A. Bordiga

On Fascism


(November 1922)

Radio to Inprecorr.
From International Press Correspondence, Vol. 2 No. 102, 24 November 1922, pp. 822–823.
Transcribed & marked up by Einde O’Callaghan for the Marxists’ Internet Archive

Moscow, November 16

After the sitting was opened, Bordiga (Italy) spoke of fascism. He pointed out that Fascism is a classical example of the capitalist offensive. Fascism was founded by the war interventionists. The economic crisis of the post-war period encouraged this trend of feeling in the bourgeoisie. Fascism first took up the offensive in the agrarian districts, where socialist communal authorities, the Socialist Party, and the trade union organizations, had locally almost realized the dictatorship. Villages and small towns were not able to defend themselves against the military expeditious of the Fascisti. It was not till later that the Fascisti proceeded to exercise terror, incendiarism, ejection of the workers’ leaders, and murder, in their campaign against the industrial centres. The associations of industrial magnates, the large agrarian owners, as also the medium landowners, officers and petty bourgeoisie, tradesmen and half proletarians, all joined the Fascisti. Fascism rules on the pretence of representing national unity. It is supported by three factors. Firstly by the state, which gained time to organize the Fascisti and the Royal Guard by means of democratic pseudo-concessions during the demobilization crisis. Where the Fascisti did not defeat the workers, there the state disarmed the workers. All the time of the occupation of the factories, Giolitti and Nitti embodied the pseudo-democracy. The second supporting factor is the aid of the greater bourgeoisie and the big landowners; the third factor is the skilful organization of the disappointed middle class. The bourgeois parties possessed no serious organizations. Fascism created such. Fascism has no positive program. All it brings is new men, a new organization; but it follows the old bourgeois policy. The Fascist trade unions, formed with the aid of the employers, work with national demagogy. France assisted Mussolini not only during the war, but is still assisting him with money.

The main lesson to be learned from events is that, during the period of revolution, the state apparatus alone is inadequate for the bourgeoisie. A firmly organized party is required as well. Fascism was pressed forward to a rapid seizure of power by an international party crisis, and by the exhaustion of the party treasury.

The speaker describes how comrade Togliatti, the chief editor of the Communist central organ, was almost shot at the time of the Fascist seizure of power, but is still working further for the party despite this. The position is now clearer than during the period of pseudo-democracy. The bourgeois parties support Mussolini, the Turati group makes compacts with Mussolini, and the state apparatus has entered into a compromise with the Fascisti. Mussolini intends demobilizing the Fascisti.

Despite official freedom of the press the party organs Communist, l’Ordini Nuovo and Lavoratore, can only appear illegally at present. The Communist Party is not disbanded, the trade unions are still working. Fascism will not be able to solve the difficult problems. Disappointment will soon be felt. The struggle of the working class will be severe, for fascism fights against the proletariat with the aid of the state apparatus. The first conditions for our victory is strict discipline, the creation of a well-organized Communist Party.

Last updated on 2 January 2021