Five Common Threads Between China's Red Guard and Antifa
For the past year I have been watching videos of the antics and riots between antifa and everyone they don't like. (And if you don't identify totally with antifa, antifa definitely is against you, no matter what your politics are.) As I've been studying their beliefs and tactics it occurred to me that they were imitating the communist agitators of years past, particularly of the Red Guard in the Chinese Revolution.
When you understand how the Red Guard ran almost unchecked throughout China and virtually destroyed that nation during that time, and you see the similarities between those communists and antifa, it is easy to realize that the "antifa" that is currently creating havoc could certainly be a real and serious threat to our liberty in a constitutional republic.
While the two groups are not exactly identical, currently I see four common threads between the Red Guard and antifa:
1. Young people populated both movements.
In 1966 Mao Zedong was a disgraced leader within the communist leadership of China. His "Great Leap Forward" (1958-1962) was a socialist economic plan that brought disaster upon China's economy. The resulting famine on the collective farms and production of useless pig iron was so bad that in those four years an estimated 45 million people died from either being worked to death, starvation, or imprisonment. (For more information about this era, I suggest reading "Mao's Great Famine: The History of China's Most Devastating Catastrophe.")
Mao looked for ways to climb back into power, and in 1966 he saw his chance by endorsing students at Beijing University and Tsinghua University who were even more radical and left-wing than the communist leadership of the country! (How much more left-wing can you get? Things would get pretty crazy and violent as it turned out.)
Large gatherings of students from all over the country came to Beijing to get their "blessings" from Mao, and then scattered across the land to protest everyone and anyone whom they thought were not "revolutionary" enough. The Red Guard, Mao's personal army, were almost entirely made up of young people.
Watch the videos of people protesting in Washington, D.C. on the day of President Trump's inauguration, or in Portland, or in Charlottesville, or in Berkely, or beating up Trump supporters in the past year, and you will see almost all young people. Most are college-aged and older into their 30s. I have not seen too many of them close to my age (55).
I will say at this point, however, that while the Red Guard was manipulated and controlled by a single "cult" figure (Mao Zedong), antifa is decentralized and does not have one single charismatic figure directing everything (as far as we know for now). Nor is antifa funded or endorsed by our federal government.