Encyclopedia of Anti-Revisionism On-Line

Bad Caricature

Published: The Guardian, May 29, 1974.
Transcription, Editing and Markup: Paul Saba
Copyright: This work is in the Public Domain under the Creative Commons Common Deed. You can freely copy, distribute and display this work; as well as make derivative and commercial works. Please credit the Encyclopedia of Anti-Revisionism On-Line as your source, include the url to this work, and note any of the transcribers, editors & proofreaders above.

Dave Davis, Brooklyn, N.Y.: I must protest your characterization of the position I presented as a speaker at the Guardian’s recent forum on “Watergate and Fascism.”

In your May 1 article on the forum you write: “Tung was followed by Dave Davis, whose views were challenged by most other speakers and by the audience. He argued that Watergate not only represented fascism but that the contradiction between democracy and fascism was the principal one in the U.S. today. As a result, he said, a section of the bourgeoisie was playing a progressive role and was to be united with in an effort to ’restore bourgeois democracy.’”

First, I did not say that Watergate represented fascism but rather that “. . .Watergate represents a fascist trend. . .” I did not say that we have fascism now but rather that “the threat to democracy–even the limited bourgeois democracy we have–is going to increase.” I spoke of the “fascist danger,” therefore I did not speak of an effort to “restore bourgeois democracy,” since I made it quite clear that we still have bourgeois democracy, limited as it is. It is wrong as a paraphrase and completely false as a quote. I spoke of defending and expanding what democracy we have. What is true is that were fascism to come to the U.S., I maintain that we would have to fight to restore democracy, a democracy which at first would not transcend the bounds of bourgeois democracy, as opposed to the view that under fascism we fight directly for socialism.

Secondly, I did not say that the bourgeoisie was playing a progressive role without qualification. I said “to a certain extent. I said that the bourgeois opposition was a “very unreliable opposition.” I said that it should be “supported to a certain extent.” I said that the left and the working class are going to have to contend with the liberal opposition for leadership of the people’s movement, because to “a certain extent it is a real opposition.”

Thirdly, it is true that I hold to the opinion that when fascism threatens, the contradiction between fascism and bourgeois democracy becomes for the time sharper than the direct class contradiction between the proletariat and the bourgeoisie, and that a united front of some form of all these forces opposed to fascism becomes necessary. But I hold that the working class must aim at leading this united front and that it needs a genuine Marxist-Leninist party in order to do so.