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Hugo Oehler

America’s Role in Germany

The Threat of Imperialist War

(February 1933)

From The Militant, Vol. VI No. 11, 22 February 1933, p. 2.
Transcribed & marked up by Einde O’Callaghan for the Encyclopaedia of Trotskyism On-Line (ETOL).

A Fascist victory and the defeat of the German proletariat would lay the basis for ironing out the most pressing contradictions standing in the way of the imperialist war on the Soviet Union. Fascist Germany and American capital, With the other imperialists, would transform their economic war into a military war against the Soviet Union, using Fascism as the spearhead of attack. In the post-war period, defeated Germany stood in toe way of a well organized military operation and direct attack upon the Soviet Union. A Fascist Germany eliminates the sharpest expression of this contradiction. This does not mean that social democracy is just that many degrees better when it rules. It means that the position of class relations is to that degree different. The position of the working class and its party is different. Social democracy drugs the proletariat. Fascism annihilates its organizations.

Italian Fascism has the most agreeable relationship with American imperialism. Italian Fascism does not rest upon the same economic base that a victorious German Fascism would have. The White Terror government of Hungary after the Hungarian revolution, as well as other White Terror governments of the Balkans, have the best of relations with the American imperialists. But Fascist Italy and all of these White Terror Governments can not disorganize the world working class to the same degree that German Fascism, in the event of victory, could. The economic base below these forces is different.

The Stalinists consider Mussolini in Italy or Pilsudsky in Poland as just another form of bourgeois rule, and then conclude that Fascism in Germany would be similar. Such governments are indeed a form of bourgeois rule.

But from the class point of view there is a vast difference between social democracy and Fascism. And one must add to this, that with the Fascist variety of bourgeois rule there are differences and more pressing dangers. Fascism in Germany would make Fascism in Italy look like child’s play. Because WORLD CAPITALISM is in a more critical situation, Fascism takes root in a more developed country – as the expression of INTERNATIONAL relations.

The danger of an imperialist war between Japan and America in the Orient must be kept on the proletarian order of business but cannot be separated from the imperialists’ contradictions and the key situation in Germany. The contradictions between the imperialist powers on the one hand and the Soviet Union on the other finds expression in Germany and in China. Both situations must be approached from the international point of view and the proper connection of their economic and class relationships obtained.

In these preliminary struggles of the imperialists for the redivision of the earth these two dangers points reveal Germany as the weakest link and America as the dominating imperialist power.

Japan has advantages at the present in its present position in the Orient in this struggle for the re-division of the earth but the American imperialism’s hold upon the European imperialists, through war debts and through the billions invested in Germany, and America’s economic weight, gives her a lever far greater than that held by Japan, for world struggles in general and struggles in the Orient against Japan.

American imperialism is watching with vulture anxiety the gains of German Fascism. If Fascism triumphs in Germany reaction will be strengthened throughout the world. The American workers will be confronted by a wave of reaction. Greater capitalist prospects for a way out of the world crisis will be obtained.

A united front of reaction against the Soviet Union will alter, even though it intensifies the antagonisms between the imperialists. And America on top of the decay heap of world capitalism has far more to gain than to lose in much a new alignment for the coming imperialist war. All of this providing – Fascism is victorious in Germany. But this is not yet a settled question. The time is not yet too late to turn the tide into a successful proletarian revolution, thereby smashing Fascism – and the pillars of American Imperialism.

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Last updated: 17 April 2015