The madness of fascism expresses the historic crisis and dead-end of capitalism. But it could have been avoided if the working class had a militant leadership.

The madness of fascism expresses the historic crisis and dead-end of capitalism. But it could have been avoided if the working class had a militant leadership.

Introduction

Many are concerned about the rise of “fascism”. But what does this mean? It was said that the election of Bolsonaro represented the victory of fascism in Brazil. Some have even gone as far as describing Donald Trump as a fascist. To liberals and even some lefts, it appears that “fascist” has become simply a term of abuse for any politician they don’t like. As Marxists however, we take a scientific view of the world. To properly cure a disease requires a precise diagnosis. It is therefore necessary to have a sober appraisal of what fascism is, if we are to successfully combat it.

Leon Trotsky brilliantly analysed the development of fascism during its rise in the 1920s – first in Italy, and later in Germany. He argued that fascism was unlike traditional forms of reaction, whereby a small layer of the existing state apparatus would move to take power. Instead, fascism was based on a mass movement – mostly of the frenzied middle-class and de-classed layers – with its aim to destroy all forms of working-class organisation.

The victory of fascism in Italy, Germany and Spain, was only made possible by the defeats of the socialist revolutions in these countries. Defeats that were brought about by the mistakes or treachery of the reformist and Stalinist leaders. The prospect of a return to fascism today is very small indeed. The working class is enormously stronger than in the early 20th century. Although small, fascist grouplets do exist, and must be combated by the working class, the classic social reserves of fascism have been greatly reduced. Only on the basis of a series of serious defeats of the working class, could fascism rear its head once again.


Introductory articles

Trotsky and the Struggle Against Fascism - Fred Weston

Trotsky and the Struggle Against Fascism in Germany - Phil Mitchinson

Bonapartism and Fascism - Leon Trotsky

What is Fascism? And is it an imminent threat today? - Rob Sewell

 

Longer articles

The Menace of Fascism: What It is and How to Fight It - Ted Grant

The Spanish Revolution 1931-1937 - Ted Grant

Lessons of Spain: The Last Warning - Leon Trotsky

Trotsky's Last Article: Bonpartism, Fascism and War - Leon Trotsky

 

Marxist classics and books

Germany: From Revolution to Counter-Revolution - Rob Sewell

Fascism: What It Is and How to Fight It - Leon Trotsky

The Rise of Hitler and the Destruction of the German Left - Leon Trotsky

 

Audio and video

Fascism and the Far Right - Rob Sewell

Fighting Fascism and the Far Right - Marie Frederiksen

Fascism: what it is and how to fight it? - Adam Booth

Hitler and the rise of fascism in Germany - Hans-Gerd Ofinger

Socialist Appeal are proud to publish this education guide to help focus your studies of Marxist theory and practice. Visit the various tabs below to find links to introductory articles, classic texts, videos and audio talks for different topics. Read More
We present here Marxism 101: a series of responses and short video talks answering the most common myths and questions about Marxism, socialism, and revolution. Read More
Check out this selection of writings for an excellent introduction to many of the fundamentals of Marxist theory, providing a strong basis for those wishing to equip themselves with the ideas necessary in order to fight for socialism. Read More
Dialectical materialism is the philosophy or methodology of Marxism. We must seek to understand the laws of society and nature in order to change them. Read More
Historical materialism is the general theory of how and why society develops in the way it does. Each social system has its inherent laws of motion. If we want to overthrow capitalist society, we must understand how capitalism works. Read More
Marxist economics is the study of the laws of motion of capitalist society, allowing us to understand why capitalism perpetually goes into crisis, where inequality comes from, and what the alternative is. Read More
The Russian Revolution is the greatest event in world history for Marxists. Studying the events of 1917, and understanding why the Revolution degenerated into Stalinism, provides vital lessons for revolutionaries today. Read More
For Marxists, the state is not at all neutral. We must understand the state’s real basis and strip away its mysticism by treating it historically - taking in its origins, rise, and eventual fall. Read More
Anarchism is naturally attractive for those wanting to abolish capitalism. But only Marxist ideas can explain why bureaucracy and oppression exist - and how to overthrow the exploitative capitalist system. Read More
Marxists are irreconcilably opposed to the oppression of women and fight determinedly for liberation and against discrimination. We believe this will be achieved through the class struggle - to abolish the oppressive capitalist system. Read More
The madness of fascism expresses the historic crisis and dead-end of capitalism. But it could have been avoided if the working class had a united revolutionary leadership, prepared to take power. Read More
Nations have not always existed, nor will they always exist in the future. Marxists are internationalists, fighting for world socialist revolution as the only way forward for humanity and our planet. Read More
Wars represent the sharp extreme of capitalism’s impasse. Imperialism, Lenin said, was the "highest stage of capitalism". As long as the profit system exists, there will be wars over markets and spheres of influence. Read More
All written history, Marx stated, is the history of class struggle. Our task is to learn the lessons from history in order to prepare for the revolutionary events taking place today and in the future. Read More
Our aim is to spread the ideas of Marxism, in an organised fashion, amongst workers and youth. In order to do this, we must study the history and traditions of the working class. Read More
  • Educate Yourself
  • Marxism 101
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  • Identity and Oppression
  • Fascism
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