The rise of the right wing, of fascist ideology, is inextricably linked with the crises of capitalism, which are periodic and inevitable because of the internal contradictions within the capitalist system, which can never be overcome, because capitalism is an antagonistic class-based system in which differing class interests cannot be reconciled.
Fascism is the iron fist of capitalism, to ensure and secure private property, the private profits and rents of the capitalist class. It is capitalism in its most violent and ruthless form.
As the capitalist system bounces from one crisis to the next, and as the crisis deepens and widens, the working class, no longer content with the misery of poverty, hunger, debt, austerity, cuts to public services, the sale and privatisation of public lands, utilities, and services, begins trying to advance its position and interests in society. When the working class begins to organise itself as a real threat to the existing system and the privileges of the capitalists and their private property, it is under these conditions that we find fascism rising up, financed by the ruling class to act as the henchmen, doing their dirty work on the ground.
The purpose of right-wing and fascist organisations is to prevent the working class gaining significant power. As the working class deepens its class-consciousness, broadens its struggle, organises itself industrially and militantly, and demands more from a government than what a government can provide, thus becoming more revolutionary, fascist movements, propped up by the ruling class, try to step in and assimilate themselves as a voice of the workers. This is a ruse, a way to disarm the workers in order to smash the workers’ organisations that are threatening to disrupt the profits of the ruling class.
As the class struggle deepens, they use the crisis of capitalism as an excuse for state repression, censorship, imprisonment and even execution of the most advanced sections of the workers’ movement, while at the same time they target the most vulnerable and marginalised in society, using them as scapegoats for the economic crisis.
Fundamentally, fascism is for conserving the laws, customs and treaties that protect the ruling class and their right to private property: their right to own the means of production and their ability to exploit and extract profit from the labouring masses.
Fascists and leading figures of the right prostitute the word “patriotism” to gain support from a public who are already angry and disfranchised by the established political parties and the state of affairs in society. Their “patriotism,” however, is nothing more than narrow nationalism and racism, dedicated to the national interests of the ruling class, ensuring the suppression of the workers’ movement.
Fascism is organised counter-revolution. Its analysis of crisis is superficial; and though they may pay lip service to popular demands and issues facing working people, in the final analysis they do not propose to change the relations of class power. Just like social democrats, centrists, and revisionists, their purpose is unveiled in times of crisis. They drop the veil of democracy used by other forces and implement their iron rule of power in the interests of the ruling class, guaranteeing the protection of private property for the owners of capital against a class-conscious workers’ movement.
We witness this today in Latin America, where progressive governments are causing a crisis for capitalism and the imperialist empire of the United States when they nationalise and put into public ownership their resources. As the Bolivarian revolution has spread, so too has the growth in the extreme right and fascist forces, instigating coups and sabotage against progressive governments, supported and financed by the indigenous capitalist ruling class and the imperialist blocs. Their private media mouthpieces then spread their propaganda to the outside world. The thin veil of democracy slips away once they are able to establish some power in the country.
This is the common practice of imperialist hegemony, witnessed around the globe for more than a century.
Integral to the right-wing ideology is the centrality of war: a philosophy of war, of war preparation, with the building up of the military-industrial complex for imperialist war practice. Going hand in glove with this war philosophy is a racist ideology, the idea of a superior race, a smokescreen used as a way to legitimise and desensitise one society from bombing and mass-murdering civilians of another society.
Again we must emphasise that fascism is capitalism in its most desperate form. Capitalism, fascism and war are inseparable; and there are very few things as profitable as war. Capitalism, with its internal contradictions, will remain in constant crisis, therefore fascism will always threaten to rise in its interests; and therefore war is an inevitable part of the capitalist system.
Without a Marxist class analysis of the causes of the capitalist crisis and without offering an alternative, we leave the space open for right-wing and fascist voices, with their lies, deceit, and hate. Without our exposing and opposing them they become in the eyes of the public just another dissenting voice, critical of the political establishment, which will garner them support.
Our duty as anti-fascists, anti-imperialists, is to expose their hate, their lies, their deceit, wherever possible to block any potential growth of their movement here in Ireland and, where possible, elsewhere around the globe.