Fighting the forces of fascism: persuasion, not force, is key right now

What should meaningful antifascist work look like in present-day Britain?

Proletarian writers

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Protesters surround a Trump supporter at a demonstration, while one protester screams 'Nazi scum' in his face. London, June 2019.

Proletarian writers

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The following speech in support of a motion on antifascist work was given by a member of the central committee to the party’s eighth congress in September.


Comrades, this resolution aims to give some perspective and direction to our branches and comrades who find themselves presented with regular opportunities to join with Trotskyists, revisionists and Labour party social democrats in common cause against ‘fascism’ and ‘racism’.

It goes without saying that our party is, by its very nature, irreconcilably opposed to fascism and racism. It is to be expected that we shall have comrades who wish to oppose this racism and fascism, and even some who wish to challenge it physically. We have no opposition in principal to this; however, it is incumbent upon the party to point out to our members a number of pertinent considerations.

Firstly, Unite Against Fascism, Love Music Hate Racism and all the other such fronts are run by Trotskyites. As is well known, Trotskyites were in the past and remain today collaborators with fascism and imperialism. Trotskyites support the fascistic aggression unleashed upon Syria and give blind support to reactionary Kurdish nationalism and islamic extremism.

Meanwhile, the Labour party is responsible in recent history for unleashing diabolical fascistic terror upon Yugoslavia, Iraq and Afghanistan, while the revisionists, hand in hand with the Trots, work ceaselessly for class collaboration, while condemning the uprisings of British youth and condoning all sorts of police and state terror in their desire to appeal to respectable public (bourgeois) opinion.

These are not social forces with which we can unite in a real struggle against racism or fascism.

Secondly, we are numerically weak, and we have no organised fighting detachment. Those who intend to take part in serious physical confrontation need to realise that such activity must be prepared for and planned. Currently the party is not in a position to put the entire organisation onto such a footing.

Those who do not intend to join a physical confrontation need to think about what they expect to achieve by attendance at such demonstrations and how they can protect young comrades in periods before and after so-called ‘police protection’ begins and ends.

Thirdly, our position on the questions of racism and fascism bears no similarity with the bourgeois-liberal positions of the Trotskyite, social-democratic and revisionist fronts. These organisations place their faith in the bourgeois state machinery and welcome its attacks on civil liberties under the illusion that the bourgeois state can deal with racism and fascism.

Fourthly, the imprisonment of Tommy Robinson was politically motivated and those on the so-called ‘left’ who welcomed his imprisonment are bringing the day closer when communists and anti-imperialists are locked away on similar politically motivated grounds.

Rather than celebrate this attack on civil liberties, we should point out how it forms a part of the reactionary moves of the state to suppress dissent. Pointing this out gives us much more chance of winning ill-informed, ignorant workers away from such groups as Robinson’s and into the socialist camp.

It is my belief that the most effective work we are realistically capable of undertaking to counter ultra-nationalist, fascistic and racist ideas is the spreading of communist propaganda amongst both the fascists’ supporters and those who ignorantly follow the lead of the social democrats, Trots and revisionists.

The latter we are doing very ably at the moment. As to the former, special attention should be given to presenting ideas of class politics in such a form that they may be read by those currently susceptible to reactionary propaganda.

This material should be in a form that is original, daring and unlike anything else we currently produce. To paraphrase Lenin, it should be particularly broad material for the most backward readers, but never vulgar.