NEO-FASCISM AND THE FIFTH COLUMN
An Unwelcome Theory
The theory that the Scientific Socialist trend has developed on the features of fascism, especially its post-World War II form in the US, was not "well received" by some claiming to be Marxist-Leninists. * They either responded with spurious accusations and widely off-the-mark rebuttals or simply clamed-up in dumb silence. But, more importantly, those who openly or mutely disagreed with the theory have produced nothing resembling coherent, let alone scientific, analysis of the political reality in the contemporary US. Instead they simply continued repeating their stock formulations, calling US capitalism “repressive” and “undemocratic”, which for them is apparently sufficient to support their claim that they adhere to “Marxist-Leninist ideology” on the question of the state. But what is it about a scientific view of fascism that led them to attack or ignore it?
Charlatans who pretend to be Marxist-Leninists, like the leaders of the Workers Party, the Revolutionary Political Organization, and the US Marxist-Leninist Organization, have consistently opposed any development of the scientific theory partisan to the cause of the proletariat. They do not want the vanguard elements and advanced workers to clearly understand their material conditions and gain knowledge of the political reality. They especially don't want them to learn about the fascist features of the US state. Instead, for many years these and other "representatives" of various organizations in the Marxist-Leninist Movement have taken the view that the present form of capitalist rule is a "bourgeois democracy," and if they spoke of fascism at all, characterized it mainly as a "growing" tendency at odds with this "democracy." But objective analysis has shown that this position negates historical development by denying or distorting the emergence of state-monopoly capitalism in the epoch of imperialism, while muddling up a scientific definition of fascism.
As a result, anti-historical and anti-scientific views on the state have been spread among the ranks of the Marxist-Leninists and the working class for many years. Not one of the larger Marxist-Leninist groups that operated on a national scale, from 1967 to the present, applied the proletariat science to clear up this muddle, articulate a class analysis of the state, and assume a revolutionary position towards it. We acknowledge that serious problems of the Marxist-Leninist Movement were caused by ideological immaturity and confusion. But in this case there was a deliberate attempt by the "centers" of the ML groups to cover up the US political reality and to discourage, divert, and suppress any work that would have led to theoretical breakthroughs on this issue. Their behavior had nothing to do with ideological weaknesses and everything to do with conscious class-collaboration.
Neo-Fascism - Concrete
Since being installed after World War II, American neo-fascism, as a form of state-monopoly capitalism, has done everything possible to disguise itself behind the shibboleth of liberal democracy in order to, among other things, better wage war against the US working class. While it in fact crushed the Marxist-Leninist line and organization of the Communist Party USA and the independent labor movement by the mid-50s, it neither banned the Party nor the trade unions. Instead, they were transformed into anti-Communist and anti-labor organizations by the political-police and secretly integrated into the state machine as instruments to manipulate and suppress the proletarian class struggle. At the same time they were also used as props to support the financial oligarchy's propagandists that the US was the world's “leading democracy.”
Through such moves, American state-monopoly capitalism achieved one of the fundamental objectives of fascism: to systematically destroy the revolutionary vanguard detachment of the proletariat and all other independent units of the working class with any means necessary. In this case the means relied less upon the open state terror employed by nazism, but considerably more upon mass deception and intricate covert operations. American neo-fascism continues to employ these means, allowing the US to promote itself as a democracy pro forma while eliminating de facto the elemental political rights and freedoms of the working class and masses.
The deceit and stealth through which the state repressive apparatus functions are its keys to success and crucial in perpetuating the fraud. After the war, when the financial oligarchy lurched towards setting up its own peculiar form of fascist rule in the US, reactionary ideologues and journalists were ordered to prove that ice was hot in order to cover up this change of regimes. Absurd arguments became the stock-in-trade of these American understudies of Goebbels. While fascism was being erected, the masses were told that all of its attacks against the revolutionary, labor, and progressive movements were necessary to "defend democracy." While classes were becoming even more polarized and the class struggle intensifying, theories were concocted to simply deny these developments or slander them as “Communist inspired.” According to some ideologues, the financial oligarchy, which was then assuming absolute control over the economic and political spheres, dispersed and disappeared in the face of the “military-industrial complex” and "managerial capitalism" (capitalism without capitalists). Moreover, the proletariat, which was actually growing significantly larger due to the proletarianization of the intermediate strata, suddenly morphed into the “new middle class” because of its “high standard of living.”
With this and other cheap demagogy the US was pictured as a "classless" society, free of class struggle. Now, it was claimed, only conflicts between "special interest groups," such as "big business" and "organized labor" existed, and these were to be resolved through the "democratic process" for the "common good." Additionally, the oligarchy's systematic state repression and terror directed against the class struggle of the proletariat and people were passed off as a-class governmental policies that protected all American's "freedom and democracy" from Communist "subversion" at home and "aggression" abroad. Besides permanently militarizing the economy, neo-fascism greatly expanded the secret police operations of the previous state into a huge "covert establishment," which became the beneficent and untouchable power safeguarding America's "national security." During this "Cold War" on the home front, even liberal critics of the brutal attacks on the rights and freedoms of the masses who took issue with the draconian state repression were defamed as “dupes” of Stalin. To this day, the state's dogma on "democracy" cannot be questioned, and if by chance ideas that approximate the political reality and challenge this dogma find their way into mainstream public discourse, the monopolist-controlled media smugly dismiss them as "conspiracy theories." A more feeble ploy is hardly imaginable when one considers that the entire state is a conspiracy .
All branches of the federal government, the police and armed forces, work together behind the scenes to carry out domestic and foreign policies that serve the interests of the financial oligarchy. In addition, since the end of the second world war, a secret subterranean state apparatus has been constructed to more effectively crush the class struggle of the proletariat at home and abroad as well as to assist US imperialism in maintaining and expanding its hegemony throughout the world.
The subterranean state is comprised of many, diverse mechanisms that span a wide spectrum, from public and legal to highly secretive and illegal, but they all have one thing in common: they are presented as operating independently from the government. On the national level, the AFL-CIO, the organized crime underworld, the drug-trafficking street gangs, the racist and terrorist groups and militias, the armed security goon-squads, the private mercenary companies, just to mention a few, are all mechanisms of the subterranean state. They may be secretly supervised by government agencies, such the FBI and the CIA, or they may take orders from centers within the structure of the subterranean state itself. The point is that these mechanisms greatly facilitate the repressive rule of the financial oligarchy without implicating the government, which postures as standing apart from and above them as democratic and enforcing the “rule of law.”
American neo-fascism thus gives itself much room to maneuver in attacking the rights and freedoms of the proletariat and people at the same time it claims to be defending democracy. Racism, an integral policy of all fascist regimes, is a case in point. Formally, the government instituted laws against racial discrimination and for equal rights as a concession to the massive struggles of the African-Americans and other national minorities over several decades beginning in the 50s.
However, while the government made concessions to appear democratic, in the 80s the state turned to its subterranean mechanisms to continue and actually escalate attacks on the minorities in a complex and deadly campaign. These mechanisms took the form of street gangs, which were organized and activated in the urban working class communities where many minority groups are concentrated. Their job was to widely distribute drugs and guns in the communities, especially among the youth, to achieve two major immediate objectives. One was to pacify and de-politicize the population through drug addiction; the other was to recruit members of the community into the gangs and instigate fights between them. This campaign enabled the neo-fascist propagandists and politicians to “criminalize” the minority communities as hotbeds of drugs and violence and to justify building an even bigger police state apparatus to wage a “war against crime and drugs.” Thus, it has resulted not only in more police oppression and terror against Blacks and other minorities in the inner-cities; it has provided grist to the mill of the racist ideology embedded in the US superstructure - an ideology which continuously adopts new ways to pump up white chauvinism, incite racial prejudices, and divide the working class.
There are many other examples that could be detailed to illustrate the nefarious activities of the subterranean state. In the labor movement, militant workers face both the restrictions placed upon them by the AFL-CIO bureaucracy and the constant threat from the shadowy gangster underworld operating in their ranks. The struggles of the small farmers are subject to harassment and manipulation by reactionary “militias.” In various regions of the country, especially the South, the democratic forces are intimidated and attacked by racist groups.
Of course, one may say that the labor and democratic movements have always had to deal with repressive measures of the capitalist state. However, the state in the past did not have the means at its disposal to carry out a systematic and largely covert counter-revolutionary, anti-labor and anti-democratic policy. It is important to take into account that the state has evolved . Neo-fascism, as a form of state-monopoly capitalism in the era of imperialism did not and could not exist during the period of industrial capitalism. That is why Lenin clearly stressed:
Imperialism - the era of bank capital, the era of gigantic capitalist monopolies, the development of monopoly capitalism into state-monopoly capitalism - has demonstrated with particular force an extraordinary strengthening (emphasis added) of the “state machine” and an unprecedented growth of its bureaucratic and military apparatus, in connection with the intensification of repressive measures against the proletariat..*
Lackeys of Neo-Fascism
The nonsense spread about bourgeois democracy by the Marxist-Leninist Movement essentially defended state dogma and strengthened reaction's ploy because it ignored the evolution and extraordinary strengthening of the state machine, especially in regards to the subterranean state apparatus erected by neo-fascism. But, from another angle we can see that it did not suit the charlatan leaders to admit that fascism already existed in the US, for then how could they have possibly accounted for the "freedoms" that permitted them to carry out all of their "militant activism"? They could never truthfully explain this apparent contradiction. In the first place, to have taken the view that fascism, as Scientific Socialist has defined it, is far from a "growing" tendency but has actually existed all along would have called their "revolutionary" role and that of the organizations they represented into question. It would have threatened their positions, inasmuch as they could not have exposed the fascist modus operandi of state monopoly capitalism without exposing their own vile dishonesty, treacherous politics, and the real role played by their groups.
However, the confusion spread by a number of the parties and groups hypocritically claiming to be Marxist-Leninist indicates that their “leadership's” activities stemmed neither from ideological weaknesses nor opportunist corruption. What stood behind their consistent pernicious moves to block the development of theory on fascism and other important issues necessary to build revolutionary proletarian organization in the US was something far more retrograde and dangerous. It was and is to this day the hand of the subterranean state employing the tactics of American neo-fascism to disrupt and sabotage the reconstruction of a new Communist Party.
What are these tactics?
One important tactic on the ideological front is creating illusions about the nature of the state, pointing to decrepit forms of liberal democracy of the state's government component while concealing, downplaying, or otherwise distorting the role of its repressive subterranean mechanisms that operate clandestinely to crush the revolutionary, labor and progressive movements. Following in the footsteps of the “leaders” of the old MLM, those who now promote themselves as “contemporary” or “modern” Marxist-Leninists peddle this tactical line both among the advanced forces and the masses by prettifying the US state as a “bourgeois democracy.” This falsification neatly dovetails neo-fascism's propaganda about American democracy and the protection of " constitutional rights ." At the same time, it covers up the reality that the decisive class rights of the proletariat to organize a revolutionary or even an independent labor movement are constantly attacked both by the government and the state's secret internal security forces.
Today, the question of fascism, growing or otherwise, rarely appears in the literature produced by those calling themselves Marxist-Leninists. As noted earlier, some of them are satisfied to criticize the state as “undemocratic;” others call it a "flawed democracy." But at the same time, they refuse to address key historical developments of this “bourgeois democracy” dating back to the "Cold War." They have no analysis explaining how the US state, besides systematically destroying the vanguard detachments of the proletariat, kept up constant fire to smash any political tendencies that exhibited real potential to rebuild these revolutionary and independent workers' organizations and lead their struggles. Nothing is said about how state attacks did not stop with the virtual destruction of the CPUSA and the CIO but continued against forces that defended Marxism-Leninism in the Party or fought for democratic unions and how, since the 60s, they especially targeted the political trend that would reconstruct new vanguard organization. And no mention is made that while the state did not hesitate to employ its open government arm (e.g. "Acts" and other "legal" means) to destroy the revolutionary line and organization of the CPUSA, the biggest attacks on the Marxist-Leninist Movement came from its secret internal security apparatus which dispatched first Maoists and then the Aliaites (Albanian imperialist agents) into the movement as the preferred fifth column contingents for disruption and sabotage.
So here we arrive at the more logical answer as to why leading elements of groups stonewalled or generated confusion on these developments as well as other issues essential to build the Party. They are collaborators of neo-fascism , acting either as agents or unwitting tools of the state who have operated within the movement to prevent the assimilation and development of Scientific Socialist theory by disarming and disorienting the revolutionaries and progressives. Naturally, if the vanguard forces are not even aware of the form of capitalist rule in their own country, they will hardly be prepared to combat it, let alone organize the working class to change it. Moreover, if they are blind to the fact that their efforts to reconstruct the Party are infiltrated and sabotaged by a fifth column, they will be in the weakest position possible to accomplish their goal.
We have already analyzed the state's clandestine attacks against the Communist Party and the Marxist-Leninist Movement. * The fifth column was organized in collaboration with both major “trends” of the International Communist Movement: US neo-fascism formed a cabal with Khruschevite social fascism to destroy the CPUSA as the revolutionary vanguard, and it enlisted the help of the Chinese social-fascists to wreck the party reconstruction efforts of the Marxist-Leninists. In regards to the latter, ideological confusion became the state's weapon of choice. Maoism was pushed to infect any potentially viable Marxist-Leninist tendency among the party building forces with its pseudo-Marxist outlook and "theories." Mao Zedong "Thought" was imposed as the "main trend" on the revolutionary-minded.
Those who were not Maoists were branded "revisionists." But, as is well known today, the biggest Maoist leaders and organizations in the movement with connections to Beijing turned out to be the most destructive, sectarian forces in undermining unity of the Marxist-Leninists and subverting party building at the time. Although the PLA led the international struggle to expose and condemn Mao Zedong Thought as anti-Marxist and counter-revolutionary, what remained of the US Marxist-Leninist movement never fully recovered from this disease spread by the state in collaboration with the Chinese social-fascists. Some particularly noxious recurring symptoms are the arbitrary “political lines” set by bogus organizations together with their brazenness of assertion in respect to issues, both of which are as far from proletarian theory and practice as night from day.
“Modern Marxist-Leninists”- Another Troop of Social-Fascists
This anti-proletarian behavior was sharply illustrated by the reaction of the WP and the MLO to the counter-revolution in Albania and how they behaved in its aftermath. Their enthusiastic support or stony silence in connection to the Rightist policies of Alia & Co. to liquidate the Marxist-Leninist line of the Party of Labor of Albania exposed them as traitors. But a more damning indictment was their subterfuge in downplaying or completely covering-up the role of imperialism, especially US imperialism, whose pernicious internal aggression strengthened reaction's hand to bring down the Albanian proletarian dictatorship and destroy Socialism. Obscuring, not clarifying, crucial causes of this defeat of the revolution became one of their "burning necessities." Those wanting to know the truth behind events were treated to confusing statements and explanations focusing, in a superficial and one-sided way, on internal factors of the counter-revolution and thus ignoring facts about international reaction's many nefarious activities to smash the Peoples Socialist Republic of Albania. This permitted these "Marxist-Leninists" to pass judgment on the downfall of the PLA and the PSRA as an inevitable result of "revisionism," or as Albania's "problems" in constructing Socialism. Shortly after, they wrote the whole thing off as a fait accompli in a criminal betrayal of the Albanian revolutionary proletariat.
Additionally, in order to prevent a serious investigation of the developments in Albania, the WP and the MLO sprang into action to divert attention away from the matter. Looking always to filch from abroad to liven up their own dull-witted and lifeless politics, they distributed propaganda tracts on the "retreat of world revolution" from "advanced" parties in the international movement, such as the Communist Party of Canada (ML).
In one of these confused texts, Hardial Baines, CPC (ML)'s long tenured but now deceased guru of pseudo-Marxist theory, affected airs of despondency over revolution's defeat while he engaged in profound "meditations" on his Communist soul, agonizingly questioning "whither Socialism?" The American distributors of this gem were profoundly impressed with his "frankness" and "courage" in "summing up" and jumped into similar modes of soul searching.
And what resulted from their search?
A metamorphosis so miraculous it defies logic.
Baines and his followers, energized by some divine revelation which to this day remains inexplicable, arose in a fit of "new thinking" that cleansed them of their "old prejudices," like "defending the purity of Marxism-Leninism." Then, they began organizing "international seminars," where they spouted "modern definitions" to "understand" the "rapidly changing world situation." A number of them were staged in the years following the counter-revolution in Albania. Their content was thoroughly reactionary and their form was so zealous that they would have aroused the envy of even the most ardent evangelical bootstrap-lifter .
In truth, these seminars were no more than cultic brain-washing sessions to purge any semblance of revolutionary ideas from the rank-and-file. The diatribes of Baines, et al. and the so-called "democratic discussion" that the unsuspecting were encouraged to participate in to "stimulate" thinking, "liberated" their consciousness from "prejudices" of the past. Hence, they became more "objective" on key issues. Through this epiphany they grasped the real theory and struggle of the revolutionary proletariat to more accurately “define" various political "categories." Broadened by their "fresh perspectives," "re-evaluations" of "burning questions" naturally burst forth.
Take, for instance, the Socialist experience of the Soviet Union 1917-1956 that these faithful once sang hymns to as a "glorious example" of world revolution. Through "modern" analysis they sought the "major reason" for the USSR's "degeneration." And, low and behold, cleansed of their old prejudices they identified its cause as "problems in (the Soviet Union) developing the productive forces"! Because of this ground-breaking discovery, Stalin, the man they once obsequiously praised to the heavens, was brought down to earth and buried as a "name." On the other hand, their "new thinking" directly confronted them with the “error” of "condemning" Mao-Zedong, and so they resurrected him as a "great revolutionary." Other "out-dated" positions were abandoned as prejudices evaporated under the glow of objectivity. Social-fascist parties in power, such as the North Korean and Cuban parties, once opposed as "revisionist," transfigured into anti-imperialist vanguards since, after all, the new situation demanded "modern definitions" of what "exists now" not of what has passed, namely, the People's Socialist Republic of Albania. And anyone who questioned these "new" definitions and positions were viewed as heretics, accused of old, prejudicial thinking and habits.
What are we to make of Marxist-Leninists of such "modern" proportions?
Their cowardly and pernicious stand towards the counter-revolution in Albania and their freakish political reversals on key issues show that they were under the tutelage of the state which aimed to destroy any trace of revolutionary theory and consciousness that existed in the movement. None other than schizophrenic agents or zombies controlled by the state could so shamelessly perform their roles in this play staged by neo-fascism. But unlike a similar play that was staged by states' agents decades before entitled “De-Stalinization, ” there was nothing tragic about this one; it was simply an obscene farce.
Revisionism - Concrete
Needless to say these “modern” or “contemporary” Marxist-Leninists, in full “retreat” from the revolution have given up their “struggle against revisionism.” But we have analyzed that this struggle was never waged in the US from a sound materialist position. The "struggle against revisionism" in the MLM overlooked, to say the least, the organic connection between the neo-fascist state's operations and the activities of organizations such as the CPUSA. It ignored historical evidence and more recent documented facts which have proven that the political-police constantly infiltrate agents into revolutionary trends and organizations for the primary aim of transforming them into mechanisms under state control or liquidating them entirely. The “struggle against revisionism” assumes, wrongly, that the pseudo-Marxist parties and groups operating in the working class movement are independent, and ipso facto, rules out that these so-called "revisionists" and "opportunists" are also mechanisms of the subterranean state -- contingents of a fifth column organized by the internal security apparatus. An article published years ago, “On the International Marxist-Leninist Movement's Struggle Against Revisionism.” examined this erroneous view. *
It follows that the term “modern revisionism” has, unwittingly or not, been used as a euphemism that covered over the broadest and most vicious covert operation ever launched by world fascism to crush the international revolutionary proletariat and Socialism, exceeding by far the criminal activities of the Trotskyite fifth column during the 30s and the class-collaborationist policies of the Social Democrats launched earlier. Modern revisionism operates as a concrete component of monopoly capitalism's state apparatus to practically carry out the counter-revolution.
Here then, the full nature of revisionism can be seen more clearly. The deceptive veil, which largely consists of its pseudo-Marxist doctrine and reformist/class-collaborationist activities, is stripped away. For it is only a work of fiction, with the script written and produced by imperialism's “think tanks” and distributed to its agents to act out. Unfortunately, a major thrust of the struggle against revisionism in the IMLM gave credibility to the veil by exposing how the Communist parties with the Krushchevite line were real revisionists while the essential part of this struggle should have been to expose and denounce these same parties as real mechanisms of the neo-fascist state (now more accurately labeled subterranean state Ed). A major call was to “carry the struggle against revisionism through to the end” by repudiating every tenet of revisionism's fiction as anti-Marxist; however, this struggle remained futile without destroying the stage and tearing away both the Marxist-Leninist and the revisionist masks worn by the actors to expose what they really are: fifth-column agents of the state.
In fact, at the PLA's 8th Party Congress in 1981, Enver Hoxha claimed that the revisionist parties in the capitalist countries were “component parts of the structures of the bourgeois state.” This signaled an important advance in coming to grips with the nature of revisionism, but no PLA documents in our possession elaborate on this thesis. It is likely that attempts were made, but they were suppressed by the social-fascists that had infiltrated the Party. The subsequent scientific sessions of the PLA summing up Hoxha's theoretical contributions make no mention of it, and at the PLA's next Congress in 1986, the imperialist agent Alia referred only to “The incorporation of revisionist parties of the West in the bourgeois structures (my emphasis - JR), omitting and thus obscuring their incorporation into the state . On the face of it, this may seem to be minor reformulation, but it is of paramount importance to have a clear understanding of how the revisionist parties function as components of the state both in terms of analyzing how the neo-fascist/social-fascist cabal operate and in developing revolutionary politics to fight against it. The fact that Alia and other heads of the PLA chose to cover-up rather than examine and develop this important political insight of Hoxha is just further evidence of their treachery and counter-revolutionary machinations, which aimed to divert both the PLA and the entire International Marxist-Leninist Movement away from their most pressing tasks.
Is it then the case that groups such as the Communist Party and the Marxist-Leninist groups, such as the WP and USMLO are manned entirely by state agents? No, this is not the case. In the same article, using the CPUSA as an example, a distinction was made between those who are consciously working for the class enemy and those who are fooled into engaging in counter-revolutionary activity that they believe is the opposite:
It must be qualified, however, that although a revisionist party, such as the CPUSA, is a state mechanism, not all of its members are agents. In fact, even today, almost fifty years after the time that it was known to be “thoroughly infiltrated,” a good number, if not the majority belonging to or supporting the party, are only the manipulated and unsuspecting pawns of the state. Obviously, many of the leading cadre must at the very least be ambition-laden opportunists, void of any revolutionary proletarian outlook and inclination and incorrigible supporters of the anti-Marxist line and organization of the CP. But since there has been enormous ideological and political confusion generated by the entire fascist superstructure as to what Communism is, there will be militant workers and intellectuals who are deceived into thinking that the CP is genuine. In this way, the CPUSA fulfills one of its responsibilities in the working class and democratic movements. It “absorbs” the revolutionary-minded and progressive elements, “educates” them along pseudo-Communist lines and “mobilizes” them as a force for counter-revolution. Agents operate among the party's rank-and-file to ensure the “correct orientation,” but the real point of state control lies at the top of its pyramidical structure, or perhaps even outside and above it.
In this regard, we must recall how the Trotskyite secret mechanism of the imperialist states' espionage services operated as a fifth column inside the CPSU(B) during the 30s. After a leading part of it had been exposed and purged by the Bolsheviks, Stalin's Plenum Report of the Central Committee / March 3, 1937 made clear that those who controlled this fifth column were neither the rank-and-file Trotskyites nor even their leading group, composed of a small clique. The latter themselves were subordinated to ‘political figures' linked closely to foreign espionage agencies and in the pay of world fascism.
The CPUSA publicly has its program and political line which pretend to be Marxist-Leninist. Although these in themselves show that the party is not what it claims to be, no amount of polemicizing against them will “deepen the struggle against revisionism” because their overt politics are used to cover up their actual activities. In the same CPSU(B) report mentioned above, it was sharply underscored how the Trotskyite agents hid their real counter-revolutionary platform not only from the rank-and-file, but even from the leading elements. The Plenum concluded that Trotskyism cannot be considered a political trend in the working class but can only be viewed as “a gang of wreckers, diversionists, intelligence service agents, spies, assassins, a gang of sworn enemies of the working class, working in the pay of the intelligence services of foreign states.” While there is no evidence to show that the CPUSA engages in the terrorist department (the US state has other mechanisms in this), it does work to spy on, divert, split, and wreck the revolutionary proletarian movement. If this is the case, how can one expect an ideological struggle against its “revisionism” to be effective in defeating it?
The coalescence of “revisionism” with state monopoly capitalism is complete and incontrovertible , as the activities of the Social-Democrats, Trotskyites, Titoites, Khrushchevites, Euro-Communists, Maoists, and the “contemporary Marxist-Leninists” have shown. Scientific knowledge of this development is hardly paranoia as some claim. Stalin and the Bolsheviks were also accused of being “paranoid” by reaction when the CPSU(B) was cleansing its ranks of Trotskyite saboteurs and traitors in the 30s and again after World War II when another struggle broke out against fifth column elements that were reactivated in the Soviet Union to bring down the dictatorship of the proletariat. The charge of paranoia is a typical bourgeois trick to get the vanguard to reduce its vigilance, doubt its political insights, and dismiss evidence that elements operating in its ranks are impostors and agents. If anyone is paranoid, it is the schizophrenic neo-fascists and their operatives, who earn their living as professional hypocrites, deceiving and manipulating others, and thus constantly in fear of being found out. It stands to reason that these are the mental and moral wrecks who need to have their heads examined.
Fighting against Neo-Fascism and its Fifth Column
At the center of the state's attacks against the vanguard forces and the working class is its attempt to destroy their class consciousness. These attacks are launched from outside and inside the revolutionary and proletarian movements. On the one hand, the neo-fascist superstructure constantly pumps out propaganda to cover up the existence of any classes as they are defined by the Marxist science. On the other hand, the fifth column makes a practice of watering down and distorting principles and theses from the Scientific Socialist classics to promote a “class consciousness” that is consistent with the politics of milquetoast social democracy. As a result, the “theoreticians” of the Communist Party, the Maoist groups, and the “contemporary” Marxist-Leninists sow confusion about who the ruling class is and how they rule US society. When they speak vaguely of the “capitalists” whose “rule” is “democratic” but “flawed,” or “undemocratic,” etc., they provide an indispensable service to reaction. They hide the absolute rule of the financial oligarchy and how it expresses itself in a neo-fascist form .
A scientific conception of US neo-fascism views it as synonymous with extensive state infiltration and manipulation of all spheres of mass political activity in the present conditions. The key levers of the American state are viciously counter-democratic because they are subjugated to the major interests of the financial oligarchy and this oligarchy alone . But the state, like the class it represents, is also pathologically deceitful. The political reality is camouflaged by Hollywood-style theatrics. Besides the bit parts played by the "Marxist-Leninists," "Communists," and "lefts," of the state manufactured "opposition," third-rate actors - the professional hypocrites in government, in the trade unions, universities and communities perform in the drama. Here they also follow a script of the state to hoodwink and mis-educate the masses. These high-salaried pretenders posture as "democratically" elected or appointed representatives of the American "people," of labor and other progressive movements when in reality they are the servants of a malevolent despotism, carrying out policies dictated through back channels for the benefit of the monopolies. The truth is that the neo-fascist state and its huge internal security apparatus - the subterranean state - try to oppress from without and wreck from within every conscious or spontaneous tendency of the working class and people that might grow into an organized, oppositional movement against the oligarchy. In these conditions, it is not so much the responsibility of the workers to prove that those who posture as their leaders are in reality professional hypocrites as it is the responsibility of those claiming to be leaders of the working class and people to prove that they are not.
The attitude and stand one takes towards the state continues to be a touchstone in sorting out who is a revolutionary. By rectifying the faulty analysis of the state that permeated the old MLM, Scientific Socialist is bringing a much needed class consciousness on this issue - an issue which in one way or another is linked to an immediate question that pales all others in comparison: Further enslavement under the boot of the financial oligarchy and its neo-fascist state or freedom won through a new proletarian and popular democratic revolution ?
The choice is clear, but it is either hidden or distorted by the social-fascists like the "contemporary” Marxist-Leninists," as well as other pseudo-Communist forces.
All of them implore the masses to "struggle for democracy;" or “empowerment.”
However, it is not a revolutionary struggle for a revolutionary popular democracy led by the proletariat that they have in mind. Instead, it is a petty-bourgeois reformist, constitutional struggle to "renew" or expand bourgeois freedoms that were abolished or curtailed by neo-fascism.
In effect, it is a call to liberalize the present neo-fascist regime and, consequently, a dangerous illusion because it embellishes the fraud perpetuated by the ruling class that "the people" have "rights" to improve their conditions and struggle for their interests through the "democratic process." But these are illusions that delude fewer and fewer workers.
Exactly what political rights do they have?
The democratic rights and freedoms of the American proletariat and people are continuously suppressed and manipulated by US neo-fascism and its “rule of law.” Formally, the rights to unionize, strike, demonstrate, etc. are granted, but these rights are “protected” only insofar as labor and popular organizing and actions comply with draconian laws which not only greatly restrict but in many instances forcibly deny these rights to the workers and democratic forces.
It is becoming well known throughout the world that the US has the most repressive regime of any “advanced” capitalist country of the “West.” Most strikes are completely subjugated to the dictate of the corporate union bureaucracy, legally permitted only a token picket, and can easily be broken by state-protected scabs. All major demonstrations are organized by "coalitions" controlled by state agents or their tools posing as progressives. As with other important forms of struggle, neo-fascism acts to sap strikes and demonstrations of their true class content and connives either to subordinate them to the interests of capital or convert them into sterile protests over single issues. And if rank-and-file workers and activists engage in oppositional and militant actions that even marginally challenge this neo-fascist “order,” the mailed fist of the state is savagely brought down upon their heads.
Since US fascist-imperialism emerged to take up the role of defeated hitlerite Germany as the spearhead against democracy and revolution on all continents, it has suppressed all elemental class rights of the American proletariat. In this sense, there is no democratic process for the toiling masses. On the contrary, there is “zero tolerance” for mass democratic action. Thus, the path to democracy is the revolutionary struggle against the neo-fascist dictatorship of the financial oligarchy at home and against US imperialist domination, aggression, and plunder abroad; this is the only position compatible with Leninism because it underscores the homogeneity of imperialism's domestic and foreign policies. "Communists," "Marxist-Leninists" and other "leftists" are hostile towards this orientation for the class struggle. While they may acknowledge and meekly criticize some blatant crimes of US imperialism, they insidiously disguise the state as a "capitalist democracy," thus separating imperialism from fascism in their attempts to undermine and divide the labor, democratic, and anti-imperialist struggles.
These struggles can only be united and organized with the strong leadership of the worker's vanguard party which defines a clear line of march based on its program, strategy and tactics. The party enables the proletariat to go over from scattered, spontaneous skirmishes against its oppressors to consciously wage the class struggle for revolutionary change. Until the party is built, the workers' and peoples' spontaneous resistance to capital's ceaseless offensive will be easily suppressed by the state and manipulated by its fifth column.
Of course, the ruling class wants no such party built. It does not want a party to organize and lead labor against capital. It does not want a party that articulates and fights for the popular, democratic demands of the masses. It does not want a party that educates the workers about the anti-democratic nature and machinations of the neo-fascism and opens up the true path towards liberation from exploitation, oppression, and abuse the workers are subjected to because of this system. So, the oligarchy gives those who tend toward democratic and Socialist alternatives its fifth column, its state-manufactured opposition and says, "Here, not satisfied with the status quo? Look what a wonderful selection of organizations our democracy offers to those who oppose capitalism. Choose one, become an “activist,” and be happy!" But this "freedom of choice" presented by state-monopoly capitalism does not include the real proletarian vanguard party with revolutionary politics. And those who would have such a party must fight in no small way to become class conscious and break free from the subterfuge and interference of all contingents of the fifth column to realize this choice. They must unite in an organization that is off the political spectrum of the state manufactured opposition and at the center of the revolutionary proletariat's class struggle against the oligarchy and its neo-fascist system.
* Earlier works covering topics on American fascism include J. Redshield's pamphlets Defending Marxism-Leninism in the US , November 91, and Theses on the US State , October 93. Also see article "Reality and Revolution," Scientific Socialist , Volume 1 / Number 1, Fall 94
*Lenin, The State and Revolution
* See “Revolutionary Work in the Present Period,” Scientific Socialist Volume 1 / Number 3, Spring 95.
* Originally published in Scientific Socialist , Volume 1 / Number 4, Summer / Fall 95. Edited for republication in 2000