The Consolidation of Fascism and the Working Class
We are living in very critical times. Ever since the 2008 "financial crisis" capitalism has thrown world into an orgy of destruction and disparity. The structural crisis capitalism faces from financialization is intensifying. The finite boundaries of the physical world cannot provide capital with the constant new markets it needs to expand. The current political situation globally at the level of the capitalist class is one of growing National Chauvinism, political incapacity to resolve internal contradictions, and outright military hostility. The emergence and dominance of finance capital has come with a growing pool of misery at one end of the spectrum, and a festive celebration of thievery at the other end. Only an autonomous mass movement of workers and laborers can really challenge the prevailing order of things. If we want change, we need to act!
The Unity of the Roach and the Rooster Happens in the Belly of the Rooster
Aside from the "left" of Capital's (Democrats/Social Democrats) obsession with Russia and sex scandals, the fascistic presidency of Trump has been a quick and brutally efficient steamrolling on our basic bourgeois-democratic rights as well as the minuscule protections and regulations that were in place to protect our environment and water supply. Here in South Florida, FPL has managed to charge customers to for cleanup costs as they continue to contaminate Biscayne Bay and the Biscayne Aquifer. The reality we face has a long history which culminated to today. The lack of class struggle on the side of the workers, laborers, and the masses of people in this country has allowed the agenda of capital to advance with very little resistance. The unions, once the organizations of the working class (though there were always yellow capitalist unions), have fully integrated with capitalism/imperialism.
Last year, Nissan auto workers in Mississippi rejected unionization. Did they reject a union to go against their own interests? No. The UAW has merged with the same capitalists it claims to defend workers against. SEIU merged with Finance capita, the dominant and most destabilizing form of capital accumulation - responsible for lay offs, evictions, investments in imperialist war, and austerity measures which decimate whole populations around the world. The betrayal of the yellow unions and all other "left" fractions of the capitalist class is nothing new. The growing fascist consolidation is an ideological and political response of international capital to its intensifying crisis. Trump is leading this consolidation (and Putin as well – to some extent), but these are all external manifestations of the internal economic crisis.
Getting to this point
Capitalism is an economic, social, and political organization of society. It is an arrangement where the working class is exploited for their labor power to profit the capitalist owners. Workers make enough for themselves within an hour or two of work. The rest of the value they produce (Surplus Value) is stolen from them to benefit and reproduce the life of the capitalists who own the means of production. This means that most of their time at work – workers are exploited and are there solely to allow the capitalist class its parasitic existence. The surplus value extracted from the workers is class struggle at the point of production. Far from being the only form of society that ever existed – or the only one that can exist, it managed to become dominant through class struggle after its destruction of feudalism.
Capitalism arose out of the small class of petty merchants which existed under feudalism in Europe/Africa/Asia. They’d traverse the ancient kingdoms and empires, selling their wares and making a profit. Eventually, as technology advanced, the interests of the merchants no longer aligned with the interests of the dominant feudal classes. [Capitalism arose wit different form of accumulation and the production of Surplus Value is its most valuable and productive form]. (https://www.ukessays.com/essays/history/the-transition-from-feudalism-to-capitalism-in-europe-history-essay.php). Often neglected by history: a new era of class struggle developed. Sick of being overly taxed and otherwise restrained by the various kingdoms and empires along with the utter backwardness and ineffectiveness of feudalism, the merchants went to war with the feudal rulers. In order for this minority class to wage a revolution and become dominant, they granted the masses the most basic rights.
Capitalism, under its leadership organized the masses in the struggle against feudalism by offering a capitalist a model of society better suited for its reproduction. This model did produce its own contradiction, laws and practices. These rights were a way to quiet growing discontent among peasants and workers without actually challenging the arrangement of their exploitation and servitude. Free Speech, free assembly, freedom of religion, etc, are the bare minimal bourgeois-democratic rights which even now in 2018 are being attacked. Inside the capitalist model of society class struggle, between the capitalist class and feudalist, among the capitalist class and between the capitalist class and the masses, especially between the workers and the bourgeoisie based on class antagonist produced some rights in which many became laws . The form these small concessions took depended on the particular development of class struggle in the given society by either reproducing themselves, by being retracted or by taking order forms but inevitably many of these rights became capitalist laws for the reproduction of capital
As the centuries progressed, the exploitation of the working class producers and the domination of the petite-bourgeoisie (commonly called the “middle class) took on various flavors according to the class struggle. Also, the inherit need to expand and produce drove capital around the world, commodifying every aspect of life in search of new markets and ever cheaper labor. The world was remade in its image. Everything we have today that in anyway benefits us has a long complex history of people organizing and taking to the streets for their collective interests Capitalism’s need for cheaper labor and rising profits is felt by us when they cut our wages, attack our retirements and other benefits. Every penny that they steal from workers goes into their pockets. This is exactly how inequality works.
Where We’re At
In 2008 the world was thrown into one of many Capitalist crises which occurred over the years or so. This crisis however is of a unique character. Unlike the typical crisis of overproduction, we are facing a situation where the development of imperialism and international capital has led to capitalism shifting its accumulation (how capital is made and taken by the capitalists) from production (manufacturing of commodities by the workers) to finance (capital with no basis in production: money made by off money, speculation, and promises like loans and gambling on futures markets. Unlike in production where commodities are produced and surplus value is guaranteed to the capitalist, finance is not guaranteed and not actually backed by any physical product, even if a product is speculated on. It is unstable, and the value it generates is toxic since it’s unsustainable.
The mass accumulation of finance capital encourages the capitalists to keep at it, frantically speculating, buying and selling values that have no grounding in reality. They speculate on everything from agriculture to people’s lives. Because of those rapid returns they make in finance, especially in more “risky” financial activities and the fact that the costs of investment is so much lower, capitalists tend to lean toward finance and swing away from production. Once separate spheres of accumulation now merge as industrial capital plays around with finance. To be clear, they still invest in production but put more into financial activity.
Capitalism, like any other form of societal organization however, is based on production. It is production that not only produces tangible goods but also produces actual value. Financial values are not real, they are fictitious values. So, when human society in any shape or form goes from producing actual products for the society to mostly functioning off what it thinks is the worth of something – you have a serious crisis. This is the structural crisis of Capitalism/Imperialism in this period. Capitalists know they need to return to production as their primary source of accumulation to stabilize the international economy. But, they’re all so fused they can’t make the break from finance which they need. They’re all in bed together.
The Emergence and Consolidation of Fascism
This intense economic crisis is reflected in the political and ideological sphere. Unable to break free of the grip finance, the capitalists find themselves lacking the capacity to agree on how to move forward. Their crisis and inability to resolve it is causing the whole societal order of capitalism/imperialism to fall apart. This is accompanied by total moral and social decomposition. Bourgeois-democratic structures are decaying. The “checks and balances” of capitalism aren’t able to check the balances.
In this situation, a new fraction of the capitalist class (newly organized to this degree in the US) is emerging. Capitalist class fractions are based on how they accumulate capital. For example – industrial capital accumulates its capital through industry and production as opposed to banking capital or finance capital (finance is the fusion of industrial and banking capital). This new fraction however, accumulates its capital fundamentally through the corruption of the state. This is the bureaucratic bourgeoisie. Out of all the fractions of Capitalists, they are the most gangster (though all the capitalists are gangsters, really).
Historically this class has mostly been successful in countries under imperialist domination such as Haiti, Cuba, China, etc. It has also been historically prosecuted in this country by other fractions of capital. An example of this was the anti-mob struggle in the gangster run yellow unions like the Teamsters. Bernie Madoff is also an example of a bureaucratic bourgeois. They have been prosecuted because they have absolutely no morals even in the capitalist sense and steal from other capitalists – one of the worst offenses in bourgeois-democracy! We can find different modes of the historical constitution of the bureaucratic bourgeoisie. In all cases however, their form of accumulation is dominantly from their role inside the state apparatus
But, times have changed. When capitalists can no longer agree on how to move forward, they look to a godfather to do it for them. The fraud ridden and gangster nature of this fraction of capital requires it to be autocratic as well. This godfather is now seen in the form of Trump. The brutal nature of this fraction makes it perfect to take power during intense capitalist structural crises. Bourgeois-democracy is failing even the capitalists who it was set up to serve. So, in a desperate attempt to save it – they put their faith in the hands of fascism. And, who better to have fascism consolidate under than the most gangster of all their ilk? We should also understand the role of class struggle will determine how much resistance the bureaucratic bourgeoisie might face. They may fail and another fraction might become hegemonic through fascist consolidation.
The fascist regime is the most brutally repressive, naked anti-worker, and ecologically destructive form of Capitalism. It is a political and ideological response of capitalism in times of crisis – everything is up for grabs, everything is to be privatized! Fascism is not an oddity, it is capitalism on full speed and it is tasked with the attempt to fix the economic crisis finance capital had produced. Be it through nationalist border walls, or off shore drilling, fascism will do what it can to bring production back (at horrifically low wages) as the main form of accumulation, to try and break the fusion with finance. Class struggle will also determine if it will be successful.
In the consolidation of fascism that we see the fusion of the state with the corporation. Although there is always class struggle happening among the capitalists themselves, they will ALWAYS unify fundamentally against us! This is not limited to the US. Fascism is being consolidated internationally. From the growing trade wars of the imperialist countries, to the construction of a vast anti-worker concentration camp system by the EU to the attacks on our basic rights, this coordinated international attack is the fascistic response of capitalism. All of it has been in the making for some time and all of it is anti-worker!
Just because Fascism is in the process of consolidation does not mean it will be successful. Class struggle determines the outcome of history and class struggle will determine who will be successful in this era as well. Capitalists are not in full unity. They have their own forms of accumulation which determine their class interests. The internal contradictions grow and their external manifestations take on more extreme forms as they develop. Their internal contradictions may lead them to armed conflict as we’ve seen during the civil war and the two inter-imperialist wars. A third “world-war” between nuclear armed imperialist states to restructure markets and imperialism will be absolutely devastating.
Social Base of fascism vs the Workers Response
Each fraction of the capitalist class has its own social base. Since Trump’s taking of office, he has been brutally efficient. The fascist regime has been explicit and rapid in its attacks. They are aware that although in minority they have the most fanatical and well armed social base. From the Teamsters, to right-wing paramilitary militias, from the whole NRA to the evangelicals and outright fascist nationalist organizations like the NSM; the fascist social base is growing and its terrorizing of the working class will grow as well. All the historic crimes of capitalism/imperialism are now being blamed on immigrants, or any other group but the capitalists themselves.
There is a force that is capable of fighting against the fascist onslaught of capital. That force is an autonomously organized working class movement. Being on the front lines of capitalist exploitation and domination – workers have a special role in the class struggle. The fundamental class interests of the workers due to their presence in the sphere of production and the theft of their labor power – are completely antagonistic to the class interests of the capitalist class which exploits them. Everything in society is produced by the workers from surgical tools to airplanes and traffic signals. Because of this, workers are the only class with a capacity to truly challenge the social relationships and economic arrangements of Capital, when properly armed with their historic theory and class consciousness.
This is why class is so often erased by our enemy (Capital) and it’s ideological appendages (NGOS/Non-Profits). This is why “race”, sex and other non fundamental (to the world order) aspects of our lives are pushed on us as the main task to tackle. This is why in times of growing Fascism, the billionaire’s news companies are completely ignoring the class reality (or perverting it for their own interests) and instead pushing racial and other identity politics. Ironic how the very world order which arose through brutal worker exploitation and mass slavery can sell us “race identity”.
The only future we have that will benefit us is a future where we fight for our collective class interests. Capitalism/Imperialism is not for us. It is Capitalism which brought us to its ugly bastard child of fascism. We want people over profits, they put profits over people. We can and we must pick up our historic task to face our common enemy. They’re destroying the beauty of the world by exploiting us! None of their politicians or non-profits will save us, it’s up to us to resist them. We can no longer put trust in a crumbling empire. We don’t have to take it, we can organize and FIGHT BACK!
It’s the masses who make history. It is through our autonomous organization where we will be able to construct an alternative to this parasitic world order. It is our organization which can force concessions from the capitalists and defend those concessions. We are the majority yet the minority rules the world – on our backs! If you agree that workers and laborers deserve a better future our ourselves and our children, hit us up at any time, let’s see how we can work together to build an autonomous democratic working class movement that can fight back against the capitalist onslaught. They’re winning today but if we unite, if we build our organizations, the future will be ours!