antifascist activists, in order to understand the relationship between threat, space, subculture, and social movement activism.

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Optimism over Despair: On Capitalism, Empire, and Social Change ~ Noam Chomsky and C.J. Polychroniou interviews on war, power, and politics with Noam Chomsky, the world's leading critic of US foreign policy.

Described in Haymarket Books

This volume offers readers a concise and accessible introduction to the ideas of Noam Chomsky, described by the New York Times as “arguably the most important intellectual alive.”

In these recent, wide-ranging interviews, conducted for Truthout by C. J. Polychroniou, Chomsky discusses his views on the “war on terror” and the rise of neoliberalism, the refugee crisis and cracks in the European Union, prospects for a just peace in Israel/Palestine, the rise of the Black Lives Matter movement, the dysfunctional US electoral system, the grave danger posed to humanity by the climate crisis, and the hopes, prospects, and challenges of building a movement for radical change. stay on top of important articles like these, sign up here to receive the latest updates from all reader supported Evergreene Digest.   

Noam Chomsky is an American linguist, philosopher, cognitive scientist, logician, political commentator and activist. He is perhaps best known as a critic of all forms of social control and a relentless advocate for community-centered approaches to democracy and freedom. Over the last several decades, Chomsky has championed a wide range of dissident actions, organizations and social movements.

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Charlottesville and Trump: A spiritual exercise for the overwhelmed and exhausted

Two people comfort Joseph Culver of Charlottesville, Va., Aug. 12 as he kneels at a late night vigil to pay his respects for a friend injured in a car attack on counter-protesters rallying against white nationalists. (CNS photo/Jim Bourg, Reuters)

  • Each new day finds us inundated with more data, the latest takes and the prospect of another crisis.
  • How do you continue to “bear witness” when every three or four days there is another crisis?

Jim McDermott, America

August 16, 2017 | Five days after the horrific events in Charlottesville, Va., our country continues to grapple with their significance. As has been true from the start of the Trump administration, each new day finds us inundated with more data, the latest takes and the prospect of another crisis. Simply trying to keep up with it all can be difficult. Gaining a broader perspective seems at times near impossible.

For instance, we have condemned those who marched at Charlottesville in the strongest of terms; they have been outed on social media and excoriated in the press. But stepping back, that seems to be exactly what these groups wanted. Waving Nazi flags, shouting racist, anti-Semitic and homophobic slurs, they certainly were not looking for approbation. No, they wanted a public spectacle of conflict. They wanted to provoke opponents to show up and get in fights with them; they wanted the press and others to mock and abuse them. Those moves serve their argument that the “other side” is just that: another position of equal standing, its supporters just as aggressive and partisan as them. Jim McDermott is America’s Los Angeles correspondent. 

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A Murderous History of Korea


In the West, treatment of North Korea is one-sided and ahistorical. No one even gets the names straight. But if American commentators and politicians are ignorant of Korea’s history, they ought at least to be aware of their own.

Bruce Cumings , London Review of Books Now you can follow Evergreene Digest on Twitter.
 May 18, 2017 | More than four decades ago I went to lunch with a diplomatic historian who, like me, was going through Korea-related documents at the National Archives in Washington. He happened to remark that he sometimes wondered whether the Korean Demilitarised Zone might be ground zero for the end of the world. This April, Kim In-ryong, a North Korean diplomat at the UN, warned of ‘a dangerous situation in which a thermonuclear war may break out at any moment’. A few days later, President Trump told Reuters that ‘we could end up having a major, major conflict with North Korea.’ American atmospheric scientists have shown that even a relatively contained nuclear war would throw up enough soot and debris to threaten the global population: ‘A regional war between India and Pakistan, for instance, has the potential to dramatically damage Europe, the US and other regions through global ozone loss and climate change.’ How is it possible that we have come to this? How does a puffed-up, vainglorious narcissist, whose every other word may well be a lie (that applies to both of them, Trump and Kim Jong-un), come not only to hold the peace of the world in his hands but perhaps the future of the planet? We have arrived at this point because of an inveterate unwillingness on the part of Americans to look history in the face and a laser-like focus on that same history by the leaders of North Korea.

Bruce Cumings teaches at Chicago, and is the author of The Korean War: A History.

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Battlefield Earth: All the Countries John McCain Has Wanted to Attack, Tim Murphy and Tasneem Raja, Mother Jones

  • Syria, Iraq, Russia, North Korea, and nine other nations the Arizona senator has been eager to bomb, invade, or destabilize.
  • Israeli Lobby Takes Control of US Foreign Policy