Can fascism again become a massive threat to the people of the world as it was last century?
We know from history, from human experience in the 1930s and 1940s, that fascism came to power in a number of countries, and exercised state terrorism against their peoples and the people of the world.
Fascism murdered, maimed and tortured any people opposed to their rule. Whether they were communists, social democrats, intellectuals, Jews and Christians and other religionists and independents. This was especially so In Germany, Italy, Spain and some other countries.
Only after terrible and unacceptable suffering of millions and millions of people across the globe. Only after the most horrific wartime experiences for the population of the world. Only after this, was Fascism defeated.
History teaches that the Socialist Soviet Union and the communist movement across the globe, were the main bulwark in the fight against fascism and war. The Soviet Union lost 26 million Soviet people in the process of defending the USSR and defeating fascism globally. More than 50 million people from 70 countries lost their lives and 35 million were permanently disabled. Fascism spread death and destruction to an extent never before experienced.
History also teaches, that the world’s people, in building a peoples united front against war and fascism. ultimately defeated the fascist butchers of the 20th century.
Could fascism and such a global impact ever occur again?
Yes, it could, and it will, If the bitter lessons of the past are not studied, understood and acted upon.
Imperialism, monopoly capitalism, uses fascism and fascist rule as its alternative form of rule, under certain conditions and in certain circumstances.
We know from history and current events, that the following is also true.
That fascist tendencies and the germs of a fascist movement are growing and spreading in some parts of the world today. This occurs as the capitalist crisis grows across the world. The capitalist crisis creates mass unemployment and results in attacks on the wages and conditions of the working class and witnesses a dramatic growth of debt, inflation and overproduction.
The Capitalist class attempts to push the burden of the crisis onto the shoulders of the working class, peasants and other toilers. This includes chasing more markets, more resources, and more cheap labour from the third world. As the struggle of the working class, peasants and other toilers against the attacks on their living and working conditions grows, the capitalists turn more and more to fascist methods and fascism, to protect their quest for the maximum profit by trying to suppress any fight back.
We also witness a drive towards wider aggression and war by imperialism, to try to stop the struggle for democracy, independence and liberation that is occurring in the third world, and secondly, to defeat their imperialist rivals competing for markets, resources, cheap labor and spheres of influence.
Today, as yet, there are not many countries where monopoly capitalism has opted for fascism in power, for direct fascist rule. We know that there are quite a few countries where monopoly capitalism has opted and is increasingly opting for fascist methods, fascist measures and fascist brutality, to oppress or prepare to oppress resistance by the people.
The ILPS antifascist series of activities over this year 2022, are highlighting many of those areas of the world where this is occurring. The monopoly capitalists, the imperialists, have not yet opted to put fascism in power in the major capitalist countries, however, the conditions are maturing for this to become a reality. We only need to think of the events surrounding the Trump attack on parliamentary elections In the U.S. There is no doubt of course that fascism, fascist brutality and fascist methods are on the rise across the globe.
This is true in some of the neo colonies dominated by Imperialism, (e.g. Colombia, Philippines, Israel in Palestine, and the like), in some countries that have a pretence of bourgeois democracy and a parliamentary system, ( e.g. Turkey, India), and in so-called parliamentary democracies of Imperialism’s home bases such as the USA, Canada, Australia, Germany, etc. where oppression and the fascist where-with-all is in some cases being passed into law and regulations, to be used at a later date or in fact being used today.
Fascism and fascist methods develop as the crisis of global capitalism worsens and more and more of the working class and other toilers demand change, and mobilise to defend their living standards, basic rights and the environment, that are constantly under threat.
Fascist groups, fascist oppression, and fascist methods, by the state, are used to oppress the working people and other toilers from resisting, and eventually fascist governments are installed in power to use terror and oppression against the people in a concentrated way across the board, to try to ensure that imperialism continues to rule unheeded both at home and in its neo-colonies.
Our study of history also teaches us that fascism in power, Is the open terrorist dictatorship of the most reactionary, most chauvinistic, and most imperialist elements of finance capital.
German fascism was described in 1935 by a famous antifascist fighter and champion, George Dimitrov. “Hitler’s fascism,” he said,” is not only bourgeois nationalism, it is bestial chauvinism. It is a government system of political banditry, a system of provocation and torture practiced upon the working class and the revolutionary elements of the peasantry, the petty bourgeoise and the intelligentsia. It is medieval barbarity and bestiality. It is unbridled aggression in relation to other nations and countries.”
Dimitrov went on to say that ”German fascism is acting as the spearhead of international counterrevolution, as the chief incendiary of the imperialist war, and the initiator of a crusade against the Soviet Union, the Great Fatherland of the Toilers of the whole world.”
German fascism in the 1930s and 40s called itself” National Socialist”, in an attempt to set itself up as a champion of the people, and to try to deceive the people about its true class nature. Of course, it had nothing in common with socialism. It was the stooge of reactionary finance capital. It WAS finance capital.
History tells us that ruling authorities in the monopoly capitalist countries, do not put fascism in power in their countries quickly and without notice.
Given divisions in the ruling circles and their need to prepare for their own terrorist rule, there are usually many steps to fascism over a period of time. For capitalism, the most effective way for them to continue their drive for maximum profit, is to do it behind the facade of so- called parliamentary democracy. The facade of the right to vote. By doing this behind the benefits of so-called liberal democracy.
Their steps towards fascism in power are taken over time, due to the dangers of fascism in power more easily exposing the real class nature of their system and therefore creating a revolutionary situation in their country even more quickly. So laws and regulations are passed, which oppress or are designed to oppress, democratic and human rights, attack worker’s organisations and other people’s organisations, attack workers, wages and living standards, attacking the right to protest and strike and so on.
The history of fascism and its eventual accession to power, teaches us that it is a serious mistake to fail, to fight and mobilise against every attack on democratic and human rights. To fight against the attacks on worker’s rights and the deterioration of living standards. To unite with and mobilise the people. To fight against every anti democrat step along the way, to resist each development before fascism grows effective and more difficult to defeat.
I repeat, fascism grows out of imperialism and monopoly capitalism. It is put into place by capitalism when it feels the need to protect its rule, protect its domination, protect its drive for maximum profits.
Only the mighty force of millions and millions of the working class and other toilers, the people in general fighting for democracy, for peace against imperialist war, for human rights, for freedom, can defeat fascism, as it did in the 1930s and 1940s.
We must set ourselves the goal of bringing more people’s organisations into the ILPS, or working together with these organisations, to oppose imperialist war and aggression, and to oppose the growth in the use of fascist type measures against the people, against the working class and other toilers.
We must build an understanding of fascism and its use against the people by monopoly capitalism, by imperialism. We must progressively build a movement of millions and millions of people who cherish peace over war, who cherish democracy over oppression, who want liberation over enslavement.
We must mobilise against every step that the capitalist and/or feaudal states take towards fascism. The attacks on worker’s rights., the attacks on the peasants and farmers lands, the constant undermining of the living standards of the working class and other toilers, the restrictions on voting rights and freedoms, the constant drive towards aggression and war for profit by imperialism. We must build a mighty movement of the people to block fascism and change the world.
The task before us is laid out very well by the famous anti- fascist fighter George Dimitrov. In 1935 he said, ”We must strive to establish the widest united front with the aid of joint action by workers organisations of different trends, for the defence of vital interests of the toiling masses.” This means”, Dimitrov goes on to say, “first, joint struggle really to shift the burden of the consequenses of the crisis, onto the shoulders of the ruling classes, the shoulders of the capitalists and landlords-in a word, to the shoulders of the rich. Second, joint struggles against all forms of the fascist offensive, in defence of the gains and the rights of the toilers, against the liquidation of bourgeois democratic liberties. Third, joint struggle against the approaching danger of imperialist war, a struggle that will impede the preparations for such a war.”
Let us inscribe on our banners.” Fascism will not Pass.” Thank you.
Len Cooper, ILPS Chairperson May 2022