[Marxism] Marxism is Fascist: How to Refute This?

Darian Linehan dante.fs at gmail.com
Mon Oct 17 03:56:50 MDT 2005

This may be slightly off-topic, but for me the problem is wider than
merely dealing with the historical legacy of the USSR. Marxists (of
all kinds) have often been reluctant to emphasise the libertarian
aspects of revolutionary politics. I seem to remember Nestor on this
list saying something like "Socialism is nothing if not the practical
realisation of liberty, equality and fraternity".

Well, I would definitely agree but it seems (to outsiders) that
Marxists are often only interested in the latter two. On this very
list I have read people in the past calmly note that certain books
would be banned under a socialist government. And then there is the
accusation that any proposed/theoretical Marxist state simply involves
massive centralisation and _increased_ government power. It is vital
to realsie that while these may be legitimate tactics as emergency
measures, many do not wish to live in such states as a general rule.
When this general view of our politics is combined with the historical
legacy of the socialist states, is it any wonder that many simply see
us as "left-fascists" or similar?

While it is definitely a vital task to defend Marxism historically, I
would argue it is also as important to emphasise the libertarian
(small L of course) nature of Marxism. Land law, treatment of people
under the criminal justice system, copyright laws, position of unions,
drug legislation, treatment of women & "minorities", etc - these are
all issues where socialism can provide radically _more_ liberty* than
under capitalism (even in the core capitalist countries) yet it is
frustrating that this is not emphasised enough during
agitation/discussion. One presumes this is because defence of
individual rights is seen as (de facto) "bourgeois" in some sense in
our movement.

- Darian Linehan
* = Here I am referring to "negative" liberty or whatever you wish to call it.

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