No 1118 January 8th 2002
To halt 'fascism' as such is a diversion. All warmongering repressive imperialism in crisis is 'fascism'. the boot of reaction goes in with or without swastika armbands. Revolution is the only progress, not anti-fascism. Germany & Spain were Stalinist disasters en route to the 'peaceful parliamentary road' to oblivion.
A looming blind-alley disaster for the working class will be the political extension of the misdirected posturing against thug celebrities which will try to make "stopping the fascists" the main strategy for the socialist movement.
Every catastrophic historical mistake that Revisionism and Trotskyism made between them will be reimposed by such fatal shallowness.
Never in history has the problem been fascism as such, and neither is it now,
The problem is always the social and economic conditions of crisis being sown by the capitalist system as a whole which the fascists take political advantage of, just one of a variety of negative political and social symptoms which the crisis creates.
Just "stopping" one symptom by "halting fascism's march" is a) utterly pointless; and b) almost certainly futile anyway.
The essence of all 'fascist' repressive reaction in a crisis is to cow the working class to make it bear (in unemployment and poverty, etc) the burdens of the economic crisis; to divide the working class tribally to make them more easily pacified and less capable of organising. a revolution; and to divert the working class and petty bourgeoisie into 'patriotic' war-chauvinist channels by playing on the 'national interest' in xenophobic conflict with 'foreign' enemies of one kind or another. In every international economic crisis in history, every single capitalist state has always gone down this repressive reactionary route.
Only in very rare special circumstances has a named specific fascist party had to be put into office in order to achieve the basic task in every crisis-situation, namely, the survival of the capitalist-bourgeois system despite the cataclysmic horrors of slump, reaction, war, and destruction it has led a country into.
In other words, 'fascist' parties as such are a purely incidental phenomenon of capitalist warmongering crisis, — a symptom, not the cause.
For a workers movement ever to declare "Halt the slide into fascist reaction" to be either a sensible or an achievable aim is to make a declaration of total reformist confusion, bankruptcy, and futility.
Currently, this anti-revolutionary anti-Marxist muddle-headedness finds its spontaneous expressions in "Stop the BNP" and "Punish Bowyer and Woodgate", etc, etc.
It is the wrong political education for the working class entirely, hopelessly misleading it that all that is going wrong with capitalism is 'a temporary reactionary hiccup which can quickly be sorted out with some energetic anti-fascist protest marches and some stiffer punishments all round for racist hooliganism. Not so.
The international imperialist-system crisis the world is approaching is total and deadly.
The quality, cynicism and injustice of the almost casual fascist blitzkrieg death and destruction US imperialism is currently inflicting on Afghanistan, for example, is already in an infinitely more cold-blooded, vicious, and alarming league than anything that German or Japanese imperialism hoped to get away with when deliberately stirring up a warmongering atmosphere during the 1930s crisis. And the scale and suddenness of economic breakdown already utterly dwarfs the sort of dislocation experienced during the Great Depression; and the crisis has hardly started yet. Argentina's current civil-war uproar results from just a tiny proportion of the potential devastation. Argentina gives a flavour of HOW the turmoil will evolve.
Japan is still the much more revealing guide to the terrifying dimensions of the mayhem to come. The world's second-most-powerful-economy ever developed is comparable in efficiency, output, inventiveness and productivity to the whole world economy of the 1930s; and its floundering like a gigantic beached whale over the last 11 years, constantly threatening total bankruptcy and ruin in all directions, is symbolic of the paralysed disaster menacing the whole world economy.
Unemployment, poverty, and despair on an unimaginable scale awaits the whole planet, a simple application of Marx's law on monopoly-accumulated unviable capital 'surpluses' makes clear (the 'overproduction crisis'), of which the rioting in Argentina is just a tiny foretaste.
World revolutionary socialist understanding will shortly stage a rapid revival; but failed and incurable Revisionist and Trotskyist muddle-headedness still stands in the way, and fascist diversions will also make their move, all exploiting the same arena of 'left"-reformist anti-revolutionary confusion.
The working class must be warned not to repeat the mistakes of the 1930s.
"Stopping the BNP" will be the WRONG issue, — reformist nonsense. Crisis is driving the whole of capitalism towards reactionary repression and war. It will get there with or without the help of a 'viable' fascist party. Thus, if the BNP were "stopped", the capitalist; state would simply find some other way or some other fascist party to get the job done.
There is one issue only from now on: The revolutionary overthrow of the capitalist system as soon as possible.
The monstrous mistake of Revisionism in the 1930s was the inability or unwillingness to make it clear (through all the complicated nuances of tactics and strategy) that only the socialist revolution could possibly save the world from warmongering imperialist catastrophe as the climax to the insoluble economic crisis.
Strategic confusion of left opportunism or right opportunism dominated Moscow's leadership of the Third International.
Because of the lack of clarity over the inescapable revolutionary perspective which alone was facing the world, in Germany the mightiest communist party outside of the Soviet Union was virtually wiped out without trace and without a fight in a matter of weeks in a period of domestic and international capitalist debacle where a serious revolutionary attempt, entirely creditable and entirely worthwhile, could have been launched but for the universal theoretical cowardice and feebleness which bogged the communist movement. down in opportunist tactical and strategic rigmaroles.
And the wrong criticism is still being made which pillories the "after Hitler our turn" nonsense.
The crucial failure lay not in mistimed tactical manoeuvres around Nazi Party activities, but in making ludicrous assumptions about the 'worth' and 'stability' of parliamentary 'democracy', & not calling for revolt.
A similar catastrophe was inflicted in Spain three years later where the same delusions insisted that the same worthless 'parliamentary democracy' was what was worth fighting for against the fascist rebellion.
It was nonsense. Capitalist crisis was bent on a course of repressive reaction come what may, either through 'parliamentary democracy' as in Germany (where Hitler was legally voted into taking over governmental power by the MPs), or around the parliament as in Spain.
Either way, the only issue facing the working class was to overthrow the capitalist state. It was the only way to stop the course to repressive reaction. It would have been the only way to raise a sufficiently determined, clear-headed, and far-sighted proletarian movement that might actually have stopped Franco.
Let the Republican Government by all means fight Franco as well.
But as with the Bolsheviks against the Kornilov rebellion in August 1917, let the insistence on proletarian revolution remain in force, whether the weak existing government managed enough of a fight to survive the fascist coup or not.
As with all such potential 'parliamentary' allies against fascism; strike together against the plotters, but march separately, insisting that only socialist revolution can really put a stop to the capitalist course towards repressive reaction.
Even an almost-certainly-doomed bid for power would clearly have been preferable in Germany in the early 1930s. It would have further clarified the reactionariness of the existing 'parliamentary democracy' system, as did the July Days doomed demonstration in Russia , in 1917. And it might also have forced the Nazi Party to reveal its pro-capitalist essence more, in solidarising with the capitalist state, — thus shedding more of its own bogus 'revolutionary' posturing which was still beguiling some sections of backward workers.
But learning no lessons, Revisionism's anti-revolutionary anti-Marxist degeneration subsequently dragged the whole world communist movement towards the 'peaceful road to socialism' delusion and towards ultimate oblivion in the post World War II period.
Even more shamefully, delusions in the stability of 'parliamentary (i.e. bourgeois) democracy' in Indonesia in 1965 saw the world's mightiest communist party outside of the workers states virtually annihilated without a fight and without trace once again, as in Germany in 1933, — to the background by now of not just Moscow Revisionism's idiotic belief in fairy stories about 'good' imperialism versus 'bad' (i.e. 'fascist' imperialism) but the insanity of permanent 'peaceful coexistence' as well, making anti-revolutionism almost obligatory.
To this day, the entire fake 'left' in Britain, Trot and Revisionist alike, has not really moved on from that shameful Communist Party position of just being useless 'left' reformist adherents to the utterly reactionary Labour Party, the architects of the Cold War nuclear encirclement of the workers states, and the chief stooge still of US imperialism's fascist aggression masterplan to some day rid the world totally of any socialist or anti-imperialist revolt at all, via total repressive reaction.
Tragically, the opposition to Stalinism's Revisionist weakness was dominated from early on by the even worse opportunist theoretical nonsense of the Trotskyites, which rapidly degenerated everywhere into Labour-entryist anti-communism which found its classic Cold War expression supporting the Solidarnosc fake-'left' stunt, financed and masterminded by the CIA and the Vatican which put the neo-fascist nationalist Walesa on the map, eventually guaranteeing capitalist restoration in Poland and undermining all of the workers states in the process.
The only way that total catastrophe for the world from warmongering crisis can now be avoided, and rational progress for civilisation resumed, is by going back to the dictatorship of the proletariat, and working within .the workers states for steady improvement. The pro-Soviet world anti-imperialist movement offered the only serious alternative there has ever been to international domination by regularly recurring crises of warmongering monopoly-imperialist aggression.
Only a new wave of Bolshevik Revolutions and powerful workers states, organised on anti-capitalist consciousness as before, will halt this new era of out-of-control warmongering fascist aggression by the monopoly-imperialist system in crisis.
Next (part 5) >>
<< Back to Part 3
<<Back to Perspectives 2002 synopsis page