Amongst the myriad of voices celebrating Easter 1916 Rising we publish the authentic voice of 1916 Sean Doyle at the Bluebell Cemetery in Dublin on 27th March 2016
Fellow citizens in this centenary year as we commemorate the men and women of the 1916 Easter Rising the whole country is reflecting and debating its merits and division which provides us with an opportunity and responsibility as socialist republicans to express our view and analyse what effects the Rising has had on shaping and forming Irish society since.
No doubt this is and must be a work in progress but to make a few points, I believe are fundamental to our past present and the prosperity of our future. James Connolly said many interesting and prophetic statements; “knowing our history is like a lamp to the feet of the Irish worker in the stormy paths he must travel”.
I started by addressing you as citizens, that is what we are as a result of our brave selfless men and women of the Easter Rebellion, a profound declaration, a free people in our own country and our charter of rights enshrined in the Proclamation, not aspirational but our entitlement as citizens which is still our goal to this day.
We’ve been laterally denied by British imperialists and home rulers and now by native and foreign vulture capitalists robbing our resources and subjecting us to be guarantors of their speculative losses in banking and property.
Prior to 1916 the objective was building resistance against British occupation and fighting for the hearts and minds of citizens against the mindset of British subjects. Connolly was to the fore in this thinking. He addressed it throughout his writings and had a profound influence on others around him. He believed any form of acceptance of subjection to kingship could easily be transferred to king of industry or commerce for that matter. The awakening of the slave is the key to freedom. That sense of self worth, alive, thinking possibilities boundless, finding your voice, creative, imaginative never to return to the imposition of a slave. A free thinking people are a prerequisite to a free country.
This thinking did not sit well with the home rulers. Connolly said the home ruler nationalists agreed with the British that the Irish worker should be skint, that they were fighting over who got the biggest piece.
Others were also committing to a position at odds with the home rulers. Patrick Pearse in his last political essay in The Sovereign People wrote; “A nation may go further and determine that all sources of wealth whatsoever are the property of the nation and that all surplus wealth shall go to the national treasury to be expended on national purposes rather than be accumulated by private persons”.
The 1911 Lockout in Wexford and the 1913 Lockout in Dublin had a great influence on the thinking of Joseph Mary Plunkett and Arthur Griffiths anti labour position brought about the resignation of Eamonn Ceannt from Sinn Fein.
Connolly addressing The Citizens Army for the last time said “but if we should win hold on to your rifles because the volunteers may have a different goal; we are not out only for political liberty but economic liberty as well”.
Based on how the forces of oppression foreign and native were aligning I have no doubt there is validity in the claim that the British consulted with them during the executions and subsequently provided armoury for the counter revolution to protect their joint interests namely the denial of our citizens rights as defined in the Proclamation; the nation’s resources and wealth to be bestowed equally amongst all Irish citizens.
The same vulture capitalists that we are fighting in Moore Street today that are determined to demolish the 1916 Moore Street Terrace and battle site, our heritage and smother it and our history in concrete and erase it from history if they could. But not on our watch!
As citizens we occupied the terrace for 4 days and came out to allow due process as it was not forthcoming and works continued. We made a decision and served a citizens injunction.
We blockaded front and rear for 38 days preventing any further demolition or destruction until a court order ruled that all works were to cease.
Maybe it’s time the citizens exercise civil disobedience and injunctions across other issues where appropriate; homelessness, health, education, housing, water etc because whatever the composition of the committee in Leinster House their loyalty and duty is first to protect the market and the 1%!
” A free nation must have full power to alter, amend or abolish or modify the laws under which the property of its citizens is held in obedience to the demand of its citizens. Every free nation has that power. Ireland does not” –James Connolly.
Democracy and Class Struggle see's this article by Comrade Kobad Ghandy has corrective to some of those on the Indian Left who instead of attacking the neo liberal Modi government as anti national internalise BJP propaganda and call themselves "anti national".
The following is the latest article written by Kobad Ghandy, the noted Marxist-Maoist thinker, now lodged in Tihar Jail 3. He first sent it to The Indian Express requesting them for publication at the earliest as it is topical—linked to the JNU issue; however, since he did not hear anything from them, he sent it to us for publication. We are thus carrying it at the earliest possible opportunity for the benefit of our readers.
What is real nationalism/patriotism? Quite naturally, love for one’s nation/country. But this is not some abstract concept. The nation comprises our land and people. So love for our land and mass of people would be the starting point for true nationalism. To seek the flowering of our land and people, and with a deep empathy for them, would be the essence of genuine nationalism.
This I could only appreciate when I was in Britain to study CA (Chartered Accountancy) in the late 1960s. As it was there that I witnessed that we, Indians, were being treated in a racist manner by the Whites, it made me look for its cause. I discovered its roots lay in their colonial mentality. So I began reading about colonialism/imperialism and the history of our freedom struggle.
Dadabhai Naoroji’s great treatise threw much light on how a rich India had been ruined by two centuries of colonial loot. R.P. Dutt’s book, India Today, gave insight into the sacrifices of thousands who fought for our freedom, and the brutality of the British who sought to crush the people’s aspirations, and divide them through a policy of divide and rule.
The roots of the present Hindu-Muslim divide could probably be traced to this colonial policy which helped divert people’s anger away from the British rulers.
Finally, after four years of doing CA with a potentially rich career, I threw up my studies and came back to India to serve the nation. I was faced with a dilemma: either to become rich and powerful, or to serve the nation, particularly its oppressed sections. I chose the latter path, possibly due to a strong nationalist surge within me.
It was a difficult decision, but never regretted. Though it has entailed giving up the luxuries of a CA’s life, it has given an enormous personal satisfaction through serving the helpless. Unfortunately, at the fag end of my life I was arrested for the first time under colonial-type laws and have now spent six-and-a-half years in jail with little sight of release, though I am 68 with numerous health problems.
If I had followed my CA career I would have been living a five-star life, but to feel for the wanton destruction of our land and people, and to act on it, has resulted in this cruel incarceration reminiscent of colonial times.
But it was difficult to stay unmoved by the veritable rape of Mother India taking place on a daily basis. It makes one weep to see the dreams of our freedom fighters being crushed to dust even after nearly seventy years of independence.
A brief picture of the destruction being wrought on our land and people, together with the direction of economic growth, will give an orientation on where our nationalism needs to be focussed. First, let us look at our land, then the state of our people, and finally, the economy.
Witness the extent of destruction. The bulk of our top soil is destroyed due to chemicals resulting in poor water retention which in turn results in floods, droughts and poor seepage, drying up our water acquifiers and making them saline. Additionally, in a mere 15 years, between 1999 and 2013, 15 per cent of our total forest cover has been destroyed, and in the following two years (2013-15) a further destruction of 2500 square kilometres of prime forest land has taken place. This is the main reason for poor and erratic rainfall resulting in successive droughts and unseasonal rainfall, playing havoc with our crops.
Finally, notwithstanding the clamour about Swachh Bharat, India generates 36,875 million litres per day of untreated sewage, turning our pristine river systems and coasts into glorified gutters—killing our fish and resulting in five lakh deaths a year due to water-borne diseases.
Now let us turn to our people. Of the rural populace 45 crore live as agricultural labourers and another 20 crore as marginal farmers (having less than 2.5 acres). The bulk of these cannot even buy sufficient food; and now with prices of basic food items—pulses, onions etc.—sky-rocketing, the little they had is being snatched from their mouths. But this is not all—it is the relatively better farmers who are also in deep crisis with farmers’ suicides peaking this year at over 10,000—that is, 28 every day. Finally, even the urban population, roughly 50 per cent or 15 crore, live in the most unhygenic slums with no livable jobs available.
So we find that even after nearly seventy years of independence, 80 crore of our people (65 per cent) live in sub-human conditions. And as for the 30 crore odd middle classes, they too are being squeezed out due to lack of jobs, inflation and huge expenditure on sicknesses. And in spite of their declining conditions, the latest Economic Survey (February 28, 2016) plans to snatch a gigantic Rs 1 lakh crore from them through reduction on subsidies, while leaving the Rs 5 lakh crore subsidy to big corporates untouched. It is only the top two-to-five per cent who are thriving, but it is they who control the power and media.
Over-and-above all this, we are a sick nation with epidemic levels of illness hitting both the poor and middle classes. According to government reports, 52 per cent of all households face severe malnutrition and, in fact, the protein intake has dropped 10 per cent in the last two decades. Sixteen lakh children (under five years of age) die every year, there are 1000 TB deaths per day and malaria/dengue continues to cause havoc. And to these infectious diseases are now added the new-age diseases like cancer, heart, lung etc.
The Health Ministry states that 6.5 crore people are pushed into poverty every year because of expenses on healthcare. In the year 2011-12 alone, 4.3 crore people faced “catastrophic expenses on health”. Yet, our government’s expenditure on health is one of the lowest in the world—at about one per cent of the GDP (China’s is three per cent). Is not this de facto mass murder—nay genocide—as surely increased government expenditure on healthcare, hygiene and a reduction of pollution would save thousands of lives every year??
This destruction of land and people is linked to the nature of our economy which is in terminal decline yet generates enormous black money. The rural economy is in dire straits, manufacturing is in the doldrums, banks are de facto bankrupt, the rupee is crashing, exports are contracting as never before and sky-rocketing inflation is eating into real wages. Let’s look at the economy first.
Farm growth has now plunged to one per cent. Industrial production has been continually declining and ‘growth’ in November 2015 (at -3.2 per cent) went to a four-year low. Value added in total manufacturing output declined from 25 per cent in the 1990s to 18 per cent now.
Manufacturing contributed to a mere six per cent to total labour productivity growth, compared to 32 per cent in China. Banks are on the brink due to corporate defaults, surviving mainly on account of huge infusion of funds by the government. While the big corporates continue their seven-star lifestyles, they refuse to meet their huge debts with the government bailing them out. Finally, we see that the rupee has crashed to a 28-month low, and that exports in 2015 contracted by a massive 18.5 per cent—the worst since 1952-53.
The economy could not be in a worse mess. Only the black economy flourishes.
According to a report of the National Institute of Public Finance and Policy, submitted to the then Finance Minister in December 2013, black money constitutes 75 per cent of our GDP. In other words, Rs 120 lakh crores of black money is generated every year. Even at 25 per cent taxation the government is losing Rs 30 lakh crores in tax every year. This gigantic sum would be more than sufficient to develop agriculture, to invest in manufacturing, and invest heavily in healthcare and education.
So it is this black economy that is not only retarding the development of our land and people, resulting in lakhs of deaths each year, but also corrupting the morals of an entire nation. No social upliftment can be successful as all get mired in corruption.
Our nationalist fervour, for a start, needs to be directed in this direction—that is, to shame the corrupt officials publicly, punish the big offenders and extract from all of them the vast sums looted. So, for example, instead of targeting Aamir Khan whose films and TV programmes show concern to national problems, one needs to focus on the Vijay Mallya, Lalit Modi-types who are reported to have fleeced our country of thousands of crores.
While Aamir Khan only ‘considered’ leaving India, Vijay Mallya, Lalit Modi etc. are believed to have already fled to the UK, probably wallowing in the vulgar luxury of hawala money.
Meanwhile 80 Marathwada farmers committed suicide in just this one month of February 2016. A lot of these lives could have been saved if just one day’s expenditure of Mallyas/Modis on their five-star yachts could have been diverted where it actually belongs.
What have we learnt with passage of a 100 years since the Easter Rising how far have we come ?
Well we start by reminding readers how the British Left behaved during the Easter Uprising in Ireland in 1916.
Arthur Henderson of the Labour Party was a government minister and party to the brutal repression of the 1916 Rising - not much change from the Labour party in the last 100 years here.
What about the Left wing Independent Labour party
"We do not approve of the Sinn Fein rebellion," announced the ILP's Socialist Review in September 1916.
"We do not approve of armed rebellion or any other form of militarism and war".
Leading ILP anti-war figures such as Ramsey MacDonald, at that time well to the left of the Labour Party leadership, were among those 'on the left' to vigourously condemn the rebellion
The Plebs, the journal of the movement for independent working-class education in Britain took a similar view:
"The tragedy of the revolt from a socialist point of view is that that 'romantic nationalism' was largely the inspiration of it; and that Connolly - the industrial unionist, the sane writer and thinker - should have been goaded by circumstances into sharing it".
Similar voices today echo opposition to Welsh and Scottish Independence on the Left. No learning from the past by the British Left here.
Then what did a real socialist revolutionary like Lenin have to say about 1916.
Lenin clarified thhe question for those socialists who sought to counterpose the fight for "pure socialism" to the national struggle and who had contempt for national independence and sovereignty Lenin said :
" To imagine that a social revolution is conceivable without the revolts of small nations in the colonies and in Europe, without the revolutionary outbursts of a section of the petty bourgeoisie with all its prejudices, without the movement of non class conscious proletarian and semi proletarian masses against the oppression of landlords ,the church, the monarchy,foreign nations etc. To imagine this means to repudiating social revolution. Only those who imagine that an army will line up and say "We are for socialism" and in another place an army will say "We are for Imperialism" and that this will be a social revolution, only those who hold such a ridiculously pedantic opinion could villify the Irish Rebellion by calling it a "putsch", "Whoever expects a "pure social revolution will never live to see it, such person pays lip service to revolution, without understanding what a revolution is"
Lenin - Discussion on Self Determination Summed Up - 1916
The British Left in 2016 has not made much ideological progress in the last 100 years and substitutes supranationalism and the ideology of cosmopolitanism for the proletarian inter - nationalism and mutual respect for nationalities. This can be clearly seen in support for European Union supra - nationalism.
The rise of the nationalist right in Europe and the World is a direct consequence of the Left abandoning the national question and opening the door to Fascism.
"We are not for national nihilism or bourgeois nationalism"
said the great Bulgarian anti fascist Georgi Dimitrov in 1935 and the more we understand Dimitrov's comment the more we will re build the revolutionary Left and sweep the right and fascists out of national politics.
Democracy and Class Struggle is continuing our investigation of Fascism by looking at some other unsuccessful Fascisms in the inter war years utilising the studies of Robert Paxton a retired bourgeois academic.
We welcome any contributions on this article critical or otherwise.
Outside Italy and Germany, only a rather limited number of nations offered conditions that enabled fascism to win large electoral support,along with eager conservative coalition partners.
Next after Germany in order of electoral success came the Arrow Cross Party–Hungarist Movement of Ferenc Szálasy, which won about 750,000 votes out of 2 million in the Hungarian elections of May 1939.
The government, however, was already firmly in the hands of the conservative military dictatorship of Admiral Horthy, who had both no intention of sharing power and no need to do so.
The other important vote winner in eastern Europe was the Legion of the Archangel Michael in Romania, which, running under the label “All for the Fatherland,” was the third largest party in the general election of 1937, with 15.38 percent of the vote, and 66 seats out of 390 in the legislature.
The most successful fascist vote winner in western Europe, at least momentarily, was Léon Degrelle’s Rexist movement in Belgium. Degrelle began by organizing Catholic students and running a Catholic publishing house (Christus Rex), and then developed wider ambitions.
In 1935 he embarked on a campaign to persuade Belgian voters that the traditional parties (including the Catholic Party) were mired in corruption and routine at a moment that demanded dramatic action and vigorous leadership.
In the national parliamentary elections of May 1936 the Rexists campaigned with a simple but eloquent symbol: a broom.
A vote for Rex would sweep the old parties away. They also called for unity. The old parties divided Belgium, for they gathered voters on confessional or ethnic or class lines.
Rex promised—as all effective fascist movements did—to gather citizens of all classes in a unifying “rassemblement” rather than a divisive “party.”
These appeals struck home in a country plagued by ethnic and linguistic division aggravated by economic depression. The Rexists won 11.5 percent of the popular vote in May 1936 and 21 out of 202 seats in the legislature. Degrelle was not able to hold on to his mushroom vote, however.
The conservative establishment united against him, and Church leaders disavowed him.
When Degrelle ran in a by-election in Brussels in April 1937, the entire political class from communists to Catholics united behind a popular young opponent, the future prime minister Paul Van Zeeland, and Degrelle lost his own parliamentary seat.
Degrelle’s rapid rise and equally rapid decline reveals how hard it is for a fascist leader to keep the bubble intact after managing to assemble a heterogeneous protest vote. Rapid flows of the vote into a new catch-all party could be a two-way current. The feverish swelling of the party could be followed by an equally rapid collapse if it did not establish itself as capable of representing some important interests and gratifying ambitious career politicians.
One big vote was not enough to root a fascist party.
Other western European fascist movements had less electoral success.
The Dutch Nationaal Socialistische Beweging (NSB) won 7.94 percent of the votes in the national election of 1935, but declined rapidly thereafter.
Vidkun Quisling’s Nasjonal Samling received only 2.2 percent of the Norwegian vote in 1933 and 1.8 percent in 1936, though in the port of Stavanger and in two rural localities the vote was as high as 12 percent.
Sir Oswald Mosley’s British Union of Fascists was one of the most interesting failures, not least because Mosley probably had the greatest intellectual gifts and the strongest social connections of all the fascist chiefs.
As a promising junior minister in the Labour government of 1929,he put forward a bold plan in early 1930 to combat the Depression by making the empire a closed economic zone and by spending (into deficit,if need be) for job-creating public works and consumer credit.
When the leaders of the Labour Party rebuffed these unorthodox proposals, Mosley resigned and formed his own New Party in 1931, taking a few left-wing Labour MPs with him.
The New Party won no seats, however, in the parliamentary election of October 1931.
A visit to Mussolini persuaded the frustrated Mosley that fascism was the wave of the future, and his own personal way forward.
Mosley’s British Union of Fascists (October 1932) won some important early converts, like Lord Rothermere, publisher of the mass-circulation London Daily Mail. Mosley’s movement aroused revulsion, however,when his black-shirted guards spotlighted and beat up opponents at a large public meeting at the Olympia exhibition hall in London in June 1934. provoked the departure of 90 percent of the BUF’s fifty thousand members,including Lord Rothermere.
At the end of 1934, Mosley took an actively anti-Semitic tack and sent his Blackshirts to swagger through London’s East End, where they fought with Jews and Communists, building a new clientele among unskilled workers and struggling shopkeepers there.
The Public Order Act, passed soon after the “Battle of Cable Street” with antifascists on October 4, 1936, outlawed political uniforms and deprived the BUF of its public spectacles, but it grew again to about twenty thousand with a campaign against war in 1939.
Mosley’s black shirts, violence, and overt sympathy for Mussolini and Hitler (he was married to Diana Mitford in Hitler’s presence at Munich in 1936) seemed alien to most people in Britain, and gradual economic revival after 1931 under the broadly accepted National Government, a coalition dominated by conservatives, left him little political space.
Some of the European imitators of fascism in the 1930s were little more than shadow movements, like Colonel O’Duffy’s Blueshirts in Ireland, though the poet W. B. Yeats agreed to write his anthem and he sent three hundred volunteers to help Franco in Spain. Most of these feeble imitations showed that it was not enough to don a colored shirt, march about, and beat up some local minority to conjure up the success of a Hitler or a Mussolini.
It took a comparable crisis, a comparable opening of political space, comparable skill at alliance building, and comparable cooperation from existing elites. These imitations never got beyond the founding stage, and so underwent none of the transformations of the successful movements. They remained “pure”—and insignificant
A big gang of disgusting Neo-Nazi thugs from the Azov regiment - part of the new Interior Ministry - tear into a group of left-wing pensioners but get seen off by these superannuated socialist street-fighters! now that's what we want to be when we grow up! Red Salute to these old comrades x
The neo-Nazis are from Azov regiment which is integrated into Ukrainian Interior Ministry. That is they are not only neo-Nazis but also the cops
Democracy and Class Struggle is continuing our investigation of Fascism by looking at France in the inter war years utilising the studies of Robert Paxton a retired bourgeois academic.
We welcome any contributions on this article critical or otherwise.
Not even the victor nations were immune to the fascist virus after World War I.
Outside Italy and Germany, however, although fascists could be noisy or troublesome, they did not get close to power.
That does not mean we should ignore these other cases. Failed fascist movements may tell us as much about what was needed for taking root as successful ones.
France offers an ideal example.
Though France seems typified for many by the fall of the Bastille, the Rights of Man, and the “Marseillaise,” numerous French monarchists and authoritarian nationalists had never been reconciled to a parliamentary republic as appropriate for la grande nation.
When the republic coped badly between the wars with the triple crisis of revolutionary threat, economic depression, and German menace,that discontent hardened into outright disaffection.
The extreme Right expanded in interwar France in reaction to electoral successes by the Left. When a center-Left coalition, the Cartel des Gauches, won the 1924 parliamentary election, Georges Valois, as the founder of the Cercle Proudhon for nationalist workers in 1911,founded the Faisceau, whose name and behavior were borrowed straight from Mussolini.
Pierre Taittinger, a champagne magnate, formed the more traditionally nationalist Jeunesses Patriotes. And the new Fédération Nationale Catholique took on a passionately anti republican tone under General Noël Currières de Castelnau.'
In the 1930s, as the Depression bit, as Nazi Germany dismantled the safeguards of the 1918 peace settlement, and as the Third Republic’s center-Left majority (renewed in 1932) became tarnished by political corruption,a new crop of radical Right “leagues” (they rejected the word party) blossomed.
In massive street demonstrations on February 6, 1934,before the Chamber of Deputies in which sixteen people were killed, they proved that they were strong enough to topple a French government but not strong enough to install another one in its place.
In the period of intense polarization that followed, it was the Left that drew more votes. The Popular Front coalition of socialists, Radicals, and communists won the elections of May 1936, and Prime Minister Léon Blum banned paramilitary leagues in June, something German chancellor
Heinrich Brüning had failed to do in Germany four years earlier.
The Popular Front’s victory had been narrow, however, and the presence of a Jew supported by communists in the prime minister’s office raised the extreme Right to a paroxysm of indignation.
Its true strength in 1930s France has been the subject of a particularly intense debate.
Some scholars have argued that France had no indigenous fascism, but, at most,a little “whitewash” splashed from foreign examples onto a homegrown Bonapartist tradition.
At the opposite extreme are those who consider that France was the “true cradle of fascism.”
Contemplating this undeniably noisy and vigorous far Right and the ease with which democracy was overthrown after French defeat in June 1940,
Zeev Sternhell concluded that fascism had “impregnated” by then the language and attitudes of French public life. He supported his case by labeling as fascist a broad range of criticisms of the way democracy was working in France in the 1930s made by a wide spectrum of French commentators, some of whom expressed some sympathy for Mussolini but almost none for Hitler.
Most French and some foreign scholars thought Sternhell’s “fascist” category was far too loose and his conclusions excessive.
It is not enough, of course, to simply count up the number of prominent French intellectuals who spoke a language that sounded fascist,along with the colorful array of movements that demonstrated and pontificated in 1930s France. Two questions arise:
Were they as significant as they were noisy, and were they really fascist?
It is important to note that the more closely a French movement imitated the Hitlerian or (more frequently) the Mussolinian model, as did the tiny blue-shirted Solidarité Française or the narrowly localized Parti Populaire Français of Jacques Doriot, the less successful it was, while the one far Right movement that approached mass catch-all party status between 1936 and 1940,
Colonel François de La Rocque’s Parti Social Français, tried to look moderate and “republican.”
Any assessment of fascism in France turns on La Rocque. If his movements were fascist, fascism was powerful in 1930s France; if they were not, fascism was limited to the margins.
La Rocque, a career army officer from a monarchist family, took over in 1931 the Croix de Feu, a small veterans’ association of those decorated with the Croix de Guerre for heroism under fire, and developed it into a political movement.
He drew in a wider membership and denounced the weakness and corruption of parliament, warned against the threat of Bolshevism, and advocated an authoritarian state and greater justice for workers integrated into a corporatist economy.
His paramilitary force, called dispos (from the French word disponible, or “ready”), embarked on militaristic automobile rallies in 1933 and 1934.
They mobilized with precision to pick up secret orders at remote destinations for “le jour J” (D day) and “l’heure H” (H hour) in apparent training to combat by force a communist insurrection.
The Left, made jittery by supposed fascist marches on Rome, Berlin,Vienna, and Madrid, branded the Croix de Feu fascist. That impression was fortified when the Croix de Feu participated in the march on the Deputies in the night of February 6, 1934.
Colonel de La Rocque kept his forces separate from the others on a side street, however, and in all his public statements he gave the impression of strict discipline and order more than of unbridled street violence.
Unusually for the French Right, he rejected anti-Semitism and even recruited some notable
patriotic Jews (though his sections in Alsace and Algeria were anti Semitic).
Although he found good in Mussolini (except for what he saw as excessive statism), he retained the anti-Germanism of most French nationalists.
When the Popular Front government dissolved the Croix de Feu along with other right-wing paramilitary groups in June 1936, Colonel de La Rocque replaced it with an electoral party, the Parti Social Français (PSF).
The PSF abandoned paramilitary rallies and emphasized national reconciliation and social justice under a strong but elected leader. This move toward the center was enthusiastically ratified by rapidly growing membership.
The PSF was probably the largest party in France on the eve of the war.
It is very hard to measure the size of any of the French far Right movements, however, in the absence of electoral results or audited circulation figures for their newspapers.
The parliamentary elections scheduled for 1940, in which La Rocque’s party was expected to do well, were canceled by the war.
As France regained some calm and stability in 1938–39 under an energetic center-Left prime minister, Édouard Daladier, all the far Right movements except the most moderate one,
La Rocque’s PSF, lost ground.
After the defeat of 1940, it was the traditional Right, and not the fascist Right, that established and ran the collaborationist Vichy government.
What was left of French fascism completed its discredit by reveling in occupied Paris on the Nazi payroll during 1940–44.
For a generation after the liberation of 1945, the French extreme Right was reduced to the dimensions of a sect.
The failure of fascism in France was not due to some mysterious allergy though the importance of the republican tradition for a majority of French people’s sense of themselves cannot be overestimated.
The Depression, for all its ravages, was less severe in France than in more industrially concentrated Britain and Germany. The Third Republic, for all its lurching, never suffered deadlock or total paralysis. Mainstream conservatives did not feel sufficiently threatened in the 1930s to call on fascists for help.
Finally, no one preeminent personage managed to dominate the small army of rival French fascist chefs, most of whom preferred intransigent doctrinal “purity” to the kind of deal making with conservatives that Mussolini and Hitler practiced.
We can put a bit more flesh on these bare bones of analysis by examining one movement more closely.
The Greenshirts were a farmers’ movement in northwestern France in the 1930s, overtly fascist at least in its early days, which succeeded in sweeping some embittered farmers into direct action, but failed to construct a permanent movement or to spread outside the Catholic northwest to become a truly national contendender.
It is important to investigate rural fascism in France, since it was among farmers that Italian and German fascisms first successfully implanted themselves.
Moreover, in a country that was more than half rural, the potential for fascism in France would rest upon what it could do in the countryside.
That being the case, it is curious that all previous studies of French fascism have examined only the urban movements.
Space opened up in rural France at the beginning of the 1930s because both the government and the traditional farmers’ organizations,as in Schleswig-Holstein, were discredited by their utter helplessness in the collapse of farm prices.
The Greenshirts’ leader, Henry Dorgères (the pen name of an agricultural journalist who discovered a talent for whipping up peasant anger on market day), openly praised Fascist Italy in 1933 and 1934 (though he later declared it too statist), and he adopted a certain number of fascist mannerisms: the colored shirt, the inflamed oratory, nationalism, xenophobia,and anti-Semitism.
At peak form in 1935, he was capable of gathering the largest crowds ever seen in distressed French rural market towns.
There was even a space in France that superficially resembled the opportunities offered to direct action by Italian Fascists in the Po Valley:in the summers of 1936 and 1937, when massive strikes of farm laborers on the big farms of the northern plains of France at crucial moments—thinning the sugar beets, harvesting the beets and wheat—threw farm owners into panic.
The Greenshirts organized volunteers to carry out the harvest, recalling the Blackshirts’ rescue of Po Valley farmers. They had a keen sense of theater: at the end of the day, they gathered at a memorial to the dead of World War I and laid a wheat sheaf there.
Direct action by Dorgères’s harvest volunteers led nowhere, however,and these tiny groups that bore a family resemblance to Mussolini’s squadristi never became a de facto local power in France.
A major reason for this was that the French state dealt much more aggressively than the
Italian one with any threat to the harvest.
Video about Comrade Maurice Thorez and Popular Front Against Fascism
Even Léon Blum’s Popular Front sent the gendarmes instantly whenever farm workers went out on strike at harvest time.
The French Left had always put high priority on feeding the cities, since the days in 1793 when Robespierre’s Committee of Public Safety had sent out “revolutionary armies” to requisition grain.
French farmers had less fear than the Po Valley ones of being abandoned by the state, and felt less need for a substitute force of order.
Moreover, over the course of the 1930s, the powerful French conservative farm organizations held their own much better than in Schleswig Holstein.
They organized successful cooperatives and supplied essential services, while the Greenshirts offered only a vent for anger. In the end, the Greenshirts were left on the margins.
The crucial turning point arrived when Jacques Le Roy Ladurie, president of the powerful French Farmers’ Federation (FNEA, Fédération Nationale des Exploitants Agricoles),who had earlier helped Dorgères work up rural crowds, decided in 1937 that it would be more efficacious to construct a powerful farmers’ lobby capable of influencing the state administration from within.
The power of entrenched conservative farm organizations like the FNEA and the mighty cooperative movement based at Landerneau in Brittany was such that the Greenshirts found little space available.
This suggests that fascist interlopers cannot easily break into a political system that is functioning tolerably well. Only when the state and existing institutions fail badly do they open opportunities for newcomers.
Another shortcoming of Dorgères’s Greenshirts was their inability to form the basis for a catch-all party. While Dorgères was a genius at arousing farmers’ anger, he almost never addressed the woes of the urban middle class.
As an essentially ruralist agitator, he tended to see urban shopkeepers as part of the enemy rather than as potential alliance partners in a fully developed fascism.
Still another reason for Dorgères’s failure was that large areas of rural France were closed to the Greenshirts by long-standing attachment to the traditions of the French Revolution, which had given French peasants full title to their little plots of land.
While peasants of republican southern and southwestern France could become violently angry, their radicalism was channeled away from fascism by the French Communist Party, which was rather successful among French small farmers of traditionally Left leaning regions.
And so rural France, despite its intense suffering in the Depression of the 1930s, was not a setting in which a powerful French fascism could germinate.
SEE ALSO : BLOOD OF THE DONBASS Before us in this book is the chronicle of the events that led to the coup and civil war in Ukraine in 2013-14, changing the very course of world history. The Molotov cocktails thrown on the Maidan have played the same role as the gunshot by Gavrilo Princip in Sarajevo, burning to ashes the house of cards of ‘European security’.
Lights all over the continent are not yet dying away, though the gas pressure is waning.
But at the moment, nobody can say how the confrontation between Russia and the West will end.
From March 15-17th Chandigarh ,the capital of Punjab witnessed it's 1st ever dharna of agricultural labourers in dusera maidan in phase Around 6000 people participated.from 8 landless labourers organizations.
What is significant that the agricultural labourer organizations represented trends from various sections of the revolutionary camp as well as the orthodox left parties
I was present at the gathering which comprised of around 6000 agricultural labourers.The strongest participant was the Punjab Khet Mazdur union which mobilised around 800 people.
Next was the All India Khet Mazdor Sabha of the C.P.I with around 700 participants.
The other groups were the Pendu Mazdoor Union.Pendu Mazdoor Union (mashal),pendu mazdur (krantikari),All India Khet mazdur union,Mazdoor Mukti Morcha and Dehati Mazdur Sabha.
The speakers voiced the demands of
1.giving rs 500 minumum wage to the agricultural labourers who today get around rs 250 for daily work 2.for implementation of the land act in 1972 which ensued 17 acres of land to every labourer which has not been implemented till today. 3.For giving work all the year around 365 days instead of 100 days like today. 4.For distribution of 5 malas of land to every agricultural labourers .A mala comprises around 272 ft of land. 5.Compensation to all families of suicide victims .6.for repealing all black laws impeding progressive movements.
The author was impressed with the enthusiasm of participants particularly when all the organizations activists were marching towards the secretariat.Slogans were given with the power of thunder against the oppressive Modi govt and the Akali Dal led by Badal.
The police blockaded them and prevented the rally from passing the secretariat's office.It was pleasing to see the moral support for the dhrna by leading activists of the B.K.U(Ugrahan) ,an organization of the landed peasntry.
The most important demand raised was for the distribution of land with abundant land lying vacant.The venue of the dharna resembled a huge red light shimmering with tents of the various participating groups .
On the final day the state govt.replied that it would redress the demands by the end of the month.The blocking of the rally preventing it from reaching the assembly headquarters in Chandigarh was significant.
Also the unity of so many mass organizations of different trends had great significance,demarcating the mass organiztion from the party.The condition of agricultural labourers in Punjab is deplorable be it their wages,working conditions or employment.photos below.
The author spoke to Laxman Singh Sewewala and to Mintu Singh of Pendu Mazdoor Union. Sewewala stressed on the importance of unity with the landed peasantry which to him still had immmense possibility.
To me caste is still a very importnat consideration when you see the light of the dalit community.It is still very challlenging to wedge the gap between the dalits and landed castes.
On 18th March the Mohali part of Chandigarh next to the Ambi Gurudwara in phase 8 area witnessed a massive gathering of the landed peasantry organized by the B.K.U(Dakaunda)
Aroung 8000 peasants participated in a big march to the headquarters of the central BKU (Ugrahan) with B.K.U(Dakaunda) but were blocked near the secretariat by the police forces.
The marchers vehemently raised their voice fot the scrapping of all debts.
I was present at the gathering and first hand heard the vociferous demands of the peasantry.
Slogans were raised against the apathy of the ruling classes.
Sadly around 70 peasants were subjected to excruicating injuries by the authorities and were hospitalized..The venue of the march resembled a bonfire where the peasants faces literally told the story.Secretary of B.K.U(Dakaunda) made the main speech highlighting the state's negligence of the conditions of the peasantry
He demanded the cancellation of debts,compensation to families of all suicide victims, implementation of the Swaminathan Commision and the B.D.S.scheme which promised power supply to the peasants.
Powerworks of at least rs 1200 horsepower 2.5 and a half acres of land on which agricultural motors would be awarded compensation for all damages to crops during heavy rains.
Sukhdev Singh Bawa, of Barnala,Baldev Singh Bhairupa of Bhatinda and Darshan Pal of Patiala also addressed the meet.
The agitation was an impressive effort by one of the leading organizations of landed peasantry.
The bourgeois media hardly highlighted the event with good coverage only in Hindi and punjabi papers. The blocking of rally and attack on peasants expresses the true nature of democracy here.
ROBERT PAXTON ON FASCISM • a sense of overwhelming crisis beyond the reach of any traditional solutions; • the primacy of the group, toward which one has duties superior to every right, whether individual or universal, and the subordination of the individual to it; • the belief that one’s group is a victim, a sentiment that justifies any action, without legal or moral limits, against its enemies, both internal and external; • dread of the group’s decline under the corrosive effects of individualistic liberalism, class conflict, and alien influences; • the need for closer integration of a purer community, by consent if possible, or by exclusionary violence if necessary; • the need for authority by natural chiefs (always male), culminating in a national chieftain who alone is capable of incarnating the group’s historical destiny; • the superiority of the leader’s instincts over abstract and universal reason; • the beauty of violence and the efficacy of will, when they are devoted to the group’s success; • the right of the chosen people to dominate others without restraint from any kind of human or divine law, right being decided by the sole criterion of the group’s prowess within a Darwinian struggle.
Democracy and Class Struggle is studying what can be described as a first stage of Fascism from India to Turkey to France and USA. We are interested in the universals in Fascism but realise than much is specific to India and Turkey and France and USA. Contrasting the views on Religious Hindu Fascism with the European and American emerging Fascism allows us to identify universals but should not make us overlook Fascism's specificity at the beginning of the 21st Century.
The Bukharinist line of August Thalheimer which influenced Theodor Bergmann from 1920's to 21st Century is an unbroken political line of capitalist market restoration. Theodor Bergmann was editor of German edition of works of Liu Shaoqi This interesting interview with Theodor Bergmann reflects the Bukharinist political line in the life of one individual. Nevertheless his personal story is very instructive even if its contains more negative than positive lessons. Theodor Bergmann has remarkable clarity given his age about past events and is an excellent example of oral history
The Democracy and Class Struggle view of the Political Economy of Socialism is contained in our publication Marxism Against Market Socialism and is opposed to the Bukharinist line of capitalist restoration and for Marxism Leninism Maoism. See links below for our critique of "Market" Socialism and the absence of Mass Line in KPD against the Nazis.
ABSENCE OF A MASS LINE AGAINST NAZIS IN GERMANY AND NEED FOR MASS LINE AGAINST NAZIS
"We hardly need to supply detailed arguments to prove that we failed to speak the language of
the broad masses -- the nonpolitical or ideologically oppressed broad masses -- who in the end
assured the triumph of reaction. The masses did not understand our resolutions, or what we
meant by socialism; they did not and still do not trust us. They read our papers out of a sense
of duty, or not at all. Those who joined the movement had an inarticulate socialist feeling. But
we were incapable of turning this feeling to advantage, and in the end it carried Hitler to
Democracy and Class Struggle is of the view that a geo-political deal has been struck with Russia over Syria but until the details of that deal are made public Syrian Girls explanation are the most rational short term explanation of Russia's moves.
Geo Politics is about external relations between states and not the internal contradictions like class struggle - hence Geo Politics alone cannot solve the Syrian Crisis that depends on the resolution of the internal contradictions in Syria.
For years now, before anyone thought a person like Donald Trump could possibly lead a presidential primary, a small but respected niche of academic research has been laboring over a question, part political science and part psychology, that had captivated political scientists since the rise of the Nazis
This study of authoritarianism began shortly after World War II, as political scientists and psychologists in the US and Europe tried to figure out how the Nazis had managed to win such wide public support for such an extreme and hateful ideology. http://www.vox.com/2016/3/1/11127424/trump-authoritarianism
If we could learn to look instead of gawking, We'd see the horror in the heart of farce, If only we could act instead of talking, We wouldnt always end up on our arse. This was the thing that nearly has us mastered; Dont rejoyce in his defeat, you men! Although the world stood up and stopped the bastard, The bitch that bore him is in heat again.
Russian president Vladimir Putin ordered today the withdrawal of Russian military forces from Syria, starting from March 15, reports TASS Russian News Agency.
With this move Putin hopes that this would be a good motivation for launching negotiations between political forces in the country.
While being at a meeting with Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu and Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, Putin stated that the tasks set to the defense ministry are generally fulfilled and that´s the main reason why he ordered the withdrawal of most of Russian military forces from Syria, starting tomorrow. “Besides, our military, soldiers and officers demonstrated professionalism, teamwork and ability to organize combat work far away from their territory, having no common borders with the theater of war,” Putin said.
Assad, however, has announced that parliament elections in Syria will go ahead next month according to schedule. A Syrian official, Hisham al-Shaar, said the elections will be held only in areas under government control and there will be no polling stations in Syrian embassies abroad or in refugee camps.
On Monday, as the election campaign officially kicked off, streets in the capital Damascus were festooned with electoral banners and posters of hundreds of government-approved candidates
Analysis from US Imperialism's mouthpiece STRATFOR
With their actions in Syria thus far, the Russians have showcased their improved combat capabilities and some new, previously unused weapons, which will likely contribute to important arms sales, including some to Iran. Russia has also largely achieved its goal of weakening the Islamic State, though the Russian contribution against the terrorist group is just a part of a much broader, multilateral effort that includes the U.S.-led coalition, rebel forces and the majority Kurdish Syrian Democratic Forces. All in all, the Islamic State may not be entirely defeated, but its forces in Syria and Iraq are much weaker than they were five months ago.
Release JNU students Omar Khalid and Anirban Bhattacharya immediately!!
Release Delhi University Professors SAR Geelani and GN Saibaba, immediately!!
Abolish Capital punishment! Abolish colonial ‘Sedition Act’
Justice for Rohit Vemula and enactment of Rohit Act!!'
Complete withdrawal of Army from Kashmir, North-eastern states and Chhattisgarh!!
Justice for Soni Sori! Stop assaults on journalists, activists and NGOs in Chhattisgarh!
Indian Workers’ Association, Great Britain continues to stand firmly with Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) and strongly condemns the attempts by the Indian state and the Hindutva forces to stifle the voices of democratic dissent, disagreement and discourse in the campuses.
We congratulate the students and the faculty for standing unitedly and firmly at a time when assaults on democratic rights is taking place across India on various sections of the people.
We thank and congratulate the students, faculty and the staff of various educational institutions from within India such as Jadhavpur University, Hyderabad Central University, IITs, IIMs, FTII and IIMC for standing with the JNU.
We also thank hundreds of academicians such as Noam Chomsky from universities across the globe, including Columbia, Harvard, Yale, Cambridge, Oxford and Warwick for their outpouring solidarity in support of the JNU.
We also thank the legal team who volunteered to act as lawyers for the six JNU students including Kanhaiya, Omar Khalid and Anirban Bhattacharya and also for successfully getting the JNU students’ Union president Kanhaiya out on interim bail.
It demands immediate release of Omar Khalid and Anirban Bhattacharya from prison.
On a similar note, IWA Great Britain strongly condemns the arrest of Prof Geelani, Delhi University, barely three days after the arrest of JNUSU president Kanhaiya Kumar. While the six JNU students have been charged with sedition over an event on JNU campus against hanging of Afzal Guru, Prof Geelani is facing the same charges over an event at the Press Club on the same issue. SAR Geelani’s biggest crime is that he is a Kashmiri Muslim and questioned the capital punishment given to Afzal Guru. IWA, GB demands his unconditional release from detention.
IWA, GB likes to remind that yet another Delhi University professor, GN Saibaba, who was incarcerated in Nagpur jail for 14 months, was sent back to prison again in the last week of January, within 6 months after being released on bail based on his deteriorating health conditions. He was charged under the colonial Sedition Act and the UAPA.
The only fault of this 90% disabled wheelchair bound professor was that he questioned the ongoing military assault of the government, code named ‘Operation Green Hunt’ on the poorest of the poor - the Adivasis of Chhattisgarh, Orissa and Jharkhand.
He also questioned signing of hundreds of secretive mining and infrastructure contracts (MoUs) by the central and state governments with multinational corporations, who are looting the natural resources, grabbing thousands of acres of land of the indigenous people and destroying their livelihood.
In a related development, a contempt notice was issued against Arundhati Roy by High Court Justice Arun Chaudhari in December for her views published in Outlook magazine on the arrest of Dr GNSaibaba and subsequent rejection of his bail plea early last year.
IWA, GB demands immediate release of Dr G N Saibaba and withdrawal of contempt notice served against Arundhati Roy.
We cannot see what is happening in the JNU or Rohit Vemula’s institutional murder in the University of Hyderabad in isolation from what has been happening elsewhere in India and across the world.
As the global economic crisis is deepening, the corporations are bringing extreme right-wing forces to power in many countries, which are intensifying their assaults on the democratic and constitutional rights of the people, including students.
Historically, students have been in the forefront – may it be the anti-war campaign against the US war on Vietnam or against the Chinese government’s assault at Tiananmen Square. On the 9th of March 2016, about half a million students and industrial workers jointly took to the streets in Paris and other cities around France, striking against President François Hollande’s proposed changes to the labour laws, which are seen as a major assault on workers’ rights.
The demonstrations shook the French rulers, reminding them of the 2006 militant demonstrations of students and youth. From that perspective, the students in India have a huge responsibility in building a democratic movement in India, resisting the ongoing assaults by the pro-corporate Hindutva government.
JNU has brought some age-old important issues to the forefront once again for debate. One of them is the right to self-determination of nationalities and the question of Kashmir Contrary to what the Sangh Parivar thinks, India is not just one monolithic nation. India is diverse with various nationalities, regions, tribes and cultures. In political terms India is a union of several nationalities, which are still struggling to evolve as full-fledged nations. The right to self-determination of oppressed nationalities such as Nagas, Manipuris, Mizos and Assames is being crushed under the iron heels of the armed forces.
Though there are name-sake State governments, Kashmir and north-eastern states have always constantly been under military rule, with hundreds of thousands of armed forces being deployed there.
The pre-1947 promises made by the Indian National Congress (INC) to the people of various nationalities in India for a real federal democratic republic remained as broken promises, making India a prison-house of nationalities.
Another question is the Capital punishment and colonial repressive acts such as the notorious ‘Sedition Act’, which the British used on Bhagat Singh, Gandhi and Tilak. In addition to what they have inherited from the British, the Indian rulers have made innumerable draconian repressive laws such as AFSPA, TADA, POTA, NASA, MISA, UAPA, Chattisgarh Special Public Security Act and so on.
The same Government, which has taken away the non-NET fellowships and is rushing to sell-off our educational institutions to the World Trade Organisation (WTO), is on the other hand continuing its assault on the industrial working class by diluting the already weak labour laws, making it easy for the corporations to hire and fire workers.
The same Hindutva forces, who are responsible for the institutional murder of Dalit scholar Rohit Vemula of HCU are also responsible for the suicides of thousands of peasants.
The same fascist forces that are responsible for the massacres of thousands of monitories such as Muslim and Christians across the country are intensifying their assaults on thousands of villages in the mineral-rich forest areas of Chhattisgarh, Orissa, Jharkhand and Bihar with an intention of displacing millions of Advasis from their lands and homes for the benefit of foreign and domestic mining and heavy industry corporations. Attacks on Adivasi villages by armed forces are increasing.
Arrests, torture, rapes, burning of crops and homes, stealing their savings and poultry by armed forces have been going on as a routine for more than two decades. According to the reports of Home Ministry, there are over 1 lakh armed forces such as CRPF, BSF and ITBPF are deployed in South Chhattisgarh, making it the most-militarised zone in the entire country. Around two years ago Indian Army too was deployed in the guise of establishing a training school for the Army. The Indian Airforce is building airstrips there.
Indian jails are over-crowded, most of them being people from poor working class / rural background and political activists. According to 2013 prison statistics of National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB), published in Times of India (9th Nov 2013).
Chhattisgarh is the worst among any other state in India with 14,780 prisoners against the prison capacity of 5,850, which means a 252.6%. Most of them are adivasis imprisoned under false cases. 68% of them are undertrials and never produced before the court.
Legal aid organisations such as jagLAG, who provide free legal advice to poor adivasis and NGOs such as Red Cross, who provide free medical care to the adivasis and many journalists such as Malini Subramanyam of Scoll.com, who report the atrocities of the armed forces on adivasis are driven out of South Chhattisgarh by the police.
A day after being warned by Chhattisgarh police to vacate her home in a village near Jagadalpur, tribal leader Soni Sori was attacked by some ‘unidentified persons’, who threw a chemical on her face.
Our country is passing through a critical phase of history in terms of erosion of democratic rights and shrinking democratic space.
We appeal to the students and youth of India to stand in solidarity with other progressive sections of the society such as journalists, lawyers and teachers to build a democratic united front against the ongoing assaults by the fascist state. They should stand in solidarity with the peasants who are being driven to take their own lives and adivasis who are facing the joint assault of armed forces and multinational corporations. They should join forces with the industrial working class as the French students are doing. The interests of working class and peasants are not any different from those of the students, as majority of them come from poor peasant and working class families.
* Long live the unity of students, intellectuals, workers, peasants and adivasis
* Uphold the democratic values and fight to retain the rights achieved through democratic struggles.
* Freedom for all political prisoners.
In Solidarity Indian Workers’ Association, Great Britain (COC)
Lekh Pal, General Secretary 074695 39797
Charan Atwal, President 077791 44977 44977
A US nuclear-powered aircraft carrier has arrived in South Korea’s largest port city to take part in joint war games
North Korea says it would stop its nuclear tests if the United States signed a peace treaty with Pyongyang and stopped its joint annual military maneuvers with South Korea.
An unnamed spokesman for North Korea’s Foreign Ministry made the offer early on Saturday, the Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) reported. “Still valid are all proposals for preserving peace and stability on the [Korean] Peninsula and in Northeast Asia, including the ones for ceasing our nuclear test and the conclusion of a peace treaty in return for US halt to joint military exercises,” the spokesman said.
In response to a question concerning Pyongyang’s call for a peace treaty, the US State Department said recently it remained open to dialogue. The onus, it said, was on North Korea to take “meaningful actions toward denuclearization.”
The two Koreas remain technically at war as the 1950-53 Korean War ended in an armistice, not a peace agreement.
North Korea is irked by the joint military maneuvers conducted by Seoul and Washington and views them as direct threats against its security. The United States has some 28,500 troops in South Korea.
Asked whether Washington would consider a halt to its joint exercises with South Korea,
US State Department spokesman John Kirby said lately that Washington had alliance commitments to Seoul.
Elsewhere in his comments, the North Korean official described the recent hydrogen bomb test by Pyongyang as a justifiable move to ensure its survival against external threats.
“In response to the US continuously invading our sovereignty and making threatening provocations, we will acquire ourselves with all possible nuclear attack and nuclear retaliation abilities, but will not thoughtlessly use our nuclear weapons,” he said.
On January 6, North Korea said it had successfully conducted its first hydrogen bomb test. The country also pledged to continue developing its nuclear program as a means of “deterrence” against potential acts of aggression from the US.