I have no shame that my Dad was a member of an antifascist organization. Actually, so was my mother, and I’m equally unashamed.
Dad’s outfit was called the Canadian Army and Mum was in the British Womens’ Auxiliary Air Force. Most of their friends and relatives were antifascist, too. Uncle Harry was considered medically unfit to serve, so he spent most nights putting out fires during the bombing of Liverpool, then showed up for work in the morning.
Some of my Mum and Dad’s friends lost their lives to the fascists, and many more came home with lifelong physical and emotional scars.
My grandparents were antifascists, too, and although they didn’t serve in uniform, they kept up the home front, bought war bonds, knitted socks and mittens for the troops and did what they could to support the war effort. Grandad Thornton’s once prosperous business was bombed and shattered, and his health was ruined. He died not long after VE Day, as surely a victim of the fascists as anyone.
After the war ended, the world learned the truth about fascism-- it was no mere political philosophy, it was the very embodiment of evil. As the death camps were laid bare, and the gas chambers and crematoria opened for the world to see, we learned of a depravity guised as racial purity.
Come to think about it, I’m an antifascist, too. I’m against any notion that one class or religion or ethnicity is better than another, or that the rule of a strongman is preferable or even desirable, or that a cabal of the rich and privileged should rule as of right. I don’t believe that because you are black, or Jewish, or gay, or suffer a mental or physical challenge, you have less rights than I, in particular the right to live.
Fascist rhetoric and propaganda typically targets the left, socialists and communists as all of one evil cloth. The Nazi marching hymn Horst-Wessel-Lied was a rant against the Red Front, and today’s tweets continue the chant, pretending that the choice is binary. The centrist majority is overlooked as if it isn’t there, because fascists need a bogeyman. Once the fascists take power, the center is seduced, silenced, or eliminated, which is why centrists need to speak up while they can.
I’m an anti-fascist. And damned proud of it.
Norman Bowley teaches the Alignment Doctrine and the Client Code-- secrets to building the professional practice you and your clients deserve.