In the USA the radical far-left group Antifa has been using threats and violence to suppress conservatives, libertarians, nationalists, and capitalists for months, and finally, a state has officially labeled them a terrorist group. On June 12, New Jersey became the first state in the country to label Antifa a domestic terrorist organization with the state office of Homeland Security and Preparedness. “Anti-fascist groups, or “Antifa,” are a subset of the anarchist movement and focus on issues involving racism, sexism, and anti-Semitism, as well as other perceived injustices,” the office’s website details.
Croatia would also do well if it declared as terrorists the antifascists denying communist crimes. In Croatia, the antifascist – antifa – organisation/s operate under legally based registration and cannot, therefore, be classified as anarchists. However, their expressed speeches charged with fundamental denials and justification of mass-scale communist crimes during and post-WWII without doubt are designed to incite anarchy, social divisions and violence or aggression particularly targeting those who seek justice for the victims of communist crimes and de-communisation of the country’s public administration and affairs.
Viewing the antifascists’ acts and public displays from a criminological, rather than ideological, perspective offers some provocative insights into the minds of those protecting the communist fighters of WWII and after it, who labeled themselves as antifascist fighters in order to conceal their heinous acts against humanity under the umbrella of the worldwide revered name of “antifascism”.
Studies have shown that criminals/terrorists commonly use five techniques to justify their heinous acts – allowing them to effectively neutralise their guilt. Croatia’s antifascists, former communists and many of their offspring, do just that even to this day.
The first recourse in neutralising the guilt for crimes is the “denial of responsibility”. In this way, criminals/terrorists might refer to forces beyond their control, relieving them of responsibility for their criminal actions. This was and is utmost loyalty to the communist party and its oppressive, fear mongering, tyrannical structure of power, resting on personality cult and political elitism. Communist purges under Josip Broz Tito in former Yugoslavia saw hundreds of targeted assassinations of non-communist inclined Croats and hundreds of thousands of innocent deaths buried in multitudes of unmarked mass graves and pits. Innocent Croats – killed like flies. To this day Croatian antifascists deny any responsibility for those deaths and continue justifying them by calculatingly and wrongfully accusing those they slaughtered of being fascists.
Second, criminals/terrorists employ “denial of injury” to justify violence. Communists causing harm and injury through cruel acts evidently believed that their actions will not have consequences to themselves since their cruelty would lead them to a better world – akin to paradise on Earth – under the rule and power of communism. Today’s antifascists in Croatia perpetuate the rhetoric of how just and mighty communist Yugoslavia was. This denial persists to this day as it is in no significant and objective way addressed by the modern-day antifascists of Croatia. No reality checks, whatsoever.
The criminals/terrorists also use a technique called “denial of the victim”. For zealots, the population in Croatia that did not subscribe to communism deserved and deserves punishment and death; any injury is just retaliation for their hatred of communists or antifascists. Many communists even considered the civilians of anti-communist predisposition as the enemy, since they supported and independent Croatia. The innocent masses buried in hundreds of pits deserved to die according to many antifascists.
The fourth tactic used by criminals/terrorists to neutralise their guilt is to “condemn the condemners”. Rather than explain their actions, terrorists attack those who disapprove of their deviance. For them, those condemners from the ranks of politicians, journalists, academics, judges, public figures, outspoken citizens and the like – are corrupted, depraved, brutal hypocrites and deviants, because they insist that communist regime was totalitarian and riddled with crimes against humanity. Thus antifascists widely employ the branding of those who fought for an independent Croatia during and after WWII as worthless beings who deserved the death that hundreds of thousands were faced with during communist purges. This neutralisation technique allows criminals to shrug off denunciation of their actions by questioning those segments of society that critique communist crimes/terrorism.
Finally, terrorists appeal to “higher loyalties” to explain their crimes. Social control may be neutralised by sacrificing the demands of larger society for the demands of smaller social groups to which the terrorists belong, such as antifascists. Antifascists keep pounding on how the communists/antifascists liberated the Croatian people in WWII, regardless of the fact that any liberation had to do with maintaining Yugoslavia as a conglomerate or federation of different states as opposed to independence of the Croatian state and nation. Communists made promises of brotherhood and friendship within Yugoslavia and forced a notion of brotherhood by purging – murdering – masses that wanted nothing to do with that ill-founded brotherhood. Today, Croatian antifascists even have the hide to claim credit for the independence of today’s Croatian state. A claim most fowl.
Denial of communist crimes in Croatia maintains and deepens the widespread fear of an emergence of yet another communist-like rule and in that prevents the development of mainstream solidarity with the independence and democracy Croats fought for in the 1990’s. The political and, therefore, economic prosperity of the country have been at an impasse for more years than I want to count and this must change – the scales must turn towards that for which Croatia fought: away from communist mindset and practices in public administration and affairs.
Much of this boils down to persistent, mindless denial of justice to victims of communist crimes by Croatian antifascists and this is – terrorism.
By Ina Vukic