Antifascism and I

I really like antifascist researchers. The ones I have found and learned from tend to be very bright, and often quite funny and personable. I think they are asking a lot of the right questions, and I have learned quite a bit from them.

I don’t consider myself an antifascist. Maybe someone who knows more than I do will tell me I really am, and I’d be okay with that.

Where I feel like, in practice at least, I seem to part ways, is that I don’t assume quite as much as they do when they interpret people on the right.

I agree with them completely that there’s a real problem with the people they’re looking into. Some of the liminal figures though, who aren’t, for instance, full-on outright white supremacists, I think do deserve a level of nuance that sometimes seems to be lacking among the antifascists I’ve seen, and perhaps almost intentionally lacking.

Think of someone like Tucker. Anyone who reads that one text of his that came out will know that he seems to have some strange and troubling ideas about race. Still, that doesn’t mean everything he says is code for white nationalist sentiments. I’m not saying this out of affection for the man – I’m no fan. But I think people interpret things beyond what the evidence allows. And there’s no need to do that! We do already have the text that shows what he thinks about these things.

I think to be just to the person you’re interpreting, there’s a duty to search for plausible alternative explanations before lazily assuming the worst is true. It’s okay to say “such and such far right community will definitely hear this as” something, but that’s not the same as concluding it’s what the person is intending to communicate.

I think if the case can’t be made while being fair and honest and conscientious, then it’s not a good case. If it can be made while being fair and honest and conscientious, then just do that. It’s not only for the other person – it’s what’s best for you and your own image and your own cause.

At least, that’s what I would tend to think. I seem to be outnumbered though.

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