National Sections of the L5I:

Fascism

France: The FN: twists and turns of a fascist front

The French Front National (FN) was founded in 1972 as a coalition of fascist tendencies. It grouped together Vichy collaborators, young thugs and a handful of non-party fascists, like Jean-Marie Le Pen, who had played minor roles in the post-war history of the French far-right. By 1980 the FN had only 270 members, of whom scarcely 100 were fully paid-up.1 Three years later the FN won 2.2 million votes in the European elections and Le Pen’s face was on the front page of every newspaper. Over the next 10 years, the FN was able to put down deep roots and is now a fundamental feature of the political landscape. Its impact on every other political party has been enormous. Read more...

The MSI: “The cudgel and the double breasted suit”

Italy is the only western European state in which a fascist party has joined a government since 1945.1 The entry of the Movimento Sociale Italiano (MSI) into the coalition government of Silvio Berlusconi prompted alarm amongst the left in Italy and around the world. It also provoked some revealing reactions from the bosses’ press. The Economist reassured its readers:

“Hitler and Stalin were monsters. Mussolini by comparison was a farmyard rooster . . . the true mark of fascism, belief in a peculiar variety of one-party corporate state—not, it should be said, a belief shared by this newspaper—is not Nazism or racism. Let the word ‘fascist’ be reserved for those who profess that belief, and today’s neo-fascists be judged for their own ideas, not Hitler’s.”2 Read more...

Russia’s rising fascist threat

Kate Foster reports on the rise of fascism in Russia Read more...

The resistable rise of Le Pen

Fascism is on the rise in Europe, and the workers’ movement and the left is responding with useless pacifism and complacency. The LRCI’s section in France has taken up the fight. In an article edited from this month’s edition of Pouvoir Ouvrier, Emile Gallet explains the background to the rise of Le Pen’s Front National. We also reprint (right) the Pouvoir Ouvrier leaflet to the abortive anti-Le Pen demo on 1 May. Read more...

The meaning of the Holocaust

The Sunday Times’ serialisation of the Goebbels Diaries, edited by Nazi David Irving, has brought the ideas of the Holocaust revisionists back into the news. Richard Brenner looks at the attempts of fascists to re-write history, and assesses the importance and meaning of the Holocaust for socialists and oppressed minorities today. Read more...

Fighting the rise of the far right in Europe

In April the racist Republikaner Party stunned Germany by attracting 11% of the vote in a state election. Here Mark Harrison looks critically at the left’s response to the challenge posed by the growth of far right and fascist parties throughout Europe.

In the March 1992 regional elections France saw Le Pen’s Front National (FN) gain 3.3 million votes. The Vlaams Blok in Belgium won 10.4% of the vote, and 12 seats in parliament, in the November 1991 elections as compared to 3% in 1987. In Germany the Republikaner continues to grow and is now backed by the owners of the multinational corporation, Muller. In Sweden the “New Democracy” won 6.6% of the vote in September 1991 against a background of increased racist attacks on black people and immigrants from Eastern Europe. Read more...

The rise of the right across Europe

Over the last year far right and fascist parties, like the Vlaams Blok in Belgium, the Front National (FN) in France, the Republikaner Party in Germany and the Lombardy League in Northern Italy, have either grown considerably or achieved significant votes in local and national elections. Dave Beech looks at the factors underpinning these developments and explains what the workers’ movement’s response needs to be. Read more...

South Africa: No to a negotiated settlement! Fight ANC betrayal

Resolution adopted by the International Executive Committee of the LRCI, 4 March 1990

The release of Nelson Mandela has focused the attention of the world upon South Africa in a way not seen since the revolutionary situation of 1984-86. But this time we are not faced with workers’ strikes or uprisings in the townships. Rather, we have the spectacle of the ANC preparing to sell a “negotiated settlement” to the black masses. This is nothing short of a betrayal of the South African workers and should be branded as such. The current stage of the struggle in South Africa is dominated by the ANC’s perspective that apartheid can be abolished peacefully through negotiations with the white supremacist South African government. This policy holds grave dangers for the black masses of South Africa. Read more...