Sooner or later the Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone in Seattle will run its course. CHAZ isn’t sustainable, just as Occupy Wall Street or Occupy Denver weren’t. Under U.S. law, no group has the right to establish a so-called “autonomous zone,” declare itself a separate country or secede from the Union. (We fought the Civil War over that.) And the unelected Chazians have no right to trespass on or appropriate private or public property. Forbidding the police to evict this rabble, Jenny Durkan, Seattle’s flower-child Mayor, who calls this pretentious separatist movement “a summer of love,” is in dereliction of her duty.
(For the record, CHAZ officially renamed itself CHOP shortly after its declaration of independence. I assumed that was designed to improve its image by giving tourists the impression that it had a House of Pancakes. I was mistaken, later discovering that CHOP stands for the Capitol Hill Organized (or Occupied) Protest. Since neither I nor the United Nations have formally recognized it under any name, I’ll just stick with CHAZ for now.)
Raz Simone, a radical left-wing, second-rate rapper and would-be Idi Amin, has declared himself the warlord-in-chief of CHAZtopia, and has issued his terms: “The Seattle Police Department and attached court system are beyond reform. We do not request reform,” he declares, “We demand abolition…That means 100% of funding, including existing pensions for Seattle Police.” Among his many other demands is a ban on the use of force (except by his thugs), the destruction of the prison system, socialized health care and medicine for Seattle, citizenship for illegal immigrants and free college and public housing. This is a wish list right out of Bernie’s and AOC’s socialist playbook. But what standing does Samone have to “demand” anything? Of course he expects Seattle to pay for this since CHAZtopia has no money. So, what will His Warlordship do if his demands aren’t met? Declare war on Seattle? Burn his 6-square-block domain to the ground along with its inhabitants? Only when this absurd occupation is finally abandoned or forcibly cleared by the authorities in the name of public health and safety, will the rightful inhabitants of Capitol Hill be liberated. (By the time you read this, it may already be gone.)
Domestic terrorists like Simone and Antifa aren’t receptive to negotiation or reason. They’re delusional revolutionaries who seek power and social upheaval with no practical replacement. Give them an inch and they’ll take a mile. Appeasement of domestic terrorists, vandals and looters only encourages more of that.
Regarding Antifa, shorthand for “anti-fascist,” its very name is a fraud. These are self-declared anarchists with no interest in pluralistic democracy. Antifa’s alignment with socialists directly contradicts its commitment to anarchy which is the absence of government, whereas socialism is the embodiment of all-powerful government dominating people’s lives. For Antifa, this is a temporary marriage of convenience. The burgeoning socialist revolution in this country is where the action is, and that’s what Antifa wants to exploit. It has no interest in the welfare state; it just revels in violent turmoil. While it’s credo of brutality is reminiscent of Hitler’s Brownshirts and Mussolini’s Blackshirts, that’s a matter of tactics, not ideology.
Fascism, Nazism and communism are all variations of the politics of the left. Mussolini, Hitler and Stalin were cut from the same cloth. In Nazi Germany, Hitler followed Mussolini’s fascist model in Italy after World War I. Hitler was a national socialist (hence, the abbreviation “Nazi”) as compared to Marx and Lenin who were international socialists dedicated to the spread of this ideology worldwide. In the former Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, that ideology predictably evolved into a totalitarian dictatorship.
Safire’s Political Dictionary traces the root of the term “fascism,” to “fascio,” the Italian word for “bundle” or ”group.” The McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Modern Economics defines it as “A totalitarian, collective system of government in which central control is exercised over all economic, political and social activities…entirely eliminating individualism and regarding the state as the highest expression of the will of the group…Private ownership of production is maintained, but extreme restrictions are imposed on private economic freedoms. Decisions on production, investment, prices and wages are all subject to arbitrary government control.” This is what conservatives want less of in this country and it’s precisely what the left wants more of.
Fascism is nothing like the limited-government, free market, individualist philosophy of conservatives like Milton Friedman or Ronald Reagan. The intrusiveness and intolerance of fascist governments are essential parts of the vision of progressive Democrats and outright socialists like Bernie Sanders and his ideological spawn, AOC. The ruthless suppression of free speech subjectively deemed “politically incorrect” by radical left-wing students on college campuses, enforced by feckless college administrators who deny due process to those accused is fascism in action.
It’s laughable when callow left-wing students, with scant understanding of the term fascism and its pedigree hurl it at conservatives, when it’s their side that’s better defined by that label. They wield the term as a meaningless slur, with the intellectual depth of a four-year old calling another kid a doo-doo head.
Longtime KOA radio talk host and columnist for the Denver Post and Rocky Mountain News Mike Rosen now writes for CompleteColorado.com.