7) RIGHT-WING POPULISM AND THE GROWTH OF FASCISM
(From the Political Resolution
adopted by the 39th Central Convention of the Communist Party of
More than three decades of neo-liberalism and austerity have
thrown billions of people into unemployment, poverty, and precarious work.
While the TNCs ramped up enormous super-profits and the rich grew ever richer,
governments and public institutions became more and more habituated to
escalating relative and absolute impoverishment and a general crisis of living.
This is fueling the spontaneous upsurge of anger and rebellion in Europe, the
The aim of right-wing forces is to redirect working people’s justified anger and blame away from the capitalist system onto other targets, such as immigrants, Muslims, women and girls, racialized peoples, Indigenous Peoples, the LGBTQ and Trans communities, unions and workers with higher wages, better working conditions, or better pensions.
Right-wing movements are identifiable by their common ideological
threads, including xenophobia and hatred of immigrants and Muslims; racism,
white supremacy; homophobia, misogyny and the advocacy of “family values” as a
means to discipline women and girls and sexual diversity; a law and order
agenda supporting police, prisons, incarceration, guns, and chopping civil and
democratic rights; and anti-labour sentiments that identify unions and
unionized workers as the enemy. National chauvinism is also a
feature. In English speaking
These forces utilize different fears and biases to reach into targeted groups and communities to recruit and to agitate. New immigrant communities have been especially targeted by ‘family values’ propaganda attacking sex education and health curricula in public schools. Told that their children are being groomed by sexual predators in schools, including by then Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne (the first LGBTQ Premier in Canada), many families pulled their children out of school for months, with some never returning.
The INCEL (involuntarily celibate) movement is a new and dangerous addition to these right-wing forces, with one of its internet adherents responsible for the Toronto van attack that killed 10 people and injured 16 more – mainly women - in 2018.
The Brexit vote in the
The Yellow Vests movement in
The Yellow Vest movement in
The social base for capitalism has shrunk with the decline of
wages and living standards for most workers, but imperialism’s massive campaign
of disinformation and repression against the Communist and Workers’ Parties has
enabled the far-right and reaction to sink roots and to grow on the fertile
ground of austerity. Repression of the
Communist Parties extends from political isolation and exclusion in North
America, to mass imprisonment, murder, and coup d’etats
in Europe, Latin America, Asia and
Imperialism’s response to the popular upsurge is to accelerate the drive to the right and reaction; including, if necessary, to make a complete break with bourgeois democracy and shift to fascism: "the open terrorist dictatorship of the most reactionary, most chauvinistic and most imperialist elements of finance capital." (Dmitrov)
But neo-liberal austerity or fascism is no choice at all for
working people looking for a better life.
It is a jump from the frying pan into the fire. The deep anger that has grown in the working
class has its roots in this Hobson’s choice, giving right-wing populism – the
main immediate danger in
In Latin America, far right and fascist governments like Bolsonaro’s in
The situation in Kashmir, which has been a disputed territory between Pakistan and India since 1948, has been used to raise the fear of a nuclear war with Pakistan towards securing the continuity of the Modi government's neo-fascist rule.
The drive to the right and reaction by finance capital is significant and dangerous for the working class, and for women, immigrants, Muslims, LGBTQ people, racialized and Indigenous people, and labour. The struggle has two main features: to identify and expose the far-right as a political arm of finance capital and big business, and to build a broad-based democratic movement and a mass struggle against it; and second, to advance real solutions to conditions and grievances which the far-right seeks to exploit using "radical" rhetoric.
Right-wing populism is not fascism, though it is often supported by big business as well as by petit bourgeois forces, including small business owners bankrupted by capitalist globalization, and sections of the working class lacking class or political consciousness, who are taken in by seemingly militant demands for change without recognizing the anti-working class, anti-democratic character and policies of these movements.
Right-wing populism is the most visible and immediate danger in
(The above article is from the June 1-15, 2019, issue of People's Voice, Canada's leading socialist newspaper. Articles can be reprinted free if the source is credited. Subscription rates in Canada: $30/year, or $15 low income rate; for U.S. readers - $45 US per year; other overseas readers - $45 US or $50 CDN per year. Send to People's Voice, c/o PV Business Manager, 706 Clark Drive, Vancouver, BC, V5L 3J1.)