[Marxism] Fascist intellectuals?

Marvin Gandall marvgandall at videotron.ca
Sun Aug 27 16:22:02 MDT 2006

Sayan wrote:

> I agree that Arundhati Roy's article wasn't very sophisticated. A
> somewhat better short article on this is "Is Hindutva  Fascist?" by
> Biju Mathew, online at:
> <http://www.foil.org/politics/hindutva/hindfasc.html>

MG: Thanks. I will look at it. I was responding primarily to the Roy
article. Her article struck me as a good example of what Carrol Cox, for
one, is always complaining about - the tendency of some on the left to
loosely describe right-wing parties as "fascist", including the Bush
Republicans. Politically, the CP's used the term to cement popular fronts
with liberals. Liberals used the term as an expression of moral outrage at
parties which they saw as somehow acting outside of and inconsistent with
the democratic tradition. In fact, as we know, the BJP and the Bush
administration operate very much within the (bourgeois) democratic tradition
and remain subordinate to the ruling class, as opposed to fascist parties
which represent a radical break with bourgeois democracy and enjoy a
significantly greater degree of autonomy from the ruling class even as they
defend and consolidate the capitalist system on its behalf.
> It isn't that there aren't currents in the BJP/Sangh aiming for these
> things. They have not succeeded for the time being  because they faced
> too much resistance. However, there is a clear danger that they might
> try again.

MG: Yes, especially if social conditions worsen. There are fascist currents
in all conservative parties, just as there are Marxist currents in all
liberal/social democratic ones, with all trying to strengthen their
influence in preparation for their "historic moment".
> I was thinking, incidentally,  more about the social base of fascism
> that you described. To wit:
> "While the fascists eventually drew into their ranks trade unionists as
> they
> neared power, their social base rested primarily on those forces which
> felt
> their social weight and influence declining in the new industrial
> society -
> unorganized and unemployed workers and artisans, small town merchants and
> professionals, ruined farmers, and the native-born who saw the old economy
> and culture slipping away from them, overwhelmed by increasingly
> cosmopolitan urban centres comprising "degenerate" immigrants, Jews,
> radicals, trade unionists, and modernist artists as well as exploiting
> bankers, manufacturers, and retailers."
> The Sangh Parivar's social base is almost exactly the same, and  they
> are similarly threatened by -- corresponding to the "new industrial
> society" that you described -- the forces unleashed by globalization.

MG: Yes, and you could say the same about a large part of the Republican
base and part of the DP's declining white working-class base which would
move towards fascism under certain conditions.
> You also said:
> "The fascist states differed from the "strong" states typically set up by
> ruling classes before and since to hold the masses in check in that they
> were based on mass movements organized from below"
> The Sangh Parivar  in India truly are a mass movement. Actually the
> BJP, which is supposedly the political wing of the Sangh, often seems
> to ride a tiger, with the BJP's politicians (who are often  beholden
> to the beneficiaries of globalization, just as the fascists were to
> big capitalists) trying to keep the mass base of the Sangh Parivar in
> check.

MG: Also conforms to type.


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