From a Reader:

Thoughts on Opening Talk at Refuse Fascism Conferences:
This Nightmare Must End: The Trump/Pence Regime Must Go!

January 1, 2018 | Revolution Newspaper |


I have been thinking about this point made in the opening speech to Refuse Fascism meetings from December 10 about the relative stability that comes with living in an imperialist country that “hasn’t seen major war on its soil in 160 years and not a major upheaval in half a century” where people have been trained to leave political matters to be taken care of by others.

I am coming to terms with just how deep a barrier this is and how people have been so trained to see engagement in the overall direction of society through politics as optional. It is true that it has been these same people with these illusions about working through the normal channels who have also been the most vocal in their protest and opposition to the Trump/Pence Regime. The assessment in that speech is correct that we have to make society confront the necessity to drive out this regime, to confront that life as we know it is transforming and will transform further in the direction of the hellish society the fascists are trying to bring into being.

I was watching a video about the J20 trials talking about a guy who is facing charges who didn’t even attend the protest but merely helped plan one of the meetings early on. I turned to the comments section on this and many fascists were arguing that this was as it should be, that they were glad to see the government was stepping up to address the “problems with violent protesters” and that you have to make an example of some people. I think about how unashamed these fascists are to make these arguments and about how there were less extreme comments that were also justifying this. It just makes clear the degree to which this has become acceptable and the potential for it to be the new normal because as outrageous as these trials are, people don’t seem to be following them broadly or recognizing their importance and implications.

We have to do major exposure on the shortcomings of the avenues people are clinging to as forms of resistance that will not be able to deal with the situation, or worse, that are leading people to go along as fascism consolidates.

I’ve also been thinking about the point about the need for a critical mass of people and modeling the kind of bold and determined resistance required to drive out the regime. Many people we have met have told us they have seen the Refuse Fascism signs everywhere and I think about the positive impact this has had, but it isn’t the case that RF is known as broadly as it needs to be. As RF’s existence comes into people’s purview, the character of the resistance also matters. We do have to be modeling what it’s going to take to attract those that recognize that only this character of resistance—independent, massive, sustained, non-violent protest in the streets—is commensurate with the problem we face. We have to be a known presence both for our being everywhere but also for our message and the way we impact society by presenting the necessity.

Briefly, more on students

There are lots of students who have signed up with Refuse Fascism, some of whom have been involved in different ways but not very cohered or well oriented ideologically. I still think there is the need and the great potential for the campuses to be erupting politically. Many students are agonizing about the situation even if not fully making connections about the serious danger this regime poses, and there is a particular responsibility on students to oppose these fascists and recognize the epistemological battle being waged and its strategic importance in the consolidation of fascism. In addition to panels and mass meetings, I think there should be salon discussions to learn from people and make the argument to them about the reality of fascism and the necessity to oust this regime, especially among professors and academics.



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