Communist Party of Colombia (Marxist-Leninist)
Central Executive Committee

The Move Towards Fascism Is Advancing

The sharpening of the general crisis of the capitalist system is continually more evident, and important issues are the subject of debate among Marxist-Leninists and other revolutionary sectors. Among these it is worth mentioning the different forms that the cyclical crises and its dimensions at this juncture are showing and developing, the danger of inter-imperialist war, the State and its transformations, the existence of weak links in the imperialist chain, the move towards fascism, the role of the revolutionary violence of the masses to achieve workers and popular power by overthrowing the old bourgeois-imperialist power, the contents of the democratic struggle, among many others that, it is worth recognizing, complicate reaching a definition of a common Marxist-Leninist line in these times.

Seeking to contribute to the debate and in particular the formation of proposals faced with an undeniable phenomenon in Colombian reality and the whole world, there is a broadening and strengthening everywhere, disguised by supposedly democratic verbiage and sometimes by "anti-fascist" phrases. We refer here to the move towards fascism as a trend of reality in a large number of countries and of political actions of the imperialist powers and their geopolitical and economic groupings and blocs. In view of these implications, every effort must be made to unravel it and take up a successful position in the general political action, for its tactical and strategic implications.

We cannot reduce the study of fascism to looking at the nightmare suffered by humanity in the first half of the 20th century when Nazi-fascism unleashed World War II, much less to analyze it as a historical and political fact separate from the bourgeoisie as a class, without economic roots in the imperialist stage of capitalism without its connections with the need for the world proletarian revolution to liberate mankind from oppression and exploitation.

Nor do we think that fascism can be seen as a phenomenon or matter resulting from the mentality or psychology of isolated individuals, authoritarian leaders or reactionary members of the military, or as something due to the idiosyncrasy or culture of certain peoples or nations, as some theorists believe. The study of fascism involves making a penetrating economic, social and political analysis of capitalism in crisis, its class content and significance, as well as the forms that the domination of the bourgeoisie takes in a period characterized by the profound and constant exacerbation of social contradictions.

Although it is unavoidable to resort to this, without limiting ourselves to historical memory, we consider it important to move towards a coherent and deep point and characterization of the current dynamic factors of the development of fascism in Latin America and the world. Appreciating the current historical particularities, the development of fascism is a present reality and a danger that looms against the proletariat and peoples worldwide. The economic and political causes generating its existence are permanently maintained and sharpened; as such it is a phenomenon and trend proper to "the era of imperialism and proletarian revolutions" that is accentuated and evident in all aspects of social life.

1. The crisis of capitalism

The capitalist system in its imperialist phase is experiencing a general crisis that covers all aspects as an economic and social system. This means that in the fields of structure and superstructure capitalism is suffering a constant weakening, putting it in a state of permanent decadence, decomposition and agony.

Following the teachings of Lenin and the brilliant application of his teachings by Stalin, much has been written about this, they explain the basic features of the general crisis of capitalism. However, in a contemporary view of the many forms of the general crisis, we emphasize:

In the economic sphere, the state of growing economic instability as a result of the increasingly profound cyclical economic crises, the militarization of the economy, the great trade and currency imbalances, the constant increase in the number of the unemployed, the steady decline in the rate of profit, the growing power of the monopolies and finance capital, the massive bankruptcy of small and medium enterprises, the fall in consumption capacity of the broad masses and the alarming impoverishment.

In the political sphere, we emphasize the increasing authoritarianism and restrictiveness of the political system, the militarism and warmongering of the imperialist States that tie the dependent countries to them, the growing decomposition and loss of prestige of the bourgeois institutions, as well as of the bourgeois parties, the restriction and denial of basic freedoms and rights of the workers and peoples, the widespread repression, as well as the inter-imperialist confrontations that lead to military interventions, local wars and the danger of world war.

In the ideological sphere, the weakening of capitalism is apparent and evident from the collapse and abandonment of the principles of bourgeois democracy, the spreading of obscurantist and reactionary theories aimed at creating confusion and ideologically disarming the working class and peoples, petty bourgeois nationalism, religious fanaticism, media deception and rampant manipulation of the masses coining stale and fanciful proposals such as those that talk of a humane, popular, democratic capitalism or that advocate a new era such as post-capitalism or post-modernism.

Unlike the economic crises of overproduction that characterize the cyclical development of capitalist production, the general crisis of capitalism, after its beginning,* continues uninterruptedly, showing the details of the social contradictions and especially the ebbs and flows of the class struggle, all this until the capitalist system is eliminated worldwide as a result of the proletarian revolutions and the triumph of socialism.

* The beginning of the general crisis of capitalism dates from the early 20th century when the imperialist countries unleashed the First World War with its consequence of catastrophic upheavals from which capitalism could only recover with difficulty. The First World War dragged the countries into a general crisis, accelerated the conversion of monopoly capitalism into state-monopoly capitalism and led to the victory of the first socialist revolution, the Great October Socialist Revolution in Russia, with which capitalism ceased to be the only economic-social system in the world. But the reversion to capitalism in the USSR in the 1960s and its conversion into an imperialist power, weakened afterwards by its collapse in 1991 as well as the defeat of the other countries that were building socialism, did not mean that capitalism had found a way out of the crisis; its weakening at present is constant and, although  many parties in the world still say otherwise, the socialist perspective and lessons left by the socialist processes of the 20th century continue illuminating and continuing the struggles of the world revolutionary workers movement into the 21st century.

We emphasize that the general crisis of capitalism is not an occasional phenomenon, nor is it a zigzag of history, nor is it the result of errors of certain bourgeois leaders, but it is an inevitable state due to the agony of capitalism as an economic and social system. Lenin explained its cause well in his book "Imperialism, the Highest Stage of Capitalism" as due to the sharpening of the internal contradictions of capitalism in its imperialist phase.

Today this crisis is sharpening and expanding to the degree that the inter-imperialist contentions are becoming aggravated, that the struggles of the peoples against imperialism and their oligarchic partners are growing, and that the struggles of the working class and the broad masses against rampant exploitation and the oppressive regimes and governments are rising. In addition, the experience in the last century of having defeated the bourgeoisie in power in several countries, with the possibility of advancing in the building of processes with a socialist aim, even if they collapsed due to the triumph of the counter-revolution, leaves many lessons. These and the great current political significance of pointing out the inevitability of the socialist revolution as the perspective of the workers and popular struggles and the processes of national and social liberation on a world scale imprint on the capitalist crisis a way out that basically does not go along with the existing bourgeois power and order; therefore the epoch of the general crisis has no other meaning than the collapse of capitalism and the development of the proletarian revolutions.

Now, the bourgeois and imperialists are aware of the crisis and the great weaknesses of their system. Therefore they are looking for a way to prevent the victory of the revolution in different countries, by increasing repression, crushing all outbreaks of dissent or worker and popular uprisings, tirelessly developing initiatives that serve to crush and break all will and aspiration for power existing in the communist parties and the other revolutionary and mass organizations that are confronting capitalism.

We warn about the aggressiveness of imperialism everywhere; it appears in its expansionist zeal and in the constant rivalry that the imperialist powers exhibit to expand their hegemony. It is revealed in the subjugation of nations and peoples, and it increases against those who rebel and decide to confront it. It is necessary to point out that the anger and repression of imperialism is the reflection of a class and a system that refuses to die or give up its power easily.

It is becoming increasingly evident that the above-mentioned great practical conclusions result from changes in the forms of domination and exercise of power by imperialism and the bourgeoisies in different countries. We are not facing processes that are the same or similar to those of free competition capital, let alone processes of social opening, of expansion or strengthening of bourgeois democracy. The depth of the crisis and the particularity that the constant exacerbation of social contradictions imprints on it is accentuating totalitarianism as a trend, as a form and exercise of power in these times in which people feel more heavily the weight of exploitation by the owners of capital and land.

According to experience, this trend is desperately seeking to legitimize itself with proposals and "new models of the State and the political system," boasting about democracy but shamelessly defending and justifying the social alienation of imperialism. Thus in the whole ideological and political arsenal of imperialism calls are spreading to defend order and institutions, social control and "self-regulation"; they incite social-chauvinism and wars of expansion and strive to institutionalize the counter-revolution, invoking totalitarian forms of power where the interests of society cannot be other than those of the State and power of monopoly capital.

The preventive counter-revolution that is being applied in Latin America, which in some cases or other calls itself the "citizens' revolution," "participatory democracy," "democratic security", the "defense of national security," "the fight against the internal enemy," the "fight against terrorism" and “total war" are living examples of the desire and desperation of imperialism to assure its domination over the peoples regardless of the use of resources, the old and "new" methods of containment and elimination.

2. The monopolies and Globalization

We are witnessing a process of monopolization on a large scale, due to the concentration of production and the centralization of capital, as Marx brilliantly observed as a historical tendency of capitalism, whose crystallization the imperialist phase was analyzed by Lenin in his work "Imperialism, the Highest Stage of Capitalism" has a great impact.

Almost 48% of the most im-portant companies and banks in the world are from the United States and 30% are from the European Union; only 10% are from Japan. Adding this up, 90% of the largest corporations that dominate the sectors of industry, banks and trade are from the United States, European or Japanese. There-fore, to say that imperialism does not exist or that we live in the era of multinational corporations “without territory” is a fallacy.

It is the monopolies that dominate the economic, social and political life of our peoples and of the whole world. The expansion of their power is growing every day. The presence of large multinationals around the whole world, vying to control the sources of raw materials, production and markets, to appropriate the maximum profit at the expense of the exploitation of labor power and the plunder of the peoples, is no secret to anyone. The immense power that the large financial institutions (banks, insurers, reinsurers, trusts, stock exchanges, corporations, funds, etc.) and finance capital in general have acquired when imposing their will on the different States and countries is also no secret.

The adjustment plans dictated by the International Monetary Fund (IMF), World Bank (WB) and the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) to the States of Latin America, in order to lessen the effects of the economic crisis, the fall in investment and prices of raw materials, result from the above. The battered economies of Spain and Greece that have been recently affected by great problems equally warn the subjection not only of these countries but of the countries of "United Europe" to the European Central Bank (ECB) and the IMF. Actually there are many facts, data and examples that daily confirm the immense power achieved by the monopolies and the determining role played by the section of the bourgeoisie that administers finance capital, resulting from the fusion of bank capital with industrial capital, interpreted by some currents of thought as a sign of the freshness and youth of capitalism.

Boasting about the power achieved by the monopolies, many theorists of the system say that, after the defeat and collapse of the Soviet Union, the other socialist countries and those of people’s democracy, the world has entered a new stage. Neo-Keynesians, neo-structuralists and neo-classicists unite in order to claim that with this supremacy and power achieved, capitalism is flourishing, it has overcome the crisis and now is undergoing an important period of expansion and strengthening.

With the end of the cold war, there were also many who believed that the struggle of ideologies was over and that we are witnessing a world of openness and strengthening of liberal democracy in which wars of national and social liberation had lost all political justification. Therefore, they emphasized, there is no truly democratic political program that does not defend the fight against terrorism and advocate healthy coexistence, "harmony" between bourgeois and proletarians, between exploited and exploiters.

Together with Francis Fukuyama there were many currents that claimed that the "end of history would mean the end of wars and bloody revolutions... men would satisfy their needs through economic activity, but they would no longer have to risk their lives in battle."* An idle form of burying socialist ideas, withering and ignoring the class struggle, in order to prettify the capitalist order and the power of the big monopolies responsible for wars of plunder that, today just as yesterday, are spreading throughout the planet.

* Francis Fukuyama, The End of History and the Last Man, Part V, Chapter 28, p. 311. Free Press, New York, 2006.

With the cynicism and anxiety characteristic of the systemic and neoliberal theoreticians of this century, the "high theory" presented as the foundation of the new international order has been shattered. The free market has not brought justice or democracy to the people (the real majority). On the contrary, the chasm between the rich and poor countries has widened; the trappings of the single thought and liberal democracy have likewise not gone beyond being a propaganda creation because the often-touted representative democracy has given way to totalitarianism, to monopoly authoritarianism. Speculation on modernity, science and technology as the source of origin of democracy has also not found a foothold in the international division of labor in which dependency, backwardness and underdevelopment have deepened, faced with the power of the transnational corporations and the imperialist powers that, in the multilateral matters, regional and worldwide, accentuate the weight of their reactionary opinions in order to veto and boycott the majority, as has happened with the blockade of Cuba and the decisions on the Middle East that today is causing the shameful exodus of refugees.

For quite some time the proponents of neoliberal globalization, free trade and the mobility of the productive factors have been collaborating with the creators of illusions about the end of history. According to them, the open economies, without controls, the guarantors of investment comprise the greatest alternative to growing unemployment and poverty in the backward and underdeveloped countries. They further believe that the association of nations and trade treaties of cooperation favor the integration and interdependence, the strengthening of democracy and the protection of rights.

These creators of illusions are trying to catch the unwary, since the integration and free trade among nations will remain a fiction as long as the disparities that predominate in the world economy and the rules of production, trade and consumption of goods and commodities are imposed by the big monopolies and finance capital.

The experience of Latin America is quite rich in showing that while the poor countries are opening up their economies, the developed countries and in general all the imperialist powers are jealously guarding their borders and markets; they are making treaties, agreements and so-called openings into real stratagems starts to open up, absorb and control markets, to relocate companies, export capital, seize resources and raw materials, increase revenues and undermine sovereignty, imposing enslaving alliances, burdens and plans that in many occasions are impossible to fulfill.

In the 21st century, experience is showing that the speeches on the global village, globalization, integration and interdependence are merely justifications by which the imperialists are imposing the broadest and most ferocious exploitation of the peoples as never seen before.

Capitalism is showing neither freshness nor youth, demonstrating its total inability to produce well-being or development favorable to all countries and nations. The harangues and theories of the end of history and neoliberal globalization do not show anything more than a greed for profits, redivision and unbridled competition for the control of markets and a bitter struggle inside and outside the country to obtain maximum profit.

The monopolies and finance capital daily show their despotism and decadence faced with a crisis of overproduction that is sharpening the internal contradictions of capitalism. This is thrown onto the shoulders of the workers, whose wages are lowered, social benefits eliminated, public funds privatized and social inequality expanded.

The monopolies and all the imperialist forces have been shown to be plunderers, being opposed to progress they seek to halt the development of the productive forces of the poor countries by imposing an international division of labor that condemns them to backwardness and poverty.

The global markets are divided up among 238 U.S. companies and banks and 153 European ones. This concentration of power is what gives the international economy its imperialist character, together with the markets they control, the raw materials they rob  (80% of the major oil and gas companies are U.S. or European owned) and the labor power they exploit.

Capitalism remains a parasitic or decaying system in which only a few oligarchs profit from the labor of thousands and thousands of workers; moreover, there are only a few countries that receive juicy profits for the burden or debts that they impose on the majority of countries.

Terrorism is practiced by all the imperialist powers and circles as they militarize their economies and encourage accumulation through wars and military interventions by which they destroy productive forces, invent and produce others, seeking to generate profits for military industry and finance capital.

Now, if the struggle for control of different markets, strategic areas, the domination and hegemony of the globe does not stop and instead becomes fiercer, if the gaps between the powers and the poor countries are increasing, if there are some who appropriate the wealth created by millions and millions of workers who are every day more mired in poverty, the situation is obviously becoming more complex because instead of stability, peace and progress what prevails and will continue to prevail is conflict and confrontation, not the reduction of social contradictions.

Another very important aspect of note is that increasing the concentration of profit and strengthening the monopolies, the prevailing trend is not toward freedom: it is towards strengthening the domination, strangulation and elimination of sovereignty, freedoms and rights. In that sense, the economic blocs, the organizations among states and the political alliances led by the great powers confirm the sponsorship and establishment of increasingly reactionary and tyrannical States and regimes, defenders of the interests of the international financial oligarchy. This is demonstrated by recent events in Mexico, Spain, Brazil and Greece.

The danger of war is another trend that is obvious because it means for the monopolies, organizations among states and the large blocs headed by the great imperialist powers, the securing and expansion of their rule; hence the continuous wars, military interventions and subjugation of the peoples. Syria, Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, several countries in the Middle East and Africa, Haiti, Colombia and Venezuela are living examples of how the imperialists encourage and develop conflicts of various kinds relying on falsehoods or exaggerating incidents. They take advantage and sow confusion in order to create provocations, sufferings and damage that they themselves have created, in order to impose their will by any means.

The words of Camilo Valqui Cachi, currently Professor at the Autonomous University of Guerrero in Mexico, acquire special significance when he states in this respect: "Brutal reality is synthesized into barbarism, which contrasts with the rosy bourgeois ideal and Western fundamentalism, which the theoreticians and academics of the system assume, attempting to eternalize capitalism and make it appear natural.

“These are the times of transnational, plundering, despotic, predatory, genocidal, cynical, terrorist and decadent capitalism. We are experiencing and suffering from imperialist capitalism as a real social tragedy. These are times of imperialism that has created violent scenes of barbarism and desolation so that humanity might live on the edge of emptiness and of the abyss, plunged into a profound global material and moral crisis."*

* Camilo Valqui Cachi. On the Essence and Contradictions of Capitalist Totality of the 21st Century. Capitalism in the 21st Century: Violence and Alternatives, p. 19, first edition, July 2009.

3. State Monopoly Capitalism and State Terrorism

Underlying this process of growing monopolization there is another trend, well studied by Lenin, that we can explain pointing out the subordination of the State to the monopolies.

Since the middle of the last century, State monopoly capitalism has established itself as a trend that characterizes capitalism in its imperialist phase. Today, as this is universal under capitalism and this is just one chain, we can point out that all the links suffer from the conflict of the imperialist powers and unions among states that are contending for domination over the chain.

Today we are witnessing the struggle of the gigantic monopolies that have made States into their instruments in this struggle for hegemony and world domination. In this sense, the States are acting in the interests and defense of the monopolies that they represent and they place the apparatus of state power at their service. Thus the theories of the internal enemy not only take shape in countries where the popular struggle has reached the form of armed struggle, as in Colombia. This is most evident when considering the measures used to criminalize the workers and popular struggles with laws or the practices of targeted killings and mass disappearances, such as that of the 43 students of Ayotzinapa (Mexico).

In the United States, the Democrats and Republicans took advantage of the incident of the "Twin Towers" to enact the law known as the "Patriot Act" and to justify restriction in the political rights and individual and collective liberties of the people, as took place in Boston when a "curfew" was declared after a bomb exploded during its traditional marathon. Or Islam was declared an "enemy of democracy" in order to launch its drones for the gruesome task of destroying peoples and cultures, as took place in Libya and is continuing in Syria. After that, they also are exploiting what happened at a right-wing weekly in Paris to persecute the supposed "terrorist" perpetrators and justify their televised shooting and then marched in unison, "condemning terrorism," the war criminals, murderers of the Arab people, including presidents and prime ministers of NATO and the Zionist state of Israel. Is it not clear that these are essentially fascist methods and measures?

Aggressive agreements and organizations among states such as the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and the changes in the use of the so-called "blue helmets" of the UN are weapons, a military apparatus, to ensure compliance with the impositions of economic institutions such as the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the European Union (EU), the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), the BRICS, that are desperately competing to expand their influence, control markets, secure strategic areas for their natural resources and a place on the world map, to export capital, seize raw materials, etc. Although they are not homogeneous, they impose on the different States regulations, plans and policies by which they would subjugate and deepen the dependence of the majority of countries of the world.

The European Union (EU) is the concrete historical form that the dictatorship of capital assumes in Europe, as the most appropriate political superstructure for the advanced process of concentration and centralization of capital in the early 21st century.

With the aim of expanding State terrorism they have had the nerve of trying to impose "universal justice" under the Treaty of Rome and the International Criminal Court in order to prevent the supreme right of the people to rebel and to ensure the business of the multinationals. Paradoxically we see how the main imperialist power, the United States, is not subject to these treaties and courts while its lackeys do the work in that direction in order to contain the struggles of the nations for self-determination and of the peoples and the proletariat for social liberation and socialism.

Domestically, by subordinating the States to the monopolies they impose on them their own challenges of expansion, turning them into real businesses that serve to fight for the greatest profit. In the era of imperialism the States are real machines of exploitation and war at the service of the monopolies.

Obeying a handful of magnates of finance capital, carefully working to maximize their profits, the States are assuming the task of crushing the revolutionary workers' movement and the national liberation struggles. In this sense the bourgeois and imperialist States in this period are fully taking up a counterrevolutionary and anti-communist political task. Therefore the revolutionary task of destroying the bourgeois State is finding a great obstacle in the social-democratic forces that are fighting to prettify it and show it as something useful to create structural changes, while actually promoting bourgeois and petty bourgeois social welfare and reformism of "21st century socialism," which end up reaffirming the revisionist thesis of peaceful transition to socialism, ignoring the historical law about the inevitable use of the revolutionary violence of the exploited masses to seize power.

It is thus peculiar to note in this historical period that those principles that characterized bourgeois democracy in the era of free competition of capital have given way to another type of principles that support the real interests and aims of the monopolies. This means that in the legal and political superstructure imposed in this period significant changes take place that seek to control the economy at the service of the monopolies, to fight against the revolutionary and national liberation struggle in order to maintain the status quo and to develop the fight for areas of influence, given the inter-imperialist contention whose range commits the bourgeoisies of the dependent countries and the armies that move in the orbit of one or another superpower.

The totalitarian, authoritarian and militarist forms, which are the source of State terrorism, today are opening the way in most States in the world, especially in the imperialist countries, testifying to a growing process of fascism with forms and particularities that correspond to the reality of each country, but that show the efforts of the monopolies and finance capital to ensure their domination in the period of crisis and confrontation with other monopolies.

We conclude by considering the following:

• In a context marked by the crisis of capitalism, growing monopolization and the development of State monopoly capitalism are the main phenomena that support and need the growth of fascism, which serves the interests of the monopoly bourgeoisie, especially represented by finance capital, with the goal of ensuring the defense of the status quo, to maintain the yoke on the proletariat and the peoples and to stifle the revolutionary struggle of the working masses through the totalitarian exercise of power and violence terrorist.

• The changes in the capitalist economic structure affect the legal-political and ideological superstructure, in that sense a greater concentration of production and capital with the advance and domination of monopolies leads to greater centralization of power and the institutionalization of anti-democratic concepts and practices at all levels, both within each country and internationally.

• Consolidating the subordination of the State to the monopolies and the centralization of power, the State ceases to represent different sections of the bourgeoisie in order to represent finance capital, which becomes an oligarchy, in order to guarantee its power, to maintain and expand it, it is forced to cut off the spaces and liberties of its competitors and enemies and thus to institutionalize terror and violence.

• With the establishment of the financial oligarchy and the centralization of power the bourgeois parliaments lose capacity and power, they become obsolete spaces or decorative figures that neither decide nor control the fundamental affairs of the State. It is the executive power that acquires and concentrates greater powers and functions. The maintenance of parliament will depend on the needs of the financial oligarchy and the historical-political particularities of the class struggle in each country.

Fascism is a special form of bourgeois power in the era of imperialism and proletarian revolutions. It is the substitution of one state form of class rule of the bourgeoisie, as is bourgeois democracy, by another, by the open terrorist dictatorship of finance capital. It is not merely a simple change from one bourgeois government to another; it is above all a form of State in which the executive concentrates power at the expense of the judiciary and the legislature to advance along the path of centralization. With fascism, counter-revolution is institutionalized in line with the decadence of capitalism in the era of imperialism and proletarian revolution.

Although fascism maintains its essence and basic features, its form and methods to make it concrete vary according to the conditions of time and place, and depend heavily on the historical moment and economic conditions of each country, as well as on their relationships and location in the global context.

• The ways in which fascism may arise in each country in no way alter its essence.

• Generally prior to the establishment of fascism the capitalist States go through a series of preparatory stages or phases in which the bourgeois regimes apply a series of reactionary measures that facilitate the rise of fascism to power or the qualitative leaps in the processes of the move towards fascism. As Georgi Dimitrov stated in 1935: "Whoever does not fight the reactionary measures of the bourgeoisie and the growth of fascism at these preparatory stages is not in a position to prevent the victory of fascism, but, on the contrary, facilitates that victory."*

* Georgi Dimitrov. The United Front, The Struggle Against Fascism and War, 1935. Proletarian Publishers, San Francisco, 1975, page 13.

September 30, 2015
Click here to return to the Index, U&S 31