Histomat: Adventures in Historical Materialism

'Historical materialism is the theory of the proletarian revolution.' Georg Luk√°cs

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Euro-fascism - what it is and how to fight it

The latest issue of Socialist Review has among other things a good analysis of the Euro-elections, one very worrying feature of which was the rise of Euro-fascist parties such as the Front National in France, but also others such as the German neo-Nazi NPD, Golden Dawn in Greece and Jobbik in Hungary amidst the continuing economic crisis.   After the last European elections in 2009, I raised the question of whether it was time to dust off the old slogan about whether it was the 1930s in slow motion.  Given classical fascism turned Europe into a dark continent within the living memory of many people, the fact that a fascist party got the majority of votes in the European elections in France while in Germany, a member of the neo-Nazi NPD was elected to the European parliament means the left cannot afford to be complacent about the danger posed here.  Given this, it is perhaps timely that Chris Bambery's 1993 article from International Socialism on Euro-fascism: the lessons of the past and current tasks is now available online at the Marxists Internet Archive. Though obviously twenty years old and written at a time when Euro-fascism was just emerging as a political current - and though the author's own politics have shifted - some would say degenerated - somewhat since writing this article in 1993, the piece still repays reading and provides a useful introductory historical overview of how the left and trade union movement tragically failed to stop classical fascist formations coming to power in the inter-war period through a combination of sectarianism, ultra-leftism, and liberalism - and why the method of the united front and mass activity against the Nazis as articulated by Leon Trotsky (and put into practice in formations such as the Anti-Nazi League in the 1970s in Britain and its successor Unite Against Fascism today) - remains a critical weapon if the left across Europe are going to block their rise today.

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