The American Party of Labor, and Marxism-Leninism in general, defines fascism 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 or organization having a mass base.
The current era is one of a weakening U.S. imperialism, wedged as it is in between rising Chinese social-imperialism and a less powerful but important E.U. imperialism. Moreover, under the impetus of the U.S. industrialists’ wish to outsource manufacturing jobs overseas because of cheap labor costs, they have unwittingly laid the seed of a manufacturing boom in many otherwise under-developed parts of the world. These have developed their own infrastructures and now possess a trained proletariat that is poised to become an increasing challenge to U.S. industrial market share.
As Bill Bland previously stated while analyzing American capitalism in the era of the Watergate Affair, the Democratic Party had become the representative of financial capital – so-called “Yankee capitalists.”
The Republican Party had become the party of the advanced aerospace and technology industries, and the oil industry – the so-called “cowboy” wing of the capitalists.
The Great Recession of the 21st century is one where financial capital created a vortex of debt based on no real working class-produced assets, known to Marx as “mythical” or “fictional capital.” Accordingly, its political representatives Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton shored up its profits and gave Wall Street new lease on life. They intend to continue this path. The Democratic Party nailed the pseudo-socialist Bernie Sanders for his attempts to raise these issues. They have also sidelined the capable Elizabeth Warren for daring to disagree with the Clinton Dynasty.
The Republican Party has been unable to define a clear path forward. They are in a true crisis – not one just depicted as such by the bourgeois press.
Firstly, the dramatic surge in oil supply, and the challenges of liquid oil have been a challenge to the profits and power of one traditional stalwart of the Republican Party.
Added to which the high-tech service industry of this era, namely “Silicon Valley” and its denizens, have been until now fed by intellectual labor immigration from overseas, especially from India and China. But increasingly this sector has been under attack from E.U. challenges and labor unrest in China, where much of their products are made in the labor-hells of Guangzhou and Shenzen, etc. Finally, the recent FBI attacks can be seen as an attempt by the finance capitalists to undermine the Silicon Valley capitalists.
In this situation, the difficulties of the capitalist state are exacerbated by a rising unemployment rate, a move towards declining real wages, and the movement from below to raise the minimum wage.
All this has created an enormous pressure on the Republican Party. Hence the rise of the “Tea Party,” which represented the restless petty-bourgeois and elements of the disenfranchised white working class. But the “Tea Party” was not able to put a mass party together or to gain mass support. Hence, the rise of Donald Trump.
Donald Trump represents the interests of the most reactionary wing of the monopoly bourgeoisie, with the support of the petty-bourgeoisie and small producers, and trying to build a mass movement by penetrating into the working class as far as possible based on demagogy and right-wing populism.
Trump’s wealth is mainly based on the real estate market and service industries, run through the multinational conglomerate known as the Trump Organization.
A fascist dictatorship makes use of an organized social base, particularly among the petty-bourgeoisie. Fascism seeks to build its mass base primarily among the petty-bourgeoisie and lumpenproletariat, but also seeks to extend its influence as far as is possible into the working class and its organizations.
Let us look the facts straight in the eye: the Trump campaign is neo-fascist in character, adapted to the conditions of American monopoly capitalism.
It is a fallacy to think that a fascist movement only arises in response to a mass working class movement. The Italian fascists had already smashed Gramsci and the worker’s movement when it launched itself. Similarly in the USA, a real, mass working class movement is absent.
The objective of the turn to fascism is not to smash the organized working class, but to preempt it from developing.
Fascism has taken many forms historically dependent on the specific material conditions in the given nation in which it manifests. Being openly anti-rational, fascism in its initial stages is more a collection of attitudes formed by a particular world outlook than a coherent movement or organized party. Fascist ideology belongs to reactionary and radically right-wing sentiments that are amorphous by their very nature. The Trump campaign represents a proto-fascist movement rapidly developing in the direction of full-blown fascism, acquiring more and more of the characteristics of a fascist movement, even if the details of its program are constantly changing, full of inconsistencies and blatantly opportunistic. This opportunism is typical of fascist movements.
Signs of this include its repeated pledges to “restore American greatness,” talk of national decline and aggressive foreign policy, abusively racist and extremist rhetoric appealing to voters’ worst fears and prejudices, openly chauvinist attitudes towards women, and demagogic “anti-capitalist” propaganda. The xenophobic, rabble-rousing billionaire Trump has made mass mobilization his main goal, urging his followers to blame their economic troubles on Mexican immigrants and Muslims, exploiting ethnic stereotypes and fear of foreigners. He threatens to ban Muslim immigration, place Muslims on a national registry and murder the relatives of terrorists, even while he pays lip service to pseudo-radical “anti-capitalism,” attacking Wall Street for ruining the economy and making puppets out of mainstream politicians. Recently Trump has begun opening condoning and encouraging violence at his rallies, and a paramilitary known as the “Lion’s Guard” has formed around him.
Trump’s brand of atavistic, reckless American ultra-nationalism can only be defeated through militant, organized mass action in the streets of every city he attempts to speak at and at the Republican Convention itself. Should Trump win the nomination, revolutionary, progressive and mass organizations must prepare themselves for prolonged and intensified struggle.
Say no to war, neo-fascism and reaction!