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AntifArt

“He’s holding a sign that literally just says ‘the right to openly discuss ideas must be defended.’ Let that sink in.”

Paul Joseph Watson, who sent that tweet, is editor-at-large for Alex Jones’s conspiracy website Infowars. I doubt he and I have much in common. Nonetheless, I urge you to do what he says. Look at the brief film clip to which he links in that tweet and let what you see sink in.

Apparently it relates to events reported in the Hackney Citizen as follows: “VIDEO: Anti-fascists clash with lone counter-protester at LD50 Gallery”.

A protester, who declined to give his full name and, like many in the crowd, had his face covered, countered this viewpoint: “We don’t care about annoying liberal idiots or hard-right people that want to have free debate or whatever. We care about shutting down organizing spaces…there’s enough evidence to say that they’re organizing in this space. Any kind of fascist organizing causes a physical threat down the line.”

For what it’s worth, I cannot tell what the targets of the protest, the LD50 Gallery, are playing at, but it does seem as if more than just the Antifa might regard them with disquiet:

LD50 on Tottenham Road was targeted by anti-fascists in February after news emerged that it hosted a “Neoreaction conference” in 2016 featuring leading proponents of the so-called “alt right” movement.

Speakers at the event included Brett Stevens, who has previously praised Norwegian mass murderer Anders Breivik, saying “he chose to act where many of us write, think and dream”.

[..]

“Although it has attracted the most attention for its Neoreaction and Alt Right exhibits, LD50 represents a new brand of artist that combines trolling, provocation, surrealism and critical theory into ensconcing art experiences that raise more questions than offer answers.”

In what appears to be a veiled response to protests calling for the gallery’s closure, one of the artworks for the new show includes “six computer workstations where participants are encouraged to sit and work through the paper content and destroy it if they find it inappropriate, uninteresting or offensive”.

Actual neo-Nazis? Artists having one last scrape at the exhausted mine of art designed to épater la bourgeoisie? Who knows, perhaps actual believers in freedom of speech? It does not matter. As D.C. Miller, the man with the sign, said, “the right to openly discuss ideas must be defended.”

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38 comments to AntifArt

  • Alisa

    Watson is a rather typical libertarian of the Rothbardian persuasion – so apart from his positions on things like the US foreign policy, Israel, etc. (or maybe not even so much apart), I imagine many here would find a lot in common with the guy.

  • CaptDMO

    Wait! Now what is all this anti fart brew ha ha?

  • Lee Moore

    Antifa : We don’t care about annoying liberal idiots or hard-right people that want to have free debate or whatever. We care about shutting down organizing spaces

    fa : who has previously praised Norwegian mass murderer Anders Breivik, saying “he chose to act where many of us write, think and dream”.

    Realantifa : “The creatures outside looked from pig to man, and from man to pig, and from pig to man again; but already it was impossible to say which was which.”

  • I want to know why the police shown in the video did not intervene (that said, if they did, the police would have probably arrested the victim of that crowd rather than the true thugs).

  • Patrick Crozier

    Watson’s genius lies in his ability to expose the hypocrisy of the left.

    There, I managed to add something useful – or at least, possibly useful – to a Natalie Solent post.

  • Tomsmith

    I think any libertarian should have quite a bit in common with Watson if their libertarianism is practical in any real sense. He is a libertarian who is aware that importing vast numbers of non libertarian people into a relatively liberal geographical area is a bad idea for liberty. Basic common sense.

  • bobby b

    Sort of OT, but I do love the name of the gallery.

    It’ll be fun to see which half dies.

  • Laird

    “VIDEO: Anti-fascists clash with lone counter-protester at LD50 Gallery”.

    The word “fascist” has lost all meaning, as it has become an empty vessel into which you can pour anything of which you disapprove. Like “racism”, the only reason to use the word is to shut down debate. By the same token, “anti-fascist” has no meaning either. But to the extent there are real “fascists” in this video it is those who were shouting down that one lone person defending freedom of speech.

    Once again the left comes full circle and bites itself in the ass. And they have absolutely no appreciation for the irony thus demonstrated.

  • Andy

    Watson is great.

    One of the reasons I read twitter.

  • Cal Ford

    I sometimes read Watson’s Twitter page. Never see any conspiracy theory stuff there.

    >I want to know why the police shown in the video did not intervene

    The police have been nobbled. They now let leftist thugs do what they want, and often help them. If a bunch of right-wingers had done this to a leftist they would have had them in the back of paddy wagons before you could blink. All these Facists should simply be identified from the video, arrested and tried, but it’s not going to happen, is it?

  • Paul Marks

    Alex Jones is annoying conman – and I would guess his employee is much like him (and he would reply that I am pro Zionist and pro Cold War – and Mr Watson would be correct about that).

    However, the Rothbardians are not the threat – even if they are being paid (indirectly) by Mr Putin.

    The Red Fascists who call themselves “Anti Fascists” are the real threat to the West, they (not Mr Jones and Mr Watson) are the ones who want to destroy Freedom of Speech.

    And, make no mistake, the “Anti Fascists” would happily put a bullet in the back of the head of anyone who opposed Marxism.

    These activists are the products of many years of brainwashing – both at school (some from a very young age) and university. They are the sort of people who watch the insane anti capitalist ravings of the BBC “Dr Who” episode that was broadcast this evening – and nod with agreement at the subMarxist agitprop.

  • CaptDMO

    From Instapundit, unverified.
    Tom
    As Huey Long also said back in the 1930s: “Will we have fascism in America? Of course. But here it will be called anti-fascism.”
    Or rather, Antifa.

  • Lee Moore

    Laird is obviously right about “fascist” disappearing down the hole for dead words. But I thought “clash” was being used in an, er, imaginative sense too.

    Clash has a sense of two parties engaged in battle. You don’t usually read about a group of muggers “clashing” with an old lady whose handbag they are trying to steal. (Unless she pulls out a Colt 45 and drops a couple of them.) But it seems that a crowd of people jostling, pushing, blocking one perfectly passive chap, and trying to grab his placard, is a “clash.”

    I recall similar stuff from the US. A righty punches a lefty on the nose – it’s a violent attack. A lefty punches a righty (or anyone) on the nose – it’s a clash.

  • Vinegar Joe

    “The word Fascism has now no meaning except in so far as it signifies ‘something not desirable’.” – George Orwell, ‘Politics and the English Language’, April, 1946

  • Roué le Jour

    It’s ironic that fascism is now said to be meaningless as it is the one ideology accurately described by its symbol, a bunch of sticks bound around an axe = violent collectivism. By contrast the swastika tells you nothing about nazism and the hammer and sickle is a deliberate lie.

  • Lee Moore

    I wouldn’t have said the hammer and sickle was a deliberate lie, merely a miscommunication. It was thought to represent the alliance between the proletariat and the peasantry. But in fact it simply showed the sort of instruments that would be used on those who failed to follow orders.

  • Mr Ed

    Laird

    By the same token, “anti-fascist” has no meaning either.

    I beg to differ, ‘anti-fascist‘ has a clear meaning, like in the ‘Anti-Fascist Protection Barrier‘, a chunk of which lies on my hearth after I chiselled it away. It is better known to posterity as that instrument of murder, the Berlin Wall.

  • NickM

    I have to, as usual, agree with Laird. “Fascist” now just means someone you don’t like in much the same way as the word “git” does. A shame because it used to have a very tight definition. Hitler for example wasn’t one. He was a National Socialist. Both doctrines are evil but evil comes in many forms and it’s taxonomy is important.

    And Paul. I was gob-smacked by that Dr Who. Unbelievably crude agitprop. And so smug. I had largely been enjoying this series but stone me! That was very poor, very poor indeed. Did we have Ms Abbott as a guest writer? Probably not, otherwise the “feisty” hera of colour would snag the true leader of “those pesky kids” – Shaggy’s Gramps. Oh, no! that happened in real life. One of the reasons I read SF and fantasy – it is so much more realistic.

  • Matthew McConnagay

    “…the hammer and sickle is a deliberate lie.” So it does embody Communism after all.

  • Alisa

    I sometimes read Watson’s Twitter page. Never see any conspiracy theory stuff there.

    Of course you don’t – he leaves that to Alex Jones, because the latter has excelled in it over the years anyway. Jones may be a nutcase, or a crook as per Paul, or both – but he is certainly not stupid, and not lacking in business acumen. Watson is perfect for the Info-Wars saner and more mainstream face.

  • Alisa

    Semantically, the current moral scale for the progressive left is between democratic and racist, with the former meaning all things good and progressive, and with the latter meaning the ultimate yuckiness. In between these two points of reference are terms such as undemocratic (closer to the left), and fascist (closer to the right), with several more terms which elude me at the moment used somewhere along that scale (I’m still working on it, and any help is welcome). Of course in the minds of their users none of the real-life and historical meanings of any of these terms come into it at all.

  • Lee Moore

    I think I can add a view more points to Alisa’s ideology line :

    democratic – Islamic – of color – LGBT – female – straight – undemocratic – male – white – assuming – capitalist – Christian – rich – fascist – Jewish – racist

  • hennesli

    Maybe ‘fascist’ has simply become a useless catch all pejorative term, but there are certainly those in the alt right and neoreactionary movements who would fit the description of fascist in its historical or academic sense.
    however the so called antifascist black flaggers are often no better, some downright thuggish.
    A pox on both their houses.

  • CaptDMO

    “neoreactionary” a tad redundant.
    Defender perhaps?
    Or are we to revisit that whole anti dis establishmentarian thing?

  • Lee Moore

    If you want to use “fascist” to go beyond Mussolini’s Italy, and use it as a catch all for the common ideology of a batch of authoritarian regimes that weren’t communist, then it rapidly loses any coherence. Ideologically Franco’s Spain after the civil war had been tidied up had a lot more in common with de Valera’s Ireland than with Italy or Germany. de Valera has been called many things, but I don’t think “fascist” is one of them. And all those authoritarian South American regimes were just “Big Man” regimes which post the monarchical age have existed in post colonial Africa, Asia etc.

    The only generic usage that makes any sense to me is that of von Mises, in which fascism is the adoption, by nationalist or anti-communist groups, of communist tactics – ie the acceptance of the methods of extreme violence in pursuit of political ends, and the rejection of liberal (old sense) restraint and the rule of law.

    So we have an initial division between {Politics is a version of Cricket} and {Politics is Total War}

    and then we divide {Politics is Total War} between {Communists} and {Nationalist /Other Total Warists}

    {Nationalist / Other Total Warists} = “fascists”

  • Cal Ford

    >I was gob-smacked by that Dr Who. Unbelievably crude agitprop. And so smug. I had largely been enjoying this series but stone me! That was very poor, very poor indeed.

    I had thought this current series of Doctor Who has been really, really bad right from the start. There’s a sense that the whole thing is winding down and no-one is taking it seriously any more. Well, Capaldi and the new girl are putting an effort in, but the scriptwriters are barely bothering to conceal the fact that for them it’s all about the chance to score some political points. Everything else is cliched and lazy. The endings get wrapped up like magic in a few minutes.

    Notice how in every episode they put in some positive reference to homosexuality? (Being gay is fine by me, it’s just the crude propaganda that bugs me.)

    In fact, it’s reminding a lot now of the atrociously bad last series of the old Doctor Who, with Sylvester McCoy, when for the scriptwriters, as they later admitted, it was all about anti-capitalist messages rather than good SF. (That series also had, I note, an annoying ‘yoof’ character.)

  • Succinctly, their position is:

    free speech == pre-crime

  • Laird

    I haven’t yet seen the last few Dr Who episodes (they’re taped and waiting for me to get to them), but to me the series has gotten increasingly preachy over the last few years and I have never liked Capaldi; I can’t wait to be rid of him. (Personally, I liked Christopher Eccleston the best of the rebooted series, but I understand that views on that differ.)

  • If I was a Time Traveller, I would go back in time and erase Dr. Who from the timeline right after Tom Baker 😡

    And then I would take off and nuke Broadcast House from orbit… it’s the only way to be sure.

  • If I were a time traveller, I’d consider the recommendation of Perry de Havilland (London, May 14, 2017 at 3:44 pm), though I would rather be a bit more targeted, less wholesale – and act a bit earlier. Removing a certain producer would have protected the young from more than just agitprop.

  • …this current series of Doctor Who has been really, really bad right from the start … it’s all about the chance to score some political points. Everything else is cliched and lazy. The endings get wrapped up like magic in a few minutes. (Cal Ford, May 14, 2017 at 1:49 pm)

    Since agitprop was being pushed heavily into some Dr Who plots in the early Thatcher years, is it just louder now, or is the difference that now it sometimes actually replaces having a plot?

    – One sees this in recent US series: either a series is PC from the get-go or else it is like e.g. NCIS, where every now and then there is a ‘special-PC’ episode: five or ten scattered minutes are occupied with the almost-nothing plot while the episode spends almost all its time ticking politically-correct boxes.

    – One sees this in the Scottish Conservatoire’s rewriting of Die Fledermaus to consist of anti-Brexit and anti-English jokes. (Is this done because they know their audience, or because they know their funding source, or because they feel too entitled to care about either?) At least in this case, one gets some music and singing.

    I’ve seen PC plots which were nevertheless plots – crime stories or SF with an actual plot to follow, influenced by the writer’s left-wing views – but there are times these days when the plot seems to be literally pushed aside in favour of the lecture; the old spoonful of sugar to help the medicine go down reduced to a measly grain or two.

    Anyone else see the same, or am I being a bit influenced by my own prejudices? Is it getting worse or do we, as our experience grows, merely notice it more?

  • JohnW

    “They are the sort of people who watch the insane anti capitalist ravings of the BBC “Dr Who” episode that was broadcast this evening – and nod with agreement at the subMarxist agitprop.”

    I never watch Dr. Who on principle but my nephew said the last episode was excellent – he’s 18 and studying for his A levels. 🙄

  • Nicholas (Unlicenced Joker) Gray

    Well, Mr. Who does come from a fascist planet, run by one monopolist organisation, the Time Lords. We shouldn’t really expect them to appreciate freedom and capitalism, should we?

  • Thailover

    Laird, it’s not that the word fascism has lost all meaning, it’s just that the anti-fascists are TOO STUPID to understand what fascism means. I agree with Reagan in his “time for a choosing” speach, there is no real right and life, there is only up or down.

    “You and I are told increasingly we have to choose between a left or right. Well I’d like to suggest there is no such thing as a left or right. There’s only an up or down: up, man’s (age) old dream, the ultimate in individual freedom consistent with law and order, or down to the ant heap of totalitarianism. And regardless of their sincerity, their humanitarian motives, those who would trade our freedom for security have embarked on this downward course.”

  • Thailover

    Well, Mr. Who does come from a fascist planet, run by one monopolist organisation, the Time Lords. We shouldn’t really expect them to appreciate freedom and capitalism, should we?

    Uh…..! That’s “the Doctor”. Sheesh! (Rolls eyes) LOL.

  • Thailover

    I stopped watching Dr. Who when Billie Piper gave up the Time And Space In Relative Dimensions machine and chose to be a prime time prostitute instead. 😉

  • Mr Ed

    I stopped watching Dr. Who when I was 11.

  • Julie near Chicago

    I never started watching Dr. Who.

    . . .

    Niall, may the Great Frog bless and keep you.

    (It’s hard to withhold blessing from one who understands the lingo. Re: your comment of May 15, 2017 at 11:58 am.)