There is more than one level to Antifa activists. Many are for-hire initiates who join the ranks to vicariously sate their appetites, much like screaming girls on the rope line at a Beatles event, “groupies”, while a few more-experienced shock troops, with a few campaigns under their belts are poking people with pikes with nails in them, turning over wheelchairs and trying to catch opponents with their backs turned, in other parts of the battle area. Many of those for-hire activists are local one-and-done’s. Others like it, and enlist, in the hopes that they too, some day, may be able to set a wheelchair on fire.
It’s a rite-of-passage, coming-of-age process, from smarmy kid without a pimple and a brand new bandana, to learning to impale-and-turn, then to run and never see whether it was a killing blow or just a stab.
If you consider the Washington University-St Louis seminars of 2011 the first stages in the Occupy Movement, cadres were trained there who went on to the next, and then the next Occupy event, picking up new acolytes at each event, easing them up the ranks with each events.
Antifa now has a core cadre of several hundred who have been with the group for at least five years, and to the extent any of them have actually felt the crush of bare knuckles on their nose, they think of themselves as battle-hardened, at least in the “kumite” sense, common in martial arts, where neither combatant actually lands a blow. It’s video-game warfare without the video. Everytime I see them I think of Indiana Jones in the marketplace.
Still there is a pecking order, from the white belt 9th Kyu to the 1st brown belts. (Antifa doesn’t really have any black belts, and that’s their problem.)
I suggested in 2011 that someone should be taking photos of these people, and following them home, then pinpoint on a map for future reference, in the same way we thought our government was doing with radical Muslims. I knew we’d see them again. They have been showing up time and again at many protest venues. They have a recruiting system, training system, and ranking system, this last possibly defined by their “uniforms”, weapons, or the roles they get to play in the Great Dance of Riot.
We should have known all these things at least two years ago.
But is stops there. There is little difference between the entry-level Antifa who answered a Craigslist ad just last week in Virginia, Texas, Arizona or Oregon, and was handed a black bandana the first day he showed up for work, and the wizened old veteran who has campaign ribbons (but rarely any scars) for all the events he’s attended since Occupy Oakland.
This is not the same as the difference between a buck private’s first day at boot camp, and the staff sergeant who’s training them.
You could pummel most of these kids to death with a rolled up newspaper…which I still carry around, just in case.
Antifa has a reality and image problem and is so far unable to overcome the quantum leap from video game warriors to SEALS, Rangers or Spetznatz. None have ever walked the walk into the jaws of even the most remote uncertainty of death.
“You’ve never played the game until you’ve played for more than you can afford to lose,”- Steve McQueen.
This is where Science comes in.
“Ethology” is a branch of animal science, and for our purposes describes how even larger animals of prey are less bold once they enter the marked territory of their prey. Consider baboons chasing squirrel monkeys. They know the prey will turn and defend with twice the viciousness than on open ground, or “common areas”, as humans often call them, once they cross that invisible scent line. This much we know. But what scientists have observed is that the invading baboon, ten times the size of the monkey, instead of becoming more bold, becomes much less, tentative in his speed and strength, giving away much of the advantage. Without anthropromorphizing the notion, the larger aggressor-animal will feel a little fear, or maybe even “guilt” and often wait for reinforcements from his troop, or call off the attack altogether.
In his famous 1986 Red Strom Rising novel about a Soviet ground invasion of Europe, Tom Clancy wove into the fabric of the story that the Soviet attack failed in part because the German army (laughed at in those days because soldiers were allowed to wear hairnets instead of being required to cut their hair) defended their homeland with ten times the ferocity than the Soviets imagined. (This perturbed the USSR most because Clancy knew, or guessed, that such a component of their planning actually existed.)
Antifa has all the markings of neighborhood bullies, and have not yet had their “come to manhood” moment when they can prove otherwise. They rely on the boisterous noise of animal displays, chest pounding and foot stomping, hoping their opponents will disperse. Many of their exploits are choreographed and relatively risk free, up to an including the stiffness of the criminal sanctions should they be arrested. All the Code Pink feminists have stashed cash to cover their bond on their 2-3 raids a year. The same for many university profs who back up BLM protests.
At Charlottesville the ensuing fight took on more a “kumite” exercise at the karate gym aspect than a real right, so one wonders if that too wasn’t staged, unlike California, where there were no strawman racist-enemy to fight but rather a real, living breathing enemy; free speech. There they showed their true colors, their true “ethological” colors, as was caught on film, when one sneaked up from behind cover, and unleashed a bicycle lock and chain attack.
Back stabbers. Sheer cowardice, a polaroid shot of the whole Antifa movement.
So, about that “guilt” aspect of Ethology.
ANONYMOUS, the Jack Sparrow of internet piracy, released a list of Antifa members, some by hometowns, others by facebook, still others simply by name. By policy, I won’t give the link, but it should be easy to find.
I’m certain that several of these names are of innocent people who have never done anything more than make some random contact with Antifa. If even that. While we have developed “dark alley projects” for all sorts of special left-wing activities (the SPLC currently in progress), this open window to Antifa is a gift from Jack Sparrow that should not be ignored. I (we)still don’t believe in doing physical harm (other than the occasional bloody nose with the aforementioned newspaper), but rather sending Get Out of Dodge, dread-messages such as dead rose bushes and ruined $500 Gucci purses or Armani suits, all these commensurate with their crimes. With this Anonymous list a simple note and bottle of Scope in the mailbox may do the trick. “We know what you did with Antifa, and know where you live. Don’t do it again. Cordially, the Jack Sparrow Anti-Defamation League.”
A proof-of-life photo would have been nice, which is why I suggested we start taking their photos and building dossiers 5 years ago. It takes a team. Form one and read the security rules especially. Your success depends on them always looking over their shoulders, never knowing who you are or what you look like.
Interdiction is the main thrust here, because Antifa needs a steady influx of new blood (they still see the battle areas as expanding). Word gets around, especially on college campuses, making Antifa recruitment more difficult.
Their senior sergeants need a little more targeted takedown. Those strokes would cripple the entire Antifa project. We’ll save that discussion for another place and another time.
Just remember, they only show up on Blue turf, protected by Blue mayors and (often reluctantly) Blue cops. Any confrontation on those grounds gives them a propaganda victory. My way is better.
Remember, ethologically, they are cowards-by-instinct.
Publications: Famous Common People I Have Known and Other Essays
(Both books in Kindle format only, Publishers and agents welcome, as both need to revised)
Support: Yes, I’ve never been a nickel to write.