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,
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
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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