The Instigator
Gestalt
Con (against)
Tied
0 Points
The Contender
tumeric
Pro (for)
Tied
0 Points

Antifa

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 4/29/2018 Category: Politics
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 571 times Debate No: 113269
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (6)
Votes (0)

 

Gestalt

Con

Antifa is a loosely syndicated coalition of anarcho-communists (or some iteration thereof.) Their core ethos is to stop the perceived rising tide of far-right, fascistic, ideology by any means necessary. While I do believe that one must be deluded beyond belief to suggest that the minuscule group of actual fascists poses a serious threat, this is not where I take issue with Antifa. They have a right to their opinions, protests, and all other accoutrements of conventional activism. Their methodology and fallacious logic employed to justify said methodology, however, is where the danger lies.

In simplest terms, the base ideology of Antifa is as follows: It is more than acceptable to punch Nazis. Anyone who disagrees with me must be a Nazi. It's okay, no, admirable, to punch anyone who disagree's with me.

Do you see how wrong that is? It is the final and inevitable evolution of the Ad Hominem mudslinging employed by both the far left and right. If one is willing and able to define any opposition as a morally reprehensible antagonistic figure (e.g. Nazi, racist, etc), then by Antifa's rules, any force employed to remove them is justified.

What do you think? Is Antifa merely another activist group, or are they something more sinister. In my eyes they are fully and completely a Con.
tumeric

Pro

The logic you ascribe to Antifa is not their logic. Not everyone who disagrees with them is a Nazi. A nazi/fascist is someone who advocates policies that require violence on a massive scale to achieve, and advocates things that really occurred and greatly shaped the 20th century. So its not an abstract threat.

Also, the methodology is not 'by any means necessary.' The tactics that stand out are a willingness to use physical force, and tracking and "outing" fascists (ie, to employers). These are justifiable means, as people who make it a point to belittle and hate on others deserve to be treated harshly.

Also, it's working, according to an article I read -- apparently the hounding by Antifa is part of the reason the alt-right has greatly shrunken in 6 months. Richard Spencer has decided that his rallies "aren't fun anymore."
Debate Round No. 1
Gestalt

Con

I never said that Fascists were an abstract threat, only that there aren"t many of them, and that they have little to no power. Name one influential leader today who is an actual Nazi/fascist. You, like Antifa, are hard-pressed to find a leader of any great import to protest. Richard Spencer? The man has a small, cult-like following, and has as much right to espouse his opinions as anyone (regardless of how bigoted and evil they are.) If there was an actual chance for a fascistic regime to be implemented in America, then the situation would be different. There is no regime to fight against, but there are still regime-fighters. They need someone to fight, so they slate those with viewpoints to the right of their own with false adjectives. If I was not accurate in outlining their logic, then how do you explain the Antifa riots against the following:

Ben Shapiro- A 5"9, Jewish, center-right conservative talk show host. He clearly poses no threat to anyone, and his Jewish heritage makes the claims of his alleged "Nazism" laughable.

Carl Benjamin a.k.a. "Sargon of Akkad"- A classical liberal political commentator. Not a Nazi.

Milo Yiannopolous- A right wing, Jewish, gay with a fetish for black men. Not a Nazi.

Physical force is the most severe level of action that one can employ in a protest. Antifa"s willingness to use physical force is categorically indicative of their ethos "by any means necessary." In fact, one sect of Antifa is called BAMN, an acronym which literally stands for "By Any Means Necessary." That their violent and extreme tactics have some effect on the likes of Richard Spencer and the Alt-right is of no consequence. The fact remains that what they are doing is illegal, and more often than not, aimed at unjustifiable targets.
tumeric

Pro

What you're missing is the potential that exists (or existed) for a real resurgence of fascist ideology. Western enlightenment ideas are not the norm for human society in the first place. In the second place, there were (and are) many signs of an openness to fascist ideas right now (and especially 6 months ago. Things are changing fast, which is why rapid responses are necessary). People in the highest positions of power, including the President and advisers like Steven Miller and Bannon, are willing to fan the flames of white nationalism to gain political leverage. Then there's a circus of media enablers and opportunists like Alex Jones, Breitbart, Milo Yiannopolous, etc. willing to push any message.

Maybe after Charlottesville, fascism in America isn't working out so well. Antifa may have something to do with that. The point is that there are many people in positions of power and influence who will ride any train that gets them somewhere as far as it will go, and some trains are more dangerous than others. Enlightenment ideas require a defense, but we've always believed that as a country, so I don't see any problem defending them.

As far as acceptable means, this depends on the ability of non-violent, legal means to protect our foundational ideas. In times when the law and society honor and protect those ideals, violence is unnecessary and unacceptable. When society rewards racists and liars, it becomes acceptable. When fascism takes over a society, as in Nazi germany, violence is necessary.
Debate Round No. 2
Gestalt

Con

Well well well

"Then there's a circus of media enablers and opportunists like Alex Jones, Breitbart, Milo Yiannopolous, etc. willing to push any message."

Do these people deserve to be physically attacked and silenced then? I disagree with them on many if not all points, but they have a right to speak, just as you and I do. I would no sooner attack them than I would a far left activist. Free speech is intrinsic to free life, which is the highest calling of enlightenment ideals. A person's speech has no power to affect violence unless that person is already in a position of power. I'm sorry, but the vast majority of the western world is decidedly in opposition to fascism. No amount of misquoting or generalization can change that fact. Coincidentally, you never refuted my examples of harmless speakers that were targeted by Antifa. The following is a link to images of Antifa flyers that literally call Ben Shapiro a fascist. If this does not substantiate my claims about their fallacious methodology (calling anyone who disagrees with them a fascist in order to justify violent riots against them) then I don't know what will.
https://www.campusreform.org...

I was waiting for you to cite Donald Trump as evidence of resurging fascist regime. While he is morally bankrupt, and I find many things about him repugnant, the burden of proof is on you to outline fascistic policies. It is quite a leap to suggest that because a reality TV star won an election, fascism is mainstream in the United States of America. Allegations like that require substantiation, and I have yet to hear factual evidence to support your claims.

I barely need to respond to this final round because your argument disproves itself. You say that "When fascism takes over a society, as in Nazi Germany, violence is necessary." This statement assumes that fascism has indeed taken over our society, and therefore violence is necessary. However, earlier you said, "Maybe after Charlottesville, fascism in America isn't working out so well." You cannot have it both ways. Either fascism has pervaded American society to such a degree that violence is the only course, or it hasn't. Which is it? Are fascists weak and inconsequential enough to be dissuaded by a few riots, or are they powerful and influential? We are not under a fascist regime. The mere existence of fascist and alt right groups does not in any way imply causality of their own mainstreaming.

Thank you for the debate, it was very entertaining and I hope to clash with you again soon.
tumeric

Pro

Let me try to make this simple since you're skimming and misstating everything I said:

You make this claim about free speech and tolerance.

But your premise is conditional. The virtuous path you're mandating doesn't exist in a morally corrupted society, as following the rules is not a virtuous position in such a society.

To prove this, I mention Nazi Germany, where illegal violence against fascists is clearly justified, and following the rules is not virtuous. Lets call that a 10 on the fascism scale.

A zero on the scale is a society and government that weeds out fascism by virtue of its own guiding principles. Ideas that violate those principles are bound to die off peacefully, making Antifa tactics unnecessary and dangerous.

We're probably at F2 or so. How can you claim that fascism has no chance given the words and actions of the president? Birtherism, 3 million "fake votes", "fake news", alternate facts, Muslim bans, outright lies -- but fascism would be too far for these guys? Please

Media actors have emerged that will carry any message. You can't show what's too far for Alex Jones or Breitbart. All they need is an outrageous agenda to push. So the fascists in Charlottesville thought they had a real chance. Since Trumpworld won't say this is wrong, it falls to other actors, such as Antifa, to do what the gatekeepers of our society are supposed to be doing, so that it doesn't go further.

Great topic, great debate.
Debate Round No. 3
6 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 6 records.
Posted by judaism 3 years ago
judaism
You know, that would.
Posted by Gestalt 3 years ago
Gestalt
you know, the question of communist implementation might make for an interesting debate in itself...
Posted by judaism 3 years ago
judaism
To my knowledge, real communism was never experienced. Stalin wasn't a communist, he was a dictator. Real communism, as predicted by Marx, is when the whole world has left Capitalism.
Posted by judaism 3 years ago
judaism
Right!
Posted by Gestalt 3 years ago
Gestalt
@judaism I agree. The anarcho-communist sect is an offshoot of Marxist ideals, but ends up contradicting it's own ideals.
Posted by judaism 3 years ago
judaism
Whoever Antifa claims to be, they're not real Communists. Period.
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