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To the editor:
This letter is addressed to the individual who wrote their unsolicited opinion in the library book, “Spearhead,” by Adam Makos.
In Chapter 14, in a paragraph referring to the “Night of Broken Glass,” a reference was made to Antifa. Simply speaking, Antifa is an anti Fascist, political movement in the United States made up of a diverse array of autonomous groups.
A far left political movement with no defined organizational hierarchy that opposes fascists, racists, neo Nazis, white supremacists, and other far-right extremists. Antifa has been demonized by an administration that engages in name calling and labeling legitimate protesters as far left liberals [the dreaded L word], Socialists, Marxists, and even, “how awful,” Antifa.
As a former history teacher, I have to tell you being against fascism is not a bad thing. History records that former Allied Commander and President, Dwight Eisenhower was an anti Fascist. Fascism or Nazism was responsible for starting the second World War, the deadliest military conflict in history that resulted in the deaths of an estimated 70-85 million people or about 3% of the 1940 world’s population.
Fascism is a form of far-right, authoritarian ultranationalism characterized by dictatorial power, forcible suppression of opposition which came to prominence in early 20th century Europe. Benito Mussolini, a bombastic political agitator, fond of grandiose statements and gestures organized a private army of bully boys who followed him from rally to rally. In 1922, these bully boys called the Black Shirts marched on Rome. From that point on, Mussolini’s, referred to as Il Duce, “the leader,” and his fascist deputies were the only power in Italy.
Hitler got the message in Germany and organized his own private army of “bully boys,” who attacked anyone who opposed his Nazi movement. The SA Brownshirts created disorder which they frequently blamed on their opponents, the communists and the socialists.
For students of history, the rise of these extremists on both the right and the left is very troubling. Dr. Angman, a Professor of Political Science at NWMSU and World War II veteran, observed that political movements and even political parties have what he called, “the lunatic fringe,” on the left and on the right. A characteristic of the lunatic fringe is their belief in conspiracy theories and their unwillingness to work within the existing framework of government and civil society.
They are the very antithesis of democratic government and civil society. They only have a powerful voice if we give credence to their wacky ideas.
Mary Kathryn Gepner