April 28, 2014

The final conflict: Communism the only real and true enemy of fascism by Vladimir Suchan April 28, 2014

By kind permission of the author

The events in Ukraine are bringing back fascism and, with it, the need to look at the nature of the beast and its apparent taming and various transformations through which, step by step, the imperial establishment is trying to "bring it into the mainstream" (to use John Kerry's words reportedly communicated to Sergei Lavrov). On the actual political nature of fascism I tried to offer my thoughts recently in one of my posts. Inevitably (although, understanding the difficulty and risks, I tried to put it off), the confrontation with fascism and its teleological meaning also opened the box in which the meaning of communism as the systemic alternative and the one true mortal enemy of fascism lied or lies buried).

So what follows is at this point, but a preliminary, general outline, which might draw fire. But since the battle has started again, fire becomes inevitable and it would be both foolish and cowardly to run away from it. So here we go.

"I think I probably understand why you avoided mentioning the Bolshevik Revolution in the original article [on fascism]. I would only like to add, as you have hinted in your answer to the question raised regarding Bolsheviks, that in spite of the atrocities committed by them indeed, it was started on the noble premises of Marxist ideology. ... In my humble opinion, however, this should not be a deterrent in upholding the noble principles of socialism-communism and finding better ways of implementing an egalitarian society. Also with the current crisis in Ukraine, hopefully the current Russian regime’s image is not overshadowed by the past errors of the Bolsheviks. I hope that I guessed correctly that these are the two reasons why you probably hesitated to mention the Bolshevik Revolution." (comment by Surendar G. Rao)

The problem with political views, discourse and education in the US is that it greatly simplifies and mixes up with black and white colors many different things. This broad black and white approach makes discussion understandably nearly impossible, and advance in actual understanding is very impeded. In no other country in the West, as far as I can tell, the upper class succeeded in imbuing this simplified version of its own positions among so many of the middle class and also lower class people.

That's also why so many people in the US (following the chorus of the media) tend to think of socialism, corporate capitalism, and also of fascism as amounting more or less to the same thing: "big government" where the word "big" is a word that casts a great emotive spell on the mind. As far as fascism goes, its essence and its program is, to restate it, a forceful return of society to the age of masters and slaves--the "superior" (beasts) and the new "inferiors" (treated as captured human animals). Fascism as such is certainly a powerful tendency and interest developing within capitalism itself.

Fascism is, I believe, what Lenin (without having its name at disposal for it did not have yet the name) senses and saw as coming into view "as the last stage of capitalism"--its most rotten and dialectically/paradoxically developed form of imperialism. Now looking with fresh eyes at what communism was and came to be is a task that needs to be undertaken eventually. In this respect and with regard to fascism or capitalism, prevalent general "definitions" are inadequate for they were never meant to go deep enough anyway, but only to offer stand-in "definitions" of the shadows on the wall of our cave instead of the systems themselves.

In all this, one thing is clear though (though far from being accessible for the received notions prevalent in the US): fascism being the most radical form of capitalism always knew and understood that it is communism (sufficiently well understood) that was its most principal and real enemy and that liberalism and even capitalism as such was in this real, principal struggle just a side-issue, almost a diversion--not the real, deepest, most fundamental contradiction because liberalism as such had never the true courage or determination to be a real enemy of fascism as communism was.

In the words of Leo Strauss, the guru of American neo-conservatives (our present day sophisticated fascist party): "The battle occurs only between mortal enemies: with total disdain ... they shove aside the neutral; each looks intently at the enemy in order to gain a free line of fire, with a sweep of the hand they wave aside--without looking at--the neutral who lingers in the middle [the meddling veils of hypocritical liberalism, social-democrats, post-modern lefties, Western imperial/humanitarian lefties], interrupting the view of the [real, most fundamental] enemy. The polemic against liberalism can therefore [for new fascism as well as neo-conservatism] only signify a concomitant or preparatory action; it is meant to clear the field for the battle of decision between 'the spirit of technicity,' that inspires an antireligious, this worldly activism' [= fascism], and the opposite spirit and faith, which as it seems, still has no name. Ultimately, [these] two opposed answers to the question of what is right ...allow of no mediation [no half-as, half-true answers] and no neutrality .... Thus [for fascism] what ultimately matters is not the battle against liberalism." [Carl Schmitt and Leo Strauss, The Concept of the Political, p. 106]

This also means though that if communism is to be the one true anti-fascist force, like the one that defeated fascism in World War II (militarily, but not quite politically or even ideologically), communism itself would need to understand and see more clearly not only fascism (as a willful return and regress to dividing mankind into new masters and new slaves), but also itself. As the proper understanding of the deeper idea of fascism was lost so was lost the idea that both animated and motivated communism, and the latter turned into an empty shell, a body without the heart, the spirit, and the mind in the decades after the sacrifices and miracle of the Great Patriotic War.

Interestingly enough, the leading theorists of fascism (Schmitt and Strauss) do or did have a rather clear understanding of what makes fascism's enemy its principal enemy--its refusal to pursue "the truth, the good, and the just." *Carl Schmitt, The Concept of the Political, 1996, p. 65) That's also why so much effort, (mi)education, money and resources have been spent after World War II on falsifying and killing man's "organ for truth" (to use Rorty's expression), the just, and the good.

Face to face with the return of fascism, Russians in Ukraine are now spontaneously retrieving in practice their cultural and spiritual ethos together with the right idea of what their grandfathers fought for and stood for during the Great Patriotic War. For others, like us, communism as the only real and true enemy of fascism, "the last and latest form of capitalism in its hyper-imperial stage," the idea and the concept is very much like Glaucus' statue described in Book X of Plato's Republic, the work from which, following Hegel's appropriation, Marx also took few ideas.

The statue of Glaucus is submerged in the sea so that its true form can no longer be seen from the outside--it rather appears as a multi-form beast. However, the forms imposed by the sea on Glaucus from without that hide the true idea within have been growing and pressing on it from the very beginning. And that's because, to use the words of Socrates himself, "that's how far we have fallen from real education." ?

#fascism #communism #Ukraine

1 comment:

Rao said...

Thank you Professor Vladimir Suchan for letting us know that our conviction in Communism is valid and more relevant than ever today with the Fascism at its height and with an imminent possibility of the tyranny of a World State, (which Leo Strauss himself feared), if not adequately opposed. As you have shown us, with the political and ideological fronts weakened, do you consider that our tasks may be multi fold considering Strauss’ views of two major antagonistic forces? Fascism, having grown to considerable strength and proportions, may afford to brush aside the ‘neutral, who lingers in the middle’. We, on the other hand, I am afraid, may have to deal with them who pretend to offer not only a subdued alternative to Fascism, but, more importantly, a better one to Communism, thus preventing us to gain momentum. In my humble opinion, while Fascism has to deal with only one real enemy, we, on the contrary, may be facing all of them with Fascism at the helm. Now that the Fascism, which has collided head-on and has brought the major opposing forces coming together out in the arena, this may be the opportune moment for us to consolidate ourselves politically and ideologically with the guidance from public figures like yourself, who have taken a clear stand and who may shed light on these issues.

Finally, I would like to express that I am deeply honored by your mentioning my comment in your article. I would also like to thank you and others like you from whom we are so fortunate to learn and remember history. Even as we recognize the conjecture, context and natural evolution of your own extraordinary insights resulting in your timely article, I cannot escape from a certain sense of guilt creeping into my conscience for probably having precipitated this responsibility and risk that you have taken personally. Please accept my sincere apologies as well as gratitude for your courage and sense of responsibility for taking your stand. We won’t let you down because people are waking up and beginning to recognize Glaucus for all his worth beyond all the distractions.

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