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>(thinking it's a new thing while they're at it)Not really. All the struggles the world-over are linked and influence each other reciprocally. Anarchist anti-fascists in the States have studied the past and present conflicts in Europe and elsewhere, i.e. Kurds vs. Daesh, Greek anarchists vs. Golden Dawn, Autonomists vs. German neo-nazis. This ever-forming relationship extends to conflicts of anti-authoritarians against government and corporate actions. Much like how Metal transcends borders. Or how the Zapitistas aligned with the alter-globalization movement (the People's Global Action network) and against the neo-liberal project of austerity and free-trade deals like NAFTA.
>They are basically an immune over-reaction by the body politic. Much like the fascists in a way.Could you expand on this point? The fascists were in response to communism? Their authoritarian bent were certainly similar reflections.
It was merely a matter of time until Fascism gained a tractable foothold in the States again, after their previous defeat. For awhile it was small groups, and still is mainly, but there are more groups now, and their base is much larger than before. The conflict never ended, its just been underground, not noticed by most until recently.
In response to antifa being hated in the States, I think the reason Fanspear says that is because of their opposition to antifa rather than an accurate projection of popular sentiment. I don't think most people understand who or what antifa is, their only exposure being through the vague misrepresentations of the corporate and ideologically opposing media. The problem is two-fold, the misrepresentations of the media and the lack of communication with the public from anti-fascists. Of course anti-fascists aren't a homogeneous group and instead are a variety of perspectives and motivations. So even if there were media outlets, they wouldn't be uniform and would probably contradict. Which may cause more obfuscation than clarity. In other words, Antifa as an anonymous specter of negation. When its adherents put something positive forward, something to stand for instead of against, they are no longer antifa and become themselves and/or their ideology.
Its strange someone would say anti-fascists are the fascists, which has already been responded to ITT: that the use of violence isn't what determines who is a fascist or not. The police use violence constantly to enforce laws, be it a social democracy, republic, or oligarchy, etc. Rather ideology is determined by beliefs, goals, and means. For example there is no charismatic leader determining the actions of antifa, rather a decentralized network of individuals and groups. On the other hand fascists have a firm hierarchy, with the person at the top calling the shots. The fascist groups I listed earlier who were at the Trump rallies (and helped organize the one in Berkeley), are organized hierarchically, want a whites-only territory, have socially conservative ideals, advocate violence and exclusion based off of race and beliefs, and want a government that is extremely authoritarian, without public input, and with brutal enforcement of the government''s laws.
Right now there isn't one person or a coterie of elites dictating from above what the patchwork of fascist organizations do, but I expect after some dissolution within the ranks, we may see a formal fascist party emerge that consolidates the small groups and individuals into a confederation akin to Right Sector, which was composed of multiple far-right nationalist organizations. Since the Ukrainian revolution simmered down, Right Sector has fractured. The defunct leader left and a fifth of the membership left with him, saying the revolutionary stance wasn't appropriate anymore.
Maybe the fascists wont be able to consolidate their differences into one organization. Maybe they wont try or even get to that point, and dissolve during infighting and internal power struggles. At the close of the 80s the racist skinheads and neo-nazis were dead (they often killed each other), imprisoned, burnt-out, and marginalized. May the same happen to the current fascist amalgamation.