National Sections of the L5I:

The struggle against fascism

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As social crisis mounts and social democracy in power proves wanting, the far right is on the rise across Europe. The growth of fascist front parties in Italy, Belgium and France testifies to this. Under conditions of deep crisis, the bourgeoisie can use a fascist movement to maintain their rule against the working class. Fascism, a reactionary mass movement mainly recruited from the ranks of a petit-bourgeoisie and lumpenproletariat made desperate by the crisis of capitalism, has as its goal the destruction of the independent workers’ movement and the establishment of the rule of finance capital unfettered by any elements of bourgeois democracy whatsoever.

It is a last resort for the bourgeoisie since it involves the suppression of its own parliamentary representatives. As Nazi Germany and Mussolini’s Italy showed, it is a measure that will be taken if the situation demands it. In the semi-colonial countries, fascism can develop as a movement arising out of communalist conflicts or out of reactionary clerical movements. The phraseology of such movements can sometimes be anti-imperialist. But this should not blind us to their anti-communist, anti-working class nature.

This rhetoric is in the same mould as the demagogic “anti-capitalism” of the Nazis. With the triumph of communalism or clerical fascism in the semi-colonies, the rule of imperialism will remain intact or even be strengthened.

From the moment that fascism emerges, the working class must wage a merciless struggle to smash it. Even when it conceals its more general aims and concentrates on spreading the poisonous fumes of race hatred, the workers’ united front must be organised to fight it. We call on all working class organisations to build a mass workers’ united front against the fascists.

The workers’ movement should not recognise or respect the democratic rights of fascist movements because they are instruments of civil war against the working class movement and the oppressed. But we do not call for them to be banned by the capitalist state. The bourgeoisie cannot be entrusted with this task since they are the ultimate backers of the fascists. In fact, the state will use bans to disarm and hamper resistance to fascism. Instead, the revolutionaries fight to mobilise the working class around the slogans: no platform for fascists, drive the fascists out of the workers’ organisations!

We must physically confront every fascist mobilisation and organise workers’ defence units to combat fascist attacks on the racially oppressed and the workers’ movement.

The struggle to defend the democratic rights of the workers from military dictatorship and fascism will only be finally won through the overthrow of the system that spawns them: capitalism.