Page 4, 23rd February 1945

23rd February 1945
Page 4
Page 4, 23rd February 1945 — The New Fascism

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Locations: Moscow


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The New Fascism

IT is high time that people in this country and America began to face fairly and squarely the truth that the Fascism which this war was supposed to be destroying threatens, as a result of it, to rule unchallenged in half the globe.

This political, rather than economic. revolt inevitably looks to Moscow for leadership, but we should realise that • its causes go much deeper than the Soviet revolution and the subsequent development of the U.S.S R.

It is the product of contemporary aspirations towards social justice and the coming into his own of the worker. combined with an almost total loss of any sense of a moral order. It can be summed up as the most extreme form of the classical moral fallacy that the end iustifies the means. The end is often good. but there is no repudiation of means that are totally inconsistent with the ends.

The Story

Let us consider how the tragedy has been working itself out.

After the last war, there was a wholesale failure to fulfil by legal' and moral means the social aspirations of the man in the street. In countries where discontent was particularly keen and any legal tradition weak, popular revolutions were started for basically good ends through radically had means. The chief examples were Italy and Germany Let us be cleat in our minds that in these revolutions the means were far worse than the ends. And though the ends were certainly mixed: they steadily deteriorated because the means were abominable. Ends are to a large extent subjective (what one feels one wants), but means are obiective (concrete actions taken) A had means therefore corrupts the agent and gradually vitiates his conscience so that he finds himself gradually slipping from good intentions to bad intentions. Thus it was that Italy and Germany passed from honest social, economic and political aspirations to crude nationalism, worship of the tyrant and a complete denial of any human rights.

In Russia the story was rather different because there was no liberal, bourgeois tradition to oppose. Nor were the revolutionaries handicapped by any lingering respect for a Christian and legal feeling.

The result was that in Russia the revolution was all the time a " Left " revolution • for the workers against religion, capitalism and anything that could be called " reaction "1 while in Italy and Germany it was a " Right " revolution against ineffective middle-class bougeois liberalism.

A Greater Danger

That is the difference which is being exploited to-day.

Though both revolutionary traditions (both Fascisms—to use the popular name) are at bottom the same in their recourse to immoral and inhuman means in order to achieve mixed ends. the " Left " revolution is considered to be directed against " reaction." while the " Right " revolution is considered to be " against the middle-classes and the workers whose distinction from the middleclasses grows less and less.

And the military defeat of the " Right " revolution has necessarily given enormous added prestige to the " Left " revolution.

Hence it is that all popular resistance movements are orientated towards the latter revolution, and that millions who have fought to destroy Italian and German Fascism are turning towards the " Left " type of Fascism with its plausible propaganda of " anti-Fascism, anti-reaction. popular democracy," and so on.

The truth. however, remains that, whatever the moral quality of the ends of this revolution. the means to be taken are indistinguishable from Ai ose of the

" Right " revolutioir. There is the same utter disregard of all human liberties the same worship of the State (or tyrant). the same foreign aggression, the same readiness to see brute force as the key to all policy.

But the danger to civilisation is much greater. Because Hitlerism was detested by the liberal, bourgeois world, it was challenged from the beginning. And in the end it has succumbed to that challenge.

The new Fascism is not being challenged. On the contrary, it is praised and welcomed because it has been able to exploit the cliches of Marxism, liberalism and even democracy to a tired generation, blinded to moral realities and accustomed by the cruelties and immoralities of war to the cult of force.

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