FASCISM AND LESSER EVIL POLITICS

curtis price cansv at igc.apc.org
Thu Feb 15 23:22:52 MST 1996


I have not been following this thread too carefully, but I agree with 
those pointing to the treacherous role of the social democrats
in Germany.

An interesting perspective that says something new on the whole 
question of Nazism and the German working class can be found in
Serge Bologna's article in COMMON SENSE #16 of the same title.

Drawing on Tim Mason (who I haven't read)
Bologna argues that the German CP by 1931 was almost entirely
composed of unemployed workers whose main locus of struggle was in 
the streets and in battles against the repressive social welfare agencys.
In contrast, the SPD was disproportionately based on those workers 
still employed.

As Bologna puts it,"It was not simply a question of two separate 
political lines, of different strategies of leaderships that were at 
loggerheads with each other; it was a question of two cultures, two 
different and hostile mentalities, so that 'unity at the grassroots 
level", in other words the kind of unity that can be born out of 
everyday relations, on concrete issues, was just as difficult, if not 
more difficult, to create, as unity on the top."

I am summarizing very crudely.The article is well worth reading for
a differing view than the usual 'crisis of leadership" arguments proferred by
both orthodox Trotskyism and Stalinism.

And speaking of "working class subjectivity", Bologna (one of the Italian
workerists theoreticians) captures very well the everyday
subjectivity of the German  unemployed in resisting their
worsening conditions.

It is worth mentioning this because some might think
in light of the recent discussions with "Subjects" hovering nebuously
in the disembodied realm of pure theory that the concept of
"working class subjectivity" is nothing but the latest academic tiddliewink.

It isn't.

- Curtis Price


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