As an American, my comments to your points:
Dan74 wrote: ↑
Thu Aug 09, 2018 4:39 am
OK, let me try it another way. Let's break down the proantifa argument step by step.
1. PP, Proud Boys and the like are fascists or proto-fascists.
I've seen some whacky views expressed by individual members and roguish behavious, but does that mean the whole group can be determined to be fascists, let alone neo-Nazis? Shouldn't the views of the leaders, as well as the entirety of what they put out be considered? Any group will have some loons. And Tiny apparently assaulting a guy after a heated exchange is adduced as evidence that the groups he belongs to are fascists?? Hmmm...unconvincing, but not the weakest of the bunch.
The word "fascist" is getting tossed around rather loosely. I'm not sure what that means. That said, none of the people in those groups should be considered acceptable. They need to be marginalized and kept at bay.
And basically, they are
marginal. More people show up to local high school sporting events than show up to these rallies. Just because they round up a few hundred people and bring them in by bus to a regional city for a rally doesn't mean much. It probably says more about that areas than anything else. Everywhere they show up, they have been far outnumbered by counter-protesters, most of whom are just regular people. You're not going to get a picture of "Norm" America on this board. No offense to posters here, but this is kind of a self selected slice of one form of marginal or another.
Trump's rallies, on the other hand, are concerning to me. While there seems to be overlap with these "fascists", there's something else going on there.
2. They might be small and insignificant now, but so was NSDAP or its progenitors. And look where that led to.
Argumentum ad Hitlerium. There are so many differences between the US and Weimar Republic, but even this could perhaps hold. It is conceivable that such groups will grow, mutate and attempt to undermine the very democratic order that they currently say they are standing up for. Yes, PP repeatedly say they are big on freedoms, right, etc. Not exactly Mr Hilter and his Munich buddies, but hey, very unlikely but possible.
The United States is a geographically big country. If you wanted to drive non-stop, no breaks to sleep or rest, from Los Angeles to New York, you'd get in your car and get out two days later. It is also very diverse, with many regional cultures and world views (lots to criticize, but there's something to it - City vs. Country Is Not Our Political Fault Line
). The economy is also unimaginably massive. It has a momentum all its own that is beyond anyone's control and will flatten anyone who gets in the way.
There will be no coup by street thugs. The powers that be simply would not allow it. It would be put down. A military coup would mean a lot of other things have gone horribly wrong first; a lot of real patriots would have to be convinced that such drastic action is necessary. No matter how much Kelly and Mattis clearly think Trump is a disaster, but they're not even thinking of organizing a coup. There's always the worry that "deep state" actors might pull something, but the sheer size of the government in Washington militate against any conspiracy from getting far. There are definitely institutional forces at play - groups and agencies angling for influence - as well as larger associations like Eisenhower's identification of a Military-Industrial Complex, but its not quite conspiracy as a diverse group united by common interests - in the case of the Military-Industrial Complex, National Security and Corporate Profit.
And, despite all the groaning about democracy - its still working. It is still a wild chase that is very unpredictable - that's why people spend so much money on elections. If there was a way to control the voter cost effectively, you wouldn't have whole industries around the election process, and people throwing money at every possible advantage.
The folks in this thread are hyper focused on this stuff, but in the big picture, these are rather minor details.
What would be a disaster is that this sort of thinking that violence needs to be part of the political process actually takes hold. And that brings us to your point 3.
3. If we don't nip them in the bud, with violence and whatever means necessary, this is what's bound to happen.
This, to me, is by far, the weakest link. It betrays a lack of belief not only in the 1st Amendment but in democracy itself - the power of non-violent action, civic discourse and a fundamental distrust of the voters. The choice is painted as being between antifa violence and non-action. Organising a powerful grassroots alternative to corrupt pollies and rightwing loons is not on the cards, is it? Winning over people's hearts and minds with coherent and fair policies, better arguments and a sensinble compassionate ideology is just a pipe dream, is it? So it's goodbye democracy then. It is indeed a sad indictment of your society if it's best minds turn to this sort of thinking. It won't take much to undermine the democratic order when it already is so weak. Vigilantes, taking law into your own hands, is all fair game. Next time people turn out to protest Trump like they did in 2016 many refusing to accept the outcome of the democratic election, the Trumpistas can organise and beat the crap out of them, since they judge them to be a danger to society. Oh boy, good luck and gawd bless America..
This country is so big that the violence would be localized. Letting this stuff get out of hand would be disasters for the place where it happens, but its not going to bring the country down. This is not happening in New York, or Boston, or DC, or Atlanta, or LA, or Chicago. If stuff happens, it happens in second tier places.