Trotsky on fascism

16 08 2010

The gigantic growth of National Socialism is an expression of two factors: a deep social crisis, throwing the petty bourgeois masses off balance, and the lack of a revolutionary party that would be regarded by the masses of the people as an acknowledged revolutionary leader. If the communist Party is the party of revolutionary hope, then fascism, as a mass movement, is the party of counter-revolutionary despair. When revolutionary hope embraces the whole proletarian mass, it inevitably pulls behind it on the road of revolution considerable and growing sections of the petty bourgeoisie. Precisely in this sphere the election revealed the opposite picture: counter-revolutionary despair embraced the petty bourgeois mass with such a force that it drew behind it many sections of the proletariat.

-Leon Trotsky, 1932

The average American has a hard time grasping that the rise of fascism only involves the state indirectly. Fascism in and of itself is a movement that begins in the streets, manipulated by the ruling class, but only as an owner can manipulate his bloodthirsty pitbull. Thus, fascism seldom begins with an increase of state power, but with a crisis of state power. There is a point at which the mobs in the street get so caught up in attacking “the enemy” that they unwittingly fall into the hands of a demagogue. That is how fascism happens, not through “health care reform” or the invasion of army troops in the street. The people impose the violence on themselves, and become their own police state.

It is interesting that the rhetorical language of fascism is despair. Despair can take many forms: pining for a simpler time, the “morning in America” moment, a purer racial past, a more homogeneous population. Despair can be more concrete in terms of putting food on the table or a roof over your head. But a major characteristic of fascism is that it has no plan, at least not one it cares to divulge. It only speaks in platitudes, points fingers, and hints at a brighter future to be won by sweat, sacrifice (and blood?). There always seems to be talk of returning to the pristine first principles of the social order, and always, a badgering cry to “throw the bumbs out”.

Any similarity between this and any current political phenomenon, real or imagined, is purely coincidental.


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6 responses

16 08 2010
Anonymous

Robespierre, anyone?

16 08 2010
Sam Urfer

“He who has an ear, let him hear”

16 08 2010
FrGregACCA

“Any similarity between this and any current political phenomenon, real or imagined, is purely coincidental.”

Sure it is, Arturo. SURE it is. 😉

16 08 2010
Manuel

Despair? While it is true they had no real “plan” of which to speak of in the beginning, it seems Hitler and Mussolini really thought things were going to get better after they were done. This sounds like they were full of “hope.”
Anyway, the wires are getting crossed all the time: Mussolini started as a socialist and Nazi is short for National Socialist. Plus, the Trotsky quote sounds a lot like what happened in Cambodia (with the people getting so caught up in revolutionary fervor they started slaughtering each other), and they were supposed to be the Communists. But Trotsky would probably play the usual Communist ploy and come up with an argument about how “that’s not real Communism.”

16 08 2010
sortacatholic

My apologies. Here’s a working link for Michael Vobis’ The Vortex: Catholic Government

16 08 2010
sortacatholic

A frame critique. As featured on The Catholic Fascist,a recent episode of Michael Voris’s webcast The Vortex has advocated for a Catholic monarchy. Does Voris call for fascism in the guise of moral autocracy?

Paraphrase of Trotsky (per Arturo): The communist proletarian movement drags the bourgeois into revolution, while the fascist bourgeois movement drags the proletariat into counter-revolution. Inverse relationship? Hold the thought.

In his webcast, Voris contends that selfish, immoral/amoral “western-style” democratic voters hinder a Catholic confessional state. His intermediate possibility: let only “orthodox Catholics” vote. Long term goal: establish a Catholic monarchy.

Arturo clarifies the fascist underpinnings of Voris’s polisci: But a major characteristic of fascism is that it has no plan, at least not one it cares to divulge. It only speaks in platitudes, points fingers […] There always seems to be talk of returning to the pristine first principles of the social order, and always, a badgering cry to “throw the bumbs out”.

Voris’ call for a pure electorate represents the fascist leg of Trotsky’s inverse relationship. Per Voris, a (s)elect are chosen (how?) to bridge lumpenprole balloting and the autocracy legitimized by the electoral bourgeois. Voris’s vague talk of theocracy includes the flimsy exegesis of “thy kingdom come” as a vague justification for riling the fundamentalist soldiers.

“Trotsky’s Inverse” fascism appears to hold, despite/because of the nebulous nature of Voris’s plans.

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