Earlier this week at UC Berkeley, an angry young woman named Sunsara Taylor – a self-proclaimed revolutionary communist with a face contorted into a perpetual grimace and a voice modulated as a perpetual harangue – led a discussion event titled “Battle for Berkeley: Why It’s Right and Righteous to Drive Fascists Off Campus, and Out of Power.” Ms. Taylor's position is simple: Fascists should be prevented from speaking at Berkeley and poisoning the minds of impressionable young scholars.
In case you're wondering, “fascists,” by Taylor's reckoning, include anyone who happens to hold conservative values – i.e., anyone who believes in individual rights, the color-blind rule of law, limited government, free enterprise, and the free and open exchange of ideas. Such values are anathema to Sunsara Taylor and her fellow revolutionary communists, who instead favor group rights, identity politics, perpetual interracial grievance, the flouting of laws that don't conform to their own political preferences (like immigration laws), bloated government that intrudes upon every facet of individual life, a socialist economy, and raging intolerance for anyone who holds an opposing political view.
Last November – shortly after the presidential election in which Donald Trump defeated the woman who had feloniously violated the Espionage Act more often than all other political candidates in American history, combined – Sunsara Taylor and two other Revolutionary Communist Party members co-founded an organization called Refuse Fascism. This wek's event at Berkeley was part of Refuse Fascism's “Drive Them Out” campaign.
If you were to ask Refuse Fascism to define fascism, you wouldn't get a very clear answer. Under the heading “What Is Fascism?” on the organization's website, for example, no operational definition of the term can be found. The only thing you learn is that President Trump – “the Fascist in Chief” – and his “fascist regime” are the living embodiments of fascism: “The Trump/Pence Regime – the whole thing – every cabinet post, every executive order, every tweet is a link in the chain of a fascist government and worldview ...”
Refuse Fascism first laid out its political and ideological platform in a December 2016 manifesto depicting President Trump as an illegitimately elected “fascist” and declaring: “In the name of humanity we REFUSE to accept a fascist America!” Noting that “Hitler himself came to power through the process of elections and established legal procedures,” Refuse Fascism claims that Trump:
- “has made clear … that he intends to radically attack the rights of immigrants, Muslims, Black people, women, gay and trans people, the disabled, and many others who have been historically oppressed in this society”;
- “will pursue a geopolitical policy that will be very short on facts and long on aggression, threats of aggression, insane nuclear proliferation, torture and threats of torture, and continually going to the brink of war and no doubt beyond, and all while stoking the fires of xenophobia and scapegoating”;
- has “no respect for the freedom of the press and expression”;
- “has already begun to seed the government with Christian fundamentalist theocrats and breathed new life into anti-Semitism”;
- “has created an atmosphere around women that has further empowered rape culture and already damaged the lives and chances of every woman and girl in this country”;
- has “super-charged the notion that this is a 'white man’s country' in which the rights and existence of Black people and other people of color count for nothing”;
- “has put proven white supremacists … in positions of power”; and
- has “given impetus to every fascist, neo-Nazi and bigot to directly express themselves by violently going after people who are not white, male, Christian or straight.”
As a result of Trump's ascendance to power, Refuse Fascism warns, “the days of white vigilantism and … lynch mobs … will now be back with a vengeance.”
Another of Refuse Fascism's seminal documents reiterates the notion that “there is method to Trump’s madness” that “echoes Hitler” and is “more dangerous to the world than even Hitler.” Specifically, Refuse Fascism charges that President Trump's brand of fascism promotes “xenophobic nationalism, racism, misogyny, and the aggressive re-institution of oppressive 'traditional values.'”
The last three words of that assertion give us a bird's-eye view into the heart and mind of Refuse Fascism and its adherents. They quite literally regard the values that sit at the very heart of Americanism – individual rights, the rule of law applied equally to all, limited government, free enterprise, and the free and open exchange of ideas – as “oppressive.” A contempt for these values is precisely what defines the Left generally. Leftism is not “liberal” – or concerned with liberty – in any way whatsoever. It is the very opposite of real liberalism. It is fascism.