Once Again on American Fascism
[Scientific Socialist, Spring 2004]
In 1937, a pamphlet was published in
by the Anti-Fascist Literature Committee, entitled The Fate of the Trade Unions Under Fascism. It contained several articles about what the workers in New York and Germany were facing as a result of the fascist attacks on their unions. In concluding, the editor pointed out: Italy
The picture of conditions in Germany and Italy as presented by those who have experienced its terrors, is sufficiently challenging to arouse progressive, thinking Americans, whether organized or unorganized, whether they work with hand or brain. Here we have a picture of the catastrophe which would overtake the American people, if a system like Mussolini’s fascist corporative state, or Hitler’s coordinated dictatorship, were ever permitted a footing in this country. Here we have precise information concerning the fall of living standards, the actual starvation, bad housing, low wages, heavy taxes, burdensome armaments, imperialist ventures in colonial aggression threatening new foreign wars, the total suppression of civil liberties and persecution of racial minorities which result when fascism is permitted to ride the saddle.
Well, the fact is this “catastrophe” did “overtake” the American people, shortly after World War II, and we are now being subjected to the most rabid and reactionary form of fascism ever to "ride the saddle" in the US.
Not coincidentally, the American working class and people have been subjected to consequences similar to the ones mentioned above:
Fall in Living Standards
Americans have gradually had their working day and week lengthened over the past 15 years so that now they are worked the longest hours of any labor force in the advanced capitalist countries. At the same time, their fringe and government benefits have been slashed so that they are least protected by health, maternity, and retirement programs and have the smallest entitlements provided by unemployment and disability insurances. This when American workers are more susceptible to job-related injury, illness, and death on the job than any of the other advanced nation. In addition, they enjoy the fewest holidays and shortest (if any) vacations. Job security is practically nil with the capitalists’ incessant drive to “restructure,” “downsize, ” and “outsource” jobs with over 11 million workers laid off during the last three years alone. Thus, enormous pressure is exerted on active workers by a reserve army of the unemployed and underemployed that adds up to nearly one third of the labor-force.
Although actual starvation is rarely reported, there are more than 30 million, mostly working poor, who are suffering from hunger and malnutrition.
It has long been accepted that there is a severe housing crisis in the
. Nearly 30 million people live in substandard or dangerous housing while more than 3.5 million are homeless. An acute shortage of affordable housing for working people has led to millions of families living in over-crowded conditions. US
Americans receive the lowest pay of any workers in the advanced capitalist countries. Twenty-five percent of the labor force work for wages that according to the government’s own standards are at or below the poverty level. More realistically, some liberal reformers have put this figure at closer to 40%. One serious consequence of the extremely low wages of the working class has been its growing debt to the banks. Accounting for credit card and car loan debt alone, the aggregate debt to income ratio for workers’ households stands at over 100%, while approximately 20% of average household income is needed to pay off all debt. This of course is much higher for the average workers' household. But after taxes (see below) even this figure amounts to about 40% of real income. The reality is that the working class in shackled in debt bondage.
American workers are burdened by a massive tax structure that drains an enormous amount of their yearly earnings. A two-income family at average wages has its $50,000 annual salary taxed nearly 46%, comprised of 38% federal and state income / payroll taxes and sales taxes, 3.4% in property taxes (the national average rate), and 4% in hidden taxes. While other advanced capitalist countries have higher tax rates, they also provide a greater range of services, e.g., health and education, relatively free of charge. If the costs of health care and higher education were added as a tax, US workers would have by far the highest tax rates in the world. In contrast, beginning with the Reagan clique, the top income groups among the bourgeoisie have been constantly handed enormous tax breaks and government handouts.
Many of the tax dollars filched from the workers are channeled directly into
imperialism’s war machine. Since the start of the 1960s, “defense” has been allocated over 50% of tax revenues. The 2004 budget has defense allocated around $420 billion, up roughly $60 billion from 2002. However, what is actually spent on defense and defense related programs is much higher. These additional costs include over 87.5 billion in supplemental funds to finance the wars against US and Afghanistan and $138 billion in debt finance for money that has been borrowed to pay for the Iraq ’s defense. When all is said and done, a number of military cost analysts have estimated that real spending for the military is double the official figure; that is, around $800 billion or more than twice the amount the rest of the world spends on its military! US
Imperialist Ventures in Colonial Aggression
A huge war machine and foreign espionage service are needed to maintain and expand
imperialism’s neo-colonial empire. The US has more than 255,000 troops in 156 countries, 63 of which are occupied with permanent American bases. In addition, battalions of CIO operatives, and special “privatized” mercenaries are dispatched throughout the globe, spying and carrying out “black-ops.” These massive forces have not been idle. Since World War II, the US has sponsored scores of covert, dirty wars on all continents and has launched open aggression against US , Korea , Puerto Rico, Vietnam , Cambodia , Laos , Liberia , the Zaire , Dominican Republic , Guatemala , Nicaragua , El Salvador , Honduras , Haiti , Panama , Grenada , Libya , Lebanon , Somalia , Sudan , Columbia, Yemen , Iraq , and Afghanistan . Millions of people, mainly non-combatants, have been killed, maimed, or poisoned so that Yugoslavia imperialism can further batten itself like a bloated tick off the enslavement and plunder of these neo-colonies. US
Threatening New Wars
The Bush junta is already engaged in new wars in
and Iraq and is threatening more “pre-emptive strikes” in its “endless war on terrorism.” But they have nothing to do with “making the world more peaceful and secure,” as the propaganda machine would have us believe. They are driven by inter-imperialist contradictions and the struggle for yet another re-division of the world. Afghanistan and Afghanistan were outside the Iraq sphere of influence, largely controlled by rival imperialists and resistant to US ’s political intrigues and economic pressures. This was the real reason why the Washington labeled them terrorists, lied about the dangers they posed to its "national security,” and invaded. US imperialism is now targeting other countries that are outside its sphere of influence as “terrorist,” e.g., US and Iran , thereby opening the door to more adventures. Syria
However, enlightened world opinion is increasingly viewing the
itself as the biggest “terrorist.” A report made in July by the Center for Economic and Social Rights makes clear that the US "is committing war crimes and other serious violations of international law in US as a matter of routine policy. [It] documents ten categories of war crimes and rights violations regularly committed by Iraq forces." U.S.
A spokesperson for the group said,
Torture is only the tip of the iceberg. From unlawful killings, mass arrests, and collective
punishment to outright theft and pillage, the
is violating almost every law intended to protect U.S.
civilians living under foreign military occupation.
Furthermore, according to the report,
imperialism has given itself more than the right to invade and occupy any country it perceives as a threat. It goes on to accuse the US
the Bush Administration for misusing the war against terrorism to exempt itself from the Geneva Conventions and other legal norms, creating a climate of impunity in which ordinary soldiers feel free to torture and abuse Iraqis.
And the report recommends that
rather than scapegoat those caught on camera . . . George W. Bush, Donald Rumsfeld, and other responsible
officials be held accountable for war crimes resulting from their policies. U.S.
Such crimes are not lost on the world’s peoples. In a recent international poll the
along with its US Middle Eastgendarme - - were rated as the greatest threats to global security and peace. It must be borne in mind, however, that although the Iraq invasion is the latest and the most publicized, American imperialism has been “committing war crimes and other serious violations of international law” against many countries and peoples for decades. Volumes would be needed to chronicle all of them. Israel
The Total Suppression of Civil Liberties
Considering all of the above, we must ask: “How can this “greatest of democracies”, which the US incessantly acclaims itself to be, so ruthlessly exploit and degrade its “own” working class and so savagely oppress, enslave and murder en masse the peoples of other countries?”
From a class perspective, civil liberties that are of crucial importance for the workers have already been totally suppressed. For the “rule of law” in the
prevents the proletariat from freely developing its struggle to defend and advance its interests against the capitalists. This “rule of law” emanates not from a democracy “of the people” but from a tyranny of the biggest monopoly capitalists, whose state serves their rapacious greed first and foremost while at the same time protecting the interests of all the bourgeoisie at every governmental level against the interests of the workers. There are lots of freedoms in the US to be sure - for the class exploiters – and these freedoms are safeguarded by the most reactionary state monopoly capitalist system since German fascism was driven from power. US
Similar to German and Italian fascism, the US state “educates” the masses that classes and the class struggle are history. Such demagogy is used to pacify the working class, leaving them more easily manipulated and suppressed. For the official neo-fascist "truth" is that workers and employers are all part of one big “family” or “team.” How can class antagonisms, let alone struggle, exist in such a friendly, cooperative environment?
All of this, however, is despicable deception. As a trade union official in Mussolini’s Italy quite candidly stated: “It was an illusion to presume that the existence of class-war had been finally abolished. It had been abolished . . . for the workers. On the other side, class-war is being continued.” All fascisms, including the American form, share this one strategic objective: to crush the class struggle of the proletariat. Tactics vary. If deception, pressure, or intimidation fail, then more violent measures are used, drawing upon the laws, courts, police, and other arms of the state.
Scientific Socialist has carried other articles explaining in detail how fascism destroyed and continues to wreck the crucial means the working class needs to wage the class struggle. The American proletariat no longer has its vanguard party and other advanced units, such as independent unions and other workers organizations. Briefly explained, this fascist attack has been carried out both openly by official governmental bodies and covertly by agencies of the subterranean or secret state that was erected after World War II. These agencies infiltrated all of the genuine vanguard and advanced units of labor as well as many democratic organizations and integrated them into the state machine to function as a fifth column in the labor and progressive movements. Today, the workers and democratic masses for the most part have their aspirations, goals, and actions manipulated and sabotaged by the very class and state that they are struggling against. In this regard their freedoms and rights are no more than illusions.
How can this be? After all, aren't there protests, strikes, etc. carried out constantly in this "land of the free."
True, but upon close analysis, we find that these actions do not accurately serve the interests and goals of the workers and people. The fascist state through its fifth column determines that all major political activity of the masses, its strikes, protests, demonstrations, etc., is carried out well within the parameters of the “democratic process” and compatible with the interests of big capital.
However, when, as occasionally and necessarily happens, the workers and people attempt to exercise their freedoms and rights outside and independent of this process, that is, if they deliberately associate and act, or even spontaneously combine to defend and fight for their own interests against those of the bourgeoisie and thereby threaten, or even seriously challenge the status quo, they stand to have their struggle crushed by the terroristic levers of the state.
These levers, of course, have a legal basis. We must recall that Hitler and the Nazis always made sure that all of their oppressive policies up to and including their most heinous activities, later to be judged crimes against humanity by international courts, were all perfectly lawful according to the German state. So it goes with the American fascists.
Here too laws have been used by the US state to suppress any popular struggle against the class rule of the bourgeoisie. Some of the first of these – “the Alien and Sedition Laws” were passed by the Federalists shortly after the American revolution to prevent any ideas of the much more radical French Revolution and Irish rebellions from washing up on the Eastern seaboard of the US. Any French, Irish or other “alien” that was even suspected of “treasonable machinations against the government” was deported, and just to “assist” in criticizing a branch or action of the state was a crime. Although these laws were quickly repealed after Jefferson became president, they both established a precedent and set a tone for how the reactionary bourgeoisie would deal with democratic currents of the workers and people over the next several hundred years.
Let’s fast forward to the 1930s, 40s and 50s for a brief overview of “Acts” in the same spirit if not letter as the Alien and Sedition Laws.
Hatch Act 1939: civilian employees of the federal government or any employees of a state government whose jobs are federally funded are forbidden involvement in any political activities. Some cosmetic changes were made in 1993, but political activities are still severely restricted.
Smith Act 1940: outlawed organizations that advocated the violent overthrow of the US government, with the obvious purpose of banning any true revolutionary politics that calls for forcibly dissolving the repressive state machine - a call that even democratic and progressive organizations might advocate to bring down fascism.
This law was amended in 1957 by the Supreme Court, which decided that merely advocating the violent overthrow of government is protected by the First Amendment. So, in order to prosecute under the Smith Act, prosecutors would henceforth have to show a person took actions to achieve the violent overthrow of the government. This vague language was intended to suppress any effective activities that an organization might engage in to realize a program for revolutionary change. Obviously, if a party or organization has a revolutionary program and obeys this law, it will not be able to take its politics to the labor and mass movements for fear or committing unlawful “actions.” The most it can do without breaking the law according to legal experts is to call for revolution “in the abstract,” just one example of how the Bill of Rights has become a Bill of Frauds as far as the proletariat is concerned.
Voorhis Act 1940: deprived organizations opposed to the government the “right of international affiliation,” and because such affiliation could mean “foreign control,” required these organizations to register with the Attorney General. Of course, the bourgeoisie and its flunkeys have unquestionable right to any "foreign affiliation" that serves their interests to exploit international labor and plunder the world's resources.
Taft-Hartley Act 1947 : also called the Labor Management Relations Act is the most draconian and far reaching piece of anti-labor legislation in the post-war period. Some major provisions still in effect today include
1. giving states the right to ban the “closed (i.e. union members only) shop.” Companies are not bound to hire union labor in “right to work” states, and it is illegal for a union to go on strike to prevent non-union workers from being hired. Workers who choose not to join the union receive the same benefits without paying dues.
2. requiring special elections for workers to approve unionization of a shop, and a 30 day “probation” period for new hires before they can become union members
3. requiring unions to give notice of an impending strike, and to allow for a 60-day “cooling off” period to elapse before calling the strike
4. preventing unions from freely soliciting membership and from mass picketing
5. outlawing secondary boycotts (e.g. sympathy strikes) and “hot cargo” (e.g. refusing to handle military supplies for imperialist wars) practices
6. permitting the President to order workers not to strike an employer for up to eighty days
7. providing for the use of injunctions against unions to restrain “unfair labor practices”
8. allowing law suits against unions for damages resulting from “unfair labor practices”
9. banning strikes by employees of the federal government
10. requiring all union officials to sign an affidavit swearing they were not communists
McCarran Act 1950: also called the Internal Security Act is a sweeping and mind-boggling set of laws that either ban or oversee any Communist or (guilt by association) “Communist action, front or infiltrated organization.” A Subversive Activities Control Board was set up to determine which was which. Coming as it did during the height of the “Cold War,” this act is the most oppressive since the Alien and Sedition Laws of the 18th century. Here are just some of its major provisions:
it is unlawful to “combine, conspire, or agree with any other person” to engage in any “substantial” Socialist or Communist political activity, viz. any activity that is revolutionary. Those who violate this law are subject to up to 10 years imprisonment and a $10,000 fine.
Apparently it still permits Socialist or “Communist, Communist action, front, or infiltrated organizations” to exist as long as their politics aren’t “substantial,” viz. revolutionary, but these organizations
1. and their members (including addresses) must be registered with the Attorney General.
2. must register all printing presses and duplicating equipment with the Attorney General.
3. must make available all accounts of monies received and paid out to the Attorney General.
4. will be constantly investigated by the Subversive and Activities Control Board for activities that may link them to a foreign government or international conspiracy.
Emergency Detention Act 1950: Actually called “Title II” of Internal Security Act, it authorizes the establishment of concentration camps and the imprisonment of all those considered security risks in time of war, invasion, or national emergency. Supposedly this clause was struck from the books in 1971.
Communist Control Act 1954: essentially reiterated the Internal Security Act but took it one step further to declare that the Communist Party “should be outlawed.” While the law did not specifically authorize banning the party, it did deny the rights of due process for the organization and its members.
Landrum-Griffin Act 1959: bans, once again, members of the Communist Party from holding union office, and outlaws, once again, the secondary boycott.
One need only to look at the state of the revolutionary, labor, and progressive movements in the US today to understand the deadly effectiveness of these reactionary laws. They have been highly useful both in terms of their “pre-emptive” character, viz. for intimidation, and for their practical use. Indeed, although the bourgeois politicians refuse to admit to class warfare in the US, a very one-sided, vicious class struggle has been raging. The Junta's newly enacted Patriot Act and Department of "Homeland Security" sanction more state attacks against the masses, violating basic democratic rights and principles (e.g. habeas corpus, due process, and posse comitatus ). So-called “Marxist-Leninists” and the liberal left never tire of ruminating over run-away capitalism’s undesirable economic and social consequences for the masses. What they remain silent on is that run-away fascism is causing them.
Persecution of National Minorities
Racism and "white" chauvinism has been an integral feature of reactionary bourgeois ideology and practice in the US since its founding. However, American neo-fascism has consolidated racist / chauvinist ideas and policies into a semi-apartheid system. While the entire proletariat experiences continuous degradation of their living standards and erosion of their most basic political rights, the minority and immigrant workers are especially ultra-exploited and oppressed. Even the government's own doctored up statistics reveal the discrimination and persecution faced by this sector of the population.
Blacks, Hispanics, and Native Americans have the lowest incomes and are all grossly "over-represented" in the poverty, unemployment, and incarceration rates. They are also much more likely to live in substandard housing or be homeless, receive a below average education, have poor quality or no health care at all, and as a result, suffer or die from a serious illness that could have been prevented, treated, or cured. Furthermore, they are disproportionately victims of police brutality, arbitrary, illegal jailing, and violent crime. Also, the Junta's "war on terror" has aggravated the long-standing discrimination and persecution of the immigrant population, especially the Middle Eastern peoples to the point where now they are being denied even the most formal rights supposedly afforded them by the Constitution.
Of course, despite this reality, the government is always crowing about how democratic it is and routinely declares itself upholding and tirelessly working for "racial equality" and "civil rights." But as one Marxist scholar put it years ago, at the very outset of the establishment of the US fascist state: "[E]very conceivable undemocratic abomination [was] committed in the name of 'democracy'."
A Closer Look at the Nature of Fascism
The paragraph quoted at the start of this essay accurately listed most of the major effects of 1930s fascism, and our discussion illustrated how definite parallels can be drawn to contemporary America. However, effects should not be confused with the nature of fascism, that is, its essence, which is something quite different. Although we briefly spoke of the nature of fascism in passing, we need to take a closer look at this system of bourgeois rule. One common complaint of the whiny liberal pundits is that the over-use and misuse of the term “fascism” in branding US policies has led it to a loss of its meaning. They are craven apologists of reaction of all stripes, but here they make a valid point. Not everything the US does is fascist, but the US is fascist not only because of what it does but also because of what it is. The two cannot be separated if fascism is to be fully understood.
Fascism is a form of state monopoly capitalism. State monopoly capitalism is a state that is completely subjugated to big capital, specifically to the financial oligarchy, a tiny group of representatives of the most powerful monopolists, who own and control the biggest sectors of industry and finance in the country.
State monopoly capitalism did not always exist in the US. Up until the turn of the last century the US state could accurately be called a bourgeois democracy insofar as it represented the interests of the capitalist class in general. But with the growth of monopoly, whereby production and capital became concentrated into a very few hands, big capital seized the vital centers of the state, such as the executive branch of government and the military, relegating the non-monopoly and even the smaller monopolists to subordinates. This change in the political sphere correlated to the economic transformation of industrial capitalism into monopoly capitalism - imperialism. Now the state represented the interests of the finance capitalists in particular.
Imperialism is the highest stage of capitalism and as Lenin analyzed its final, moribund stage. While capitalism does not stop developing, it is developing downward and decaying. The catalyst for its decay is the incessant drive of the capitalists to maximize profits, which is the basic law of monopoly capitalism and which exacerbates all the inherent contradictions of the capitalist system and brings them to a head. In such conditions an all-round crisis of the world capitalist system emerges, known as the general crisis. It is called a general crisis because it embraces the economic, political, as well as the social spheres.
The big bourgeoisie's response to this crisis is to erect fascist dictatorships in those countries where the class and social contradictions are the most intense. Such contradictions are those between the capitalists and the proletariat, between the imperialist state and its neo-colonies, and between the imperialists themselves. These dictatorships come in a variety of forms. Some openly suspend constitutions and abolish all rights, even formal rights of the workers and people. Others maintain their constitutions or parts of them and like US neo-fascism even claim that they are the greatest defenders of democracy against totalitarianism, viz. fascism and communism. But what is common to them all is their attempt to facilitate the monopolists' drive for maximum profits through (1) ultra-exploitation of labor (2) rapacious plunder of neo-colonies (3) imperialist expansion.
Fascism accomplishes these three goals by setting up a huge, anti-democratic, militarist state apparatus in service to monopoly capitalism. Therefore:
Fascism is organized and systematic counter-revolution: its first objective is to destroy the revolutionary workers and independent labor movements. Eliminating these movements safeguards against the Socialist revolution and allows the capitalists a free hand to exploit labor to the maximum.
Fascism is perpetual aggression and wars of conquest: its second objective is war, both overt and covert, to forcibly put down resistance from the nations and peoples so that their lands can be plundered by the imperialists without restriction. And its third objective is to aggressively challenge and defeat, through war or threat of war, imperialist rivals in the endless struggle to extend spheres of influence around the world and gain "greater market share."
What becomes clear through objective analysis is that the major policies of the US and the deleterious effects of these polices for the working class originate from systemic fascism regardless of what the government calls itself. Separating the effects from their causes can result in the most harmful illusions.
How Fascism Defeated the American Working Class
Has the working class “permitted” a fascist dictatorship to assume power? And, as a result, have the workers willingly accepted the consequents, which spell intensified exploitation and oppression for them and barbaric aggression against their class internationally?
Or, have the “progressive thinking” sections of the masses actually fought against fascism and its effects? And if so, why were their struggles defeated and crushed?
Historical record proves that as long as the American proletariat had its own political party, the Communist Party together with its advanced units in the trade union movement, mainly those affiliated with the CIO, a significant number of revolutionary and militant workers fought consciously and courageously against the fascization of the state and society. But these worker organizations, as explained earlier, were crushed when the state destroyed and co-opted the workers' vanguard and its independent unions in the early 50s. Although the labor and democratic struggles that erupted in the 60s and 70s gained some important ground, they could not consolidate their advances because although there were attempts to build effective independent and revolutionary organization to lead these struggles, in the end such organization failed to matierialize.
This has had far reaching consequences.
The fact is the proletariat cannot wage the class struggle without leadership and organization. In other words, it cannot consciously and systematically fight for its interests and objectives without its own political party. Like Mussolini's corporate state, US neo-fascism has also abolished the class war - for the proletariat, but as a creature in service to the financial oligarchy, it relentlessly attacks the working class. Consequently many of the gains that were made by the militant labor and progressive democratic forces in the 60s and 70s have been erased.
Fascism has dealt American workers many defeats, driving them backwards over the years. Typically fascist rule is said to "enslave" workers. There are, however, different levels to which workers are driven into slavery depending on the form of fascist rule.
The term "wage slaves" is not one that Marxists use figuratively. The workers' labor power becomes the property of the employer, who purchases the right to exploit it as he sees fit in exchange for wages. At the monopoly stage, capitalists are in constant pursuit of maximum profits, contriving through all manner and means to force wages down as far as possible. Therefore, it is vital for the workers to resist this tendency. As Marx put it in his pamphlet Value, Price, and Profit:
The general tendency of capitalist production is not to raise, but to sink the average standard of wages, or to push the value of labor more or less to its minimum limit. Such being the tendency of things in this system, is this to say that the working class ought to renounce their resistance . . . for their temporary improvement? If they did they would be degraded to one level of mass of broken down wretches past salvation.
Because the US state and its fifth column have throttled the revolutionary and independent labor movements, the overwhelming majority of the workers have, as Marx put it, renounced resistance against the captialist class and its fascist system.
But they have not done so consciously. Strict ideological training from cradle to grave on multiple fronts reinforced by state terror has pacified American workers. A noxious mythology keeps the majority of people ignorant and stupefied. Despite the economic hardships they suffer, many sincerely believe that capitalism is the best and only system available to them, that America is the "land of opportunity," and that "there is plenty of room at the top" for those who "work hard and play by the rules." Few know that fascism exists in the US. They simply accept or even avidly support the reactionary status quo that oppresses and impoverishes them, believing not only that they live in a "democracy" but the "greatest democracy in the world"!
As an added insurance policy that such ignorance and misconceptions hold even among the advanced workers and progressives, the state has sent its agents into the active workers and progressive peoples' ranks posing as Communists, Marxist-Leninists, leftists, liberals, and labor leaders. There is no end to their philistine belly-aching about the exploitation of labor by capitalism and the anti-democratic policies of the government while downplaying or covering up their true nature and ferocity. Moreover, these retrograde entities do not even hint at the systemic nature of US fascism. On the contrary, they complement the demagogy of state propaganda by pushing the dogma that the US is a democracy. This is done openly by the most influential state's agencies, such as the CPUSA and the AFL-CIO, as well as those in the liberal camp, who led the call that electing "anybody but Bush" will save our democracy. The "revolutionary" alternative to this section, including the "modern Marxist-Leninists" predicate their bankrupt politics and impotent calls for "struggle" on the premise that we live in a "flawed, US style democracy," the nature of which goes unexplained.
In another room of neo-fascism's servants' quarters are the "serious" Marxist-Leninists who make their "sober and correct assessments" of the situation based on convoluted and distorted applications of revolutionary theory. It is pointless to discuss their screw-ball analysis in detail because it completely discredits itself as anti-historical and anti-scientific, in a word, anti-Marxist. But their basic premise is worth looking at. These "resolute Leninists," who also pretend to be great "defenders of Stalin," never tire of quoting over and over again the thesis from the 7th Communist International that "fascism is the open terrorist dictatorship of the most reactionary, most chauvinistic, and most imperialist elements of finance capital." In their opinion, an "open terrorist dictatorship is not yet the form of rule in the US." That is, according to our astute and "sober" theoriticians, there is just one form of fascism - the "open terrorist dictatorship" and until this "open terrorist dictatorship" comes to power in the US, we can only speak of a "growing fascism," viz. quantitative reactionary changes but not a qualitative change. If nothing else, they are resolute traditionalists, for the long defunct US Marxist-Leninist Movement also saw nothing more than a "growing fascism" in the US.
So we have a situation where fascism has been "growing" in our "democracy" for well over 35 years, but never happens.
When will it happen?
The Scientific Socialists hold that fascism was installed almost immediately after World War II. Moreover, there is sufficient evidence to show that the US fascist state is no slacker when it comes to launching "open terror" both inside and outside the country. But another point proves that our "sober" theoriticians are not only apologists of the criminal fascist state; they are liars and pettifoggers. It's obvious to anyone who has studied or even read the report on fascism given at the 7th CI that the definition they cite is truncated from a far more comprehensive exposition. Not more than a page after this quote we read:
The development of fascism, and the fascist dictatorship itself, assume different forms (italics in the original) in different countries, according to historical, social and economic conditions and to the national peculiarities and the international position of the given country. In certain countries, principally those in which fascism has no extensive mass base and in which the struggle of the various groups within the camp of the fascist bourgeoisie itself is fairly acute, fascism does not immediately venture to abolish parliament, but allows the other bourgeois parties, as well as the Social Democratic Parties, to retain a certain degree of legality.
And further, it is also emphasized that fascism "without altering its class nature, [tries] to combine (italics in the original) open terrorist dictatorship with a crude sham of parliamentarism (sic)."
Most significantly, in describing how these different forms of fascism operate in different countries, the report makes this prescient point:
It is a peculiarity of the development of American fascism that at the present stage this fascism comes forward principally in the guise of an opposition to fascism, which it accuses of being an "un-American" tendency imported from abroad. In contradistinction to German fascism, which acts under anti-constitutional slogans, American fascism tries to portray itself as the custodian of the Constitution and "American Democracy."
For well over half a century, US neo-fascism has wrapped itself in this hypocritical banner of democracy, supposedly fighting against fascism while in truth rabidly waging war against the other "extreme, totalitarian system" - Communism.
Why is it that these "resolute Leninists" and "defenders of Stalin" truncate the analysis of the 7th CI down to one statement? Why don't they analyze conditions in the US on the basis of the more comprehensive scientific theory contained in the report and, even more crucially, why don't they develop the Marxist-Leninist theory to advance our understanding of the situation in order to change it?
Because these imposters and traitors like the liberal and labor-fascists along with the "modern Marxist-Leninists" are total flunkeys of neo-fascism. Their main purpose in life is to ideologically disarm the working class and politically march it in circles instead of educating and organizing the advanced to rally the class to wage a real struggle against the bourgeoisie and its reactionary state.
So we can thank the agents of the reformist and the "revolutionary" left first and foremost for the hundreds of millions of what Marx would call broken-down wretches in the US. With their assistance, US fascism has actually degraded American workers to a lower level than Marx had in mind, for capitalism has now driven wages far beneath their "minimum limit" or below the value of labor required for the average wage earner to sustain a modest living. That is why the working class has been forced into debt bondage.
Lenin spoke even more bluntly than Marx on this condition in his pamphlet On Strikes:
As long as workers have to deal with capitalists on an individual basis they remain veritable slaves who must work continuously to profit another in order to obtain a crust of bread, who must forever remain docile and inarticulate hired servants.
This is the bitter truth. Yet, the American working class is not "past salvation." Revolutionaries never lose "faith" in the masses.
But this is not a religious faith.
Scientific Socialist analyzed the difference between an objective view on this sentiment and the one peddled by state agents in the ranks of the Marxist-Leninists who preached that we should have faith in the masses because they
are ideologically and politically free [and want] to take up progressive and revolutionary politics. This is absolutely untrue. The working class and people are bound head to foot by the chains of reactionary ideas and the levers and mechanisms of state monopoly capitalism. . . . The Bolsheviks and other authentic Scientific Socialists have used this expression (viz., "faith in the masses"), but with an entirely different meaning . . . What they were speaking of might better be termed confidence in the masses, which is . . . based upon a scientific conviction that there are irreconcilable class contradictions between the proletariat and the bourgeoisie and that the laws of the class struggle, if effectively applied by the vanguard party, will inevitably lead to the proletariat's revolutionary overthrow of capitalism and the establishment of Socialist society.
The vanguard forces must educate, unite, and organize the workers to break the chains of fascism, chains that shackle their minds, their labor, and every other meaningful aspect of their lives to the interests of the bourgeoisie. There are significant numbers of workers that are fighting and are willing to fight against the effects of fascism and wage slavery. However, they are in the dark about the reality of their conditions.
This situation will not last.
In the last analysis, the bourgeoisie and its flunkeys do not dictate. Historical necessity does. But it does so only when revolutionaries play their proper role as its instrument in raising the class-consciousness of the workers to organize and advance their movement for Socialism. In this sense, class-consciousness itself can be a liberating force of history. That is why Lenin asserted that ... "a slave who has become conscious of his slavery and has risen to struggle for his emancipation has already half ceased to be a slave."