Fascism is back: onwards to the struggle!

Lese­zeit7 min

The Free Left Future’s state­ment on the Anni­ver­sery of Libe­ra­ti­on from Hit­ler-Fascism (Vic­to­ry Day)

Fascism is back; armed, in power, on the march, across the enti­re glo­be. It is no lon­ger enough to wistful­ly honor our heroes and mar­tyrs with songs, with mar­ches, with spee­ches and vigils. The ter­ri­ble truth must be ack­now­led­ged: we must fight the libe­ra­ti­on strugg­le anew.

The demo­cra­tic free­doms and high living stan­dard enjoy­ed in the West in the past half cen­tu­ry were a not a gift of eit­her »capi­ta­list pro­duc­ti­vi­ty« or a bene­vo­lent ruling class – on the con­tra­ry, social demo­cra­cy was a truce, forced on the Wes­tern ruling clas­ses, by the orga­ni­zed power of the working clas­ses. This took the form, of cour­se, of the sedi­men­ta­ted vic­to­ries of deca­des of labor strug­gles in the impe­ri­al core its­elf. But more than any­thing, social demo­cra­cy in the West was pos­si­ble becau­se of Actual­ly Exis­ting Socia­lism in the East, and the vic­to­ries of popu­lar, anti-impe­ria­list regimes in the South. It was a pro­duct of popu­lar power, of the vic­to­ries of the mas­ses, of their who­le or par­ti­al libe­ra­ti­on from the grip of the many-hea­ded hydra of capi­ta­lism, impe­ria­lism, and fascism. It was won through a deter­mi­ned class strugg­le. And it has been lost, as a result of an equal­ly deter­mi­ned – and deli­be­ra­te and coor­di­na­ted and »con­spi­ra­to­ri­al«! – strugg­le on the part of the ruling class.

The gre­at wave of libe­ra­ti­on unleas­hed by the Octo­ber revo­lu­ti­on has rea­ched its lowest ebb. Much of the world once libe­ra­ted by pro­gres­si­ve forces, with the com­mu­nists at their van­guard, has been recon­que­r­ed. This is not sim­ply true abroad, but right here at home as well. With the world­wi­de vic­to­ry of coun­ter-revo­lu­ti­on in the 90s, the ruling class has set about not mere­ly re-ens­la­ving every inch of the form­er­ly socia­list world – or sim­ply des­troy­ing what it can’t get its hands on. The ruling class has set about just as eager­ly chip­ping back dome­stic vic­to­ries: the living wage, fair pen­si­ons, decent housing – inde­ed, soon even a warm, illu­mi­na­ted home is to be ren­de­red a rare privilege!

And it is not only the »social« in »social demo­cra­cy« that has all but dis­ap­peared. Inde­ed, with astoun­ding auda­ci­ty, the ruling class now wields the per­ver­ted husks of our for­mer social liber­ties as wea­pons against our last remai­ning civil liber­ties: laws against hate speech are wiel­ded to cri­mi­na­li­ze the cri­tique of Nazi pro­pa­gan­da; the health­ca­re sys­tem has been tur­ned into a vast engi­ne of sur­veil­lan­ce, tor­tu­re, dys­ge­nics and depo­pu­la­ti­on; legi­ti­ma­te eco­lo­gi­cal con­cerns are coopted to sell to the popu­la­ti­on their own impo­ve­rish­ment and ens­lavement as a righ­teous vic­to­ry of mother earth; the tele­com­mu­ni­ca­ti­ons grid is wel­ded into a vast cage around us. The ruling class intends to rest­rict you to a »safe«, »green«, »hygie­nic«, and »con­ve­ni­ent« 15 minu­te city (when they don’t have you under direct house arrest), dic­ta­te your diet, choo­se what you can read or lis­ten to, and hurl you in jail if you dare to ques­ti­on their wis­dom or bene­vo­lence – for that could only be Rus­si­an dis­in­for­ma­ti­on. Of cour­se, this gam­bit isn’t real­ly new. As Dimit­rov obser­ved a cen­tu­ry ago:

Fascism comes to power as a par­ty of attack on the revo­lu­tio­na­ry move­ment of the pro­le­ta­ri­at, on the mass of the peo­p­le who are in a sta­te of unrest; yet it stages its acces­si­on to power as a ›revo­lu­tio­na­ry‹ move­ment against the bour­geoi­sie on behalf of ›the who­le nati­on‹ and for the ’sal­va­ti­on‹ of the nati­on. One recalls Mussolini’s ›march‹ on Rome, Pilsudski’s ›march‹ on War­saw, Hitler’s Natio­nal-Socia­list ›revo­lu­ti­on‹ in Ger­ma­ny, and so forth.

And just like the last time, asto­nis­hin­gly, many self-pro­fes­sed lef­tists or even com­mu­nists have fal­len for it. They belie­ve that the ruling class, after can­ni­ba­li­zing the health care sys­tem and demo­li­shing the social pre­con­di­ti­ons of health, sim­ply had to be gran­ted des­po­tic powers over our lives and lim­bs to save us from a boo­gey­man virus. They belie­ve the same ruling class who rava­ged the pla­net just had to be per­mit­ted to abo­lish our free­dom of move­ment and well-being to save it. They belie­ve the ruling class who work us to death and rob us at every turn will give us a uni­ver­sal basic inco­me or cen­tral bank digi­tal wal­let out of the good­ness of their hearts, rather than as a tool of total con­trol. Some even belie­ve they are arming and ren­a­zi­fy­ing Ukrai­ne to save us from the boo­gey­man Putin, against whom even FF2P masks offer only mini­mal protection.

A lot is the same then, but some things are even worse. Abo­ve all: we have no USSR to save us. The Octo­ber Revo­lu­ti­on libe­ra­ted a lar­ge swath of huma­ni­ty from the capi­ta­list yoke. Under capi­ta­lism, not only is our ener­gy, our pro­duc­ti­vi­ty, our very lif­e­force rob­bed from us for the bene­fit of ano­ther– but the capi­ta­list takes that sub­s­tance of ours which he ste­als, and uses it to con­s­truct and main­tain the very wea­pons and tools by which he keeps us ens­laved, and by which ens­laves others. Socia­lism, on the other hand, libe­ra­tes the tre­men­dous forces of human pro­duc­ti­vi­ty and crea­ti­vi­ty which are so squan­de­red and mis­ap­pro­pria­ted under capi­ta­lism. Upon such libe­ra­ti­on, the peo­p­les of the USSR imme­dia­te­ly set about for­ging the most glo­rious engi­ne of human libe­ra­ti­on in histo­ry, which we so solemnly recall today: the Workers’ and Peasants’ Red Army.

It was pre­cis­e­ly becau­se the working mas­ses of the USSR had libe­ra­ted them­sel­ves from the yoke of capi­ta­lism that they could libe­ra­te us from Nazism. But the USSR, tra­gi­cal­ly, is no more. Rus­sia can­not tru­ly recom­mence the glo­rious work of den­a­zi­fi­ca­ti­on and libe­ra­ti­on until it too once again throws off the yoke of capi­ta­lism. Can one rebuild the machi­nery of libe­ra­ti­on with one hand, while arming the ene­my with the other? How much value, pro­du­ced by Rus­si­an workers, still flows by cir­cui­tous rou­tes back to Lon­don or New York? How much oil pum­ped from the Rus­si­an earth flows back to Euro­pe, or even to Kiev its­elf? How much Rus­si­an and Ukrai­ni­an blood must flow befo­re illu­si­ons of com­pro­mi­se with the ren­a­zi­fied West are cast asi­de, the oppor­tu­nists thrown out, and the popu­la­ti­on ful­ly mobi­li­zed? The­se, of cour­se, are ques­ti­ons for our Rus­si­an comrades.

For us it is suf­fi­ci­ent to say: we can not count on a savi­or. Neither Putin, nor Wagen­knecht, nor the ghost of the Red Army will come to save us: we must do it our­sel­ves. And we must do it now, right now – any later will be too late. The camp is long sin­ce open, they are buil­ding it all around us this time. Never has histo­ry seen a more auda­cious ruling class than that which we live under. They decla­re open­ly, every day, with only the thin­nest dem­ago­gic cover – be it »green« or »social« or »sani­ta­ry« – that the­re are too many of us, that we are dir­ty, dise­a­se car­ry­ing, pol­lu­ting, over-pro­du­cing pests. Ever­y­day more open­ly they move clo­ser towards our total enslavement.

To over­co­me the cri­sis of capi­ta­lism, the most reac­tion­a­ry, most chau­vi­ni­stic and most impe­ria­list ele­ments of finan­ce capi­tal have declared open ter­ro­ristic dic­ta­tor­ship over even the bour­geoi­sie. In the pro­cess, they are trans­forming capi­ta­lism its­elf. The long work of repri­va­tiz­ing vir­tual­ly the enti­re sta­te appa­ra­tus, begun under neo­li­be­ra­lism, is all but com­ple­te. The sta­te is incre­asing­ly a pure, unal­loy­ed tool of ruling class power, upon which we have no claims. It will not pro­vi­de, but only punish. Good, we can give up our illu­si­ons about it.

In this awe­so­me gam­bit, the ruling class has ris­ked ever­y­thing. They have no legi­ti­ma­cy, not­hing to offer the popu­la­ti­on any more. They do not pro­mi­se the con­su­mer para­di­se of the last century’s capi­ta­list pro­pa­gan­da. They have no car­rot, only stick. They are ban­king on a com­bi­na­ti­on of stu­pe­fy­ing spec­ta­cle and the most com­pre­hen­si­ve, tech­no­lo­gi­cal­ly enab­led con­trol grid in histo­ry to keep us in line. But they have not finis­hed it yet – and they will not, becau­se we will stop them.

The par­lia­men­ta­ry par­ties, social orga­niza­ti­ons, and insti­tu­ti­ons which have sub­mit­ted to coop­ti­on by the ruling class did us a gre­at favor in par­ti­ci­pa­ting in the mas­si­ve offen­si­ve against the popu­la­ti­on car­ri­ed out under the ridi­cu­lous pan­de­mic pre­text: they reve­a­led their utter irre­de­ema­bi­li­ty. We must be free of illu­si­ons. Only we can libe­ra­te our­sel­ves, and we must do it now! We must start buil­ding net­works of mutu­al sup­port and poli­ti­cal coor­di­na­ti­on – inde­pen­dent, free, and socialist.

Fascism is back. The com­me­mo­ra­ti­on of the first libe­ra­ti­on, if it is to be any­thing but lame nost­al­gia, must trans­la­te into action: full spec­trum class strugg­le now!

The Free Left Future on the Day of Libe­ra­ti­on from Hitler’s Fascism 2023

Image: »The glo­ry of tho­se days will not be silen­ced …« (text in Ukrai­ni­an), pain­ting by Vik­tor Savin, post­card, Mys­tetstvo Publi­shing House, Kyiv, Ukrai­ni­an SSR

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