Aug 30, 2005

An exchange on the relevancy on the Three Way Fight perspective

I got an email message the other day regarding the website. I thought it would be useful to post the exchange I have had thus far, and open it up for some of the other contributors to see and hopefully comment on.

Since the Three Way Fight site is new, and I consider the perspective it represents as a minority one, questions and discussion that may view the project critically are definitely welcome. The comrade takes issue with the notion that “fascism” can be considered an alternative to capitalism. The comrade, who for now shall be referenced by W., considers fascism as a variant of capitalist rule, not an alternative form of social order that breaks with capitalism. The concept of the Three Way Fight may therefore be nothing more than a straw man argument in that “fascism” is being conceived by me as something more radical and likely an outcome of social crisis than it could be.

From W.:

So far it looks good. How often do you plan to change it? Is this what you writing about when you asked if you could use my letter on fascism?

However, I do not get the Three Way stuff. That is, I do not believe that there are three alternatives. Bourgeois democracy, fascism, and state socialism (state capitalism) are all variants of capitalism, or so I have believed for some time. This does not deny that they are not different—that is, different varieties of capitalism.


Red X responds:

Nowhere do I deny that they are all forms of capitalism. Though do we not agree class society and capitalism can manifest itself differently? I strongly disagree that fascism is not an alternative. It is not one which WE (you, I) want. But I think that in times of crisis a range of "alternative" movements can come to the fore. I think many times anarchists and the Left dismiss fascism as a mere tool of the boss class.

Past fascist movements have collaborated with industrialists and elements of the ruling class. Though, to say there was blanket support of fascist parties by the bosses would be untrue. I think that a defining characteristic of fascism is its opposition to the morality and policies of modern bourgeois democracy and the materialist capitalism it is attached to. This carries into the desire of the Fascists to build an independent movement capable of exerting control over the elements of society, this includes industry and capital.

Fascism is varied and has had both its outright capitalist variants(Hitler for instance), but it has also contained more radical elements that seek to transform completely the relations of capitalism and class society (the Strassers’ on the other end). Though the more radical elements were purged, they showed differing visions within the fascist camps.

As historical losers ourselves who battle on for the realization of a libertarian and socialist future, why should we not consider any thevariants of fascism to be the same – historical losers who could once again gain prominence , popularity and power. A future fascism will be different then the past (but our vision too is different than anarchism and a revolutionary Left of the past. it may be part of a continuum, but it would evolve under current conditions and realities).

The argument I make is why should we not think that a mass of people could both become disenfranchised with bourgeois democracy, electoralism, modern capitalist values and also turn towards the “Right”, away from any Leftism.

My aim as an anti-fascist is to help keep our eye’s on Right, ultra-Nationalism, and fascist tendencies and say that OUR struggles are up against several fronts – now and possibly in the future.

Current examples. With the continuation of the war, do we think that a mass anti-war position in this country (if one truly develops) would turn Left? I consider that a popular anti-war position would be more likely to come from the Right. It would be isolationist, anti-internationalist, and racist against Muslims and non-US Americans. I also think it would have a strong anti-Israeli element to it because part of the discourse on the war is that it has been waged to help secure American-Israeli interests. Reading magazines like the American Conservative (Pat Buchanan’s publication) these positions are quite prominent, if not core tenets. While The American Conservative is neither fascist or popular, I think that it represents a potential politic on the Right. If, down the road, a substantial Right tendency emerges that see’s Buchanan types leading it, the Fascists will have a larger pond to swim in, one that is “legitimate” and beyond nazi-skinhead/Klan/David Duke circles.

This leads to another issue, Immigration. Projects like the Minute Man are becoming national points of debate. They represent the activist side of the anti-internationalist and independent US sector. While they are receiving support from some politicians, they are a by and large autonomous project. Also, not fascist, but the fascists are entering into the debate and projects like the Minute Man provide an on the ground training vehicle where they (the Fash) can meet up, network, and inject their voice into the mix. The smarter fascists would be wise to distance themselves from outright trappings of Nazism, and instead seek to generate ideas in the discourse. Immigration is gonna continue to be a lightning rod in North America and the US. If we witness a deepening of the crisis the Minute Man types may gain widen support and could move beyond just Immigration issues. They already targeted a Southwest anarchist gathering.

Anyway, the nature of fascism and authoritarian politics are for debate. Our types need to be aware that the class struggle is complex and we are confronted with many ideas, ideologies, currents, and struggles. I hope this websit/blog can add to our development and analysis.

From W.:

We may or may not have a difference about fascism. If what you mean is that a mass fascist movement may develop on its own, not called up by any sector of the big bourgeoisie, then I have no difference with you.

Nor will the rank and file of the movement think of themselves as strengthening the power of the big bosses. Quite the contrary. The Nazi ranks really, sincerely, thought that they were creating some sort of socialism.

Current right-wing militia-posse comitatus types really think they are fighting for American freedom. You bet. (The actual mass psychology of Nazism was explored by Wilhelm Reich and Erich Fromm.) The tops of these movements combine a belief in the ideology (Hitler really thought that the Jews were a threat) plus a more realistic sense of what was possible (Hitler knew he had to made deals with the big capitalists and generals; had the left Nazis prevailed within the Nazi ranks, then the German army would have crushed them).

Because the ranks are deluded. The Jews were not really the cause of the German middle sectors suffering. Nor are black helicopter-UN Jewish World Bankers-Black people the cause of oppression of middle layers in the US. These are crazed fantasies (although, as you say, based on what they currently think they know and experience). In practice, such groupings either stay marginalized or are hired by sections of the big capitalists when these decide they need the muscle. Which is my point that it can only be another variant of capitalism. (Both *another variant* and *of capitalism.*)

Unless you accept the theory, held by some (e.g. Dwight Macdonald) in the 30s, that the Soviet Union was a non-capitalist exploitative society (bureaucratic collectivism) AND so was Nazi Germany. For us today, this implies that (1) fascism could really overthrow the bourgeoisie (that the left Nazis were not just full of hot air but had the possibility to carry out their program) and (2) that the new system could be a bureaucratic collectivism, rather than state capitalism. I doubt # 1 but I REALLY doubt # 2.