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How to explain the Nazi obsession with Jews

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Lazlo_Woodbine
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Feb 4 2006 19:53
alibadani wrote:
But like I always say the anti-fascism of Anarchism is obsessive. There is simply not the same obsession with anti-stalinism even though the stalinists killed far more people, while claiming to be communists. That is far more insidious yet anti-fascism is still so central to the anarchist movement. Its weird.

Obsessive antifascism? Not that weird, really, since UK fascists have been far more of a clear and present danger than UK leninists, of any kind.

But there's not really much anti-fascism around thise days, even though the far right are stronger than they've been for over 15 years.

baboon
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Feb 6 2006 14:13

In response to a previous post by Lazlo, there was no question of the working class taking on all imperialist sides - the working class was defeated. That's precisely what the rise of Nazism signified. And you have to always portray nazism as the worse kind of capitalism or even outside capitalism altogether. This way you can avoid any revolutionary perspective and always support one side of capitalism against another (irrespective of the side you are supporting, democracy or stalinism for example, being far greater butchers of the working class and populations in general).

The organic continuity between democracy and nazism, between Weimar and Hitler, was laid out by the Left Fraction of the Italian Communist party in 1935. Fascism was based on the defeats of the proletariat and the demands of an economy driven down by the economic crisis. Stalinism and emergency powered democracy fulfilled the same role.

Germany was in revolutionary ferment from 1919 to 1923 and this ferment was smothered by social democracy masses of social legislation, democracy and the left bourgeoisie even created workers' councils. The USA invested heavily and Britain provided material, diplomatic and intelligence support to the emergence of the Nazis. The British bourgeoisie particularly knew that fascism represented the best interests of the bourgeoisie as a whole against the working class. Fascism also, by its intense centralisation (which was a growing tendency of all national capitals) represented a structure that best defended the interests of German capital.

Hitler came to power seamlessly from Weimar, with its workerist language and the active and essential support of western democracies.

Fascism is not a distinct class of the bourgeoisie, nor is it simply an expression of the dispossessed petty bourgoisie (which it destroyed), but a superstructure most appropriated for the particular conditions of Germany at the time - its economic necessities (its slogan was "Export or Die!") and not least in relation to the working class, a question that the democratic bourgeoisie's had a great interest in. Fascism used extreme violence once it had come to power, wiping out the vestiges of the social democracy which had brought it to power by leading the working class up a blind alley. But this was the role of fascism, a role conferred on it particularly by the democratic bourgeoisie and the needs of capital.

Lazlo_Woodbine
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Feb 6 2006 17:16
baboon wrote:
In response to a previous post by Lazlo, there was no question of the working class taking on all imperialist sides - the working class was defeated. That's precisely what the rise of Nazism signified.

Oh dear. sad So, by 1933 there was no useful working class activity going on any more?

alibadani
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Feb 6 2006 20:37

The idea of a defeated working class is one that I have struggled to grasp myself. The working class was quite combative in the 30's. The working class also had a strong sense of class identity. Today we aren't so combative and we lack the same class identity.

So in what sense was the proletariat in the 30's a defeated class, while the proletariat today isn't? Well ask a military recruiter in America how difficult it is to recruit young people for the past year or so. Today's workers aren't willing to sacrifice endlessly for any bourgeois causes today, especially in the "first world". It is very difficult for the rulers to get us to die enthusiastically for democracy, or for "la patrie" or for the "socialist motherland."

One key period was 1917-1923, when the revolutionary wave failed. This is when we were defeated, and because of this defeat fascism could come to power. The other key period was 1968, when workers re-emerged on the scene. A new generation of workers who never experienced revolution or fascism came of age. It was the year of great struggles, but with regards to refusing to die for bourgeois causes, it was the year that mass resistance to the draft and the war in Vietnam began in the U.S. Since then despite all the weakness of our class workers have been unwilling to sacrifice their lives for bourgeois causes.

So despite the solidarity and combativity of the workers in the 30's they were a defeated class, willilng to sacrifice endlessly for bourgeois causes. Today we have two generations of undefeated workers: the generation of '68 and their kids. That is why left communists say that there is no fascist threat today. Fascism in power can only come as a result of a defeated proletariat. All the more reason to be puzzled by anarchism's obsessive anti-fascism.

Lazlo_Woodbine
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Feb 6 2006 20:43
alibadani wrote:
That is why left communists say that there is no fascist threat today. Fascism in power can only come as a result of a defeated proletariat. All the more reason to be puzzled by anarchism's obsessive anti-fascism.

You're wrong if you think that fascism is only a threat when it has state power. There's swathes of Nottinghamshire, Lancashire and Essex where the far-right have a lot of power, and much more of the country where they are a significant threat to working class unity.

Plus you're also misguided if you think the reaons for lack of military recruitment are doe to working class strength. The lack of desire to serve in the military is related to the lack of a desire for public service in general, and is realted to alienation, neo-liberal's attacks on community and a downfall in the legitimacy of the nation. Some of these are good things, some are bad, but they are a consequence of the victories of neo-liberalism in shaping a market-oriented, super-individualist society, and, in general, are part of a weakening of working class power in the US and UK.

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Lazy Riser
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Feb 6 2006 22:18

Hi

<antagonistic post withdrawn>

Love

LR

Lazlo_Woodbine
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Feb 6 2006 22:24
Lazy Riser wrote:
Neo-liberalism is neither market-oriented nor super-individualist. It's not new or liberal for that matter either.

Couldn't you just have saved time by writing that as "neo-liberalism isn't" ?

Just trying to maximise your leisure time, is all...

I'd say the UK working class was stronger when workging class groups and institutions were stronger, and when they were under more pressure from their grassroots. Plus when the class had more ability to 'spontaneously' organise to meet the class war by the rich.

The strikes of the 1970s, the Poll Tax rebellions, the squatting wave of the 1940s, the neasr-insurections of the 1800-10s and 1830-40s were all manifestations of working class strength, and ones that I;m not sure could be repeated today. i hope I'm wrong.

Lazlo_Woodbine
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Feb 6 2006 22:25

Damn you, I'd rather you were antagonistick, than you wasted my time by rendering my posts meaningless!

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Lazy Riser
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Feb 6 2006 23:13

Hi

Ha ha. Apologies comrade. First post on a new page as well, nasty. Sorry, I beg your forgiveness and mercy.

Quote:
The strikes of the 1970s, the Poll Tax rebellions, the squatting wave of the 1940s, the neasr-insurections of the 1800-10s and 1830-40s were all manifestations of working class strength, and ones that I;m not sure could be repeated today. i hope I'm wrong.

The strikes of 1970s were due to the bourgeoisie playing merry havoc with the money supply in the face of an series of oil crises and IMF intervention. The first chance it got, the working class rewarded it’s own “strength” by voting Tory, ushering in the neo-liberalism conventionally blamed for undermining traditional Old Labour ideas of what a strong working class looks like. Beer and sandwiches at number 10’s legacy is the prevailing situation, I’m not sure if it makes sense to refer to it as a position of strength.

I’m not sure what we can really mean by “a stronger working class” in the 1800’s. But up until WWI, then after WWII, I think one can argue that there was some reform of bourgeois institutions in favour of the proletariat. I’d venture that this was just the material affect of the construction of modern classes. I’m suspicious that taking it as a signal of special strength will lead us to false conclusions regarding our position today. I would be highly sceptical of any assertion that the working class is “weaker” to day than in the 1930’s. Senior citizens take some pleasure in letting me know about the chronic hunger they endured.

The working class only seems weaker because we have exhausted capitalism’s potential to progress our material security. The fact that this coincides somewhat with the ICC’s analysis is an unfortunate coincidence.

I like markets and super-individualism, by the way. Class War should adopt them as explicit positions.

Love

LR

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jef costello
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Feb 7 2006 00:17
baboon wrote:
Hitler came to power seamlessly from Weimar, with its workerist language and the active and essential support of western democracies.

Was the use of this language not a sign that workers still ahd to be appealed to? You're sounding a little like F A Hayek.

Quote:
Well ask a military recruiter in America how difficult it is to recruit young people for the past year or so.

Isn't that more to do with the fairly high chance of dying? I'd like to see an ideological reason for it but honestly it seems to be about simple choice. Normally the working class weight up the salary and the benefits, such as killing brown people, free college tuition (in America) and the (low) risk of being killed. Such patriotic people hate getting killed by foreigners. Seriusly though, the w/c and even sections of the m/c make a choice to join the military based on the benefits they can see weighed against the risk, the risks have gone up, this does not mean they are rejecting the capitalist system, simply that they don't fancy selling themselves even shorter than before.

baboon
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Feb 7 2006 17:33

Baboon says there was "no question of the working class (in the 1930s) taking on all imperialist sides". Lazlo replies "Oh dear, so by 1933 there was no useful working class activity".

How, unless you are blinded by prejudice, do you get the second sarcastic statement from the first? What perversion of the imagaination leads you to conclude the latter from the former? If this is to be a discussion, you can't just blatently misrepresent what's be said. I suppose you can and you do.

The forerunners of the ICC in the 1930s certainly didn't abandon the working class, neither politically nor practically, continuing to intervene during the most terrible conditions (far removed from the "I would have done this or that" fantasies of today).

To understand the analsysis of a counter-revolution, you have to have some appreciation of the heights the revolution wave of 1917-25 reached. It brought to an end the first world war. No country was unaffected by the uprising in workers' militancy and consciousness. Slowly, but surely, the bourgeoisie isolated revolutionary actions and gradually strangled the workers' perspective. Where does this say "there was no useful working class activity"? There were many examples of workers' fightback. Barcelona 1936 is just one example of many - the class struggle doesn't die from one day to the next. But, overall, the revolutionary perspective of the working class was defeated - not least by anti-fascism, the illusion (also peddled by the west) that Stalin's Russia = communism (a lie peddled by the bourgeoisie up to 1989 - and still used today to great effect) and, certainly not least - by democracy. You have only to look at these threads about anti-fascism to see what a potent weapon democracy still is for the bourgeoisie.

Since the 1960s, when the economic crisis of capitalism reemerged after the short-lived post-war reconstruction died away (oil price is one small superstructural expression of the crisis in the last 3 decades) then the proletariat too reemerged with its revolutionary potential capable of taking on the bourgeoisie. We are not near a revolutionary situation today, but the working class remains undefeated in the sense that it was hammered from right, left and centre in the 1930s up to the final preparation for WWII in Spain.

baboon
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Feb 10 2006 17:46

I'm happy to be identified with the positions of the ICC and will defend them to the best of my ability.

I want to come back on the question of a defeated working class and the period of counter-revolution because it is essential that revolutionaries are able to define an overall period - first of all with prediction (not always right) and certainly, with hindsight, ie, if you can't understand what's happened after it's happened it weakens your analysis without a doubt.

Contrary to what Trotsky said in 1929, a deepening economic crisis is not enough to define a revolutionary situation. In fact this very year was a big indication of the counter-revolution based on the declaration of "socialism in one country" by Stalin in 1928. Nor is workers' combativity alone enough to define a period of period of revolution. The mobilisation and arming of the workers in Spain, even with the enormous courage and combativity shown, not least including anarchist militants, actually disarmed them (and the whole class) as far as any revolutionary perspective was concerned.

To know your enemy, to know whether (and where) to attack, or retreat in good order is essential for any war, but particularly for the class war. The German left paid for its weaknesses and confusions in the 1920s and strengthened the disorientation of the whole class.

The forging of working class unity essential for a real assault on imperialism, lies, initially, in the defensive struggles of the class and its tendency (with setbacks and so on) to break with national unity, democracy and phoney socialism. We see these latter tendencies strengthened during the mid to late 1920s and early 1930s, culminating in Hitler's rise to power as the democratically backed European gendarme.

Around the same time saw the definitive collapse of the Communist International, another definitive weakness for the working class.

Workers were corralled behind the defence of the nation, "democratic freedoms", the "gains of socialist Russia" or the "workers' state". All the Communist Parties went over to the bourgeoisie and "national defence" and were embraced by them (Britain, France, etc). At the same time, the crushing defeat was imposed on the class in Spain, Italy and Germany. From both imperialist camps the working class had been reduced to cannon fodder ready to slaughter one another. This is counter-revolution writ large. Even though there continued to be strikes, demonsrtations, upheavals from the working class (and revolutionaries should stick to the principal of "while there's life, there's hope") the bourgeoisie were in firm control.

Even during and towards the end of the war, in the most terrible conditions, the workers still fought, but the balance of forces, the counter-revolution, was too strong against them. It's important we understand this today, because, for one, it tells us so much more about the history and present dangers of our democratic and leftist enemies.

Big Brother
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Feb 10 2006 19:19

Think of Nazisism as Catholicism and replace Christianly with Darwinism. And there you have Nazisism.

It came to me one day was I was walking in the street. A few weeks later I watched a programme on BBC4 about the Jews plight in what was probably the first ever in the history/documenty shown on T.V. that document of the Jews plight in Nazis Germany by Dr Sobel (I think) His name is often quoted by the BNP as a lie. There was a T.V. interview with a Polish survivor, he descript why Jews were persecuted, said simply it was the preaching of the Christian church for many centuries that the Jews have turned their back on God of God and Jews will get retribution for what they have done.

It was this that Himler pick up on; Himler took the idea of the Storm Troopers (SS) on the idea of the Spanish Inquisition. Instead of using the Christian teaching of helping the weak, the term “the weak” was replaced by “survival of the fittest”. Darwinism which Hitler was attracted to, as Hitler didn’t like the idea of the helping the weak as Hitler saw himself as weak. (He farted a lot, etc, etc,).

If you ever get the chance to see the orginal t.v. series (it's Subtitle as it foreign documenty) it is well worth the time and effort to watch. When I watched it, it was shown on at 11 o'clock at night and I had to stop watching it 3:30am in the morning! I had to go to work the next day I never got the chance to watch the end. It is particularly shocking specially then the camera film rolls at the concentration camps, Dr Sobel walks through the snow and into the gas chambers.

I think also contributing factor was that Germany was primly a Catholic country so that why I think Nazism was felt at ease with the German People.

TangoMash
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Feb 10 2006 19:27
alibadani wrote:

That’s the closest thing to a decent explanation I’ve ever heard on the subject. I still don’t really get Nazism's and its obsession with the Jews. Does anyone?

Alot of germans were brought up against jews back then, so it may just have been the way the leaders of nazism during the early 1900's were brought up. red n black star

Lazlo_Woodbine
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Feb 10 2006 22:16

is it just me, or has baboon's last post simply re-stated his position, without addressing any of the points anyone's made? confused

Beltov
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Feb 11 2006 11:28
Lazlo_Woodbine wrote:
is it just me, or has baboon's last post simply re-stated his position, without addressing any of the points anyone's made? confused

I think you'll find he's addressed some of the points made on this thread in an article in the latest issue of World Revolution. See 'Anarchist arguments for participation in imperialist war' here:

http://en.internationalism.org/node/1663

smile

Beltov.

baboon
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Feb 13 2006 14:59

What point specifically, Lazlo? The one made by baboon that says that by the time of the rise of Nazism the working class wasn't in a position to take on all imperialist sides (ie, revolution)? Or the one where Lazlo replies "Oh dear, so that means that there was no useful action by the working class after 1933?" What is the point of what you are saying exactly?

Lazlo_Woodbine
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Feb 18 2006 20:35

That apparently the 'only' useful working class action is to take on all sides. Yeat a lot of the time this isn't possible. So what are we to do?

Hint to careful readers: I reckon the answer will involve leaflets

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Lazy Riser
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Feb 18 2006 20:51

Hi

The leaflets are means to an end. The really important thing to do is achieve internal clarity.

(Was that a bit too dry?)

Love

LR

Lazlo_Woodbine
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Feb 18 2006 21:02

Are you saying that the working class resistance on All Fronts would hae succeeded if it had adopted natural Law-style fighting methods?

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Lazy Riser
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Feb 18 2006 21:28

Hi

What a fantastic idea! I doubt it will work, but it's worth a try.

Love

LR

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Alf
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Feb 21 2006 10:45

Thre's a basic misconception in the sarcasms of LR and Lazlo about the working class fighting against all sides during the war. What the internationalists called for -as they had done during the first world war - was the continuation of the class struggle for defensive demands despite the war. This was inevitably opposed by all factions of the bourgeoisie, who always insist on a class peace in wartime because it disrupts the war effort. The issue of the working class waging an offensive struggle against all sides corresponds to a much higher level of struggle, to the appearance of workers councils and the arming of the workers. This was a reality during the first world war with the outbreak of the revolutions in Russia, Germany etc. During the second world war, as Baboon has explained, the depth of the counter-revolution made this prospect extremely difficult. It was raised for a brief period in Italy in 1943, but the bourgeoisie had learned the lessons from 1917. The allies bombed the cities in revolt (as recorded by the anarchists of War Commentary) and Churchill came up with the policy of 'letting the Italians stew in their own juice', which basically meant allowing the Nazis to restore order in the north while the allied advance from the south was delayed.

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Alf
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Feb 21 2006 15:12

Sorry, Jack, I don't follow. What imaginary positions am I arguing against, and what are LR and LW really saying?

Blackhawk
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Apr 3 2009 17:54

L'Agite's post certainly read as if it were a defense of Stalinism.

It could be pointed out that the time to oppose the fascists was in 1919 when German soldiers marched into Berlin with swastikas painted on their helmets to slaughter the Berlin Soviet. Anti-semitism was to an extent reborn in the capitalist era with the Dreyfus Affair back in 19th Century France. In Mein Kampf, Hitler is pretty blatant about blaming the Jews for "communism" and for the fact that his glorious teutonic army pretty much gave up fighting in the First World War. The main culprits for German fascists were, communists, Jews and the Aristocracy. For the bourgeoisie they had felt let down by their friends in the aristocracy. They did blame Jews for "inventing" communism to destroy Germany. For them they bolstered these idiotic notions with pseudo-science, "new-age" religion, flag-waving white terror and modern anti-semitism.

The concentration camps, lager, themselves had the legend Arbeit Macht Frei over their front gates not for the jews interred there, but because the first camps were created for murdering communists and not jews at all. The legend reads through work you'll be made free, because the fascists had to teach those commies the value of hard work. The first act of the fascists in power in Germany was to kill the communists first...not the jews. The fact that jews occupied top positions of leadership in the very organizations that threatened their consciousness the most was all the confirmation the fascists needed as to who to blame for the revolution and Germany's third place position in the order of global imperialism at that time.

Anti-semitism differs in the capitalist epoch in precisely that in previous epochs it was a religious question, they were persecuted because they weren't Christians. In the nineteenth century with the Dreyfus Affair, modern anti-semitism started to grow with the idea held by flag-wavers that those without a flag or a country [communists...jews...gypsies] were a threat. Being someone without nation is an inherent threat to the bourgeois mind.

For an ardent flag-waving patriotic piece of shit, the fact that an army would just stop fighting was unthinkable and unexpected. Something that their bourgeois minds could not comprehend in the least. This clearly bred a sense of panic that the little drones underneath them might start thinking for themselves.

I got into a discussion with a fellow who runs the Marxist Internet Archive in the US who firmly believes that holocausts have no rational place in capitalist society and that to try to explain events from a materialist standpoint is the same as justifying those events. For him to even bother understand what happened and why is the same as excusing mass murder. Some lefties like to believe in the a-historicity of fascism as an eternal evil with no material context whatsoever. For me mass murder is the ultimate end logic of capitalism. Capitalists will always return to mass murder in order to kill off anyone that might remotely get in their way. It is pretty much the only thing human beings are really good at under capitalism.

This is a convenient bundle of lies and ignorance that only serves as a justification for supporting Stalinism and Capitalist Dyermocracy. For the Stalinists anti-fascism was an after the fact rationalization for their own actions.

Consider how Stalin's "anti-fascism" couldn't bother to see fit to producing more than one rifle for every three soldiers, even after two five year plans for industrialization (i.e. bourgeois capitalist "development"). In fact for three days after the Germans invaded Russia, Stalin hid and refused to believe the Germans had actually invaded. Stalin didn't even come up with a plan for eleven whole days while the German army advanced into their own territory. After the war of course, Stalin had himself named "Generalissimo" because Franco had that title and

During fascism's rise as a movement the Stalinists, like Gramsci himself were remarkably ignorant about fascism or what to do about it. In 1924 Gramsci, the hero of foggy minded intellectuals everywhere, was predicting that Mussolini would fall any day and that fascism as a movement had come to an end. Today, of course, Gramsci is known as a great genius for his oh so deep understanding of fascism.

It wasn't until Stalin's "left-turn" when the Stalinist movement actually started calling everyone under the sun a fascist.

For revolutionaries, participating in an imperialist war, regardless of how "sacred" the cause is, results in revolutionaries getting killed and lovers of capitalism and ex-fascists walking away smelling like roses.

The partisans weren't all valiant fighters against fascism either. Often they behaved like gangsters and thugs. In Yugoslavia they spent as much time fighting the Chetniks as they did fighting the fascists themselves. In Italy, the partisans under the control of the National Liberation Committee and the Italian Communist Party succeeded in using "fascism" to murder their political opponents, like Fausto Atti and Mario Aquaviva. Those same brave anti-fascist fighters in the ministry of justice used to beat our comrades on the streets with clubs they called "stalins". In Greece they could've taken power but they obediently obeyed Stalin and stopped short of taking Athens. So as a reward all those rank-and-file Stalinists in Greece were repaid by getting slaughtered. Something which the capitalist democrats and the stalinists of the world supported. Ironically in Italy it was a wave of strikes that did as much to bring down the regime of Mussolini than the partisans ever were able to do. Again, the Stalinists not only did not support the strikes of '43, but they opposed them all over the world.

Look a little bit deeper at what the CPs actually did and you'll find the anti-fascism of the Stalinists to be yet another Stalinist lie.

So much for the "anti-fascism" of the Stalinists.

Contrary to what was asserted that Left-Communists "did nothing" to oppose fascism, they in fact did a whole lot given their small (and decimated) numbers. In Italy the early (future) PCInt militants agitated among the partisans who weren't controlled by the Stalinists to turn the imperialist war into a revolution. They appealed to workers not to allow the very people who created fascism [capitalists, social-democrats et al] to return to power again. The brave anti-fascist stalinists murdered their organizers Fausto Atti and Mario Acquaviva in retaliation for this agitation.

In Buchenwald, a group that broke with Trotskyism started a strike in a concentration camp and issued the Declaration of Internationalist Communists of Buchenwald. Again, the wonderful "anti-fascist" Stalinists were so bloody-minded in their own national chauvinism that they failed utterly to actually fight back from within the concentration camps themselves. Because nationalists don't get along with people from other nations--because patriots are scum.

Onorato Damen, one of the foremost leaders in the group around the left-communist journal Prometeo, had a life history that reads like a list of all the times he was arrested by fascists agitating. Left-Communists tended to be predominantly of the rank-and-file of the communist parties and thus were probably doing a lot more actual "work" than a host of Stalinist comintern hacks ever did.

This isn't even touching on what other left-communists went through elsewhere in the world. I put these things forward as anecdotes to demonstrate that far from being passive in the face of fascism and bourgeois imperialist slaughter they were quite active.

Just because a Stalinist or liberal didn't put it down in one of their histories didn't mean that it didn't happen. Everytime you read a history of that period pay attention to who is doing the writing. If it is a liberal or a stalinist, the history will read like an apology for support for Stalinism.

You might try reading the book The People as Enemy, it is written by an Anarchist (libertarian municipalist???). There is, in fact, quite a lot of solid history out there that exposes the true role of the Stalinists in regards to their supposed anti-fascism.

Feighnt
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Apr 4 2009 04:58

some interesting points i'd not thought about before (particularly the first couple paragraphs - i'm already sold on anti-stalinism, heh).

i would, at least partly, disagree with what you said at the end - that "if it is a liberal or a stalinisth, the history will read like an apology for support for Stalinism" - Stalinist historians, sure. Liberals, not as much, particularly these days... anti-Stalinism has been punched pretty strongly into Liberals over the decades, perhaps i'm just reading the wrong things, but i rarely see Liberals making many excuses for Stalinists. sometimes, sure, but not *that* often.

pennyworth
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Oct 8 2016 18:28

Doesn't anybody read Mein Kampf? Hitler explained that in order to unify Germany, you would have to pick some hated yet weak enemy, and unite the people in hatred against them--but that, to prevent people from feeling pity for the enemy afterwards and weakening in their unity, you would have to utterly annihilate that enemy. The Jews were convenient.

cactus9
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Oct 8 2016 20:13

New book out called Blitzed about the role that pharmaceutical drugs played in Hitler's life and the second world war. It looks fascinating if that's your thing. In a nutshell he was heavily addicted to prescribed drugs including cocaine and they took a toll on his mental and physical health.

petey
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Oct 8 2016 22:52
pennyworth wrote:
Doesn't anybody read Mein Kampf?

i actually did, some of it, in high school. there was a copy in my local public library. and i read far enough to see that he laid the whole business out right there. this has colored my thinking about the holocaust: why did so few take him at his word?