- Two professors, one from Purdue University and the other from Stanford University, are assembling a "Campus Antifascist Network" (CAN) to serve as a “big tent” for “anyone committed to fighting fascism.”
- Despite the reputation Antifa groups have cultivated for employing violence to shut down opposing speakers, the professors insist that they only support "self-defense" by "those who are being threatened by fascists.”
Two professors are organizing a campus Antifa (Anti-Fascist Action) organization with the goal of confronting groups it considers fascist and “driv[ing] racists off campuses.”
According to Inside Higher Ed, the Campus Antifascist Network (CAN) was organized by Purdue University Professor Bill Mullen and Stanford University Professor David Palumbo-Liu with the intention of serving as a “big tent” for “anyone committed to fighting fascism.”
“Since Trump’s election, fascists, neo-fascists, and their allies have used blatantly Islamophobic, anti-semitic, racist, misogynistic, homophobic, transphobic, and ableist messaging and iconography to recruit to their ranks and intimidate students, faculty, and staff,” Palumbo-Liu wrote in the group’s invitation letter.
“The time to take action is now,” he maintained, saying, “we call on all interested individuals and organizations to support or join the Campus Antifascist Network (CAN).”
In an interview with Campus Reform, Palumbo-Liu reiterated that “the groups that concern [CAN] the most are fascist in the sense they espouse a hateful ideology that targets particular groups based on race, ethnicity, religion, [or] sexuality, and wish to dominate, exclude, drive out, and harm members of those groups with force and violence.”
As part of its efforts, CAN provides a syllabus which labels fascism as a “historical expression of capitalism’s tendency to dominate the poor, working class, and oppressed people.”
Mullen told IHE that the network has grown to 200 members, including students and faculty, in the wake of the events in Charlottesville, Virginia, adding that CAN will “build large, unified demonstrations against fascists on campuses” and protect groups that are vulnerable to attack.
While Mullen and Palumbo-Liu do not advocate direct violence, Antifa has been criticized for engaging in violent protests around the country, including riots against conservative speakers.
When asked about violent elements within Antifa, Palumbo-Liu told IHE that CAN would reject some elements of the movement and would only “advocate self-defense and defense in various forms of those who are being threatened by fascists.”
Palumbo-Liu likewise told Campus Reform that “physically attacking speakers is not [within the law],” and therefore is not something that his organization promotes.
“The issue really is not speech, but rather the kinds of actions a group is known to engage in that precisely impinge upon others’ free speech, academic freedom, and civil liberties,” he said.
“We are organizing to protect members of campus communities from groups that come to campus to provoke physical confrontations, purposefully destroy property, invade individuals’ privacy.”
The professor also pushed back on the view that President Trump is not a fascist, branding it as “literally an academic argument in the worst sense of the word” and declaring that “we need to pay attention to what is happening, not the labels that we feel are most fitting.”
Mullen did not respond to Campus Reform’s request for comment.
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As Ron Paul explained earlier, the alt-right and its leftist opponents are two sides of the same authoritarian coin.
The alt-right elevates racial identity over individual identity. The obsession with race leads them to support massive government interference in the economy in order to benefit members of the favored race. They also favor massive welfare and entitlement spending, as long as it functions as a racial spoils system. Some prominent alt-right leaders even support abortion as a way of limiting the minority population. No one who sincerely supports individual liberty, property rights, or the right to life can have any sympathy for this type of racial collectivism.
Antifa, like all Marxists, elevates class identity over individual identity. Antifa supporters believe government must run the economy because otherwise workers will be exploited by greedy capitalists. This faith in central planning ignores economic reality, as well as the reality that in a free market employers and workers voluntarily work together for their mutual benefit. It is only when government intervenes in the economy that crony capitalists have the opportunity to exploit workers, consumers, and taxpayers. Sadly, many on the left confuse the results of the “mixed economy” with free markets.
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Oh, and as a reminder, the petition to label AntiFa a terrorist group now has over 250,000 signatures.