In an interview with the Washington Examiner published last Thursday, Chomsky called Antifa a “minuscule fringe of the Left,” adding that “what they do is often wrong in principle – like blocking talks – and [the movement] is generally self-destructive.” He continued: “When confrontation shifts to the arena of violence, it’s the toughest and most brutal who win – and we know who that is. That’s quite apart from the opportunity costs – the loss of the opportunity for education, organizing and serious and constructive activism.”
Essentially, Chomsky condemned the group, which characterizes itself as “defensive” in nature, for its violent tactics. Most notably, however, he opined that the group is counter-productive to those who aim to support progressive policies and oppose racism — stating that Antifa is a “major gift to the Right, including the militant Right, who are exuberant.”
Beyond Chomsky, very few progressives have spoken out against Antifa. One of the few condemnations in the progressive press comes from writer Nicholas Goroff who argued in a piece for Occupy that the Antifa movement is in many ways antithetical to progressive values.
Goroff writes: “Awash in 20th century Marxist doctrine, the presence of Antifa, and the left’s tolerance of them within their ranks, stands as a rejection of the civil enlightenment values liberals and progressives once stood for, and a slow embrace of the authoritarian orthodoxy which throughout the 20th century so often gave the left its bad name to begin with.”