[Marxism] Far Right

Jurriaan Bendien andromeda246 at hetnet.nl
Fri Jun 25 12:00:27 MDT 2004

Okay, Einde, I wandered bit off the topic. But if as you say "the Nazis
never made significant inroads into the class-conscious organised
proletariat", this is tautological, because if the proletariat is class
conscious and organised, then obviously the Nazis cannot make "significant
political inroads" by definition.

But point is that history shows that even if "the proletariat is class
conscious and organised", then the Nazis can still win state power. It is
not just the working class that's a factor, but also what all the other
social classes are doing. That is why Lenin emphasised you had to concern
yourself politically with the condition of all social classes.

The next question is, what happens when "the proletariat is not class
conscious, and is not organised" - whether in that case the Nazis could make
"significant inroads". And that is the more important question, since
political parties not only express "class interests" but also articulate
"class alliances".

You could extrapolate a general law about the limited ability for Nazis to
make "significant inroads", because of :

(1) the "non-proletarian nature of Nazism" or some such thing, or,
(2) just because it had not happened before in history.

But this to me seems schematic, and doesn't really explain why workers will
in some cases support or vote for rightwing populism which is basically
fascist (e.g. in Argentina, Spain, Italy, Greece, Turkey, Ukraine). It does
not matter if the whole workingclass does so or not, it matters if a
critical proportion (a "critical mass") does so.

You could also look at it from another angle: the extent and propensity for
certain groups and strata to collaborate with Nazi-type regimes, e.g. in
world war 2. If we do this, then it's clear that caricatures of workingclass
political behaviour are insufficient to explain what really happened.

In the early 1980s, I had this debate about workingclass "backwardness" in
New Zealand with Dr Bedggood of Auckland University, who claimed New Zealand
workers were "backward". For me this raised the question: in that case, what
is the point of your Marxism, and why orient to the working class ?


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