The Nature of Imperialism and Fascism – Revolutionary Class Struggles against Fascist Reaction

Lesezeit77 min

Mercantile Capitalism and Imperialism

Unlike industrial capitalism, which profits from the expansion of commodity production, mercantile capitalism generates profits from the exchange of commodities produced. The mercantile bourgeoisie – i.e. the merchant class – operate as middlemen for exchange operations. The middleman sector in the economy, the sector responsible for the exchange, is of critical significance for other sectors for it eases transfers and transactions. It therefore receives high demand from the rest of the economy, generating high revenue for those in control of the middleman sector. On the other hand, the middleman sector does not engage in as much material production as other sectors and is less labour-​intensive. The result for middleman sectors is that, relative to the rest of the economic sectors, high revenues are generated at low labour costs, and hence high profits, but with relatively little production. The high profits without much production create a serious imbalance in the economy, for they allow the middlemen to ›suck‹ the wealth of the economy, which is precisely what makes mercantile capitalism parasitic. This is to be contrasted with industrial capitalism which, while exploiting the workers, nonetheless does expand production. It is therefore not difficult to understand how mercantile capitalist middlemen can become a parasitic class that ›bites‹ into production without producing as much. It is this parasitic middleman nature of mercantile capitalism that formed the class basis for pre-​modern imperialism. In part IV of Das Kapital III, Marx intensively explored the nature of money capital and mercantile capital: 

»Of course, commerce will … subordinate production more and more to exchange-​value by making luxuries and subsistence more dependent on sale than on the immediate use of the products. Thereby it dissolves the old relationships. It multiplies money circulation. It encompasses no longer merely the surplus of production, but bites deeper and deeper into the latter, and makes entire branches of production dependent upon it. Nevertheless this disintegrating effect depends very much on the nature of the producing community. 

So long as merchant’s capital promotes the exchange of products between undeveloped societies, commercial profit not only appears as out-​bargaining and cheating, but also largely originates from them. Aside from the fact that it exploits the difference between the prices of production of various countries (and in this respect it tends to level and fix the values of commodities), those modes of production bring it about that merchant’s capital appropriates an overwhelming portion of the surplus-​product partly as a mediator between communities which still substantially produce for use-​value, and for whose economic organisation the sale of the portion of their product entering circulation, or for that matter any sale of products at their value, is of secondary importance; and partly, because under those earlier modes of production the principal owners of the surplus-​product with whom the merchant dealt, namely, the slave-​owner, the feudal lord, and the state (for instance, the oriental despot) represent the consuming wealth and luxury which the merchant seeks to trap, as Adam Smith correctly scented in the passage on feudal times quoted earlier. Merchant’s capital, when it holds a position of dominance, stands everywhere for a system of robbery, so that its development among the trading nations of old and modern times is always directly connected with plundering, piracy, kidnapping slaves, and colonial conquest; as in Carthage, Rome, and later among the Venetians, Portuguese, Dutch, etc.« (Das Kapital, Volume III, Karl Marx, completed by Frederick Engels, p. 225. Bold added.)

Mercantile capitalism, as the dominant force behind imperialism during Marx’s time, allowed commercial companies to use trade as means of colonization. As they were the class most associated with colonialism, they profited tremendously from ›plundering, piracy, kidnapping slaves, and colonial conquest‹. Whereas the industrial bourgeoisie utilize their money to enhance and expand the production of goods and services through higher techniques, the mercantile bourgeoisie utilize their money for exchanging and trading commodities between distant regions so to earn a surplus in monetary form. Whereas the industrial bourgeoisie aim to expand factories and mining and boost production, the mercantile bourgeoisie do not produce any new materials but rather exchange already-​produced goods for profit. The mercantile bourgeoisie have a significant advantage over the rest of the society as they can use the fluctuations of international markets to generate tremendous profits, even when they work little to expand production. Such a parasitic role rendered them the class most associated with imperialism and colonialism at the time, forces hindering the development of the productive forces wheresoever they conquered. They suppressed the revolutionary anti-​colonial aspirations of the colonized zone’s national-​bourgeoisie and proletariat, the classes with the potential to develop the productive forces. 

While the mercantile bourgeoisie could operate as the class behind national imperial and colonial expansion, they could also have an alternative role: that of the comprador bourgeoisie. Rather than help their own country conquer other countries, the mercantile bourgeoisie could lead their own country to be colonized by other countries. It is quite simple: the mercantile bourgeoisie could literally sell their own country. 

What factor, then, determines whether the mercantile bourgeoisie of a specific country would be predominantly made up of comprador elements vs. predominantly made up of elements loyal to national imperial and colonial expansion? The key factor shaping the strategic orientation of the mercantile bourgeoisie is the level of the development of the productive forces. If the country to which the mercantile bourgeoisie belong has had a high level of development of the productive forces, then the mercantile bourgeoisie of that country would naturally seek to invest in their own country’s industries in order to (1) have great influence over their own country’s industries, and (2) to expand the military-​industrial backbone of their own country so that they can use it to conquer other territories. In this process, therefore, the mercantile bourgeoisie base themselves in their own country, thereby strategically aligning themselves with the national imperial expansion of their own country, and in fact generate the national imperial tendencies of their own country. As a result of this alliance of the mercantile bourgeoisie with the military-​industrial backbone of their own country, the imperialist mercantile bourgeoisie can generate enough funds to out-​maneuver any comprador mercantile bourgeois elements that exist in their country, and thus ensure that imperialist, rather than comprador, merchants dominate. Furthermore, the imperialist mercantile bourgeoisie can make overtures to the merchants of much weaker countries, countries with much lower development in productive forces, and offer those merchants in much weaker countries deals through which the merchants of the weaker countries would generate high profits while selling their own respective countries to the imperialists for cheap. As a result of this process, the comprador elements among the mercantile bourgeoisie of the weaker countries would be strengthened and the national or even anti-​imperialist elements of the mercantile bourgeoisie of the weaker country would be largely cast aside. In the era of pre-​modern imperialism, the mercantile bourgeoisie served as the key class base of imperialism. The merchants of the economically backwards countries could be bought off and be rendered into comprador mercantile bourgeois tools of the imperialist mercantile bourgeoisie. Hence there existed the comprador mercantile bourgeoisie. 

It is worth reminding that any class tendency that seeks to resist imperialism is a friend of the proletariat and hence those national anti-​imperialist elements of the mercantile bourgeoisie are allies to the working class; and although these merchants would have their businesses mainly in the exchange sector, they would nonetheless be helpful in the struggle for national liberation and the development of the productive forces. This is why Stalin famously praised those elements among the Egyptian merchants who resisted British imperialism. 

In assessing the pre-​modern imperialist powers, one must also not lose sight of the fact that some of the so-​called ›Empires‹ were not really imperialist states, for their economy was so state-​owned as to overwhelmingly minimize the influence of mercantile capital over the state. It is possible that some of the ›Empires‹ with the oriental-​despotic mode of production belonged to this category of not really being real ›imperialist‹ states.

All states would seek to develop their productive forces. More powerful mercantile capitalist-​imperialist states developed their productive forces faster than others. With the advancement of technology, the productive forces further develop, hence creating the advanced machinery that lays the material basis for industrial capitalist property relations, moving society away from the backwards feudalist system. Under industrial capitalism, workers sell their labour for cheap to produce commodities that generate revenue for their company; the industrial bourgeois stock-owner(s) typically work less than their workers but earn more through profits. Capitalist profits are thus the ›legally stolen‹ extra wages which the workers would have deserved. The market system allows the bourgeoisie to drive down the wages through having workers engage in competition for jobs.

Industrial-​Capitalism and Imperialism

The expansion of the industrial capitalist mode of production would assist in not only eliminating the feudal property relations, but would also assist in replacing poor-​quality technology with a more advanced technology that corresponds to the level of advancement in industrial capitalist property relations. It would also allow for the emergence of an army of proletarians, thereby benefiting the communist forces definitely in the longer term. 

Advancements in the productive forces of a reactionary state are always progressive for the longer term and reactionary for the shorter term. They are progressive for the longer term because they promote the rise of the progressive class forces, such as the industrial bourgeoisie and the proletariat, and they are reactionary for the shorter term because they involve a stronger military-​industrial backbone under the influence of the reactionary regime. For communists and progressives, insofar as tactical decision-​making is concerned, the shorter term comes as a priority in such cases. 

While industrial capitalism in its first phase, and despite its exploitative nature, is a progressive force for economic development beyond feudalism, the development of monopolies as a result of the crisis of overproduction in industrial capitalism marks the threshold beyond which industrial capitalism starts to gradually become somewhat reactionary in the specific country experiencing overproduction. The crisis of overproduction marks the stage in which industrial capitalism is industrialized to the point that potential deflationary effects are experienced, certain companies collapse and are devoured by other companies, as a result of which monopolies develop. The development of monopolies concentrates parts of the economy into the hands of centrally planned private microeconomies. Such corporate monopolization and private central planning, by the way, lay the ground for socialized central planning. 

Upon establishment, the powerful capitalist monopolies in turn generate the demand for and thus lay the basis for more and more advanced institutions of exchange, represented this time by the more sophisticated banks instead of the merchants. In Das Kapital, Karl Marx described the historical link between mercantile capital and the banks, as well as the essential similarities between the banks and mercantile capital, although Lenin went into great depth with regards to how the banks laid the economic basis for modern imperialism. The similarity between finance capital and mercantile capital is not at all difficult to understand: like mercantile capital, finance capital is predominantly concerned with exchange rather than production of commodities. Naturally, this means that much like mercantile capital, the banks play the role of ›middlemen‹. There is much demand for the work of these middlemen while these middlemen do not produce much materially, and do not put in as much labour. The high demand – and hence high revenue and high profits – for this sector, combined with the low amount of real material production that this sector involves means that the financial bourgeoisie can generate high amounts of profit without actually contributing as much economically. And thus, much like mercantile bourgeoisie, the financial bourgeoisie gain a parasitic role in the economy. 

Finance Capital and Imperialism

The financial bourgeoisie of an industrially developed country, a country with industrial capitalist monopolies, would naturally be interested in investing in its own home country, and to merge its businesses with the industrial monopolies. The financial bourgeoisie would provide the investments that help the industrial monopolies operate more smoothly. In exchange, the industrial monopolies would provide the economic backbone for the military with which the finance capital would use in its global war quests. Furthermore, the industrial corporations would start serving as the front companies of the finance capital. The imperialist intelligence service, the arm of imperialist finance capital, would be in charge of the latter point. These industrial corporations, front companies as they are, would go to targeted countries in order to ›invest‹ in them and ›build‹ ›factories‹, ›schools‹, etc. there. These ›schools‹ and ›factories‹ would be built proximate to the host country’s military sites or other sensitive areas, so that the front companies can spy on them more closely, and when the front companies are to evacuate the targeted country, the things built by the front company would typically, though not always, be sabotaged or dismantled. Under the cover of ›business contacts‹, espionage contacts with specific officials are to be established. Etc. The fact that the investments are by the industrial bourgeoisie rather than by banks directly, and the fact that some real industrial development would appear to be happening, makes them appear less suspicious and thus provides cover for the secret service. On the other hand, in countries in which a comprador puppet regime has already been established, the front companies are to go there to strengthen the comprador regime, exploit the natural resources, but to make sure to do so in such a way that the industries do not actually develop too much, or else these advanced industries risk falling into the hands of the revolutionaries if the comprador regime is overthrown. Furthermore, the imperialist conquerors, contrary to the common misconception, are actually keen to prevent the rise of a class of exploited proletarians, for they fear that the rise of a proletarian class would serve to undermine imperialist presence in the colonies. Instead, through neoliberal measures, the imperialists generate widespread unemployment in the colonized area, so that such unemployment would generate a large lumpen-​proletarian class – i.e. bandits. The bandit syndicates, the thug networks, would in turn be used by the imperialists as the foot-​soldiers with which to suppress the proletarian uprisings or to stage coups against any revolutionary anti-​colonial state that may arise in that land. Therefore, because the imperialists are keen to use the lumpen-​proletarians as a counter-​weight against the proletarians, the imperialist conquerors prefer to un-​employ the workers of the colonized land rather than to employ-​and-​exploit them. Fascist bombing campaigns against civilizations are launched by the imperialists in order to destroy the productive forces that bring forth jobs, that bring forth an army of proletarians, and to yield the rubble that brings forth the army of the unemployed, and consequently, from a select few of the unemployed, an army of lumpen-​proletarians. At the same time, the imperialists aim to maximize the exploitation of the natural resources of the colonized land. 

Imperialist powers sometimes export industrial capital and develop transportation infrastructure, such as railroads, in the lands they colonize in order to smoothen the links in their vast colonial empire. That does not mean that colonial powers invest for the aim of developing the economies of the colonized zones; it merely means that practical necessities have gotten them to develop infrastructure which they would like to happily destroy when the time of decolonization comes so that minimal amounts of colonially-​established infrastructure fall into the hands of the anti-​colonial forces. The imperialists also at times assist the industrialization of their imperialist allies. Such was the case with the American economic assistance to West Germany and Japan after World War II. The purpose obviously was to prop up powerful bulwarks against the USSR and the Peoples’ Democracies. Such imperialist aid, however, while certainly assisting the development of the productive forces in some specific areas, is detrimental on the global scale for it impedes the anti-​imperialist cause; ultimately, it is through anti-​imperialism alone that the global development of the productive forces can occur effectively, most quickly, and at low costs. 

Finance capital does not always directly engage in the conquest of a country. The more the influence of finance capital in a geographic area, the more direct its influence safely becomes. Depending on the level of control it possesses over a zone, finance capital’s colonial influence ranges from the installation of its intelligence agents at the helm of the state, all the way to a takeover via ›industrial‹ front companies, all the way to direct involvement in engineering debt traps and the like.

It is also worth mentioning that much as how imperialist mercantile capital would make overtures to potentially comprador elements of the mercantile bourgeoisie in colonizable zones, the local financial bourgeoisie of the weaker countries has comprador elements in it as well, and these comprador elements would be willing to sell the whole country if they could. Imperialist finance capital therefore makes overtures to the bankers of the economically much less developed countries and offers them deals with which to betray the less developed country in exchange for high profits, thus encouraging and promoting the comprador tendency among the private bankers of the industrially weaker country. That is why the financial bourgeoisie of the weaker countries are predominantly comprador rather than committed to their weak country’s industrial expansion.

The mercantile bourgeoisie and the financial bourgeoisie only choose to become supporters of national imperial expansion if the productive forces of their nation are so mighty as to render that nation a suitable base to be used by the mercantile bourgeoisie or the financial bourgeoisie for world conquest campaigns. If the productive forces of their home country is no longer that strong in comparison to other empires, then the mercantile bourgeoisie and the financial bourgeoisie choose to instead become a comprador force opposed to national imperial expansion. Many formerly mighty empires of the pre-​modern imperialist type soon ceased to be imperialist states precisely because their productive forces were no longer comparably/​relatively so strong as to render them a heartland in which mercantile capital or finance capital could base itself. This resulted in such empires to cease to be empires and to instead become colonies of mightier empires that had undergone a higher development of the productive forces.

The powerful imperialist mercantile bourgeois class had as its allies the feudal class and/​or the slave-​owner class, much as how modern imperialist finance capital renders the companies of the industrial bourgeoisie into front companies serving the interests of the financial bourgeoisie. With the progression of certain societies towards the modern imperialist phase of capital development, the modern imperialist finance capital has so much of an industrial might as to make it more profitable for the pre-​modern imperialist mercantile bourgeois class of the underdeveloped countries to sell out their countries to the mighty modern imperialists. In this phase, the pre-​modern imperialist mercantile bourgeois class transforms into a comprador mercantile bourgeois class. The comprador mercantile bourgeoisie retains the feudal lords and slave-​owners as its class allies and thus, by extension, the feudal landlords and slave-​owner classes assist the modern imperialists in the subjugation and economic terror against the colonized countries. Another reason for the alliance of the slave-​owners and feudal landlords with fascist finance capital is their common aim of rolling back the development of the productive forces in the colonized zones. 

Kautstky, Lenin and Trotzki on Modern Imperialism

Anyways, as a result of the control of the financial bourgeoisie over not just their own banks but also over industrial capitalist monopolies, parasitic finance capital is developed – hence modern imperialism. Finance capital is the economic base of modern imperialism and marks the threshold by which the modern imperialist stage is reached. Naturally, owing to its parasitic and imperialist nature, finance capital seeks to conquer the world. In describing finance capital’s quest for global domination, Lenin used the term ›exports of capital‹. Opportunist elements deliberately misinterpret this phrase as to mean that imperialism is the export of industrial capital, such as factory piece, etc. This is a slander trumpeted against Lenin. Throughout his book Imperialism, Lenin made it explicitly clear that by that phrase, he meant exports of finance capital, the parasitic capital that hinders the development of the productive forces in the colonized territories, whereas he vehemently rejected the myth that imperialism is the exports of industrial capital, the kind of capital that progresses the development of the productive forces in the colonized territories. Finance capital, which is the capital of the parasitic middlemen as opposed to the kind of capital that boosts production in unproductive regions, is therefore the class essence of modern imperialism, as Lenin argued. Criticizing the theories of Kautsky, Lenin said:

»The characteristic feature of [modern] imperialism is not industrial but finance capital. It is not an accident that in France it was precisely the extraordinarily rapid development of finance capital, and the weakening of industrial capital, that from the eighties onwards gave rise to the extreme intensification of annexationist (colonial) policy. The characteristic feature of imperialism is precisely that it strives to annex not only agrarian territories [in which industrial capital is yet to be developed], but even most highly industrialised regions…«(Imperialism: The Highest Stage of Capitalism, Vladimir Lenin, Chapter 7, 1916. From Marxists Internet Archive)

One person who fundamentally opposed Lenin on the issue of finance capital vs. industrial capital, and of the world conquest of finance capital was Leon Trotsky. Condemning anti-​imperialist national liberation struggles as ›reactionary‹, Trotsky openly promoted imperialism as a ›progressive‹ force for ›economic development‹ and the building of ›a human economy on a global scale, freeing it from the constraints of the nation and the state‹. In so doing, he implicitly stated that the class essence of imperialism is not the parasitic money-​capital, but rather the exports of industrial capital, the means of production which bring economic development. In 1915, Trotsky wrote:

»Imperialism is a capitalist-​predatory expression of the progressive tendency of economic development: to build a human economy on a global scale, freeing it from the constraints of the nation and the state. A naked national idea opposed to imperialism is not only powerless, but also reactionary: it drags human economy back into the diapers of national limitation.« (Imperialism and the National Idea, Leon Trotsky, May 6, 1915. Source: Marxist Internet Archive (MIA) available in Russian. Note: the MIA is a Trotskyite website.)

The terrorist agent of imperialist secret services as he was, Trotsky’s entire political career and movement this infamous quote defines. Also, Trotsky’s claim that imperialism builds a total-​global economy was false, as inter-​imperialist rivalry generates the fluctuations and intra-​imperialist splits that prevent the rise of one imperialist power to total global dominance (more on this later). 

Another reason why the phrase that Lenin used helped the diversionaries in misinterpreting what he meant, is that the term ›export‹ in the phrase ›exports of [finance] capital‹ could wrongly imply that the home imperialist country ›passes‹ its finance capital to the colonies, thereby causing finance capital to cease to exist in the home country – when in fact, what Lenin obviously meant by the term ›export‹ in that context was that finance capital expands its outreach, and takes over new territories outside of the home country. The economic basis for modern imperialism is the development of finance capital which has an inherent tendency to expand its outreach (or ›export‹ itself). This means that if every country in the world managed to successfully resist the ›export‹ of finance capital by an imperialist country, that does not automatically take away the imperialist power’s character as an imperialist power, because the imperialist power still has the tendency to ›export‹ finance capital even though it has not done so successfully.

Obviously, for its worldwide quest, finance capital seeks to constantly improve its home country’s military-​industrial backbone, the productive forces upon which it relies. The advancements in the productive forces, however, cause a critical plot twist. The advancements in the productive forces of one country can boost production on the worldwide scale to so high a degree that it would lead to overproduction in the world market. If all the countries of the world were anti-​imperialist – not even necessarily socialist although socialism definitely smoothens and de-​bureaucratizes the process much more than an anti-​imperialist national-​bourgeois state would – then the overproduction would have been welcomed for it would have allowed for large amounts of goods and services to be distributed relatively fairly at a very cheap price among the peoples of the world. However, finance capital, to which the industrial monopolies are subordinate, ›begs to differ‹. To them, overproduction is crisis that drives prices down. Worse yet, if another power – be it a rival imperialist power, or an anti-​imperialist superpower such as the USSR – has had so high a boost in production to have been able to cause such an overproduction on the global market, then the other power would be able to sell its vast amounts of goods for cheap, thereby devastating the monopolies subordinate to the imperialist finance capital, and hence devastating the finance capital in question as well. This, finance capital cannot tolerate. As with every war – inter-​imperialist wars or anti-​imperialist wars – the primary objective insofar as the productive forces are concerned is to first capture the productive forces and use it for oneself, and if that is not possible, then as Plan B, demolish/​sabotage the rival’s productive forces, so to deprive the rival from the productive forces and to drive up the prices of goods. Imperialist powers therefore have a completely natural tendency towards launching wars. 

The crises of overproduction prevent the main rival camps of imperial powers from ceasing their rivalry and thus prevent imperial powers from making a lasting peace. This is the reason why the Kautskyite notion of ›ultra-​imperialism‹, which preaches that major rivalling blocs of imperial powers can establish a lasting peace with each other is false. The notion of ›ultra-​imperialism‹ was firmly rejected by Lenin who said:

»The notorious theory of ›ultra-​imperialism‹, invented by Kautsky, is just as reactionary. (…). Kautsky: ›… Cannot the present imperialist policy be supplanted by a new, ultra-​imperialist policy, which will introduce the joint exploitation of the world by internationally united finance capital in place of the mutual rivalries of national finance capitals? Such a new phase of capitalism is at any rate conceivable. Can it be achieved? Sufficient premises are still lacking to enable us to answer this question.‹ (…). No matter what the good intentions of … sentimental Kautsky, may have been, the only objective, i.e., real, social significance of Kautsky’s »theory« is this: it is a most reactionary method of consoling the masses with hopes of permanent peace being possible under capitalism, by distracting their attention from the sharp antagonisms and acute problems of the present times, and directing it towards illusory prospects of an imaginary »ultraimperialism« of the future.« (Modern Imperialism, Lenin, chapter 9)

Imperialist leaders are sado-​masochistic, no doubt. However, to work for an ›ultra-​imperial‹ peace, to work for a peace that drives prices down and destroys all the last hopes for the profits for which the imperialist leaders worked so hard, is far beyond just masochism. An ›ultra-​imperial‹ peace would be finance capital’s suicide attempt. An ›ultra-​imperial‹ peace is impossible, as well because of the drive, the greed, of the financial bourgeoisie to conquer the world for themselves, rather than to share it with their rivals. 

While imperialist powers cannot form a universal alliance with one another, there obviously occur alliances between imperialist powers against each other, such that rival blocs of imperial powers emerge. Furthermore, some relatively weaker imperial powers may seek to shift the balance of power in their own favor by allying with anti-​imperialist states. The question of the crises of overproduction also influences the configuration of the alliances. 

Alliances and Conflicts between Imperialist Powers

The configuration that the alliance between imperialist powers takes is in accordance to the balance of power. If, for instance, there is one really strong imperialist power against several disproportionately weaker imperialist powers, it would be natural that the weaker imperial powers would ally so to be able to match the power of the stronger imperialist power. Alliances shift in accordance the amounts of power that each imperialist state would have as well as the balances of power between the international alliances. The extent of the ›power‹ of these states is mainly determined by the productive forces, which includes not only the means of production but also the natural resources in the process of being extracted. Secondarily (and in some cases more importantly), the power of states is to be assessed also based on the terrain, because having natural defense barriers definitely makes a state more powerful, and based on other miscellaneous factors such as manpower and combat readiness and operational training of individual units. Development of the productive forces generates funds for the training of individual units, and for managing manpower quantity and quality. 

Of course, what is assumed in listing all of the above factors considered is that they are all actually under the influence of the dominant faction of the state targeted. If for instance, state A has a fifth column within state B, and this fifth column actually has under its influence a part of the productive forces, terrain, and armed forces, then it cannot be said that those fifth column-​controlled factors are controlled by state A, even though those productive forces, terrain and armed forces officially/​nominally belong within the jurisdiction of state A. Hence, the question of who controls the resources, the question of the dominance of the class tendencies over the productive forces is a fundamental aspect of the assessments. The sources of power – the productive forces, terrain, etc. – is the first dimension to take into account and who has the power and how much – the class forces controlling those productive forces, terrain, etc. – is the second dimension to take into account. Many ›analysts‹ completely ignore or forget the great importance of the second dimension, because they fail to see how class forces that exist in each country can catapult intelligence agents up against the dominant faction in the state. 

Some hold the right-​deviationist view that as a result of the development of nuclear weapons, nuclear-​armed imperialist states will never wage war on each other. This view is distorted. Imperialist rivals wage war on one another, and being nuclear-​armed only makes their war covert and shadowy. Covert warfare in this case implies firstly that they would fight via proxies and allies in other zones. It also implies direct assaults on each other, cross-​border penetration and aggression against each other, through armies of regulars-​disguised-​as-​irregulars – that is, the highly-​trained troops ›resign‹ from the military, form an underground army, and then on behalf of the imperialist state which covertly commands them, invade the other country. Alternatively, an army of irregular militants is trained and used for cross-​border infiltration and attacks. Of course, the aggressor power can only go so far with this because if it goes ›far too far‹, then the aggressed nuclear-​armed imperialist power will call out the aggression for what it is, would call on the aggressor to take responsibility in helping to clean up these ›irregular‹ troops, and would threaten nuclear retaliation otherwise. Regarding inter-​imperialist conflicts, I need not mention false flag terror attacks and fomenting rebellions inside one another’s territories.

Parisitic Capitalism in Decay and Fascism

It is by no means difficult to understand why capitalism really reaches its ›highest stage‹, the modern imperialist stage, through the crisis of overproduction. At this phase, capitalism is at the climax of its usefulness beyond which it starts to get a destructive, parasitic role. It does not immediately become parasitic as soon as the crisis of overproduction occurs, but certainly the crisis of overproduction is the stage leading to the development of parasitic finance capital. Finance capital is parasitic because it takes the ›middleman‹ role. It is parasitic because it profits from the continued backwardness of the colonized zones and the barbaric terror that promotes backwardness. It is parasitic because it seeks to start wars in order to destroy productive forces instead of promoting it. Parasitic as finance capital, the economic basis of modern imperialism, is, it sponsors the most degenerate, most backwards, and most savage programs in pursuit of profits. Thereupon may arise the terrorist regime of the most reactionary elements and agents of finance capital, of modern imperialism: the fascists. The Comintern thus scientifically defined ›fascism‹ as »the open terrorist dictatorship of the most reactionary, most chauvinistic and most imperialist elements of finance capital«. (1)

Finance capital, as was mentioned before, has as its agenda not really the rendering of the colonized populations into exploited proletarians, for the development of a large proletarian class, however much exploited by the financial bourgeoisie, is still a menace to imperialist colonial holdings. Instead, finance capital allies with the other parasitic classes that hinder the development of the productive forces and hinder the numerical rise of a proletarian class. Those parasitic classes include the mercantile bourgeoisie, the comprador bankers, the kulaks, the corrupt bureaucrats, the feudal landlords, the slave-​owners, and the bandits (i.e. lumpen-​proletarians). Finance capital also allies with those intellectuals family-​rooted in the bourgeois or feudal classes, and since that usually constitutes the bulk of the intelligentsia, finance capital allies with the bulk of the intelligentsia. The alliance of finance capital with the parasitic classes and strata that hinder societal development lays the basis of fascism, the reign of terror suppressing the progressive classes and entrenching the ultra-​reactionary vestigial classes loyally allied to finance capital. 

Bringing mass destruction is natural to the parasitic classes, for the latter seek wars of desertification. The parasitic classes carpet-​bomb, level off cities, carry out genocides, burn crops, pour salt on fertile soil, and mass-​incinerate not ›just for the Sadistic fun‹ but to obliterate the productive forces of countries, for with the advancement of the productive forces comes the advancement of the progressive classes and with the obliteration of the productive forces of most of the world comes the massive rollback of the progressive classes. In this midst, there of course exist some ironies too: sometimes fascist assassins build railways, roads, mines, and oil extraction sites in the areas they colonize, so to facilitate their military-​industrial production as the launching pad of the wars of desertification in the rest of the areas they colonize. In the imperialist heartland too, even finance capital, itself reliant on the productive forces, takes measures against the productive forces by destroying the overproduced goods so to drive up prices and profits. Yet, imperialist finance capital has not yet prioritized the complete level-​off of the cities in its own imperialist heartland because for the while it needs the productive forces of the imperialist heartland for levelling off and desertifying much the rest of the world. To find the geographic areas in which the reactionary classes dominate or can come to relatively easily dominate, search for those areas in which the development of the productive forces, the rise of good agriculture or industry, has been naturally-​geographically most difficult: the mountains of Chechniya and western Ukraine, the deserts of the Arabian Peninsula and Mongolia, out of all of which came the darkest and most barbaric among the forces of reaction. Out of such ultra-​reaction and barbarism, finance capital benefits in the class struggles against the progressive classes. After such areas with low development of productive forces, imperialism has modeled the societies it colonizes: it seeks to turn areas into deserts with low productive forces, hence weak progressive classes, so that the barbarism, in the true style of the desert nomads of the Arab peninsula and the tribes of Gobi, can assist imperialism in the suppression of the progressive classes. Such are wars of desertification.

Fascism promotes corrupt mysticism at the expense of science, in correlated with its drive to promote feudalism and slavery at the expense of industrial capitalism and scientific socialism. Corrupt mysticism takes infinitely various forms. However, examples of it are Pagan religious-​mania, animal worship, bestial behaviour and bloody Sado-​Masochism, degeneration of sex, postmodern or anti-​Enlightenment philosophy, abstract ›art‹, and chaotic atonal ›music‹. Such trends gained a special boost with the rise of finance capital in the late 19th century. The end of the nineteenth century gave rise to the decadent fin-​de-​siècle (end of the century) culture, although such cultural corruption existed long before the late 19th century and only gained a new level of riot then. 

Petty bourgeoisie and fascism

The fascist forces recruit many of their foot-​soldiers from among the petit-​bourgeoisie and materially dominate the regions in which the petit-​bourgeoisie predominate. The petit-​bourgeoisie, unlike the proletariat, have a small business to lose, and, unlike the bourgeoisie, do not have a big business to use as a ›cushion‹ for taking big risks and competing against finance capital. As the petit-​bourgeoisie have too small of businesses to be capable of taking the risk of a vigorous fight against the parasitic classes, the petit-​bourgeois areas are materially dominated by the parasitic class forces, the fascist forces. Sometimes, fascist dominance occurs both covertly and overtly – through a blatant rule and open terrorist dictatorship of the fascist forces. At other times, fascist material dominance takes a covert form – what does this mean? If a progressive state territorially encompasses such a petit-​bourgeois zone, the fascist spies and saboteurs who disguise themselves as ›supporters‹ of the progressive state would use these petit-​bourgeois areas as their primary regional and social base for fascist subversion against the progressive state. Even if finance capital has been expelled from such a petit-​bourgeois zone, the corrupt bureaucrats that form the class base of the crypto-​fascist pseudo-​progressives still remain in the petit-​bourgeois zone and meet little resistance from the petit-​bourgeoisie, whereas in the predominantly proletarian-​populated zones, bureaucrats of the same kind would be under far greater pressure and would be far more easily susceptible to demotion or purge. Thus, upon these petit-​bourgeois zones rely the fascist spies and imperialist secret service infiltrators, traitors to be purged. In a predominantly petit-​bourgeois country, the agents and collaborators of fascism very quickly take over and extend their influence over the various institutions and bodies including at times the communist party that is supposed to resist such fascism. The influence of fascism in the communist party would take the forms of Trotskyism, Bukharinism, Kautskyism, Titoism, Maoism, Dengism, etc. 

The petit-​bourgeoisie do not play any role in generating a fascist tendency, but are nonetheless beguiled by fascist propaganda and recruited as foot soldiers by fascist organizations. From the petit-​bourgeoisie, fascism does not emanate, but in them fascism immerses. The beguiling of the petit-​bourgeoisie into becoming an electoral base and a soldier recruitment pool of fascism is what has misled many onto the false conclusion that fascism emanates from the petit-​bourgeoisie when actually fascism emanates primarily from finance capital and secondarily from the kulaks, bureaucrats, feudal lords, etc. Both the agrarian and urban petit-​bourgeoisie bear the same class behaviour. There is, however, a slight psychic difference between them. A difference between the urban petit-​bourgeoisie and the rural peasant petit-​bourgeoisie is that, as a general pattern and all else constant, the urban petit-​bourgeoisie, by residing in cities, is more exposed to the proletariat and hence the proletarian thinking, whereas the rural petit-​bourgeoisie, is less exposed to the proletariat and hence to proletarian thinking.

The material control of the parasitic classes over these petit-​bourgeois areas also translates to a high level of soft power influence and propaganda dominance in these areas. As such, the petit-​bourgeoisie are more susceptible to accepting imperialist propaganda. Petit-​bourgeois acceptance of imperialist propaganda again manifests in two forms: one is blatant imperialist propaganda, the direct and explicit belief in the theses promoted by the imperialist mainstream media. This happened in Germany, in which the agrarian petit-​bourgeoisie, primarily based in the Bavarian south but also based in other areas, formed the majority, whereas the proletarians of Germany constituted a minority. Germany’s petit-​bourgeoisie, viciously pro-​Nazi, formed the pro-​Hitler majority. In Germany and Japan, the economy was semi-​industrialized, a factor that led to the rise of finance capital in a society that was largely petit-​bourgeois. Such predominance of the petit-​bourgeoisie minimized resistance to fascism in Germany and Japan, while those countries were imperialist powers. As such, owing to their semi-​industrial semi-​agrarian character, Germany and Japan emerged as imperialist-​fascist powers. 

Imperialist Bourgeois Democracies

A bourgeois-​democracy of the pro-​imperialist type by contrast is a kind of a state in which fascism would have normally been the ›order‹ of the day, but, owing to the large class of the proletariat, the fascists have been pushed back and have been forced to accept the increase in and incorporation of the influence of the proletariat over the state through electoral democratization. Such a state therefore is a dictatorship of the fascist finance capital albeit a kind that has been forced to accept the incorporation of elements of the dictatorship of the proletariat. An imperialist bourgeois-​democracy is thus the combination of an imperialist-​fascist finance capital state with a workers‹ state, such that the finance capital component forms the main component of the state. Examples of such states are the United States and Britain; they are not fascist states not because the fascist finance capital of those countries was ›nice‹ and ›democracy-​loving‹ but because the fascist finance capital of those states was under a far more immense pressure of the proletariat. 

Even in the United States, the zones not industrially developed and proletarianized have historically been major power bases of fascist reaction. If with the development of the productive forces comes the advancement of the progressive classes, so too with the under-​development of the productive forces often comes the decline of the progressive classes. The non-​industrial non-​proletarian south of the United States was the base of the slave-​owners, Confederates, Ku Klux Klan (KKK), ›Dixiecrats‹, pro-​Nazi ›neutrality‹ lobbyists, etc. The industrial north, the population of which was largely proletarianized, was the base of the anti-​slavery activists, the pro-​Soviet F. D. Roosevelt faction and Kennedyites, etc. The pro-​fascist imperialist bourgeois-​democracy in the United States is the ›compromise-​state‹ system that has arisen out of the tug-​of-​war of these antagonistic class forces.

The political culture of ›tolerance for opposition media‹ has arisen out of the class antagonisms characteristic of imperialist bourgeois-​democracies and absent in the anti-​imperialist bourgeois-​democracies. The ›tolerance for opposition media‹ in the pro-​fascist imperialist bourgeois-​democracies has arisen from the proletariat’s imposition of elements of the dictatorship of the proletariat over the imperialist state, the imposition of democratic freedoms for the proletariat’s cause within the context of an imperialist pro-​fascist state which would have otherwise repressed the proletariat’s media. The anti-​imperialist bourgeois-​democracies are different, however, for they constitute the state alliance of the anti-​colonial bourgeoisie and the proletariat, two classes with temporarily convergent class interests. Whereas in the imperialist bourgeois-​democracies, the imperial bourgeoisie are forced to tolerate the proletariat’s media work, in the anti-​imperialist bourgeois-​democracies the anti-​colonial bourgeoisie and the proletariat need not tolerate each other for they are, after all, allied – indeed, upon firm domination of the state, they naturally will together repress the media outlets of the reactionary classes hostile to the proletariat and the anti-​colonial bourgeoisie. As such, in the progressive bourgeois-​democracies, only the socialist and progressive bourgeois-​democratic media will be permitted to operate, unlike in the imperialist bourgeois-​democracies wherein are tolerated the reactionary pro-​fascist and progressive anti-​fascist media activities. The question is not the level of virtue or vice in the Western-​style media freedoms; the matter rather is the capability of such media freedom to, in the first place, survive and thrive. Such a capability is lacking for the longer-​term in the West, in which the dictatorship of the proletariat will triumph, nor can it survive in a prosperous bourgeois-​democracy of the anti-​colonial type. 

The same goes for the thriving of the bourgeois-​democracies. Imperialist bankers are in a quest to advance the military-​industrial backbone of their imperialist heartlands for global conquest; the bankers of the colonizable/​non-​imperial zones, by contrast, inherit a comprador character and usually seek to undermine their own nation’s industries. As such, Western-​style democracy – an uneasy and collisive democratic ›compromise‹ of the proletariat and its financial bourgeois foes – inherits imperialist bankers who advance their own country’s industry, whereas Western-​style democracy, when implemented in the non-​imperialist countries, shall bring a collisive compromise of the proletariat, the class seeking industrial advancement, and the comprador bankers, who aim to impede their country’s national industrial expansion. Western-​style democracy, when implemented in the non-​imperialist countries, empowers the comprador bankers of the non-​imperialist country to ruin the latter country’s industry and thus bring forth a reign of economic terror. Such is the reason that no prosperous Western-​style liberal-​democracy has ever arisen in any decolonized country in the modern era. 

At the same time, the existence of a proletarian class develops the tendencies that resist fascist finance capital. Such resistance is manifested not only in the form of the development of a communist party but also in the development of pro-​democratic and pro-​socialist intelligence agents that infiltrate fascist regimes and slow down the work of the fascist faction of the regime, which is the dominant faction of the regime. 

Agents of Finance Capital and Rule in Fascism

While fascism is blatantly anti-​democratic, it is not one-​man rule, for one-​man rule in general cannot exist and has never existed. The fascist dictator has always relied upon a clique, whose loyalty the ruler would need, in pursuing the fascist agenda. Without their support, the fascist dictator cannot rule. And the fascist clique is constituted by the terrorist ultra-​reactionary agents of finance capital. Being a ›feared‹ dictator or changing the laws of the country to officially declare one as the absolute ruler do not actually turn one into the absolute ruler, for one would still need the clique behind oneself to rule absolutely. Furthermore, even then, having a clique behind oneself can help one to rule pervasively, but it cannot help rule absolutely. The latter is impossible because the existence of class antagonisms in society inevitably catapults intelligence agents into the high ranks of the state apparatus against the ruling class tendency. Surely, the state would be the dictatorship of the ruling class, but the enemies of the ruling class can still rebrand and recolour themselves as having the ›same› ideology as that of the ruling class and can then infiltrate the high ranks of the state, precisely thanks to the pressure generated by class forces antagonistic to the ruling class. As a result of such catapulting of agents upwards, the so-​called ›one-​man ruler‹ would have absolute 100 percent control over the state only on paper; in practice, the ›one-​man ruler‹ would have pervasive powers but nowhere near absolute 100 percent rule; and the ›one-​man ruler‹ would be impeded in one’s progress towards one’s objectives precisely by these antagonistic intelligence agents catapulted upwards. It follows that even totalitarian regimes can be infiltrated, even if it would appear otherwise. 

Proletariat and Fascism

The proletariat of every country utilize their influence to pressure for the upwards catapulting of proletarian agents into the ranks of the fascist state. The anti-​fascist agents of the proletariat would recolour themselves as ›fascists‹ loyal to the fascist state and would then use proletarian pressures to lobby for gaining a foothold in the means of violence. In the name of fascism, the crypto-​anti-​fascist agents of the proletariat would sabotage the fascist agenda on all fronts, as steps towards democratization. Similarly, if a fascist movement gains the ability to pull the proletarians towards its cause, the proletarian membership within the fascist movement can indeed be mobilized as pawns for fratricidal wars against the progressive forces, but can also end up as a fifth column that catapults the crypto-​socialist and crypto-​democratic agents of the proletariat, disguised as ›loyal‹ ›fascists‹, onto the high ranks of the fascist movement. Historical experience, demonstrated in this book, emphatically supports such a conclusion. Even the most totalitarian of the fascist regimes can be infiltrated by agents of anti-​fascist secret services. 

Even if the proletarians in a fascist movement were, in the quasi-​impossible scenario, not able to generate a crypto-​anti-​fascist ideological current within the fascist movement, they sure would have a crypto-​anti-​fascist role in practice. The class interests of the proletarian and the anti-​proletarian classes are simply irreconcilable no matter how much a fascism-​beguiled proletarian would seek to think otherwise. The class conflicts that exist between the working class and the bourgeois class will inevitably be used to engineer splits in fascist ranks; superficially, the class conflict would appear as a conflict between the fascist workers and the fascist capitalists, and would thus appear as to ultimately favor the fascists no matter which side – the fascist workers vs. the fascist capitalists – wins the conflict; yet, even the very sowing of division through such intensification of conflict is an anti-​fascist phenomenon, and hence the struggle of the working class – even a working class made up of fascist workers – against the fascist finance capital, on its own is in practice an anti-​fascist struggle. 

The Pseudo-›Workerist‹ Fallacy

One common fallacy, especially emanating from left-​opportunist circles, is the idealist pseudo-›workerist‹ fallacy, which, whether explicitly or implicitly, redefines communism as the ›aggregate sum of the personal will or personal material interests of the workers‹ and the proletarian line as a line entailing the ›aggregate of individual consciousnesses of proletarians‹, and thereupon derives such false conclusions as: 

  1. that the Soviet Union should ›not‹ have allied with Britain and USA against the Axis, since after all, the workers in Anglo-​American countries suffer from capitalism too. 
  2. that blue-​collar workers should get paid ›more‹ than engineers in socialist states since after all, dictatorship of the proletariat is all about privileging the blue-​collar workers over everything and everyone else.
  3. that every socialist Party line must be subject to a referendum of the class-​conscious and class-​unconscious workers.

Idealist pseudo-›workerism‹ confuses the concept of the ›working class‹ with the concept of the aggregate of individual workers‹ consciousnesses. Against idealist fallacies, communists mobilize the workers as a class rather than a mere aggregate sum of individuals. 

Cases occur in which there would be an anti-​imperialist state in country whose majority people adhere to a culture or religious ideology that favors imperialism. That a nation has a culture or religion that favors imperialism does not on its own mean that the people who adhere to that culture are pro-​imperialist or will launch colour revolutions on behalf of imperialism. Rather, if a nation that has a pro-​imperialist culture, that merely means that the imperialist-​fascist secret services would have greater propaganda leverage and greater soft power influence in that country. Greater soft power can serve as a channel for greater intelligence service penetration into the specific country. Greater soft power influence and propaganda leverage also means that the kinds of people who would be exposed to the propaganda and who can afford to act based upon the propaganda, would engage in colour revolutionary activity on behalf of the imperialists. The influence of soft power and culture must not be exaggerated, however, in the face of a much more material factor as class. Even proletarians that have been under the influence of a reactionary pro-​imperialist culture will generate a tendency that superficially adopts the rhetoric and cosmetics of the pro-​imperialist culture but actually pursues a proletarian internationalist agenda. Similarly, in the case of progressive anti-​imperialist cultures, the reactionary classes promote a pro-​imperialist and reactionary current that disguises itself with the appearance of the progressive anti-​imperialist culture.

Agrarian Areas, Reaction, and Fascism

Due to the greater influence of the fascist finance capital in the agrarian areas, a government led by the agrarian petit-​bourgeois majority would be a government under the influence of finance capital, and would thus yield a ›democratically elected‹ totalitarian fascist state – Hitler was elected by the majority of the Germans, particularly Germany’s petit-​bourgeois electorate. By contrast, a government that serves as the rule of the proletariat, even in a country in which the proletariat are a minority of the population, would be objectively more democratic than the ›rule of the peasant majority‹, because the interests of the proletariat are totally irreconcilable with the interests of finance capital and thus finance capital would not be able to render the dictatorship of the proletariat into a fascist regime, even if the workers themselves actually are influenced by the chauvinistic mentality. It follows that the dictatorship of the proletariat is more democratic than other class dictatorships, not because the proletariat would necessarily constitute the majority but because the proletariat have characteristics that inherently oppose fascist finance capital and hence oppose totalitarian rule.

The interests of the proletariat are irreconcilable with the reactionary classes. One of the defining characteristics of the proletariat is that do not own the commodities they produce and instead have only their own labour to sell. This lack of ownership distinguishes the proletariat from the petit-​bourgeoisie, as the petit-​bourgeoisie are concerned that they may lose their small businesses by risking confrontation with the reactionary classes, whereas the proletariat have ›nothing to lose but their chains‹ and are thus most willing – they have no better choice – to take the risk of confrontation against the reactionary classes. On the other hand, the anti-​colonial national bourgeoisie, due to their ownership of big businesses, are capable of using their big businesses as cushion and to take the risk of confrontation against the reactionary classes. This feature of the anti-​colonial national bourgeoisie renders them into direct allies of the proletariat, despite they greatly differing features of their class conditions. Another class strongly resembles a combination of the anti-​colonial national bourgeoisie and the proletariat: the kolkhozniks, or the cooperativists. The collectivization of the small businesses would amalgamate such small businesses into big businesses, the owners of which can take the risk of confrontation against the reactionary classes. In this respect, the collective/​cooperative businesses bear a characteristic of the anti-​colonial national bourgeoisie. At the same time, these cooperative big businesses, precisely because of their collectivized character, are employee-​owned. The employees are not exactly proletarians, for they own a share of the surplus, hence owning more than their labour; nonetheless, due to the mass distribution of the share of the surplus amongst the employees, the employees do not own greatly more than their own labour, and thus are similar to the proletarians. The cooperativists, the anti-​colonial national bourgeoisie, and the proletarians constitute the three main progressive classes of the modern era. The serfs, not to be confused with the petit-​bourgeoisie, can be progressive as well, for they would support land reforms that oust the feudal oppressors, strictly provided that such land reforms are properly managed. 

Petty Bourgoisie and Contraditcions with Fascism

Yet, the petit-​bourgeoisie contradict the parasitic classes to some extent, even though to a low extent. If managed properly by the fascist secret service, the petit-​bourgeoisie will remain docile and submissive to the fascist state. Yet, sometimes, the mismanagement of the situation, the extreme severity of the oppression of the parasitic classes, and, above all, the opening up of space for revolutionary agitation against the reactionary ruling classes, all can allow the revolutionary forces to agitate the petit-​bourgeoisie into confrontation with the comprador or imperialist state. The mobilization of the petit-​bourgeoisie into confrontations against the armed forces of the reactionary classes will allow the progressive classes – the proletariat, the anti-​colonial national bourgeoisie, and the cooperativists – to gain a wider foothold in the struggle for control over the means of violence. If the progressive classes gain decisive leadership over the petit-​bourgeois rebels, then all is well. If, however, the petit-​bourgeoisie gain leadership of their own uprising, then a long-​term disaster is in the making, for the petit-​bourgeois rebels against imperialism, per every measure against imperialism, will undertake a measure of the same magnitude in favour of imperialism. The measures in favour of imperialism will be not so much in the form of direct petit-​bourgeois alliance with the imperialists but more so through a cultish behaviour that sparks backlash in favour of imperialism. The petit-​bourgeois ›revolutionary‹ citizens in China in the 1960s and the Khomeinist ›revolutionaries‹ in Iran are cases in point of such vacillations, such pro-​imperialist and anti-​imperialist measures, such a heads-​and-​tails approach to politics. Per every correct measure, they always took an adventurist step that would provoke a backlash favourable to Anglo-​American finance capital.

Nonetheless, it remains a fact that the petit-​bourgeois mode of production predominates in territories occupied by imperialism and its comprador allies, class forces that hinder the industrial production that would have proletarianized the petit-​bourgeoisie. As such, there exists a strong overlap between petit-​bourgeois geographic areas and areas conquered by fascism. This means that in the overwhelming majority of the time, the petit-​bourgeoise end up as recruits of the agents of finance capital, and not as forces to be mobilized by the progressive classes. This is the reason that such petit-​bourgeois ›revolutions‹ have been few, and that anti-​colonial revolutions have usually been either national-​bourgeois or proletarian. The national bourgeoisie and the proletariat in turn arise from the development of the productive forces in the colonies. Yet, the colonizers hinder the development of the productive forces, and thus aim to hinder the rise of the proletariat and the national bourgeoisie. Where from, then, do the proletariat and the national bourgeoisie grow in strength in the colonies? They grow in strength thanks to the fact of inter-​imperialist contradictions, as exploited by the progressive classes for their self-​advancement in the colonies and in imperialist heartlands. 

Monopoly and Inter-​Imperialist Competition

The hypothetical global conquest of one imperial power’s finance capital leads to a global dominance of a few private sector oligopolies, if not an outright monopoly. Such a phenomenon would hamper the development of productive forces, the material basis for the transition to communism. Such a process is fundamentally parasitic, damaging the economic development of nations. This is a reason for communists to foster inter-​imperialist competition, and to support anti-​imperialist movements, so to prevent the conquest of the world by one imperial power’s finance capital. Nonetheless, it remains a fact that an imperialist alliance can never take over much more than 50 percent of the world. Why? Even if one single imperialist power defeats all of its major rivals and goes on the path of victory and total dominance of the world, such an imperialist power would be quickly partitioned into two imperialist powers, for each of the imperial elites dominating this imperialist power, out of utmost greed, would seek to conquer the pinnacles of power for oneself and not the other imperial elites. Hence, a segment of the imperial elites dominating this imperialist power would defect to the camp of the enemies of this single world-​dominating imperialist power and would use its influence to rally massive parts of this empire with oneself so to pave the way for the partition of this empire. It follows that there cannot ever be a single colonial empire dominating the world. In the same ways, inter-​imperialist alliances quickly break up. Precisely when an inter-​imperialist alliance gets close to a conquest of the world, precisely when an inter-​imperialist alliance begins to trespass the 50 percent threshold, the inter-​imperialist alliance falls apart and the imperialist powers begin to wage colonial wars against each other. As such, inter-​imperialist conflict frequently drives the wedge. Inter-​imperialist rivalry is the primary contradiction that weakens global imperial dominance and allows for the breathing room, the operational freedom, for the cause of the proletariat, the kolkhozniks, and the anti-​colonial national bourgeoisie to rise, exploit inter-​imperialist contradictions, and achieve their revolutionary objectives. The inter-​imperialist contradiction, the primary contradiction, allows for the proletarian-​bourgeois conflict, the secondary contradiction, to result in the victory of the proletariat over the bourgeoisie. Therefore, no matter how much defeat the proletariat face, they will win thanks to the imperialist bourgeoisie ensuring their own defeat. No matter how triumphant an imperialist alliance, it could not and cannot ever get too far beyond the equilibrium threshold of 50 percent, the percentage share of the world which an imperialist alliance can conquer. 

One bloc of imperialist powers allies with the reactionary classes. That is all the more natural since finance capital, the parasitic class, would seek the alliance with the parasitic classes for rolling back the progress of mankind. When I speak of the pro-​fascist evils of finance capital, it is this mainstream bloc of finance capital powers, the reaction-​aligned imperialist powers, of which I speak.

Yet, another bloc of imperialist powers, in order to combat its menacing rivals, the reaction-​aligned bloc of imperialist powers, would strategically align with the progressive classes. This progressive-​aligned bloc of imperialist powers would, for the period in which it is allied with the progressive classes, pursue progressive objectives throughout the world, in all directions in space, and even in their own colonies. Class alliances, though temporally limited, are not geographically or spatially limited for the time period in which they exist. On the contrary, they extend in all directions in space, to every corner of the globe, deep under the ground and far beyond the sky. When a bloc of imperialist powers ally with the progressive classes, the alliance is not limited to one geographic zone but extends even to their own colonies. Even in their own colonies, the progressive-​aligned bloc of imperial powers would ally with the progressive classes, would embark on the project of strengthening and expanding the productive forces of the areas colonized, expanding the size and power of the proletarian class, promoting real democratization. They would even be extending the influence of the anti-​colonial national forces against which these imperialists had been fighting a few years prior. The progressive-​aligned imperialists would need to ally with the progressive forces even in their own colonies, for the rival bloc of imperialist powers, the reaction-​aligned imperialists, would support the reactionary classes hostile to the progressive classes in the colonies of the progressive-​aligned imperialist powers; this in turn leads the progressive-​aligned imperialist powers to ally with the progressive classes in their own colonies. There is empirical evidence in support of this, some of which will be presented in this book.

Why, then, did the rival blocs of imperialist powers prior to the rise of Nazi Germany appear ›equally reactionary‹? Why, for example, was the French-​led bloc of imperialist powers denounced as being as equally reactionary as the German-​led bloc during the First World War? That is because the balance of power between these ›equally evil‹ blocs of colonial states changed so often so quickly that any policy of improving the conditions in the colonies could not gain momentum and stability; one week, the French-​led bloc gains greater power and thus its weaker rival, the German-​led bloc becomes progressive by virtue of being so much weaker as to be willing to ally with the progressive classes so to resurge it’s strength; the next week, the German-​led bloc gains greater power and thus its weaker rival, the French-​led bloc becomes progressive by virtue of being weaker and willing to ally with the progressive classes. The imperialist powers in this phase behave like: (+), (-), (+), (-), (+), (-); progressive, reactionary, progressive, reactionary; they keep changing their dialectical charge. This frequent change of the balance of power which in turn led to the frequent change in dialectical charge prevented any stability in progressive policies from being implemented. As a result, all the colonial powers appeared at face value as ›equally‹ reactionary at the ›same‹ time, even though according to the laws of dialectics, it is impossible for two rival blocs of imperialist powers to be equally reactionary simultaneously. While it is impossible for two rival blocs of powers to be simultaneously ›equally evil‹, there is no doubt that in the longer run, the net effect would be that these colonial powers would be in sum equally reactionary. That is why we correctly state that during the First World War, all the blocs of imperialist powers were equally reactionary – they were equally reactionary in the longer-​run sum, in the net effect; but they were not equally reactionary exactly at the same time. This is why the German imperialists wanted the October Revolution, the revolution of the proletariat, to emerge victorious, by which to undermine the French-​led bloc, and shortly later, the French imperialists militarily supported the newborn Soviet state in order to undermine the very same German imperialists that had sought the October Revolution to emerge victorious. 

Fascism and Pseudo-​Socialist Intelligentsia

Fascist finance capital has as its allies the parasitic classes, which, in the context of the anti-​imperialist countries, constitute the comprador classes. Such class allies of finance capital include the feudal landlords, the slave-​owners, the comprador mercantile bourgeoisie, the comprador financial bourgeoisie, the kulaks, and the bureaucrats. The kulaks, by owning large businesses, gain the financial ability to debt-​trap the poorer peasants, thus operating as rural quasi-​bankers, a parasitic class allied to finance capital. The kulaks often partake in economic sabotage – at times covertly, such as through ›mismanagement‹, and at times manifestly, such as through terrorist special operations and armed rebellions. The mercantile bourgeoisie and financial bourgeoisie under a socialist or anti-​imperialist state regard the progressive classes as a greater menace and calculate that selling one’s own country would be more profitable than the vain effort to gain control over, and imperially expand, the military-​industrial backbone of one’s own country. As such, the mercantile and financial bourgeoisie ally with the imperialists, finance wars against the progressive state, provide the imperialists with intelligence by which to target the progressive forces, and lobby for sanctions against their motherland. After socialization and collectivization, with the elimination of private commerce and banking, and with the elimination of the kulak class, the corrupt bureaucrats and the black-​marketeers are the only comprador class bases that remain in socialist conditions. The black marketeers can undertake many roles, such as those of merchants, bankers, and kulaks. The bureaucrats, like finance capital, bite into production and oppose the progressive classes. Assisting the bureaucrats and black marketeers are the comprador strata (not to be confused with the comprador classes) which comprise mainly the ideologically parasitic intelligentsia.

Intellectuals from bourgeois or feudal family roots are often influenced by parasitic ideas, even when describing themselves as ›socialists‹ or ›anti-​imperialists‹, though of course, in extremely rare cases, they may genuinely betray their own class roots and join the side of the proletariat and kolkhozniks. Some bourgeois-​rooted intellectuals are well-​meaning albeit on the wrong side of history. From among the well-​meaning, some may defect to the camp of socialism. Intellectuals from bourgeois family backgrounds, usually influenced by Enlightenment thought, tend to adopt left-​deviationism or liberal right-​deviationism as their counter-​revolutionary ideas. Intellectuals from feudal family backgrounds, usually not influenced by Enlightenment values, tend to promote religiosity and/​or mysticism for their counter-​revolutionary ideas, for the feudal class seeks to sponsor religiosity and/​or mysticism as a counterweight against the secular and scientific ideas that, through technological advancements, yielded the decline of feudalism and brought the rise of the industrial bourgeoisie and the proletariat. The priests are a subcategory of intelligentsia, and, historically, usually came from feudal family backgrounds. At times, feudal-​rooted intellectuals adopt a façade of ›socialism‹ in order to penetrate and sabotage the socialist movement. The ideologically-​corrupted university professors as well as the student colour revolutionaries used to come mainly from feudal family backgrounds, but later, with the decline of feudalism, the bourgeoisie became the main family root of such professors and university students. While some may be intuitively inclined towards preferring the bourgeois-​rooted liberal or left-​opportunist intellectuals over the feudal-​rooted intellectuals, historical experience and the nature of the intelligentsia shows an ambiguous picture: these bourgeois-​rooted parasitic intellectuals were not necessarily any better than the feudal-​rooted parasitic intellectuals. This would make sense, since an ideologically-​corrupted intellectual could spread corruption under a conservative/​feudal banner, under a liberal banner, or under a left-​opportunist pseudo-​socialist banner, and the severity of the ideological corruption will not necessarily differ; sometimes, a religio-​mystical reactionary intellectual makes remarks more correct than that which a liberal or left-​opportunist would say, and sometimes it is vice versa. All such corrupt currents can be so severely harmful that it would become difficult to prefer any of them, though of course any rhetoric that undermines feudalism and religious reaction, even if by liberals or Trotsko-​Maoist left-​opportunists, should be supported. Intellectuals from proletarian or cooperativist family backgrounds tend to have progressive views, however. A socialist society, by economically elevating the proletariat and cooperativists, gives such families the ability to send their children to good universities so to train good revolutionary intellectual cadres that advance the socialist agenda. The rest of the cadres of a state have stories not dissimilar to that of the intelligentsia. For example, while there do exist a considerable percentage of cases of betrayals of one’s own class origin, as a general trend the military commanders from proletarian or cooperativist family backgrounds tend to have progressive views, whereas military commanders from anti-​proletarian class origins tend to have reactionary views. The intelligentsia includes doctors, engineers, artists, etc. Within their profession, the intelligentsia may well contribute positively to the society. The socialist state, while not permitting the reactionary-​minded intelligentsia to exercise a significant level of political power, shall protect the reactionary-​minded intelligentsia if (and insofar as) they can help advance the natural sciences. The reactionary-​minded intellectuals, so long as not conspiring to materialize their reactionary ideas, can be protected by the socialist state to advance the arts and sciences. Humiliation of university professors, and terrorist action against doctors, engineers, lawyers, natural scientists, artists, etc. are all left-​opportunist measures. 

How to combat Imperialism-Fascism

To combat imperialism-​fascism, the Party of the proletariat must engage in strategic and tactical alliances with the parties, organizations, and states assisting in the struggle against imperialism and fascism. The Party of the proletariat must ally with that bloc of imperialist powers combating the pro-​fascist bloc of imperialist powers. The Party of the proletariat, furthermore, must assess the amount of the influence of the progressive classes – the proletariat, the kolkhozniks, and the anti-​colonial national bourgeoisie – in the non-​communist parties, organizations, and states. The Party of the proletariat must maximize efforts to increase the influence of the progressive classes in all non-​communist parties, organizations, and states. In so doing, the Party of the proletariat strengthens the progressive tendency among the non-​socialist parties, organizations, and states, rendering them more susceptible to strategic partnership, a popular front alliance, with the Party of the proletariat against imperialism and reaction. Even those parties, organizations, and states that are vocally anti-​communist or right-​wing would, as soon as the progressive classes have come to dominate them, render their anti-​communism and reactionary stances into a mere veneer underneath of which is a progressive revolutionary tendency emanating from the progressive classes. As such, even those parties that are vocally anti-​communist would tone down their anti-​communism and would, covertly or blatantly, become allies of the Party of the proletariat. Against those parties, organizations, and states in which the reactionary classes dominate, the Party of the proletariat must pursue the agenda of systematically decimating them. Various different efforts towards sabotaging those parties must be pursued; if it is a war condition, then armed struggle against those parties must be pursued at some point in time; if it is peacetime, then a combination of expressions of diplomatic ›friendliness‹ for the purpose of infiltration, coupled with economic boycotts, must be pursued. The decimation of the reactionary parties and organizations will roll back the dominant tendency, the reactionary tendency, in such organizations, thereby reducing the lobbying power of the reactionary forces, while catapulting upwards the crypto-​progressive agents in those reactionary organizations. This would render the reactionary organization more susceptible to infiltration, which would pave the way for either (1) the annihilation of that reactionary organization, (2) the conversion of that reactionary organization into a progressive organization, or (3) an intra-​organizational coup d‹etats that allows the crypto-​progressive forces to fully hijack the command of the reactionary organization, or to coopt the reactionary leaders of the reactionary organization, so to render the troops of that reactionary organization into cannon-​fodder used by the crypto-​progressives for decimating other reactionary organizations. A 4th course could be that the crypto-​progressive agents gain access to the funds of the reactionary organization, take the bigger share of those funds, and then split away from that reactionary organization, so that the reactionary organization would be destabilized and easier to be, in the political-​military sense, devoured. More important than reducing the manpower of the reactionary organization as a result of the split, is the crypto-​progressive agents’ taking away of the funds of the reactionary organization. 

Cases occur in which during a struggle against imperialism or fascism, some organizations that collaborate with the imperialist/​fascist foes pretend to be struggling against it, so to mislead otherwise genuine anti-​imperialists/​anti-​fascists. In their struggle against imperialism and fascism, the communists can expose such organizations by what I call »alliance offensives« or »invitation offensives.« It entails exposing collaborationists through proposing an overt alliance with them. That is, the communists would propose an alliance to this organization for a joint struggle against the imperialist/​fascist occupation. Owing to their collaborationist nature, the collaborationists would not benefit from establishing friendly contacts with the communists for that might expose their collaboration with the enemy. As such, it puts the covert collaborationists into a difficult position:

  1. If they reject the proposal, they would lose face in front of the public by appearing not serious about combating the enemy occupation. By contrast, the communists would rightly appear serious in combating the enemy occupation. This would tilt the balance more so towards the communists and would expose to many the collaborationist nature of the organization. It would draw many of the genuinely anti-​imperialist/​anti-​fascist supporters of the covert collaborationist organization away from the collaborationists and towards the communist-​led popular front. 
  2. If the collaborationist organization accepts the alliance proposal, then they would face two options: (1) break their word/​promise/​deal and thus risk being exposed as collaborationists. Exposure would have almost the same results as rejecting an invitation in the first place, except it would be more intensively in favor of communists and a more intensive blow at the collaborationists. Option (2) would be that they would actually go through with the deal, carry out their promises, which would indeed harm the imperialist/​fascist enemy occupation. This would force the collaborationists into fighting their own imperialist/​fascist bosses hence causing division and friction in the enemy camp. All of these cases are wins for the communist-​led popular front and losses for imperialism/​fascism and collaborationism. 

In order to render it harder for the collaborationists to betray their deal, communists shall try to negotiate as precondition, some degree of transparency on the part the collaborationist organization, so that it would become easier for communists to gather intelligence on the collaborationists‹ potential betrayals of the deal, so to expose the collaborationists‹ betrayal of the deal more easily. The establishment of transparency measures would be useful in dissuading the collaborationists from betraying their deal in the first place. 

Related to this strategy is the »invitation offensive« strategy. Socialist and anti-​imperialist states can expose imperialists’ Wilsonian hypocrisy by calling for universal disarmament. No one with a basic understanding of class struggles would ever seriously think that universal disarmaments are realistic in the epoch of modern imperialist warmongers. The point though is to show that contrary to their Wilsonian calls for peace and unity, the imperialists are but hypocrites committed to terror. The USSR, the Peoples’ Democracies, and the Comintern frequently used the peace offensives strategy.

Diagrammatic Representation of the Outcomes and Processes of Invitation Offensives

Explaining this concept in passing (regarding British politics as the example and case in point), Lenin said ›If the [Kautskyites] reject a bloc with us on these terms, we shall gain still more, for we shall at once have shown the masses … that the [Kautskyites] prefer their close relations with the capitalists to the unity of all the workers‹:

»It is true that the Hendersons, the Clyneses, the MacDonalds and the Snowdens are hopelessly reactionary. It is equally true that they want to assume power (though they would prefer a coalition with the bourgeoisie), that they want to ›rule‹ along the old bourgeois lines, and that when they are in power they will certainly behave like the Scheidemanns and Noskes. All that is true. But it does not at all follow that to support them means treachery to the revolution; If the Hendersons and the Snowdens accept a bloc on these terms, we shall be the gainers.… (…). If the Hendersons and the Snowdens reject a bloc with us on these terms, we shall gain still more, for we shall at once have shown the masses (note that, even in the purely Menshevik and completely opportunist Independent Labour Party, the rank and file are in favour of Soviets) that the Hendersons prefer their close relations with the capitalists to the unity of all the workers.« (»Left-​Wing« Communism: An Infantile Disorder, Vladimir Lenin, Chapter 10. From: MIA)

One common mistake often made is that the level by which an organization is reactionary or progressive is seen as a continuous, integral, atom-​less spectrum not composed of individual parts. In the past centuries someone would have said »substance X is closer to calcium than substance Y is,« whereas now, armed with knowledge of atoms, one would say that »substance X has more calcium atoms than substance Y.« An equivalent of this can be found in the historical materialist analysis. In saying that a reactionary organization is ›more reactionary‹ than another reactionary organization, what is really meant is that such an organization is more under the influence of the reactionary classes than another reactionary organization is. This subtle conceptual distinction is important as it helps to analyze the class character of organizations using a relatively more quantitative understanding of the class composition of organizations. Instead of treating ideological differences between organizations as mere third, fourth, fifth, etc. opinions, this conceptual distinction categorizes organizations according to their class composition and the level of the penetration of progressive agents vs. reactionary agents in this organization. This helps to treat more quantitatively the class character of the organization. Such a concept can be applied to analyzing the differences between intelligence agents, politicians, etc. There cannot be a fascist politician ›less fascist‹ than another fascist politician. All pro-​fascist politicians are fascistic to a virtually equal extent. However, the difference is that some pro-​fascist politicians are more coopted by the progressive anti-​fascist forces than others, a factor that leads those progressive-​coopted pro-​fascist politicians to be more favourable to the cause of the proletariat than the other pro-​fascist politicians. The Kautskyite agents, for example, are undercover fascist agents tasked with penetrating the proletarian organizations in order to sabotage the labour movement. At the same time, the fact that such Kautskyite agents immerse themselves amongst the proletarians is a factor that allows the agents of the proletariat to encircle such Kautskyite agents hence to coopt the Kautskyite agents into a force to be used against the blatantly anti-​proletarian agents. Lenin supported the Labour Party as a counter-​weight against the Tories because Lenin was rightly assured that the rise of the Labour Party, however pro-​fascist such an organization was, served as a factor increasing the influence of the British proletariat over the British state while weakening British finance capital. The Labour Party, under the pressure of and coopted by the proletarians, could be utilized to roll back the influence of the more reactionary Tories. Lenin wrote:

»It is true that the Hendersons, the Clyneses, the MacDonalds and the Snowdens are hopelessly reactionary. It is equally true that they want to assume power (though they would prefer a coalition with the bourgeoisie), that they want to ›rule‹ along the old bourgeois lines, and that when they are in power they will certainly behave like the Scheidemanns and Noskes. All that is true. But it does not at all follow that to support them means treachery to the revolution; what does follow is that, in the interests of the revolution, working-​class revolutionaries should give these gentlemen a certain amount of parliamentary support. (…). On the contrary, the fact that most British workers still follow the lead of the British Kerenskys or Scheidemanns and have not yet had experience of a government composed of these people — an experience which was necessary in Russia and Germany so as to secure the mass transition of the workers to communism — undoubtedly indicates that the British Communists should participate in parliamentary action, that they should, from within parliament, help the masses of the workers see the results of a Henderson and Snowden government in practice, and that they should help the Hendersons and Snowdens defeat the united forces of Lloyd George and Churchill. (…). At present, British Communists very often find it hard even to approach the masses, and even to get a hearing from them. If I come out as a Communist and call upon them to vote for Henderson and against Lloyd George, they will certainly give me a hearing. And I shall be able to explain in a popular manner, not only why the Soviets are better than a parliament and why the dictatorship of the proletariat is better than the dictatorship of Churchill … but also that, with my vote, I want to support Henderson in the same way as the rope supports a hanged manthat the impending establishment of a government of the Hendersons … will hasten the political death of the Hendersons and the Snowdens just as was the case with their kindred spirits in Russia and Germany.« (»Left-​Wing« Communism: An Infantile Disorder, Lenin, Chapter 9. MIA. Bold added.)

Note as well that Lenin did not support Britain’s ›Labour‹ because ›Labour‹ was ›left‹ whereas the Tories were › right‹ ; he supported Britain’s ›Labour‹ because the latter was more under the pressure of the proletariat whereas the Tories were less under the pressure of the proletariat. He did not explicitly mention this difference but that is clearly what he was implying, which is also why he put the word ›bourgeois‹ before the ›[Tory] candidate‹ and implied that the Labour Party candidate was ›less bourgeois‹:

»We would take part in the election campaign, distribute leaflets agitating for communism, and, in all constituencies where we have no candidates, we would urge the electors to vote for the Labour candidate and against the bourgeois candidate.« (»Left-​Wing« Communism: An Infantile Disorder, Lenin, Chapter 9. MIA. Italics original.)

Lenin called on the British communists to support the ›Labour Party‹ candidate not as a blank cheque support but as a way of, to the extent that the communists had strength, partially coopting the Kautskyite politicians – that is, supporting the Kautskyite politicians in exchange for the Kautskyite fulfilment of certain promises to the Party of the proletariat. The Kautskyite agents of fascism, encircled by the proletarian agents amongst whom they had immersed, would have been compelled to increase the influence of the proletarian agents, who had encircled the Kautskyite agents, over the British imperial state. That is, the electoral rise of the proletarian-​coopted Kautskyites brings to office not just the Kautskyite agents of fascism but also the proletarian agents encircling them. The increased influence of such proletarian agents within the Labour Party over the British imperialist state would increase pressures on a British military dominated by British finance capital, thus allowing for more intelligence penetration into the British imperial army’s ranks by the agents of the proletariat. The greater influence of the proletariat over the means of violence would reduce anti-​communist conspiracy, allowing the communists to better organize, enlarge their Party, as steps towards the overthrow of the British state – much as how the rollback of the influence of the reactionary classes over the Russian Army brought to power the Kautskyite democratic government of Kerensky, thus allowing the Party of the proletariat the operational freedom by which to organize the proletarians of Russia and to launch the October Revolution. 

Note as well that Lenin did not support the British Labour Party because the latter was ›left-​wing‹ but because it was easier to coopt by the proletarian agents. Indeed, there do occur cases in which the more proletarian-​influenced party, the party less under the influence of the reactionary forces, would be at face value ›right-​wing‹ whereas the more reactionary party would be ›left-​wing‹. Lenin had no problems with allying with right-​wing forces so long as they served the agenda of promoting socialism:

»When in February 1918 the German imperialist vultures hurled their forces against unarmed, demobilised Russia, who had relied on the international solidarity of the proletariat before the world revolution had fully matured, I did not hesitate for a moment to enter into an »agreement« with the French monarchists. Captain Sadoul, a French army officer who, in words, sympathised with the Bolsheviks, but was in deeds a loyal and faithful servant of French imperialism, brought the French officer de Lubersac to see me. ›I am a monarchist. My only aim is to secure the defeat of Germany,« de Lubersac declared to me. »That goes without saying (cela va sans dire ),‹ I replied. But this did not in the least prevent me from entering into an ›agreement‹ with de Lubersac concerning certain services that French army officers, experts in explosives, were ready to render us by blowing up railway lines in order to hinder the German invasion. This is an example of an ›agreement‹ of which every class-​conscious worker will approve, an agreement in the interests of socialism. The French monarchist and I shook hands, although we knew that each of us would willingly hang his ›partner‹. But for a time our interests coincided. Against the advancing rapacious Germans, we, in the interests of the Russian and the world socialist revolution, utilised the equally rapacious counter-​interests of other imperialists. In this way we served the interests of the working class of Russia and of other countries, we strengthened the proletariat and weakened the bourgeoisie of the whole world, we resorted to the methods, most legitimate and essential in every war, of manoeuvre, stratagem, retreat, in anticipation of the moment when the rapidly maturing proletarian revolution in a number of advanced countries completely matured.« (Letter to American Workers, Lenin, August 20, 1918. Bold added) 

The proletarians are not concentrated merely in the communist party of the proletariat but are to be found in the other organizations. A shift in rank-​and-​file membership class composition – so as to increase the influence and percentage membership of the proletariat, the cooperativists, and/​or the anti-​colonial bourgeoisie over non- communist movements – will assist in rendering that organization more susceptible to cooperation with the socialist forces and confrontation with anti-​socialist forces. Lenin said:

»The more powerful enemy can be vanquished only by exerting the utmost effort, and by the most thorough, careful, attentive, skillful and obligatory use of any, even the smallest, rift between the enemies, any conflict of interests among the bourgeoisie of the various countries and among the various groups or types of bourgeoisie within the various countries, and also by taking advantage of any, even the smallest, opportunity of winning a mass ally, even though this ally is temporary, vacillating, unstable, unreliable and conditional. Those who do not understand this reveal a failure to understand even the smallest grain of Marxism, of modern scientific socialism in general. Those who have not proved in practice, over a fairly considerable period of time and in fairly varied political situations, their ability to apply this truth in practice have not yet learned to help the revolutionary class in its struggle to emancipate all toiling humanity from the exploiters. And this applies equally to the period before and after the proletariat has won political power.« (»Left-​Wing« Communism: An Infantile Disorder, Vladimir Lenin, Chapter 9. MIA)

As Lenin rightly emphasized, communists and progressives must sow and exploit rifts within imperialism and reaction, to divide and defeat in detail the enemies of the people. Communism necessitates the proletariat’s alliance with feudalism against slavery, and with capitalism against feudalism; it necessitates the alliance with anti-​imperialist capitalist states against the capitalist-​imperialist regimes. It also necessitates the alliance of communists with anti-​fascist imperialist powers against the fascist or pro-​fascist imperialist blocs. Lenin’s remark does not mean supporting both fascists and anti-​fascists as a ›divide and conquer‹ method. Rather, it means supporting those less under the influence of the pro-​fascist classes against those more under the influence of the pro-​fascist classes.

Lenin’s remark emanated from the dialectical concept of so-​called ›Negation of Negation‹, explained in depth by Engels in Anti-​Duhring. The application of the so-​called ›Negation of Negation‹ concept to socialist class struggles led to the concept of the ›Salami Tactics‹ concept of Rakosi. The idea calls for continuously supporting and coopting the forces less under the influence of the reactionary classes against the forces more under the influence of the reactionary classes. Slice by slice, the reactionary forces would be cut and put away, just like a salami, allowing for the greater influence of the communist agents of the proletariat. 

As well, the rifts between left-​opportunist and right-​opportunist agents of reaction must be exploited to the maximum, so to systematically erode their influence and shred their networks. More on this will be mentioned later.


(1) The Fascist Offensive and the Tasks of the Communist International in the Struggle of the Working Class against Fascism: Main Report delivered at the Seventh World Congress of the Communist International, Georgi Dimitrov, August 2, 1935. Citing: Thirteenth Plenum of the Executive Committee of the Communist International. Source: Georgi Dimitrov, Selected Works Sofia Press, Sofia, Volume 2, 1972. From: MIA, Mathias Bismo.

This article is a sub-​chapter taken from Saed Teymuri’s The History of the USSR & the Peoples’ Democracies (Version May 13, 2023), published at sovinform​.net, subheadings added by MagMa-​Magazine, format adapted.

Image: C.N.T.-Poster from the Spanish Civil War from »The Visual Front« archive (© UC Regents 1998, All rights reserved)

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