Buchanan a fascist?

Louis N Proyect lnp3 at columbia.edu
Sun Feb 11 06:44:49 MST 1996


On Sun, 11 Feb 1996, Bryan A. Alexander wrote:

> Then again, Buchanan might be considered a prot-fascist actor within a 
> time period not readily amenable to fascism: a character for the active 
> repression of insurgent labor when such measures are not needed.Tragic, 
> really...
> 

Louis: This is a keen observation. Protofascism or incipient fascism is 
present in all sorts of bourgeois politicians I suppose. Could one have 
identified Mussolini as the future fascist leader of Italy five years 
before his march on Rome? Many of the political themes were already 
embodied in his writings.

The problem for us is not being able to predict who will be the next 
Hitler. We need to oppose reactionary politicians and movements without 
regard to their future trajectory.

The real issue, however, remains. Is Buchanan the spokesman for a fascist 
movement? 
~~~~~~~~
When Trotsky wrote about the emerging Nazi movement, he hardly mentioned 
Hitler at all. He concentrated on the composition of the Brownshirts, 
their relationship to bourgeois democratic politicians, their methods of 
struggle, etc. Marxists should operate on this terrain, shouldn't they? 
We are interested in individuals, but in the last analysis individuals 
have no power without some kind of relationship to classes in motion.

Louis Napoleon, the original Bonapartist politician, had a distinct 
relationship to the peasantry. Marx spent much more time writing about 
the peasants than he did about their spokesman. Without the peasantry, 
Napoleon was a general without an army.

That is what Buchanan is, isn't he? A general without an army. If all of 
a sudden, Buchanan for President clubs started spreading like wildfire 
and started attacking strikes, abortion rights rallies or centers for 
immigrants rights, etc., then we had better damned well start paying 
attention. This is not happening however.

Buchanan's motivation is not to abolish bourgeois democracy, but push it 
to the right. By the same token, when a figure like Ralph Nader or Jesse 
Jackson runs, it is in order to push bourgeois democracy to the left.

In the meantime, we do not have any significant mass movements or 
political parties or politicians who have the intention of the Bolshevik 
Party or the Nazi Party: to abolish bourgeois democracy. In the case of 
the Bolsheviks, the goal would have been to establish socialism; in the 
case of the Nazis, it would have been to establish fascism.

We are simply not in the eleventh hour.


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