In the light of demonstrations planned today, I thought this article by a former Antifa leader in Australia might prove interesting.
ANTIFA is a growing extreme group who believe violence is legitimate.
. . .
I came to believe that war was a symptom of bigger systems at play in society and they were the real enemy, like white supremacy and patriarchy. Antifa believe these systems need to be smashed through a process of ‘de-platforming’ to save the world. People who don’t necessarily agree on everything are united to attack their common enemy — anyone in the right wing of politics.
This micro-society became my life for four years.
They believe historically their roots were fighting Nazi oppression. They run a website which is updated every couple of weeks with a hit list of right wing names. They believe if these people are allowed to speak, society will suffer. So, they must be pushed back.
There is no mission statement, rather, it’s a dangerous rhetoric. There are a lot of very damaged people who are drawn to it.
. . .
The radical left of Antifa presents itself as being about compassion and empathy; it’s a Trojan horse. All conversations are about entitlement and rights, not responsibility. When these people talk about freedom, they really mean freedom from responsibility.
Often the people who are drawn to this cult don’t have a strong identity outside it. I’m not a psychologist but, like ISIS, it gives people a sense of belonging to something and having purpose.
. . .
It’s a miserable mindset. When I got out of it and stopped feeling oppressed, I finally felt like I could take control of my life. That’s what I intend to do now.
There's more at the link. Recommended reading.
I'm sure the same dynamic is operating in the US branches of Antifa. I've met their ilk in this country, and also overseas. I'd call it a nihilistic approach to life, which - in the absence of any 'traditional' purpose and meaning - makes tearing down the principles and beliefs of others its central objective.