Neo-fascism
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Red Dawn / Issue 18 / Winter 2018-19


For some years and with different conceptualizations, the topic of neo-fascism has been hotly debated by both, bourgeois-liberals and reformist-left circles, as well as revolutionary forces. In fact, when looking at the past decades, we can see that fascist parties and leaders have successively taken positions in many countries, such as presidencies, prime ministries, coalition partnerships or have at least seen serious increases in votes.
In Hungary, the leader of the government party Fidesz, Victor Orban, who has been in power since 2010, has been pursuing a racist and anti-immigrant state policy that gradually eliminates bourgeois civil-democratic rights in order to establish a dictatorial regime. In the racist and fascist lane, Orban is in competition with the Jobbik Party, which was inspired by Hitler.
In India since 2014, the Bharatiya Janata Party has been the sole governing party whose leader Narendra Modi is a fanatical supporter of Hinduism. He is the perpetrator of the massacre in Gujarat in 2002, where numerous Muslims were killed, the carrier of a mission described with his own word as "burying the secular republic which is an aberration built by foreign powers".
Donald Trump, roaring loudly "make America great again", has been insistent to build a wall on the Mexican border against migrants from Latin America and to prevent migrants from the Middle East from entering the United States through a legal bullying, since his entry to the White House in 2016. With a Ku-Klux-Klan jargon, he insults Muslim citizens of the USA by saying "they are the trojan horses among us". The fact that he does not refrain from affronting women at any chance makes him the almost complete symbol of male reaction on a social and political level.
Jair Bolsonaro, who won the presidential elections in Brazil in October 2018, praises the torturers of the military dictatorship, speaks of "arming the people against gangs and terrorists", and promises to extend the authority of the police. He codes blacks, academics, dissident journalists and trade unionists, lgbti+'s as "reds" and threatens them with a "clean-up, which has never been seen before in the country." He is such a misogynist that he even said about a deputy of parliament "she's not even worth to be raped" and such a Nazi admirer that he is proud of the services of his grandfather in the Hitler's army.
After the elections in June 2018, Tayyip Erdogan has been institutionalizing the fascist chieftaincy regime in presidential form. The official ideology of the Turkish bourgeois state has been in a transformation with a fascist, political-islamist quality and its institutional structure is centralized in the palace in the form of presidency. The fascist state terror in Turkey, as well as the colonial war of occupation in Kurdistan is mounting up and expanding more and more.
Two other fascist figures: The new dictator of the Philippines, Rodrigo Duterte, who has a history of socialist discourse, but praises himself today with the destruction of gangs without any legal accountability; and Jarosław Kaczynski, the prime-minister of Poland, who draws attention with his efforts to try to develop a a direct control of government over the judicial system and to remove the evolution theory from the education curriculum.
Let's add the National Front in France, the AfD in Germany, the United Kingdom Independency Party in England, the Northern League in Italy, the Vox in Spain, the Golden Dawn in Greece, the Freedom Party in Austria, the Vlaams Bloc in Belgium, the Freedom Party in the Netherlands, the True Fins in Finland, the Progress Party in Norway, Svoboda and the Right Sector in Ukraine and others to the table. These racist-fascist parties in Europe generally not only increase their electoral votes and enter bourgeois parliaments, they also even participate in coalition governments in some countries.
Racist-fascist parties are now well-recognized actors in the bourgeois political scene. And the fascist leaders look like cloned in some ways.
Historical Development of Fascism
Fascist parties and leaders of our time show some significant similarities with the fascism of the period between the two World Wars. Some of them do not even feel the need to hide their emulation of the Italian and German regimes in the 1930s.
As it is known, fascism came in view as the product of the age of imperialism and the proletarian revolutions.
After the re-division war, the capitalist world found itself in a political turmoil and economic crisis, moreover, it was shaken by the October Revolution and confronted with the development of worker's movements and communist parties in almost every country in Europe. The traditional bourgeois parties had been politically bankrupt, the bourgeois parliaments had no longer been able to promise any hope and the bourgeois states had been in a hegemony crisis. Germany was under the yoke of the Versailles Agreement, sealing the surrender of Germany in the war, Italy was frustrated due to its exclusion in the division of the war swag. Workers had been suffering in claws of unemployment and poverty, millions of dispossessed and wrecked middle class members, who lost their future in the dark, were in search of a response and way-out. At the scene of ruling classes, on the other hand, there was nationalism, expansionism abroad and escalation of hardening in the regime forms.
These conditions, which pointed out the general crisis of imperialist capitalism, had offered the fascist movements the opportunity to grow fast. In Italy and Germany, the fascists initially represented the interests of the petty bourgeoisie and the middle bourgeoisie in their program. They increased their political strength by leaning on the middle classes, appealing to the working class and particularly paramilitarizing the lumpen proletariat.
Mussolini's fascist program of 1919 and the 25-point program of the Nazis in 1920 were containing similar social promises: employment safety for workers, increase in wages, protection of small shopkeepers, more taxes for big property owners, price controls, increase in public investments and dissemination of social services. Their political agitation included the hatred against capital owners and their puppets, politicians and targeted to make their own nation prosperous again and to restore the level it deserves in the world.
In the ideological scene, the proletariat, as the revolutionary historical subject, was confronted with the nation, as the fascist historical subject. Accordingly, fascists would ensure national unity and let the fallen nation rise again. The myth of a "fascist revolution" found correspondence in Mussolini's revival metaphor of the Roman Empire and Hitler's revival of the Holy Roman-Germanic Empire, and their discourses of a "New Italy" and "New Germany". The Jews served as a necessary hostile external factor, for the fascist redefinition of nation, thus, for the inclusion of the masses from the lower and middle classes in their own ranks by racist-chauvinist poisoning.
For the fascists, who wanted to overcome the general crisis of capitalism by reviving the glorious past of the nation, the main enemy were the increasingly strengthening communists, who wanted to divide their nation into classes with the goal of overcoming them. Moreover, the communists were the main perpetrator of political chaos and had to be crushed immediately.
Fascist paramilitary organizations emerged in Italy as Mussolini's Black Shirts, in Germany as Hitler's Storm Troops, or in Romania as Antonescu's Iron Guards. They embarked on attacking the revolutionary worker's movement and communist parties. In addition to these, the betrayal of social democracy to the working class and lateness of communists in building an anti-fascist front made it easier for the fascist movements to win masses and seize power.
The monopoly bourgeoisie felt the need to both satisfy their imperialist hunger, as well as to rebuild the mass basis of their sovereignty, and to suppress the proletarian revolutionary movement by terror. The fascists, with their masses of aggression, had fulfilled the function of the bourgeois state's violent repression, thereby developed organic relations with the bourgeois class and the state.
As the bourgeois rulers could no longer rule as before, as all other bourgeois parties were getting exhausted and as the bourgeois-democratic state structure could no longer absorb the revolutionary rise, the need for new forms of bourgeois political sovereignty objectively increased. Fascism, which had strengthened as much as to demand political power, on the other hand,, was a direct response to this need. In a dilemma between revolutionary chaos and the fascist order, the bourgeois classes in Italy and Germany chose to hand the power to fascism. As a result, the bourgeois states had become fascist and fascism had nationalized itself.
In addition to Italy and Germany, the fascist dictatorships between the two world wars institutionalized in various ways and ruled in Bulgaria, Hungary, Austria, Portugal, Spain, Japan, Romania and Croatia.
The fascist regime was more than just a change of governmental body as the bourgeois political executive organ, it appeared through a profound change of the political and judicial structures of the bourgeois state, the legislative and executive relations, the state and party affiliations, even when a constitutional shell was protected. While socialism was the negation of bourgeois democracy outside the existing order, fascism was its negation within the order. Fascism repealed the state structure based on bourgeois-democratic representation in order to save the crippling capitalist system and the bourgeois state whose social and political foundations had fallen into disintegration. The executive was freed from parliamentary control and the state apparatuses were largely centralized, it was centralized so much that the state ended up with an identification with its leader.
The fascists set to begin crushing the struggle of the working class and the oppressed with a merciless counterrevolutionary force, dissolving the entire elements of the bourgeois opposition, and building a racist, chauvinistic ideological hegemony within society. Also in the arena of imperialist competition and war, they took up attaining new colonies and lands of influence with the reorganization of their economic and military forces and facilities.
There was no room for other parties, unions, for social and political organizations apart from the fascist corporate organizations, for press and publications which did not represent the fascist line. From culture to sexuality, from art to pleasures, from education to family, from leisure places to medical institutions and population planning, all elements of social life had to be formed according to fascist ideological norms. A racist, chauvinist, sexist, heterosexist, disciplinarian, aggressive, monist propaganda downpour surrounded the society. Loyalty to the leader was enforced not only in the official political organs of the state, but also in universities, newspapers, art houses or social service institutions, that is, in all structures of socialization.
Where the fascists came to power, the contradictions between their anti-ruling class rhetoric voicing to the lower and middle classes, and their commitment to the interests of the ruling class, which were contrary to the interests of the lower and middle classes, objectively led to a tendency of decomposing in their mass base. But it was the chauvinistic wind they had blown through imperialist war, the benefits they got by increasing public spending of the state and the wealth transfer from the national communities to which they had committed genocide; what had hampered the decomposition tendencies from occurring with all its consequences. After Hitler came to power in Germany in 1933, the number of unemployed reached up to 6 million. That number being zeroed in 1938 was an indication why the mass support for the bloody power of the Nazis didn't melt away.
Under the extraordinary circumstances of the extreme sharpening of contradictions between the fractions of the ruling class, and between the ruling class and the oppressed classes, it seemed like as if the fascist bourgeois state had gained autonomy from the classes in terms of ideological and political features. Indeed, up to a certain point, this was also necessary to get results with ideological-political interventions in the afore mentioned contradictions. Moreover, with the identification of the lower and middle classes with the fascist state, as well as with the fascist leader, who represented the "national will", it became easier to turn the state and leader into a cult. Yet, behind the image of autonomy from classes, what lays was the reality, that the fascist state tied thousands of threads with the financial oligarchy, and shaped the capital accumulation model as extremely convenient for the big bourgeoisie and tended to seek new foreign markets and colonization areas for monopoly capital.
For this reason, the Komintern stated in its famous definition associated with Dimitrov, "Fascism is the open terrorist dictatorship of the most reactionary, most chauvinistic and most imperialist elements of finance capital." This analysis clearly illustrated the class quality of the fascist dictatorship and its political function within the framework of imperialist capitalism.
The Period Of Military Fascist Coups
After the fascist bloc had suffered a defeat in the World War II which had taken the shape of an anti-fascist war, the world split into two enemy camps. The worldwide contradiction that arose between the capitalist and socialist blocs, and was symbolized with the Cold War between the USA and the USSR, had marked the entire subsequent period. While, on the one hand, the people's democracies in Eastern Europe and the Balkans and the revolution in China strengthened the socialist bloc, the national liberation struggles of the colonies achieving their political independence, led to devastating consequences for the capitalist world.
The capitalist bloc united in the orbit of the USA had the aim to stop the expansion of the influence-spheres of the USSR and to defeat the danger of a revolutionary and socialist rule in the capitalist countries. The establishment of secret, fascist counterrevolutionary organizations within the bourgeois state apparatuses became a main method for this aim. The fascist cadres of the period between the two world wars, were deployed in the secret services and counterrevolutionary structures of the bourgeois states. In short, the fascist counter-guerrilla called Gladio was structured as an internal element of the Western European bourgeoisie by the hand of NATO. In the Western imperialist centers which stood against socialism with the bourgeois democracy and the "welfare state", the financial oligarchy kept its counter-guerrilla as an anti-communist hit force for extraordinary times.
The counter-guerrilla organization in the neocolonies was again organized by the US. This secret fascist structure under the control of imperialism had been the focus of anti-communist work in almost all dependent capitalist countries. Sabotages, assassinations, provocation and disinformation against revolutionary developments were produced in their workbench. The counter-guerrilla headquarters organized paramilitary gangs depending on the location, preparing them as a counterrevolutionary center for possible civil wars.
In the period after World War II, the new fascist dictatorships were typically the work of American-backed fascist military coups, staged by these counter-guerrilla organizations. One by one, in Iran, Brazil, Indonesia, Greece, the Philippines, Chile, Uruguay, Argentina, Turkey, Pakistan and other countries, fascist regimes were founded by military coups. In the neocolony countries, where revolutionary movements along with deep economic and political crises were growing, also meaning that these countries were the weakening links of imperialist chain, military coups rushed to the aid to sustain the US hegemony and bourgeois rule.
Military, fascist powers in the neocolonies, as open terrorist dictatorships of the imperialist oligarchy and collaborative bourgeoisie, began to crush the danger of revolution with all their might. Common features of ruling fascism in these countries were the liquidation of bourgeois-democratic featured political institutions as much as these existed, the extreme centralization of political power functions in the executive, the attempt to brutally crush all revolutionary and democratic forces, the establishment of a nationalist, chauvinist and anti-communist official ideology and thus the legitimization of the fascist state terror through their identification with the "national will" and the consolidation of anti-Soviet foreign relations.
The first wave of fascism consisted of monopoly capital's reaction to the rise of world proletarian revolution in the central countries of capitalism. This second wave, on the other hand, was an offensive of finance capital in the peripheral countries of capitalism, against the renewed revolutionary rises in an atmosphere of Cold War balance and against the national liberation victories. Both waves of fascism confirmed Lenin, who pointed out that imperialism systematically produces political reaction.
The Political Result Of Existential Crisis
In the early 1990s, following the collapse of the Soviet bloc and the receding of revolutionary danger, the world bourgeoisie were jubilant with its triumph and felt less of a need for fascist counter-guerrilla organizations and fascist military coups. In recent years, fascist military coups and dictatorship following the example of Egypt and Thailand have been increasingly rare, while fascist movements that come to the fore in the election ballots grow.
This new type of fascism that has come to the forefront in this new historical period, is peculiar to imperialist globalization with all its distinctive features and owes its current development to the existential crisis of capitalism.
The structural congestion occurred during the period of "welfare state" within the capital accumulation model were put back on track of recovery through neoliberalism. Education and health services, as well as all public services were assigned to the service of capital expansion and state enterprises were exposed to plunder by privatization. Two tendencies in the capital movements have become dominant: investments in cheap labor-force countries and investments in financial transactions. Because this was the only way to increase the low profit rates. As the capital accumulation process gets financialized and the speculative capital played a more dominant role, chronic excess capital was accumulated at one end and chronic excess labor-force was accumulated at another. And both were more and more out of reach of one another.
Construction of a "world factory" by the world monopolies, the enforced abolition of all kinds of national barriers for the global circulation of capital, the enactment of international laws for the interests of the financial oligarchy and the transformation of capitalism in peripheral countries into an internal phenomenon, ultimately removed the social material ground on which the bourgeois nation-state placed its foothold. As neocolony countries became financial-economic colonies, the working class in Western capitalist countries could no longer benefit the imperialist exploitation. The heavy class devastation in the financial-economic colonies has led to an utmost increase of immigration of laborers to the Western capitalist countries. Imperialist aggression and war in the Middle East, on the other hand, triggered an immense flow of poor Muslim population to Europe.
Social rights of workers were trimmed and wages were lowered. Subcontracting, disorganization and precarization have largely spread and unemployment has grown like an avalanche. The capital shifting to cheap labor-force countries has led workers in the capitalist centers to face the dilemma of decline in wages or unemployment. The expropriation of small property owners and pushing them into the ranks of the proletariat have gained momentum. The abyss between rich and poor has grown rapidly and many times more. As the practice of "welfare state" became history, the contradictions between capital and labor, as well as between the state and the people have intensified.
The great financial-economic crisis of 2008, on the contrary was an expression of the existential crisis of capitalism. It becomes obvious that capital has completely lost the ability to develop the productive forces, thus turned into an absolute shackle against the social progress. Thus, workers and laborers, including those in the capitalist metropolises, can no longer expect any future hope in the capitalist order. According to a survey conducted in 2015 in Europe, the vast majority of families no longer believe that their children will live in a better world. The percentage of non-believers in this survey was 85% in France, 68% in England and 58% in Germany. What we see here is the reaching to the end of this entire social formation, with its economic, political, ideological and ecological dimensions.
When toiling people, whose working and living conditions have rapidly deteriorated, who have fallen into the swirl of unemployment and poverty, find in front of themselves, the traditional bourgeois parties, whose programs and rhetoric are getting to be the same, they started to react more against the current bourgeois political order. An extraordinary erosion of faith has occurred both against the mainstream bourgeois parties harnessed by neoliberalism, and against the bourgeois democratic parliaments, whose main premises are formed by these bourgeois parties. The bourgeois rule has more and more lost the ability to produce consent and to refresh its hegemony, with the liberal-democratic norms of its time and with the essential ideological variants, in regard of the working people. All of this has brought an escalation of political polarization in the society.
In many of the capitalist countries, the new fascist movements have experienced a course of accelerating growth since the 2008 depression until today. As we see in the picture drawn above, this is not coincidental at all.
On the one side of the coin, there was already the reality of bourgeois states, whose bourgeois-democratic laws are being trimmed and which are increasingly shifting to authoritarian forms of rule, as a result of sharpening class contradictions and political contradictions, as well as the raging aggravation of inter-imperialist competition. Passing to the state of emergency under the government of Socialist Party in France, consolidation of the strictly centralized and repressive rule of Putin, paving the way of a lifelong presidency for Xi Jinping in China are different reflections of this reality.
On the other side of the coin, there stands the massacre attacks of ISIS against the people in the US and the EU. While ISIS attacks caused anxiety and hostility against Muslim migrants, at the same time, the mass basis of ISIS gained an enormous extensiveness within the poor Muslims masses, suffered from the imperialist plunder wars in the Middle East or from social exclusion in the imperialist centers.
It was not difficult for a blind consciousness to spread, which accuses the migrants of losing the life standards of the previous period, in the Western capitalist countries, among the working class, which was subjected to an ideological collapse after the collapse of the Soviet bloc, and was disintegrated in its organizing capacity as a result the neoliberal policies of capital. The responsibility of the decline in wages, job losses, the worsening of living conditions, the rising insecurity due to street mobs were all put on the poor migrants. Almost everywhere and day by day, people started to feel insecure in different aspects; the loss of jobs and social security has incited an economic insecurity, the bourgeois parliamentarian representation crisis has incited a political insecurity and the ISIS aggression or mafia violence has incited a physical insecurity. This mass-psychology of insecurity became the ground for the reactionary longing for the protection of a strong nation-state.
All in all, neo-fascist parties and movements find the opportunity to strengthen fast on this social ground on which they move.
Lines of Neo-fascism
Naturally and inevitably, fascism shapes itself according to social and political traditions, historical and cultural influences, as well as to the specific structural characteristics of the lower and middle classes, dominant social and political conflict points, even more, according to the changes in the technological structure of the capital accumulation model, to specific class-related or politic power relations of a certain period and the existing relationship hierarchy of the state systems. Moreover, this formation is a phase in itself, a state of becoming, it also shows fundamental differences between phases of ruling and before ruling. Therefore, today's fascist movements and leaders can not be exact copies of fascism in 1930s or 1970s, nor can they be identical with each other today. Characteristic factors, such as the motif of national revival, expansionism, nationalism, biological racism, militarism, anti-communism, culture of leadership cult, anti-democratic discourse, one-party regimes, party-state modeling, paramilitary organization, corporatism, misogyny, heterosexism, homophobia or disgust with intellectuals, therefore, can't appear in a particular fascist movement all together. The fascist quality of the movement is determined by the general direction of its ideological texture, political goals and functions, as well as its practical mode of existence.
Just like fascism in Italy and Germany initially had included in its program generally the interests of the middle and petty bourgeois, which had been pushed into destruction and uncertainty due to the crisis of capitalism and had influenced the masses of the working class in the period between the two world wars; today's fascism either leans on the dispossessed middle classes and the unemployed strata of working class or at least tries to make demagogic bonds with various demands of these classes. The political agitation against the privileges of monopoly capital, the degeneration of traditional bourgeois politicians and the fallacies of intellectuals are quite similar in the words of the past and current fascist leaders.
Anti-communism is also a structural ideological and political feature of neo-fascism. But today, hostility to migrants in combination with racism is more prominent. The fascists target migrants as responsible for poverty and misery and as "parasites that absorb the blood of the nation", or target various national and religious communities as "enemies of the nation". They channel the accumulated anger as a result of the social decay of the capitalist neoliberal policies, towards migrants or oppressed national and religious communities, thus pulling this anger out of agenda of the class conflict at one swoop.
Reactionary nationalism stemming from the middle classes is a reaction to the politics of imperialist globalization. New fascist parties do not openly defend the politics of "welfare state" period. But what they defend, such as the strengthening of the nation state once again, nationalist protectionist economic policies, and opposition to EU, corresponds to the political tendencies of those sections of the middle classes contradicting with imperialist globalization. Depending on these defense, their promises to increase investment and employment in the country can be tempting among the working class and the poor. The fascists manage to assemble those who have lost their class status and even their dignity and their dreams in a racist and nation-statist political rank with the aim to regain what they lost. When you see the simultaneity of the usurpation of the achievements of the working class in "welfare state" period and the "national" meltdown of the nation-state, when the traditional bourgeois parties turned into almost copies of one another and lost their "national" features, there is nothing surprising here that the reaction to these creates a longing for revival of the nation-state. It is no coincidence that Le Pen receives many votes in the impoverishment areas of France where the industry was moved, the employment hit the bottom, or that in the same sort of areas of England more approval for the Brexit has followed.
Hitler and Mussolini had voiced the desire for the old in a deeply shaken bourgeois society, pledged to revive the nation, and prescribed racism and chauvinism at the top of their recipe of a "fascist revolution". Now it is Trump and Modi who, with all their racist-chauvinist arguments, are casting the flag of a return to the strong nation-state and clinging to past reactionary values and traditions. The supremacy of the German "Aryans" or the Italian "vanguards of civilization", the supremacy of white evangelic Americans or the Hindus from upper castes; history and countries change, surely so is the forms of racism. Yesterday, it was Jews and gypsies who were marginalized, today it is the Afro-Americans, Muslims or Latin Americans.
Today the emphasizes of the fascists are nation, leader, state, flag, language as a solution against the encirclement of domestic and foreign enemies and their threats. What they mark as enemy is sometimes the stigmatized western world, sometimes the international capital and imperialism, which are emptied from its true content, in general, it is migrants or various national and religious communities, often homosexuals or atheists, thus these are rendered as pillar for a new "national identity" construction. As a legitimization conception of fascism, the "national will" fill its content with the rhetoric opposing to "traitors", "terrorists", "separatists", "foreign focal points and their extensions".
Fascism remains the spearhead of patriarchy. On the ideological ground, womanhood described through "motherhood" and "partnership", together with masculinity identified with credibility and strength; on the rhetorical ground, the reckless use of patriarchal language depreciates women; on the political ground, the attempts to abolish acquired legal rights of women, starting with the right of abortion and the provocation of masculine violence against women are all historically and currently characteristic elements of fascism. How much is the resemblance between Mussolini, who said "war belongs to men, motherhood to women" and Erdoğan who is constantly sermonizing women for even more births!
There are also fascist movements, such as the Golden Dawn in Greece, or the Right Sector in Ukraine, which initially base on increasing their political activity on the streets, but also others, such as the National Front in France or the Party of Freedom in Austria, which prioritizes the electoral successes. In any case, neo-fascism tends to permeate both the street, and the ballot, as well as the daily life just as in its historical experiences, from which it is inspired. The fact that fascist paramilitary gangs do not yet patrol the streets does not prove that these will not spread and strengthen depending on the hardening of political struggles.
In countries where capitalist development is comparatively still at a low level and religion still has a strong social and political influence, while the modern, more secular bourgeois ideologies are losing influence, whereas fascism advances more by basing on a political-religious ground. The fascist lines of Erdogan leaning on Islam and Modi leaning on Hinduism, for example, recall the fascisms of the time between the two wars, in terms of both their aggression and massacrer feature, as well as their monism and claim to revive the "old". Political-islamist organizations such as ISIS, Taliban, Al-Qaeda and Boko Haram, both with their mass experience and the ruling practices in the areas under their control, points out the fact that political Islam will interlock with fascism in the East in general. The anger and hatred of the poor and those who had to leave their homes against the rich and the states of the rich, against imperialism and its plundering wars, are turned into a rancor against the "nonbelievers" through the fascist organizations.
The ideological-political line pursued by the neo-fascism and the program it upholds before it takes the power usually do not coincide with the interests of the world monopolies. National-protectionist measures, financial controls, restrictions on capital exports, public investments to increase employment are not aligned with the neoliberal economic policies of the financial oligarchy. Even, as the monopoly capital is in search of wringing the working class and the laborers dry, fascist leaders are preaching to regulate the exploitation of the labor force by capitalism. In some financial-economic colonies, fascist rulers, such as Duterte, Erdoğan, or Modi easily dares to follow policies unfitting with imperialism under international political conditions, in which the imperialist hegemony of the USA weakens.
Apart from the countries where revolutionary or reformist left is seriously rising, neo-fascist parties and movements are neither invited to power by the financial oligarchy, nor are they directly led by them. The bourgeoisie getting united in France in order to prevent Le Pen from taking the head of the bourgeois state, or many monopoly bosses and senior bourgeois politicians in the US mentioning about the resistance against Trump, have such a meaning.
Nevertheless, fascist parties and leaders, whether voluntarily or not, fulfill the policies of imperialist globalization in those countries where they are in power. Because they have no other choice. Orban, Modi or Bolsonaro are the typical examples of this. Compensation methods like state's infrastructure investments, social assistance or even "charity" organizations, can not prevent the tendency of dismemberment within their mass base, due to the discrepancy between their rhetorics against the ruling class and the current politics in favor of these ruling classes. Moreover, fascist powers especially in the financial-economic colonies are constantly bumping into the contradiction between their ideological and political discourse speaking to masses and their mediocrity in power, since they have neither economic freedom of movement to meet the workers' demands nor have they military and economic capacity to expand. In this context, even Trump, who is in a much more advantageous situation, tries to continue playing the impossible game in the field of tension between two opposing poles, representing the interests of one part of the monopolistic bourgeoisie and addressing the lower and middle classes.
Beyond all these, neo-fascism offers capital a two-dimensional actual political possibility. One is that fascist parties ideologically and politically hold the sections of laboring masses within the limits of capitalism, the sections which back these parties and still are reactional to the policies of financial oligarchy. And two is that they become the "scapegoats" of the bourgeoisie, causing the other part of these masses to support bourgeois-liberal institutions against the "fascist danger". In other words, if one opposes neo-fascism without turning against neoliberalism as well, that is, if one hopes to stop fascism while leapfrogging over capitalism, one ends up with the reconstruction of the bourgeois class sovereignty. The most glaring examples of this are the attitudes which support Clinton against Trump or Macron against Le Pen.
Fascism, Civil War, Revolution
It is true to note that neo-fascist parties and movements in general are not yet directly oriented by the financial oligarchies, however it is equally true to anticipate that if the communist parties and the rise of revolutionary struggles of the working class and the oppressed grow up to a point where they will threaten the foundations of the bourgeois order, these neo-fascist parties and movements will be given functions as the anti-communist hit force and the open terrorist dictatorship of the financial oligarchy.
A current example from Brazil: The American capital monopolies and collaborative bourgeoisies of Brazil could not even endure the left-wing reformist Workers' Party, trying to implement both neoliberal policies in favor of the interests of capital and some social projects in favor the interests of laborers. But above all, they got frustrated with the alliance of Brazil under the leadership of the Workers' Party with Cuba and Venezuela. Thus they applied a two-stage type of coup and managed to put president Dilma Rousseff and Lula da Silva out of action first and then to carry a reckless fascists like Bolsonaro to the presidency seat. A complete supporter of a fascist dictatorship, Bolsonaro has already shown that he will clean up the remnants of the Workers' Party and be a nonpareil figure to fulfill neoliberal policies.
During the days in October 2018, when Mexico suffered a 17.9% drop in shares and the bond interests hit the ceiling due to Mexico's new president, social democrat Lopez Obrador's statements distant to neoliberal policies, the new fascist president of Brazil, Bolsonaro's words about his intention for the complete annihilation of the left led the share certificates in Brazil to increase 19.4% and hearing this, the financial markets were almost jubilantly celebrating.
The example of Brazil clearly explains us that even just a reformist left-wing alternative of power is sufficient for the financial oligarchy to introduce fascism, that the fascist movement is ready for such a political power task regarding the interests of the financial oligarchy, and that increasingly violent contradictions between revolution and counterrevolution will narrow the gap between financial oligarchy and neo-fascism.
Let's take a last look at the discussion of fascism from a different perspective: If the political polarization tendency strengthens in society due to the existential crisis of capitalism and if one of these poles produces neo-fascism, then the other pole consists of the growing anti-capitalist and anti-fascist movements. So not only a "neo-fascist wind" blows in the world, at the same time, an "anti-fascist wind" is also blowing.
Bernie Sanders, who stood out against Trump during the US presidential election and won enormous popular support by defending the demands of the working class and leaning on socialist values, but was put out of rank at the bourgeois backstage of the Democratic Party. Jeremy Corbyn, who upholds socialist arguments in England, where reactionary nationalist reflections of the Brexit decision continues, and who is likely to win prime minister seat in the next election with the growing and enthusiastic support of the working class, but this time, who still stay in position since the bourgeois backstage of the Labor Party cannot pull the carpet under his feet. The popular and democratic parties and leaders from large parts of Latin America including from Venezuela to Ecuador, from Bolivia to Uruguay and from Paraguay to Honduras during the 2000s. And much more important than all these reformist left-wing developments, which are resulted from the political fusion of the working class and the oppressed, are, of course, the mass uprisings which express themselves in the Arab popular uprisings in the Middle East and North Africa, the Rojava Revolution, the Indignados in Spain and the Occupy Movement in the US, the Gezi-June Uprising in Turkey, the wave of yellow vests in France; all of which are fermenting another big rising and representing the no longer controllable search of workers and the oppressed.
It became extremely difficult for the rule of the monopolistic bourgeoisie to produce social consent and it cannot protect its ideological hegemony. For the laboring people, there is no objective base of hope for a free and dignified future within the capitalist order. Workers and oppressed are turning their faces to ideological and political breaks with the capitalist order, which has been gradually losing the maneuvering ability with in-order reforms. They are searching ways in the series of uprisings. But politically all the short cuts are consumed. Let's look at Venezuela, Greece or Brazil; what we see is how fast the efforts for social peaceful progress through reforms reach its limits and are crushed, and how quickly conditions for civil wars and their forces mature.
Revolts ultimately open the door for civil wars. And, without a doubt, civil war will be the scene for the utmost violent confrontation of fascist and revolutionary forces.

 

 

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Neo-fascism
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Red Dawn / Issue 18 / Winter 2018-19


For some years and with different conceptualizations, the topic of neo-fascism has been hotly debated by both, bourgeois-liberals and reformist-left circles, as well as revolutionary forces. In fact, when looking at the past decades, we can see that fascist parties and leaders have successively taken positions in many countries, such as presidencies, prime ministries, coalition partnerships or have at least seen serious increases in votes.
In Hungary, the leader of the government party Fidesz, Victor Orban, who has been in power since 2010, has been pursuing a racist and anti-immigrant state policy that gradually eliminates bourgeois civil-democratic rights in order to establish a dictatorial regime. In the racist and fascist lane, Orban is in competition with the Jobbik Party, which was inspired by Hitler.
In India since 2014, the Bharatiya Janata Party has been the sole governing party whose leader Narendra Modi is a fanatical supporter of Hinduism. He is the perpetrator of the massacre in Gujarat in 2002, where numerous Muslims were killed, the carrier of a mission described with his own word as "burying the secular republic which is an aberration built by foreign powers".
Donald Trump, roaring loudly "make America great again", has been insistent to build a wall on the Mexican border against migrants from Latin America and to prevent migrants from the Middle East from entering the United States through a legal bullying, since his entry to the White House in 2016. With a Ku-Klux-Klan jargon, he insults Muslim citizens of the USA by saying "they are the trojan horses among us". The fact that he does not refrain from affronting women at any chance makes him the almost complete symbol of male reaction on a social and political level.
Jair Bolsonaro, who won the presidential elections in Brazil in October 2018, praises the torturers of the military dictatorship, speaks of "arming the people against gangs and terrorists", and promises to extend the authority of the police. He codes blacks, academics, dissident journalists and trade unionists, lgbti+'s as "reds" and threatens them with a "clean-up, which has never been seen before in the country." He is such a misogynist that he even said about a deputy of parliament "she's not even worth to be raped" and such a Nazi admirer that he is proud of the services of his grandfather in the Hitler's army.
After the elections in June 2018, Tayyip Erdogan has been institutionalizing the fascist chieftaincy regime in presidential form. The official ideology of the Turkish bourgeois state has been in a transformation with a fascist, political-islamist quality and its institutional structure is centralized in the palace in the form of presidency. The fascist state terror in Turkey, as well as the colonial war of occupation in Kurdistan is mounting up and expanding more and more.
Two other fascist figures: The new dictator of the Philippines, Rodrigo Duterte, who has a history of socialist discourse, but praises himself today with the destruction of gangs without any legal accountability; and Jarosław Kaczynski, the prime-minister of Poland, who draws attention with his efforts to try to develop a a direct control of government over the judicial system and to remove the evolution theory from the education curriculum.
Let's add the National Front in France, the AfD in Germany, the United Kingdom Independency Party in England, the Northern League in Italy, the Vox in Spain, the Golden Dawn in Greece, the Freedom Party in Austria, the Vlaams Bloc in Belgium, the Freedom Party in the Netherlands, the True Fins in Finland, the Progress Party in Norway, Svoboda and the Right Sector in Ukraine and others to the table. These racist-fascist parties in Europe generally not only increase their electoral votes and enter bourgeois parliaments, they also even participate in coalition governments in some countries.
Racist-fascist parties are now well-recognized actors in the bourgeois political scene. And the fascist leaders look like cloned in some ways.
Historical Development of Fascism
Fascist parties and leaders of our time show some significant similarities with the fascism of the period between the two World Wars. Some of them do not even feel the need to hide their emulation of the Italian and German regimes in the 1930s.
As it is known, fascism came in view as the product of the age of imperialism and the proletarian revolutions.
After the re-division war, the capitalist world found itself in a political turmoil and economic crisis, moreover, it was shaken by the October Revolution and confronted with the development of worker's movements and communist parties in almost every country in Europe. The traditional bourgeois parties had been politically bankrupt, the bourgeois parliaments had no longer been able to promise any hope and the bourgeois states had been in a hegemony crisis. Germany was under the yoke of the Versailles Agreement, sealing the surrender of Germany in the war, Italy was frustrated due to its exclusion in the division of the war swag. Workers had been suffering in claws of unemployment and poverty, millions of dispossessed and wrecked middle class members, who lost their future in the dark, were in search of a response and way-out. At the scene of ruling classes, on the other hand, there was nationalism, expansionism abroad and escalation of hardening in the regime forms.
These conditions, which pointed out the general crisis of imperialist capitalism, had offered the fascist movements the opportunity to grow fast. In Italy and Germany, the fascists initially represented the interests of the petty bourgeoisie and the middle bourgeoisie in their program. They increased their political strength by leaning on the middle classes, appealing to the working class and particularly paramilitarizing the lumpen proletariat.
Mussolini's fascist program of 1919 and the 25-point program of the Nazis in 1920 were containing similar social promises: employment safety for workers, increase in wages, protection of small shopkeepers, more taxes for big property owners, price controls, increase in public investments and dissemination of social services. Their political agitation included the hatred against capital owners and their puppets, politicians and targeted to make their own nation prosperous again and to restore the level it deserves in the world.
In the ideological scene, the proletariat, as the revolutionary historical subject, was confronted with the nation, as the fascist historical subject. Accordingly, fascists would ensure national unity and let the fallen nation rise again. The myth of a "fascist revolution" found correspondence in Mussolini's revival metaphor of the Roman Empire and Hitler's revival of the Holy Roman-Germanic Empire, and their discourses of a "New Italy" and "New Germany". The Jews served as a necessary hostile external factor, for the fascist redefinition of nation, thus, for the inclusion of the masses from the lower and middle classes in their own ranks by racist-chauvinist poisoning.
For the fascists, who wanted to overcome the general crisis of capitalism by reviving the glorious past of the nation, the main enemy were the increasingly strengthening communists, who wanted to divide their nation into classes with the goal of overcoming them. Moreover, the communists were the main perpetrator of political chaos and had to be crushed immediately.
Fascist paramilitary organizations emerged in Italy as Mussolini's Black Shirts, in Germany as Hitler's Storm Troops, or in Romania as Antonescu's Iron Guards. They embarked on attacking the revolutionary worker's movement and communist parties. In addition to these, the betrayal of social democracy to the working class and lateness of communists in building an anti-fascist front made it easier for the fascist movements to win masses and seize power.
The monopoly bourgeoisie felt the need to both satisfy their imperialist hunger, as well as to rebuild the mass basis of their sovereignty, and to suppress the proletarian revolutionary movement by terror. The fascists, with their masses of aggression, had fulfilled the function of the bourgeois state's violent repression, thereby developed organic relations with the bourgeois class and the state.
As the bourgeois rulers could no longer rule as before, as all other bourgeois parties were getting exhausted and as the bourgeois-democratic state structure could no longer absorb the revolutionary rise, the need for new forms of bourgeois political sovereignty objectively increased. Fascism, which had strengthened as much as to demand political power, on the other hand,, was a direct response to this need. In a dilemma between revolutionary chaos and the fascist order, the bourgeois classes in Italy and Germany chose to hand the power to fascism. As a result, the bourgeois states had become fascist and fascism had nationalized itself.
In addition to Italy and Germany, the fascist dictatorships between the two world wars institutionalized in various ways and ruled in Bulgaria, Hungary, Austria, Portugal, Spain, Japan, Romania and Croatia.
The fascist regime was more than just a change of governmental body as the bourgeois political executive organ, it appeared through a profound change of the political and judicial structures of the bourgeois state, the legislative and executive relations, the state and party affiliations, even when a constitutional shell was protected. While socialism was the negation of bourgeois democracy outside the existing order, fascism was its negation within the order. Fascism repealed the state structure based on bourgeois-democratic representation in order to save the crippling capitalist system and the bourgeois state whose social and political foundations had fallen into disintegration. The executive was freed from parliamentary control and the state apparatuses were largely centralized, it was centralized so much that the state ended up with an identification with its leader.
The fascists set to begin crushing the struggle of the working class and the oppressed with a merciless counterrevolutionary force, dissolving the entire elements of the bourgeois opposition, and building a racist, chauvinistic ideological hegemony within society. Also in the arena of imperialist competition and war, they took up attaining new colonies and lands of influence with the reorganization of their economic and military forces and facilities.
There was no room for other parties, unions, for social and political organizations apart from the fascist corporate organizations, for press and publications which did not represent the fascist line. From culture to sexuality, from art to pleasures, from education to family, from leisure places to medical institutions and population planning, all elements of social life had to be formed according to fascist ideological norms. A racist, chauvinist, sexist, heterosexist, disciplinarian, aggressive, monist propaganda downpour surrounded the society. Loyalty to the leader was enforced not only in the official political organs of the state, but also in universities, newspapers, art houses or social service institutions, that is, in all structures of socialization.
Where the fascists came to power, the contradictions between their anti-ruling class rhetoric voicing to the lower and middle classes, and their commitment to the interests of the ruling class, which were contrary to the interests of the lower and middle classes, objectively led to a tendency of decomposing in their mass base. But it was the chauvinistic wind they had blown through imperialist war, the benefits they got by increasing public spending of the state and the wealth transfer from the national communities to which they had committed genocide; what had hampered the decomposition tendencies from occurring with all its consequences. After Hitler came to power in Germany in 1933, the number of unemployed reached up to 6 million. That number being zeroed in 1938 was an indication why the mass support for the bloody power of the Nazis didn't melt away.
Under the extraordinary circumstances of the extreme sharpening of contradictions between the fractions of the ruling class, and between the ruling class and the oppressed classes, it seemed like as if the fascist bourgeois state had gained autonomy from the classes in terms of ideological and political features. Indeed, up to a certain point, this was also necessary to get results with ideological-political interventions in the afore mentioned contradictions. Moreover, with the identification of the lower and middle classes with the fascist state, as well as with the fascist leader, who represented the "national will", it became easier to turn the state and leader into a cult. Yet, behind the image of autonomy from classes, what lays was the reality, that the fascist state tied thousands of threads with the financial oligarchy, and shaped the capital accumulation model as extremely convenient for the big bourgeoisie and tended to seek new foreign markets and colonization areas for monopoly capital.
For this reason, the Komintern stated in its famous definition associated with Dimitrov, "Fascism is the open terrorist dictatorship of the most reactionary, most chauvinistic and most imperialist elements of finance capital." This analysis clearly illustrated the class quality of the fascist dictatorship and its political function within the framework of imperialist capitalism.
The Period Of Military Fascist Coups
After the fascist bloc had suffered a defeat in the World War II which had taken the shape of an anti-fascist war, the world split into two enemy camps. The worldwide contradiction that arose between the capitalist and socialist blocs, and was symbolized with the Cold War between the USA and the USSR, had marked the entire subsequent period. While, on the one hand, the people's democracies in Eastern Europe and the Balkans and the revolution in China strengthened the socialist bloc, the national liberation struggles of the colonies achieving their political independence, led to devastating consequences for the capitalist world.
The capitalist bloc united in the orbit of the USA had the aim to stop the expansion of the influence-spheres of the USSR and to defeat the danger of a revolutionary and socialist rule in the capitalist countries. The establishment of secret, fascist counterrevolutionary organizations within the bourgeois state apparatuses became a main method for this aim. The fascist cadres of the period between the two world wars, were deployed in the secret services and counterrevolutionary structures of the bourgeois states. In short, the fascist counter-guerrilla called Gladio was structured as an internal element of the Western European bourgeoisie by the hand of NATO. In the Western imperialist centers which stood against socialism with the bourgeois democracy and the "welfare state", the financial oligarchy kept its counter-guerrilla as an anti-communist hit force for extraordinary times.
The counter-guerrilla organization in the neocolonies was again organized by the US. This secret fascist structure under the control of imperialism had been the focus of anti-communist work in almost all dependent capitalist countries. Sabotages, assassinations, provocation and disinformation against revolutionary developments were produced in their workbench. The counter-guerrilla headquarters organized paramilitary gangs depending on the location, preparing them as a counterrevolutionary center for possible civil wars.
In the period after World War II, the new fascist dictatorships were typically the work of American-backed fascist military coups, staged by these counter-guerrilla organizations. One by one, in Iran, Brazil, Indonesia, Greece, the Philippines, Chile, Uruguay, Argentina, Turkey, Pakistan and other countries, fascist regimes were founded by military coups. In the neocolony countries, where revolutionary movements along with deep economic and political crises were growing, also meaning that these countries were the weakening links of imperialist chain, military coups rushed to the aid to sustain the US hegemony and bourgeois rule.
Military, fascist powers in the neocolonies, as open terrorist dictatorships of the imperialist oligarchy and collaborative bourgeoisie, began to crush the danger of revolution with all their might. Common features of ruling fascism in these countries were the liquidation of bourgeois-democratic featured political institutions as much as these existed, the extreme centralization of political power functions in the executive, the attempt to brutally crush all revolutionary and democratic forces, the establishment of a nationalist, chauvinist and anti-communist official ideology and thus the legitimization of the fascist state terror through their identification with the "national will" and the consolidation of anti-Soviet foreign relations.
The first wave of fascism consisted of monopoly capital's reaction to the rise of world proletarian revolution in the central countries of capitalism. This second wave, on the other hand, was an offensive of finance capital in the peripheral countries of capitalism, against the renewed revolutionary rises in an atmosphere of Cold War balance and against the national liberation victories. Both waves of fascism confirmed Lenin, who pointed out that imperialism systematically produces political reaction.
The Political Result Of Existential Crisis
In the early 1990s, following the collapse of the Soviet bloc and the receding of revolutionary danger, the world bourgeoisie were jubilant with its triumph and felt less of a need for fascist counter-guerrilla organizations and fascist military coups. In recent years, fascist military coups and dictatorship following the example of Egypt and Thailand have been increasingly rare, while fascist movements that come to the fore in the election ballots grow.
This new type of fascism that has come to the forefront in this new historical period, is peculiar to imperialist globalization with all its distinctive features and owes its current development to the existential crisis of capitalism.
The structural congestion occurred during the period of "welfare state" within the capital accumulation model were put back on track of recovery through neoliberalism. Education and health services, as well as all public services were assigned to the service of capital expansion and state enterprises were exposed to plunder by privatization. Two tendencies in the capital movements have become dominant: investments in cheap labor-force countries and investments in financial transactions. Because this was the only way to increase the low profit rates. As the capital accumulation process gets financialized and the speculative capital played a more dominant role, chronic excess capital was accumulated at one end and chronic excess labor-force was accumulated at another. And both were more and more out of reach of one another.
Construction of a "world factory" by the world monopolies, the enforced abolition of all kinds of national barriers for the global circulation of capital, the enactment of international laws for the interests of the financial oligarchy and the transformation of capitalism in peripheral countries into an internal phenomenon, ultimately removed the social material ground on which the bourgeois nation-state placed its foothold. As neocolony countries became financial-economic colonies, the working class in Western capitalist countries could no longer benefit the imperialist exploitation. The heavy class devastation in the financial-economic colonies has led to an utmost increase of immigration of laborers to the Western capitalist countries. Imperialist aggression and war in the Middle East, on the other hand, triggered an immense flow of poor Muslim population to Europe.
Social rights of workers were trimmed and wages were lowered. Subcontracting, disorganization and precarization have largely spread and unemployment has grown like an avalanche. The capital shifting to cheap labor-force countries has led workers in the capitalist centers to face the dilemma of decline in wages or unemployment. The expropriation of small property owners and pushing them into the ranks of the proletariat have gained momentum. The abyss between rich and poor has grown rapidly and many times more. As the practice of "welfare state" became history, the contradictions between capital and labor, as well as between the state and the people have intensified.
The great financial-economic crisis of 2008, on the contrary was an expression of the existential crisis of capitalism. It becomes obvious that capital has completely lost the ability to develop the productive forces, thus turned into an absolute shackle against the social progress. Thus, workers and laborers, including those in the capitalist metropolises, can no longer expect any future hope in the capitalist order. According to a survey conducted in 2015 in Europe, the vast majority of families no longer believe that their children will live in a better world. The percentage of non-believers in this survey was 85% in France, 68% in England and 58% in Germany. What we see here is the reaching to the end of this entire social formation, with its economic, political, ideological and ecological dimensions.
When toiling people, whose working and living conditions have rapidly deteriorated, who have fallen into the swirl of unemployment and poverty, find in front of themselves, the traditional bourgeois parties, whose programs and rhetoric are getting to be the same, they started to react more against the current bourgeois political order. An extraordinary erosion of faith has occurred both against the mainstream bourgeois parties harnessed by neoliberalism, and against the bourgeois democratic parliaments, whose main premises are formed by these bourgeois parties. The bourgeois rule has more and more lost the ability to produce consent and to refresh its hegemony, with the liberal-democratic norms of its time and with the essential ideological variants, in regard of the working people. All of this has brought an escalation of political polarization in the society.
In many of the capitalist countries, the new fascist movements have experienced a course of accelerating growth since the 2008 depression until today. As we see in the picture drawn above, this is not coincidental at all.
On the one side of the coin, there was already the reality of bourgeois states, whose bourgeois-democratic laws are being trimmed and which are increasingly shifting to authoritarian forms of rule, as a result of sharpening class contradictions and political contradictions, as well as the raging aggravation of inter-imperialist competition. Passing to the state of emergency under the government of Socialist Party in France, consolidation of the strictly centralized and repressive rule of Putin, paving the way of a lifelong presidency for Xi Jinping in China are different reflections of this reality.
On the other side of the coin, there stands the massacre attacks of ISIS against the people in the US and the EU. While ISIS attacks caused anxiety and hostility against Muslim migrants, at the same time, the mass basis of ISIS gained an enormous extensiveness within the poor Muslims masses, suffered from the imperialist plunder wars in the Middle East or from social exclusion in the imperialist centers.
It was not difficult for a blind consciousness to spread, which accuses the migrants of losing the life standards of the previous period, in the Western capitalist countries, among the working class, which was subjected to an ideological collapse after the collapse of the Soviet bloc, and was disintegrated in its organizing capacity as a result the neoliberal policies of capital. The responsibility of the decline in wages, job losses, the worsening of living conditions, the rising insecurity due to street mobs were all put on the poor migrants. Almost everywhere and day by day, people started to feel insecure in different aspects; the loss of jobs and social security has incited an economic insecurity, the bourgeois parliamentarian representation crisis has incited a political insecurity and the ISIS aggression or mafia violence has incited a physical insecurity. This mass-psychology of insecurity became the ground for the reactionary longing for the protection of a strong nation-state.
All in all, neo-fascist parties and movements find the opportunity to strengthen fast on this social ground on which they move.
Lines of Neo-fascism
Naturally and inevitably, fascism shapes itself according to social and political traditions, historical and cultural influences, as well as to the specific structural characteristics of the lower and middle classes, dominant social and political conflict points, even more, according to the changes in the technological structure of the capital accumulation model, to specific class-related or politic power relations of a certain period and the existing relationship hierarchy of the state systems. Moreover, this formation is a phase in itself, a state of becoming, it also shows fundamental differences between phases of ruling and before ruling. Therefore, today's fascist movements and leaders can not be exact copies of fascism in 1930s or 1970s, nor can they be identical with each other today. Characteristic factors, such as the motif of national revival, expansionism, nationalism, biological racism, militarism, anti-communism, culture of leadership cult, anti-democratic discourse, one-party regimes, party-state modeling, paramilitary organization, corporatism, misogyny, heterosexism, homophobia or disgust with intellectuals, therefore, can't appear in a particular fascist movement all together. The fascist quality of the movement is determined by the general direction of its ideological texture, political goals and functions, as well as its practical mode of existence.
Just like fascism in Italy and Germany initially had included in its program generally the interests of the middle and petty bourgeois, which had been pushed into destruction and uncertainty due to the crisis of capitalism and had influenced the masses of the working class in the period between the two world wars; today's fascism either leans on the dispossessed middle classes and the unemployed strata of working class or at least tries to make demagogic bonds with various demands of these classes. The political agitation against the privileges of monopoly capital, the degeneration of traditional bourgeois politicians and the fallacies of intellectuals are quite similar in the words of the past and current fascist leaders.
Anti-communism is also a structural ideological and political feature of neo-fascism. But today, hostility to migrants in combination with racism is more prominent. The fascists target migrants as responsible for poverty and misery and as "parasites that absorb the blood of the nation", or target various national and religious communities as "enemies of the nation". They channel the accumulated anger as a result of the social decay of the capitalist neoliberal policies, towards migrants or oppressed national and religious communities, thus pulling this anger out of agenda of the class conflict at one swoop.
Reactionary nationalism stemming from the middle classes is a reaction to the politics of imperialist globalization. New fascist parties do not openly defend the politics of "welfare state" period. But what they defend, such as the strengthening of the nation state once again, nationalist protectionist economic policies, and opposition to EU, corresponds to the political tendencies of those sections of the middle classes contradicting with imperialist globalization. Depending on these defense, their promises to increase investment and employment in the country can be tempting among the working class and the poor. The fascists manage to assemble those who have lost their class status and even their dignity and their dreams in a racist and nation-statist political rank with the aim to regain what they lost. When you see the simultaneity of the usurpation of the achievements of the working class in "welfare state" period and the "national" meltdown of the nation-state, when the traditional bourgeois parties turned into almost copies of one another and lost their "national" features, there is nothing surprising here that the reaction to these creates a longing for revival of the nation-state. It is no coincidence that Le Pen receives many votes in the impoverishment areas of France where the industry was moved, the employment hit the bottom, or that in the same sort of areas of England more approval for the Brexit has followed.
Hitler and Mussolini had voiced the desire for the old in a deeply shaken bourgeois society, pledged to revive the nation, and prescribed racism and chauvinism at the top of their recipe of a "fascist revolution". Now it is Trump and Modi who, with all their racist-chauvinist arguments, are casting the flag of a return to the strong nation-state and clinging to past reactionary values and traditions. The supremacy of the German "Aryans" or the Italian "vanguards of civilization", the supremacy of white evangelic Americans or the Hindus from upper castes; history and countries change, surely so is the forms of racism. Yesterday, it was Jews and gypsies who were marginalized, today it is the Afro-Americans, Muslims or Latin Americans.
Today the emphasizes of the fascists are nation, leader, state, flag, language as a solution against the encirclement of domestic and foreign enemies and their threats. What they mark as enemy is sometimes the stigmatized western world, sometimes the international capital and imperialism, which are emptied from its true content, in general, it is migrants or various national and religious communities, often homosexuals or atheists, thus these are rendered as pillar for a new "national identity" construction. As a legitimization conception of fascism, the "national will" fill its content with the rhetoric opposing to "traitors", "terrorists", "separatists", "foreign focal points and their extensions".
Fascism remains the spearhead of patriarchy. On the ideological ground, womanhood described through "motherhood" and "partnership", together with masculinity identified with credibility and strength; on the rhetorical ground, the reckless use of patriarchal language depreciates women; on the political ground, the attempts to abolish acquired legal rights of women, starting with the right of abortion and the provocation of masculine violence against women are all historically and currently characteristic elements of fascism. How much is the resemblance between Mussolini, who said "war belongs to men, motherhood to women" and Erdoğan who is constantly sermonizing women for even more births!
There are also fascist movements, such as the Golden Dawn in Greece, or the Right Sector in Ukraine, which initially base on increasing their political activity on the streets, but also others, such as the National Front in France or the Party of Freedom in Austria, which prioritizes the electoral successes. In any case, neo-fascism tends to permeate both the street, and the ballot, as well as the daily life just as in its historical experiences, from which it is inspired. The fact that fascist paramilitary gangs do not yet patrol the streets does not prove that these will not spread and strengthen depending on the hardening of political struggles.
In countries where capitalist development is comparatively still at a low level and religion still has a strong social and political influence, while the modern, more secular bourgeois ideologies are losing influence, whereas fascism advances more by basing on a political-religious ground. The fascist lines of Erdogan leaning on Islam and Modi leaning on Hinduism, for example, recall the fascisms of the time between the two wars, in terms of both their aggression and massacrer feature, as well as their monism and claim to revive the "old". Political-islamist organizations such as ISIS, Taliban, Al-Qaeda and Boko Haram, both with their mass experience and the ruling practices in the areas under their control, points out the fact that political Islam will interlock with fascism in the East in general. The anger and hatred of the poor and those who had to leave their homes against the rich and the states of the rich, against imperialism and its plundering wars, are turned into a rancor against the "nonbelievers" through the fascist organizations.
The ideological-political line pursued by the neo-fascism and the program it upholds before it takes the power usually do not coincide with the interests of the world monopolies. National-protectionist measures, financial controls, restrictions on capital exports, public investments to increase employment are not aligned with the neoliberal economic policies of the financial oligarchy. Even, as the monopoly capital is in search of wringing the working class and the laborers dry, fascist leaders are preaching to regulate the exploitation of the labor force by capitalism. In some financial-economic colonies, fascist rulers, such as Duterte, Erdoğan, or Modi easily dares to follow policies unfitting with imperialism under international political conditions, in which the imperialist hegemony of the USA weakens.
Apart from the countries where revolutionary or reformist left is seriously rising, neo-fascist parties and movements are neither invited to power by the financial oligarchy, nor are they directly led by them. The bourgeoisie getting united in France in order to prevent Le Pen from taking the head of the bourgeois state, or many monopoly bosses and senior bourgeois politicians in the US mentioning about the resistance against Trump, have such a meaning.
Nevertheless, fascist parties and leaders, whether voluntarily or not, fulfill the policies of imperialist globalization in those countries where they are in power. Because they have no other choice. Orban, Modi or Bolsonaro are the typical examples of this. Compensation methods like state's infrastructure investments, social assistance or even "charity" organizations, can not prevent the tendency of dismemberment within their mass base, due to the discrepancy between their rhetorics against the ruling class and the current politics in favor of these ruling classes. Moreover, fascist powers especially in the financial-economic colonies are constantly bumping into the contradiction between their ideological and political discourse speaking to masses and their mediocrity in power, since they have neither economic freedom of movement to meet the workers' demands nor have they military and economic capacity to expand. In this context, even Trump, who is in a much more advantageous situation, tries to continue playing the impossible game in the field of tension between two opposing poles, representing the interests of one part of the monopolistic bourgeoisie and addressing the lower and middle classes.
Beyond all these, neo-fascism offers capital a two-dimensional actual political possibility. One is that fascist parties ideologically and politically hold the sections of laboring masses within the limits of capitalism, the sections which back these parties and still are reactional to the policies of financial oligarchy. And two is that they become the "scapegoats" of the bourgeoisie, causing the other part of these masses to support bourgeois-liberal institutions against the "fascist danger". In other words, if one opposes neo-fascism without turning against neoliberalism as well, that is, if one hopes to stop fascism while leapfrogging over capitalism, one ends up with the reconstruction of the bourgeois class sovereignty. The most glaring examples of this are the attitudes which support Clinton against Trump or Macron against Le Pen.
Fascism, Civil War, Revolution
It is true to note that neo-fascist parties and movements in general are not yet directly oriented by the financial oligarchies, however it is equally true to anticipate that if the communist parties and the rise of revolutionary struggles of the working class and the oppressed grow up to a point where they will threaten the foundations of the bourgeois order, these neo-fascist parties and movements will be given functions as the anti-communist hit force and the open terrorist dictatorship of the financial oligarchy.
A current example from Brazil: The American capital monopolies and collaborative bourgeoisies of Brazil could not even endure the left-wing reformist Workers' Party, trying to implement both neoliberal policies in favor of the interests of capital and some social projects in favor the interests of laborers. But above all, they got frustrated with the alliance of Brazil under the leadership of the Workers' Party with Cuba and Venezuela. Thus they applied a two-stage type of coup and managed to put president Dilma Rousseff and Lula da Silva out of action first and then to carry a reckless fascists like Bolsonaro to the presidency seat. A complete supporter of a fascist dictatorship, Bolsonaro has already shown that he will clean up the remnants of the Workers' Party and be a nonpareil figure to fulfill neoliberal policies.
During the days in October 2018, when Mexico suffered a 17.9% drop in shares and the bond interests hit the ceiling due to Mexico's new president, social democrat Lopez Obrador's statements distant to neoliberal policies, the new fascist president of Brazil, Bolsonaro's words about his intention for the complete annihilation of the left led the share certificates in Brazil to increase 19.4% and hearing this, the financial markets were almost jubilantly celebrating.
The example of Brazil clearly explains us that even just a reformist left-wing alternative of power is sufficient for the financial oligarchy to introduce fascism, that the fascist movement is ready for such a political power task regarding the interests of the financial oligarchy, and that increasingly violent contradictions between revolution and counterrevolution will narrow the gap between financial oligarchy and neo-fascism.
Let's take a last look at the discussion of fascism from a different perspective: If the political polarization tendency strengthens in society due to the existential crisis of capitalism and if one of these poles produces neo-fascism, then the other pole consists of the growing anti-capitalist and anti-fascist movements. So not only a "neo-fascist wind" blows in the world, at the same time, an "anti-fascist wind" is also blowing.
Bernie Sanders, who stood out against Trump during the US presidential election and won enormous popular support by defending the demands of the working class and leaning on socialist values, but was put out of rank at the bourgeois backstage of the Democratic Party. Jeremy Corbyn, who upholds socialist arguments in England, where reactionary nationalist reflections of the Brexit decision continues, and who is likely to win prime minister seat in the next election with the growing and enthusiastic support of the working class, but this time, who still stay in position since the bourgeois backstage of the Labor Party cannot pull the carpet under his feet. The popular and democratic parties and leaders from large parts of Latin America including from Venezuela to Ecuador, from Bolivia to Uruguay and from Paraguay to Honduras during the 2000s. And much more important than all these reformist left-wing developments, which are resulted from the political fusion of the working class and the oppressed, are, of course, the mass uprisings which express themselves in the Arab popular uprisings in the Middle East and North Africa, the Rojava Revolution, the Indignados in Spain and the Occupy Movement in the US, the Gezi-June Uprising in Turkey, the wave of yellow vests in France; all of which are fermenting another big rising and representing the no longer controllable search of workers and the oppressed.
It became extremely difficult for the rule of the monopolistic bourgeoisie to produce social consent and it cannot protect its ideological hegemony. For the laboring people, there is no objective base of hope for a free and dignified future within the capitalist order. Workers and oppressed are turning their faces to ideological and political breaks with the capitalist order, which has been gradually losing the maneuvering ability with in-order reforms. They are searching ways in the series of uprisings. But politically all the short cuts are consumed. Let's look at Venezuela, Greece or Brazil; what we see is how fast the efforts for social peaceful progress through reforms reach its limits and are crushed, and how quickly conditions for civil wars and their forces mature.
Revolts ultimately open the door for civil wars. And, without a doubt, civil war will be the scene for the utmost violent confrontation of fascist and revolutionary forces.