Encyclopedia of Anti-Revisionism On-Line

Commentator Collective

Fascist Danger Increases World Wide

Published: The Commentator, No. 11, May-July 1976.
Transcription, Editing and Markup: Paul Saba
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(This question is still under discussion in our group. The ideas in this article while the majority view do not reflect a unanimous opinion.)

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In January of this year, the government of India announced that national elections scheduled for this year would not be held. Unprecedented in the 29 year history of independent India, this move was accompanied “by notice that the “state of emergency” would last for at least another year and that the democratic rights of the people would remain suspended.

Fascism came to India as abruptly as it had come to Chile nearly two years before. Though both were part of the Third World, they each had deep traditions of constitutional (bourgeois-democratic) government; each had elected governing bodies and permitted its people certain minimum rights – of speech, assembly, press, etc. Though both governments could be repressive, their people and workers could legally organize into unions and parties and had*used the weapon of the strike. Today these options of the people have been removed. These governments have been “streamlined”; pesky opposition politicians have been removed and jailed. The claim to legitimacy of the ruling capitalist class now stems directly from military force rather than from the voter.

Georgi Dimitrov, in 1935, defined fascism as “the open terrorist dictatorship of the most reactionary most chauvinistic and most imperialist elements of finance capital” (of the bourgeoisie). While fascist governments may vary in forms, structure, types and degree of repression, all of them share this common class character. Today only Spain remains as an example of “first generation” fascism with its goose-stepping, salutes and other trappings, even in the absence of Franco, (which negates the liberals’ limited definition of fascism as “one-man rule”). Since the fall of fascist Germany and Italy 31 years ago, however, this form of bourgeois rule and oppression has begun to take root throughout the world under new and even bizarre circumstances.


One manifestation of fascism to emerge was its role as a partner of imperialism. Simultaneous with the emergence of the U.S. as the heir-apparent of Europe’s colonies, was the resistance of national liberation movements. Previous U.S. experience in Latin America was often applied to Africa and Asia, and nominal independence was permitted. A client, comprador class of native capitalists was permitted to rule the “neo colony”, (sometimes by virtue only of naked, U.S.-supplied force). Thus the imperialist power exploited internal class contradictions in Third World countries to maintain their rule.

While the U.S. has been known to foster fascist governments in its neo-colonies, this procedure was used only as a last resort. The preferred form of government was bourgeois democracy. In the Philippines, a traditional colony of the U.S., nominal independence brought with it U.S.-style democratic structures, even while neo-colonialism remained. It became the much tauted “showcase of democracy” in south east Asia – a U.S. model of benevolent paternalism. Much of Latin America, especially Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, and Mexico were regarded in similar manner. Despite this legacy, however, fascism was abruptly imposed in the Philippines in 1973 during the intensified crisis of U.S. defeats in Vietnam and diplomatic setbacks elsewhere. It was implemented when President Marcos faced the prospect of inevitable electoral defeat. U.S. warships in Manila harbor and U.S. military bases (which constant presence had fomented the crisis) had remained an ominous reserve of military force and a deterrent to the resistance of the people.

It should be noted that after thirty-one years of U.S. imperialist policies, capped by the U.S. defeats in Vietnam and. Cambodia, an erosion of the U.S. position has resulted in a weakening of its hegemony. Limited yet anti-imperialist measures have been adopted by once docile clients as the oil producing Arabs, and Latin American enclaves such as Peru. Even the Philippines have recently begun adopting a more independent foreign policy, as seen by their diplomatic recognition of People’s China.


There is only one type of regime that is a greater friend of fascism than a big imperialist power; it is a big imperialist power that is itself also fascist. Instead of using fascism as a “necessary evil” only in those locations where brute force cannot be avoided to maintain hegemony, the fascist imperialist finds fascism the preferred form of rule. One should recall that Nazi Germany spread fascism across Europe with the enthusiasm of a religious zealot.

It is a well known fact that the Soviet Union maintains military bases in many nations. Outside of the Six Warsaw Pact countries can be seen a network of bases including India, Syria, Somalia, Tanzania, Cuba and Saklrolin (territory still contested by Japan.) Russia is seeking further bases in Vietnam, Turkey, Cyprus, and Angola. What is a “Socialist” country doing so deeply involved in Imperialism? Any Marxist will point out that acquisition of bases on foreign soil is a violation of Socialist norms and that imperialist policy is an extension of internal capitalist pressures and crises, of factors alien to a socialist economy and culture. Recent studies, such as that of Martin Nicolaus[1], confirm in depth that the Soviet economy since Stalin has been transformed into a capitalist one–though its form of State monopoly capital differs from those of the West. Albanian observers have analysed in detail how and why this process occurred. They have stated, in The PLA in Battle with Modern Revisionism, that “revisionism is a new form in which imperialism is attempting to prolong its life.”

An industrial capitalist state can have only two forms of rule. It can be bourgeois-democratic or it can be fascist. The Soviet Union has but one party which tolerates no opposition. In a capitalist country, ruled by a small minority forming a privileged elite, this form is called fascism. In a socialist country, this one-party apparatus is used by the working class, an overwhelming majority, to maintain its power and to suppress the bourgeois, a small minority. Having seized power from the top, the new Soviet bourgeoisie has gradually transformed the instrument of the Dictatorship of the Proletariat into the fascist dictatorship of the bourgeoisie– all in about 20 years.


As in the Philippines, a severe crisis in India precipitated the imposition of open fascist dictatorship by Indira Ghandi in June, 1975. Exposed and discredited by a “Watergate” like scandal and condemned by the courts, she succeeded where Nixon failed.[2] She refused to abide by customary judicial and constitutional procedures and vacate her seat in Parliament, or her position as prime minister. Instead, she declared a national emergency (a power granted by the constitution, but never before used), and stifled all opposition by force.

Just as Marcos had relied on powerful external help, so did Indira Ghandi. This help came not from the traditional seats of Western imperialism, but from a different quarter–the revisionist Soviet Union. The Russians justified their support of the coup by saying that India’s government was progressive and beleagered by hostile reactionaries who were trying to subvert it and make it fascist. They would have us believe that Mrs. Ghandi is really an anti-fascist. But where have the blows fallen–not on the reactionaries but on progressives! Three out of four major parties which call themselves Marxists were banned. Only the Soviet-dominated Communist Party of India was allowed to continue its activities which now consist of rubber-stamping Congress-Party policy. All other bourgeois parties were banned. Bourgeois rule without bourgeois democracy is fascism.

India is not the only country where the USSR has supported fascist rulers. When the U.S. overthrew the legitimate government of Cambodia in March, 1970, the Soviet Union not only failed to support the liberation and united front forces, but was actually among the first nations to recognize and support the brutal Lon Nol regime.

What of the Soviet’s “progressive” role in assisting smaller and Third World nations? What kind of aid does the Soviet Union give–is it free and without strings? In recent years, Soviet aid has primarily been in the form of loans which must be repaid on time and with interest India, Vietnam and Cuba are all deeply in debt. Egypt, in breaking their long term “treaty of friendship and cooperation” with the Soviet Union, denounced the large debt they had acquired. Contrast this policy with that of Socialist China whose loans are given interest free, to be repaid in any form, and at any time–if ever. By her example China has done much to expose this sham Soviet “aid”.

What exactly is the price which the Soviet Union exacts from Third World countries for these loans? Poor and underdeveloped countries can repay their debts in many ways.

In the case of India, the Soviet Union has continuously encouraged an aggressive foreign policy. This includes the annexations of Nepal, Bhutan and Sikkim, and the bold attack on China as far back as 1962. The most blatant example was India’s invasion of East Pakistan and the formation of Bangladesh, in the fall of 1971f just months after India and the Soviet Union signed a non-aggression pact.

Cuba offers another example. While many conditions in Cuban life improved after the 1959 revolution, the one-crop economy has remained. Cuba is no longer hopelessly in debt to the U.S.; it is now hopelessly in debt to the Soviet Union. Just as the South Koreans paid interest to the U.S. with their blood in Vietnam, so. the Cubans paid interest to the Soviet Union with their blood in Angola. And although the civil war is over and South Africa removed its troops from Angola on March 27th, the Cubans remain. It is tragic to see the revolutionary spirit and good will of the Cuban people so channeled to the needs of social imperialism. Recently, too, DRV leader Le Duan announced complete agreement with the Soviet foreign policy, and the DRV officially announced support of the Ghandi regime. We have only the best wishes for the Vietnamese people and acknowledge their historic struggle. We hope that their independence continues and that they don’t exchange one imperialism for another.

Farfetched? Not possible with the “Socialist” Russians? Remember that Hitler was a “National Socialist”. Despite the demogogic phrases, Hitler’s fascist imperialism crushed the independence of Czechoslovakia in 1938. Thirty years later, history was repeated by the Social Imperialist Breshnev. Unlike Hitler, the Russians didn’t even bother to coerce an endorsement from a single Czech citizen to “legitimize” the takeover.


The growth of fascism has not been limited to the Soviet Union and Third World countries. Trends toward fascism can also be found within the U.S., Japan, and several of the Western European nations.

England is facing a staggering rate of inflation, and some members of the ruling bourgeois class feel that only a strongman dictator will be able to bring the situation under control In West Germany a dense network of fascist organizations are operating. Some are connected to the secret services organized by the former Nazi, General Gellan. The Italian Social Movement, a neo-fascist party, is growing. It is represented in parliament, and therefore receives state subsidies. The Italian Social Movement has links with the state apparatus, the secret services, the army and the courts. It has also been training fascist terrorist bands such as the New Order, the Rose of Perfumes, the Revolutionary Action Movement and the squads of Mussolini Action which have been responsible for a chain of anti-popular actions including murders.[3] The Italian Communist Party is also growing, and may even be a major factor in the next government. However, it is a revisionist party whose main tactics are peaceful parliamentary work. In the name of parliamentary democracy they too supported the measure of giving the neo-fascist party state – subsidies!

Setbacks in the U.S. imperialist policy have brought worsening economic conditions home to roost. With the specter of turmoil as workers resist bearing the brunt of the crisis–we have only to look as far as the pending S-l bill to see how the U.S. bourgeoisie plans to meet resistance.


Under circumstances of growing Soviet influence and aggression the world faces a new fascist menace. The Soviet Union is using the word “socialism” in the Third World the way the U.S. uses the term “democracy” and is attempting to expand wherever the U.S. is forced to retreat. The U.S. is a declining imperialist power. It has suffered defeats in South East Asia and the role of the CIA in subverting governments has been exposed to the entire world. The U.S., however, is not going to sit idly by and let the Soviet Union pick up all the pieces of the U.S.-European empire.

We recognize that there is a growing trend of anti-imperialist struggle in the Third World. At the same time, however, the anti-revisionist forces within these struggles, while growing, still remain relatively isolated and few. If the trend of Soviet expansionism is not resisted world-wide (along with U.S. imperialism) by the revolutionary movements, by the national liberation struggles, and all democratic-minded peoples, the contention between the two superpowers may only be resolved by World War III. In the meantime–fascist expansion will crush and reverse the struggles of other peoples, in the same, or even more brutal fashion than was done in India.


[1] Martin Nicolaus, Restoration of Capitalism in the USSR. Chicago, Liberator Press.

[2] Recent revelations by ex-CIA operative Victor Marchetti confirm that some machinery for a military coup in the U.S. had been set up under Nixon, but was never activated. Only history will reveal the purpose of the “worldwide military alert” during the days immediately following Nixon’s “Saturday night massacre” in October, 1973.

[3] Albania Today. #3, May-June 1975. “Revival of Fascism a Real Danger”, pp. 61-62. (Excerpted from ZERI-I-POPULLIT)