In these dark days, an intergenerational warning is in order: Antifa folks, be wary. They are coming for you.
Some of us have seen this movie before. In my generation, when I was a teenage member of MSU’s SDS in the late 1960s, I remember the guy who was always yelling,
Kill the pigs, and encouraging us to burn down the ROTC building on campus. In later years, I heard from old SDS colleagues that when they sued the police, they learned that the outspoken guy was a police officer and his friends were informants.
For my dad’s generation, the right-wing takeover of a protest movement happened in Germany generations ago, so most Americans don’t even recognize Marinus van der Lubbe’s name. But the Germans remember well that fateful day 84 years ago: 27 February 1933. And many of them are looking at the confrontations in our streets and worrying.
It started when the government, struggling with questions of its own legitimacy and the instability of its leader, received reports of an imminent terrorist attack. Historians are still debating whether the
terrorist was a mentally incompetent young man manoeuvred into place to take the fall for the crime, or was an actual communist ideologue (of limited intellectual means and probably schizophrenic; that seems to be one thing most agree on).
But the warnings of investigators were ignored at the highest levels, in part because the government was distracted; the man who claimed to be the nation’s leader had not been elected by a majority vote and the people claimed he had no right to the powers he coveted — via AlterNet.org