Introductory note by JL
Below you will find links for a couple of articles. The first is to Democracy Now’s interview with a former Homeland Security analyst who tried to bring attention to domestic terrorist threats from the far right. The other profiles several white nationalist/fascist leaders.
We will recommend several resources to read up on fascism and how to fight it. See below.
The term fascism is over used – it’s used by liberals and even some on the left in a way that’s not accurate. It’s even been used by the right to describe so-called Obamacare.
The CPUSA and other reformists use the threat of fascism to get working people to vote for the capitalist Democratic Party –a vote to “defeat the right.” The Republican Party itself, while reactionary, is not a fascist party. It does have an extreme right, nativist wing with a semi fascist character – Buchanan, tea party etc.
The current surge of populist ultra right activity since the election of Obama has a semi fascist and racist character. It is anti-immigrant, racist – as Glen Ford says white nationalist – in terms of a conception of the US as a white republic. There have been threats of violence and a lot of rhetoric about revolution and in parts of the South talk of secession with attending glorification of the confederacy and states rights.
Other ultra right groups have grown since Obama took office – the KKK, neo-Nazis, John Birch society and militias. These movements have yet to develop a unified program or leadership. And have yet to turn the rhetoric into physical attacks on the workers’ movement.
How do we define fascism? The social base of fascism is the petty bourgeoisie and de-classed and demoralized workers. It is brought into existence by finance capital as a weapon against a rising class struggle.
The capitalists would prefer to retain power and control through co-optation and the use of bourgeois democracy. Fascism is capital’s reaction to political and economic crisis and a rising class struggle.
“At the moment that the “normal” police and military resources of the bourgeois dictatorship, together with their parliamentary screens, no longer suffice to hold society in a state of equilibrium — the turn of the fascist regime arrives. Through the fascist agency, capitalism sets in motion the masses of the crazed petty bourgeoisie and the bands of declassed and demoralized lumpenproletariat — all the countless human beings whom finance capital itself has brought to desperation and frenzy.
“From fascism the bourgeoisie demands a thorough job; once it has resorted to methods of civil war, it insists on having peace for a period of years. And the fascist agency, by utilizing the petty bourgeoisie as a battering ram, by overwhelming all obstacles in its path, does a thorough job. After fascism is victorious, finance capital directly and immediately gathers into its hands, as in a vise of steel, all the organs and institutions of sovereignty, the executive administrative, and educational powers of the state: the entire state apparatus together with the army, the municipalities, the universities, the schools, the press, the trade unions, and the co-operatives. When a state turns fascist, it does not mean only that the forms and methods of government are changed in accordance the patterns set by Mussolini — the changes in this sphere ultimately play a minor role — but it means first of all for the most part that the workers’ organizations are annihilated; that the proletariat is reduced to an amorphous state; and that a system of administration is created which penetrates deeply into the masses and which serves to frustrate the independent crystallization of the proletariat. Therein precisely is the gist of fascism….” from Fascism: What it is and how to fight it by Leon Trotsky
The capitalists turn the anger and hatred that should rightfully be turned against them against workers and the oppressed.
What strategies for socialists?
First off – the United Front is our greatest tool against a fascist movement – bringing all working class and oppressed organizations together with a clear anti-fascist program of action.
We use methods of struggle that let the masses learn and understand their potential power as a class.
We use mass counter-mobilization, not small symbolic actions. Large actions embolden the workers and oppressed people while having the effect of demoralizing rightists.
We advocate the building of defense guards to counter the violence of fascist gangs. We are not pacifists and defend the right to self-defense.
We also understand the need for a revolutionary socialist party that is clear and unambiguous about the need to defeat the fascists and to struggle for power. Trotsky makes the point that the petty bourgeois can’t have a political position independent of one of the fundamental classes – they follow either the bourgeoisie or the proletariat. If the proletarian parties waver or temporize the petty bourgeoisie will follow the ruling class.
It is important to remember that fascism has only come to power where the working class parties have failed the test of a revolutionary upsurge –failed to organize the workers to take power.
What we don’t do –Just as important as what we do.
- We don’t isolate ourselves from the masses with ultraleft and adventurist actions. A good example of this is the 1979 Greensboro massacre of members of the Communist Workers Party (CWP) by the KKK. The CWP baited the Klan into a gunfight when they were themselves unprepared and isolated from the broad masses.
- We don’t rely on capitalist courts, cops or politicians to “protect” us from fascists.
The Fight Against Fascism in the USA SWP Education for Socialists
Counter-mobilization: A Strategy to Fight Racist and Fascist Attacks SWP Education for Socialists
Free Speech and the Fight Against the Ultraright by Malik Miah
Building Unity Against Fascism: Classic Marxist Writings Resistance Books
Sikh Temple shooting focuses media attention on white supremacist and far right groups
While many were shocked by the massacre at the Sikh temple, our guest, Daryl Johnson, had warned years ago that such an attack was imminent. While working as a senior analyst in the U.S. Department of Homeland Security in 2009, Johnson authored a report warning about the increasing dangers of violent right-wing extremism in the United States, sparking a political firestorm in the process. Under pressure from Republican lawmakers and popular talk show hosts, DHS ultimately repudiated Johnson’s paper. Johnson drew his conclusion on his 15 years of experience studying domestic terrorist groups — particularly white supremacists and neo-Nazis. “Leading up to this report … we received numerous accolades from law enforcement [and] intelligence officials, talking about the great work we were doing in the fight against domestic terrorism,” Johnson says. “And then in lieu of the political backlash, the Department not only decided to stop all of our work, but they also disbanded the unit, reassigned us to other areas within the office, and then made life increasingly difficult for us.” Johnson, now the owner of a private consultancy firm, has authored a new book, “Right Wing Resurgence: How a Domestic Terrorist Threat is Being Ignored.” [Includes rush transcript” from Democracy Now
Meet The Leaders Of America’s Twisted White Power Movement Business Insider