Book Review: The Antifa Handbook

The Antifa Handbook, by Allum Bokhara

At times it is worthwhile to explain how it is that I come across a given book.  One of my fellow members of a group that discusses military history and its relationship to politics posted a link with a reminder that the handbook linked was humorous but also instructive.  And so it is.  There is a note that must be made here.  Allum Bokhara appears to be a pseudonym for one Milo Yiannopolous, who I must admit, I do not know much about.  Most of what I know about is highly colored by slander and libel.  If this booklet is a suitable picture of his views, I do not find them objectionable at all, and find them quite entertaining and amusing, far from the extremism of the so-called alt-right that they are viewed as [1].  Given the way that this book shows a great sense of humor as well as surprising insight into the ways of progressive protesters, it is little wonder that the mainstream press that supports the anti-Trump movement would be so hostile to Milo, even if he is a fairly decadent person himself in terms of his own personal life.

This is a short but entertaining pamphlet of twelve pages in the version I read.  Included in this booklet are a few interesting elements.  There is a brief historical introduction that gives the origin of Antifa in German communism and contrasts the original protestors with their decadent contemporary followers, along with a joke about how much protesters hate garbage cans, which is a recurrent joke.  The author then talks about five main elements of the protesters, namely soyboys, alternative chicks, overweight activists, the “druggie McUnemployed” of the Pacific Northwest, and poorly disguised radical professors.  There are a lot of rather harsh things said about these groups of people, and their hostility towards free speech and even moderate, mainstream Republicans.  It is clear that the author has gone for laughs and entertainment rather than scholarly history, but it is also clear that there are a lot of insights that are embarrassing to the left, like the way that leftist radicals are often viewed mistakenly as “mainstream,” that the bias of the press and the double standard about free speech is far more obvious to a wide variety of people than is comfortable for many.  One can see in the author’s bold ridicule the seeds of the hatred that other people have for him, and that he is far less unreasonable than many who libel him so freely.

What is one to make of this booklet?  I would like to see a longer and more detailed and less irreverent discussion of the history of antifa and what makes it a domestic terrorist group, and what ought to make unrepentant domestic terrorists of the left permanently beyond the pale of any respectability within society.  The asymmetry between this book’s humor and insight and the hostility with which the author is viewed by others is demonstration of the illegitimacy of a great deal of the left in contemporary society.  The author, for all of his flaws and foibles, can poke fun of himself and his vanity and also demolish the legitimacy of his opponents without raising his voice or causing mayhem and destruction to innocent garbage cans.  All too often the protesters of the left demonstrate that they lack a sense of humor, lack historical insight, and are unable to accept the truth about them being known.  Their discontent could be taken more seriously if they took themselves less seriously and took the rights of those they disagreed with more seriously, but being hypocrites, even what they might have to say of value is disregarded because their false dealing is so plainly evident.

[1] See, for example:

About nathanalbright

I'm a person with diverse interests who loves to read. If you want to know something about me, just ask.
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5 Responses to Book Review: The Antifa Handbook

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