Errata on fascism
davidmci at coombs.anu.edu.au
Mon Oct 30 19:45:15 MST 1995
It seems that I made an error in my last post, which I shall correct now to
save confusion, in the following passage:
>I remain perplexed, however, as to the relevance of the issue of fascism to
>the current debates. On the one hand it seems very relevant - one need
>only look at Le Pen and his cronies in France, or Dictator (as he prefers
>to be called) Bal Thackerey's *Shiv Sena* in Maharashtra (west India).
>These seem somehow obviously fascist. I guess there are similar movements
>in the USA, which seems to be the geopolitical preoccupation of most
>subscribers to the list ... we certainly have similar movements here in
>Australia. However, all of these movements seem to work with a different
>understanding of the stakes involved.
When I say these movements are different, I refer to their difference as
neo-fascist as opposed to the old fascism. This is not clear in the
Also, I don't not want to denigrate Antonio Negri's contribution to French
Marxism, my previous post appears to have done this.
Also, with reference to Bal Thackerey's Shiv Sena and similar South Asian
'fascist' groups; there has been considerable debate on whether such
movements are fascist and what characterises a fascist movement.
Interested readers whould look at the analysis of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak
Sangh (a movement in India dating back to the high fascism of the 1930s -
like China's Goumindang) in Tapin Basu, Pradip Datta, Sumit Sarkar, Tanika
Sarkar and Sambuddha Sen, _Khaki Shorts and Saffron Flags: A Critique of
the Hindu Right_, Orient Longman, New Delhi, 1993. Look also to the
special issue on women in these movements in _The Bulletin of Concerned
Asian Scholars_, 1994. These might provide a way to look at fascism in
non-western societies and also the role of women in this. apparently one
of the main critics of the fascism diagnosis on the Indian left is Achin
Vanaik, a Trotskyist who sometimes appears in SWP publications and wrote
_The Painful Transition: Bourgeois Democracy in India_, Verso, London,
1989. I have not read his article, which is referred to in the intro to
the special issue of the _Bulletin_ reffered to above. Obviously different
Marxists produce different analyses based on their different definitions of
fascism. Another reason why a debate on fascism may be fruitful.
I remain perplexed, because, depending on how we define fascism, it is
either everywhere or nowhere, or somewhere in between. Some think fascism
is on the rise in India. Others say it never really existed. Perhaps some
South Asian contributors to this list, who have an opinion on these matters
and perhaps better access to the relevant materials, could submit their
views on organisations like the Shiv Sena, the RSS, the VHP, the Bajrang
Dal, the BJP, etc, etc; or even on Subhas Chandra Bose's and his Indian
National Army, which was aligned with the Axis powers, trained in Japanese
occupied SE Asia, and who travelled to Germany via the USSR during the
period of the alliance between Stalin and Hitler. Perhaps the book written
by Bose, I can't remeber the title, might be an appropriate text for study
alongside texts by Mussolini and Hitler?
P.S. Sorry for sending that post twice. Oops.
Mr. David McInerney,
Political Science Program, Research School of Social Sciences,
The Australian National University, Canberra, A.C.T., AUSTRALIA 0200.
e-mail: davidmci at coombs.anu.edu.au; ph: (06) 249 2134; fax: (06) 249 3051
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