Fight the viper while it's zygote

Image: Luiz Armando Bagolin
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By SAVIO BONES*

To stop the reactionary march that follows its course, with comings and goings, it is necessary to build and expand alliances, summon democratic and progressive forces to unite

In November 1926, when the fourth year of the March on Rome was completed, of the rise of fascism to the executive leadership of the Italian bourgeois State, Evguiéni Pachukanis published the article For a characterization of the fascist dictatorship. From the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR), 95 years ago, joining the struggles in Europe and the rest of the world, the renowned intellectual intervened in the debates on the anti-fascist proletarian tactic, capturing its permanent and lasting traits.

The Bolshevik recalls: “to say that the dictatorship of fascism is the dictatorship of capital is to say very little. It is necessary”, he continues, “to give an answer to the question: why does the dictatorship of capital take place precisely in this way? One cannot forget Hegel's thought about form being an essential point of content. Therefore, we have an obligation to find out what this particular form generated as new, what it offered as new, what its specific possibilities and its specific contradictions”.

In search of answers, the Marxist jurist analyzes the conditions in which Italian fascism emerged and “its objective social content”. In his conclusions, he states that “the dictatorship of Mussolini is not a dictatorship of the petty bourgeoisie nor of the big landowners, but a dictatorship of the big industrialists and finance capital”. Next, he points out the various implications of this assertion.

At the same time, it makes it clear that fascism is a phenomenon of civil society, with its derivations in political society, and not an exclusively political event, much less arising only in the state sphere. He also clarifies that such a far-right current directly affronts political freedoms, workers, popular classes. It is also characterized by promoting open persecution of communists, revolutionaries, democrats, patriots, progressives, humanists, all forces and individuals who oppose it – wherever they come from.

As an example, he cites economic, political, social measures and Mussolini's speeches, among them, the one in January 1923, in which the Duce of the hordes dressed in black shirts asserts that "fascism is the negation of any socialist and democratic doctrine".

The Soviet author also states that in addition to having a polyclassist mass base, an active militancy, an organic functioning of the paramilitary type, fascism assumes violence as a central instrument of political activity and adopts a pragmatic, verbose, aggressive and, fundamentally, rhetoric. , anti-communist. Its “characteristic point consists in the fact that the fascist organization, from the beginning, is oriented in the struggle for power, and, moreover, in the struggle by all means, including those that directly violate existing legality. It is this direct attitude towards the seizure of state power that sharply differentiates the fascist movement from parliamentary-type political organizations.”

Considering the balance of the struggles fought against fascism until then, in various parts of the world, by the democratic forces, among them the communists, and taking into account the diverse contributions that multiplied at the time, Pachukanis emphasizes that it is necessary to recognize the unavoidable need to “consider all the internal contradictions that exist in the bourgeois camp between fascists and anti-fascists, in addition to the contradictions of fascism itself.”

To do so, it evokes the classic elaboration of Vladimir Ilyich, Leftism, childhood disease of communism, from 1920: “This, once again, is one of Lenin's recipes. He says (in relation to England) that from an absolutely pure point of view, that is, abstract, immature, and still of mass action, the differentiation of communism between Lloyd George and (Winston) Churchill and between Lloyde George and (Athur ) Henderon is absolutely unimportant and small, but from the point of view of practice, from the point of view of the party that wants to lead the masses in battle, the differences need to be considered", since "in his account, at a certain moment of maturation of the irreconcilable conflicts between these 'friends', which weaken and weaken all 'friends', taken as a whole, is the whole cause, the whole task of communism.”

Inaugurated previously, the clashes, debates and accumulations continued in the fire of ongoing conflicts, taking shape in the face of the “concrete analysis of concrete reality”, as well as carrying with it a collection of defeats and victories in heroic battles.

On 2/8/1935 and nine years later – therefore, 80 years ago –, Georgy Dimitrov, on behalf of the Executive Committee of the Third International, in which he was secretary general, delivered the famous report to the VII Congress of the world organization of the movement communist. Then, the positions expressed in the discussions and the approved resolutions armed the revolutionaries, the proletariat and the popular masses with a broad, advanced and powerful policy to face the fascist dictatorships.

On that occasion, the fascist movement was again laid bare and presented in its essence: “the brazen terrorist dictatorship of the most reactionary, most chauvinist and most imperialist elements of finance capital.” The pronouncement made it clear that “the rise of fascism to Power is not a simple exchange of one bourgeois government for another, but the replacement of a state form of class domination by the bourgeoisie, bourgeois democracy, by another: the declared terrorist dictatorship. ”

The Bulgarian leader, who had been a victim of Nazi persecution when he was active in Germany, pointed out the meaning that his political openness had for the International: “We want the communists of each country to take and opportunely take advantage of all the teachings of their experience, which is the vanguard of the proletariat. We want them to learn as soon as possible to swim in the stormy waters of the class struggle and not remain on the sidelines, as spectators and recorders of the approaching waves, waiting for good weather.” By then, the drums of war were already beating.

The Sixth Congress, in 1928, had already warned humanity about the offensive and the dangers of fascism, however, it adopted a narrow tactic. Correcting course, the 1935 Congress took decisive steps to confront fascism. It approved an open, stable, powerful and reliable general tactic, therefore capable of addressing the great proletarian-popular masses and mobilizing them.

The Popular Antifascist Front, as the policy of alliances approved at the time became known, by comprising different classes and sectors of classes, enabled the agglutination of diverse democratic and progressive forces. As a notable historical-political achievement, it revived and renewed the set of battles that followed. Unfortunately, the successes obtained were not strong enough to resist and defeat fascism, already matured in its bridgeheads set in Italy, Germany and Japan. Thus, a large part of the workers and peoples was swallowed up by the carnage of the imperialist war.

The correctness, strength and permanence of the tactics implemented by the communist parties have profoundly marked the conflicts lived against fascism since then, the victories celebrated and the defeats suffered. Together came political-practical experiences, teachings and the accumulation of actions ranging from immediate solidarity to those of a general political or military nature – including in countries outside the conflicted territory.

The fight against fascism, therefore, is not just any situational question, which appeared like a bolt from a blue sky, which requires elaboration starting from scratch. On the contrary, it comes from a long time ago, was lived in mistakes and successes, consolidated advances and produced a glorious history. Although it is now relocated to new heights and dimensions, the anti-fascist struggle is not exactly a novelty for social pioneers. For an enlightened, active and vigorous resistance, it is necessary to rescue this heritage and project it in the struggles of the present and the future, according to the concrete reality.

For decades there has been a theoretical-practical accumulation of clashes against fascist movements, which goes back to the formation of the Fasci Italiani di Combattimento– Italian Combat Groups. Over time, it went through mass mobilizations, civil wars and resistance to political regimes guided by State terrorism and to governments that endorse it, as well as the confrontation with dictatorships of other characteristics, until reaching the present day and the clashes against the current fascist manifestations.

Faced with the strategic defensive experienced by progressive forces and the advance made by fascist, proto-fascist, warmonger, ultraconservative, xenophobic and anti-humanist movements on a worldwide scale, History cannot fall asleep in drawers and shelves. Instead, it has to stay awake and sound like thunder.

In Brazil, apart from some academic works, after a debate with little scope on the military regime, discussions referring to fascism reentered the agenda, permeating the practices and analyzes of the mass demonstrations that took place in 2013. Later, it gained a regular dimension with the appearance of the militia captain in national political life.

Navigating the waves of a coup march, Jair Bolsonaro, by making clear what he represents, intends to build and militates to direct a surrender, reactionary, ultra-conservative, anti-popular, obscurantist, dictatorial and autocratic movement, has definitely brought the issue to the Brazilian agenda. His subservience to US imperialism, his praise of Donald Trump and his methods, only reinforced the debate.

Above all, they were the presidential statements, initiatives, attitudes and actions, as well as those of his collaborators, in the sense of molding political society in his image and likeness, attacking, weakening and altering the current democratic-constitutional political regime, further restricting freedoms democracy and civil rights, which imposed urgency and a new scope on the subject. This all combined with the attitude of the Government and sectors belonging to its allied or mass base on the Pandemic and anti-covid-19 health policies, which turned the issue into a national emergency.

Democratic portions of civil society and political society, especially the advanced masses, already identify Bolsonaro and his gangs with fascism or with some of its traits. It is enough to spy on party resolutions, as well as pronouncements, declarations, studies, analyses, theses, opinions and postures in general, to verify a certain consensus: there is an atmosphere conducive to the growth of fascism.

A popping up of positions treads the paths of liberalism and naivety by believing, for example, that we already live in a fascist political regime, mistaking acorns for acorns. Others believe that such an extreme right project cannot prosper in Brazil, that the aberrations seen today are exceptions, that the present day represents a mere hiatus in national history, that the situationists are nothing more than ignorant, that the Federal Government will wear out by itself, that the majority will soon wake up to the fight spontaneously, after a hypnotic lethargy and until the next elections will have the magic power of putting the car back on track, redirecting it towards a supposedly stolen democracy and a lost paradise. There are also those who think that there is no way to stop barbarism anymore.

Fortunately, a growing number of people, parties and movements open paths to face proto-fascism – that is, to see the fascism that continues in its gestation and zygote state – and see the consolidation of the extreme right, including its ideas and militant force , as an expression of the real class struggle. He sees that his goal is to go further and liquidate the democratic regime, depending on the conjuncture and the correlation of forces, either through a re-election of Bolsonaro in 2022, or by contesting the unfavorable results at the polls, with or without a self-coup.

Regardless of the path chosen, if the assessments, deliberations and statements about the situation and the fascist threats are sincere, it is clear that the ghost is already warning us all. Nothing is more correct, fair and necessary than joining forces and concentrating energies to exorcise danger. It is about preventing it from growing and its results from being realized, completed.

The 2020 electoral process, the subsequent debates and discussions on the new composition of the Bureau in the National Congress, with the constitution of an opposition parliamentary bloc, opened up the difficulties, in civil society and in political society, of answering a question, apparently naive and simple, but which can define the course of the class struggle and the next steps in the political dispute that promises to become more intense.

To absorb reality beyond the mists of idealism and voluntarism, intrinsically murky, and respond to the question with clarity, it is not even necessary to widen your eyes to see the size of the predicament the country is in and the dangers that threaten it.

The coup march, initiated with Penal Action 470, was legitimized and consolidated with the election of the current president. The militia captain and his phalanxes imposed a profound and far-reaching defeat on the multiple forces committed to freedoms and majorities, all the more so when one takes into account the strategic defensive situation in which they find themselves and the repercussions of the health crisis on the ground. national.

Proto-fascism occupied spaces, the extreme right prevailed in key institutions of the State and the Central Government is well evaluated in a portion of the Brazilian population that encompasses different classes and social sectors. Those who delude themselves by thinking, out of simple desire, that the extreme right is nothing more than a will-o'-the-wisp, that it doesn't have a project, that the current president is just an ignorant fool, willing to respect the so-called democratic game, need to wake up to the truth: it is necessary to combine efforts to block the nightmare that tries to perpetuate itself.

Returning to the question initially proposed: what is the priority of combats in the current situation? Where should the energies of the historic block be channeled? Should the center of criticism be the liberal-bourgeois sector? The traditional and vacillating conservatism, fruit, defender and coexistence of democratic environments? The segments on the right that broke their alliances with social liberalism? Those who approached Bolsonaro and now, for various reasons – whether noble or pragmatic, whether they are unconfessable or not – now want to see him and his government from a distance, just as they seek to tread an alternative path to defeat him? The disappointed, the regretful, the ambiguous, the hesitant? All who would be mere flour from the same bag?

Or does the enemy remain the same and the fight has to focus on proto-fascism, on the Federal Government, on the presidential figure with his ultra-regressive entourage, on their attitudes and on everything they express, intend and desire?

There can only be one answer: the main shock must be given against those who increasingly subordinate the Brazilian nation and instrumentalize, persecutorily and openly, the State apparatus, including the armed forces, with widowers of the military regime and other autocratic groups, reactionaries and militiamen, with frank self-coup and dictatorial intentions. Any doubt or hesitation will certainly generate serious and fatal errors.

The energies of the proletariat and the popular classes must be turned against a government that withdraws labor and social rights, discards the social responsibilities that interest those “from below”, sabotages public health, promotes unemployment, freezes real wages, expands the poverty, increases general impoverishment and abandons the most needy.

The confrontation must take place against the Bolsonarian reaction that threatens democratic freedoms and civil rights, sows obscurantism, thrives on pragmatism, manipulates religious faith and encourages militias, as well as exudes oppression, prejudice and truculence, also incarnated in the figure of others. militiamen out of doctrinal conviction or petty interest, like Roberto Jefferson.

To stop the reactionary march that follows its course, with comings and goings, it is necessary to build and expand alliances, summon the democratic and progressive forces to unite, to join efforts and to aim their batteries, together, at the main enemy.

On all fronts of struggle – trade union, thematic, specific or community –, the popular-worker field and its militancy must be clear who is the central enemy to be fought and never forget or underestimate its key political task in the present conjuncture: set an example, lead the way and align the unity of action between the various democratic and progressive sectors for journeys and campaigns to be built together.

Only then will it be possible to impose significant defeats – partial and general, short, medium and long term – on the current greatest enemies of the people. Key examples were the struggles for Fundeb and Emergency Aid, when social mobilization and parliamentary action were combined. It is on the agenda to resist the rooting, even organic, of Bolsonarism in the large crowds, paving the way for the resumption of mass mobilizations and leaving the current situation, of resistance, to go on the offensive.

Benito Mussolini, in his text The Doctrine of Fascism, published in 1932 in the Encyclopedia Italiana, shows – right at the opening of the section entitled Rejection of parliamentary democracy as a decoy and a fraud –that it is urgent and possible to establish broad alliances to combat, in fact, its ideas and henchmen: “After socialism, fascism points its weapons at the entire block of democratic ideologies and rejects both its premises and its practical applications and its implements.”

This is the same discourse adopted by the Bolsonarian reaction. To see this, just read the newspapers and posts of the encrusted computer militia and follower of the Planalto Palace. In the face of such obviousness, what else is needed to act with maturity, responsibility and consequence?

*Savio Bones, journalist, he is Director of the Sergio Miranda Institute (Isem).

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