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Isocracy is an Antifa Organisation

A few days ago, in the midst of massive protests against the killing of George Floyd, US President Donald Trump has claimed that he will be designating Antifa as a terrorist organisation. Naturally enough, plenty of people have pointed out that "antifa" is an adjective, not a noun, and there is no "antifa" organisation. Still, if to be "antifa" is to be stridently, even militantly, anti-fascist, then the Isocracy Network, Inc., is an antifa organisation (and as so approved by our committee of management on June 4, 2020). We would encourage other organisations, from those mild-mannered liberals and social democrats to the ultralefts to do likewise; if the organisation is dedicated to individual freedoms and a democratic commonwealth, the bottom-left of the political compass, then you're already the polar opposite of fascism, i.e., anti-fascism. To use the definition of Antifa Lexico: a political protest movement comprising autonomous groups affiliated by their militant opposition to fascism and other forms of extreme right-wing ideology.

Of course, it is necessary at this stage to define fascism. The Isocracy Network has done this in the past with the discussion on Left-Wing Fascism: A Senile Disorder. Drawing upon the actual defining characteristics expressed by self-identified fascists themselves (e.g., Mussolini, Olivetti, Panunzio, Rossoni, Maurras). Murras, a leader of Action Française provided a very helpful pithy definition: What in fact is Fascism? A socialism emancipated from democracy. As the previous Isocracy article stated: Fascism is any political ideology that requires the suppression of individual or co-operative rights to collective ideals (whether a religion, a nation, a class, an ideology). In practise it means the destruction of the private sphere, where dissidends are tortured and executed, where freedom of association is suppressed, where independent unions and political parties are suppressed, where the economy is tightly controlled, collectivised, and corporatised. Whilst commonly associated with the far-right, given the ideal of nationalistic collectivism, the tendancy towards collectivism and authoritarianism also exists in the left, and a point can be made when the left is especially authoritarian and nationalistic, it is very easy for it become part of a "Red-Brown" alliance, such as Strasserism, National Bolshevism, or, on a lesser scale ideologically but a grander scale geo-politically, the Peoples' Republic of China (especially evident in the notorious Document Number Nine).

On that note, it should be made clear that not all authoritarian actions are fascist; rather it is an extreme and totalitarian example of such behaviour. Most mainstream political bodies (public and corporate) have a degree of authoritarianism, but to describe them as "fascist" is hyberbolic, a reductio ad fascism, and weakens the importance of the term. Often a degree of public authoritarianism is even necessary; a poignant contemporary example is movement restrictions admist a pandemic. An extreme libertarian position would be that there should be no restrictions at all, that the State or governments should not interfere in the free movement of citizens in the public space. But of course, this is not free movement; the possibility of individuals being infected and distributing infections, whether knowingly or not, requires that public space be governed, with freedom of individual movement evaluated against epidemological risk assessments, even against the express will of the individual. A very close analogy are road rules; if contemporary vehicles were not dangerous to others (like the inertialess drives from science-fiction author, E.E. "Doc" Smith) then they would not be necessary, and rules for the efficient movement of traffic would merely be "suggestions".

Which brings us to the matter of Popper's famous Paradox of Intolerance which argues that a society should suppress intolerance because left to its own volition it will destroy an open society. It is worth quoting Popper's remarks in full to elucidate the position:

Unlimited tolerance must lead to the disappearance of tolerance. If we extend unlimited tolerance even to those who are intolerant, if we are not prepared to defend a tolerant society against the onslaught of the intolerant, then the tolerant will be destroyed, and tolerance with them. — In this formulation, I do not imply, for instance, that we should always suppress the utterance of intolerant philosophies; as long as we can counter them by rational argument and keep them in check by public opinion, suppression would certainly be unwise. But we should claim the right to suppress them if necessary even by force; for it may easily turn out that they are not prepared to meet us on the level of rational argument, but begin by denouncing all argument; they may forbid their followers to listen to rational argument, because it is deceptive, and teach them to answer arguments by the use of their fists or pistols. We should therefore claim, in the name of tolerance, the right not to tolerate the intolerant. We should claim that any movement preaching intolerance places itself outside the law, and we should consider incitement to intolerance and persecution as criminal, in the same way as we should consider incitement to murder, or to kidnapping, or to the revival of the slave trade, as criminal.
-- Karl Popper The Open Society and Its Enemies Vol. 1, Notes to the Chapters: Ch. 7, Note 4

Popper assumes here a liberal-democratic legal system and those acting outside are acting intolerantly. In many, if not most, cases in the world, the situation is actually reversed. It is the State that is against the principles of a liberal democracy, and it is the State that is intolerant. In such circumstances it is revolutionary behaviour that acts "outside the law" against a State which is criminal, because it is the State that is a "movement preaching [and practising] intolerance". Even with a government that is supposedly operating with constitutional principles of liberal democracy, specific laws and public institutions themselves may be contrary to such principles, yet still enforced. It is in such situations that an entire corpus of works on the legitimacy of effective protest and of civil disobedience comes into discussion. The limit on "listen[ing] to rational argument" also is applicable to the public sphere alone. Independent organisations in a society are under no requirement to provide a platform for particular views; which goes for organisations as small as the Isocracy Network to the social media giants, a point well-illustrated by XKCD's remarks on free speech. To take the matter a step further, it is not just that totalitarian regimes and intolerant groups engage in bigoted, racist, sexist, etc hate-speech. It is also that they are prepared to wilfully lie to further their aims that is also irrational and intolerant. The wilful use of untruths is defamatory; and groups as well as individuals need protection from lies even, and especially, when those lies come from the highest office in the land.

The Isocracy Network is an Antifa organisation. We militantly oppose the assertion of authority over the choices of self-regarding acts of individuals and those based on informed mutual consent between individuals, all of which comes down to aesthetic preferences. We differentiate these essentially personal acts from social morals, the intersubjective rules of of the public sphere, the res publica. It is from these liberal-democratic foundations, which provide for "negative liberty", we extend political democracy to economic redistribition, to social democracy to provide the enabling effects of "positive liberty". From the public acquisition and use of natural resource values, to the establishment of co-operative ventures, the ever-growing tendency towards a libertarian and democratic socialism. Of course, to the fascist perspective, this is an anathema. The "libertarian" component enables what they consider "degeneracy", or what we would call "diversity" and the "democratic socialism" component is the antithesis of their sublimated sado-masochistic love of corporate hierarchy. It is not surprising then, to witness Trump's official campaign group using the symbol for Nazi political prisoners in support of their campaign to have AntiFa declared a terrorist organisation. Of course, it was the Nazis who actually practised terrorism, and whilst the Trump campaign now encourages the imprisonment of political prisoners, we will wear the red triangle in pride and resistance to such fascism: The Isocracy Network is an AntiFa organisation. Is yours?

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