Presented July 25, 2019. Quito, Ecuador.
We are pleased and delighted to be here once more amongst our brothers and sisters from around the world. We would also like to extend our thanks and gratitude to the comrades of the PCMLE and JRE for their kindness, their dedication, and their discipline — which is an example and an inspiration to us all.
The battle against fascism and reaction takes on a special character in the dominant imperialist country in the world. The struggle against rising fascism is being waged on many fronts, against xenophobic immigration policies, against police brutality, against the rolling back of women’s rights, and much more. These questions are all intimately tied to the United States’ imperialist past and present. The key to winning this struggle lies in building an authentic mass socialist workers movement independent of bourgeois liberalism and social-democracy.
When we first presented at this Seminar, our topic was “Donald Trump and the Rise of American Neo-Fascism.” In the three years since then, the process of fascistization of the United States has deepened and accelerated. Popular resistance to encroaching fascism has widened and spread, and militancy has risen. However, the forces of resistance remain, though in many instances, weak, disunited, under the control of the liberal bourgeoisie and social-democrats; and mass struggle is in its early stages.
Fascism is defined as the open terrorist dictatorship of the most reactionary, most chauvinist and most imperialist elements of a ruling class exercised through a fascist political party, a fascist “militia” or some other form of mass base. Donald Trump and his administration represent the interests of the most reactionary wing of the monopoly bourgeoisie, relying on the support of the petty-bourgeoisie and small producers, and using demagogy and right-wing populism to attempt to influence the working masses as much as possible. The Trump administration is neo-fascist in character, adapted to the conditions of American monopoly capitalism.
The current era is one of declining U.S. imperialism, which is in ferocious competition with Russian imperialism, EU imperialism, and Chinese social-imperialism, and is desperately trying to maintain its position as the world’s foremost imperialist power. This undeniable decline of the U.S. position and greater exploitation of the working people have led to a greater level of military aggression and intervention overseas, as well as militarization at home. The objective of the U.S. government’s increasing turn to fascism is not in response to an organized, militant, mass working class movement, but to prevent one from developing.
Images of the results of the United States’ “zero tolerance” immigration policy, which separates migrant children from their families, shocked the world. The establishment of concentration camps to intern immigrants is the clearest and most obvious example of the creeping fascism which is poisoning American life. Liberal bourgeois opponents of Trump flinch at the term “concentration camps,” arguing that no one is being gassed in these structures. However, even a cursory familiarity with history demonstrates that the original purpose of concentration camps, from the original Spanish model in Cuba, to the Boer War, to the horrors of World War II, was to “concentrate” a targeted population in order to better control them. There are many historical examples of concentration camps in the United States, such as the internment of Japanese Americans during the Second World War, where deaths also resulted from inhumane conditions, starvation, and disease, and not necessarily from an overt, predetermined policy of mass extermination. Therefore, the detention camps set up by ICE’s reign of terror absolutely qualify.
Incidents of fascist terror and violence have been on the rise. There have been no less than 196 mass shootings, claiming 968 lives, in the United States in 2019 alone. Often, the perpetrators of these killings have been directly tied to neo-Nazi and white supremacist organizations, and the targets of their murderous rampages have frequently focused on Muslims, Jews, African-Americans, and LGBTQ+ people. Attacks and hate crimes against LGBTQ+ individuals are now the fastest-rising kinds of reactionary violence, encouraged by the curtailment of their democratic rights by the government.
Added to this are the revisionist parties in the USA, who claim to be on the left while seeking “red-brown” alliances with the forces of reaction, in one noteworthy case even going so far as to say that the left “panders to African-Americans.” These are the supposed “leftists” who make common ground with fascists and reactionaries, pursuing an agenda of nationalism, anti-Semitism, conspiracy theories, and support of the oligarchic capitalist class in Russia and the theocratic regime of Iran. They endorsed Trump as being a “peace candidate;” and have recently taken to decrying militant anti-fascism as being “violent” and counter-productive. Some have even shared the stage, at public events, with prominent Neo-Nazis and reactionaries. Our Party has always stood against fascism in all its forms, against the Trump regime, and opposes giving any platform to fascists, reactionaries, and those who work with them or seek to legitimize their beliefs as a mere difference of opinion. We state our full commitment to the popular struggle against fascism, reaction, national oppression, police murder, and poverty, and stand with the working classes of other countries exploited by U.S. imperialism in this way.
The far-right and reactionaries are on the march against women’s rights, as well. The religious right in the United States has waged unrelenting war on the right of women to bodily autonomy since the Supreme Court’s Roe v. Wade decision of 1973. This year, nine states have passed laws curtailing the reproductive rights of women. Let it be said openly that the legislation signed into law in Georgia, Alabama, Louisiana, Kentucky, and other states is cruel, black-hearted barbarism. To refuse abortion rights to victims of incestual abuse and rape, and to punish doctors who seek to perform safe and healthy abortions with decades more jail time than a rapist is an open manifestation of patriarchy and the rotten heart of religious fundamentalism in the United States.
The presidential election of 2020 has already exposed itself as a parade of far-right and center-right politicians, who differ from Donald Trump only in the sense of being less vulgar, less crass, and less openly racist and authoritarian. Indeed, the Democratic “opposition” seems to have focused mainly on exposing Trump’s purported links to Putin, and in doing so have resurrected all the time-worn Cold War tropes and slogans. The political system of the bourgeoisie is in a serious crisis of identity, as the current economic crisis has shaken belief in the founding myths that hold the bourgeois ideological system together. The peoples of the U.S. lose more and more confidence in the bourgeois-democratic process every day as the current administration continues its belligerent anti-popular course.
Many are putting their trust in social-democrats of the Bernie Sanders type. However, Sanders’ demonstrated loyalty to the Democratic Party and his long history of support for U.S. imperialist actions abroad, leave little hope of seeing an effective movement in opposition to the reactionary tide arising from that quarter. Corporate-run party politics in the mainstream two-party system has undermined real grassroots organizing, leading to more progressive candidates being side-lined by centrist leaders like Joe Biden, the heir apparent chosen by the Democratic Party apparat.
As Marxist-Leninist communists in the US, we assert that only a militant mass movement, guided by the principles of scientific socialism and realized through the independent action of the working class itself, can stem the rising tide of fascism in the United States. Only a socialist revolution in the United States can end the menace of fascism, reaction, and imperialism once and for all. This is not an impossible dream. This is an historic inevitability, and a practical necessity. In lock step with the struggles against US imperialism waged by the peoples of Latin America, Asia, Africa, and the Middle East, we can bring the monster down. We must bring the monster down. Our lives, our children’s lives are stake. We will not fail them.
Death to fascism!
Victory to the peoples of the world!
Onwards to the Revolution!