Fascism & the 21st Century
April 01, 2009
John Beeching – Honorary Chair of Canadians for Peace and Socialism, Canadian Veteran of the Second World War and a lifelong activist for peace and socialism

Authors note: Why an article on Fascism? Because, once again it has reared its ugly head. Those who would use fascism in order to shift the economic crisis on the backs of the average people to protect the super profits of the rich need it to succeed.
Political scientist Dr. Lawrence Britt wrote recently an article about fascism titled “Fascism Anyone?” it contained 14 characteristics of fascism which will no doubt ring alarm bells as readers who are members of a well informed public are put on guard against its evils. Britt’s article was published in Free Inquiry Magazine Spring 2003 and www.globalresearch.ca 7 November 2004.
It’s about classes
“People always have been foolish victims of deception and self-deception in politics, and always will be until they have learnt to seek out the interest of some class or another behind all moral, religious, political and social phrases, declarations and promises.” V.I Lenin
The question of fascism needs be studied along with the study of classes. Events that took place at the end of the 20th century to the present indicate the imperialist circles attempt to resolve the capitalist systemic crisis by the use of force, a feature of fascism.
The Britt article points out “Corporate Power is protected by creating a mutually beneficial business/government relationship.” In “Obsession with Crime and Punishment”, Britt also says, “There is often a national police force with virtually unlimited power in fascist nations.” Canada already has a national police force, the RCMP. In addition Harper has had a ‘special force’ ostensibly for the protection of Canada but conveniently well for dealing with crowd control. It has been announced they will be present at the 2010 Olympics.
In regard to Canada’s military the Harper government has increased expenditure at the expense of social programs. Clearly Harper is determined to make Canada a partner in the drive by the United States of America (USA) for world hegemony thus making Canada complicit.
“The Nuremberg trials handed down a judgment in 1946. Among notable features of the decision was the conclusion, in accordance with the London Agreement, that to plan or instigate an aggressive war is a crime under the principle of international law.” Funk and Wagnall encyclopedia vol. 24 p 414. One cannot help wondering if aid and abet also applies.
It is said that those who do not learn from the past are doomed to re-live it. In this post September 11 (9-11) world one cannot help pondering - did we learn nothing from World War II?
The International Brigades in Spain were comprised of the world’s first anti-fascist fighters. They were set up from volunteers of countries that supported the duly elected Spanish government in its resistance to fascist Franco’s attack in what is called the Spanish Civil War.
Many veterans of the Spanish International Brigades volunteered in WW II after that war changed from a war between imperialist states to one between Germany and both imperialist and Communist states. Only capitalist states accuse the Soviet Union of being imperialist. It is not true. The Soviet Union did not have other socialist states as dependencies. They were equals in the Warsaw Pact set up in response to the Western World’s establishment of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO).
In an article, “Lets Not Forget: Bush Planned Iraq ‘Regime Change’ Before Becoming President” by Neil MacKay, Information Clearing House www.informationclearinghouse.info/article1221.htm reports on a ‘secret blueprint for US global domination.’ This document was written by the neo-conservative think-tank Project for the New American Century (PNAC). MacKay says, “The PNAC document supports a ‘blueprint for maintaining US pre-eminence, precluding the rise of a great power rival, and shaping the international security order in line with American principles and interests’.” After Harper was elected he increased the role Canada was to play in US wars, Iraq and Afghanistan, to protect the American people. Hitler used the same phraseology in pre-war attacks on his neighbours.
As one columnist said the war on terrorism is in reality a war on people generally. It is being used to guarantee American supremacy. The chess game goes on.
The economic crisis in the capitalist world has caused more and more workers to question the actions of governments and business in taking away hard won benefits. The protests against globalization and the fight for social justice have the potential to bring about a revolutionary change and therefore are a threat to the American corporate way of life. We support the efforts of Canadian Auto Workers Union to protect their members.
“In addition, one must consider as part of the American system the global web of specialized organizations, especially the ‘international’ financial institutions. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank can be said to represent ‘global’ interests, and their constituency may be construed as the world. In reality, however, they are heavily American dominated and their origins are traceable to American initiative, particularly the Breton Woods conference of 1944.” The Grand Chessboard by Zbigniew Brzezinski.
Today we have a new economic crisis of a magnitude that some say exceeds that of the 1929 great depression. Once again the major burden of the crisis is being placed on the backs of the average citizen while those who cause it are receiving ‘subsidies’.
The following quotes might well be taken from a recent speech reflecting present world conditions. They are however from a report given by Georgi Dimitrov before the Seventh World Congress of the Communist International delivered on August 2, 1935. “With the development of the very deep economic crisis, with the general crisis of capitalism becoming sharply accentuated and the mass of people becoming revolutionized, fascism has embarked on a wide offensive.” … “The imperialist circles are trying to shift the whole burden of the crisis onto the shoulders of the working people. That is why they need fascism.” For Unity Of The Working Class Against Fascism Sofia Press 1969.
It is important to agree on the definition of fascism and see its relation to present conditions. As Marxists we submit the following from A Dictionary of Philosophy. It defines fascism as, “An overt terroristic dictatorship of the most reactionary, most chauvinistic and most imperialist elements of finance capital. …Notwithstanding the complete rout of the fascist states in the 2nd World War, reactionary elements in some imperialist countries are trying to revive F.”
Capitalism is decaying due to the sharpened internal contradictions between private ownership and the social mode of production resulting from the scientific and technological revolution. The present imperialist stage is marked by a deep crisis and the capitalist states are prepared to resort to war and violence to prevent a collapse. The recent war against Iraq is often thought of as being over oil. No doubt that was an important factor but behind the oil was a deeper crisis for the USA. Sadam Hussein had nationalized Iraq oil. Bad enough, but he went so far as to transfer Iraq money to the Euro. He then compounded that act by campaigning with the OPEC nations to transfer their currency to the Euro with some success. The strain on the American dollar, already showing signs of weakening, was intolerable to the Bush regime! War was added to the monetary card used to prop up a failing regime. The International Monetary Fund (IMF), the World Bank, G7, free Trade and globalization are all used in part or in combination to prevent any revolutionary changes to the capitalist system in favor of the working class. Anti-communism is their weapon!
In addition to the economic card the imperialists use the ideological struggle to attack any progressive movement. Anti-communism becomes ‘cart blanche’ for the commitment of crimes. Its success was partly due to the brainwashing of the working class. Ownership of the media, a major source of information and brainwashing was being converted to either single ownership or a consortium. The control of Canwest/Southam, combining the printed word with TV broadcasting by the Asper family is a good example. Israel Asper, who recently died, ordered the editors to “print only pro-Israeli articles”. A large number of people cancelled their subscriptions but it was not enough to cause a change of policy. A policy his son is unlikely to change if interviews are anything to go by.
The attack on democracy in Canada is clearly evident. The power of the state to arrest and hold citizens without due legal process is but one example. Guilt by association is another. It seems that if you are seen talking to someone under surveillance as a suspected terrorist you too can come under surveillance and be listed as suspect! The upcoming federal elections could very well determine if in the future we live in a democracy or a state dictatorship of the extreme right wing.
To conclude, there is a strong resistance to fascism’s advance. The fact that many young people are playing a leading role in the struggle against globalization and today’s subsidies is significant. There is an urgent need for unity among the working class. Labour is the logical group to spearhead the broad national and international peoples’ movement for a change to the capitalist system. A strong vanguard in the form of a communist party is a prerequisite to success. It is through the internationalism of communist parties allied with trade union and workers organizations that we can achieve world unity also needed in a global economy.
As Georgi Dimitrov said in For Unity Of The Working Class Against Fascism, “The first thing that must be done, the first thing with which to begin, is to form a united front, to establish a unity of action, in every country of the world. Unity of action of the proletariat on a national and international scale is the mighty weapon which renders the working class capable not only of successful defense but also of successful counter-attack against fascism, against the class enemy.”
“We must strive to establish the widest united front with the aid of workers’ organizations of different trends for the defense of the vital interests of the labouring masses. This means:
First, joint struggle to really shift the burden of the consequences of the crisis onto the shoulders of the ruling [owning] classes, the shoulders of the capitalists and landlords — in a word onto the shoulders of the rich.
Second, joint struggle against all forms of the fascist offensive, in defense of the gains and rights of the working people, against the abolition of bourgeois-democratic liberties.
Third, joint struggle against the approaching danger of imperialist war, a struggle that will make the preparation of such a war more difficult.”
The world peace movement has an important role to play and a very important section of the peace movement is the World Peace Council and its members who take a clear anti-imperialist stand.
JFK said, “Man must put an end to war or war will put an end to mankind.” We might add that voters can opt for democracy or face dictatorship. A visit to our web site www.focusonsocialism,ca by readers and checking out the links and articles will provide resources necessary to take the right path.
We urge Focus readers, in addition to discussing with friends to seek out copies of Global Outlook Winter/2004 Number 6 and read:-
America: The Fourth Reich by Barry Zwicker P19
Germany in 1933: The Easy Slide into Fascism by Bernard Weiner P22
Most important is to take action to regain true democracy! Do what you can.