Sunday, November 25, 2012

Fascism and the State

Mussolini and Hitler: two of a kind


By Andy Brooks

The Ruling Class, Fascism and the State: Neil Harris, New Worker pamphlet.
READERS may think they know all they need to know about Hitler and his legions. But much of this “knowledge” is simply based on war-time propaganda and post-war bourgeois assumptions about the roots and rise of fascism.
            An endless stream of war-films and documentaries along with the emphasis on the 20th century in the school syllabus only spreads the confusion further or as Neil Harris says: “It is nearly a century since fascism first appeared in Italy, and yet it is as misunderstood now as it was then. That the story of Hitler and the Nazis’ rise to power are such a major part of the history taught in our schools makes this a concern, because the confusion is no accident.
 “It is a version of history that is acceptable to the ruling class and follows a simple but flawed narrative of the 20th century, namely that the great depression of the 1930’s produced two challenges to bourgeois democracy and capitalism: from the left, Communism and from the right, Fascism.”
            Neil demolishes the attempt by the ruling class to portray fascism as an aberration that has nothing to do with bourgeois rule and at the same time dispels some of the popular myths of half-baked Marxists and Trotskyists about the rise of Hitler and Mussolini that are widely held by sections of the broader left today.
            In this pamphlet, based on an opening at a New Communist Party School a couple of years ago, the author uses the class line to answer  three key  questions: Why did fascism take over in one country and not another? Why was it necessary to have a counter revolution when a revolution was not imminent? And does a fascist seizure of the state, change the nature of the state?
            This is essential reading for anyone interested in history or involved in the anti-fascist struggle. Neil Harris’ conclusions may surprise you but you can judge for yourself by ordering this pamphlet, which cost £2.50 post free from New Worker Lit, PO Box 73 London SW11 PPQ.