The Guardian 18 May, 2005

Taking issue with Andrew Jackson

Beware creeping fascism

I’ve appreciated the recent coverage of the 60th anniversary of the defeat of fascism, and am pleased that the Soviet Union was given due credit for its heroic role.

But what is the use of analysing history if we don’t use the lessons we’ve learned and apply them to today?

On an internet newsgroup recently a young correspondent from the USA asked: “Why is our country so full of hatred today? Why is it that every time I open a paper or turn on the TV I’m either subjected to someone spewing hatred against minorities in this country or listening to the news reporting acts of violence against them?”

He even went so far as to compare the anti-Muslim and anti-gay hysteria that exists in the US today to the conditions minorities faced in Germany in the 1930s. But that’s where he stopped.

Being dialectical materialists we know that social conditions cannot be separated from political and economic conditions.

This is the response I offered him:

An often-used definition of fascism is by Georgi Dimitrov, who described it as “the open, terrorist dictatorship of the most reactionary, most chauvinistic and most imperialist elements of finance capital”.

Dimitrov* used that definition to describe Nazi Germany.

Ask yourself: Do US citizens live under a dictatorship?

George W Bush cheated in the elections to get into power, and then rigged them again to stay in power. The so-called “Patriot Act” has stripped from the American people numerous rights they have enjoyed for over 200 years.

Is the US a terrorist dictatorship? Hundreds of people are being held without trial or have just disappeared altogether in the United States under said Patriot Act. Thousands more are being held without trial, tortured and killed in American jails in Guantánamo, Iraq and Afghanistan.

Reactionary and chauvinistic: George W Bush went to war in the Middle East after his government whipped up anti-Arab and anti-Muslim hysteria. He is part of a religious political right that has incited gay-hate campaigns — he used anti-gay-marriage referenda in many states to encourage bigots to the polls on election day. “Hey, while I’m here voting against the fags I might as well vote for George Bush for President as well!”

And who is the driving force behind the Bush government? “... the most imperialist elements of finance capital”. George bush didn’t invade Iraq because of the WMDs. He didn’t invade to install democracy. He has sacrificed the lives of 1500 young Americans so far for the oil and to gain a strategic base in the Middle East.

He signed up his mates on lucrative contracts to rebuild the country he had just destroyed (to be more accurate, he actually signed them up before he destroyed it) and pays them with the proceeds from the oil he is stealing. And the hundreds of billions of dollars he has stripped from the welfare, health and education budgets he is pouring into defence contractors and weapons manufacturers to supply his invading armies.

And “finance capital”? The American money traders are terrified that more and more nations are switching from the dollar to the euro as the primary currency for trading. This is one of the reasons why the US dollar has slipped to record lows — fewer people need it. A worldwide switch from the dollar to the euro would not just sink the dollar, but the whole US economy would collapse.

The EU now encompasses 25 nations — including four of the G7 nations: UK, France, Germany and Italy — all trading with each other in euros.

Just months before it was invaded, Iraq began to sell its oil in euros. Now Iran and Venezuela do too (Venezuela just having signed contracts to sell oil to India and China.). Cuba has switched recently and North Korea changed last year.

Hmmmm — which countries do George W and Condoleezza Rice rail against most often? Which countries is the US obviously gearing up to invade next? Iran, Venezuela, North Korea and Cuba. Coincidence? I don’t think so.

Do the American people live under an open terrorist dictatorship of the most reactionary, chauvinist and imperialist elements of finance capital?

All those conditions existed in Germany in the 1930s. Increasingly, they exist in the USA today. It’s called creeping fascism.

*Georgi Dimitrov was a Bulgarian communist who was arrested in Germany and, with others, charged with burning down the Reichstag, the German parliament. Hitler was hoping political pressure would bring a “guilty” verdict, which would then allow him to arrest and execute communists in Germany en masse. Dimitrov, through his own brilliant defence, effectively put the Nazis on trial and exposed the charges as so blatantly trumped up that the judges returned a “not guilty” verdict.

Back to index page