The mistake of left-wing anti-fascists Ruthless Criticism

Translation of an excerpt from Freerk Huisken’s book: Der demokratische Schoß ist fruchtbar... Das Elend der Kritik am (Neo-)Faschismus [The democratic womb is fertile... The Poverty of the Critique of (Neo-)Fascism*], VSA Verlag, Hamburg, 2012.

The mistake of left-wing anti-fascists

1. Taking sides with the democratic state against the fascist variant of bourgeois rule

In addition to the official anti-fascism of the post-war Republic, there was and still is a “left-wing” or “autonomous anti-fascism” in Germany. Official anti-fascism establishes a “well-fortified democracy” internally which labels any party deviating from the very narrowly defined democratic consensus as “extremist,” refers to the elimination of any significant opposition as “the lesson of Weimar” and carries on the anti-communism of the Reich predecessor, rallies the people internally with propaganda about the “democratic value system” with its “social market economy” which is supposed to be a bulwark against “totalitarianism” and is intended to give the outside world the impression that the German state power has been purified in defeat.

Left-wing anti-fascism began with the Easter marches of the VVN [Association of Persecutees of the Nazi Regime – Federation of Antifascists] or the DKP [German Communist Party]. The official anti-fascism was not enough for them. At their marches, completely ignoring the political purpose of the disassociation of democracy from the Hitler regime, they regularly accused the Adenauers, Erhards or Kiesingers [West Germany’s first three Chancellors] of “lacking credibility” because they liked to resort to old fascists who were well versed in state affairs – such as the Lübkes, Filbingers, Globkes and Oberländers. Everywhere they went, they discovered evidence of incomplete “denazification” or a “brown danger” that was already re-emerging. As the best, truest, and real denazifiers, they repeatedly petitioned the post-war democracy with lists demanding the removal of former Nazis from the new state offices. The brown books of East Germany, in which this false complaint was shared, provided sufficient material for this concern. Although it could hardly be more clearly documented that there would be nothing wrong with the post-war capitalism if it were only run by politicians guaranteed to be unsoiled, they were never well received by this state and were subject to constant suspicions of communism. This did not stop them, year after year, from accusing, of all people, the same people in the post-war governments who thought it useful to build up the military with experts from the old Wehrmacht, of violating the state mandate of the new German democracy, trampling on the constitution, and drawing the wrong lessons from Weimar. The idea still hasn’t dawned on them that old fascists can perhaps also serve well in new democratic offices and that, conversely, dyed-in-the-wool, patriotic democrats without a brown past can be capable of all kinds of fascist judgments and political conclusions. No wonder, because they are the only ones who take the anti-fascist state morality seriously – along with all the ideologies about the contrast of democracy and fascism, about democratic politicians as the appointed guardians of an unsoiled republic and about the “guilt” that “we Germans have brought on ourselves.”

Their legacy is preserved today by those left-wing or autonomous “antifas” who first formed in the 1980s during the excesses of democratic immigration policy and the accompanying rise of the skin movement. It is clear from the content of their political practice that they too are receptive students of that post-war anti-fascist education, according to which the new German republic can only be discredited by “fascism rising on its soil again” and fascistically originating “from its soil.” Their criticism makes it clear that they were not very fond of the Easter marches organized by the DKP, VVN, etc., nor of anti-racist candlelight processions or multicultural street festivals. They set themselves a different goal: “Not an inch to the fascists.” And since they quickly learned first-hand that the state was by no means willing, despite their sincere intentions, to overlook the “disorder” that regularly occurred whenever Antifa encountered neo-Nazis, they also became critical of democracy. Their criticism radicalizes the mistake of their predecessors and turns it around. They do not denounce an alleged contradiction between old fascists in leading positions and the new democracy, but rather make the opposite judgment from the finding that the democratic state is not fulfilling its anti-fascist responsibility: the ruling democracy can’t be true democracy if it allows the emergence of new fascist groups. From the idealistic critique of the state which measures the actions of politicians by standards that are not really their own, they create the suspicion – by means of a further false conclusion – that the new democracy is itself contaminated by fascism. To this day, the theory has taken root within this camp that it could “soon be that time again.” The existence of neo-fascist parties and organizations proves that true democracy has been undermined by its enemies. And for them the fact that the success of neo-fascist parties is usually below the 5% threshold does not change this finding. Their proof is that “back then,” too, “it” started out very small.

In addition to the political system, they also criticize the economic system, capitalism. For Antifa – who consider themselves to be part of the political left – capitalism comes morally under fire anyway because of poverty in the Third World, the North-South divide, environmental destruction and globalization, i.e. not because of specific production relations, but because of evil intentions and primarily harmful effects. And since it is suspected that capitalism will resort to fascism anyway if it is threatened by a crisis or something similar,[1] Antifa only has to put two and two together to arrive at their current worldview: If democracy, this real protection against fascism and the undisturbed raging of capitalism, is doing less and less to prevent its infiltration, then there is no bulwark against evil, then capitalism can assert itself unchecked by means of the fascist system.

Anyone who has adopted this worldview as an Antifa sees every action they take – driving neo-Nazis out of “their neighborhoods,” reclaiming streets they declare to be “autonomous zones” from skinheads, or pointing out “the danger” and that “it’s that time again” at NPD demos with a counter-presence – as saving or pioneering true (popular) democracy. In chasing skinheads out of streets, neighborhoods or villages, he is completely unable to understand the question of what the freedom consists in that he wants to fight for. But this question is more than justified. Such a victory only means that the fascists merely have to vacate an area long occupied by capitalist private property and the bourgeois rule of law; because nowhere have neo-fascists formed enclaves and suspended capitalist competition and democratic law in them. Perhaps Antifa consider it a victory when immigrants who used to avoid such neighborhoods in their search for cheap housing and casual work will now find “new opportunities” there as cheap or illegal workers. The fact that the right to private property, the law of money, and thus the law of profitability in the use of private property retains validity on this street via state power, hence that nothing changes in the situation that the ruling system has also put the anti-fascist in, does not diminish the victories of these upstanding people. In view of their victories, it doesn’t seem to bother them much that on a street where the skins no longer dare to venture, democratic freedom continues to reign uninterrupted in the form of usurious rents, taxes, rising commodity prices, state laws against property violations or asylum fraud. What capitalism does in such a neighborhood is not their problem – at least not their first problem. They seem to be under the illusion that they and their teams would be the rulers of the neighborhood if the fascists would stop demolishing their stores, pubs and meeting spaces. Because the fact that the forces of law and order of democracy do not protect their institutions, but only intervene when they discover a criminal offense such as “burglary,” “theft,” “property damage” or “vandalism,” quickly leads to the misjudgment that Antifa, in a skillful distortion of the actual “balance of power,” have simultaneously driven away the fascists’ sympathizers – which for them are the state’s law enforcement officers: “German police protect the fascists!”

At the same time, they see each of their activities as a warning. The population should notice from their presence that the “brown danger” is growing again in Germany. In their magazines and leaflets, the anti-fascists tirelessly show where new Nazis are spreading again and in what numbers, uncover their international networks, reconstruct the dissolution and re-establishment of right-wing organizations, reveal the personal links between neo-fascist and bourgeois press organs, democratic parties, foundations, associations and academic institutions. They are so convinced of the anti-fascist sentiments of the democratically educated people that they are able to dispense with any argument against fascism, racism and nationalism. Their criticism is always already assumed – even by themselves. This is why their agitation is exhausted by pointing to “brown activity” and why they consider such paltry discoveries already convincing.

To this day, Antifa is taking sides theoretically and practically in the – in this country settled – competition between the two variants of bourgeois ruling parties. They take a stand against the fascist variant which unsuccessfully attempts to participate in power and thus take sides with the democratic variant. They do not deny taking sides with democracy. They simply resist the claim that they have been taken in by the real existing German democracy. Rather, they want their politics to be seen as a step on the path to true democracy, which has to overcome the ruling, perhaps even fascist-infiltrated form of democracy that they dislike.

They do not want to be deprived of this idealistic criticism of the prevailing democracy:

2. The invention of a “true democracy”

Anyone who comes along with the invented standard of an actual democracy and then, without paying attention to the real course of events and its reasons and purposes that deserve criticism, complains about all kinds of deviations from this beautiful ideal, is engaging in the opposite of sensible criticism. He spares himself from looking for the reasons for all those annoyances that give him cause for dissatisfaction. Anyone who confronts democratic rule with ideals – which he himself has created and cultivated – can only find fault with the fact that it is not what it should be according to the critic. He therefore does not even have to form a concept of the democracy that actually exists. In this way, he misses out on what it really is. He creates his own image of it.

Firstly, it regularly deplores the state’s bias for the interests of the economy. Antifa undauntedly assumes that “political decisions” could and should actually have a completely different and much better content than the one they actually have. One can say this respectfully and constructively about the practice of state power if one disregards its real reasons and stubbornly holds on to the idea that it is only supposed to serve philanthropic and anti-fascist purposes by profession. Consequently, they are primarily interested only in the question of what prevents statesmen from dutifully realizing the true, the good and the beautiful. What is then named does not have the character of an explanation, but rather an idealistic yardstick of deviations, misconduct and breaches of duty compared to what these critics expect from a politically correct authority in a genuine democracy. The influence of the capitalist power cartel, corruption, or an “unjust” social policy are denounced in very negative terms and declared to be machinations that are not compatible with democracy. Yet it is indisputable and non-negotiable that the well-being, i.e. the global standing of the nation, depends on “the economy” and its growth, in addition to all the well-known forms of impoverishing the people, which is why the personal interdependencies are based on the fact that the interests of the state and entrepreneurs are objectively intertwined.

Secondly, the invention of an actual democracy is based on partisanship for “the people.” What is constantly lacking is true popular rule which, in the opinion of Antifa, is unjustly withheld from this collective. However, this diagnosis of deficiency is based on a blatant theoretical omission: the role that the people really play is not taken into account. Under the conditions of democratic rule, the people, or more precisely: the state’s people, is not the community of free people who are driven by the same interest in a fair share of wealth, who are anti-fascist to the bone, and who elect representatives of their interests from the grassroots who then regulate their affairs. It has nothing to do with the real existing people. Rather, it consists of an ensemble of wild antagonisms that are rigidly organized by their legal and social authorities. It is not only the interests of owners and non-owners, buyers and sellers, workers and entrepreneurs that are contradictory. The interests of citizens also come into conflict with each other where they want the same thing, i.e. where they are forced to compete with each other according to the logic of the market economy. Even the most innocent natural differences between young and old, healthy and sick, are transformed under the direction of the welfare state into opposing positions which are faced with bitter resentments. All conflicts are meticulously regulated: An enormous legislative machinery is concerned with nothing but making the established antagonisms between sections of the population sustainable and fruitful for the advancement of the nation. Every permissible means of resolving them in a socially acceptable manner is defined in terms of its nature and scope; all the pleasant and less pleasant consequences of conflicts of interest are considered, anticipated and regulated by law, or are dealt with after the event. This supervision of competition is the service provided by the state, which the competitors – unfortunately – still demand as their indispensable means of life. The common will to submit to state rule is what creates the commonality that makes a population into a people in the first place: A political collective of opponents and competitors who supplement their antagonisms with the paradoxical willingness to not carry out these antagonisms because they take their state-organized continuance as their elementary condition of existence. As an orderly mass, the people are the product, basis and tool of state rule and, prepared in this way, want nothing else than to be rewarded with good governance in return for being allowed to appoint the agents of rule over themselves in free, equal, and secret elections. And when its members make this abstraction a reality, i.e. declare that their primary inclination is allegiance to their respective nation, then the people present themselves as a rather disagreeable bunch that has little sympathy for “rioting in the streets” and a lot of sympathy for an immigration policy that ensures German jobs are reserved for Germans.

Thirdly, it is precisely this people, of all people, who exercise too little power for the lovers of true democracy. They call for true popular rule. They envisage this as the strengthening of grassroots democracy with regular referendums and other forms of citizen participation in which the people should not only be able to bring their concerns to the attention of politicians, but should also be able to assert them. They therefore hold firm to the demand for popular rule without asking themselves why the people should be the source of a rule that can only be established over the people. Over who else? Apart from the people, there would be nothing to rule over. This contradiction is in fact one of the secrets of democracy, which only exists as a form of rule. It vanishes into the political calculations of statesmen who want to make sure that the people are partisans of their state purposes. They see this ensured by the process in which the people are empowered to choose the personnel who rule over them. Democracy does not offer anything other than this form of exercising power, which secures power by means of some kind of popular participation – from plebiscites to elections. At the same time, it satisfies the citizens’ need to be critical of the government and to assert their right to good government. As a free, equal and secret electorate, they are allowed to express their dissatisfaction – but only in the form of voting one person out of power and electing another. The elected government, legitimized by the people, can then promote the success of the capitalist location with complete freedom and without regard for the voters. The laws it passes are not put up for a popular vote, but require unconditional obedience. By deciding who should call the shots for them, the state’s people affirm their role as a maneuverable mass. The vote allowed to the people therefore does not takes anything back from the established relations of dependency, but rather reinforces them in this way. Of course, this is only possible with a nation that is still characterized by a majority that is committed to the state, even if the state uses this ruthlessly to prepare the location for business. There is something paradoxical about this: democracy only runs smoothly when it is actually not necessary, i.e. when the people in the act of voting only reaffirm what they otherwise exercise year in, year out: their patriotism.[2]

Moreover, all the plebiscites demanded by the left already exist and are generally only permitted if politicians actually have two equivalent alternatives when building a bypass, a train station, or redesigning an elementary school. Then the people are allowed to be sovereign, with the state relying on the fact that such grassroots democratic events – staged from below or above – do not disrupt anything that substantially affects its interests. Even mass demonstrations directed against the government occasionally meet with a positive response from the latter. For example, the anti-nuclear demonstrations after Fukushima in 2011 were suddenly welcomed by the government and taken as support for its pivot in national energy policy, which had been shot down during the previous so-called phasing-out of the phasing out of nuclear power, with the comment that policy should not be dictated by the streets. In short, what is demanded by the supporters of grassroots democracy has long been intended as an element for committing the citizens to the substance of state policy. And that’s the only way it works democratically.[3]

All in all, for many supporters, this anti-fascist ideal of “true democracy” thrives – fourthly – on the idea of a state structure that is merely a purposeless organization and is informed of the purposes it is to carry out by means of grassroots democratic plebiscites. The state is actually all of us, as we occasionally hear from representatives of popular statehood who want to redefine the political content of the offices by electing the right people. Unfortunately, they are not only mistaken about the interests of a democratically nationalist people, but also about the relationship between state offices and the civil servants who hold them. They are not called that wrongly. It can be seen in every election that it is not the person who defines government business with an imperative mandate granted by the people, but the other way around: the political offices embody political purposes which are executed, on the basis of state power, by elected representatives of the people. The ruling parties change with the election, and with them the people in office, but the official business remains the same in principle. Again and again, it’s all about one thing: The growth of capitalist property, its assertion on the world market, so that the state has sufficient wealth for its power and sovereignty and for all the other necessities of the nation. And it can regularly be observed how parties – first it was the Greens, now it is the Left Party – that have embarked on the march through the institutions with ideals ranging from philanthropic to anti-capitalist, accommodate themselves to the purposes of these very institutions because they want to be involved in the exercise of power, which in terms of content is determined by everything that is part of the political supervision of capitalism.

Finally, it should be pointed out that anyone who confronts the ruling democracy with his own ideals of popular rule, grassroots democracy, and public service for the people and claims these are its actual political concerns is also being anti-critical. His “Yes” to an order that does not exist implies, on the one hand, that nothing about the order that does exist can surprise him. He will constantly discover in every political obscenity the same deviation from the order in the subjunctive, i.e. from the actual order.[4] On the other hand, this self-made renunciation of criticism also has a very direct affirmative side: the judgment included in the idealism that one’s own ideas of a “good” political system must actually be compatible with the established democracy, i.e. already included in its program, wants to theoretically keep open the extent to which the good system now essentially belongs to the actually existing bad democracy or doesn’t. Those who opt for the first variant turn criticism into a direct commitment to this rule. For if it is part of democracy at its core, i.e. in each of its forms, that it must serve the cause of “the people” in form and content, then it is also asserted that this purpose is already somehow included in the real existing democracy that is being criticized. Consequently, we should not turn away from it, let alone rebel, but turn to it in order to draw out its essence from under its adulterated shell. In the name of the idealistically conceived order, a “Yes” is thus given to the reviled order.

This anti-criticism is supported by those Antifas who declare that the democracy carried out in this republic to be the “lesser evil.”

The case of the lesser evil

Those who dedicate themselves to anti-fascism and at the same time don’t really like the ruling relations have a wonderful way of sorting between the greater and lesser evils once they realize that they are taking sides with the real existing democratic system. For them, democracy is then bad, but it simply can’t compare with fascism. For these anti-fascists, fascism is and remains the “worst,” the “most barbaric of all systems.” This comes into view whenever the fight against fascism becomes aware of the consequences of this policy of taking sides with the equally reviled democratic rule. Then it needs to justify this by juggling with the forms of intensification between positive, comparative, superlative, and excessive. Occasionally, the intensification of the adjective “evil” takes the form of a stages strategy, according to which, once neo-fascism has been dealt with, the restoration of democracy and a bit of anti-capitalism are on the agenda: first the “most evil” system is to be eliminated and then the lesser “evils” come next. Usually, however, this justification ploy sticks with the cudgel that democracy is still, after all . . . Using pseudo-comparisons, the “evil system” of democratically governed capitalism is then turned into a pretty decent and free institution. It occurs to the left-wing anti-fascists, of all people, those who are constantly confronted with state repression, that one can at least express a critical opinion here without immediately being sent to a concentration camp, etc.[5]

This political legitimization is particularly annoying because it is based on three fundamentally wrong assumptions at once. The first is that, as everyone knows, talk of the “lesser evil” is rooted in the self-imposed distress of left-wing people who simply don’t want to abstain from voting. They are then faced with a real existing range of parties, none of which generally suit them. They don’t want to draw the simple conclusion that they should stop voting and turn to the question of why no attractive left-wing to communist offers are available. For them, voting seems to be a democratic value that is held to in the abstract, i.e. without being able to locate this value on the party spectrum. And so they go to the polls, not very happy, but at least assured. But the fighter against neo-fascism has no such choice. Nobody in this country can choose between different social systems. The ruling political power does not allow this. The only choice is always the capitalist nation state with a democratic constitution and political goals that are not very philanthropic and which all the parties standing for election are vying to realize. Nothing else! And the latter knows that it is well equipped to ensure it stays that way. Its successes in asserting its democratic monopoly on power are obvious. For more than sixty years, it has been making sure that it is a long way removed from Weimar conditions in which a fascist “seizure of power” was one of the real political options. The talk of fascism as the “greatest evil” seems almost spectral.

Secondly, antifa has an inkling of this when they point out that their aim is precisely to prevent a possible seizure of power by this most barbaric of all systems. In doing so, they have decided to accept the reality of the lesser evil in defending against the possibility of what they allege is the greater evil. This is once again quite spectral, especially since the “lesser evil” itself is doing everything it can to ensure that neo-fascism has no chance – and is doing so using means that it has copied from the fascists. Any critical balance sheet of the political activity of real democrats in power – in which the poverty of the employed and the unemployed of all ages would have to appear as well as the ruinous effects of wage labor on an entire class, the devastation of nature used for capitalist purposes as well as the poisoning of foods which are supposed to survive in price competition, the destruction of housing as well as the creation of unaffordable housing, the constant increase in the cost of health care as well as the attacks on earnings through taxes, interest rates and inflation, the brutal treatment of migrants on the borders of Europe as well as the participation in legalized killing in wars, etc. – which no anti-fascist should be unaware of – therefore count little or nothing for him compared to the fictitious balance sheet that he takes from the “greater evil.” Spooky!

And – thirdly – this only comes about because the anti-fascists, in their judgment of fascism, have adopted the image of it that democracy has drawn and fed to the people with the intention of being able to implicitly distinguish itself from it. Fascism is then reduced to Hitlerism and this to the Holocaust and euthanasia. Any insight into fascism is missed by miles if one entirely takes the mass murder of Jews, i.e. the National Socialist way of getting rid of the internal enemy of its state goals, to have been the central purpose of the state itself. Furthermore, it shuts down any way of getting into the question of what’s on the minds of the new fascists today,[6] as well as what it means when the political slogans, programs and objectives of fascists are found here and there in the repertoire of democrats; quite apart from the fact that these determine the critical political judgement of large sections of the nation, without the “greatest evil” therefore having a chance to succeed as a political power.[7]

Fourth and finally, it should be pointed out once again that by passing emergency laws, democrats create a set of instruments that allow them, whenever they see the fatherland in need, to suspend all the freedoms that are part of a competitive society in the style of a fascist domestic policy and to overcome the “state of emergency” with the use of state violence, which people and property must submit to completely. It is the “lesser evil” itself that discredits the anti-fascists because it secures – democratically legitimized – freedoms for its violence in coping with its states of emergency by borrowing from the “greatest of all evils.”[8]


The fact remains: left-wing anti-fascists see themselves and act like the true champions of the anti-fascist legacy of this republic, which did not want to put an end to fascism by ostracizing – useless – (neo-)fascists, but to gain a national reputation by demonstratively coming to terms with the past, and succeeded in doing so. Seen in this light, they are nothing but the champions of an idealistic misunderstanding of the “German legacy.” These left-wing anti-fascists would ultimately be advised to make a decision: Either they decide to carry on as the last survivors and personifications of the calculatedly introduced post-war raison d'état, in which case they must hunt down old and new Nazis in Germany even if the ruling democrats have long since succeeded in outdoing Hitler’s visions of German greatness and world domination by conquering the world market. But then, as partisans of true democracy, they also hinder the fight against the roots of fascism. Or they really do begin to ask about the “roots of Nazism.” To do so, however, they must abandon the idea that a German state in which racism, xenophobia and nationalism are rooted can’t be democratic; and at the same time, they must get used to the idea that, conversely, successful democratic management of a capitalist economy at home and abroad can be used to wreak havoc on people and nature without any imitation of fascism, i.e. without anti-Semitism and concentration camps, without euthanasia and world wars being started.

Not that the fight against fascism has no place here. However, if it works to successfully declare war on democratic nationalism, the basis of the disappointed nationalists’ criticism of democracy, this variant of national-radical bourgeois rule will take care of itself. It is therefore about nothing else than the partisanship of large sections of the people for the democratically governed capitalist state, which there are only bad reasons for; that is, it’s about criticizing their nationalism. Where ever democratic rule is deprived of the nationalist consent of the people on which this rule is based, it follows as a side effect, as a collateral result, so to speak, that fascism is also deprived of its foundation.

To do this, however, one needs to know what nationalism is, along with its inherent racism, and how to criticize the slogans of nationalists and fascists.

* Translator’s note: These are the final words of the epilogue to “The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui” by Bertolt Brecht. The play, set in the gangster milieu of Chicago, depicts the rise and career of Hitler and his followers in the Weimar Republic. It ends with the words:

“(In case you think the battle has been won) –
The womb is fertile still from which that crept.”
(Willett translation, 2015)

[1] For criticism of this theory of Dimitroff, see: “The Communist International’s incorrect theory of fascism”

[2] Leftists or autonomous antifas who, in their democratic idealism, want to abolish rule at the same time should ask themselves why and for what purpose rule, which is so proud of its monopoly on the use of force, is actually needed here. Wanting to abolish rule by means of democracy is theoretically an insoluble contradiction and politically absurd. Anyone who wants to abolish rule must not cling to democracy. They have to deal with rulers who don’t give a damn about democracy when it comes to power.

[3] The reason the National Democratic Party [far-right nationalist party in Germany—trans.] stands up for grassroots democracy is explained by its profound conviction that the people, if they could do as they please, would sweep away democratic rule altogether.

[4] Of course, disappointment also involves the other transition: disappointment over unrealized ideals, e.g. of justice, has turned many a man into a Kohlhaas.

[5] How true! Democracy doesn’t need that. It has a multitude of methods at its disposal to render critical judgments about the state harmless without liquidating the critic at the same time. Guess which ones?

[6] It should therefore come as no surprise if not only goody-goody students fail the test from the beginning, but also the avowed anti-fascists fall for it.

[7] Antifa regularly cites evidence of the “greater or greatest evil” in response to this criticism. One must defend oneself when skins attack “un-German elements,” anti-antifas demolish the stores of left-wing anti-fascists and are not at all squeamish about those they denounce as “ticks.” This is not being contradicted. One defends oneself against such things as best one can, perhaps preferring to avoid confrontation or avoiding precarious areas. Antifa, on the other hand, seeks confrontation, makes it the center of their politics and wants to prove the general dangerousness of fascists through their actions and provocations. This is a strange kind of proof. It thrives on a material that it creates for itself: it is the product of antifa’s confrontation with the neo-fascists. Paradoxically, the neo-fascists get their attention and thus political resonance primarily through the actions of those who want to prevent this resonance, namely their opponents on the antifa front. They do not provide any evidence of the danger posed by today’s fascists to bourgeois society. Extrapolating from the confrontation between these small groups, left-wing antifas and the right-wing extremists, into an imminent attack on the social foundations of democracy is factually silly and, on top of that, refuted by the way in which the democratic monopoly on the use of force deals with it. With a proper contingent of state-legitimized thugs and a functioning legal system, the democratic state ensures that something like this remains an episode and is only deemed worthy of a political upgrade when it is once again time for the propaganda that fascists and antifascists are two sections of the same thing, namely extremism, which is undesirable in this country.

[8] Among the anti-fascists who have now worked their way to a criticism of their central political line, there are some who only reverse the theory of the lesser evil. They argue, for example, that “democratically organized political rule and the capitalist economy destroy far more (!) existences than the relatively small neo-Nazi gangs.” Others point out that fascist ideas have also reached “the so-called center of society” and draw the following conclusion from this: “People with these ideas . . . can be politically more dangerous than self-confessed neo-Nazis, especially if they have influence.” (Founding declaration of Antifa Reutlingen-Tübingen) While some compare the numbers of destroyed existences and therefore only interchange the comparative without providing any further information about the reasons and purposes that the two political systems have for killing people, others stick to their Antifa program by attributing the right-wing extremism “on the fringes” of democratic society to a xenophobic center, which can be “more dangerous” than neo-fascism. However, since this can only be a possibility, this commitment to social criticism justifies continuing with anti-fascism. The fact that xenophobia in the form of the ruling democratic politicians already has a certain “influence” seems to have escaped them.