Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Fascism: What it is and How to Stop it

Too many people in the bourgeois media today throw around the F-bomb with little or
no understanding of what the word means or represents. It has become the new trend for the Right-wing reactionaries to label people on the left as Fascists, culminating in ridiculous and oxymoronic accusations such as "commie fascists" (I didn't make that up, I have seen a conservative nutjob use exactly those words). Libertarians of all stripes attempt to group the fascist with the communist as "statist" or "authoritarian", which is really an attempt for the Right to wash their hands of the fascist movements and project them on the left. However, the Right has never objectively analyzed fascism and it's economic roots. All attempts at such were hindered by their bourgeois intellectual limitations and class bias.

So what is fascism? I will try not to be too long winded but describe it as concisely as possible. Fascism is ultimately a system dominated literally by capitalist executives and their corporations. The fascist state consists of the largest corporations in industry each taking a place of power over that facet of society (health corporation, communication corporation, etc). CEOs act as both corporation overseers and dictators within the government as they set prices and wages for their workers. Power is "delegated" to them from a sort of fascist "labor union" which includes not only workers but the CEOs and management themselves! This situation is intentionally lopsided, giving the latter complete sway within the "union" and its decisions. The workers are left utterly powerless as strikes are outlawed, seen as a product of class war. The fascist state's official ideology is one of class collaboration and devotion to the state monopoly government (i.e. the large corporation dictators). The state, being an instrument of force, actively pursues militarism as a means of protecting monopoly capitalist power from proletarian demands and taking foreign markets/resources.

Property relations remain as they do in capitalist society, which is private ownership.
Entrepreneurship and competition is encouraged by the state, so long as these smaller private enterprises do not interfere or challenge the supreme economic authority over capital of the state monopoly corporations. Despite the claims of fascists themselves that the system they support is anti-capitalist, they are the most violent and ravenous protectors of private greed. Adolf Hitler himself was involved in creating private businesses for his family members. If Fascism is anti-capitalist socialism, then ask yourself if Lenin ever started a private business. Nazi Germany would have never been possible if it weren't for the power of big capitalists such as the Thyssen family. Ultimately, fascist economics is violent monopoly capitalism which upholds the profit and power of the monopoly class over the proletariat.

As I stated earlier, fascist philosophy entails that the individual dedicate himself entirely to the nation and its state monopoly government. He must entrust those CEOs, fascist party leaders, and generals with control over his life. To him, his country and government is first; being a proud and true German or Italian, for instance, is most important. Those people who are deemed alien to their culture can never be assimilated. Racial purity for the fascist is the key and minority populations are the problem. As a Jew or other minority, you are not seen as able to overcome your "selfish" pursuit of your own greedy aspirations which are separate from that of being German, Italian, British, etc. Should the minority or Jew be able to overcome this "selfishness", then they would be exploited and separated into their own societies cut-off from majority populations; a sort of racist conception not too different from "separate but equal" scams. As you can see, the minority is treated as a disease capable of destroying the unity of nation and state. Therefore, these potential "problems" are to be dealt with in the harshest degree by the fascist state.

In short, the fascist society has a few central components. First is private ownership of property with slightly limited competition. Secondly, fanatic devotion to the culture, nation, and state (CEOs and generals as supreme government dictators, legitimized militarism\xenophobia). Third, class collaboration; the working class giving up their power to the monopoly capitalists and abandoning class war, including the right to organize unions and strike. Lastly, the worship of the individual as a driving force in society. These ideological foundations are not only anti-socialist in general but completely born of Right wing paradigm. Fascist society is impossible without laissez-fair and late imperialist capitalism. For instance, the progression of the capitalist market and competition created huge corporations which grew larger after each economic crisis. As many businesses fell through, these corporations ate them up and dominated the market. Finance would grow to such an extent that it would merge with industrial capital and later literally obtain seats of power within government. The capitalists, now inseparable from the state, would protect themselves from collapse and profit loss using force/coercion from state mechanisms. As capitalism falters and grasps for air in this late stage of development which Lenin called imperialism (our current stage of development), nothing but more force could protect the legitimacy of the claim the capitalist giants have over distribution of wealth. Thus, the only way to keep private profit alive would be fascism. This could not have been, however, without the central tenants of laissez-fair. These include the sanctity of private property, no government interference with the market. This last facet of market fundamentalism is most important as it allows the formation of business associations, cartels, corporations who hold unrivaled wealth and power. With little government control over economy or economic procedure, CEOs are fully capable of entering government and acting in their own favor. Furthermore, traditional conservative trends such as negation of class conflict and fear of labor rights play perfectly into the hands of monopoly capitalist interest. All the while, the working class is exploited by selling their labor for not even a fraction of the wealth they generate for the capitalist.It is appropriate to quote George Dimitrov, a great Marxist-Leninist thinker, from his report to the 7th World Congress of the Comintern:

"...fascism in power ... [is]the open terrorist dictatorship of the most reactionary, most chauvinist and most imperialist elements of finance capital. (p.2)"

The privileged bourgeois who triumph their individual wealth stores over their fellow human being will gladly embrace force to keep the working class in a state of destitution; exploited and oppressed in the utmost violent manner. The capitalists knows nothing more than reducing profit loss.

As Dimitrov points out, Fascism is no ideology of working class origin:

"No, fascism is not a power standing above class, nor government of the petty bourgeoisie or the lumpen-proletariat over finance capital. Fascism is the power of finance capital itself. It is the organization of terrorist vengeance against the working class and the revolutionary section of the peasantry and intelligentsia. In foreign policy, fascism is jingoism in its most brutal form, fomenting bestial hatred of other nations."

The power of finance capital can only survive if it remains imperialistic, always gobbling up new markets and resources like a ravenous beast. Profit can only be gained by dividing up the world and it's labor.

So how do we prevent this from happening? The proletariat, i.e. the sector of society which has only their labor to sell, must seize the means of production and destroy the old bourgeois property relations and create new ones; common ownership of property. The working class must organize their own party and government which represents their interests. The government must be of the proletariat for the proletariat, against bourgeois reaction and imperialism. We must rid ourselves of nationalism/xenophobia and embrace socialist internationalism. Bourgeois dictatorships must always be resisted as they are the reason for concentration of wealth, poverty, disease, racism, sexism, and war. Class war must never be negated or forgotten but accepted and fought as a proletariat defender. No amount of private bail outs, printing of money, or war will alleviate the suffering from capitalism's contradictions; the whole system is falling and we must hasten it to create a socialist society. Failure to do such will be catastrophic for the proletariat and the human species in general. Fascism, a 100% Right-wing ideology, comes to fruition in the absence of socialism.


*For Georgi Dimitrov's complete report to the 7th Congress of the Communist International, follow this link:
http://www.marxists.org/reference/archive/dimitrov/works/1935/08_02.htm

4 comments:

jjack said...

Comrade, I've linked your blog to mine....Red Montana (http://redmontana.wordpress.com/). Keep up the good work.

Red Joe said...

Thank you for the interest comrade!
I will put yours on my blog list as well.

Gus Hall Action Club said...

Great blog post, Joe, about fascism--"the open terrorist dictatorship of the most reactionary, most chauvinist and most imperialist elements of finance capital, " to quote Georgi Dimitrov. Very timely, too, as questions about fascism arise in periods of heightened repression.

You hit the nail on the head, comrade! Fascism is an outgrowth of capitalism. Former Communist Party USA leader Gus Hall once said that fascism "extends the ideology, values and morality that monopoly capital gives rise to."

You personally told me that the 1935 report by Georgi Dimitrov, the former general secretary of the Communist International, to the 7th World Congress of the Communist International is "the most accurate analysis of fascism I have read to date" and that you will update, or "touch up," this blog post with some of his writings.

Georgi Dimitrov was a great Communist leader from Bulgaria who was dragged in by the Nazis and charged with setting fire to the Reichstag. At his trial, in the very lair of the fascist beast, he heroically fought back and exposed the Hitlerites themselves as the perpetrators of the crime in an anti-Communist attempt to seize power. The Nazis were forced to release him.

For a Marxist-Leninist understanding of fascism, we must encourage workers to read Georgi Dimitrov’s contribution to the 7th World Congress of the Communist International. Go to marxists.org and find Georgi Dimitrov’s "Report to the VII Congress." It’s first section, entitled "Fascism and the working class, " has four short sections: The class character of fascism, What does fascist victory bring to the masses?, Is the victory of fascism inevitable? and Fascism -- A ferocious but unstable power.

Joe, maybe you’d want to put a link to Dimitrov’s report to the 7th World Congress of the Communist International at the conclusion of this blog post, recommending it to others for further reading!

We cannot overstate that, to use your words, "the working class must organize it’s own party." Georgi Dimitrov wrote that, along with the militant fighting unity of the proletariat, a correct policy between the working class and the petty-bourgeoisie and the timely action of the revolutionary proletariat against fascism, a Marxist-Leninist Communist party is a major factor in preventing the victory of fascism. Preventing fascism, Dimitrov taught "depends on the existence of a strong revolutionary party, correctly leading the struggle of the working people against fascism. A party which systematically calls on the workers to retreat in the face of fascism and permits the fascist bourgeoisie to strengthen its positions is doomed to lead the workers to defeat." Please feel free to put this quote on your blog.

In his speech, Dimitrov also noted that the danger of revisionism grows as a united front against fascism develops. Dimitrov warned of tendencies "to reduce the role of the Communist Party in the ranks of the united front and to effect a reconciliation with social-democratic ideology." And he said that Communist policy must "not (be) a reconciliation with Social-Democratic ideology and practice."

Once again, an excellent blog post, comrade, and thank you for writing this!!

--Michael, Gus Hall Action Club

Red Joe said...

Comrade at the Guss Hall Action Club,
Thank you so much for your input on my blog post!
Dimitrov was a brilliant dialectician and Marxist-Leninist thinker; an anti-fascist warrior that all communists can learn from.
His report to the 7th World Congress of the Comintern was truly a work of expertise.
I will indeed link this post to his report and add a couple of quotes.

Once again comrade thank you for the kind words and input!