A tentative field guide to resistance in the face of Fascism:

A pal of mine wrote this and is allowing me to share it uncredited

A tentative field guide to resistance in the face of Fascism:

1. Use humor and art. Lots of both, whenever the chance arises. Fascists fear what they don’t understand, and they’ll never understand either of these.
2. Don’t take the bait. Fascists want to deflect and exhaust you by pushing all the buttons that will terrify, shock, outrage, and otherwise emotional abuse you. Stay as calm as possible and try not to waste your energy on unproductive reactions or pointless rebuttals. Don’t get dragged into the endless echo-chamber of their small-minded debates, that’s exactly where they want to trap you.
3. See the bigger picture, and imagine an end goal. You may never get there, but it helps to maintain perspective and direction. And well-placed small steps in the right direction make a big difference over time.
4. Strategize. Organize. Prioritize.
5. Don’t focus solely on the little man behind the curtain. Governments are powerful and important but they exist in a larger context of groups and institutions that can be equally powerful, important, and effective (such as the judiciary, civil rights organizations, unions, schools and communities of all sorts). Vote and lobby as much as you want, but don’t forget to organize and take action on these other levels as well… especially when you find that mechanisms have been set up to prevent your votes and political lobbying from having any actual impact.
6. Do what gives you joy. Try to give joy to others. Fascists hate joy.
7. Known the Fascists’ vulnerabilities. At the end of the day, they don’t care about being right, or being fair, or being liked. They are motivated by power, and its source is money. Follow the money, and find ways to make an economic impact. There is a reason why Fascists are obsessed with taking away people’s rights to strike, boycott, occupy, or otherwise disrupt the regular flow of cold hard cash into the pockets of those whose support they need most.
8. Don’t waste your time cutting down others for not doing enough, doing too much, not doing what you want them to do, or not being ideologically pure. Resistance needs to come from all directions, and it should accommodate folks from all sorts of educational, cultural, and political backgrounds. A certain amount of self-criticism is healthy, but if your political movement doesn’t have any room for spontaneity, messiness, freedom, and diversity… then it’s starting to look like Fascism.
9. Remember you ARE being watched, or at least you that everything you post can potentially be accessed by Fascists. Policing other peoples’ thought and expression is what they do best, or at least most enthusiastically. But don’t let this fact frighten or silence you—on the contrary, it makes it all the more imperative for everyone to flood the public sphere with intelligent, principled, honest discourse. Just try to not to make yourself or your friends too much of an easy target in the process.
10. Do something. Whatever you can, when you can. Nobody can do it all, and sometimes we can’t do anything, but every time we find some way to say “no” to the Fascists we weaken them and inspire others. Fascism cannot withstand the collective power of committed people who continually speak, act, and resist according to their capacity. Never give up.


About flexosaurus

I am an anthropologist and Associate Professor who loves to play guitar and comment on social injustice in whatever form it may take
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