11.12.2022 – (The need for a United Front against Fascism – Profile, future and further building of the anti-imperialist and anti-fascist international united front) *Contribution the International Coordination of Revolutionary Parties and Organizations webinar on 11 December 2022
In 1922, the elites of Italy did very little to stop the rise of fascism. In fact, they welcomed it, after coming to the conclusion that fighting the fascists would only strengthen the left. Today, not much has changed.
Economic crises, deepening class divisions, and the threat of proletarianization of what little is left of the petty bourgeoisie, has once again led to a rise in fascism. The petty bourgeois elements in a society, faced with the possible loss of their business and incoming proletarianization, and even the proletarians themselves are susceptible to succumbing to fascist rhetoric, and falling for fascist lies in times of insecurity. In addition, globalization and war has led to a massive refugee crisis. This crisis, among other things, is used by the Bourgeoisie as a scapegoat in place of their parasitical greed. It is therefore of significant importance for the vanguards of the working class to disseminate untruths about it; combat metaphysical drivel by the compatible left, or denial by the far right, and explain to the masses what fascism is, the need for its implementation to suppress revolution, and its relationship with colonial expansion and imperialism. We must not just analyze and monitor the rise of fascism; we must militantly oppose it wherever we see it occur.
During times of crisis, Petty-bourgeois/Middle-bourgeois elements are on the fence. These elements sympathize with the proletariat due to its worsening conditions, and the threat that they may join their ranks. However, if the proletariat fails to be a leader, these parts of the social makeup will look for other leaders, i.e., the bourgeoisie, and will be susceptible to fascist rhetoric, in order to rid them of insecurity during these uncertain times or will themselves organize in a fascist manner.
The working class is also not immune to falling desperately for the false promises that fascism makes. If the already precarious conditions of the proletariat are worsened, and strict, disciplined revolutionary action is not adhered to during this time, even this class can succumb to the illusionary alleviation of insecurity by the fascists. It is therefore extremely important for the vanguards of the working class to analyze the emerging threat of fascism in each particular situation, and the general character of fascism internationally, in order to educate the working class. As Clara Zetkin said:
“We must pound into every proletarian the conviction that it is their business (to fight fascism). “Don’t leave me out. I must be there. Victory is in sight.”
The proletariat cannot prevent the rise of fascism if it is not a class-conscious, militant, and united class. As mentioned before, people will see the appeal of fascism during crisis, and it is important to address these social layers and either incorporate them in our struggles or at least neutralize them in the struggle. We must employ clarity and force to prevent them from providing troops for the bourgeois counterrevolution. This especially applies to the proletariat. In addition, it is important to establish a united front with the masses at the forefront, led by their respective vanguards. Allow me again to quote Clara Zetkin:
“Fascism does not ask if the worker in the factory has a soul painted in the white and blue colors of Bavaria; or is inspired by the black, red, and gold colors of the bourgeois republic; or by the red banner with a hammer and sickle… All that matters to fascism is that they encounter a class-conscious proletarian, and then they club him to the ground. That is why workers must come together for struggle without distinctions of party or trade-union affiliation.”
It is of no use being idle and hoping that democracy leads to better conditions, like the reformists do. Fascism does not emerge directly to counter revolution. Fascism emerges independently of that, during times of crisis, and is successful when proletarian action does not suffice to prevent it.
Something of prime importance, which is very often overlooked, is the relationship of fascism to colonialism. Hitler’s primary goal was the destruction of Soviet Russia in order to transform Germany into a major European super-state: After this goal was accomplished — and Marxism eradicated — Germany could then get to work seizing colonies outside Europe. Hitler’s savage antisemitism was inextricably linked to his anti-Marxism. Mussolini also claimed that Italy conquered Ethiopia because of Italian superiority and African inferiority, and his main goal was also the expansion of the Italian empire. Being in the socialist party himself before betraying the working class and hopping to reform and then eventually to fascism, he knew how much of a threat Marxism was in preventing him from expanding his nation into new territory, as did Hitler.
Taking this into consideration, it is important to understand that our fight against fascism is tied to our anti-imperialist fight. Imperialism is the principal contradiction, and fascism is its saving grace when nothing else can ameliorate its contradictions. As Georgi Dimitrov said in 1935:
“German fascism is acting as the spearhead of international counter-revolution, as the chief instigator of imperialist war, as the initiator of a crusade against the Soviet Union, the great fatherland of the working people of the whole world. “
One could say that Fascism is Colonialism brought to Europe. It is therefore necessary to find the parallels between fascism and colonialism, and the influence that the latter has had on the former. White supremacy, homophobia, misogyny, and transphobia preceded fascism and were an accessory to colonialism. Lebensraum was coined in 1897 referring to the colonisation of southwest Africa (present day Namibia), during which Germany committed genocide against the local Herero and Nama peoples. The Colonial policies of the USA, its silenced mass genocide of indigenous peoples, were great inspirations for the following fascist offensives of Mussolini, Hitler etc.
After the second world war, remnants of fascism stayed behind in all shapes and sizes. In addition to many members of the Nazi Party being incorporated into a variety of high positions in NASA, NATO etc., the USA founded the so called “Stay Behind” network, better known by its Italian counterpart “Operation Gladio”, which comprised anti-communist secret organizations that were placed all over Europe. Wanting to oust Makarios, the president of Cyprus at the time, approached Grivas, a former member of “X”, a militant anti-communist group, who agreed to pursue the plans they had drawn up. EOKA B, the group led by Grivas, the one responsible for the Cypriot coup in 1974, the bloody event that lead to the ongoing illegal occupation of Turkey, was controlled by the Akritas organisation, the Athens Junta through the KYP, which were controlled by the CIA. At the same time, the CIA controlled their Turkish Cypriot counterparts, TMT. In addition, the inability of the left to organize the masses during the time was crucial in deciding the outcome of this crisis. The self-styled Marxists of the Communist Party in Cyprus had not organized and prepared the workers theoretically and in its propaganda for these events. AKEL claimed to be a Marxist organization and does so to this day. However, this was and continues to be rhetoric. AKEL very quickly reverted to bourgeois compromises in order to gain popular support, rather than radicalizing the masses by acting as a vanguard to the proletariat. Knowing the importance of this, our aim as the Union of Cypriots is to learn from the mistakes of the past, achieve such a united front in Cyprus in connection with an international united front against fascism.
Today, fascism is omnipresent in Hungary, with Orban openly making fascist statements, France, Italy, Poland, and Ukraine, to name only a few places. In addition, it is no longer limited to white supremacy in the West. Hindu fascism in India, Buddhist fascists in Myanmar, and settler colonialist fascism in Israel are all examples. This variety strengthens the need to rigorously study the specific manifestations of fascism in every particular place it is happening.
Do not forget that we are the biggest enemy of fascism; we, the communists, the vanguard and the exploited. If we did not have the potential to better the lives of the majority, we would not be considered a threat by the ruling class and would not be suppressed at all costs by its violent paramilitary. We must therefore embrace this position as a threat, and this time it must be unstoppable. Comrades, I ask you to read as much as you can, write as much as you can, and take direct action against this threat. Read the works of Zetkin, Gramsci, Dimitrov – among others – to use as tools, and learn about the current situation in your part of the world, analyzing this situation with these tools. Never stop writing. We must dispel the myths of the causes of fascism, and the lies told by fascists themselves, clear the scapegoats of their name, and show what the real cause of suffering is.
Fascism is among us, and it has shapeshifted into different forms to get popular support among the widest demographics possible. This means that we must work diligently to uncover the forms it has taken and use this information to rouse the masses to fight against it before this tumor grows to an unhealthy size. We must replace hate with love, because, at the end of the day, that is what we are fighting for. Love. At the same time, only through love can one think and act in a consistently revolutionary way.