[Marxism] Re: Is BJP Fascist? (was Fascist Intell ectuals.)
marvgandall at videotron.ca
Tue Aug 29 14:25:20 MDT 2006
Marla Vijaya kumar writes:
>Marvin, please do not go by what is said about BJP in the monopoly press.
>Simply because it was toeing a pro-US line, it was pampered by the
>capitalist press in US and naturally they had painted it in soft colors.
Of course, from my vantage point, I can only go by the accounts in the
mainstream and left-wing media, informed by my own experience and
understanding of other social conflicts. So my comments are necessarily
tentative, and you can regard them as such.
I'm not disputing that the Hindu-chauvinist BJP has fascist roots in the RSS
and many fascists within its core constituency, or suggesting that you
moderate your antagonism to it.
But I do wonder how much you take into account that movements of both the
left and the right evolve in response both to changing social conditions and
when they become mass electoral parties. The labour and social democratic
parties, as we know, had socialist roots and included many Marxists when
they were formed, but describing them as "socialist" parties in the era of
Tony Blair obscures rather than reveals their true nature and what to expect
The BJP has not had as much time to stray as far from its origins, but its
recent experience in government and now in opposition suggests it may
undergoing a similar transformation on the right into a respectable
You say the BJP is "fascist". But were you jailed when the BJP governed?
Was your party banned? Its press closed down? Were the other organizations
of the left, the unions, and the popular movements outlawed and their
supporters systematically beaten and terrorized?
These questions are not designed to provoke you, but to underline that this
is what fascism has represented historically. It's essence is the
destruction of popular movements and democratic rights.
Most people with some political experience understand this. For example, if
I were to charge the Bush administration with being fascist, as some do,
they would charge me with making the Republicans seem much more menacing and
at a farther remove from the Democratic Party and the bourgeois democratic
system than it actually is. They might even accuse me of raising the spectre
of "Republican fascism" to foster an alliance between the left and the
On the other hand, if I were to point to the Republicans as an example of
fascism to those with less political experience, I risk sanitizing fascism,
making fascism seem less threatening than it is. After all, if the Bush
administration equals fascism, and it is prepared to tolerate the existence
of the popular movements while in government and surrender power peacefully
when these movements help vote it out of office, than how much worse than
the Democratic Party and how antithetical to democratic rights can the
"Republican fascists" really be?
It could be that if you subsituted the BJP for the Republicans and the
Congress Party for the Democrats in the above examples, you might find the
gap between the "fascist" BJP and the Congress is not as wide as you
To put it another way: I think all fascist parties are racist, to some
degree or other; but not all racist parties are fascist.
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