The Guardian • Issue #2091


  • The Guardian
  • Issue #2091
Quill and ink .

Barbarism and Capitalism

While proofreading a page for our comrades who produce the Guardian, I noted something that I feel should be clarified for all comrades regarding the relationship between capitalism and fascism.

Often, public discourse or dialogue regarding fascism refers to it as something deep in the past or as a political state that occurs when a political party identifying as fascist gains power, or even when a right-wing political leader pushes the boundary of their legal authority (like in the case of Donald Trump).

But, as Communists, we must remember that under capitalism, fascism is not an either/or state. As previous comrades like George Jackson and R. Palme Dutt have noted, fascism results from decaying capitalism. Fascism results from the forces of capital exerting their authority on the people to maintain their hold on power when the conditions of life under capitalism decay to such an extent that people begin to see the inequality inherent in the system.

In our current moment, we are increasingly seeing a decline in living standards and the suppression of free speech and action protesting these declining standards and imperialist actions taken by governments here in Australia and globally. To me, the authoritarian actions of all governments under capitalism to oppress workers and people demonstrate that all capitalist governments are fascist. All that is required for them to show their true face are circumstances of stress that challenge the authority of capital.

Therefore, we should never believe any claims capitalist governments make about Human Rights, freedom, dignity, or the equality of people. They are lies designed to lull us into complacency, to obscure actions that are unjust as ‘hard decisions,’ and to keep the people too weak and isolated to challenge their conditions. All capitalist governments are fascist. All that changes is the amount of force used to maintain their authority. When people are weak, they use less. When people are strong or growing in strength as they currently are – that is when we will see, and should be prepared for; escalating violence and oppression.

Thomas Wakefield

China’s National People’s Congress and the path to socialism

Dear Editor,

The annual session of China’s National People’s Congress (NPC) and the National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) has just been held in Beijing. The tragi-comic spectacle of bourgeois economists, pundits and analysts poring over the runes to see signs of China’s imminent collapse is always with us. There are dates and times on the calendar when these same ‘experts’ become more than usually engaged. The ‘Two Sessions’ as the Beijing meetings are commonly called become one of those moments when Western economists desperately search for weakness.

Stephen Bartholomeusz, writing in The Age, and Sydney Morning Herald, knows the script well. He described the event as “China’s moment to face its demons,” and insinuated that the Chinese economy, its political system and all that the West has come to loathe is about to implode. This none-too-splendid obsession intensifies around the time of the NPC. Each year the sages and seers prophesy doom and each year passes with China’s economy, and political system intact.

Bartholomeusz is concerned at ‘the myriad economic problems’ that supposedly plague China. He would be better advised to worry more about America’s, or Australia’s myriad problems and crises. We would be better advised to encourage our government to ‘face its demons’ of a stagnant economy and recession. Instead, Bartholomeusz anguishes at Xi Jinping’s “ideological aversion to handing cash out to households, preferring to rely on state-directed investments in industrial activity to drive economic activity.” At the core of his concern is the word ‘ideology.’

China is telling the world, in no uncertain terms, that its march towards socialism is not negotiable. The worry for bourgeois economists is just what continued economic growth, and socialist development mean for capitalism’s apologists. Socialism’s growth in a strong economy, pitted against capitalism’s decline and a shrinking global economy, keeps people like Bartholomeusz awake at night.

One simple phrase epitomises the difference in approach between the Marxist Xi and the global capitalist economic ‘experts’ who would advise him. He has infuriated Western economists by repeating that ‘housing is for living, not speculation.’ In Australia the reverse is tragically the case. We can all see the results. Housing is unaffordable. Rental properties are out of the reach of so many. The price of home ownership is all but impossible for young families. Those with mortgages stare down the prospect of default. Socialism or capitalism. It’s a choice that becomes easier to make with every passing day.

It is precisely that socialism is looking more like an option, that drives the frenzy against China.

In solidarity,

William Briggs


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