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Ernest Lund

From the Pamphlet Plenty For All

Fascism Is a Product of Capitalism

(September 1943)

From Labor Action, Vol. 7 No. 39, 27 September 1943, p. 3.
Extract from the pamphlet, Plenty For All, by Ernest Lund.
Transcribed & marked up by Einde O’Callaghan for the Encyclopaedia of Trotskyism On-Line (ETOL).

Fascism is the ugly child of capitalist decay.

Fascism is the last resort of the capitalist class every where – of the Thyssens and Krupps, of the Beaverbrooks and Hearsts, of the Mitsuis and Mitsubishis, of the duPonts and Fords.

Fascism is the. answer of capitalism to the working class, the answer of concentration camps and machine guns.

Fascism becomes the political form of capitalist rule in the period of the Death Agony of Capitalism.

Fascism in Germany today is a picture of America tomorrow – if the capitalists have their way about it!

Fascism is born out of capitalist decay, out of unemployment, out of hunger, out of discontent, out of bankruptcy.

Fascism is the violent cough out of the tubercular lungs of capitalism.

No cough drops will stop it Only killing the disease itself will stop the cough.

Stopping the cough and leaving the tubercular germs at work is futile. And this is what a mere “defense of democracy” does. Because “democracy” today is also based on capitalism. It can only afford it in time of it “capitalist democracy.” [sic] It has survived in those countries rich enough to survive the epidemic of capitalist crises. It has survived in England because her vast Empire permitted the capitalists to skim off enough cream to keep the population at home satisfied. English “democracy” is based on slavery for millions of Indians, Africans, and Arabs. American democracy is based on the fat accumulated by capitalism in the past and economic exploitation of the world.

Democracy is a luxury for capitalism. It can only offord it in time of prosperity. When capitalism begins slashing wages in time of crisis or rationing food in time of war, and mass discontent arises, it is necessary to dispense with the luxury of democracy. Germany, Italy, Japan, France and smaller capitalist countries have already done away with democracy. England and America, the richest capitalist nations on the earth, have until now still been able to afford this luxury.

The fight against fascism must be an offensive one. Not “defense of democracy,” but “down with capitalism,” must be the watchword. But the offensive must begin by fighting tooth and nail to DEFEND every democratic right – the right to strike, to speak freely, to write freely, to meet freely, to organize freely.

But everywhere under democratic capitalism the question must arise, to paraphrase Abraham Lincoln: “This house cannot remain divided against itself. Either it will be all slave or it will be all free. Either the capitalist dictators of industry will do away with political democracy and establish fascism, or the mass of the workers will do away with the dictators of industry and establish democracy everywhere.”

Hitler did the bidding of Thyssen and Krupp, and struck down the German labor movement. The leaders of the working class parties and unions were arrested, many murdered, others exiled. German capitalism was then free to slash wages and regiment labor for its next job – rearmament and war.

The English and French capitalists feared war. They were still fat from the spoils of the last war. They had little to gain compared to the risk. The risk was great. The war may end in revolution. Hitler feared a revolution, too. But German capitalism was up against the wall. It was being slowly strangled by the capitalist crisis. It was willing to gamble. Hitler played a clever game. He knew that he could move ahead without fear of the English ruling class. They were more afraid of revolution than of Hitler. So he militarized the Rhineland, occupied Austria, scared Chamberlain into giving him the Sudetenland, grabbed up Czechoslovakia, took Memel, prepared to march into Poland. All the while the English capitalists were hoping he would become satisfied and stop, or direct his blows against Russia. Finally they had to overcome their fear of revolution and go to war.

Not to save democracy!

Not to defeat fascism!

But to save the British Empire!

To prevent the German capitalists from re-dividing the earth!

And the American imperialists are just as interested in the question of democracy or fascism. Witness the scandalous affair in North Africa with the French fascist, Darlan. And now with the arch-reactionary militarist, Giraud, and the monarchist-turned- emocratic politician, deGaulle. Or the maneuvers with the Austrian pretender, Otto of Hapsburg. Or the paens of democratic praise for bloody dictators like Batista of Cuba and Vargas of Brazil.

World War I was continued in World War II. The imperialist powers of the earth took a breathing period, raised more cannon fodder, prepared and maneuvered for position. Then they continued in 1939 essentially where they left off in 1919.

Again the big industrial giants wrestle for control of the earth. Germany with its allies on one side, England and America and their allies on the other.

Capitalism must expand – or die! “The earth is divided? Then it must be redivided,” say the hungry imperialists.

Thirty or forty million men are placed in uniform and given guns to slaughter each other.

Cities are bombed. Ships are sunk. Crops laid waste. Oil wells blown up and oil made from coal. Gunpowder made from cotton and clothing from paper. Coffee allowed to rot in Brazil and substitutes used in America. Sugar piled up in Puerto Rico and rationed in New York. Millions of strong men sent into the Army and women sent into heavy industry. Liars put on the radio and honest men in jail. Civilization “defended” in Lybia and Guadalcanal, and schools closed in Germany and America.

This is capitalism in its Death Agony.

This is capitalism gone mad.

This is World War II – second ugly child of the social crisis of capitalism.

Depression – unemployment – hunger.

Fascism – murder – barbarism.

War – mass slaughter – devastation.

That is the “normal” life of capitalism today.

That is the foul death stench of capitalism.

That is the REAL enemy of civilization.

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