Jessica Prozinski, Social Media Post - August 26, 2020
"This is why you smash fascists every chance you get. It's not a rhetorical turn of phrase.
There is still a difference between outright fascists--like this militia guy and the Proud Boys who marched in Kalamazoo--and the police. The difference is narrowing. But we have to have a better, more specific understanding of what the fascists are AND what the police are so that we can figure out the best possible strategies and tactics to stop them.
The police are an official arm of force of the state. Their job is to protect the status quo. They generally operate within the law. Or, at least they need to be perceived as operating within the law, in order to be accepted as a legitimate institution in the eyes of the whole society.
Fascists by definition operate extra-legally. They are not officially part of the state. This gives them the freedom to act independently and to do things the police aren't yet able to do.
Historically the purpose of fascism is to keep left-wing movements too weak to compete for official state power. They do this with murder and violence. Right now the fascists are operating on an individual scale. A handful of murders here and there.
Fascism in state power means a program of murder and violence against political opponents. No toleration of dissent. No bourgeois democracy, which is what we still have right now in the United States.
It may seem weirdly theoretical to focus on differences and definitions when the official state institutions of the US are moving so far in the direction of fascism.
But understanding matters, because it guides action. If you understand what you're looking at, if you know your enemy, you have a much better chance at figuring out strategy and tactics to defeat them.
For example: once the Proud Boys escaped from the parking garage in Kalamazoo, protected by lines of riot police, it was time for us to march back to the park, not to confront the police.
I'm going to include some of Trotsky's stuff on fascism (1930s?) because it's still the best thing ever written on the subject."
"What is fascism? The name originated in Italy. Were all the forms of counter-revolutionary dictatorship fascist or not (That is to say, prior to the advent of fascism in Italy)?
The former dictatorship in Spain of Primo de Rivera, 1923-30, is called a fascist dictatorship by the Comintern. Is this correct or not? We believe that it is incorrect.
The fascist movement in Italy was a spontaneous movement of large masses, with new leaders from the rank and file. It is a plebian movement in origin, directed and financed by big capitalist powers. It issued forth from the petty bourgeoisie, the slum proletariat, and even to a certain extent from the proletarian masses; Mussolini, a former socialist, is a "self-made" man arising from this movement.
Primo de Rivera was an aristocrat. He occupied a high military and bureaucratic post and was chief governor of Catalonia. he accomplished his overthrow with the aid of state and military forces. The dictatorships of Spain and Italy are two totally different forms of dictatorship. It is necessary to distinguish between them. Mussolini had difficulty in reconciling many old military institutions with the fascist militia. This problem did not exist for Primo de Rivera.
The movement in Germany is analogous mostly to the Italian. It is a mass movement, with its leaders employing a great deal of socialist demagogy. This is necessary for the creation of the mass movement.
The genuine basis (for fascism) is the petty bourgeoisie. In italy, it has a very large base -- the petty bourgeoisie of the towns and cities, and the peasantry. In Germany, likewise, there is a large base for fascism....
It may be said, and this is true to a certain extent, that the new middle class, the functionaries of the state, the private administrators, etc., can constitute such a base. But this is a new question that must be analyzed....
In order to be capable of foreseeing anything with regard to fascism, it is necessary to have a definition of that idea. What is fascism? What are its base, its form, and its characteristics? How will its development take place? It is necessary to proceed in a scientific and Marxian manner."
HOW MUSSOLINI TRIUMPHED
From What Next? Vital Question for the German Proletariat, 1932
* * *
At the moment that the "normal" police and military resources of the bourgeois dictatorship, together with their parliamentary screens, no longer suffice to hold society in a state of equilibrium -- the turn of the fascist regime arrives. Through the fascist agency, capitalism sets in motion the masses of the crazed petty bourgeoisie and the bands of declassed and demoralized lumpenproletariat -- all the countless human beings whom finance capital itself has brought to desperation and frenzy.
From fascism the bourgeoisie demands a thorough job; once it has resorted to methods of civil war, it insists on having peace for a period of years. And the fascist agency, by utilizing the petty bourgeoisie as a battering ram, by overwhelming all obstacles in its path, does a thorough job. After fascism is victorious, finance capital directly and immediately gathers into its hands, as in a vise of steel, all the organs and institutions of sovereignty, the executive administrative, and educational powers of the state: the entire state apparatus together with the army, the municipalities, the universities, the schools, the press, the trade unions, and the co-operatives. When a state turns fascist, it does not mean only that the forms and methods of government are changed in accordance the patterns set by Mussolini -- the changes in this sphere ultimately play a minor role -- but it means first of all for the most part that the workers' organizations are annihilated; that the proletariat is reduced to an amorphous state; and that a system of administration is created which penetrates deeply into the masses and which serves to frustrate the independent crystallization of the proletariat. Therein precisely is the gist of fascism...."
~ Posted from Jessica Prozinski's Facebook page with permission