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Hugo Oehler

The Dollar Props Up Hitler

America and the Fascist Danger

(February 1933)

From The Militant, Vol. VI No. 9, 17 February 1933, p. 1.
Transcribed & marked up by Einde O’Callaghan for the Encyclopaedia of Trotskyism On-Line (ETOL).

The sharpening class relations in Germany have reached the point of civil war. This is posing in the most acute fashion the analyses and programs of the factions of the Communist International. This analysis must flow from the fact that the weight of the contradictions of world capitalism finds their most difficult relationship in Germany, revealing it as the weakest link in the world capitalist chain. Our victory over Fascism in this situation depends upon the ability and action of the Communists in presenting the correct program for the situation in Germany.

The gigantic antagonisms between imperialism, which have been intensified since the last world war, finds their deepest expression in Germany. The interests of the world imperialists are bound up with the interests of the German bourgeoisie in their struggle against the proletariat. If American and other imperialists leave Germany to her own fate in the German extension of the October revolution, the door would be left open for the deepening of internal difficulties and convulsions at home. Across this contradiction between the imperialist powers themselves runs the contradiction between world imperialism and the Soviet Union. These contradictions are tied up in one knot in the present German situation.

To untie this knot, means to answer the burning question of class relations in the interest of the working class. Hitler and Fascism answers this question in the most clear cut fashion for the bourgeoisie, even though they show great signs of weakness and confusion. For this Fascist shortcoming, the errors of Stalinism have more than compensated. Fascism has already one foot over the threshold of state power and the Stalinist straitjacket is hindering the free action of the vanguard of the working class. Hitler dissolves the Reichstag, the Prussian Diet and calls for elections on March 5. Between now and elections he will see to it that the Communists and all other workers’ organizations are not able to participate according to their parliamentary strength and thereby insure a “legal” victory of Fascism.

Social Democracy has not outlived its usefulness for the ruling class, it cannot adequately serve the interest of the capitalists in the immediate acute situation but it can and does constitute an active reserve force ready to serve its master as a moment’s notice Social democracy can only be shattered by a proper united front tactics in order to win the worker socialist from the leaders, thereby the base upon which the social chauvinist and “Iron Front” fighters rest can be torn away.

One force that is at present in the background, but which has weight of first magnitude in Germany, is American imperialism. During and since the last world war and since the last war it has been the stabilizing center of world capitalism against the revolutionary struggles for power of the proletariat. A working agreement between German Fascism and American imperialism is necessary for capitalism to utilize the Fascist hordes against the working class and the Soviet Union.

America’s participation in the last word war on the side of the imperialist rivals of Germany was of decisive importance in the defeat of Germany. It was second in importance only to the effects of the October revolution upon the German working class in the 1918 revolution which overthrew the Kaiser. American capital, in the form of war loans and war equipment, gave the necessary impetus to the tired and shattered armies fighting Germany. American postwar loans continued this necessary prop of decaying European capital ism in order to insure foreign markets for American production.

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Last updated: 17 April 2015