Is fascism inevitable
The Offensive of Fascism and the Tasks of the Communist International
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I. Fascism and the working class
Enjoyed! Already the VI. The Congress of the Communist International signaled to the international proletariat that a new fascist offensive was ripening and called for a fight against it. The congress pointed out that "fascist tendencies and seeds of a fascist movement can be found almost everywhere in a more or less developed form".
Under the conditions of the deep economic crisis that had broken out, the sharp escalation of the general crisis of capitalism, the revolutionization of the working masses, fascism went over to a broad attack. The ruling bourgeoisie is increasingly seeking its rescue in fascism, in order to carry out the worst plundering measures against the working people, in order to prepare for an imperialist predatory war, to prepare for the attack on the Soviet Union, the enslavement and division of China and through all these measures to prevent the revolution.
The imperialist circles are trying to shift the whole burden of the crisis onto the shoulders of the working people. For this they need fascism.
They want to solve the problem of the markets by enslaving the weak peoples, by increasing colonial oppression and by a new division of the world through war. For this they need fascism.
They seek to forestall the growth of the forces of the revolution by smashing the revolutionary movement of workers and peasants and by military attack on the Soviet Union - the bulwark of the world proletariat. For this they need fascism.
In a number of countries - especially in Germany - these imperialist circles succeeded in defeating the proletariat and in establishing the fascist dictatorship before the decisive turn of the masses to revolution.
What is characteristic of the victory of fascism, however, is precisely the fact that this victory testifies on the one hand to the weakness of the proletariat, which was disorganized and paralyzed by the social-democratic policy of splitting the working community with the bourgeoisie, and on the other hand expresses the weakness of the bourgeoisie itself, which is afraid of the creation of the fighting unity of the working class, is afraid of the revolution and is no longer able to maintain its dictatorship over the masses with the old methods of bourgeois democracy and parliamentarism.
The victory of fascism in Germany - said Comrade Stalin on the XVII. Congress of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union (Bolsheviks)
it should not be seen merely as a sign of the weakness of the working class and the result of the betrayal of the social democracy of the working class that paved the way for fascism. It must also be seen as a sign of the weakness of the bourgeoisie, as a sign that the bourgeoisie is no longer able to rule with the old methods of parliamentarism and bourgeois democracy, which is why in domestic politics it is forced to adopt terrorist methods of government to grab; as a sign that it is no longer able to find a way out of the current situation on the basis of a peaceful foreign policy, which is why it is forced to resort to the policy of war.
Directory Chapter 1
The class character of fascism
Fascism in power, comrades, is, as the 13th plenum of the ECCI has rightly characterized it, the open, terrorist dictatorship of the most reactionary, chauvinistic, most imperialist elements of finance capital.
The most reactionary variety of fascism is fascism of the German type. He has the audacity to call himself National Socialism, although it has nothing in common with socialism. Hitler fascism is not just bourgeois nationalism, it is animal chauvinism. It is a system of government of political banditry, a system of provocation and torture against the working class and the revolutionary elements of the peasantry, the petty bourgeoisie and the intelligentsia. That is medieval barbarism and cruelty, rampant aggressiveness towards other peoples and countries.
German fascism plays the role of the shock troop of the international counter-revolution, the main instigator of the imperialist war, the initiator of a crusade against the Soviet Union, the great fatherland of the working people of the whole world.
Fascism is not a form of state power that supposedly "stands above both classes, the proletariat and the bourgeoisie", as Otto Bauer, for example, has asserted. This is not the "rebellious petty bourgeoisie that has taken possession of the state machine," as the English socialist Brailsford explains. No, fascism is not a power above the classes and not a power of the petty bourgeoisie or the ragged proletariat over finance capital. Fascism is the power of finance capital itself. That is the organization of the terrorist settlement with the working class and the revolutionary section of the peasantry and the intelligentsia. Fascism in foreign policy is chauvinism in its most brutal form, cultivating an animal hatred of other peoples.
This real character of fascism needs to be particularly strongly emphasized because the cloak of social demagogy has given fascism the possibility in a number of countries of dragging along with it the masses of the petty bourgeoisie, thrown from their tracks by the crisis, and even some sections of the most backward strata of the proletariat who would never have followed fascism if they had understood its real class character, its real nature.
The development of fascism and the fascist dictatorship itself take different forms in different countries, depending on the historical, social and economic conditions, depending on the national characteristics and the international position of the country concerned. In one country, especially where fascism does not have a broad mass base and where the struggle between the individual groups in the camp of the fascist bourgeoisie itself is quite strong, it does not immediately decide to liquidate parliament and leaves the other bourgeois Parties and also the social democracy a certain legality. In other countries where the ruling bourgeoisie fears the imminent outbreak of the revolution, fascism establishes its unrestrained political monopoly rule either immediately or by increasing terror and reckoning with all competing parties and groups. That does not exclude that at the moment of a particular aggravation of its situation fascism makes attempts to broaden its base and, without changing its class system, to combine the open terrorist dictatorship with a gross falsification of parliamentarism.
Fascism's rise to power is not a simple replacement of one bourgeois government by another, but a replacement of one form of the class rule of the bourgeoisie - bourgeois democracy - with another form - with open terrorist dictatorship. Ignoring this difference would be a grave mistake, which would prevent the revolutionary proletariat from mobilizing the broadest strata of the urban and rural working people to fight against the threat of the fascists seizing power and to exploit the contradictions that exist in the bourgeoisie camp themselves are present. But a no less serious and dangerous mistake is the underestimation of the importance that the reactionary measures, which are currently intensifying in the countries of bourgeois democracy, have for the establishment of the fascist dictatorship, those measures that suppress the democratic freedoms of the working people, the rights of parliament falsify and circumcise, intensify the measures of repression against the revolutionary movement.
Comrades, one must not imagine the rise of fascism to power as simply and smoothly as if some committee of finance capital were deciding to set up the fascist dictatorship on this and that day. In reality, fascism usually comes to power in the mutual, sometimes fierce struggle with the old bourgeois parties or with a certain section of these parties, in the struggle even within the fascist camp itself, which sometimes leads to armed clashes, as we do in Germany, Austria and other countries. However, none of this diminishes the importance of the fact that before the establishment of the fascist dictatorship, bourgeois governments usually go through a series of preparatory stages and carry out a series of reactionary measures which directly promote the rise of fascism. Anyone who does not fight against the reactionary measures of the bourgeoisie and against growing fascism in these preparatory stages is unable to prevent the victory of fascism, but rather facilitates it.
The leaders of social democracy hushed up and veiled the real class character of fascism from the masses and did not call for a struggle against the increasingly severe reactionary measures of the bourgeoisie. You bear the great historical responsibility for the fact that at the decisive moment of the fascist offensive a significant part of the working masses in Germany and a number of other fascist countries did not recognize fascism as the bloodthirsty predator of finance capital, its worst enemy, and that these masses did not defend themselves were ready.
What is the source of fascism's influence on the masses? Fascism succeeds in winning over the masses because it demagogically appeals to their most burning needs and needs. Fascism not only kindles the prejudices deeply rooted in the masses, it also speculates with the best sentiments of the masses, their sense of justice and sometimes even their revolutionary traditions. Why do the German fascists, these lackeys of the big bourgeoisie and mortal enemies of socialism, present themselves to the masses as "socialists" and present their accession to power as a "revolution"? Because they strive to exploit the belief in the revolution, the urge to socialism that lives in the hearts of the broad working masses of Germany.
Fascism acts in the interests of the extreme imperialists, but before the masses it appears under the mask of the protector of the offended nation and appeals to the offended national feeling, such as German fascism, which the masses with the slogan "Against Versailles!" crack.
Fascism strives for the most unbridled exploitation of the masses, but approaches them with a refined anti-capitalist demagogy, makes use of the deep hatred of the working people against the predatory bourgeoisie, against the banks, the trusts and the financial magnates, and puts forward slogans that are given in the given The most tempting moments for the politically immature masses are: in Germany - “Common good comes before self-interest”; in Italy - "Our state is not a capitalist, but a corporate state"; in Japan - "For a Japan without exploitation"; in the United States - "For the Sharing of Wealth", etc.
Fascism delivers the people to the most corrupt, most salable elements for plunder, but appears before the people with the demand for an "honest and incorruptible government". Fascism, which speculates with the deep disappointment of the masses about the governments of bourgeois democracy, is hypocritically indignant about the corruption (e.g. the Barmat and Sklare affair in Germany, the Stavitskia affair in France and a number of others).
In the interests of the most reactionary circles of the bourgeoisie, fascism captures the disappointed masses who are turning away from the old bourgeois parties. But he impressed these masses by the vehemence of his attacks on the bourgeois governments, by his irreconcilability towards the old parties of the bourgeoisie.
By its cynicism and its mendacity all other varieties of bourgeois reaction to the shade, fascism adapts its demagoguery to the national peculiarities of each country, even the peculiarities of the different social classes in one and the same country. And the masses of the petty bourgeoisie, even part of the workers, driven to despair by hardship, unemployment and the insecurity of their existence, become victims of the social and chauvinistic demagogy of fascism.
Fascism comes to power as a party of attack against the revolutionary movement of the proletariat, against the fermenting masses of the people, but it presents its accession to power as a “revolutionary” movement against the bourgeoisie in the name of the “whole nation” and for the “salvation of the Nation ”(think of Mussolini's“ march ”to Rome, of Pilsudski's“ march ”to Warsaw, of Hitler's National Socialist“ revolution ”in Germany, etc.).
But whatever mask fascism may put on, in whatever forms it may appear, in whatever way it may come to power -
Fascism is the furious offensive of capital against the working masses.
Fascism is the most rampant chauvinism and predatory war.
Fascism is furious reaction and counterrevolution.
Fascism is the worst enemy of the working class and of all working people.
Directory Chapter 1
What does victorious fascism bring to the masses?
Fascism promised the workers a “fair wage”, but in reality it brought them an even lower, beggar-like standard of living. He promised the unemployed work, in reality he brought them even greater starvation, slave labor and forced labor. In reality, he transforms workers and unemployed into completely lawless pariahs of capitalist society, destroys their trade unions, robs them of the right to strike and the workers' press, drives them into the fascist organizations by force, steals their social security funds, turns the factories and factories into barracks, into where the rampant arbitrariness of the capitalists prevails.
Fascism promised the working youth that it would open a broad path to a bright future for them. In reality, it brought the youth mass layoffs, labor camps and uninterrupted military drill for a predatory war.
Fascism promised the white-collar workers, the petty officials, the intellectuals to secure their livelihood, to abolish the omnipotence of the trusts and the speculation of bank capital. In reality, he plunged them into even greater hopelessness and insecurity; he subjects them to a new bureaucracy made up of his most obedient followers; he creates an intolerable dictatorship of trusts;
Fascism promised the ruined, impoverished peasantry the abolition of debt bondage, the abolition of rent payments and even the free expropriation of the manorial land for the benefit of the landless and ruined peasants. In reality it creates an unprecedented enslavement of the toiling peasantry by the trusts and the fascist state apparatus and greatly increases the exploitation of the main masses of the peasantry by the large agrarians, the banks and the usurers.
"Germany will be a peasant country or not at all" - Hitler solemnly declared, but what did the peasants in Germany get under Hitler? A moratorium that has already been lifted? Or the Hereditary Farm Act, which leads to the displacement of millions of peasant sons and daughters from the village and their transformation into paupers (beggars)? The farm workers have been turned into half serfs who are even deprived of the elementary right of freedom of movement. The working peasantry is deprived of the opportunity to sell the products of their economy on the market.
And in Poland?
“The Polish farmer” - writes the Polish newspaper Czas - “uses methods and means that were probably only used in the Middle Ages: he keeps the fire in the stove and lends it to his neighbor, he divides the matches into several parts. The peasants hand each other the dirty soapy water. They boil the herring barrels to get salt water. This is not a fairy tale, but the real situation in the village, which everyone can see for themselves. "
And that, comrades, is not written by communists, but by a reactionary Polish newspaper!
But that's not all.
Every day in the concentration camps of fascist Germany, in the cellars of the Gestapo, in the Polish casemates, in the Bulgarian and Finnish secret police, in the Belgrade Glawnjacha, in Romanian Siguranza, on the Italian islands the best sons of the working class, revolutionary peasants, fighters for a better future of humanity exposed to such hideous acts of violence and humiliation before which the worst atrocities of the tsarist secret police pale. The criminal German fascism beats men to a bloody pulp in the presence of their wives, sends the mothers the ashes of their murdered sons in parcels. Sterilization was turned into a political weapon of war. The captured anti-fascists are forcibly injected with toxins in the torture chambers, their arms are broken, their eyes knocked out, they are hung up, they are pumped with water, and swastikas are cut into their skin.
In front of me is a statistical compilation of the International Red Aid on the murdered and wounded. Arrested, mutilated and tortured to death in Germany, Poland, Italy, Austria, Bulgaria and Yugoslavia. In Germany alone, over 4,200 people were murdered and 317,800 arrested during the Nazi regime; 218,600 anti-fascist workers, peasants, white-collar workers, intellectuals, communists, social democrats and members of opposition Christian organizations were wounded and cruelly tortured. In Austria, the “Christian” fascist government has killed 1,900 people, wounded and mutilated 10,000 since the February fighting last year; 40,000 revolutionary workers were arrested. And this compilation, comrades, is far from complete.
It is difficult for me to find words to express all the indignation that grips us at the thought of the torments now suffered by working people in a number of fascist countries. The numbers and facts which we quote do not reflect a hundredth of the exploitation and torments of White Guard terror with which the daily life of the working class in the various capitalist countries is full. No books, no matter how extensive, can give a clear idea of the countless bestialities of fascism towards the working people.
With deep excitement and hatred of the fascist executioners we lower the banners of the Communist International in front of the unforgettable memory of John Scheer, Fiete Schulzes, Lüttgen in Germany, Koloman Wallisch and Münichreiter in Austria, Sallais and Fürsts in Hungary, Kofardshiews, Lütibrodskis and Woikows in Bulgaria, in front of the memory of the thousands and thousands of communist, social democratic and non-party workers, peasants, representatives of the progressive intelligentsia who gave their lives in the struggle against fascism.
From this platform we greet the leader of the German proletariat and the honorary chairman of our congress - Comrade Thalmann. (Stormy applause, everyone rise from the squares.) We greet Comrades Rakosi, Gramsci (stormy applause, everyone rise from the squares), Antikainen, J. Panow. We greet the leader of the Spanish Socialists Caballero, who has been thrown into prison by the counter-revolutionaries, Tom Mooney, who has languished in prison for 18 years, and the thousands of other prisoners of capital and fascism, and we shout out to them : “Comrades in arms! Comrades in arms! We did not forget you! We are with you! We want to give up every hour of our life, every drop of our blood for your liberation and for the liberation of all working people from the shameful fascist regime. "(Stormy applause, everyone stands up from their seats.)
Comrades, Lenin has already pointed out to us that the bourgeoisie can succeed in attacking the working people with the most furious terror and in one or that short period of time to repel the growing forces of the revolution, but that nevertheless it cannot save itself from ruin.
Life prevails. May the bourgeoisie rage, rage to the point of mental confusion, exaggerate, do stupid things, take revenge on the Bolsheviks in advance, and slaughter hundreds, thousands, hundreds of thousands of Bolsheviks tomorrow or yesterday (India, Hungary, Germany, etc.): while the bourgeoisie does that , it acts like all classes doomed by history. The communists must know that the future is definitely theirs; therefore, in the mighty revolutionary struggle, we can (and must) combine the greatest passion with the most cold-blooded and sober assessment of the bourgeoisie's fits of anger. 
Yes, if we and the proletariat of the whole world go unswervingly along the path pointed out by Lenin and Stalin, the bourgeoisie will perish, come what may. (Applause.)
Directory Chapter 1
Is the victory of fascism inevitable?
Why and how could fascism win?
Fascism is the worst enemy of the working class and the working people. Fascism is the enemy of nine-tenths of the German people, nine-tenths of the Austrian people, and nine-tenths of the other peoples of the fascist countries. How, in what way, could this worst enemy win?
Fascism was able to come to power primarily because the working class was divided, politically and organizationally disarmed from the attacking bourgeoisie, thanks to the policy of the working group with the bourgeoisie, pursued by the leaders of social democracy. The communist parties, however, were not strong enough to get the masses on their feet without and against social democracy and to lead them into the decisive struggle against fascism.
As a matter of fact! May the millions of social democratic workers who are now savoring the horrors of fascist barbarism together with their communist brothers think seriously about the following: if the Austrian and German proletariat in 1918, when the revolution broke out in Germany and Austria, did not belong to the social democratic leadership of the Otto Bauer, Friedrich Adler and Renner in Austria, who would have followed Ebert and Scheidemann in Germany, but had followed the path of the Russian Bolsheviks, the path of Lenin and Stalin, then there would be no fascism now, neither in Austria nor in Germany, neither in Italy nor in Hungary, neither in Poland nor in the Balkans. It is not the bourgeoisie but the working class that has long been in control of the situation in Europe.
Take, for example, Austrian social democracy. The revolution of 1918 lifted them tremendously. Power was in her hands, she had strong positions in the army and in the state apparatus. Based on these positions, it could have destroyed the emerging fascism in the bud. But it gave up one working class position after another without resistance. It allowed the bourgeoisie to strengthen its power, to repeal the constitution, to purge social democratic functionaries from the state apparatus, the army and the police, and to take away the arsenal of arms from the workers. It allowed the fascist bandits to murder social democratic workers with impunity, it accepted the conditions of the Hüttenberger Pact, which gave the fascist elements access to the factories. At the same time the leaders of the Social Democrats impressed the workers with the Linz program, which provided the alternative of using force against the bourgeoisie and establishing a proletarian dictatorship, and assured them that if the ruling classes should resort to violence against the working class , to which I would respond by calling for a general strike and armed struggle. As if the whole policy of preparing for the fascist attack on the working class was not a chain of acts of violence against it, cloaked in constitutional forms? Even on the evening before and during the February fights, the leadership of the Austrian Social Democrats left the heroically struggling Schutzbund isolated from the broad masses and condemned the Austrian proletariat to defeat.
Was the victory of fascism in Germany inevitable? No, the German working class could have prevented it.
But to do this it would have had to push through the establishment of the anti-fascist proletarian united front, force the leaders of social democracy to stop the campaign against the communists and to accept the repeated offers of the communist party for unity of action against fascism.
In the face of the attack by fascism and the gradual liquidation of bourgeois democratic freedoms by the bourgeoisie, it should not have been satisfied with the beautiful resolutions of the social democracy, but should have responded with a real mass struggle that made the fascist plans of the German bourgeoisie difficult.
It should not have allowed the Braun-Severing government to ban the Red Front Fighter League, but should have established combat contact between the Red Front Fighter League and the almost one million Reichsbanner and forced Braun and Severing, both the one and the other organization of all defense and smash the fascist gangs.
It should have forced the leaders of the Social Democrats, who were at the head of the government in Prussia, to take defensive measures against fascism, to arrest the fascist leaders, to ban their press, their material resources, as well as the resources of the capitalists, which the fascist ones Subsidized the movement, to confiscate it, to disband the fascist organizations, to take away their weapons, etc.
Furthermore, it should have enforced that all kinds of social benefits be restored and expanded, that a moratorium and crisis aid be introduced for the peasants ruined under the influence of the crisis, by taxing the banks and the trusts to keep themselves in this way to secure the support of the working peasantry. That was not done, and it was the fault of the Social Democrats in Germany; therefore fascism could win.
Did the bourgeoisie and the nobility inevitably have to triumph in Spain, in a country where the forces of the proletarian insurrection and the peasant war are so favorably united?
The Spanish socialists had been in government since the first days of the revolution. Have they established combat contact between the workers' organizations of all political directions, including the communists and the anarchists? Have they united the working class in a unified union organization? Did they demand the confiscation of all landowners, churches and monasteries for the benefit of the peasants in order to win the peasants over to the revolution? Did you try to fight for the national self-determination of the Catalonians, the Basques, for the liberation of Morocco? Did they cleanse the army of monarchist and fascist elements and prepare for the army's transition to the side of the workers and peasants? Have they disbanded the civil guard hated by the people, the executioner of all popular movements? Did you strike against the fascist Gil Robles' party, against the power of the Catholic Church? No, nothing like that. You have rejected the repeated proposals of the Communists to establish unity of action against the attack of the bourgeois-junker reaction and fascism; they have passed electoral laws that enabled the reaction to win a majority in the Cortes (parliament), laws that criminalized popular movements, laws that are now being tried by the heroic miners of Asturias. With the hands of the civil guard they shot down the peasants who were fighting for the land, etc.
In this way, social democracy paved the way for fascism to power, both in Germany and Austria, and in Spain, disorganized and divided the ranks of the working class.
Comrades, fascism also triumphed because the proletariat was isolated from its natural allies. Fascism triumphed because it succeeded in pulling the great masses of the peasantry with it, thanks to the fact that social democracy practiced essentially anti-peasant policies on behalf of the working class. The peasant saw in power a number of social democratic governments, which in his eyes embodied the power of the working class, but not a single one of these governments put an end to the plight of the peasants, not a single one of them gave the peasants land. Social democracy in Germany has not touched the landowners. It worked against the strikes of the farm workers, and the result was that the farm workers in Germany left the reformist trade unions long before Hitler came to power and in most cases went over to the “Stahlhelm” and the National Socialists.
Fascism also triumphed because it succeeded in penetrating the ranks of the youth, while the social democracy distracted the working class youth from the class struggle, but the revolutionary proletariat did not develop the necessary educational work among the youth and the struggle for their special interests and demands was not sufficient Turned attention. Fascism tackled the particularly keen urge for fighting activity among the youth and drew a large part of the youth into its combat troops. The new generation of male and female youth did not endure the horrors of war. It savored the gravity of the economic crisis, unemployment and the collapse of bourgeois democracy on its own body. Since significant parts of the youth saw no prospects for the future, they were particularly receptive to the fascist demagogy that would paint a tempting future for them if fascism prevailed.
In this context, we cannot ignore a number of mistakes made by the communist parties, mistakes that hampered our struggle against fascism.
In our ranks we had an inadmissible underestimation of the fascist danger, which to this day has not been liquidated everywhere. Such an attitude, as it used to be found in our parties, that “Germany was not Italy”, in the sense that fascism could win in Italy, but that its victory in Germany was impossible because we are an industrially highly developed country here , a culturally highly developed country with a 40-year tradition of the labor movement, a country where fascism is impossible. Or the attitude that now exists that in the countries of "classic" bourgeois democracy there is no ground for fascism. Such an attitude could and can favor a lessening of vigilance towards the fascist danger and make it more difficult to mobilize the proletariat in the struggle against fascism.
One can also cite quite a few cases in which the communists were taken by surprise by a fascist overthrow. Think of Bulgaria, where the leadership of our party took a “neutral”, but basically an opportunist position on the upheaval of June 9, 1923; thinks of Poland, where in May 1926 the leadership of the Communist Party, which did not properly assess the driving forces of the Polish revolution, failed to see through the fascist character of the Pilsudski coup and lagged behind the events; think of Finland, where our party misunderstood the misconception of slow, gradual fascization and overlooked the fascist overthrow prepared by the bourgeois leader that took the party and the working class by surprise.
When National Socialism was already becoming a threatening mass movement in Germany, comrades like Heinz Neumann, for whom the Brüning government was already a government of the fascist dictatorship, boastfully declared: “If Hitler's 'Third Reich' should come, then only one and a half meters below the ground, but above the ground we will have a victorious working class. "
For a long time, our comrades in Germany did not take sufficient account of the offended national feeling and the indignation of the masses against the Versailles peace treaty, they behaved with disdain for the fluctuations of the peasantry and the petty bourgeoisie, and they were late with the program of social and national liberation and when they set it up they did not know how to apply it according to the concrete needs and level of the masses; then they did not even know how to popularize it generously among the masses.
In a number of countries the necessary development of the mass struggle against fascism has been replaced by fruitless arguments about the character of fascism “in general” and by sectarian limitations with regard to the position and solution of the party's current political tasks.
Comrades, we are talking about the causes of the victory of fascism, we point out the historical responsibility of social democracy for the defeat of the working class, we also note our own mistakes in the struggle against fascism, not simply because we are rummaging around in the past want. We are not historians detached from life, we are working class fighters committed to providing an answer to the question that plagues millions of workers: can one prevent the victory of fascism and how can it be done? And we answer these millions of workers: Yes, comrades, one can block the way of fascism. It is entirely possible. It depends on ourselves, on the workers, the peasants, on all working people.
The prevention of the victory of fascism depends above all on the fighting activity of the working class itself, on the union of its forces in a unified army fighting against the offensive of capital and fascism. The proletariat, which establishes its combat unit, would paralyze the influence of fascism on the peasantry, on the urban petty bourgeoisie, on the youth and the intelligentsia, would neutralize one part and pull the other part over to its side.
Second, it depends on the existence of a strong revolutionary party that properly guides the working people's struggle against fascism. A party that systematically calls the workers to retreat from fascism and allows the fascist bourgeoisie to strengthen their positions - such a party will inevitably lead the workers towards defeat.
Thirdly, it depends on the correct policy of the working class towards the peasantry and the petty-bourgeois masses in the cities. You have to take these masses as they are and not as we would like to see them. Only in the course of the struggle will they cast off their doubts and vacillations, only if one shows patience with their inevitable vacillations, and if the proletariat supports them politically, will they rise to a higher level of revolutionary consciousness and activity.
Fourth, it depends on the vigilance and timely action of the revolutionary proletariat. You shouldn't let fascism take you by surprise; one cannot leave the initiative to him; he must be dealt decisive blows if he has not yet been able to gather his strength; he must not be allowed to strengthen his position; one must approach it at every step where it shows itself; he must not be allowed to conquer new positions, as the French proletariat tries to do with success.
These are the most important conditions to prevent the growth of fascism and its accession to power.
Directory Chapter 1
Fascism - a cruel but not a permanent power
The fascist dictatorship of the bourgeoisie is a cruel but not a stable power.
What are the main reasons why the fascist dictatorship is not a fixed dictatorship?
Fascism, which was preparing to overcome the differences of opinion and antagonisms in the bourgeoisie camp, exacerbated these antagonisms even more. Fascism tries to establish its political monopoly and forcibly eliminates the other political parties. But the existence of the capitalist system, the existence of the various classes and the intensification of class antagonisms inevitably lead to the shaking and breaking of the political monopoly of fascism. This is not a Soviet country in which the dictatorship of the proletariat is also carried out by a monopoly party, but where this political monopoly corresponds to the interests of the millions of working people and is increasingly based on the construction of a classless society. In a fascist country the Fascist Party cannot long maintain its monopoly because it is unable to face the task of eliminating classes and class antagonisms. It abrogates the legal existence of the bourgeois parties, but a number of them continue to exist illegally. The Communist Party, however, marches forward even under illegal conditions, steel itself and leads the struggle of the proletariat against the fascist dictatorship. In this way the political monopoly of fascism must collapse under the blows of class antagonisms.
Another reason why the fascist dictatorship is not stable is that the contrast between the anti-capitalist demagogy of fascism and the policy of the most predatory enrichment of the monopoly bourgeoisie facilitates the exposure of the class system of fascism and leads to the shaking and shrinking of its mass base .
Furthermore, the victory of fascism arouses the deep hatred and indignation of the masses, favors their revolutionization and gives a powerful impetus to the united front of the proletariat against fascism.
Through the policy of economic nationalism (autarky) and by drawing on the greater part of the national income to prepare for war, fascism undermines the entire economy of the country and exacerbates the economic war between the capitalist states. It gives the conflicts arising within the bourgeoisie the character of sharp and often bloody clashes, which undermines the strength of the fascist state power in the eyes of the people. A state power that murders its own supporters, as was the case on June 30th last year in Germany, the fascist state power, against which the other part of the fascist bourgeoisie is fighting weapon in hand (the National Socialist putsch in Austria, the Sharp actions of individual fascist groups against the fascist government in Poland, Bulgaria, Finland and other countries) - such a state power cannot for long maintain its authority in the eyes of the broad petty-bourgeois masses.
The working class must know how to take advantage of the antagonisms and conflicts in the bourgeoisie camp, but it must not be under any illusions that fascism will exhaust itself. Fascism will not collapse automatically. Only the revolutionary activity of the working class will help to exploit the inevitable conflicts in the bourgeoisie camp to undermine and overthrow the fascist dictatorship.
By liquidating the remnants of bourgeois democracy, by elevating open force to a system of government, fascism undermines the democratic illusions and the authority of legalism in the eyes of the toiling masses. This is all the more happening in the countries in which, for example in Austria and Spain, the workers fought against fascism with gun in hand. In Austria, the heroic struggle of the Schutzbund and the communists, despite the defeat, shook the firmness of the fascist dictatorship from the beginning. In Spain, the bourgeoisie has failed to put a fascist muzzle on the working people. The armed struggles in Austria and Spain have resulted in ever larger masses of the working class recognizing the need for revolutionary class struggle.
Only such unbelievable Philistines, such lackeys of the bourgeoisie as the oldest theoretician of the Second International, Karl Kautsky, can reproach the workers and say that they should not have taken up arms in Austria and Spain. What would the labor movement in Austria and Spain look like now if the working class of these countries had been guided by the treasonous advice of Kautsky? The working class would have experienced profound demoralization among its ranks.
“The peoples do the school of civil war” - says Lenin - “not in vain. It is a hard school, and its full program inevitably includes victories of the counter-revolution, the fury of the bitter reactionaries, savage acts of revenge by the old power on the rebels, etc. But only inveterate pedants and unconscious mummies can complain about the fact that the peoples go through this excruciating school; this school teaches the oppressed classes to wage civil war, teaches them to win in revolution. It stores in the masses of modern slaves that hatred which the intimidated, dull and ignorant slaves hide forever, and which leads the slaves, who have recognized the shame of their slavery, to the greatest heroic deeds in history. "
As is well known, the victory of fascism in Germany brought with it a new wave of the fascist offensive, which in Austria led to the provocation of Dollfuss, in Spain to new counter-revolutionary attacks on the revolutionary achievements of the masses, in Poland to the fascist reform of the constitution and in France encouraged the fascist armed forces to attempt a coup in February 1934. But this victory and the rampage of the fascist dictatorship provoked a counter-movement of the united proletarian front against fascism on an international scale. The arson of the Reichstag, which was the signal for a general attack by fascism against the working class, the robbery of the trade unions and other workers' organizations and their plunder, the screams of the tortured anti-fascists from the cellars of the fascist barracks and the concentration camps show the masses what the reactionary division is for led by the leaders of the German Social Democrats, who rejected the communists' proposals for a common struggle against the onslaught of fascism, and convinced them of the need to combine all the forces of the working class to overthrow fascism.
Hitler's victory also gave a powerful impetus to the creation of the united front of the working class against fascism in France. Hitler's victory not only aroused fear among the workers of the fate of the German workers, not only aroused hatred of the executioners of their German class brothers, but also reinforced their determination not to allow anything in their country to do anything with the Working class happened in Germany.
The powerful drive for a united front in all capitalist countries shows that the lessons of defeat have not been in vain. The working class is beginning to act in new ways. The initiative of the Communist Party in organizing the united front and the limitless sacrifice of the communists, the revolutionary workers in the struggle against fascism, led to an unprecedented increase in the authority of the Communist International. At the same time a deep crisis developed in the Second International, which came to light and intensified particularly sharply after the bankruptcy of the Social Democratic Party of Germany.
The social-democratic workers can convince themselves more and more clearly that fascist Germany with all its horrors and barbarism is ultimately a consequence of the social-democratic policy of working together with the bourgeoisie. These masses are becoming more and more aware that the path that the leaders of the German social democracy have led the proletariat must not be taken again. Never before has there been such an intellectual confusion in the ranks of the Second International as it is now. There is a differentiation within all social democratic parties. Two main camps are emerging in their ranks: alongside the existing camp of reactionary elements, which are trying by all means to maintain the bloc of social democracy with the bourgeoisie, and furiously rejecting the united front with the communists, the camp of revolutionary elements is beginning to emerge who harbor doubts about the correctness of the policy of the working group with the bourgeoisie, who are in favor of the creation of a united front with the communists and are increasingly beginning to adopt the standpoint of the revolutionary class struggle.
Fascism, which emerged as a result of the decline of the capitalist system, ultimately acts as a factor in its further decomposition. Thus fascism, which took on the obligation to put an end to Marxism and the revolutionary workers' movement, as a result of the dialectics of life and of the class struggle, leads to a further development of those forces that must be its gravedigger, the gravedigger of capitalism.
1. Lenin. All Works, Vol XXV, p.291.
2. Lenin, All Works, Vol. XII, p.380.
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Last updated on October 16, 2003
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