This article first appeared in The Anvil Vol 8 No 4, published 31st August 2019.
Mass murders, and attempted mass murders, committed by Fascists worldwide appear to be occurring at an accelerating pace. Since the Christchurch massacre in March, there has been the Gilroy Garlic Festival massacre in the US in July, the El Paso massacre in early August and an attempted massacre at a mosque in Norway about a week later. This is a phenomenon of the utmost seriousness.
A Fascist group is a conspiracy to murder and deserves to be treated as such. It is now clear, though, that Fascists carry out their deadly program not only through formal groups. Recent massacres have been committed by individuals who engaged in on-line discussions with other Fascists, each of them praising massacres and calling, in general terms, for their replication.
Street mobilisations of Fascists must be confronted and, where possible, defeated. This is clear and the MACG has stated this repeatedly, but it is not enough. It doesn’t cut off Fascism at its roots and hasn’t prevented individuals rising from the sewers of 8chan to commit their unaffiliated massacres.
The paranoid nationalism of the Fascists who are spreading rapidly is a response to the inability of national governments to soften the impact of neo-liberalism on their citizens. Nationalism, the common and unquestioned assumption of all capitalist ideologies and also of social democracy, isn’t working well enough, so the reflex reaction is to double down on it. This environment is a boon to Fascists, since they take nationalism to its logical conclusion.
Since Fascism arises from the crisis of global capitalism, the only thing that can defeat it is a movement to resolve this crisis in the interests of the multi-racial, multicultural and gender diverse working class of the world. At the moment, we’re a long way from this. In every country, the mainstream unions have a nationalist political framework and even as a visible minority current, internationalists can only be found in a few countries.
There are impressive movements in support of refugees in many countries and internationalists are prominent in them, but the movements are trapped in a minority position and are tackling the State where it is strong and we are weak. These movements, necessary as they are, will not make the required breakthrough.
What can work? Only by harnessing the inherent power of workers in the workplace can we turn the tide. An internationalist workers’ movement can cut the appeal of Fascism off at the knees, through demonstrating that the one thing more powerful than global capitalism is the global working class. This, however, raises the problem of the appalling state of the existing unions. Around the world, recent victories have been few and far between. Instead, unions have suffered defeat after defeat, shrinking in size and retreating politically. The union officials are plainly not up to the task of defending the institutions over which they preside.
We need to face the hard knowledge that we have to go back to basics and rebuild workplace organisation from the ground up. We are not dogmatic about organisational tactics here. They will differ from country to country according to the state of the unions and the environment in which they operate. In some countries, workers will need to build new unions. In others, we will need an insurgency within the existing unions. And in others, it will be best, at least for the now, to operate informally and possibly underground. In Australia, the best course is likely to be a rank and file insurgency inside the unions. It will avoid taking the positions of the union officials until the existing legislative framework is rendered unenforceable. Any officials who want to co-operate with this program should be worked with, but not relied upon.
The growth of Fascism is ongoing. The massacres will continue and perhaps keep accelerating until we have a movement that can both confront it physically and address the political issues that give it life. This requires workers uniting across borders to win battles that cannot be won on the national terrain. Whether we are talking about cars, mining, garments or anything else, we confront global corporations and global supply chains. Our response must be global. And by building a truly global labour movement, we can not only defeat Fascism, but open the door to a workers’ revolution that will do away with capitalism forever.
WORKERS OF THE WORLD UNITE!