Let’s try to figure out whether there is fascism in modern Russia, whether there is “fascization” or “the formation of fascism”, or what else can you call those negative, anti-democratic, and sometimes downright heinous phenomena that increasingly excite public opinion and provoke heated debate?
The question should be considered both logically and historically. Let us begin with the definition. The most correct definition of a phenomenon can be given when it has matured, when the path of its formation is clearly visible and can be examined in its entirety. Such a definition of fascism is certainly the one given by Georgi Dimitrov, a communist, a prominent figure in the labor movement, who has known this “plague of the twentieth century” through his own experience. Here it is:
Fascism is an open terrorist dictatorship of the most reactionary, most chauvinistic and most imperialist elements of finance capital.
No, fascism is not a power standing above class, nor government of the petty bourgeoisie or the lumpen-proletariat over finance capital. Fascism is the power of finance capital itself. It is the organization of terrorist vengeance against the working class and the revolutionary section of the peasantry and intelligentsia. In foreign policy, fascism is jingoism in its most brutal form, fomenting bestial hatred of other nations.1
Based on this definition, there is no established fascism in modern Russia. Everyone seems to agree with this, with the exception of the most ardent and emotional figures, who assess events solely according to their own narrow-mindedness.
How did fascism arise in the world in the 30s of the last century? It should be recalled that the germs of fascism then made their way in most bourgeois countries, not only in Europe, but also in America. Their foundation, their main quality, financial capital, existed and fought against the rise of the labor movement in the context of the global crisis of capitalism, known as the “Great Depression”. But fascism became a reality only in some of them – in those where, apart from the general crisis, other favorable conditions ripened for it. The main ones were:
- The growth of nationalism and revanchism on the basis of national humiliation following the First World War.
- The organization and cohesion of the extreme Nazi and fascist forces, their skillful use of social demagogy, the ideas of corporatism and the greatness of the nation.
- The growth of the communist movement, still incapable of becoming the vanguard of all workers, but sufficient to intimidate oligarchic circles.
- Fragmentation and ambivalent policies of all socialist, anti-fascist forces.
And only in these conditions, fearing economic collapse and loss of power, finance capital goes to put an end to bourgeois democracy and hand over the reins of government to Hitler, Mussolini, Franco and other Fuhrer of all stripes.
And now let’s move our eyes closer to our days and assess the situation with the last coup of the fascist persuasion that took place before our eyes. I mean the events in Ukraine in 2014, when there was a violent overthrow of the state power and, at least for several months, that same open terrorist dictatorship was established with all its attributes: detachments of armed Nazis, extrajudicial shootings, torture, burning of people and war. The basis of this fascist coup was the financial capital of the United States, supported by its European allies, who were not averse to fishing in troubled waters. US top officials themselves announced the sums spent on this event, and some leaders of European states even personally called for a coup on the Maidan. But it cannot be said that it happened suddenly. Militant detachments were organized, supplied, trained, zombified with the ideas of fascism long before that. The Ukrainian government, security agencies and special services were previously taken under the control of the American special services. US agents of influence were placed at many key posts. And so, when all the conditions were created and a suitable occasion appeared, fascism came into existence, a coup took place.
What can we say about today’s Russia in this regard? Are similar conditions ripening there?
The financial capital of the United States has not gone anywhere. He is a global force and is able to invest in a coup in many countries. Yes, today the Russian government is demonstrating opposition to the United States on the international stage. But at the top there is an influential group whose well-being, capital and position are directly related to the promotion of US interests both in the economy and in foreign policy. The Central Bank of the Russian Federation keeps its financial reserves in US securities, the US dollar remains the investment currency of the Russian economy, and Russia depends on the United States in many ways.
Thus, the foundation of fascism exists. And now about the necessary conditions.
Alas, it is increasingly becoming a state policy. Despite the multinational nature of the state, overtly nationalist organizations are rarely targeted. Moreover, both Russians and nationalists of other peoples of Russia are raising their heads. Internationalism has become almost a curse. Help diligently to fuel nationalism and religious organizations. The central government sometimes tries to turn this nationalism into state patriotism, but it turns out to be very crooked and inconsistent.
Militants of the type of blackshirts or stormtroopers have not yet been observed in marketable quantities. However, the Cossack movement, which has an official status and has chosen fascist collaborators like Shkuro and Krasnov as heroes, is a very alarming symptom. There are also many murky private military companies. And in general, the number of official “security officers” intended “for internal use” has long exceeded the number of the armed forces of the Ministry of Defense. Who will use them when the need arises? There are different options.
Russia today has lost the power and authority in the world that the Soviet Union had. A not insignificant number of Russians feel nostalgic and revanchist. But capitalism has no unifying idea. There is no integration even with Belorussia. What will these sentiments manifest themselves in, where can they be channelled to? That is also a question.
The Russian ruling class has repeatedly shown its incompetence, inability to cope with the challenges of the time, to ensure even the slightest noticeable development, to present the people with an image of the future. Russian bureaucrats are burdened by democratic, legal procedures. Here and there, their vile statements break through, like “eat noodles” and “you were not asked to give birth”. Law enforcers sometimes do not exert too much effort to comply with the laws, the judicial authorities deservedly lose their authority. The ruling class as a whole is “losing its shores”. What means will he resort to when he cannot rule in the old way, more or less democratically? History already knows such a means.
The labor movement in Russia, while lacking a recognized vanguard, nevertheless smolders, and discontent erupts in various places, mostly spontaneously and in small numbers. So far, this does not worry the authorities too much. But what will happen if the strikes become organized and widespread?
It’s time to draw conclusions from the above.
There is no fascism in Russia. The statement “there can never be fascism in Russia” is a false illusion. There is a basis for the emergence of fascism, both in Russia and in most capitalist countries of the world. This is US imperialism, which has repeatedly demonstrated its ability to use fascism as an instrument of its foreign policy. The conditions for the emergence of fascism in Russia are still present in a weak form, but the trend towards their growth is evident. Anti-fascist tendencies are weak and undeveloped. Almost all of the above can be said about most of the other post-Soviet countries.
Is the newly invented term “fascization” adequate? In our opinion, no. The government has not yet taken the course of transition from bourgeois democracy to an open dictatorship. The decision has not been made, but this does not mean that it cannot take place with the next aggravation of the crisis. The conditions for it, the means of ideological pumping of society, people who are ready to implement it, exist or can quickly be found. The rat of capitalism, cornered, is capable of going to the extreme and snapping back, injecting the doping of fascism into its blood in the hope of prolonging its existence. You cannot relax and complacent.
People, be careful!
1Georgi Dimitrov, Selected Works Sofia Press, Sofia, Volume 2, 1972; The Fascist Offensive and the Tasks of the Communist International in the Struggle of the Working Class against Fascism. Fascism and the working class. The class character of fascism.