Fascism (Rose and Proyect)

Marcus Strom MSTROM at nswtf.org.au
Fri Nov 10 10:40:51 MST 1995


Adam wrote the below. I haven't been writing much latley, but this is
something important.

>
> I think there is an implication in some of Louis' stuff
> that fascism comes to power in direct response to a
> revolutionary threat. For instance, I disagree with the
> statement "Counterrevolution itself only emerges as a response
> to revolution."

Well. I strongly agree with Louis. Adam. Give us ONE example where
fascism has arisen which wasn't the negative resolution of a
revolutionary or immediate pre-revolutionary situation.

You are completely ignoring the subjective element.

> Capitalism goes into crisis from time to time. These crises
> are economic in nature. One effect of this econmic crisis
> is the ruining of the middle classes, and it is this which
> gives fascism the potential to grow.

Fascism is NOT a response to capitalist crisis. It is a response of
the capitalist class, or sections of that class, to the subjective
conditions of a revolutionary situation. Such situations cannot be
ascertained by reading the financial times or the wall street
journal. And what the fuck is the 'ruining of the middle classes'?

You are confusing ideological and theorectical questions with those
of sociology. When marxists say that fascism is a petit-bourgeois
ideology, this doesn't mean middle class in a sociological way. The
theories of scientific socialism, which are profoundly proletarian,
came out of middle class intellectuals.


> Of course how things actually work out is a political question,
> depending mainly on the political strength of a revolutionary
> party. In such a crisis, revolution is becomes the only
> alternative to fascism - perhaps economically, but certainly
> politically, since the enraged middle classes are looking
> for radical solutions.

Well this is the wrong way around. It is fascism which becomes the
only alternative to capitalism in a revolutionary crisis - not just
(or perhaps even) in an economic crisis. The last thing that the
capitalist class wants is a regime that is so reactionary, it
attacks sections of the capitalists itself.

Kornilov and Kerensky were the fascist counterrevolution. Russia
would have resorted to fascism with the defeat of the revolution.
This is why social democracy and even some centrist organisations
(such as Militant and the SWP uk) will split and sections become part
of the counterrevolution.

The most recent and vivid example of this in the recent past is the
fascist mullah regime in Iran. The revolutionary situation in Iran at
the end of the 1970s did not lead to socialist revolution. This was
largely due to the failure of leadership of the workers movement. The
Tudeh Party, stuck to a stagist theory - that the Khomeini was
anit-imperialist so had to be supported as a first stage of the
revolution. The organisations in Iran that called the khomeini regime
counterrevoutionary were small and made very grave errors which
led to large sections of their  membership and leadership being
killed and gaoled around 1981. There was a 2 year period, 1979 -
1981,  were the mullahs were not confident of their power (similar to
the 1933 - 1936 period in Germany). The sections of the ruling class
that consolidated around the mullah regime were largely merchant
capital. Finance capital, with its strong international links, was
seen as a not stable sector of the counterrevolutionary elements.
(This sort of fucks up the maoist theories of Iran as a semi colonial
nation where links must be built with the 'national' bourgeoisie. It
was this national bourgeiosie which was the strongest
counterrevolutionary fraction of the capitalist class)

This does not mean that it is mechanical that it is these middle
layers of the bourgeoisie are always the main fascist sections of the
ruling class. This is where it seems that Adam is confusing
sociological definitions with marxist definitions. In Germany, it was
big finance capital which was the bulwark of fascist reaction
(Krupps, Siemens, etc..) to the drawn out negative resolution of the
revolutionary period *in europe* of the 1920s. This is enough on this
for me now.

After all this theoretical discussion must also involve a debate on
strategy and tactics of opposing fascism. I have been involved in
anti-fascist activity in Britain, the US and in Australia, and I tell
you, most of the people I have seen seig heiling have not had fur
coats on, but were white working class males. (Witness the role of
the SA as opposed to the SS in Germany). And fascism in the US or UK
will not come with a swastika from seig heiling boneheads, but will
be draped in the Stars and Stripes or the Union Jack, sprouting
defence of the nation (Parliament/Congress, our glorious democractic
tradition which is underthreat from anti-democratic,
anti-American/non-British elements, etc...).

The 'ant-fascist' activity I saw in the US was pathetically liberal
(I only saw a small amount - there must be something better). We
rallied against a US National Party demo in Pennsylvania on some
historic river where washingoin crossed or something.

I still can't stomach the slide into popular frontism and nationalist
populism of the anti 'nazi' league. At the local elections around 18
months ago in Britain, I saw the SWP/ANL campaigning in Harelsden
(london) with the slogan 'don't vote nazi'. Firstly, there were no
'nazi' candidates, let alone BNP or NF candidates. Secondly, the
local council area is over 25% Black - I hardly think many of these
people would be thinking of voting 'nazi' even if they could! And the
answer to this is ...... Vote Labour! The reason why people in the
Tower Hamlets had voted for fascists in the first place was because
they were sick to death of Labour. These areas are hardly fur coat
wearing, middle class areas, but working class areas.

Adam, you wrote the below which disturbed me. Yet again, you seem to
fall into bourgois sociological categories on class.

> This destruction of all working class organisation can
> only be achieved by a mass mobilisation of the enraged
> middle classes. True, this mobilisation may draw in
> significant numbers of unemployed and even some sections
> of workers, but the core cadre comes from the middle class.
> ( Look at the fur coated women and men in suits
> on Le Pen's demonstrations if you don't believe me ! ).

You separate unmeployed workers from employed workers!

For 'workerists' it is difficult to swallow the reality that fascist
ideas are being taken up by some workers. Just because fascism is a 'petit
bourgeois' ideology, doesn't mean it is only in the interests of the
middle class. We must look at *why* workers are drawn to this
profoundly anti-working class ideology, rather than falsifying
reality to fit our rigid schemas. This is the politics of a sect that
worships spontaneity and is 'workerist'

One more thing Adam. Why do you sign like this:
> Adam Rose
> SWP
> Manchester
> UK
This seems to suggest that your postings are the position of the SWP.
I doubt that they are.

Cheerio
Marcus



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