Yesterday, on my morning walk through my quiet and semi-leafy neighbourhood of Wooloowin, in the outer inner north of Brisbane, Australia, I was confronted by an unexpected sight. Overnight, someone has plastered (extremely well, as I subsequently discovered) a poster onto a metal pole supporting a street lamp.
You can check out Antipodean Resistance online for yourself. The boys – for they style themselves “closer to a 21st Century Hitler Youth rather than the NSDAP itself” and I don’t suspect there are too many young women involved – have seemingly been around for the past few months, putting up their posters and stickers all over Australia (see some media reports here and here). My Facebook friends are divided on whether AR are really a bunch of Millennial skinheads, or whether it’s all a “false flag” operation by the left, who have a pretty good form in faking hate crimes in order to prove their point about the racist and fascist society. I guess time will tell.
Now, everyone who knows me, knows that I, to put it mildly, don’t like Nazis, neo or paleo. By a sheer coincidence, the very moment this Pole came upon that pole, I was contemplating the dearly departed of my family, including my great-grandfather who passed away from an untreated pneumonia in a Gestapo prison in Krakow. Poles and Nazis really don’t mix. The young mouth-breathers from the Antipodean Resistance might be all about “white supremacy”, but for the original swastika (original European that is, not Asian) guys, the otherwise very white Slavs were just a small step up from the Jews in the racial classification of sub-human races.
Do neo-Nazis have a right of free speech? I’m pretty strong on free speech, more American than Australian in that regard, so I would say yes. They can spew out their hateful and moronic ideas, the same way that communists are and should be allowed to. We need to debate – and to ridicule and intellectually defeat – rather than suppress the ideas we don’t like.
Arguably though, neo-Nazis (or anyone else for that matter) have no right to exercise their right to free speech on street lamps or power poles or traffic signs, which are the property of the government or power distribution companies, and are not public commons or for that matter a private property of skinheads. Anti-discrimination laws or no anti-discrimination laws, the electricity guys in the case would be well in their right to come and scrap the “Australia Awake” (a steal of “Deutschland Erwache” – Germany Awake – usually followed by “Juda den Tod” – Perish the Jewry) poster of their nice, shiny pole.
Instead of calling the company, however, I decided to exercise my right to free speech this morning – while understanding that by doing so I’m also impinging on the power people’s property rights over their pole. My only excuse is that Hitler Youth got there first.
So yes, I’m anti-Nazi. But I’m also anti-communist, and anti-jihadi or anti-Islamofascist. In fact, as a liberal, who values democracy, freedom, and free market, I stand against all forms of totalitarian collectivism, whether national socialism, international socialism, or a theocratic socialism. I’m not just anti-fa; I’m anti-FaComIS. And so can you.
I don’t claim any originality – feel free to share and use.