The rise of the far-right and the battle against it

The international conference of ISp took place between the 9th and 13th of March in Athens and had very extensive and fruitful discussions on the geopolitical situation; class struggles internationally; the rise of the Far Right; developments in Latin America, Asia and Africa; as well as on internal issues, like building the forces of revolutionary socialism, the statutes, relations with other organisations etc.

We continue publishing the documents agreed at the conference, after the amendments presented and the discussion that took place were taken into consideration.

Today we publish the document The rise of the far-right and the battle against it. You can read the rest of the documents here.

Internationalist Standpoint Conference 2024

The rise of the far-right and the battle against it

  1. Despite the defeat of fascism in WWII, far right formations never disappeared, not even in Europe. On an international level, nationalist, religious and other forces belonging to the far right of the political spectrum, as well as military dictatorships, dominated huge areas all over the planet. Despite the experience of fascism in Europe, far right or neo-fascist forces remained an important political force in some countries, such as in Italy and France. 
  2. However, as a general rule in Europe, the far right in all its manifestations remained a fringe movement of marginal neo-Nazis in the first post-war decades. The rise of new far-right parties with mass support was seen as a shocking exception in the early 1990s. 
  3. The situation today is completely different, on a global level. In a big number of countries, the extreme right has taken center stage and is emerging as a political force with considerable influence and the potential to participate in coalition governments.
  4. Today, the far right is in power in Europe’s third largest economy, Italy, in Latin America’s third largest economy, Argentina, and participates in coalition governments in 4 more EU countries (Hungary, Slovakia, Sweden, Finland). Far right parties until recently held government positions in Austria and Poland. Orbán in Hungary is the EU’s longest-serving prime minister, while Wilders recently won elections in the Netherlands. Modi is leading Asia’s third largest economy since 2014.
  5. In 15 of the 27 EU countries, the far right has a double-digit share of the vote, in many of them over 20%. In the coming European elections, according to all the polls so far, the far-right parties could win 25% of the seats in the European Parliament. In the three largest EU countries, according to the polls, the far right is likely to come first (France, Italy) or second (Germany).
  6. In the coming period, UN Security Council permanent member countries could possibly have new far-right elected politicians (like Trump in the US or Marine Le Pen in France), along with long standing autocratic leaders like Putin in Russia, Xi in China, etc.
  7. In the last 3 years we have witnessed parts of the military establishment openly expressing support for authoritarian shifts, not just in African countries where coups are permanently on the agenda, but in countries of “developed” Europe, namely France (manifesto of 1,000 servicemen and women of the army), Germany (citizens of the Reich) and more recently in Romania (text of 501 retired and reserve military officers).
  8. The social and political movements of the far right (reactionary, para-fascist, neo-fascist, neo-Nazi) flourish in times of great crisis, amplifying the growing sense of threat and insecurity among middle-class layers (small entrepreneurial, commercial, and professional bourgeoisie) and are able to gain the support of some sections of the working class. These layers, continually renewing themselves within the interstices of the capitalist cycle, have now lost the relative independence that characterized the rural world, and in periods of acute economic crisis, they risk being overwhelmed by processes of degradation or rapid proletarianization. It is precisely in these moments, driven by these layers, that mass movements develop “against the existing state of affairs,” reacting to the growing inequalities and the dominance of big capital (especially financial), but without questioning the fundamental structure of the capitalist mode of production. They simply aspire to social protection, a new community cohesion, a return to the bygone days when the capitalist cycle ensured their moderate well-being and reproduction: a social demand simultaneously for order, state intervention and nostalgia for a never-experienced time of security for small-scale production, which crystallizes in political movements simultaneously of radical protest and reaffirmation of the capitalist order.
  9. In Asia the far right has been active for decades and even in power. Both during the Cold War against the USSR, and now with the escalating rivalry and animosity with China, the far right in Japan, India, Indonesia, South Korea, the Philippines and so on has been ignored. In the case of Japan, an imperialist country, these are not just fringe groups that are incensed by the presence of US troops but factions within the ruling LDP that have included two prime ministers: Shinzo Abe and Junichiro Koizumi. In India, touted by the top imperialist countries as “the world’s biggest democracy”, the governing far-right Hindu supremacist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) incites anti-Muslim sentiments and provides immunity for its fascistic affiliate Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) to carry out pogroms against Muslim citizens, their mosques, homes and livelihoods. The BJP developed this policy 20 years ago in Gujarat, while Modi was the state’s chief minister. In Israel, the current coalition government includes ministers from two far-right parties: Jewish Power and Mafdal-Religious Zionism. Their influence is seen in all aspects of Israeli life and in how the occupation, oppression and massacre of the Palestinians has escalated and became more deadly.
  10. The causes of this concerning situation lie in the explosive combination of the consequences of the global and multifaceted crisis (economic, political, geopolitical, social, environmental) and the political vacuum created by the decline of the traditional bourgeois parties and the retreat of the Left. For hundreds of millions of people, the traditional political parties that have ruled for decades are responsible for the crisis and are linked to nepotism and corruption, while the parties of the reformist (both traditional and “new”) and Stalinist Left, either took power and became fully integrated into the system or capitulated and moved to the right, thus offering no alternative to workers, the youth and the oppressed. This left an open door to the far right, which presented itself as a new, fresh, anti-systemic alternative. With simple and easily digestible slogans, it found a wider audience among the popular layers and even traditional voters of the Left.
  11. The crisis and the betrayals of the Left where it came to power, inevitably led to a retreat of political consciousness. Moreover, the processes of restructuring and internationalization of production chains have disorganized the working class: in advanced capitalist countries, its concentration, consciousness, and strength have eroded, while in countries with recent industrialisation, its political awareness has not yet developed. The vision of social (socialist) change that defined the consciousness of the broad masses in the post WWII decades and up to the mid-1980s gave way to disillusionment, insecurity, de-ideologisation and the spread of conservative views and perceptions at all levels of social life. The capitalist system, with the contribution of its political representatives and the mainstream media, ensured that the logic of “divide and rule” was reinforced by finding scapegoats who were supposedly responsible for everything, so that it could pretend to be an “impartial referee” while remaining immune from its responsibility for the dramatic decline of societies at all levels. At the same time, the Church and the repressive apparatuses (army, police, secret services, etc), from their own point of view, have taken care to strengthen the most conservative reflexes and to feed the extreme right in every possible way.
  12. Immigration and xenophobia were the main driving force that gradually catapulted the far right to the center of political life from the 1990s onwards. Immigrants became the modern enemy and the cause of all ills (crime, unemployment, deterioration in health and education, etc.). “Foreigners out” was the slogan of the far right and the fascists, with which they won points of support on the streets, but above all in the consciousness of the popular layers. However, in order to win over wider public support, the far right needed a political uplift that would, on the one hand, dissociate it from the abhorrent historical traditions of fascism and Nazism and, on the other hand, present it as a “normal” parliamentary political force with its own programme and posing no threat to capitalist democracy.
  13. The initiator of this upsurge was Marine Le Pen, who from 2011, when she took over the leadership of the party, began to clash with her father and mentor of French neo-fascism, Jean-Marie, so that the party, then called the “National Front”, would wear a smiling parliamentary democratic sheepskin that would hide any resemblance and connection with the assault battalions and the ideas of Hitler, Mussolini or Franco.
  14. Generally speaking, the vast majority of today’s far right parties have their roots in small groups of remnants of Nazism that formed after the war and in brutal dictatorial regimes that have bloodily marked the history of countries such as Chile, Argentina, Brazil, Greece, Spain, Portugal and others. Today’s far-right politicians want to hide this connection without ever really denying it. Although neo-Nazi organisations and groups continue to exist in many countries, the main political formations of the far right want to distance themselves from their fascist past.
  15. A telling example comes from Belgium. Vlaams Belang has grown from a tiny grouplet (with fascist roots, going back to the collaboration with the nazi occupation) to a party with 30.000 members, reaching even 20% of the votes in Flanders (about 11% on a national scale). At the beginning it stressed the Flemish national identity. During the years it has a variety of themes of which migration is the main one. It often “steals” left slogans and demands, translating them into its agenda, with a divide-and-rule ‘solution’ to everything. It tried, not very successfully, to clear the party from violent and fascist elements, by pushing them into the fringes around the party and now it presents itself as able to govern. The polls show that it can even take the first place in Flanders with 24-25% (13-14% on belgian scale) in the coming June 2024 elections. Because of the existence of a conservative ‘democratic’ nationalist party (NVA), that is poised to gain 20% (11% nationally) of the votes, coalition talks will be extremely complicated for both the government of the region Flanders and the federal government. NVA hesitates to form a coalition with Vlaams Belang in the Flemish regional government, because that would mean its entrance in the federal government will be blocked.
  16. Far-right parties have expanded their political arsenal in almost all areas of political and social life. Today’s extreme right does not only talk about foreigners, but has positions on the environment, education, health, culture, sports, economy, etc. These positions are a mixture of extreme neo-liberalism, nationalism, historical revisionism, conspiracy theories and irrationality. Climate change, for example, is denied by most far right parties (although there is the new trend of “eco-fascism” which believes climate change is real, but… immigrants are to blame for it). Every country is supposedly threatened by invisible enemies. Darwinism and sex education must be removed from schools. Abortion is considered murder and must be outlawed. Vaccines for covid-19 implant microchips in the human body. At the same time, they want to take advantage of the increasing time distance from historical events such as the WWII to spread ignorance and doubt or to even outrightly claim that “the Holocaust never happened” and that “the Jews are behind everything” (whether this is the control of the world banking system, the 9/11 attacks, the pandemic, etc).
  17. The traditional reactionary positions of anti-communism, anti-Semitism, xenophobia, homophobia, etc. remain intact but are peddled in a more sophisticated and “modern” way. Xenophobia mainly takes the form of Islamophobia and the ideological cover for theories such as the Great Replacement, which claims that there is a plan to replace the white population in the West by Muslims or blacks. Homophobia mainly targets the fundamental rights of LGBTQI individuals and movements, although it is accepted if you are part of the elite (for example Alice Weidel of the Alternative for Germany-AfD is openly lesbian). Recently, with the occasion of the Gaza massacre, far-right figures even proved that their anti-semitism can be temporarily brushed aside in order to serve their islamophobic agenda.
  18. The so-called Anti-Woke ideology targets global movements for human and social rights putting forward the logic of “law and order” or the traditional patriarchal religious family. Progressive people are pejoratively called “politically correct woke mob” by those who fight against the rights of minorities, workers, women, LGBTQI people, etc.
  19. It is interesting to note that a part of the far right utilizes Identity Politics to garner support, especially in the younger generations (millennials, Gen Z). They portray for example women’s rights won in Western countries as being threatened by immigrants. Some far-right figures go even further, calling for a “revolt against immigrant colonization” and attempting to prey on the anti-colonial movement.
  20. The ability to formulate policies against migrants, alongside traditionalist and conspiratorial ideologies, has enabled these political movements to vastly transcend their social boundaries, garnering support from across the subordinate classes and even within sectors of the organized working class. Unlike traditional fascist movements, which historically struggled to gain traction within the working class, these new identity-based and communitarian right-wing movements have often found support not only among the most marginalized sectors of the proletariat (including the unemployed, underemployed, housewifes, retirees, etc.) but also within neighborhoods and communities of the working class (as seen with Le Pen in the banlieues or the northern regions of France, and Salvini or Meloni in Italy’s historic industrial and left-wing cities, etc.).
  21. On the economic front, these reactionary movements in advanced capitalist countries generally advocate for a different approach to crisis management. Within the framework of increasing international competition, they appeal to a vague set of nationalist industrial policies, a new military rearmament, and consequently, the development of new aggregate demand through their sovereigntist actions [such as Le Pen, Meloni, Orban, Kaczyński, and in many respects, Trump’s MAGA]. This allusion to new potential arrangements renders these movements somewhat functional to the emerging dynamics of imperialist conflict that have been taking shape in recent decades. At the same time, large industrial and financial capital often distrusts their social and economic policies as they challenge the production structures and accumulation strategies upon which they have based their development during the era of globalization. These new right-wing governments, therefore, often find themselves caught in the contradiction between their propaganda and concrete governance policies, currently unable to effectively implement the policies they aspire to.
  22. In “developing” countries, despite individual differences in the economic policy mix, the far right is a staunch supporter of neoliberal capitalism and the freedom of the market and capital. The examples of Bolsonaro in Brazil and Milei in Argentina are very characteristic. Twenty days after coming to power, Milei tried to implement an anti-labour reform that would abolish the right to strike, to demonstrate, compensation for dismissals, etc. At the same time, he wants to privatise what is left of the public sector. The Labor Appeals Chamber has put a first brake on this and the unions organised a general strike which was the fastest general strike against a newly elected government in the history of the country. 
  23. Various far-right representatives are trying to prevent social upheavals against their policies by watering down their programme once they are in power or by applying protectionist measures to their economies in order to maintain their influence. Meloni in Italy and Orbán in Hungary are such examples. Meloni took a clear pro-Western and pro-NATO position on the war in Ukraine, contradicting even her electoral allies like Salvini, who supports Russia. Orbán, who has been expelled from the European People’s Party, is implementing protectionist policies in Hungary and constantly creating rows in the EU, while at home he is promoting a series of repressive measures and curbing democratic rights. In other cases, such as Ukraine and Israel, the main representatives of the ruling class are in power with Nazis, Zionists, etc., and together they are completely tied to and dependent on the US-NATO chariot, proving, among other things, that even nationalism for the far-right is often hypocritical and only for internal consumption.
  24. It is necessary to be precise and not to lump together right-wing, far-right and fascist politicians and parties. These are three different political categories, even though there is a common thread between them. Right-wing movements are conservative, traditionalist, and often neoliberal, essentially representing the most regressive sectors of the ruling classes and, consequently, of big capital. Contemporary reactionary movements, rooted in the middle classes, frequently draw upon para-fascist ideologies and models. While they promote authoritarian, Bonapartist practices and aspirations (including advocating constitutional reforms in this direction) they do not harbor subversive intentions towards the state nor engage in systematic, even self-organized, use of political violence. Fascist movements, however, aim to completely reconstruct the state, imposing corporatist and totalitarian models: they engage in daily political violence, primarily targeting leftist organizations, the labor and social movements. We should stay away from the idea that “every right-winger is a Nazi”, popularized especially by anarchist groupings. It is necessary to distinguish the exact level of threat to the working class by each political force, and act accordingly.
  25. Trump, for example, is not a Nazi. He is a capitalist with ultra-conservative views who brings together sections of capital and the middle classes, while being the focal point for almost the whole spectrum of the far right in the US. The threat he represents for US society is real, but cannot be compared to the threat of an openly fascist government which would physically crush all working class organizations and any current of thought that is in opposition to their ideology. Flowing out of this, the movements’ way of dealing with Trump and his ilk cannot be the same as when we are dealing with openly neo-Nazi attack squads on the streets.
  26. More generally, we see the phenomenon of sections of national bourgeoisies taking steps back from the policy of unhindered globalisation of the previous decades, while implementing protectionist policies. Taking this into account, it is inevitable that sections of the ruling classes will be drawn closer to the far-right. On the other hand, far right parties see an opportunity in this support by sections of the bourgeoisie. They have the possibility to move into the center of political life and grab power. The prospect of taking the government unites the different fractions of the far-right and gives them momentum.
  27. The rise of the far and populist right is also an expression of the growing divisions within the capitalist class in each country. As the crisis of their system deepens, so do the divisions between finance and industry, between small and big business, between national and transnational sections of capital. After the increasing domination of the latter in the age of neoliberal globalisation, domestic capital has started in recent years to fight back, often using far or populist right-wing forces as their political vehicle. The Orban (Hungary), Erdoğan (Turkey) or Meloni (Italy) regimes are cases in point. But this relationship can also vary. In the UK, for example, it is mostly transnational finance capital (hedge funds) and big fossil fuel corporations driving the rise of right-wing populism within and around the Conservative Party. 
  28. Another key feature that promotes the rise of the far-right is the general trend in all bourgeois states, at this conjuncture, to strengthen a more authoritarian model of government, in order to deal with the effects of the poly-crisis. Far-right parties are obviously at a better position to promote this type of governance than traditional bourgeois formations. 
  29. In many circles there is an ongoing discussion about whether the phenomenon of the rise to power of fascist or Nazi parties can be repeated, as happened mainly in the inter-war period, especially in European countries (Germany, Italy, Spain, etc.).
  30. The rise of fascism and Nazism in the inter-war period had specific causes. Apart from the fierce imperialist rivalries and the unprecedented economic crisis that followed the 1929 crash, a key factor was the fear of the ruling classes about the spread of social revolutions in a number of European countries after the victory of the Russian Revolution in 1917. The rise to power of Mussolini in ‘22, with the blessing of the bourgeoisie, provided the impetus. Then came the crisis of ‘29, the aftermath of which strengthened Hitler’s Nazi party in Germany, and from 2.8% in the 1928 elections they were catapulted to power 5 years later. The Fascists and Nazis were mass movements with attack battalions based on the middle classes and impoverished sections of the proletariat.
  31. Today there are a number of differences compared with the situation then. The economic and social crisis is not as deep in the industrially developed countries. Also, there are no mass revolutionary parties and movements that appear in any way to be in a position to overthrow capitalism. Capitalist rule is not threatened by any working class organization or movement at the moment. Another important factor is that the experience of WWII, with mass destruction and deaths followed by the abolition of capitalism in a huge number of countries (Eastern Europe, China), has led the bulk of the ruling capitalist class internationally to the conclusion that they have to prevent the uncontrolled dynamics of fascism.
  32. A far right that is normalised in the consciousness of society, that operates within bourgeois democracy and does the “dirty work” of capital when and where it is needed, is a very useful model for the political and economic establishment today. So in a number of countries we see the far-right groomed for “mainstream politics”, participating in coalition governments and even taking power in major countries, as happened with Trump and Bolsonaro. In other countries, we see the long-term prevalence of authoritarian regimes, e.g. Putin in Russia, Erdogan in Turkey, etc., which openly collaborate with the far right at national and international level, promote nationalism, engage in regional wars and implement harsh capitalist policies within their countries.
  33. The idea of a restrained far right, fully integrated into parliamentarianism, is an illusion. To the extent that right-wing extremists of all stripes dominate some of the important countries on the planet, it will mean an even greater derailment of international relations and a widening of the scope of war conflicts. Within their own countries, it will mean an even greater curtailment of democratic conquests and rights, an intensification of capital’s offensive and an ever greater oppression and impoverishment of the popular and working classes. Moreover, the normalisation of the far-right and their participation in government, reinforces “the right of the far-right” (i.e, Fascist and Nazi groups), which pretends to have the “final solution” against the “moderate” flanks of the far-right. Finally, the spread of far-right and nationalist ideas has its own dynamic, which cannot be controlled even by the far-right itself and can uncontrollably explode at times. Therefore, although we cannot expect to have a repetition of the phenomena of the 1920s and 1930s, it is certain that the rise of the far-right will lead to greater instability and attacks on workers and the oppressed.
  34. It is important to note that in all mass far-right parties there exist small enclaves of clear fascist/nazi groups that prepare and train themselves militarily, waiting for the right opportunity to come forcefully to the fore.
  35. In conditions of deep economic crisis we could have the emergence of fascist and Nazi organizations, growing from a few hundred to many thousands and acquiring mass appeal. The example of the Golden Dawn (GD) in Greece at the time of the great attacks by the Troika (IMF, EU, ECB) on the Greek working class, in the first part of 2010s, is characteristic of the dangers that face the working class and its organizations. Golden Dawn was elected to parliament for the first time in 2012, with 7% of the vote (compared to less than 0.5% in previous decades) with its support continuing to rise after that, reaching 14% in the polls before the 2013 murder of Pavlos Fyssas. This event led to a huge movement that forced the establishment to attack GD. The bourgeois establishment had its grievances with GD, not only in terms of the battle for votes, but also because they were feeling that the fascists were getting out of hand – but they were reluctant to intervene until they were forced by the antifascist movement. In this period (2012-2013), GD was in a position to physically attack not only migrants and individuals, but also activities, demonstrations, stalls etc of every left organisation in the country, including the mass parties, KKE and SYRIZA (which could be classified as a left party until 2015) and not just the small extra-parliamentary anticapitalist Left. No organisation of the Left was in a position to stop the attacks by GD! What is even worse, all the parties of the Left, as well as the trade unions, refused to move in the direction of an anti-fasicst united front. In these conditions local united front type antifascist committees sprung up in tens of cities. This movement led to the creation of the “Antifascist Coordination of Athens-Piraeus”, on the initiative of extra-parliamentary left organizations. The “Coordination” in turn helped setting up more local action committees, and played a catalytic role in achieving the conviction of the leadership of GD to jail, describing GD as a criminal organisation.
  36. A number of lessons come out of the GD experience very starkly. First, the danger of the rise of openly Nazi organizations to mass dimensions is real, if the economic and social conditions favor them. Second, they will grow in parallel with the growth of left organizations – SYRIZA was also developing into a mass formation from a meager 4% of the vote to more than 36% at the same period. Third, the mass organizations of the working class still refuse to draw the lessons from the historical experience and fail utterly to put a  break on the rise of fascism. Last, but not least, in the vacuum created by the left political parties and the trade union bureaucracy, the anticapitalist Left can take initiatives which can have a major impact on society.
  37. The only force that can stand as a barrier to the far right and the fascist organizations is the working class. The disorganization of the working class we’ve witnessed in recent decades poses a significant challenge to this. While the decline of large trade unions and reformist parties creates new political opportunities for anti-capitalist forces, their weakness undermines the feasibility and effectiveness of united front initiatives (both mass-based and class-oriented), which may struggle to materialize concretely. For the working class to enter the fight, the leadership of its organizations must take initiatives, first to alert the mass of the workers about the real dangers which the far right represents, but also to be ready to fight them on the streets through the united action of working class organizations. This must of course go hand in hand with a political perspective – this is precisely what the reformist leaders of the political organizations and the trade union bureaucracies lack. As a result, their “struggle” against the far right and nazi organizations is to simply call on the establishment and the state to defend democratic principles.
  38. In these years, indeed, we have seen democratic movements in response to new far-right governments [Berlusconi In Italy, Modi in India, Trump in the USA, Bolsonaro in Brazil, Milei in Argentina]. That is, the development of mass movements of historical dimensions in reaction to their policies. This is something we should expect in a number of countries where far right formations are elected. Once the far right is in government, it will have to implement the policies it really represents. This will both reveal their full systemic character and mobilise broad sections of society affected by their policies. These movements are often broad and of a cross-class character, with a prominent role played by reformist forces seeking to consolidate their influence, alongside democratic-bourgeois sectors naturally aspiring to their leadership. While it’s important to  be an integral part of such mass movements against right-wing policies, it’s equally crucial to contest the bourgeois and reformist directions from the outset, advocating for the development of working class-based structures and policies. This may involve at some time challenging the unity of the movement along class lines when the opportunity arises.
  39. The fact is that all political variants of the establishment, despite their hypocritical pro-democratic, anti-racist and anti-fascist rhetoric, have nurtured, tolerated and ultimately collaborated with the far-right. Their policies have led to an explosion of inequalities and the despair of billions of people, paving the way for the development of a-historical and incoherent racist views and concepts that originated in the 18th and 19th centuries. On the basis of the “theory of two extremes” (aka the Horseshoe theory), they want to equate fascism with communism and the actions of fascists with those of revolutionaries, with the ultimate aim of suppressing revolutionary ideas and movements.
  40. The far-right parties not only have a bigger influence and share of the vote than at any time since the 1940s, they have also nudged the ‘respectable’ traditional bourgeois parties to the right. This effect has also occurred in Social-Democratic and Labour parties. The shift to the right is justified “to keep the far right out of parliament or government”, or simply “to reflect the rightward drift among the population”. These include adopting ever-stricter immigration controls. The crisis of capitalism is also spewing out new combinations like Bündnis Sahra Wagenknecht in Germany, a supposedly leftwing party that advocates more severe restrictions on immigration, opposes many environmental protections and so on.
  41. The center-left, and the “new” reformist left, have in no way been able to act as a check on the rise of the far right. On the contrary, their compromise policies have undermined the concept of the Left, causing mass demoralization and driving millions of voters to the right and the far right. This has been the experience with “new left” parties such as SYRIZA in Greece, Podemos in Spain, the Left Block in Portugal, Die Linke in Germany, the Workers’ Party (PT) in Brazil etc.
  42. Some of the new anticapitalist left organizations that came into being in the last two to three decades, advocate for a common front with center-left parties and traditional representatives of the ruling class, against the far-right. That would be catastrophic for the movement and suicidal for these organizations. For such organizations to be identified with political parties that implement austerity, repressive and imperialist policies, etc, would in fact lead a lot of working class people into the arms of the far right and even the fascists, as this will feed on their propaganda that “they are the only force outside the establishment”. In other words, in the name of fighting against the far-right and fascism, the end result will be to strengthen them.
  43. This “popular front” logic can be clearly seen in the case of Brazil. With the pretext of “fighting fascism” and Bolsonarism, PSOL, a party that until recently was viewed as being part of the anti-capitalist Left, has entered Lula’s class coalition government. This will allow Bolsonaro (and other far-right figures) to make a comeback at a later stage and will potentially destroy one of the most successful electorally parties of the “radical” or “anti-capitalist” Left.
  44. In a number of countries we have seen mass anti-fascist and anti-racist movements and the development of solidarity structures from below. In many cases the initiative belonged to organizations of the anti-capitalist Left. People from the rank and file of reformist or social-democratic parties did certainly participate in these initiatives, but the helm of the anti-fascist actions was usually taken by militants and activists of the anti-capitalist Left and part of the anti-authoritarian space.
  45. It was these movements that achieved important victories in a number of cases, such as the conviction of the entire leadership of the most successful Nazi party in Europe, Golden Dawn, in Greece in October 2020. They have also succeeded in defending neighbourhoods and individuals from attacks by fascist squads in a number of countries. Together with the feminist and LGBTQI+ movements, they won victories against the far-right and right wing governments in a number of countries, regarding abortion. They have played an important part in the electoral defeat of ultra-conservative or far-right governments in the US, Brazil and other countries.
  46. The importance of the independent development of the anti-fascist movement is crucial in the anti-fascist struggle. Given the general weakness and capitulation of the parties of the Left, whether ex-Stalinist, Social Democratic or “new left”, the initiatives for the creation of such anti-fascist initiatives needs to be taken by Marxists together with other forces of the anticapitalist Left. The need to build “action committees” in neighborhoods and workplaces is crucial. At the same time, all such initiatives need to appeal to the trade union movement, at all levels, as well as to the mass parties of the Left which have not degenerated into bourgeois parties.
  47. Anti-fascist structures, initiatives and committees in the neighbourhoods are a necessary element and a first line of defense of the movement against fascist challenges and threats. They can also play a role in influencing the consciousness of broad layers. In workplaces, in schools and universities, in football stadiums, on the internet, there must be continuous anti-fascist presence, where in a patient and transitional way we must answer far-right propaganda.
  48. Only Marxism and the revolutionary Left can provide an answer to the crisis of the capitalist system and the huge political vacuum. With the method of the transitional programme and the tactics of the United Front, the revolutionary left can gain wider traction and demonstrate that it is the only consistent anti-systemic political force, thus exposing the false anti-systemic propaganda of the fascists.
  49. The tactic of the United Front is an absolutely essential element in this struggle. Only in this way will revolutionaries be able to reach broader masses and convince them that it is worth joining the struggle to fight off the fascists and overthrow this system. The anti-fascist united front has to appeal to combative trade unions, social movements, immigrant communities, neighborhood collectives, student associations, LGBTQI+ groups, environmental movements and try to create a broad front against the Nazis. At the same time, a tireless campaign has to be fought, albeit with different means, against the “mainstream” far-right propaganda.
  50. At the present time, it is more necessary than ever to build a revolutionary Marxist alternative proposal on a national and international scale. We need to build a force which will not be associated with Social Democracy or Stalinism, which have completely exposed themselves in the minds of the most advanced layers in the working class and particularly the youth. This task will have to go hand in hand with the antifascist work: we need to be part and assist in the building of an antifascist united front, while at the same time building the forces of the revolutionary Left. That is the only way to put a break in the rise of the far-right, put the fascists back in their holes, and kick-start the process of doing away with capitalism.
  51. For revolutionary Marxists, the current period’s two crises – the ongoing and deepening crisis of the capitalist system and the crisis of mass working-class organisations resulting from the collapse of Stalinism and the retreat of traditional reformism – are developing together with the enduring crisis of the revolutionary leadership of the proletariat, a historical crisis dating back to the degeneration of the Comintern in the 1930s. The combination of these crises means that workers and the petty bourgeoisie have no hope in a better future, while at the same time having absolutely no confidence in bourgeois democracy. Only a revolutionary international, fusing the most militant sections of the proletariat and the theoretical heritage of Bolshevism, can guide and organise the working class to free itself and all other exploited and oppressed layers of society from the rule of the capitalist system. This is the only way of preventing the capitalists from implementing their far right and fascistic options in order to save their bankrupt and obsolete system.

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