Sunday, November 10, 2013

Are Julius Malema and the EFF fascists or not?

Mathew Blatchford's views on fascism in his letter to today's Sunday Times are no less open to argument than those of Imraan Buccus in his article in the paper last week, The EFF and the spectre of fascism, which Mr Blatchford declares 'extraordinarily inaccurate'.
In fact, there is no settled way to see 'fascism' anymore than there is 'communism', 'anarchism' or any other '-ism'. 
Adolf Hitler's Nazism in Germany was fundamentally racist; Benito Mussolini's fascism in Italy was not. The pre-Nazi extreme right in Germany and Austria attacked 'big business' as radically as contemporary Marxists, the small man, artisans and the petit bourgeois being its chief support.

Once in power fascism of course co-opted big business, destroying organized labour as the prime threat to the revolutionary, all-embracing state. But one needs always to remember Hitler and his murderous gang were national socialists, as opposed to the international socialism of Lenin's Bolsheviks in Russia, their ideological and 'natural' enemy. Unions that played ball could get by with fascism, as could Catholics and Lutherans.
In so far as any of this relates to Julius Malema and the Economic Freedom Fighters in SA today, it is because the Commander-in-Chief of the EFF is clearly a revolutionary and a nationalist, using any discontent and ideology at hand to muster support. The two Sunday Times writers at least seemed agreed Mr Malema is hostile to democracy, which should concern us if nothing else does.
It is not theory but how the Revolution works out in practice that people need to worry about.