Fascism Is Open Bloody Dictatorship, Without Even Pretending That People Have Rights*

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It is true that, in the “Ferguson uprising,” and today in the beautiful rising against white supremacy, police brutality and murder, there has been vicious repression carried out by police (and National Guard troops), ordered by Democratic Party politicians. That is a reflection of the fact that we live under a dictatorship all the time—the dictatorship of the bourgeoisie (capitalist class). But, before the Trump/Pence regime, this has been a dictatorship that has been exercised in the form of bourgeois democracy (democracy that is based in, conforms to and remains within the confines of the capitalist system and rule by the capitalist class over the masses of people). That contradiction—between the outer democratic appearance and the inner essence of dictatorship—has real meaning. It means that, so long as the form of bourgeois dictatorship is “democratic,” in order to maintain that democratic shell, the political and legal representatives of the ruling class have to allow certain “civil rights and liberties” to be exercised, up to a point, and at least make a pretense of respecting a “rule of law” that is not simply and nakedly the exercise of brute force over society as a whole, and against any attempt to oppose what the government is doing.

The reason that some people think that any kind of severe repression equals fascism is basically because they are fooled by the outer appearance of democracy—and in their minds “democracy” means that there is not supposed to be any repression, or at least not any severe repression—so when there is such repression, even in “normal times,” they believe that this is something other than democracy, when in fact the exercise of bourgeois dictatorship includes plenty of brutal repression when that dictatorship is exercised in the “democratic” formBut that is still qualitatively different than an actual fascist bourgeois dictatorship, which essentially drops all pretense of “democracy” and rules openly through violence and terror.

At times, times like now, the contradiction between the appearance of democracy and the essence of dictatorship can become very acute for the bourgeois ruling class. The fascists—the actual fascists concentrated in the Trump/Pence regime who are now in power—have been acting with a vengeance, and in an accelerating way, to resolve this contradiction by moving towards undisguised dictatorship, relying openly on terror and violence against those who oppose this regime and everyone this regime regards as a threat, without the pretense of allowing dissent and protest.

To act as if it makes no difference to the masses of people—and to any movement against oppression and injustice, let alone any movement for an actual revolution—whether these very real fascists succeed in fully consolidating their fascist rule, is not simply to be out of touch with reality. It is to be out of touch with—and acting against—vital, indeed life-and-death, interests of the masses of people, not just in this country but throughout the world.


* This is an excerpt from the article “On the Need for the Science of the New Communism, Not Dogmatic Narrow Nationalist Posing,” which is available at revcom.us.  [back




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