Date: Mon, 4 Sep 1995 15:38:53 -0400
Sender: Progressive News & Views List <>
Subject: Labor Day, 1995, fifty years later

From: Butler Crittenden <>

Labor Day, 1995, fifty years later

Snips from George Seldes' Victory over Fascism (New York, 1943)

In George Seldes' "Conclusion" to Facts and Fascism (In Fact, Inc., New York, 1943) he writes of "VICTORY OVER FASCISM". After saying that "it is 'We,' the democracies" who will win the war (W. W. II), Seldes says:

Thus the greatest drive and the greatest war in history which has been paid for by men and organizations owning a vast part of the world's wealth and covetous of all of it, will come to an end with the destruction of the world's special interests. A world ends for Privilege, the great day dawns for the peoples of the earth.

"Unless our own State Department fascisti and the reactionaries in American political life, in business, and in the armed forces interfere, the outlook is brilliant for the restoration of all the old freedoms to European peoples and the additional freedoms from fear and from want -- the economic freedoms which can be won for the democratic Many with no harm to anyone but the fascist Few

All the enemies of the people of the world are united behind the Fascist International. When that is broken we will have come the main part of the way to a practical reality which previously had been regarded as a dream of idealists. Of course this will be possible only if Fascism (reaction) does not exist in disguise and wrapped in new flags and sheltered by wealth and power and accepted by peoples accustomed to being betrayed by rulers and the propaganda organs of these rulers, the world's corrupted press.

Fascism is Reaction. When we destroy international Fascism we must at the same time destroy national Fascism, we must replace the reactionary forces at home with truly democratic forces which will represent all of us.

[276] We, however, will also inherit the job left unfinished on the battlefield: it is we, the civilians, and the soldiers who will again become civilians, who will have to continue to fight native Fascism **for many years.** We will do this in the elections, in Congress, in the labor unions, in the press, in the churches, in the schools -- everywhere. Otherwise we will stupidly have dropped the victory won in Africa, in Italy, in Germany, and in Japan" [Asterisks my only addition; the rest is obvious.]

[277] Appendices


MUSSOLINI: "Fascism, which did not fear to call itself reactionary when many liberals of today were prone before the triumphant beast [Democracy], has not today any impediment against declaring itself illiberal and anti-liberal.... Fascism knows no idol, worships no faith; it has once passed, and, if needful, will turn to pass again over the more or less decomposed body of the Goddess of Liberty." (Gerarchia, March, 1923.)

PALME DUTT: The fascist system is a system of direct dictatorship, ideologically masked by the 'national idea.' . . . It is a system that resorts to a popular form of social demagogy (anti-Semitism, occasional sorties against usurer's capital and gestures of impatience with the parliamentary 'yelling shop') in order to utilize the discontent of the petit-bourgeois, the intellectual and other strata of society; and to corruption through the building up of a compact and well-paid hierarchy of fascist units, a party apparatus and a bureaucracy. At the same time, Fascism strives to permeate the working class by recruiting the most backward strata of the workers to its ranks, by playing upon their discontent, by taking advantage of the inaction of Social-Democracy, etc. . . ."

"The combination of social demagogy, corruption and active White terror, in conjunction with extreme imperialist aggression in the sphere of foreign politics, are the characteristic features of Fascism. In periods of acute crisis for the bourgeoisie, Fascism resorts to anti capitalistic phraseology, but, after it has established itself at the helm of state, it casts aside its anti-capitalist rattle, and discloses itself as a terrorist dictatorship of big capital."

[278] "Fascism is the open terrorist dictatorship of the most reactionary, most chauvinist and most imperialist elements of finance capital." -- 13th Plenum of Executive Committee of the Communist International, Moscow, 1933.

RAYMOND GRAM SWING: "Fascism is a reorganization of society to maintain unequal distribution of economic power and a substitution of barbaric values for individualist civilization." -- "Forerunners of American Fascism."

HEYWOOD BROUN: "I am quite ready to admit that the word Fascism has been used very loosely. Sometimes we call a man a Fascist simply because we dislike him, for one reason or another. And so I'll try to be pretty literal in outlining some of the evidence which I see as the actual danger of Fascism in America. First of all, we need a definition. Fascism is a dictatorship from the extreme Right, or to put it a little more closely into our local idiom, a government which is run by a small group of large industrialists and financial lords. Of course, if you want to go back into recent history, the influence of big business has always been present in our federal government. But there have been some checks on its control. I am going to ask latitude to insist that we might have Fascism even though we maintained the pretense of democratic machinery. The mere presence of a Supreme Court, a House of Representatives, a Senate and a President would not be sufficient protection against the utter centralization of power in the hands of a few men who might hold no office at all. Even in the case of Hitler, many shrewd observers feel that he is no more than a front man and that; his power is derived from the large munitions and steel barons of Germany . . . Now one of the first steps which Fascism must take in any land in order to capture power is to disrupt and destroy the labor movement.... I think it is not unfair to say that any business man in America, or public leader, who goes out to break unions, is laying foundations for Fascism." (May, 1936.)

Butler Crittenden -- 2040 Ellis Street, S.F., CA 94115 -- 415/346-9321 "Imagine the impact of 50,000,000 new voters in the U.S.A.!"