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FASCISM AND SOCIAL REVOLUTION

A Study of the economics and Politics of the Extreme Stages of Capitalism in Decay

by R. PALME DUTT

Proletarian Publishers Edition 1974 Second Printing 1976 Third Printing 1978

Proletarian Publishers P.O. Box 3566 Chicago IL 60654


 "We say to the workers: 'You will have to go through fifteen, twenty, fifty years of civil wars and international wars, not only in order to change existing conditions, but also in order to change yourselves and fit yourselves for the exercise of political power."'

MARX (On the Communist Trial at Cologne, 1851).

"The bourgeoisie sees in Bolshevism only one side . . . insurrection, violence, terror; it endeavors, therefore, to prepare itself especially for resistance and opposition in that direction alone. It is possible that in single cases, in single countries, for more or less short periods, they will succeed. We must reckon with such a possibility, and there is absolutely nothing dreadful to us in the fact that the bourgeoisie might succeed in this. Communism 'springs up' from Positively all sides of social life, its sprouts are everywhere, without exception-the 'contagion' (to use the favourite and 'pleasantest' comparison of the bourgeoisie and the bourgeois police) has very thoroughly penetrated into the organism and has totally impregnated it. If one of the 'vents' were to be stopped up with special care, 'contagion' would find another, sometimes most unexpected. Life will assert itself. Let the bourgeoisie rave, let it work itself into a frenzy, commit stupidities, take vengeance in advance on the Bolsheviks, and endeavour to exterminate in India, Hungary, Germany, etc., more hundreds, thousands, and hundreds of thousands of the Bolsheviks of yesterday or those of to-morrow. Acting thus, the bourgeoisie acts as did all classes condemned to death by history. The Communists must know that the future at any rate is theirs; therefore we can and must unite the intensest passion in the great revolutionary struggle with the coolest and soberest calculations of the mad ravings of the bourgeoisie.... In all cases and in all countries Communism grows; its roots are so deep that persecution neither weakens, nor debilitates, but rather strengthens it,"

LENIN ("Left-Wing" Communism, 1921),


CONTENTS

PREFACE TO THE SECOND EDITION 7

INTRODUCTION 15

CHAPTER 1. TECHNIQUE AND REVOLUTION 21

I. The Growth of the Productive Forces 23

2. The Conflict of the Productive Forces Against Existing Society 

3. Productivity and Unemployment 35

4. The Alternative-Social Revolution or Destruction 44

II. THE END OF STABILISATION 46

I. The Last Attempt to Restore Pre-War Capitalism 47

2. The Collapse of the Illusions of the Stabilisation Period 52

3. After the Collapse 57

III. THE NEW ECONOMICS AND POLITICS 62

I. The Destruction of the Productive Forces 63

2. The Revolt Against the Machine 68

3. The Revolt Against Science 74

4. The Revolt Against "Democracy" and Parliament 78

5. "National Self -Sufficiency 82

6. War as the Final "Solution" 88

IV. WHAT IS FASCISM? 92

I. The Class-Content of Fascism 93

2. Middle-Class Revolution or Dictatorship of Finance-Capital? 97

3. The Middle Class and the Proletariat 103

4. The Definition of Fascism 107

V. HOW FASCISM CAME IN ITALY 111

1. The Priority of Italian Fascism 111

2. Socialism in Italy 113

3. Was Revolution Possible in Italy? 117

4. The Growth and Victory of Fascism 120

VI. How FASCISM CAME IN GERMANY 127

1. The Strangling of the 1918 Revolution 128

2. The Growth of National Socialism 135

3. The Crucial Question of the United Front 140

4. The Causes of the Victory of Fascism 143

CONTENTS PAGE

VII. HOW FASCISM CAME IN AUSTRIA 153

I. The Significance of the Austrian Experience 153

2. The Betrayal of the Central-European Revolution 157

3. The Fascist Dictatorship and the February Rising 162

VIII. SOCIAL DEMOCRACY AND FASCISM 169

I. The Capitalist View of Social Democracy and Fascism 170

2. The Germs of Fascism in Social Democracy 176

3. How Social Democracy Assists Fascism to Power 183

4. The Question of the Split in the Working Class 186

5. The Adaptation of Social Democracy to Fascism 191

IX. THE THEORY AND PRACTICE OF FASCISM 197

I. Is There a "Theory" of Fascism? 197

2. Demagogy as a Science 204

3. Capitalism, Socialism and the Corporate State 212

4. The Outcome of Fascism in the Economic Sphere 225

5. Fascism and War 232

6. Fascism and the Women's Question 238

X. THE ESSENCE OF FASCISM-THE ORGANISATION OF SOCIAL DECAY 243

XI. TENDENCIES To FASCISM IN WESTERN EUROPE AND AMERICA 252

I. The Basis for Fascism in Britain, the United States and France 254

2. The Significance of the National Government in Britain 262

3. The Roosevelt Emergency Regime 267

4. The February Days and the National Concentration Government in France 272

5. The Beginnings of Fascist Movements 278

XII. FASCISM AND SOCIAL REVOLUTION 290

1. The Dialectics of Fascism and Revolution 291

2. The Fight Against Fascism 296