by Fazal Rahman, Ph.D.
Writer, Dandelion Salad
Originally published on imperialismandthethirdworld, Mar. 2, 2020
March 3, 2020
“To leave error unrefuted is to encourage intellectual immorality.” — Karl Marx
“Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I am not sure about the universe.” — Albert Einstein
“The condition of alienation, of being asleep, of being unconscious, of being out of one’s mind, is the condition of the normal man. Society highly values its normal man. It educates children to lose themselves and to become absurd, and thus to be normal. Normal men have killed perhaps 100,000,000 of their fellow normal men in the last fifty years.” — R.D. Laing, The Politics of Experience/The Bird of Paradise. 1967.
In this article, the nature and problems of many interrelated areas and forms of political economy, like capitalist democracy, imperialism, globalization, neoliberalism, fascism, human nature, mass psychology, socialism, etc. are discussed and explicated. Any one of these areas requires comprehensive articles and books for detailed discussions and explications. I have tried to address what I consider to be their most important aspects.
Re: Fascism: The word fascism is being used too loosely, which leads to confusion and misinformation about the nature of politico-economic systems. The accurate usage of such words that refer to huge changes in the forms of governance of the ruling classes is most important. Not all dictatorships, military or civilian, are fascist, even though they may share some features with fascism. According to my 1986 theory on newer forms of international fascism (1), fascism and fascist dictatorships can emanate to other countries from the imperialist centers that are capitalist-imperialist democracies. Fascist phenomena develop in relatively highly developed capitalist and imperialist societies. These can develop in response to internal crises and/or in relation to international operations of imperialism. In both cases, capitalist and imperialist classes replace capitalist democracies with fascist dictatorships, primarily to maintain and enhance their profits and domination over natural and human resources. As indicated above, in their international operations, these classes may impose fascist dictatorships and systems in other countries, while maintaining capitalist democracies in their own countries.
Re: Socialism: Another word that is being used very loosely is socialism, especially in the US, both by leftist and rightist writers. Its misuse by writers, claiming to be Marxists, is particularly harmful, as it misleads and confuses people, who are not knowledgeable about Marxist socialism and communism. Such writings also waste readers’ time. Writers have a great responsibility to know what they are writing or talking about. After the grand betrayals of socialism in most of the former socialist countries, which were striving to advance to communist stage, numerous opportunist academic and other leftist and Marxist intellectuals have sprung up, who are distorting and perverting some of the essential foundations of Marxism, in the name of Marxism. Taking advantage of the intellectual vacuum, some of the prominent among them are also slandering the political economy of former USSR, which had the most developed socialist political economy and its reflections in numerous publications in all the relevant areas by competent and knowledgeable individuals or teams of researchers and writers. I had spent considerable time and effort to expose the flaws and errors of some of them in my 2015 article (2). Even though socialism is not on the horizon in the US, it is still most important to know accurately what it really is and what it will take to create it, and to refute the errors, confusions, and slanders being sown by the opportunists, for various reasons and purposes. Even some of the well meaning and sincere writers seem to be propagating some of these errors, flaws and confusions, because of inadequate or flawed knowledge of socialism, communism, and Marxism-Leninism, areas that have vast accumulated literature.
Essential foundations of Marxism:
Marxism is a developmental dialectical philosophy and political economy. Its contents are continually and dynamically updated, in the light of new facts and events. However, all the authentic developments have been taking place on the basis of certain primary foundations, which remain, and will continue to remain, as long as capitalism continues to exist and is not replaced by socialism and communism. Some of those foundations are:
1. Primacy of the economic basis over the superstructure in the political economy.
2. Clear and objective definitions of classes in their relations to the means of production.
3. Necessity of the replacement of the politico-economic rule of the capitalist class with that of the working class and its allies. All such successful replacements in the past have been achieved through social revolutions.
4. Transformation of the private ownership of the means of production into their social ownership.
5. Necessity of establishment of the dictatorship of the proletariat, after the socialist revolution, to prevent the inevitable violent counterrevolution by the capitalist class, and its internal and external allies, for the restoration of capitalism.
Many continue to use socialism in regard to countries, where it never existed or where it has been betrayed, e.g. Venezuela, Nicaragua, Ecuador, and Bolivia where it never existed. What they had was social democracy, a relatively progressive political form of capitalism. Venezuela is struggling to maintain it and in Nicaragua, Ecuador, and Bolivia, it has been eroded. In Peoples Republic of China and Vietnam, objectively, real socialism, that is, Marxist socialism, has been betrayed, and, contrary to the hypocritical lip service of their leaders to socialism, they are operating under state capitalism. This is a complex issue, which needs a detailed politico-economic analysis, which is beyond the scope of this article. Here, I can only include a few references, which contain some of that analysis.
Chossudovsky, M. Towards capitalist restoration: Chinese socialism after Mao. Macmillan Education Ltd., London. 1986.
Chossudovsky, M. China and the Restoration of Capitalism. The Largest Cheap Labor Factory in the World. Global Research. July 7, 2018.
Vandepitte, M. Is China capitalist? Global Research, February 16, 2020. https://www.globalresearch.ca/china-capitalist/5703795
Mark Karlin. Why Does Trump Like Communist Vietnam? Because It’s Capitalist. Global Research, May 09, 2019. https://www.globalresearch.ca/trump-like-communist-vietnam-its-capitalist/5677083
Selected definitions of fascism
1. Georgi Dimitrov
To comprehend the nature of fascism, it is important to try to deduce its essence from its various historical manifestations and appearances. There are numerous definitions of fascism. The following four definitions capture the essence of fascism logically and factually, the first by Georgi Dimitrov continues to be accepted as the essence of fascism by contemporary Marxist-Leninist circles throughout the world. My 1986 theory on the later transformations of fascism is consistent with that definition. The authors of these definitions had in-depth knowledge of the developmental dynamics of capitalism, imperialism, socialism, capitalist democracy, and socialist democracy; lived through the period of German and Italian fascisms; and struggled against it. The fifth detailed analysis of the mass psychology of fascism by Wilhelm Reich contains some important insights and conclusions, which were based upon his psychoanalytic experience and knowledge, as well as his knowledge of political economy.
In a comprehensive official report on fascism to the 7th World Congress of the Communist Third International in August 1935 (3), Bulgarian Communist leader Georgi Dimitrov cited the definition of fascism, formulated with the help of Clara Zetkin, at the Third Plenum as “the open, terrorist dictatorship of the most reactionary, most chauvinistic, and most imperialist elements of finance capital.”
The following passages of that report are also relevant to the understanding of fascism:
“Fascism is not a form of state power “standing above both classes — the proletariat and the bourgeoisie,” as Otto Bauer, for instance, has asserted. It is not “the revolt of the petty bourgeoisie which has captured the machinery of the state,” as the British Socialist Brailsford declares. No, fascism is not a power standing above class, nor government of the petty bourgeoisie or the lumpen-proletariat over finance capital. Fascism is the power of finance capital itself. It is the organization of terrorist vengeance against the working class and the revolutionary section of the peasantry and intelligentsia. In foreign policy, fascism is jingoism in its most brutal form, fomenting bestial hatred of other nations…. The development of fascism, and the fascist dictatorship itself, assume different forms in different countries, according to historical, social and economic conditions and to the national peculiarities, and the international position of the given country.”
“Fascism was able to come to power primarily because the working class, owing to the policy of class collaboration with the bourgeoisie pursued by the Social-Democratic leaders, proved to be split, politically and organizationally disarmed, in face of the onslaught of the bourgeoisie. And the Communist Parties, on the other hand, apart from and in opposition to the Social-Democrats, were not strong enough to rouse the masses and to lead them in a decisive struggle against fascism.”
“All this, however, does not make less important the fact that, before the establishment of a fascist dictatorship, bourgeois governments usually pass through a number of preliminary stages and adopt a number of reactionary measures which directly facilitate the accession to power of fascism. Whoever does not fight the reactionary measures of the bourgeoisie and the growth of fascism at these preparatory stages is not in a position to prevent the victory of fascism, but, on the contrary, facilitates that victory.”
In February 1933, Marinus van der Lubbe, a Dutch council communist, Bulgarians Georgi Dimitrov, head of all Comintern operations in Western Europe, Vasil Tanev, and Blagoy Popov were arrested for an arson attack on the Reichstag building, home of the German parliament in Berlin, on Monday 27 February 1933, precisely four weeks after Adolf Hitler was sworn in as Chancellor of Germany. In the trial that followed, presided over by judges from the German Supreme Court, the Reichsgericht, Germany’s highest court, the accused were charged with arson and with attempting to overthrow the government. Only Marinus van der Lubbe was convicted and sentenced to death. He was beheaded by guillotine (the customary form of execution in Saxony at the time; it was by axe in the rest of Germany) on January 10, 1934, three days before his 25th birthday. Others were acquitted due to lack of evidence. Dimitrov had defended himself courageously and competently during the trial. Hitler was furious about the acquittals and created special “Peoples Court” (Volksgerichtshof) for such trials, which later executed numerous people accused of various crimes.
2. Clara Zetkin
An early study of fascism was written by Clara Zetkin for the Third Plenum in 1923:
“Fascism is the concentrated expression of the general offensive undertaken by the world bourgeoisie against the proletariat…. fascism [is] an expression of the decay and disintegration of the capitalist economy and as a symptom of the bourgeois state’s dissolution. We can combat fascism only if we grasp that it rouses and sweeps along broad social masses who have lost the earlier security of their existence and with it, often, their belief in social order…. It will be much easier for us to defeat Fascism if we clearly and distinctly study its nature. Hitherto there have been extremely vague ideas upon this subject not only among the large masses of the workers, but even among the revolutionary vanguard of the proletariat and the Communists…. The fascist leaders are not a small and exclusive caste; they extend deeply into wide elements of the population (4).
3. Leon Trotsky
In the posthumously published 1944 tract, Fascism: What It Is and How to Fight It, Communist opposition leader Leon Trotsky noted: “The historic function of fascism is to smash the working class, destroy its organizations, and stifle political liberties when the capitalists find themselves unable to govern and dominate with the help of democratic machinery (5).”
4. Definition of fascism from the Dictionary of Philosophy. Edited by I.Frolov. Translated into English and edited by Murad Saifulin and the late Richard R. Dixon. Second revised edition 1984. Progress Publishers 1984. Printed in the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics
Overt terroristic dictatorship of the most reactionary, chauvinistic elements of finance capital. The establishment of fascism reflects the inability of the ruling bourgeoisie to maintain its power by usual “democratic” methods. Fascism heads the forces of anti-communism and strikes its main blow against the Communist and Workers parties and other progressive organizations. The fascist system was established first in Italy (1922) and then in Germany (1933) and in other countries. In Germany fascism was masked under the name of National-Socialism. Fascism was the striking force of international reaction; the fascist states, Hitlerite Germany in the first place, unleashed the Second World War. The Soviet Union rendered the whole of progressive mankind the historic service of acting as the decisive force in routing German fascism. Notwithstanding the complete rout of the fascist states in the Second World War, reactionary elements in some imperialist countries are trying to revive fascism. The ideology of fascism is irrationalism, extreme chauvinism and racism, obscurantism, and inhumanity (6).
5. Wilhelm Reich
Wilhelm Reich, who was an Austrian medical doctor, a psychoanalyst, and an associate of Sigmund Freud, attempted to synthesize Marxism and psychology. His 1933 book, The Mass Psychology of Fascism (7), originally published in German, was translated into many languages. Among other things, he considered sexual repression in the German society to have been an important factor in its vulnerability to and acceptance of fascism, along with the socio-economico-political and historical factors. His approach to fascism was very different than other writers. It was characterized by combination of mass psychology and political economy. His thesis was that there were three layers of the mass psychology of people living in the sick societies under capitalist political economies, and fascist tendencies were prevalent in the second layer, “consisting of cruel, sadistic, lascivious, predatory and envious impulses. This is the Freudian “unconscious” or “repressed”; in sex-economic language.” It was covered up under the façade of first superficial layer in which “the average individual is restrained, polite, compassionate and conscientious.” “If one penetrates through this second, perverse and antisocial layer, one arrives regularly at a third, the deepest layer, which we call the biological core. In this deepest layer, man, under favorable social conditions, is an honest, industrious, cooperative animal capable of love and also of rational hatred. In character-analytic work, one cannot penetrate to this deep, promising layer without first eliminating the false, sham-social surface. What makes its appearance when this cultivated mask falls away, however, is not natural sociality, but the perverse antisocial layer of the character.”
Reich’s career and output were characterized by some extreme contradictions, transforming from scientific, logical, and factual to pseudo-scientific, irrational, and imaginary. However, some of his works, including “The Mass Psychology of Fascism”, were recognized by numerous writers, intellectuals, and others for their originality and depth.
Following passages from his above-mentioned book:
Extensive and conscientious therapeutic work on the human character has taught me that, in judging human reactions, we have to take into account three different layers of the biopsychic structure. As I have shown in my book, Character Analysis, these layers are autonomously functioning representations of social development. In the superficial layer, the average individual is restrained, polite, compassionate and conscientious. There would be no social tragedy of the animal, man, if this superficial layer were in immediate contact with his deep natural core. His tragedy is that such is not the case. The superficial layer of social cooperation is not in contact with the biological core of the person, but separated from it by a second, intermediary character layer consisting of cruel, sadistic, lascivious, predatory and envious impulses. This is the Freudian “unconscious” or “repressed”; in sex-economic language, it is the sum total of the “secondary impulses.” Orgone biophysics has shown that the Freudian unconscious, the antisocial element in the human structure, is a secondary result of the repression of primary biological impulses. If one penetrates through this second, perverse and antisocial layer, one arrives regularly at a third, the deepest layer, which we call the biological core. In this deepest layer, man, under favorable social conditions, is an honest, industrious, cooperative animal capable of love and also of rational hatred. In character-analytic work, one cannot penetrate to this deep, promising layer without first eliminating the false, sham-social surface. What makes its appearance when this cultivated mask falls away, however, is not natural sociality, but the perverse antisocial layer of the character. As a result of this unfortunate structure, every natural social or libidinous impulse from the biological core must, on its way to action, pass the layer of the perverse secondary impulses where it becomes deflected. This deflection changes the originally social character of the natural impulse into a perverse impulse and thus inhibits any natural life manifestation. We can now apply our insights into human structure to the social and political field. It is not difficult to see that the diverse political and ideological groups in human society correspond to the various layers of human character structure. We do, of course, not follow idealistic philosophy in its belief that this human structure is eternal and unalterable. After social conditions and changes have formed the original biological needs into the character structure, the latter, in the form of ideologies, reproduces the social structure.
This author’s differing view on Reich’s layers of mass psychology
The problems of mass psychology and human nature that Reich analyzed can now be analyzed and discussed in relatively much greater biosocial specificity, in the light of new research information and knowledge in the fields of epigenetics and gene regulation, which were not there during his and Freud’s lifetimes. I integrated that knowledge in my own theory of human nature and mass psychology, and their relativity in relation to political economy, technology, and culture (8). Mass psychology includes both mass consciousness and mass unconscious, which are biosocially and epigenetically conditioned and regulated by the powerful macro-level forces of political economy, technology, and culture. In this author’s view, there are only two layers of mass psychology, that is, mass consciousness and mass unconscious. His second and third layer are not separate, but is just one layer, that of mass unconscious, which consists of various repressed biosocial components that are in conflict with the first layer, that is, consciousness. The qualities that he attributes to the third layer are, in my view, those of the first layer, consciousness. However, under the influence of powerful macro-level forces of capitalist and imperialist political economy, culture, and technology-which are integrated and intertwined into a compounded unity- these either mutate into superficialities or into their opposites. Under socialist and communist political economy, technology, and culture, man can indeed transform into an honest, industrious, cooperative animal capable of love and also of rational hatred-qualities that he attributes to the third layer- in the first layer, consciousness. Reich points out the ineffectiveness of the ethical norms to prevent the perversion of human character structure. However, it is due to contradictions and conflicts between such ethical norms and the unethical norms of the powerful macro-level forces of capitalist and imperialist political economy, culture, and technology, which overwhelm the ethical norms in the mass consciousness, pervert them, and replace them. These forces are decisive in conditioning and regulating both the mass consciousness and mass unconscious. About the second layer, he states, “a second, intermediary character layer consisting of cruel, sadistic, lascivious, predatory and envious impulses. This is the Freudian “unconscious” or “repressed”; in sex-economic language, it is the sum total of the “secondary impulses.” Orgone biophysics has shown that the Freudian unconscious, the antisocial element in the human structure, is a secondary result of the repression of primary biological impulses.” However, the secondary antisocial impulses of the mass unconscious are complexes of socio-psychologico-biological impulses, which are activated by the above-mentioned macro-level forces and repressed by the societal ethical, legal, and cultural norms. These contradictions will be progressively resolved and eventually disappear in the integrated system of socialist and communist political economy, technology, culture, and mass psychology.
The explosion of research discoveries of the past twenty years in the areas of epigenetics, gene regulation, and developmental plasticity have shown that the Central Nervous System (CNS) and the enormous numbers and types of interconnected networks of neural circuits, and neurotransmitters, hormones, and other chemicals, associated with these, play controlling and regulating roles in the regulation of specific genes and batteries of genes for various morphological and behavioral traits in metazoans (multicellular organisms, with nervous systems, including humans), in response to external and/or internal environmental factors. Cabej (2012) has cited thousands of such research studies and discoveries in his book, The Epigenetic Principles of Evolution (Cabej, N. R. 2012. Epigenetic Principles of Evolution. London, UK and Waltham, MA, USA: Elsevier, 804 pages). On the basis of all that new, as well as previous such information, cited in some publications much earlier (8), it is indubitable that social, politico-economic, and natural environmental factors play a regulating role via the brain, CNS, and interconnected networks of neural circuits, through the release and secretions of numerous variable neurotransmitters, hormones, and other chemicals, that regulate the activities of specific genes or batteries of genes, for various morphological, psychological, and behavioral traits and actions, in humans. Such processes and mechanisms are also certainly involved in the political and electoral behavior of the electorates. This constitutes a new dimension of these phenomena. At this stage of the development of knowledge and research information, it is only possible to present a general outline of these processes, like the one I have presented above, which, nevertheless, explains their regularity and relative stability in the ACITS. Specific epigenetic and gene regulatory research information, which is relevant to these, is super-abundant and can be found in the above-cited book of Cabej (2012), as well as in some earlier articles (8). The key point is that the underlying processes that regulate various human faculties and behaviors, including those involved in the political and electoral behavior, are not merely mass psychological or cultural, but are also biological and physiological in nature, involving the interactions between environmental factors; brain; CNS; networks of neural circuits; neurotransmitters, hormones, and other chemicals; and genes and their differential regulation. These processes take place mostly on the level of unconscious. The mass and individual unconscious play a greater role than the mass and individual consciousness in such regulations, which may even be the opposite of that required by the latter. Indeed, mass consciousness is predominantly created under the influence of such biosocial forces of the mass unconscious, with individual variations centered around it and conditioned by it. Can individuals overcome the effects of these forces within the framework of capitalist-imperialist political economy, like that of the US? It is possible, but is rare, and the overcoming is not complete, but only relative, as evidenced by the radical psychological conversions. Certainly, there are epigenetic and physiological dimensions of such conversions, the specifics of which are unknown at present. Mass psychological radical conversions in the population, in this regard, will only be possible during and after the overthrow of the capitalist-imperialist politico-economic system and its replacement with the socialist politico-economic system. However, even under socialism, it will take considerable time, perhaps on the inter-generational scale, for such transformations in the majorities.
In the following passages, Reich goes into more details of analysis:
Since the decline of the primitive work-democratic organization, the biological core of man has remained without social representation. That which is “natural” in man, which makes him one with the cosmos, has found its genuine expression only in the arts, particularly in music and painting. Until now, however, it has remained without any essential influence upon the form of human society, if by society is meant not the culture of a small rich upper crust but the community of all people.
In the ethical and social ideals of liberalism we recognize the representation of the superficial layer of the character, of self-control and tolerance. The ethics of this liberalism serve to keep down “the beast” in man, the second layer, our “secondary impulses,” the Freudian “unconscious.” The natural sociality of the deepest, nuclear layer is alien to the liberal. He deplores the perversion of human character and fights it with ethical norms, but the social catastrophes of this century show the inadequacy of this approach. All that which is genuinely revolutionary, all genuine art and science stems from the natural biological nucleus. Neither the genuine revolutionary nor the artist or scientist has been able thus far to win over and lead masses or, if so, to keep them in the realm of the life interests. In contradistinction to liberalism, which represents the superficial character layer, and to genuine revolution, which represents the deepest layer, fascism represents essentially the second character layer, that of the secondary impulses. At the time when this book was originally written, fascism was generally regarded a “political party” which, like any other “social group,” was an organized representation of a “political idea.” According to this concept, the fascist party “introduced” fascism by force or by “political manoeuvre.” Contrary to this concept, my medical experience with individuals from all kinds of social strata, races, nationalities and religions showed me that “fascism” is only the politically organized expression of the average human character structure, a character structure which has nothing to do with this or that race, nation or party but which is general and international. In this characterological sense, “fascism” is the basic emotional attitude of man in authoritarian society, with its machine civilization and its mechanistic-mystical view of life. It is the mechanistic-mystical character of man in our times which creates fascist parties, and not vice versa. Even today, as a result of fallacious political thinking, fascism is still being considered a specific national characteristic of the Germans or the Japanese. The stubborn persistence of this fallacy is due to the fear of recognizing the truth: fascism is an international phenomenon which permeates all organizations of human society in all nations. This conclusion is confirmed by the international events of the past 15 years. From this first fallacy all other misinterpretations follow logically. To the detriment of genuine endeavors for freedom, fascism is still regarded as the dictatorship of a small reactionary clique. My character-analytic experience, however, shows that there is today not a single individual who does not have the elements of fascist feeling and thinking in his structure. Fascism as a political movement differs from other reactionary parties in that it is supported and championed by masses of people. I am fully conscious of the responsibility involved in such statements. I could only wish, in the interest of this battered world, that the working masses had an equal realization of their responsibility for fascism. One has to distinguish ordinary militarism from fascism. Germany under the Kaiser was militaristic, but not fascist.
Since fascism, always and everywhere, appears as a movement which is supported by the masses of people, it also displays all the traits and contradictions present in the average character structure: Fascism is not, as is generally believed, a purely reactionary movement; rather, it is a mixture of rebellious emotions and reactionary social ideas. If, by being revolutionary, one means rational rebellion against intolerable social conditions, if, by being radical, one means “going to the root of things,” the rational will to improve them, then fascism is never revolutionary. True, it may have the aspect of revolutionary emotions. But one would not call that physician revolutionary who proceeds against a disease with violent cursing but the other who quietly, courageously and conscientiously studies and fights the causes of the disease. Fascist rebelliousness always occurs where fear of the truth turns a revolutionary emotion into illusions.
In its pure form, fascism is the sum total of all irrational reactions of the average human character. To the narrow-minded sociologist who lacks the courage to recognize the enormous role played by the irrational in human history, the fascist race theory appears as nothing but an imperialistic interest or even a mere “prejudice.” The violence and the ubiquity of these “race prejudices” show their origin from the irrational part of the human character. The race theory is not a creation of fascism. No: fascism is a creation of race hatred and its politically organized expression. Correspondingly, there is a German, Italian, Spanish, Anglo-Saxon, Jewish and Arabian fascism. The race ideology is a true biopathic character symptom of the orgastically impotent individual.
The sadistic perverse character of the race ideology is also seen in the attitude toward religion. Fascism, we are told, is the arch-enemy of religion, and a regression to paganism. On the contrary, fascism is the extreme expression of religious mysticism. As such it appears in a specific social form. Fascism is based on that religiosity which stems from sexual perversion; it changes the masochistic character of the old patriarchal religions into a sadistic religion. It takes religion out of the other-world philosophy of suffering and places it in the sadistic murder in this world.
Fascist mentality is the mentality of the subjugated “little man” who craves authority and rebels against it at the same time. It is not by accident that all fascist dictators stem from the milieu of the little reactionary man. The captains of industry and the feudal militarist make use of this social fact for their own purposes. A mechanistic authoritarian civilization only reaps, in the form of fascism, from the little, suppressed man what for hundreds of years it has sown in the masses of little, suppressed individuals in the form of mysticism, top-sergeant mentality and automatism. This little man has only too well learned the way of the big man and now gives it back, enlarged and distorted. The Fascist is the top-sergeant type in the vast army of our sick civilization. One cannot with impunity beat the tom-tom of high politics before the little man. The little top-sergeant has outdone the imperialistic general in everything: in martial music, in goose-stepping, in giving orders and obeying them, in the deadly fear of thinking, in diplomacy, strategy and tactics, in uniformed strutting and in medals. In all these things a Kaiser Wilhelm appears as a poor bungler compared with Hitler. When a “proletarian” general covers his chest with medals, on both sides, and from the shoulders to the belt, he demonstrates the little man trying to outdo the “real” great general. One must have thoroughly studied the character of the suppressed little man and must have learned to see things as they take place behind the facade, if one is to understand the forces on which fascism is based.
In the rebellion of the masses of abused people against the empty niceties of a false liberalism (I do not mean genuine liberalism and genuine tolerance) the character layer of the secondary impulses was expressed.
One cannot make the Fascist harmless if, according to the politics of the day, one looks for him only in the German or Italian, or the American or the Chinese; if one does not look for him in oneself; if one does not know the social institutions which hatch him every day. One can beat fascism only if one meets it objectively and practically, with a well-grounded knowledge of the life processes. One cannot equal it in politics, in diplomacy or strutting. But it has no answer to practical questions of living, for it sees everything only in the mirror of ideology or in the form of the state uniform. When one hears a fascist character of whatever hue preach about the “honor of the nation” (instead of the honor of man) or about the “salvation of the sacred family and the race” (instead of the society of working individuals), if he lets out a stream of empty slogans, one only has to ask him this:
“What are you doing to feed the nation, without plundering or killing other nations? What do you, as a physician, do against the chronic diseases, or as an educator for the happiness of children, or as an economist for the elimination of poverty, or as a social worker for the mothers of too many children, or as a builder for more hygienic living conditions? Give us a concrete, practical answer or shut up!”
Clearly, international fascism will never be vanquished by political manoeuvres. It can only be vanquished by the natural organization of work, love and knowledge on an international scale. As yet, work, love and knowledge have not the power to determine human existence. More than that, these great forces of the positive life principle are not even conscious of their strength, their indispensability and their decisive role in the determination of human existence. For this reason, human society, even after the military defeat of party fascism, continues to hover at the brink of the abyss. The downfall of our civilization is inevitable if those who work, and the natural scientists in all branches of life (not death), and those who give and receive natural love, do not become conscious, in time, of their gigantic responsibility.
Will human and social freedom, will self-regulation of our lives and that of our children come about peacefully or by force? Nobody can tell. But those who know the living function in the animal, in the newborn or in the true worker, be he a mechanic, a researcher or an artist, cease to think in those terms created by party systems. The living function cannot “seize power by force,” for it would not know what to do with power. Does that mean that life will forever be at the mercy of political gangsterdom, that the politicians will forever suck its blood? No, it would be wrong to draw this conclusion.
As a physician, I have to treat diseases, as a researcher I have to disclose unknown facts in nature. If, now, a political wind-bag were to try to force me to leave my patients and my microscope, I would not let myself be disturbed but would, if necessary, throw him out. Whether or not I have to use force in order to protect my work on the living function against intruders does not depend on me or my work but on the intruders’ degree of impertinence. Let us assume that all those who do work on the living function were able to recognize the political wind-bag in time. They would act in the same way. Perhaps this over-simplified example gives a partial answer to the question as to how the living function, sooner or later, will defend itself against its intruders and destroyers.
End of selected definitions of fascism
Evolution and forms of capitalism and imperialism
According to Lenin’s theory on imperialism, written more than one hundred years ago, developed capitalism inevitably transforms into imperialism, as it expands internationally in its quest for higher rates of profit that result from cheaper costs of human and natural resources (9). He had studied the new phenomena that had developed in the evolution of capitalism, creating new conditions for the expansion of capital internationally, with all the accompanying features of domination of finance capital, enhanced aggressions of advanced capitalist countries, etc. He identified the following new transformations in the development and expansion of capital, which have continued to be the main features of imperialism, and characterize and explain its global operations, to this day. In doing so, he captured the essence of imperialism, which can also be described briefly as the international expansion of capital for higher rates of profit and exploitation and domination of natural and human resources. All its domestic and international economic, political, military, and intelligence policies and actions are centered and based upon that simple essence. As history shows, there is no crime or sin it will not commit in pursuit of fulfilling the requirements of that essence.
- The concentration of production and capital has developed to such a high stage that it has created monopolies which play a decisive role in economic life;
- The merging of bank capital with industrial capital, and the creation on the basis of this ‘finance capital’ of a ‘financial oligarchy’;
- The export of capital as distinguished from the export of commodities acquires exceptional importance;
- The formation of international monopolist capitalist associations which share the world among themselves, and;
- The territorial division of the whole world among the biggest capitalist powers is completed.”
As was his custom in analyses of such matters, he made a thorough scientific analysis of the developmental dynamics of capitalism, which at its highest stage transformed into imperialism. He also made the transition from empirical facts to the theory of imperialism, which continues to explain the nature of imperialism and its current manifestations and operations. In general, the capitalist intellectuals avoid any such theory and deal with abstract empirical facts of imperialism with false imaginary concoctions, attaching to them false imaginary causes. It has become fashionable among the leftists and others in this country, as well as its imitators elsewhere, to write and talk about the so-called late stage capitalism, which, in fact, is vulgarization, shallowization, and cover-up of the theory and terminology of imperialism. Another fashionable term, globalization, which is also substituted for imperialism, serves the same purpose. The so-called globalization, which intellectuals of imperialism have invented and promoted as the vehicle for global development and prosperity is nothing but a vehicle for enhanced and unrestricted exploitation and domination of natural and human resources of the Third World countries, which was always inherent in the goals and operations of imperialism. Now, they are putting a new spin on it, and presenting it as the key to the development and prosperity of historical victims of their neo-colonialism. Reality is diametrically the opposite, and is exploding in their faces everywhere, most recently in Argentina and Pakistan, both in severe multidimensional crises, as a result of bondage to one of the main vehicles of globalization and neo-liberalism, the International Monetary Fund (IMF). Their real aim is to remove all barriers and restrictions to their operations in those countries, in order to greatly enhance their exploitation and domination of natural and human resources and profits and their transfer to imperialist centers. This is basically an American imperialist scheme. However, their NATO imperialist allies will also share some of the loot, if it is implemented successfully. Therefore, they are also lining up behind it. The inventors of these terms pretend as if they have discovered some new phenomena, when, in fact, they are only substituting different words for imperialism, the various features, processes, and developments of which, Lenin and numerous Marxists-Leninists after him, analyzed in great depth. They also resort to very fragmented, partial, and in many cases, distorted descriptions of phenomena. All that is definitely counter-productive, unnecessary, and regressive in the extreme. After the Grand Betrayal of Socialism in the former USSR, Peoples Republic of China (PRC), and most other socialist countries, many phonies have tried to occupy the center stage of socialism and communism, and not only vulgarized and shallowized the profound theories and vast knowledge of Marx and Lenin, but also mutilated them, in the name of socialism, communism, Marxism, and Leninism! The damages thus inflicted on these are even worse than those inflicted by their enemies. For authentic socialists and communists, it is most important to expose such efforts. I spent considerable time in trying to expose some of these in some of my writings (3).
As far as neoliberalism is concerned, its main features are competition, privatization, deregulation, non-intervention of the government and state in the economy, globalization, free trade, and austerity. It also involves reductions in government spending, mostly in public welfare and social programs. It increases the role and resources of the private sector at the expense of public sector. Its application in the highly developed capitalist and imperialist countries- where monopoly capital, big corporations, transnational, and multinational corporations (TNCs and MNCs) dominate economics; politics; and production, distribution, and circulation systems- is highly anachronistic, contradictory, and fake, as it is the era of monopoly capitalism and imperialism and not that of 19th Century laissez-faire capitalism and liberalism, which neoliberalists attempt to revive. Libertarianism also suffers from the same anachronistic illusions and ignorance of the historical development of capitalism, as neoliberalism. The main beneficiaries of such fake applications in these countries are the big corporations, TNCs, MNCs, and the rich. However, neoliberalism can still be, and has been, imposed on numerous Third World countries that have not reached the stage of monopoly capitalism and imperialism, with disastrous consequences for overwhelming majorities of the populations there. Again, the main beneficiaries of such impositions there are also the big corporations, TNCs, MNCs, and the rich of the imperialist centers.
From 1945 to 1980, a relatively more realistic form of capitalism, the Keynesian form, which advocates state intervention to correct some of the most harmful effects of laissez-faire capitalism and liberalism, dominated the political economies of main imperialist countries. However, that began to change during the 1980s and the phony and contradictory neoliberalism was substituted for it, under the guise of non-intervention of the state in the economy. However, in actual practice, it amounted to powerful intervention by the state to greatly enhance the resources and powers of monopoly capital and reduce those of the working class, common people, and small enterprises. Reagan’s hypocritical and phony utterances about getting the big government off the backs of the people actually resulted in getting the government off the back of big corporations and the rich, and getting the big corporations and the rich onto the backs of the people. Excessive focus only on exposing the flaws of neoliberalism, and not of capitalism, of which it is one of the forms, can lead to the misconception that some other forms of capitalism may solve the multidimensional great problems that have evolved and accumulated under developed capitalism. It is essential to understand that no form of capitalism can solve these problems. Therefore, the main focus of critical analyses should be capitalism, and neoliberalism should be discussed within that.
The main beneficiaries of the 19th Century liberalism were the capitalists of relatively small enterprises of that laissez-faire capitalism era, who were empowered to freely exploit the working classes and masses of people. The economic and philosophic intellectuals provided the theoretical camouflage and illusions to rationalize and cover up the reality of what was going on, in face of all the empirical evidence to the contrary. As stated above, the main beneficiaries of applications of contemporary neoliberalism are the monopoly capitalists and big corporations. The current capitalist economic and philosophic intellectuals of neoliberalism are also performing the same function as those in the period of liberalism.
The capitalist intellectuals of neo-classical trend in political economy had started their efforts to cover up and rationalize the exploitation of the working class soon after Marx published his studies of exploitation of labor and class struggle under capitalism. That trend started appearing in the 1870s. Its founders were Carl Menger, Friedrrich von Wieser, and Eugene Bohm-Bawerk (Austrian School), William S. Jevons and Leon Walras (Mathematical School), John B. Clark (American School), and A. Marshall and Arthur C. Pigou (Cambridge School). They not only attacked his theory of value, which states that the value of a commodity is determined by the amount of labor expended on it, but that of classical bourgeois economists, like William Petty, Adam Smith, and David Ricardo, who had arrived at similar conclusions. In addition to being anti-Marxism, they also engaged in drastic revision of the methods of the classical bourgeois political economy, declaring the subject matter of research to be pure economy, without any consideration of the social forms of its organization. Their research focused on the subjective motives of the “economic man”, guided by his hedonistic interests. They substituted the theory of marginal utility for the labor theory of value, which classical bourgeois political economy and Marxism had discovered. In their view, value was a subjective category, its magnitude determined by the utility of the last additional unit of the object consumed. They also declared that free competition ensures the just distribution of incomes, maximum use of economic resources, and full employment. This theory served as the basis of claims of inner stability of capitalist economy and the policy of non-interference by the state in the economy. Beginning in the 1930s, Keynesianism, which advocated state intervention in the economy, started replacing the neo-classical trend, as the dominant trend in bourgeois political economy. However, in the 1960s, the advocates of neo-classical trend launched an offensive against Keynesianism, and so-called monetarism became its main form, which preaches non-interference of state in the economy, maintenance of steady growth rate of money supply, reductions of social expenditures by the state, etc., its chief protagonist being Milton Friedman of the Chicago School. His ideas were applied by his disciples in Chile, under the brutal dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet, with disastrous consequences for majority of Chileans. The percentage of the Chilean population living in poverty rose from 17% in 1969 to 45% in 1985 (10) at the same time government budgets for education, health and housing dropped by over 20% on average.(11) The era was also marked by economic instability. Inequality widened: nearly 45% of the population had fallen into poverty while the wealthiest 10% had seen their incomes rise by 83% (12). According to Chilean economist Alejandro Foxley, by 1990 around 44% of Chilean families were living below the poverty line (13)
Human nature under capitalism and imperialism
Under capitalism and imperialism, capitalist and imperialist human natures are mass produced. In this author’s view, that is the worst of all the crimes and sins of capitalism and imperialism, as, in addition to the biosocial erosion of important parts of human nature, it creates the subjective basis for all the objective crimes and sins; injustices; evils; wars; and exploitation and destruction of humans, other forms of life, and nature, etc. The ultimate goal of creating a classless society under socialism and communism, after replacing the political power of the capitalist class and its allies with that of the working class and its allies, is to create new socialist human nature. That would be essential for the success of socialist and communist political economy and society. Ernesto Che Guevara was one of those Marxist-Leninist revolutionary leaders and thinkers, who, not only emphasized that, but became an example of the New Socialist Man. After his murder by the CIA and Bolivian military, French existentialist-Marxist philosopher, Jean Paul Sartre, had characterized him as being a Complete Man. In the US and other imperialist countries, one hardly finds any writings of leftist and Marxists about this most important matter. They are either unaware of or do not want to deal with the problems of mass-produced capitalist and imperialist human nature in their societies. There were a few exceptions in this regard, like Erich Fromm (14, 15) in the US and R. D. Laing (16) in the UK. Both were psychologists and diagnosed their societies as being mentally sick and attributed the causes to political economy of capitalism. According to US National Institute for Mental Health (NIMH), 1 in 5 adults and 1 in 5 children have serious clinically diagnosed mental illnesses in the US. The actual numbers are very likely to be much higher, as these estimates are based on people who sought help from the mental health establishments. It is very likely that there are innumerable other people who also have such mental illnesses, but have not sought professional help.
Objective conditions in the Advanced Capitalist-Imperialist Technological Society (ACITS) have been ripe for transition to socialism for a long time. It is the problems of mass produced human nature and subjectivity that have prevented that from happening. ACITS and much of rest of the world are overflowing with the problems of dehumanization, inhumanization, alienation, reification, and mental illnesses. To exclude that fundamental problem of ACITS from discussions of problems of injustices, inequalities, deprivations, climate change, global warming, war and peace, and other gigantic problems in the ACITS and rest of the world, is self-defeating. To be sure, that is a very complex and tough problem, but being unaware of it or ignoring it is only going to lead to illusions of solutions, but will perpetuate the status quo.
Main vehicles of imperialism
Transnational and multinational corporations (TNCs and MNCs), which are politically, financially, and in many cases, militarily, supported by their governments become the chief vehicles for the expansion of imperialist capital. Governments of imperialist countries, along with the international financial organizations, like the IMF and the World Bank, which they dominate, in symbiotic relationships with these corporations, also facilitate and enhance such expansions by trapping vulnerable countries in the debt traps. Third World countries are the main targets of such operations. Even the resource-rich countries can fall prey to such predations, for example Argentina, which is currently trapped in US $44 billions debt to IMF. It is the biggest debtor to IMF. The biggest IMF loan in its history, of US $57 billions, was extended to it under the previous right-wing, pro-business, subservient-to-imperialism, and anti-working class government of President Mauricio Macri. The new leftist government of President Alberto Fernandez refused to accept $13 billions of remaining disbursements, hence reducing it to $44 billions. Many Argentineans are pressuring the newly elected government to kick the IMF out and refuse to pay back the huge debt, as it is a major cause of high unemployment, poverty, and other deprivations (17, 18, 19, 20, 21). Another recent example is Pakistan. Taking advantage of its financial problems, mostly caused by corruption of the political, economic, and military elites, it is now practically running the country’s economy, imposing severe austerity measures, higher taxes, higher utility rates, etc., in return for just $6 billion new debt! Overwhelming majority of the 220 million people there are now suffering all kinds of deprivations, including malnutrition, lack of healthcare, absence or reduction of the usage of essential utilities, lack of affordable housing, etc. Pakistan is also already suffering some of the worst effects of climate change and global warming, which are going to get even more devastating. These two examples are representative of numerous other debt traps in which imperialisms of the US and various European countries have trapped large numbers of Third World countries. As far as the exploitation and domination of their natural and human resources by the TNCs and MNCs are concerned, these have been carried out through the collaboration of their capitalist and feudal classes, with which relatively small parts of the enormous profits are shared, the rest being transferred to the imperialist centers. After the Second World War, US unleashed such operations throughout rest of the world and has had the greatest Foreign Direct Investments (FDI), with those of other imperialist countries far behind. In my paper on transformations of fascism, written and presented at a conference in 1986 and posted on my web site in 2013, I had documented specific information and data on the FDI of TNCs and MNCs in various countries, as well as other forms of exploitation (1). At that time, the UN was not as much dominated by the US and its allies as these days and some of its agencies were researching and publishing truthful and objective information and data on the operations of TNCs and MNCs and their consequences. Recently, Peoples Republic of China (PRC) has become a strong competitor of the US in these areas and has replaced it as the biggest investor and trade partner in many diverse areas of the world. It has been so successful because its investments and trade relations with other countries are relatively less exploitative and more beneficial to those countries than those of the US and European countries. These are also peaceful, without the militarism of the latter. PRC is using its enormous resources very cleverly and rationally, taking advantage of the enormous waste of resources on the military and wars and invasions of other countries by the US imperialism. It also has long term very credible strategy for overtaking the US and European countries, both in economic and military spheres. As part of that strategy, it has greatly increased mutually beneficial economic and military relation with the other super-power, Russia. US continues to shoot itself in the foot with short-sighted, arrogant, and out-dated policies and actions, which are resulting in one failure after another, for example, after spending trillions of dollars on recent wars and invasions of Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, and Syria, and before that in Vietnam, it has failed to achieve its objectives, and has suffered defeats by national liberation forces, which were technically no match for its high tech military forces, equipped with the most advanced and destructive weapons of mass destruction. The United States federal government has spent or obligated $6.4 trillion dollars on the wars in Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Iraq. These costs were paid for almost entirely by borrowing money. By 2050, the interest payments on this will be over 8 trillions (22, 23, 24). It seems to have learnt nothing from its humiliating defeat in Vietnam, where the resistance forces were fighting for justice and national liberation, and had used the guerilla warfare strategy and tactics very effectively that proved superior to all the conventional warfare planning and actions of US and its allies. After causing great devastations in Indochina, it was forced to flee in a hurry, when Vietnamese resistance forces were advancing on Saigon. The only American entities that did not lose, but won, were those that were part of the military-industrial complex, as they profited enormously from the war. They never lose. They always win their profits in wars, regardless of whether their government and military win or lose the wars. The history is now repeating itself in Afghanistan, where the rag-tag resistance forces of Taliban have practically won the longest war of US imperialism, on which it has spent close to a trillion dollars. US and its allies, including various Arab monarchies and some terrorist organizations, have also lost the war in Syria, after causing great multidimensional devastations and sufferings for countless millions of civilians there, with millions forced to flee as refugees. In Yemen, in spite of the support of US and its NATO allies for the Arab monarchies, led by Saudi Arabia, the rag-tag forces of resistance, in that poorest country in that area, have not been defeated and have proven to be resilient, under very dire economic and other conditions, which have resulted in indescribable sufferings and famine in the population. When I see the pictures of desiccating bodies of famined children there, I feel tempted to renounce being part of the human species. But then I think that those children and the resistance forces are also biologically part of the human species. I also think of history in which much worse atrocities have been committed, for example by Greeks led by Alexander and Mongols in their conquests and invasions, many bloody and plundering crusades, genocide of native Americans by White Europeans, enslavement of millions of Africans and exploitation of their labor for profits and development by the White Europeans and colonizers of Americas, British imperialism in numerous countries, by both alliances in the First World, Nazi Germany and its allies in the Second World War, French and other European imperialisms in various parts of the world, American imperialism in Vietnam, Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, and Syria, atrocities committed by military forces of West Pakistan in East Pakistan, which became a separate country, Bangladesh, atrocities being committed by India in the Indian Occupied Kashmir, in which more than 100,000 people have been slaughtered in their struggle for self-determination, brutalities of Israel against the Palestinians and continued theft and plunder of their lands, etc., etc. In all these cases, the distinctions between the forces of good and evil, justice and injustice, truth and lies, freedom and unfreedom, national liberation and imperialism were totally clear and self-evident. What makes such huge numbers of people blind to their roles in such clear and self-evident conflicts? It is not an easy question to answer. However, it seems that the central role in that is played by the greed driven materialism, covered up in modern times by layers and layers of lies and deceptions of phony patriotism and spread of freedom, democracy, civilization, and development, etc. In almost all the cases, the former forces won, but after prolonged struggles, huge losses of lives, and huge sacrifices. History shows that authentic, good, and just human nature can win against great and seemingly impossible odds against the evil and unjust human nature. Both world wars were fought by imperialist countries for re-division of colonies and resources. It is estimated that more people were killed in these two wars than all the wars in pervious history. Almost all the countries that fought these wars were predominantly Whites and Christian, hence resulting in White Christians slaughtering each other more massively than any other races or religious groups throughout history. This in addition to mass slaughters of peoples of different races and religions in various parts of the world by the same or their ancestor White Christians. Love Thy Neighbor and Offer the Other Cheek, indeed! No wonder that some Native American tribes used to drive a stake through the tongues of such White Christians, after killing them, so that they would be unable to lie in the other world.
Decay of American capitalist democracy and advancing fascism
The US imperialism is clearly on the way down. It is losing its dominant economic position to PRC and other rivals very rapidly and has been losing military wars in many Third World countries. As capitalist democracy in the US has been greatly dependent on its international imperialism, which derives fabulous profits from its international expansion and operations of capital and transfers them to its center, its declining economic, political, and military powers are causing to erode the capitalist democracy. For example, from those enormous profits, it was able to bribe majority of the working class into compliance and collaboration. It is already not able to do that to the same level that it was before, and it will not take too long before its abilities in that regard are diminished greatly. The political dimension of capitalist democracy has been decaying progressively. The current Trump administration represents its greatest decay so far. At some point of the advancing rot, the ruling capitalist class will be unable to rule through the capitalist democracy and its various institutions will start falling apart. At that point, only two alternative solutions to the crisis will emerge, that is, socialism or fascism.
In all the gloom and doom, Bernie Sander’s emergence as the leading presidential candidate, in the Democratic Primaries, for the next elections, is a tiny ray of hope. He is a social democrat. Social democracy being a relatively more progressive form of capitalist political economy, within the American political spectrum, characterized by extremist forms of capitalism, his surge in the primaries represents quite a big positive change in that spectrum. It is very likely that most of his supporters are supporting him because they hope that he will be able to solve their personal financial and other problems. According to The Washington Post, Sanders will not only campaign on the single-payer health care plan he has dubbed Medicare for All. He will also propose a national $15 minimum wage, a massive Green New Deal-style effort to mitigate climate change, the forcible break-up of large financial institutions, paid family leave, leveraging government power to force down drug prices, free public college tuition, ending cash bail and private prisons, legislation to equalize the gender pay gap, reducing corporate election spending, promoting union membership, instituting legal protections for child immigrants, and expanding Social Security (25).
Sanders later also announced that he will cancel the $1.6 trillions student debt of 45 million Americans, to be paid for by taxing the Wall Street.
Regardless of whether he succeeds in the nomination or wins in the general elections, the huge support that he is getting in the primaries for his progressive agenda is a major shift in the mindset of the followers of Democratic Party. However, the shift may be more pragmatic than ideological. Even if he wins the primaries and the general elections, it is very doubtful that he will be allowed to implement his agenda. But, it may temporarily reduce the speed at which the capitalist democracy is decaying in this country, and possibly delay the establishment of full fledged fascism here, with American characteristics. On the other hand, if he does become president against all odds, and has some chance of implementing even a small part of his programs, elements of the deep state are very likely to either eliminate him or replace him, and the march towards fascism with American characteristics will speed up. Trump administration already contains many characteristics of fascism. First of all, it is representing and promoting the interests of finance capital and imperialism very aggressively, both domestically and internationally. The first definition of fascism by Dimitrov and part of the 4th definition of fascism above, that from the Dictionary of Philosophy, based upon the first, define fascism as, “the open, terrorist dictatorship of the most reactionary, most chauvinistic, and most imperialist elements of finance capital” The 4th definition also states: “The ideology of fascism is irrationalism, extreme chauvinism and racism, obscurantism, and inhumanity.” Ideology, policies, and actions of Trump administration, Republican Party, and Republican controlled US Senate clearly manifest irrationalism, extreme chauvinism, racism, obscurantism, and inhumanity, both in domestic and international affairs.
Changes in the forms of capitalist class rule in given societies occur as a result of changes in the objective politico-economic conditions. Individuals, and even the big political parties and masses of people melt into or are swept away during the course of those changes, unless there is effective resistance to those, organized in the form of a united front by class conscious, informed, and politico-economically knowledgeable working class and its leadership, which does not exist in the US. Without such a working class, it is impossible to stop the tide of fascism when it starts growing. Even though such consciousness was relatively much higher in the German and Italian working classes than the contemporary American working class, before and during the establishment of fascism, it was not to the level at which it could have organized effective resistance to the tide of fascism there. After the great upsurges for socialism in the first two decades of the 20th Century and 1930s, which were brutally repressed and crushed, great debilitating damages were inflicted upon the socialism-oriented organizations of the American working class, like the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW), Western Federation of Miners (WFM), Communist Party, and Congress of Industrial Organizations (CIO). After that, the working class as a whole began collaborating with the capitalist ruling class, both domestically and internationally, in its imperialist operations. Class collaboration was always the policy of American Federation of Labor (AFL) which continued after the CIO merged with it.
In the UK, before the latest elections, Labour Party, under Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership, had presented a far reaching election manifesto, which included nationalization of railways, postal service, water, energy, and private sector contracts to reverse decades of privatizations. It also proposed oil companies windfall tax and nationalization of telecoms provider BT’s fixed line network to provide free full-fiber broadband for all. It was the most socialism-oriented agenda in the world and, if implemented, would have made UK the most social democratic country, taken it out of the orbit of US imperialism, reduced the resources and powers of monopoly capital, and increased those of the social and public sector. None of the candidate of both parties in the US election can come even close to that progressive agenda of the Labour Party in the UK. However, the British electorate extinguished that big ray of hope for the UK and the World, and handed the victory to the Trump-like clown, Boris Johnson of the Conservative Party.
There is no such thing as democracy in general. It will only become possible in a classless society. As is self-evident, in capitalist societies, capital and capitalism not only mediate, but control political democracy, as well as outcomes of elections. Power of money conditions all the thinking and feeling processes, as well as relations between people, in overwhelming majorities- which are also dehumanized by alienation and reification- in these societies. Politico-economic ignorance, disinformation, arrogance, and capitalist materialism are also widespread. Truly healthy and free minds and mental faculties are very rare. Under these conditions, any kind of genuine democracy is impossible. Genuine democracy only becomes possible if people have free and healthy mental faculties; are ethical; value truth, goodness, and justice; and are reasonably knowledgeable and informed in political economy. Electorate in the capitalist democracies, including the US, is not capable of genuine democracy, because of its above-mentioned conditioning and not having the qualities essential for genuine democracy. That is why elections do not lead to democratic outcomes and capitalist democracies are failing and decaying everywhere.
To fully comprehend the contents of this paper, it is necessary to also read my original 1986 theory on the transformations of fascism in the Twentieth Century (1), written 34 years ago, in historical terms, just a tiny fraction of a moment. Huge changes have occurred since then, which are clearly moving in the directions identified in that article.
The essential point of departure of my theory on fascism is that, after the Second World War, and especially starting in the 1960s, US imperialism transformed into fascism in many Third World countries, which, on their own, could not have transformed into fascist type dictatorships, as they lacked the capitalist developmental levels and big corporations that are necessary for such transformations (see definitions of fascism above). The basis of such transformations was provided by the highly developed US monopoly capital and big corporations through the interventions by the US government and military. Fascism in those countries was actually a proxy fascism. Hence, according to that theory, US imperialism has already been fascist internationally in numerous Third World countries. As a result of peoples’ democratic struggles, those fascist type dictatorships were overthrown and replaced by capitalist democracies, which have asserted greater economic and political independence and demanded greater share from the operations of TNCs and MNCs in their countries, as well as opened up to other countries, like the PRC- which has replaced the US as the biggest investor and trading partner in many countries- for the development of their resources. In my 1986 paper, I had theorized that there will be a blow back of fascism to the imperialist center, after its overthrow in the countries where it was imposed by imperialism. The proxy fascism will return to the imperialist center, where it originated, as the original fascism in forms that will be required by its political economy, government, state, culture, and mass psychology, while retaining its essence.
The dynamics of capitalist democracy and fascism in the US will have some similarities, but will also have some fundamental differences from those of earlier fascisms of German and Italian imperialisms. The major difference will be that earlier fascisms were first established in Germany and Italy, and then spread out, or attempted to, to other countries, through conquests and colonialism. However, as indicated above, fascisms of US imperialism were first imposed onto various Third World countries through neo-colonialism, and after their overthrow, these will blow back to the US, from where the US imperialism is very likely to try to spread them out to rest of the world. However, if it attempts to do that, under drastically changed current conditions, it will certainly lead to the Third World War, which will result in the greatest devastation in the history of this world, including the destruction of the US itself.
In spite of the rosy pictures being painted by the pet academics, media, government, and other establishments, US is in a profound multidimensional economic, political, military, cultural, mass psychological, and ethical crisis, components of which have accumulated over a long historical time. As these were unresolved, they have now become compounded into complex forms, which are very likely to explode in the not too distant future. Addicted to global economic, political, and military domination, which has already eroded greatly, the leaders of US imperialism continue the same anachronistic policies and actions, ending up shooting themselves in the feet. As far as the ethical, mass psychological, and cultural crises are concerned, large numbers of people seem to be drowned in various forms of hedonism and are living politico-economically and intellectually ignorant and disinformed, unthinking, and unfeeling lives, unable to distinguish right from wrong, just from unjust, true from false, freedom from unfreedom, and good from evil. Along with the decay of capitalist democracy, there is also the decay of human nature and character structure. That is why a psychopathic liar and enemy of justice, truth, goodness, democracy, working class, common, and poor people, like Donald Trump, is occupying the highest executive office of presidency and getting away with all his crimes and sins, in this decaying capitalist democracy, system, and society. He represents a gigantic symbol and symptom of the decay of capitalist democracy in the US. Fascism was established in Germany and Italy, due to similar crises of economy, capitalist democracy, human nature, and character structure. As US is an incomparably greater military power than Germany and Italy were during the heydays of their fascism, with great arsenals of all types of weapons of mass destruction, its fascism will also be incomparably more destructive.
During the Spanish civil war between the Republican and fascist forces, Nazi Germany and Fascist Italy provided crucial military support to the Spanish fascist forces, including aerial bombardments. US and other western democracies looked the other way, and left the Spanish Republican democratic forces at the mercy of Spanish, German, and Italian fascist forces, which resulted in the defeat of the former and establishment of long brutal and repressive fascist dictatorship of Franco in Spain. As has been well documented, e.g. in Gromyko’s work (26), it was the U.S. monopoly capital that had provided the essential industrial, economic, and military foundations for the establishment of a militarist and fascist Germany in the hope of directing that military power against the U.S.S.R.
In a 2012 article, British socialist writer, William Bowles, described the politico-economic situation in the UK and briefly discussed the bloody history of British imperialism and class collaboration of the working class with it. He thinks that the UK is also well on the way to fascism and also arrived at somewhat similar conclusions, as in my 1986 theory, about the British and some other European imperialisms having been transformed into fascisms in various Third World countries (27).
The following passages were added to my 1986 paper in 2013, which are also relevant to this article:
As predicted theoretically in the paper, enormous further erosions of capitalist democracy and conditions of the working class have taken place in the US and other imperialist centers since its writing and presentation in 1986, which are continuing and are going to get worse. Great changes have also occurred in the world politico-economic situation and balance of forces. Socialism has been betrayed in the former socialist giants, Peoples Republic of China and the USSR, as well as in majority of the other socialist countries. They are now turning into capitalist and imperialist countries, further fuelling and exacerbating the inter-capitalist and inter-imperialist rivalries and competition. The former dominant imperialist countries of the US, Japan, and Europe are now facing powerful and successful competition from the newly emerging capitalist and imperialist or wannabe imperialist powers, especially the countries of BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa). The 1986 paper had focused on the negative effects of crumbling of the fascist-type dictatorships in the periphery-established and sustained by the center-and their replacement with the democratic types, on the capitalist democracies in the imperialist centers. The great changes in the distribution of world resources, wealth, and balance of power, associated with the emergence of BRICS and other actors on the world stage, will inevitably produce further huge and powerful negative effects on the economies and political superstructures of the rapidly receding imperialist powers that have been dedicated and addicted to dominance and exploitation of the periphery for centuries. The effects, pressures, and forces of these newer changes in the world reality, on the political economies and systems of the imperialist centers, are combining with those of the earlier changes of abolition of fascist-type dictatorships and multiplying and compounding them. These effects, pressures, and forces are objective, but subjectively, in both cases, the imperialist capital and its political representatives in the government, congress, and other institutions are channeling them through the erosion of capitalist democracy and attacks on the rights, living conditions, employment, and wages of the working class and other working people, in attempts to maintain the class inequalities, privileges, and domination. Large parts of the Third World periphery were subjected to fascism of the imperialist center for a long time. Now those externalized forces and pressures are returning to that center itself. The newer changes mentioned above are also greatly adding to those.
The fundamentals of world balance of economic, political, and military forces, as well as the relations of production and classes, have been changing for quite sometime and recently the pace of these changes has greatly accelerated. The super-profits extracted from the super-exploitation of the Third World had made it possible for the ruling capitalist classes in the US and other imperialist countries to bribe the working classes into class collaboration, from which the latter, especially their leaderships and technically skilled sections, had benefited significantly in financial terms, on the expense of the political positions of the working classes as a whole. Due to the changes in the fundamentals, large parts of the working classes in the imperialist countries are now not only being excluded from the benefits of the bribery, but are also being subjected to greatly enhanced exploitation and exclusion, in order to compensate for losses in the international areas. As the leaderships and privileged sections of the working classes continue to reap the benefits of bribery and class collaboration, they continue the same policies, callously and consciencelessly ignoring and disregarding the plight of large parts of their classes, numbering tens of millions, and on the expense of the political positions of their classes, relative to the capitalist and imperialist classes. Needless to say that continuation of these policies by the working classes of imperialist countries, at this stage of the evolution of their politico-economic and social systems, has now become a great threat to their own welfare-as well as to that of the overwhelming majority of other people-, domestic and international peace, and capitalist democracy itself. These policies are greatly contributing to the blow-back of fascism from the Third World periphery-where it has been replaced with the democratic types-to the imperialist centers, and its establishment there. As a result of its rapidly weakening international economic position and resources, prolonged and irresolvable economic and all-round crises, and becoming the greatest debtor nation in history, US imperialism’s ability to bribe its own working class and the capitalist and feudal leaders and other elites of the Third World countries has greatly diminished. In spite of all these great objective changes, it continues to allocate huge parts of its national budget and GDP to military expenditures, spending more on these than all the rest of the world combined. This policy is also now feeding into the developing domestic fascism. All these multiple international and national interacting factors, forces, and pressures, within the context of a new and changed global reality, are producing powerful macro- and micro-level objective and subjective effects, which are eroding the capitalist democracy and transforming it into the most dangerous masked fascism in history. Sooner or later, the mask itself will be eroded, if the system and society continue to move in the same directions.
Overwhelming part of the working class in the US is unorganized. It is in such a dismal state that only 7.2 percent of it is organized into unions in the private sector (2009 figures) and it does not even have its own working class political party. This situation is very different from 1945, when almost 36 percent of American workers were represented by the unions. Its leadership has been complacent with the capitalist class throughout much of the 20th Century, as well as currently. During the last part of 19th Century, first two decades of 20th Century, and during the 1930s, large and important parts of the American working class had become politically conscious and revolutionary. They aimed at wrestling political power from the capitalist class, which is the only way for the transformation of the relations of production to bring them into harmony with the level of development of the productive forces and to establish a system of social justice, domestic and international peace, real democracy-the socialist democracy-, and universal well-being for everyone. However, they were brutally repressed and crushed. For example, the Western Federation of Miners (WFM), a militant socialist organization, was crushed between 1903 and 1907 and Industrial Workers of the World (IWW), a powerful socialist revolutionary working class organization with large membership, was crushed during the second decade of the 20th Century. Twenty percent of the unions of Congress of Industrial Organizations (CIO) were controlled by the Communist Party (CP) after the Second World War. It was forced to purge them in 1949 and 1950 due to repressive legislation, government pressure, and American Federation of Labor (AFL) red baiting. AFL has a long history of capitulation to the capitalist class and class collaboration. When the radical unions were being destroyed, AFL was being praised and rewarded. After purging all the communists from their unions, the AFL and CIO merged in 1955. The AFL-CIO has since been engaging in only industrial unionism. The radical unionism of WFM, IWW, and CP controlled unions of CIO was destroyed by brutal repression and repressive legislation. All the other radical political parties and organizations suffered the same fate in the long history of repression in this country. The worst repression was unleashed on CP, shortly after its formation in September 1919 and continued unabated, with brief intervals, with ever-increasing ferocity, until its influence in the working class and unions was almost completely destroyed by 1950s. After the betrayal of socialism in the USSR, the CP has also betrayed socialism under its current leadership. Among other things, it has been attempting to act as Obama’s tail! Before the betrayal, CP, under the leadership of Gus Hall, had intellectually become one of the best and most principled communist parties of the world.
Another important change during that period has been in the nature and operations of the United Nations Organization (UNO), its various agencies, and personnel. They no longer conduct the type of important objective and critical studies that were cited in the article. The UNO has essentially become a tentacle of imperialism and its various agencies and officials have lost their former relative intellectual, political, and ethical independence. They have now submitted to the masters that feed them. This is the age of the worst form of prostitution: the intellectual, spiritual, and politico-economic prostitution, and the UNO, like almost everyone else, has also become a part of the chain reaction, mutating into a different element.
End of 2013 Additions
Re: Sin, evil and evilization: These terms have been used in this article to describe actions and policies that are against justice, truth, goodness, beauty, peace, love, compassion, spirit, soul, ecology of nature and of human nature etc. As such, these words may be interpreted both in religious and secular terms. Use of the word crime is extremely inadequate to describe such actions and policies, especially in class-divided societies, in which the laws and the legal system are, in their essence, reflections of the power and interests of the ruling classes, and, as such, are instruments of injustice, inequality, and evil.
Re: Human nature: Human nature consists of contradictory and opposite parts. In this paper, the erosive and destructive effects of biosocial and politico-economic forces of imperialism etc. on human nature are in reference to the positive parts of human nature. The same forces have activating and developmental effects on some of the negative parts of human nature. Under capitalism and imperialism, even some of most important and positive parts of human nature are transformed into their opposites, into negative.
1. Rahman, F. Transformation of fascism in the twentieth century: a comprehensive theory. This paper was presented at the Pacific Northwest Marxist Scholars Conference in Seattle, Washington, on April 11, 1986, under a different title, “Some Aspects of the Developing Dialectic of U. S. Capitalist Democracy and International Imperialism”. It was posted on my web site in 2013 with the following link: https://imperialismandthethirdworld.wordpress.com/2013/04/19/transformation-of-fascism-in-the-twentieth-century-a-comprehensive-theory-by-fazal-rahman-ph-d/
2. Rahman, F. Brief, partial, and necessary critical reviews of some of the stars of American Left: Michael Hardt, Antonio Negri, Richard Wolff, Stephen Resnick, Noam Chomsky, and Chris Hedges. https://imperialismandthethirdworld.wordpress.com. August 17, 2015. https://imperialismandthethirdworld.wordpress.com/2015/08/17/brief-partial-and-necessary-critical-reviews-of-some-of-the-stars-of-american-left-michael-hardt-antonio-negri-richard-wolff-stephen-resnick-noam-chomsky-and-chris-hedges-by-fazal-rahman-phd/
3. Georgi Dimitrov, “The Fascist Offensive and the Tasks of the Communist International,” Main Report delivered at the Seventh World Congress of the Communist International – “The class character of fascism;” collected in VII Congress of the Communist International: Abridged Stenographic Report of Proceedings. Moscow: Foreign Languages Publishing House, 1939
4. Zetkin, Clara. “Clara Zetkin: Fascism (August 1923)”. www.marxists.org.
5. Leon Trotsky, Fascism: What It Is and How to Fight It. New York: Pioneer Publishers, 1944.
6. Dictionary of Philosophy. Edited by I. Frolov. Translated into English and edited by Murad Saifulin and the late Richard R. Dixon. Second revised edition 1984. Progress Publishers 1984. Printed in the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics.
7. Reich, W. The Mass Psychology of Fascism. English translation by Theodore P. Wolfe. Orgone Institute Press. New York , 1946. First German Edition, 1933.
8. Rahman, F. Biosocial and epigenetic relativity of human nature: Relative to political economy, technology, and culture. https://imperialismandthethirdworld.wordpress.com, September 7, 2015. https://imperialismandthethirdworld.wordpress.com/2015/09/07/biosocial-and-epigenetic-relativity-of-human-nature-relative-to-political-economy-technology-and-culture-by-fazal-rahman-phd/
9. Lenin, V. I. Imperialism, the highest stage of capitalism, p. 82, Progress Publishers, 1966.
10. Ricardo Ffrench-Davis, Economic Reforms in Chile: From Dictatorship to Democracy. University of Michigan Press, 2002, ISBN 978-0472112326, p. 193
11. Petras, James; Vieux, Steve (July 1990). “The Chilean “economic miracle”: an empirical critique”. Critical Sociology. 17 (2): 57–72. (https://doi.org/10.1177%2F089692059001700203).
12. Klein, Naomi (2008). The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism. Picador. ISBN 0312427999 p. 105.
13. PBS Interview with Alejandro Foxley, March 26, 2001 for the Commanding Heights: The Battle for World Economy.
14. Fromm, E. (1955). The Sane Society. New York: Rinehart and Co., Inc.
15. Fromm, E. 1970. Crisis of Psychoanalysis. Holt, Rinehart, Winston; 1st edition.
16. Laing, R. D. (1967). The Politics of Experience. New York: Ballantine Books, Inc.
17. Débora Rey and Christopher Torchia – Associated Press – Wednesday, February 12, 2020. Argentina and IMF discuss debt in shadow of 2001 crisis. The Washington Times. https://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2020/feb/12/argentina-and-imf-discuss-debt-in-shadow-of-2001-c/
18. PBS. Argentina and IMF discuss debt in shadow of 2001 crisis. https://www.pbs.org/newshour/economy/argentina-and-imf-discuss-debt-in-shadow-of-2001-crisis
19. MSN News. IMF begins debt talks in Argentina. https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/world/imfbegins-debt-talks-in-argentina/ar-BBZWtAO
20. Reuters. Argentina won’t repay IMF debt till recession over, VP Fernandez says. February 9, 2020. https://www.theguardian.pe.ca/business/reuters/argentina-wont-repay-imf-debt-till-recession-over-vp-fernandez-says-408807/
21. Megan Davies, Rodrigo Campos. The IMF in figures: Debtors vs creditors. Reuters. Business News. October 18, 2019. https://www.reuters.com/article/us-imf-worldbank-funding-graphic/the-imf-in-figures-debtors-vs-creditors-idUSKBN1WX1AZ
22. Crawford, Neta, C. Pentagon Fuel Use, Climate Change, and the Costs of War. Neta C. Crawford Boston University June 12, 2019. Watson Institute, Brown University. https://watson.brown.edu/costsofwar/files/cow/imce/papers/2019/Pentagon%20Fuel%20Use%2C%20Climate%20Change%20and%20the%20Costs%20of%20War%20Final.pdf
25. Stein, J. Bernie Sanders’s 2020 policy agenda: Medicare for All; action on climate change; $15-an-hour minimum wage. Washington Post, February 19, 2019. https://www.washingtonpost.com/us-policy/2019/02/19/bernie-sanderss-policy-agenda-medicare-all-action-climate-change-an-hour-minimum-wage/
26. Gromyko, A. The Overseas Expansion of Capital. Progress Publishers, Moscow (English translation), 1985.
27. Bowles, W. Sleepwalking into fascism. January 2, 2012 https://dandelionsalad.wordpress.com/2012/01/08/sleepwalking-into-fascism-by-william-bowles/
Dr. Fazal Rahman is an interdisciplinary researcher and writer, with background in many areas of biological and social sciences. He has lived and worked in many countries, like Pakistan, Brazil, USA, Lebanon, and Zambia, as a scientist and head of research and development programs and centers. He has done in-depth and extensive studies on Marxism, Leninism, phenomenology, existentialism, political economy of capitalism and socialism, political economy of US and former USSR, technocracy, psychology, mass psychology, and genetics, etc.
from the archives:
Chris Hedges: The Collapse of Democracy in Germany’s Weimar Republic and its Descent into Fascism
How U.S. Imperialism Is Exploiting The World’s Growing Crises by Rainer Shea + William I. Robinson: How Capitalism’s Structural and Ideological Crisis Gives Rise to Neo-Fascism
Historical Developmental Dynamics of Climate Change, Political Economy, and Science and Technology by Fazal Rahman, Ph.D. + Costs and Consequences of US Post-9/11 Wars: Focus on Climate Change
Biosocial and Epigenetic Relativity of Human Nature: Relative to Political Economy, Technology, and Culture by Fazal Rahman, Ph.D.
“To Leave Error Unrefuted is to Encourage Intellectual Immorality”: A Critique by Fazal Rahman, Ph.D.
Multidimensional and Complex Nature and Effects of Imperialism On Democracy, Society, Nature, and Human Nature by Fazal Rahman, Ph.D.
Pingback: Coronavirus Capitalism and “Exceptional” America, by Paul Street – Dandelion Salad
Pingback: The Fascistic Restructuring of American Capitalism, by Rainer Shea – Dandelion Salad
Pingback: If Neoliberalism Is Crumbling, What Will Follow? by Pete Dolack – Dandelion Salad
Pingback: The Fall of the U.S. Empire and the Coming Economic Crash + The Growing Ruling Class Fears of a Communist Resurgence by Rainer Shea – Dandelion Salad
As long as the smug, and in most cases, the educated middle class, continue to aspire to great wealth, we are doomed.
They are, apart from a climate apocalypse, unstoppable.
A long, long time ago we supplanted Love with ‘things’
Those things are gonna bury us.
So unfortunately true, Fair.