June 2, 2017



Palme Dutt


ON a superficial view the theory and practice of Fascism might appear to resemble closely Gibbon's famous definition of the theory and practice of the mediaeval Catholic Church"defending nonsense by violence." But in fact, as there has already been occasion to emphasise, there is a highly rational method in the nonsense, no less than in the violence. Behind the ranting megalomaniacs, bullies, drug- fiends and brokendown bohemians who constitute the outer facade of Fascism, the business heads of finance-capital who pay the costs and pull the strings are perfectly cool, clear and intelligent. And it is with the real system of Fascism in this sense, rather than with the imaginary ideology created to gull the innocent, that we are here concerned. The second, the professed fantastic ideology, is only of importance in relation to the first, the real working system for the maintenance of capitalism in conditions of extreme crisis and weakening.

I. Is There a "Theory" of Fascism? 

The first illusion that requires to be cleared out of the way is the illusion that there is a "theory" of Fascism, in the same sense that there is a theory of Liberalism, Conservatism, Communism, etc.

Many intellectuals, while "deploring" the "excesses" of Fascism, allow themselves to be fascinated and drawn into elaborate speculative discussion of the "philosophy" of Fascism-and are soon lost in the Serbonian bog of alternating "socialism," capitalism, corporatism, strong-man worship, high moral adjurations, and platitudes, anti-alien agitation, appeals to "unity," glorifications of war, torture-gloating, deification of primitive man, denunciations of big business, idolisation of captains of industry, kicking of the dead corpse of the nineteenth century and "liberal-democratic humanitarian superstitions," exhumation of the considerably more putrescent corpses of mercantilism, absolutism, inquisitorial methods and caste- conceptions, racial theories of the inferiority of all other human beings save the speaker's own tribe, anti-Semitism, Nordicism and all the rest of it. 

The innocent may solemnly and painstakingly discuss at face value these miscellaneous "theories" provided to suit all tastes. But in fact their importance is rather as symptoms and byproducts of the real system and basis of Fascism than as its origin and raison d'etre. The reality of Fascism is the violent attempt of decaying capitalism to defeat the proletarian revolution and forcibly arrest the growing contradictions of its whole development. All the rest is decoration and stage-play, whether conscious or unconscious, to cover and make presentable or attractive this basic reactionary aim, which cannot be openly stated without defeating its purpose. 

For this reason the real scientific theory underlying Fascism can better be studied in such a document as the Deutsche Fuhrerbrief e or confidential bulletins of the Federation of German Industries, already quoted in the previous chapter (PP. 1701174), rather than in the propaganda statements for public consumption concerning its professed "theories" by the Fascist leaders themselves. The confidential statement of the heads of finance-capital defines plainly and without disguise the objective essence and purpose of Fascism as seen by its actual paymasters and controllers, and is therefore of primary scientific and theoretical importance for the real understanding of Fascism. Such a statement makes plain that Fascism is solely a tactical method of finance-capital-in exactly the same way as the support of democratic forms and of Social Democratic Governments was also a tactical method, either being supported with equal readiness according to circumstances-to defeat the proletarian revolution, to divide the exploited population, and so to maintain capitalist rule. All the propaganda "theories," mythological trimmings, supposed "new school of political thought'' etc., only constitute a smokescreen to cover this aim. 

We have already seen, in the course of the enquiry "what is Fascism?" in the fourth chapter, how empty and meaningless are all the infinite attempted definitions of Fascism by its leading exponents. The more these definitions are examined and analysed, the more they resolve themselves into a string of commonplaces and platitudes by no means peculiar to Fascism, "the common interest before self" (basis of the German National Socialist Programme); "duty," "heroism," "the conception of the State as an absolute" (Mussolini); "an organic and historical conception of society" (Rocco); "a conception which leans neither to the Right nor to the Left," "the co-operation of all classes," "the co- ordinated development of all national resources for the common good" (Villari); "a high conception of citizenship," "the Modern Movement," "the faith of those who ever since the war have realised that the old system was dead and that a new system must be created," "the system of the next stage of civilisation," "the creed and morality of British manhood" (Mosley); "orderly government, national discipline," "co-ordinated progress," "a creed of justice and Solidarity ... .. Social Christianity" (The Blackshirt); "a return to statesmanship," "the national observance of duty towards others," "less a policy than a state of mind" (The Fascist), etc., etc. These and the like windfilled phrases revolve without end through all the propagandist explanations of Fascism. There is, it is true, one professedly definite and specific content put forward, namely, the much advertised "Corporate State"; but further analysis in a subsequent section will show that this conception is actually as empty and hollow as the rest.

This vagueness and ambiguity of conventional commonplaces to describe its basic aims is not accidental in Fascism, but inherent and inevitable. This terminology is the standard vague and deceitful terminology of all capitalist parties to cover the realities of class- rule and class-exploitation under empty phrases of "the community," "the national welfare," "the State above classes," etc. It is the familiar terminology of a MacDonald, a Henderson or of Fabianism. in the Labour movement to defeat the aims of Socialism and cover servitude to capitalism. It is the familiar terminology of a Baldwin or a Lloyd George, of a Tardieu or a Herriot, of a Hindenburg or a Wels, In the use of these threadbare cliches of capitalist politics to describe its aims Fascism differs not a whit from the other capitalist parties, from Conservatism, Liberalism or Labourism, all of which would readily accept all the formulas quoted above. By this identity Fascism not only reveals its theoretical poverty and emptiness, but also reveals its basic identity of aims with the other capitalist parties. Fascism differs from the other capitalist parties only in its particular methods, in its practice, to realise the same basic aims. 

There is, in short, despite all the inflated claims and attempts to the contrary, no distinctive "theory" of Fascism in the sense of a distinctive, scientific system of doctrines and worldoutlook. There is only a practice: and, to cover this practice, a medley of borrowed plumes of any and every theory, principle or institution which may serve the purpose of the moment, often with the utmost consequent theoretical contradiction (e.g., in racial theories) between one Fascism and another. To mistake the borrowed plumage for the bird means to fail to understand the essence of Fascism. Or , to vary the metaphor, the warning may be addressed to those who seek in all innocence to study the highly "ideal" and "spiritual" explanations of the "theoretical basis" of Fascism, that to mistake the sheep's hide for the wolf means to reveal oneself in truth a sheep and fit prey for the wolf. 

Fascism grew up in historical fact as a movement without a theory- that is to say, it grew up in reality as a negative movement (employing mixed national-chauvinist and pseudorevolutionary slogans) in opposition to the proletarian revolution, and mainly distinguished by the use of violent and extralegal methods against the proletarian movement. Only later, after over two years of existence, when it became clear that in order to appear fully dressed and equipped as a party and movement, it required to have a "philosophy," in 192 1 the Fascist leadership gave orders for a suitable "philosophy" to be created. In August 1921, in preparation f or the 1921 Congress Mussolini wrote: 
Italian Fascism now requires, under pain of death, or worse, of suicide, to provide itself with a "body of doctrines .... . . The expression is a rather strong one, but I would desire that within the two months between now and the National Congress the philosophy of Fascism must be created(Mussolini, letter to Bianchi, August 27, 1921, reprinted in Message et Proclami, Milan, 1929, P. 39.)
"Within two months the philosophy of Fascism must be created." The new "philosophy" is ordered as simply as a waggon-load of blacksticks. The spirit of this is no doubt magnificent in the style of a Selfridge's or Whiteley's emporium, ready to provide anything at a moment's notice, including even a brand-new "philosophy" is desired. But it is not the spirit of a genuine or serious movement with roots. 

In the same way we may note Hitler's explanation that a new "world-theory" was necessary as the sole means to combat the world- theory of Marxism. 
Every attempt to combat a world-theory by means of force comes to grief in the end, so long as the struggle fails to take the form of aggression in favour of a new intellectual conception. It is only when two world-theories are wrestling on equal terms that brute force, persistent and ruthless, can bring about a decision by arms in favour of the side which it supports. It was on this side that the fight against Marxism had failed up to that time. It was the reason why Bismarck's legislation regarding Socialism failed in the end in spite of everything, and was bound to fail. It lacked the platform of a new world-theory to establish which the fight might have been fought; for only the proverbial wisdom of high State officials could find it possible to imagine that the twaddle about so-called "State authority" or "order and tranquillity" are a sufficient inducement to fight to the death. In 1914 a contest against Social Democracy was in fact conceivable, but the lack of any practical substitute made it doubtful how long such a contest could have been maintained successfully. In that respect there was a serious blank. (Hitler, Mein Kampf, English translation, PP. 78-9.) 
Hitler, or the writer of this passage, is here perfectly correct in placing his finger on the weakness of the fight against Marxism. But his correctness is the correctness of a cunning tactician, not of a world thinker or historical leader. Marxism is strong and invincible because of its world-theory; therefore we must also create a world- theory in order to defeat it: such is the reasoning. Once again only the negative approach to Marxism dictates the ideology and the demand for it; Marxism remains the sole positive, dominating force. It is obvious that no world-theory comes into existence in this fashion, but only a substitute for one.

The sensation of a "new ideology" which intoxicates the more fanatical and emotional adherents of Fascism, giving them the illusion of a liberation from old superstitions and a new dynamic power, represents in reality no new ideology distinct from the general ideology of capitalism, but only the typical ideology of the most modern phase of capitalism, that is to say, the sharpened expression of all the tendencies of imperialism or capitalism in decay, in the period of the general crisis. The contempt for constitutional and legalist forms, the glorification of violence, the denial of all liberal, egalitarian and humanitarian ideas, the demand for the strong and powerful state, the enthronement of war as the highest form of human activity-all these are the typical expressions of modern monopolist capitalism. They are not peculiar to Fascism; they are only expressed with greater brutality by Fascism. In the poems of a Kipling, in the Boer War agitation of a Daily Mail in the war dictatorship of a Lloyd George riding roughshod over constitutional forms and driving to the aim of a "Knock-out Blow," the spirit of Fascism is already present in embryonic forms. And indeed Fascism grew historically out of war agitation, and under the guiding inspiration of the Army authorities, in both Italy and Germany. 

There is nothing original or creative in Fascism. -Not one single creative idea or achievement can be traced to Fascism. The critique of liberalism and of liberal capitalist democracy, with its hollow contradiction between the formal sovereign "citizenship" and the reality of wage-slavery is borrowed from Marx. But Marx's conclusion, which alone justifies the criticism by pointing the path forward to the stage when the abolition of classes will make the formal citizenship real, is omitted; for in Fascism the hollow contradiction between the formal "citizenship" and the reality of wageslavery remains, just as in Liberalism, save with heavier coercion and subjection to maintain it. 

The pseudo-revolutionary trappings, the sham staged "conquest of power," the new form of government based on a single party running throughout the entire population, is 'twisted, with servile imitation, from a caricature of the Russian Revolution, turned upside down. But even the caricature cannot be reproduced in the end; for, while the idea of a single party leadership is borrowed (but of an autocratic, not a democratic party), the key of the system, the Soviets or drawing of the masses directly into the work of government through their own elected organs from below, cannot be copied even in caricature: on the contrary, even the previously elected municipal councils have to be abolished and replaced by the arbitrary rule of the nominated Podesta or Prefect, or in Germany by the nominated State Commissary imposed from above and overruling even nominal elected forms.

The theory of economic state regulation of privately owned industry and of class-collaboration in the "Corporate State," that is, of syndicated state-controlled capitalism with a dash of sham "labour representation," is borrowed from the entire modern development of monopolist capitalism in all countries. In particular, these are the typical theories of modern Liberalism and Social Democracy, with their "Organised Capitalism," "National Planning Boards," "National Economic Councils," "Joint Industrial Councils," and all the rest of the apparatus of theories and institutions which have developed continuously and increasingly in the imperialist era, and more especially since the war, before Fascism ever existed. Save for the peculiar coercive methods of Fascism, all the essential formal theories of the "Corporate State" can be found exactly paralleled in the Liberal Yellow Book. 

Finally, the national-chauvinist ideology, the anti-Semitism and the racial theories are all borrowed, without a single new feature, from the stock in trade of the old Conservative and reactionary parties, as utilised by a Bismarck or Tsar Nicholas, and made familiar in the propaganda of the Pan-Germans or Pan-Slavists.* 

*Modern Anti-Semitism developed from Germany and Austria in the eighteenseventies, that is, as capitalism was beginning to pass from the liberal epoch towards the imperialist epoch. In 1873 appeared Marr's Der Sieg des Judentums uber das Germanum, or, The Victory of Jewry over Germanism. "It is impossible to doubt," writes Lucien Wolf, former President of the Jewish Historical Society in England, "that the secret springs of the new agitation were more or less directly supplied by Prince Bismarck himself." It is worth noting that a "Christian Social Working Alen's Union"(worthy forerunner of the National Socialist Workers' Party) was founded in this period by Stocker, a Court Chaplain, which preached a programme of so-called "Christian Socialism," in practice Anti-Semitism, dished up with denunciations of financial corruption, and organised street riots and bloodshed. It was with reference to this movement that the elder Liebknecht spoke of Anti-Semitism as the "Socialism of Fools." The Anti-Semite agitation spread from Germany to Russia in the beginning of the 'eighties, again directly inspired and stimulated from above. "The modern Anti-Semitic element," writes Lucien Wolf, "came from above. It has been freely charged against the Russian Government that it promoted the riots in 1881 in order to distract attention from the Nihilist propaganda. This seems to be true of General Ignatiev, then Minister of the Interior, and of the secret police." The conscious anti-revolutionary, antisocialist an officially inspired character of the movement thus stands out in every case. In France, Drumont's La France Juive appeared in 1886, and the antiDreyfus scandal, promoted by all the high military and bureaucratic authorities with wholesale forgeries, dragged from 1894 to 1906. Only British Capitalism, which in its period of stability could make a Conservative Jew Prime Minister and ennoble Jewish millionaires in abundance, had for long no use for the primitive devices of Anti-Semite demagogy; but to-day the signs begin to spread in Britain in close association with the spread of Fascism. Thus The Blackshirt (1933, No.23) prints on its front page under the heading "Britain for the British: The Alien Menace":

 "The low type of foreign Jew, together with other aliens who are debasing the life of this nation, will be run out of the country in double-quick time under Fascism." Anti-Sernitism, the typical degrading expression of a tottering system, is developed by Capitalism in its decaying stage in proportion as the class struggle grows acute.

The whole outlook and ideology of Fascism is in short nothing but a ragbag of borrowings from every source to cover the realities and practice of modern monopolist capitalism in the period of crisis and Œof extreme class-war. There is not a single creative idea. Capitalism in its time, in its early progressive days achieved a great constructive work, and carried enormously forward the whole of human culture in every field. The French Revolution spread a new life and a new understanding throughout the world, the outcome of which we can to- day be proud to inherit, even though we are to-day able to understand that its bourgeois basis inevitably set a limit to what it could achieve. The Russian Revolution opened a new era on a scale exceeding every previous change in human history, the full extent of which is still only beginning to be realised. But Fascism has produced nothing, and can produce nothing. For Fascism is the expression only of disease and death. 

2. Demagogy as a Science. 
Bolshevism is knocking at our gates. We can't afford to let it in. We have got to organize ourselves against it, and put our shoulders together and hold fast. We must keep America whole and safe and unspoiled. We must keep the worker away from red literature and red ruses; we must see that his mind remains healthy. (Al Capone.) 
The above quotation from Al Capone is a suitable introduction to the anti-Communist ideology of Fascism. The earnestness of this appeal of a thief and gangster to maintain existing society "unspoiled" in face of the Communist menace might appear at first blush comic; but in fact it is purely reasonable. None have more sincere concern and zeal than thieves to maintain the institution of private property, without which their profession would come to an end, and they would find themselves faced with the unpleasant alternative of having to work for their living. On the other hand, they cannot publicly proclaim the principles of thievery and gangsterism as the basis of their stand; for public purposes, they have to pro claim the most high moral principles, to maintain existing society "unspoiled" and to keep "the mind" of the worker "healthy." 

This high moral tone runs through all Fascist propaganda and accompanies their gangster exploits. Nor should this be thought a contradiction; the two characteristics invariably run together in periods of decay. As Plekhanov has remarked:
 Marx said very truly that the greater the development of antagonism between the growing forces of production and the extant social order, the more does the ideology of the ruling class become permeated with hypocrisy. In addition, the more effectively life unveils the mendacious character of this ideology, the more does the language used by the dominant class become sublime and virtuous (see Saint Max). This shrewd remark is confirmed by what is going on to-day in Germany. The spread of debauchery disclosed by the Harden-Moltke trial proceeds hand in hand with the "revival of idealism" in s(Plechanov, Fundamental Problems of Marxism, English edition, 1929, p. 82.) 
The process noted by Plechanov has gone considerably further in Germany and in all capitalist Society to-day. The fact that many of the principal leaders of German Fascism are not only notorious drug- fiends and perverts, but express themselves in their writings with highly jocular gusto over their exploits of tortures of women and particularly revolting murders (see for example the Ernstes und Heiteres aus dem Putschleben of von Killinger, who was appointed by Hitler Commissar for Saxony and Minister-President), while in their programme they demand the protection of "the morals and sense of decency of the German race," is no contradiction, but only a further exemplification of the general rule.* 

*"Von Killinger was made Commissar for Saxony and later MinisterPresident, and he consequently was in charge of 'Gleichschaltung' in this State. Ile had previously written a little book, Ernstes und Heiteres aus dem Putschleben, in which he recounts, among other incidents, how in the campaign against the Soviet Government in Munich he had a soldier whip a young 'wench' with a horsewhip 'until there was not a white spot left on her backside.' He also recounts how, after a Communist street agitator had made an impudent reply to a threat, he had a soldier toss a hand grenade at the man. He recounts with gusto the Iorv details of the man's death" (Calvin B. Hoover, Germany Enters tile Third Reich, 1933, P. 113). Leaders of this type have invariably been given especially high position in German Fascism. Many similar exploits could be recounted of the notorious "Rasses" of Mussolini in Italy, of Finnish Fascism, of Hungarian Fascism, etc. This charateristic is a general characteristic of Fascism, and follows inevitably from the type of work it has to do.

The mystical and openly non-rational character of Fascist ideology and propaganda is only the inevitable expression of its class- role to maintain the domination of a doomed and decaying class. The present situation of world capitalism is in the highest degree irrational. It is not rational that foodstuffs should be destroyed, while millions are undernourished, that building workers should be unemployed, while housing becomes more and more overcrowded and inadequate; that the masses should have to economise and go short, because there is too much plenty; or that learned economists should discuss anxiously the "menace" of a good harvest or the "hopes" of a bad harvest. But all this is inherent in the present stage of capitalism. Therefore capitalism can no longer defend itself on rational grounds, as it used to do in its early days, when it argued that its system, though cruel, meant the maximum development of natural resources and the maximum material well-being. To-day such arguments are dimissed as low, materialistic, utilitarian, merely rational arguments unworthy of higher human nature, characteristic of the exploded nineteenth-century outlook and long replaced by twentieth-century "spirituality" and the "revival of idealism." To-day capitalism defends itself on mystical grounds. "Race," "the nation," "Christianity," "spirituality," "the mystery of patriotism," "faith"-this is the language of the modern defenders of Œcapitalism, and, in particular, of Fascism. 

Thus Mussolini, in defining Fascism, speaks with contempt of "doctrine" and exalts "faith": 
Doctrine, beautifully defined and carefully elucidated, with headlines and paragraphs, might be lacking; but there was to take its place something more decisive-faith. (Mussolini, The Political and Social Doctrine of Fascism, p. 10.) 
Gentile, the philosopher of Fascism, defines the Fascist State as "a wholly spiritual creation." Hitler defines the State as "nothing to do with any definite economic conception or economic development," but 
the organisation of a community homogeneous in nature and feeling, for the better furtherance and maintenance of their type and the fulfilment of the destiny marked out for them by Providence. (Hitler, Mein Kampf, English edition, p. 69.) 
The British Union of Fascists, in its short definition of Fascism, declares:
We believe in the co-operation of all classes, in the solidarity of all units of a nation, and in justice. And in the mystery of patriotism. (The Blackshirt, No. 34, 1933.) 
Bottomley in his wartime speeches and articles had many similar exalted passages. 

This type of "ideal" "spiritual" language is the familiar language of all scoundrels, rogues, war-profiteers, gangsters, Kreugers, Al Capones, Morgans, MacDonalds, Mussolinis, Hiders, Romanoffs and all who live by preying on their fellow human beings and cannot face a plain, rational, materialist examination of their role and of the Organisation of society. 

On this exaltation of mystical "feeling" above reason whether national "feeling," religious "feeling," racial "feeling," etc.-as the ultimate basis, Hegel (himself philosophically an idealist, but of a more solid type, and therefore by his system laying the groundwork for the subsequent dialectical materialism), wrote with incisive contempt in Phenomenology of Mind: 
By referring to his feelings, his inward oracle, he thinks he has a sufficient answer to those who do not agree with him; he must declare that be has nothing more to say to those who do not share the same feelings----in other words, be tramples under foot the roots of humanity. For the nature of this is to seek agreement with others, and it exists only in the community of consciousness that has been brought about. The inhuman, the brute consists in being guided only by feeling and being able to communicate only through feelings. "
He tramples under foot the roots of humanity"-this pregnant saying applies to all the racial, mystical, non-rational, anti-humanitarian, anti- international ideologies of Fascism. And the result in every case is the same-to lead only to "the inhuman, the brute." 
The truth is, the propaganda of Fascism is essentially demagogy carried to its most extreme point of development. It might indeed be said that, if Marxism represented the development of Socialism from Utopia to science, Fascism represents the development of capitalist demagogy from amateurdorn to science. Already before Fascism the precursors of the modern age, Northcliffe, Lloyd George, Bottomley, Hearst and others had done much to point the way and lay down the general lines and methods; but these were still erratic and individualist in character, and never solved completely the complicated and contradictory problem of building up a reactionary mass movement,at once "popular" in form and anti-popular in content. Hitler expresses generously his gratitude to his predecessors, especially Northcliffe, Lloyd George and British wartime propaganda, which he acknowledges as his model that he learnt from, admiring its "psychological superiority"; he admires particularly the idea of pretending to fight for "the freedom of little nations" as a far superior motive to "lead men to their death" rather than telling them the real aims of the war; he praises Lloyd George highly as a "great demagogue," whose "primitiveness" is "proof of towering political capacity." But in fact Fascism was to leave these models far behind in its systematisation of playing on every backward feeling, instinct and ignorance in the population, in the unscrupulousness of its programmes thrown out to appeal to any and every section without pretense of regard for consistency, and in the brazenness of its sudden changes of front and repudiation of its own programmes. 

What is demagogy? The ruling classes will apply the epithet "demagogue" to every revolutionary leader of the masses who awakens them to the struggle to overthrow their oppressors, as realised at its highest in a Lenin or a Liebknecht. Such appellation is a glaring misuse of language; for the relation of the revolutionary leader to the masses is based on the strictest regard for objective truth, whether popular or unpopular, and the most consistent and unwavering prosecution of the interests of the mass struggle for liberation against all opposition, however powerful. Demagogy, on the other hand, is the art of playing on the hopes and the fears, the emotions and the ignorance of the poor and the suffering for the benefit of the rich and the powerful. It is the meanest of the arts. This is the art of Fascism.

 An examination of the programmes of Italian and of German Fascism will show the systernatisation of this method, which is being painstakingly copied to-day by British Fascism.

It is unnecessary to go into the earlier record of Mussolini himself, as when in 1910 be declared that "the proletariat has no fatherland, nor in truth has the bourgeoisie; in case of war we Socialists will not go to the front-we will raise insurrection within our own borders," or when in 1012 he denounced Bissolati for treason in having acclaimed the King whose servitor he was himself to become. This is only the common record of all the Corrupt Western European Social Democratic politicians, of the Millerands and Briands, of the MacDonalds and Snowdens. It is more important to begin with the early programme of Italian Fascism in 1019-22 before power. 

The early programme of Italian Fascism was, in the words of an official spokesman of Fascism, Professor G. Volpe (Professor of ŒModern History in the University of Milan), in the Yearbook of the International Centre of Fascist Studies for 192 8, "a nebulous programme at first . . . somewhat demagogic and revolutionary." It contained items of the following type: 
Abolition of the Monarchy, Senate and Nobility.
Republic, and Universal Suffrage to elect a Constituent Assembly as Italian Section of the International Constituent Assembly of the Peoples. 
International Disarmament and Abolition of Compulsory Military Service, 
Confiscation of Church property. 
Confiscation of war super-profits, and capital levy; abolition of the Stock Exchange and dissolution of limited liability Companies and banks;
Land for the peasants. 
Transference of control of industry to syndicates of technicians and workers.
Italian Fascism systematically applauded the occupation of factories by workers, food-riots, strikes, peasant land-seizures, etc. and called for the hanging of speculators from lamp-posts and similar measures. 

It is only necessary to examine this programme of Fascism in comparison with its record in power to understand the meaning of demagogy. In comparison with Fascism, the average "old gang politician's'' record of election promises and subsequent violation is innocent child's play and almost honest by contrast. Political history in all its range from a Machiavelli to a Tammany Hall knows no parallel of brazen dishonesty to equal Fascism.* 

* The examples of this record in every field are too abundant and commonplace to be worth detailed review. Thus on the question of Republicanism Mussolini wrote in the Popolo d'Italia on May 24, 1921:
"I shall not allow Fascism to be altered and made unrecognizable by changing from republican in tendency, as I founded it, and as it ought to remain, to a monarchical, nay more, a dynastic movement. Our symbol is not the scutcheon of the House of Savoy.... It is not permissible to preach one thing and practise another.
" On the very next day, when the controlling capitalist and landed elements on the withdrawal of this republican declaration, Mussolini at once obediently wrote (Popolo d’Italia, May 25, 1921):
“Fascism is superior to monarchy and republic.... The future is uncertain, and the absolute  does not exist.... Those who would draw the conclusion that Fascism espouses the republican cause, and regards the setting up of the republic as a prime necessity, reveal a lamentable want of  understanding.”
On the question of religion Mussolini wrote on April 3, 1921:
“Fascism is the strongest of all heresies that strikes at the doors of the churches…. Away with these temples that are doomed to destruction; for our triumphant heresy is destined to illumine all hearts and brains.”
In his Encyclopaedia article on Fascism in 1932 he wrote:
“In the Fascist State religion is considered as one of the deepest manifestations of the spirit of  man, thus it is not only respected, but defended and protected.”
These examples could be continued indefinitely, and are only of importance as the demonstration that Fascism cannot be interpreted in terms of its own alleged political “theories,” but only in terms of its service to finance-capital.

The programme of German National Socialism surpassed that of Italian Fascism in unblushing demagogy. Here, in the more advanced stage of development of Germany, it was necessary for Fascism to proclaim the aim of "Socialism." The Krupps and the Thyssens, the Deterdings and the Hohenzollerns paid out their money to spread the propaganda of "Socialism." The Twenty-Five Points Programme, adopted in 1920, and proclaimed by the 1926 Congress to be "unalterable," set out the following aims among its miscellaneous medley of items: 
Abolition of Unearned Income (11). 
Breaking of Interest- Slavery (11). 
Confiscation of all war profits (12). 
Nationalisation of all trusts (13). 
Profit-sharing in large concerns (14). 
Confiscation without compensation of land for communal purposes (17). 
Death penalty for usurers and profiteers (17). 

The meaning of these high-sounding "revolutionary" and "socialistic" aims was left deliberately obscure. It is reported that two earnest students and devotees of National Socialism having approached Goebbels for an explanation how the famous Eleventh Point on the "Breaking of Interest-Slavery" would be accomplished received the reply that the only "breaking" likely to take place would be of the heads of those who tried to understand it. 

“Interpretation” was, however, at a later stage brought into play in reference to one point, the Seventeenth Point on the confiscation of land without compensation. This demand had evidently caused alarm to the more stupid large landlords, who required an assurance in writing, while the more wily heads of big business and finance remained wholly unperturbed at the terrible Sword of  Damocles  hanging  over  their  heads  in  the  shape  of  the  “Nationalisation  of  All  Trusts,” “Abolition  of  Unearned  Income”  and  the  “Death  Penalty  for  Profiteers.”  Accordingly,  the following explanatory addition was officially inserted in the “unalterable” programme in 1928:
“It is necessary to reply to the false interpretation on the part of our opponents on Point 17 of the programme.
Since  the  National  Socialist  German  Workers’  Party  admits  the  principle  of  private property, it is obvious that the expression “confiscation without compensation” merely refers to   possible   legal   powers   to   confiscate,   if   necessary,   land   illegally   acquired   or   not administered  in  accordance  with  national  welfare.  It  is  directed  in  the  first  instance  at  the Jewish companies which speculate in land.”
This specimen exercise in official “interpretation” speaks volumes for the real character of the whole programme.

At  the  same  time,  occasional  assurances  bad  in  fact  also  to  be given  to  some  of  the  more hesitating capitalists. An official letter of this type from the district party leadership in Dresden to a Weimar capitalist, who had hesitated to give financial support owing to the “anti-capitalist” propaganda conducted, and to whom it was officially explained that he should not be alarmed at the anti-capitalist “catchwords,” since these were only adopted “for reasons of diplomacy,” fell into  the  bands  of  the  opponents  of  the  Nazis  in  1930  and  was  published.  The  text  of  this indiscreet letter ran:
‘Do not let yourself be continually confused by the text of our posters…. Of course there are catchwords like “Down with Capitalism!” etc.; but these are unquestionably necessary, for  under  the  flag  of  “German  national,”  or  “national”  alone,  you  must  know,  we  should never reach our goal, we should have no future. We must talk the language of the embittered socialist workmen... or else they wouldn’t feel at home with us. We don’t come out with a direct programme for reasons of diplomacy.
(Letter of Dresden party leader to the industrialist, Fritsche, in Weimar: reprinted in Mowrer, Germany Puts the Clock Back, p. 150.)
This illuminating letter makes further comment on the real meaning of Fascist “demagogy”
and its purpose superfluous.

3. Capitalism, Socialism and the Corporate State. 
Fascism differs from Socialism chiefly in this-that in the Corporate State you will be left in possession of your business. ("Fascism Callingto the Industrialists and Business Men," The Fascist Week, January 19-25, 1934.) 
Fascism endeavours to present itself as a third alternative distinct from either Capitalism or Socialism. To the workers Fascism insists that it does not stand for Capitalism. To the employers Fascism insists that it does not stand for Socialism. For its supposed distinct positive conception it remains extremely vague. Only after several years of existence Italian Fascism worked out the formula of the "Corporate State" to cover its aim. German Fascism worked out the formula of "National Socialism." Both these formulas are intended to represent the supposed "third alternative" to Capitalism or Socialism. 

This supposed "third alternative"-the will o' the wisp dream of petit- bourgeois ideology ever since the development of Capitalism and the class struggle-remains a myth and can never be other than a myth. It is in fact nothing but a repetition of the old petit-bourgeois dream of a class-society without class-contradictions or class-struggle, but this time used to cover in reality the most violently coercive class-state and class suppression. The "Corporate State" is in fact the transparent masquerade-dress of modern Capitalism, with developed state Organisation of industry, and complete suppression of all independent workers' Organisation and rights. 

Economically, there can only be Capitalism or Socialism in the conditions of modern society based on large-scale industry. What is Capitalism? Capitalism is marked by (I) production for profit, (2) class ownership of the means of production, (3) employment of the dispossessed workers or proletariat for wages. What is Socialism? ŒSocialism is marked by (I) common ownership of the means of production by the workers, constituting the entire society, (2 ) production for use. The current fashionable vulgar talk of all bourgeois journalists and politicians about "the disappearance nowadays of the line of distinction between Capitalism and Socialism" is only based on the confusion that Capitalism is identified with the old liberal laisser- faire relatively small-scale Capitalism or individualism of the nineteenth century, while Socialism is identified with State intervention. Hence the most typical characteristics of modern Capitalism or Imperialism, with the increasing role of the State in its Organisation, are described as "Socialism, while the realities of wage- labour, profits and class-division are unchanged and even intensified. This muddle-headed confusion, which is common to all capitalist, Labourist and Fascist ideology, and is the breeding-ground for all the demagogic attempts of Fascism to conceal its capitalist character, becomes impossible as soon as the class-analysis of Capitalism is understood.

Fascism by all the above tests is economically identical with Capitalism, representing only a special method to maintain its power and hold down the workers. Fascism is profit-making society, is class- society, is society based on exploitation. Alike in Italy and in Germany, production is carried on for profit; the means of production are the property of a small minority, the upper strata of whom draw large incomes through their ownership; the mass of the workers are cut off from ownership, and work for a wage, producing surplus-value for the owners, or are left unemployed, if it is not profitable to employ them. All these are the familiar characteristics of capitalism in all countries, as are equally the crisis, depression, decline of production and mass unemployment. The Fascist countries show no difference from the other capitalist countries in any of these respects. Fascist Italy and Fascist Germany are no better off than non-Fascist France and non-Fascist Britain (in fact worse off, but for reasons not necessarily connected with Fascism); they are all economically in the same boat, in the capitalist boat. The only contrast is provided by the land of socialist construction, the Soviet Union, with its ending of unemployment and gigantic rise of production alongside the decline in all Fascist or other capitalist countries. 

It is necessary at the outset to insist on these very elementary facts, before examining more closely the specific economic institutions of Fascism, because Fascist propaganda, which is characterised by brazenness of assertion rather than any attempt at objective or scientific character, is so insistent on denying the capitalist basis of Fascism that it may easily confuse those who mistake words for facts. As this plea is at the heart of the economic apologies for Fascism, it will be necessary to examine more closely, first, the Fascist line of expression on Capitalism; second, the Fascist line of expression on "Socialism," as exemplified in "National Socialism"; and finally, the positive Œeconomic principles and practice of Fascism, as exemplified in the Corporate State or in the German Labour Code. 

The Fascist line of expression on Capitalism is marked by extreme self-contradiction. According to Hitler, there is no such thing as the "capitalist system." He writes: 
There does not exist a capitalist system. The employers have worked their way up to the top by their industry and efficiency. And by virtue of this selection, which shows that they belong to a higher type, they have the right to lead. Every leader of industry will forbid any interference by a factory council.
According to Mussolini, however, in his speech to the Council of Corporations on November 14, 1933, the present crisis is "a general crisis of capitalism." He defines Capitalism as follows:
Capitalism in its most highly developed form is a mass production for mass consumption, financed nationally and internationally by anonymous capital. 
Having thus brilliantly "defined" Capitalism in terms of "capital" (he is compelled to tie himself up in this way, for if he were to attempt to analyse capital, he would be compelled to lay bare the capitalist basis of Fascism), he proceeds to distinguish three periods of capitalism, the period of free competition from 1830 to 1870, the "static" or "stagnating" period of the great trusts from 1870 to 1913, and the period of "decadence" since the war (here we have only a very confused and mangled borrowing from Lenin's Imperialism). He then poses the question: 
The crisis which has held us in its clutches for four years-is it a crisis in the capitalist system or of the capitalist system? 
And he reaches the answer that the crisis which has held "us" (Fascist Italy) in its clutches for four years is "a crisis of the capitalist system" (which Hitler says does not exist). But having reached this important admission, he then endeavours to argue that Italy is "not a capitalist country." Upon what does he base this argument? On the plea that in Italy there is a majority proportion of agriculture and small industry (as if this made any difference to the dominance of the capitalist class and of capitalist exploitation, which knows very well how to suck the labours, not only of the industrial workers, but also of the peasants and small producers). But if this structure makes Italy "not capitalist," this structure applied equally to Italy before Fascism, and Italy was accordingly "not capitalist" also before Fascism. But if Italy was "not capitalist" before Fascism, what was it? Again he can give no answer which would not undermine his whole attempt to present Fascist Italy as any different in its essential capitalist basis from pre-Fascist Italy. Finally he argues that, since the corporate system has admittedly failed to save Italy from the crisis of capitalism "which has held us in its clutches for four years," therefore the corporate system may be recommended to other capitalist countries to save them equally: 
We come to the last question: Can the corporative principle be applied in other countries? There is no doubt about it. As there is a general crisis of capitalism, solution by the Corporate State seems to be necessary in other countries. 
However, in that case he would need to show that "solution by the orporate State" has applied to Italy, which has suffered as heavily from the capitalist crisis as any other capitalist country. But when the crisis broke on Italy in 1929-30, what was his line? Did he argue that "solution by the Corporate State" would save Italy? On the contrary, he argued that Fascist Italy was helpless to do any more about the crisis than any other capitalist country. In his speech of October 1, he declared: 
The situation has grown considerably worse throughout the world, including Italy. . . . The State cannot perform miracles. Not even Mr. Hoover, the most powerful man in the world in the richest country in the world, has succeeded in putting his house in order.
"The State" (i.e., the Fascist State) "cannot perform miracles." It cannot hope to do more than other capitalist countries. Quite right, and very honestly said for once. But in that case what happens to the boasted superiority of Fascism and the supposed emancipation of Fascism from capitalism and its contradictions? 

It is evident that we have here a mere tangle of confusions and self-contradictions (which could be endlessly further exemplified from the statements of all the principal Fascist leaders in all countries), without attempt at serious thinking. Let us now turn to the Fascist line on "Socialism." According to Mussolini, in his speech on January 13, 1934, "Socialism" is condemned outright as "the bureaucratisation of economy." According to German Fascism, "Socialism" is the ideal, provided it is "National Socialism." But what do they mean by "Socialism"? The definitions given by the leaders of German Fascism afford an instructive variety of choice. 

The thirteenth point of the official party programme calls for "the nationalisation of all trusts." However, the official economic theorist of the party, Feder, explains in his Manifesto on the suppression of interest-slavery: 
Every honest politician knows that general socialisation means economic collapse and the absolute bankruptcy of the State. Our watchword must be, not "socialisation," but "desocialisation." 
Goebbels in his Little A.B.C. of the National Socialists, states: 
The Socialisation of all the means of production is absolutely unachievable.
Addressing a group of business men at Hamburg on December 15, 1933, Feder won their applause by declaring that "the State must not engage in business itself as a competitor," and adding, "Don't be afraid your enterprises will be nationalised." 

Where then is the "Socialism"? Explanations are forthcoming in abundance. Gregor Strasser, speaking on the radio on behalf of the party on June 14, 1932, gave the following comprehensive definition: 

By socialism we understand governmental measures for the protection of the individual or the group against any sort of exploitation. The taking over of the railways by the State, of the street- cars, power plants and gas works by the municipalities; the emancipation of the peasants by Baron von Stein, and the incorporation of the guild system into the State; the Prussian officers' system of selection by achievement; the incorruptibility of the German official; the old walls, the town hall, the cathedral of the free Imperial cityt hese are all expressions of German Socialism as we conceive and demand it. 
"Socialism," after passing gently through the stages of gas-and-water Fabianism and an admixture of "guilds," thus comes to rest at last in the solid ground of "the old walls ... .. the cathedral" and "the Prussian officers' system," 
Goebbels is still more explicit in his brochure Prussia Must Become Prussian Again: 
Socialism is Prussianism (Preussentum). The conception "Prusianism" is identical with what we mean by Socialism. 
And again in a speech in East Prussia: 
Our Socialism is that which animated the kings of Prussia, and which reflected itself in the march-step of the Prussian Grenadier regiments: a socialism of duty. 
It is impossible not to recall Marx's comments on "German Socialism" (despite all the differences) nearly a century ago: 
German Socialism recognised its own calling as the bombastic representative of the petit-bourgeois Philistine. 
It proclaimed the German nation to be the model nation, and the German petit-bourgeois Philistine to be the typical man. To every typical meanness of this model man it gave a hidden, higher, "socialist" interpretation, the exact contrary of its real character. It went to the length of directly opposing the "brutally destructive" tendency of Communism, and of proclaiming its supreme and impartial contempt of all class struggles. 
But this old "German Socialism," which Marx thus castigated, was by comparison the noblest-bearted idealism if set against the conscious and open filth of their "German Socialist" descendants of the twentieth century, the bootlickers of reaction and murderers of the workers, dressing up the hated Prussian, militarist, absolutist corpse as "Socialism." 

It is obvious that the Fascist conceptions on "Socialism" are even less worthy of serious discussion than their conceptions on "Capitalism." It remains to consider their supposed "new" and "distinctive" programme: the Corporate State "the greatest constructive conception yet devised by the mind of man" (Mosley). 

What is the Corporate State? 
The basic official document of principles, the Italian Labour Charter, published in 1927, lays down the following (7): The Corporate State considers that in the sphere of production private initiative is the most effective and valuable instrument in the interests of the nation. 

Since private enterprise is a function of national concern, the organiser of the enterprise is responsible to the State for the manage ment of its production. From the fact that the elements of production (labour and capital) are co-operators in a common enterprise, reciprocal rights and duties devolve upon them. The employee, whether labourer, clerk or skilled workman, is an active collaborator in the economic enterprise, responsibility for the direction of which rests with the employer. 

These principles are tolerably familiar in all capitalist countries. 

The standard semi-official work on the question, Fausto Pitigliani's "The Italian Corporative State" (P. S. King, 1933, written "in close contact with the Ministry of Corporations") declares: 
The idea of the sovereignty of the State and of national unity is the primary motive underlying the Fascist theory of government. . . . 
Parallel to this unifying principle . . . there is to be noted another concept implicit in the State system which Fascism desires to build up, namely, the economic collaboration of the various categories engaged in production. 

This new economic departure may be said to lie somewhere between Liberalism . . . and Communism. . . . The different categories of producers are represented officially by various Occupational Associations. . . . 
These Occupational Associations, consisting solely of employers or of workers or of persons belonging to one or other of the liberal professions, are grouped in Corporations for purposes of protection and development of some specific branch of production. These advisory bodies are organs of State, and they embody all the elements involved in a given branch of production, namely, capital, labour and technical direction. It is precisely from the character of these institutionsso distinctive a feature of the new political and economic order in Italy-that the epithet of "corporative" is derived, which serves to differentiate the Fascist State in its particular characteristics from other State types. 

Paul Einzig in his pro-Fascist "Economic Foundations of Fascism" (1933) describes the Corporate State as "a new economic system that differs fundamentally from Liberal Capitalism and Communism": 
In the Corporate State private property is respected just as in any capitalist country. There is no expropriation without compensation. The State reserves the right, however, to limit and guide the employment of the means of production, and to intervene in the process of distribution in accordance with public interest. It does not aim at owning the means of production any more than in a capitalist country. Private ownership is the rule, and State ownership the exception. Individual initiative is not superseded by State intervention. But the Government reserves the right to supplement individual initiative whenever this is considered necessary; to prevent it from developing in directions detrimental to public interest, and to guide it so as to obtain the maximum benefit for the community as a whole.
Mosley in his Fascism in Britain describes the Corporate State as follows. 
Our policy is the establishment of the Corporate State. As the name implies, this means a State organised like the human body. Every member of that body acts in harmony with the purpose of the whole under the guidance and driving brain of the Fascist Government. This does not mean that industry will be conducted or interfered with from Whitehall, as in Socialist organisation. But it does mean that the limits within which interests may operate will be laid down by Government, and that those limits will be the welfare of the nation as a whole. To that interest of the nation as a whole, all lesser interests are Œsubordinate, whether of Right or of Left, whether they be employers' federation, trade union, banking or professional interests. All such interests are woven into the permanently functioning machinery of Corporate Government. Within the Corporate structure interests such as trade unions and employers' federations will no longer be the general staffs of opposing armies, but the joint directors of national enterprise. Classwar will give place to national co-operation. All who pursue a sectional and anti-national policy will be opposed by the might of the organized State. Profit can be made provided that the activity enriches the nation as well as the individual. Profit may not be made at the expense of the nation and of the working class. The Corporate State will secure that the nation, and the workers who are part of the nation will share fully in the benefits and rewards of industry. 
The Corporations, it should be noted, are "advisory" bodies (Pitigliani). Control rests with the private employer in his enterprise, and with the State above him, as in all capitalist countries. The Corporations are joint-committees of employers' representatives and so-called "workers' representatives" (after the destruction of all independent workers' organisation). Only the "workers' organisations" recognised by the Fascist State, not those chosen by the workers, are admitted, the only legal requirement being that they should represent one-tenth of the workers in an industry to secure sole recognition as representing all the workers in the industry. The functions of the Corporations (Article 44 of the Decree of July 1, 1926) are: (i) conciliation; (ii) encouragement of measures "to coordinate production and improve its Organisation"; (iii) establishment of labour exchanges; (iv) regulation of training and apprenticeship. 

The purely nominal stage-dressing character of the Corporations is shown by the fact that up to 1933, eleven years after the establishment of the Fascist regime, not a single Corporation had yet been established, except for the amusement "industry" (in 1930). 
The work will be done directly by the Minister of Corporations, and hence these largely nominal bodies will be not merely "organs of the State," as the theory demands, but really mere additional powers for present politicians. As a result, not a single corporation has been formally created. (H. W. Schneider, Making the Fascist State, 1928.)
In 1933 Pitigliani, in his semi-official work already quoted, in the fourth chapter on "Corporative Organisation," coming to his third section under the grandiose title "The Corporations in their Actual Working," is compelled to write under that title (like the famous chapter on Snakes in Iceland): 
It is impossible to judge in the light of any practical results how the system is actually working in the corporative field properly so-called. Reference has already been made to the fact that only a single corporation, viz., that of the stage, has so far been established in Italy. 
In November 1933, the Milan correspondent of the Times wrote (November 28, 1933): 

Much is beard of the Corporative State. The Ministry of Corporations was created, and there are the National Council of Corporations, the Corporative Central Committee, and so on; but so far, the Corporations, that is, the organs which must apply the principle on which the whole reform is based, have not appeared.

Only in May, 1934, when this criticism of the absence of any actual Corporations had begun to become widespread, a decision was hastily announced, at a meeting of the "Central Corporative Committee" convened under Mussolini on May 9, 1934 to "create twenty-two Corporations" at a single stroke (Times, May 10, 1934).

What, then, does the Corporate State, as so far described in the terms of its own advocates, actually represent? Its principles, according to these descriptions, amount in fact to the following: 

1. Maintenance of the class-structure of society, and of class- exploitation, under cover of phrases about "organic unity," etc.;* 

2. Maintenance of capitalist ownership, "private enterprise," "profits," etc.; 

3.Moderate State intervention or regulatory role, where necessary; 

4. Compulsory conciliation committees or joint industrial councils of capital and labour. 

But so far this is identical with the principles of all modern capitalist states. The cool effrontery of attempting to present this as something "new" is only based on the naive trick of  making the comparison with the long-ago defunct, preimperialist, "laisser-faire," capitalist epoch. Ever since the imperialist epoch all modern capitalism has developed increasing state regulation and control, co-ordination and cartellisation under state guidance , and a hundred thousand experiments and devices in joint industrial councils and every other possible mechanism for the collaboration of capital and labour. As for the conception of industry as a "public service," and the approval of profit-making only in so far as it is consistent with "national welfare," it really does not need a Fascist "revolution" in order to be able to repeat the wisdom of a Callisthenes. The practical meaning of the Fascist "revolution" and its "Corporate State" lies elsewhere, as we shall shortly see. 

* The transparent deception, which is at the root of the "Corporate State," of maintaining class-division in fact and denying it in words, is strikingly expressed by Rossoni, writing as President of the National Confederation of Fascist Syndicates on "The Significance of Fascist Syndicalism" in the Yearbook of Fascist Studies, 1928: 
"The conception of Fascist Syndicalism changes the outlook of all those engaged in industry, and takes from Socialism all that it has of value. Even the old terminology of 'masters' and 'men' is changing. Ile word 'master' has an offensive meaning and implies the servitude of labour, a servitude which is in direct contradiction to modern progress. The Italian scheme of Corporations brings about a much-needed co-operation between the directors and the executors of an undertaking, and is the only present-day conception which entails equilibrium and economic justice. 
"It should be emphasised that it was these very Fascist organisers who were the first to insist that the old expressions 'masters' and 'men' should be abolished, and this because master supposes servant. Nowadays we are no longer able to concur with the old absurd idea of class-distinctions, nor do we hold that there is by nature any moral inferiority between men. On the contrary, it is fully recognised that all men have the same right to citizenship in the national life." 
It will be seen that the "absurd idea of class-distinctions" is regarded as solely a question of "terminology." Hence, while Socialism aims at overcoming the classdivision of society by the abolition of classes and thus achieving for the first time real social unity, Fascism proposes a verbal liquidation of classes, while the reality remains. Employers and wage-earners remain; the whole system of profits and exploitation remains; but these are to be covered by the new terms "directors" and "executors" of an undertaking or in the German labour code, "leaders" and "followers"), and thereafter it is assumed that the class struggle should end. This is typical of the "idealist" outlook of Fascism-or, to speak more frankly, of its humbug.

Take, for example , pre-Fascist Germany, where the State already held in its hands one-tenth of industrial production held the dominating shares in the big banks, in shipping and in the Steel Trust, and where industry and capital-labour relations were covered by a network of regulating councils. C. B. Hoover writes in his book already quoted: 
Cartellisation had been carried to further limits than in any other country. In 1932 there were some 3,000 of these cartels. In the coal and potassium mining industry syndication was compulsory, and complicated regulating councils known as the Federal Coal Council and the Federal Potassium Council had been set up. Upon these Councils the operators , labourers, consumers and coal merchants were represented. There was a Federal Economic Council, but its regulatory functions had failed to develop.
This Federal Coal Council, based on compulsory syndication representing employers, workers, consumers and coal merchants, with wide regulatory powers, was already a very much more developed "Corporation" than anything produced by Fascism. But this was only an advanced example of the tendency of modern capitalist development throughout the world. Here Fascism brings nothing new. 

"The idea of a National Council," writes Mosley in his Greater Britain, with the complacency of an infant peacock, "was, I believe, first advanced in my speech on resignation from the Labour Government in May 1930. The idea has since been developed by Sir Arthur Salter and other writers." The history of Capitalism since the war is littered with "the idea of a National Council" (i.e., National Economic Council or National Council of Industry) in every country. Clemenceau in 1918 proposed the formation of a National Economic Council, and the proposal only broke down on the opposition of the Confederation of Labour. Rathenau in his new proposals for state organisation put in the centre the formation of a representative State Economic Council. Millerand in 1920 proposed the incorporation of a National Economic Council, including representatives of the trade unions, in the state. Caillaux made the same proposal in his Ou va la France, ou va I'Europe? The National Industrial Conference in Britain in 1919 put forward similar proposals for the establishment of a permanent representative National Industrial Council. 

The whole trend of post-war Liberalism, Labourism and Social Democracy, in particular, is closely parallel to the Fascist line and propaganda of the Corporate State-i.e., the general line of combination of state control and private enterprise, co-ordination through a network of regulating councils, classcollaboration and so-called workers' representation, in short, the whole myth of "Organised Capitalism." The great part of the Liberal Yellow Book, of Labour and the Nation and of the Fascist Labour Charter could be interchanged without noticeable difference. 

Nevertheless, there is a "new" and distinct feature in the Fascist Corporate State. All the Liberal-Labour proposals are based on the incorporation of the existing workers' organisations into the capitalist state, with the maintenance of the formal independent rights of organisation and the right to strike. The Fascist policy of the Corporate State is based on the violent destruction of the workers' independent organisations and the complete abolition of the right to strike. This is the sole new feature of the Fascist Corporate State, to which modern Capitalism elsewhere has not yet dared to advance, although developing in this direction as rapidly as it is able. 

The Italian Law of Syndicates of April 3, 1926, the basis of the Corporate State, lays down in Article 18: 
Employees and labourers who in groups of three or more cease work by agreement, or who work in such a manner as to disturb its continuity or regularity, in order to compel the employers to change the existing contracts, are punishable by a fine of from 100 to 1,000 lire. The chiefs, promoters and organisers of the crimes mentioned above are punishable by imprisonment for not less than one year, nor more than two years, in addition to the fines prescribed above. 
Here is the real heart of the Fascist Corporate State; all the rest is window-dressing. The meaning of this is expressed with simple delight by the financial Publicist, Einzig, in his Economic Foundations of Fascism (a book written for the business public) 
Strikes and lock-outs were outlawed from the very outset of the Fascist regime (p. ii). 
In no country was it so easy as in Italy to obtain the consent of employees to a reduction in wages (P. 31 Thanks to the establishment of industrial peace, wages in Italy are more elastic than in any other country p. 73).
"In no country was it so easy to obtain a reduction in wages." Here is the essence of the Corporate State. Similarly Augusto Turati, Secretary-General of the Fascist Party, wrote in 1928: 
The year 1927 was one of widespread economic depression.... It was Œnecessary for the Government of the Fascist Party to take steps with the object of bringing about a general reduction of wages from 110 to 20 per cent. . . . It was then that the Labour Charter showed itself to be the one secure point of reference in the negotiations which followed. In the ungrateful task of reducing wages, not one of the principles, solemnly enunciated in the Labour Charter, was violated. (A. Turati, Secretary-General of the Fascist Party, on "The Labour Charter," in the International Yearbook of Fascist Studies, 1928.) 
And the prominent Fascist trade union official, Olivetti, declared at the Fascist Trades Union Congress in 1928: 
It was an illusion to presume that the existence of class-war had been finally abolished. It has been abolished . . . for the workers. On the other side, class-war is being continued. 
The German Labour Code, brought into force on May I, 1934, reveals the same picture. Its essence is the wiping out of all the collective contracts which have hitherto regulated German industry, and the establishment of the absolute power of the employer, called "the leader of the factory," over his workers, called "followers.
"  In the factory the employer, as the leader of the factory, and the workers and clerical employees as his followers, work jointly to further the aims of the factory in the joint interests of the people and of the State. The decision of the leader of the factory is binding on his followers in all factory matters.
In place of the previous elected works councils, the new factory councils are to be appointed by the employer in agreement with the Nazi leader in the factory, and to meet only when called by the employer. All collective agreements for industries or trades as a whole, or even for districts, are annulled; wages are to be fixed separately by each firm according to the conditions of "profitableness." The last word rests with the "Labour Trustees" or district dictators on all questions of wages and abour conditions, appointed by the Nazi Government. The character of these "Labour Trustees" can be judged from the fact that the big industrialist, Krupp, has been appointed "Labour Trustee" for the Ruhr area. 

The destruction of all independent workers' organisation, the complete slave-subjection of the workers to the employers, the abolition of the right to strike, and intensified exploitation-this is the sole and entire reality of the Corporate State for the working class. 

4. The Outcome of Fascism in the Economic Sphere. 
Fortunately the Italian people is not yet accustomed to eat several times a day. Its standard of living is so low that it feels scarcity and suffering less. (Mussolini, speech to the Italian Senate on December 18, 1930, Corriera della Sera, December 19, 1930.) 
The principal reasoned claim put forward by Fascism on its own behalf, on the rare occasions when it descends from emotional chauvinist and spiritual verbiage to endeavour to make a reasoned claim, is that Fascism provides a solution of the Œeconomic crisis of modern capitalist society and ensures economic harmony, prosperity and progress. Fascism in its propaganda promises t e solution of unemployment, rising production and consumption, higher wages, higher profits, and in general the end of all the contradictions of capitalism without ending capitalism. 

The decisive test of this claim is the test of facts-the facts of the economic situation in every country where Fascism rules, and above all in Italy, the land of the "Corporate State," where the Fascist regime has had twelve years to show its results. 

That the word crisis of capitalism has hit Italy as hard as any other capitalist country, with colossal unemployment, falling production and trade, and lowered wages, so that Fascism has brought no immunity whatever from the common ills of capitalism, even the official apologists of Fascism are compelled to admit. But in fact the economic crisis hit Italy before the world crisis, while the rest of the capitalist world was enjoying a boom, and then became further intensified by the world crisis. The pro-Fascist Einzig writes in his Economic Foundations of Fascism: 
Between 1926 and 1930 the depression prevailing in Italy presented a discouraging contrast with the prosperity of most other countries. But that prosperity has since been proved to be fictitious, so that we are now in a position to say that Italy has missed little by failing to share it. Moreover, during her period of depression Italy became hardened to face the subsequent crisis. 
If this is the best that a supporter of Fascism on economic grounds can claim, it is scarcely an advertisement. The only "consolation" for the failure of Italy under Fascism to share in even the limited upward movement of other capitalist countries between 1926 and 1930 is found in the fact that in consequence even the world crisis could hardly make things much worse than they were already in Italy. 

According to the League of Nations World Economic Survey 1932-3, the national income in Italy fell from 94 billion lire in 1928 to 60-70 billion lire in 1931, or a drop of one-third. In the same period in the Soviet Union, according to the same authority, the total income rose from 18.6 billion gold roubles to 31.2 billions, or an increase by two- thirds. Foreign trade in 1932 was less than half the volume of 1930; and the tonnage of goods cleared at the ports in 1932 was actually less than in 1913, when the population was six millions fewer. Italy keeps no general index of production; but the production of pig iron which was 603,000 tons in 1913, was 461,ooo tons in 1932. The production of steel was raised to 2.1 million tons in 1929, but fell to 1-4 millions in 1932. 1933 saw a slight upward movement as in other countries, but foreign trade continued to fall from 15-1 million lire in 1932 to 13-3 million in 1933. The Budget deficit rose from 504 million lire in 1930- 31 to 3,687 millions in 11932-3. The floating debt rose from 1,618 million lire in June 1928, to 8,912 millions in June 1933. 

Bankruptcies in 1931 reached the record in Europe, exceeding 21,000, or five times the British total. 

The unemployment record is still more revealing. The total of Œindustrial and commercial wage-earners was returned in 1933 at 4,283,000, or about one-quarter of the British total. Yet the official return of wholly unemployed for 1933, monthly average, stood at T,o18,ooo, and in January 1934, the latest return available at the time of writing, stood at 1,158,000 in addition to about a quarter of a million returned as partially or seasonally unemployed. As for unemployment insurance, "the amount of unemployment insurance is moderate, even for the low standard of living prevailing, and it is paid only for a short period" (Einzig, Economic Foundations of Fascism). For forty weeks' contributions only three months' benefit is paid, at a maximum Of 3.75 lire or IId. a day; there is no transitional benefit. In December 193 1, Of 982,32 1 registered unemployed, only 195,454 were receiving benefit. Between 1919 and 1929 the Unemployment Fund received 1,275 million lire in contributions from the employers and workers, the State contributing nothing, and paid Out Only 413 millions in benefits the State constantly raiding the Fund for its own purposes. Truly a halcyon state of affairs from the capitalist point of view, at which even the skinflints of the National Government might look with despairing envy. It may be noted that the social services expenditure in Italy is among the lowest of any leading country in Europe, amounting to 3 per cent. of the total national budget, as against 7 per cent. in Belgium or 9 per cent. in Britain. 

The wage-cutting record gives the final stamp on the realities of Fascist economics. Between 1929 and 1932 the total pay-roll of wages and salaries fell from 6,040 million lire to 4,100 millions (World Economic Survey 1932-3). In the same period, according to a Report of the Director of the International Labour Office in June 1933, "the purchasing-power of the wage-earners fell by 19 per cent." Cuts had been heavy already before the world crisis: 
Between June 1927 and December 1928, wages fell by about 20 per cent. as a result of agreements between masters and men in connection with the stabilisation of the lira. A further drop of approximately 10 per cent. took place in 1929, and in November 1930 there was a general downward movement, in some cases not exceeding 18 per cent., but in particular instances involving as much as 25 per cent. Moreover we must not overlook the fact that many other adjustments were made in 1931 (Biagi, Secretary of the National Confederation of Fascist Syndicates, Corriera della Sera, March 26, 1932.) 
This makes successive cuts, first Of 20 per cent., then of 10 per cent., then of 18-25 per cent., in addition to "many other adjustments." The Department of Overseas Trade Report on Economic Conditions in Italy 1933, states: 
While the cost of living with an index figure of 93.78 in 1927 has fallen in 1932 to 78-05, a difference of 15.73 per cent., industrial wages have been reduced by much larger proportions. . . . 
Cuts have been made ranging from 16 to 18 per cent. in the sheltered printing and woodworking trades, 25 per cent. in the metal and chemical industries, to 40 per cent. in the cotton industry. . . .
To the above must be added arbitrary reductions affected by various means without negotiation, such as the re-grading of workstaff and the Œsystematic reduction of piece-work rates. Examples are given of the percentage cuts in the various industries: Chemicals....20-25% Silk Weaving....38% Rayon ....20% jute ....30% Rayon (Turin)....38% Metal trades....23% Glass ....30-40% Building ....30% Cotton ....40% Mining ....30% Wool ....27 %

This process has been carried still further with the extensive all-round wages and salaries cuts proclaimed by Government Order in April, 1934. The importance of the Fascist "Corporate" system, making strikes a penal offence, is obvious. 

If we turn to Germany, it is clear that one year's experience is not yet sufficient to achieve the imposing completeness of the Italian results in depressing the conditions of the workers and spreading poverty; but the signs of the direction are already abundant. 

Foreign trade in 1933 fell by 13 per cent. in comparison with 1932, exports by 16 per cent. and the export surplus by 40 per cent. The volume of production rose by 12 per cent.; but this rise was mainly in industries (iron and steel, dyes and chemicals, artificial silk, electro- technical, motors) connected with war needs, and was actually accompanied, as will be seen, by a fall in the general standard of living. The rise in output was not accompanied by any rise in the total pay-roll until the third quarter. "This means that fresh employment was only found at the expense of those already occupied, by cutting down their hours of work and reducing their wages accordingly" (Economist, December 30, 1933). 

Retail sales, the measure of internal trade and of the standard of living, fell heavily, even compared with the low level of 1932: 
Retail sales of the first ten months of 1933 were 8 per cent below those of the very depressed corresponding period of 1932, department store sales declining 20 per cent. on a like comparison, and later reports indicate substantial further decline. (New York Annalist, January 19, 1934.) 
This reflects a lowered standard of life. The German Institute for Economic Research reported a decline of 10 per cent. in the consumption of the principal foodstuffs during the first and second quarters of 1933, in some articles of even 30 per cent., and "stabilisation" at this lower level in the third quarter. For the whole of 1933 it reported a decline Of 7 per cent. in the turnover of retail commodities, compared with 1932. Prices rose steadily, especially of foodstuffs, through special legislation, e.g., the Fat Monopoly and raising of the price of margarine by 175 per cent., the raising of the price of wheat to 182 marks per ton or four times the world price, etc. 

Nazi propaganda tries to make much of the rise in the volume of production by 12 per cent. during 1933, "and of the decline in the official figure of registered unemployed by 2 millions on the previous 6 millions (actually by 1.7 millions from 5,773,000 in December 1932, to 4,058,000 in December 1933). Both claims are misleading. The rise in production was, as explained in great part connected with the war industries. It was not a rise peculiar to Germany, but was part of a world movement during the same period. Between January and December, 1933, the German index of industrial production (on the basis of 1928 as 100) rose from 62.9 to 72.8, the United States index from 58.6 to 67.6, the French from 78.7 to 83.5, the Japanese from 117.2 to 139-4 (November), the Canadian from 52.8 to 72.2, the Swedish from 83.7 to 97.1 (League of Nations Monthly Bulletin of Statistics, March 1934)

The figures of the alleged decline in unemployment are still more misleading. The official figure is given of a decline in the registered unemployed from 6,014,000 in January 1933, to 3,715,000 in November 1933, and to 2,798,000 in March, 1934. But the total of employed workers in November 1933, according to the health insurance statistics, was 14,020,000, making with the 3,715,000 registered unemployed a combined total of 17,735,000 workers. In August 1929, that is, before the crisis, the same combined total of employed and unemployed workers numbered 20,400,000. Thus, since 1929, 2.3 million workers have dropped clean out of the German official statistics, being neither entered as employed, nor as unemployed-alongside an increase in population! "The actual number of unemployed is admitted to be considerably larger than the number registered. The 'invisible unemployed' are now reckoned at about 1,500,000" Manchester Guardian Weekly, January 12, 1934). "Most signs tend to show that the volume of unrecorded unemployment has increased" (Economist, March 3, 1934). 

This contradiction was strikingly brought out when in March, 1934, the official figure for unemployment was returned at 2,798,000, and in the very same month Hitler, momentarily forgetful of the official figure, in his speech at Munich on March 21, spoke of the necessity during the coming year to endeavour to bring into employment 5,000,000 Of those at present unemployed. 

The official decline in registered unemployed in fact reflects a series of factors. Married women have been driven out of industry without being registered as unemployed, consequent on the Nazi law forbidding the employment of married women where their husbands are employed, and thus disappear from the official records. The same applies to the prisoners in concentration camps, and to the Jewish and political refugees. Several hundreds of thousands of workers (estimated at 680,000-Basel Rundschau, November 18, 1933), have been drafted into the militarised labour camps, agricultural service and other works schemes, and are thus counted as "employed," but in fact receive no normal wage, but either only food and a few marks a week or a very low subsistence allowance equivalent to unemployment relief. Finally throughout industry, by a series of devices offering inducements for this process to employers, workers have been given part-time work by spreading existing work, with reduced hours and weekly wages, that is, at the expense of other workers, and of a general lowering of standards. On the whole process the British financial journal, The Statist, comments, with reference to Hitler's anniversary speech to the Reichstag: 
As regard economic affairs he had not very much to say, perhaps because there is not much to report. He claimed, as the figures show, a reduction in unemployment Of 21/2 millions to about 3.7 millions. But this is obviously not a reliable guide to the trend of industrial conditions, since, apart from labour immobilisation in labour camps and concentration camps, the effect of the tax certificate system has been to spread employment out over the work available rather than to succeed in creating new work. There has, however, been some improvement in production, particularly in iron and steel, in 1933 as compared with 1932, and doubtless this has meant some real decrease in unemployment. The improvement in employment is therefore only partly due to a net increase in the demand for labour, and it arises mainly from spreading out employment. This may be a good thing psychologically, but economically it results in lower wages and even in lower real wages. In addition to this lowering of the standard of living, there must be counted the numerous "voluntary" contributions which have to be deducted from the weekly wages. It is possible as a result that the beneficial political effect of spreading employment may be lost in the lowering of the standard of living, and probably for this reason Herr Hitler did not devote much of his speech to economic affairs. (Statist, February 3, 1934.)
This process of effective wage-reduction and lowering of the standard of living, already revealed in the statistics of falling consumption during 1933, is further borne out by the available information on the movement of wages. The official statistics claim that the total of wages plus salaries for the third quarter Of 1933 exceeded the corresponding total for 1932 by 4 per cent., alongside an increase in the number employed by 7 per cent.; it is obvious that even these figures, which do not take into account the heavily increased deductions from wages, nevertheless betray a net reduction in the wage per worker. It may be noted that the total return from the tax on wages, which reached 65 million marks for the monthly average in 1932, fell to 61.3 millions in July 1933) and 59.6 millions in August 1933-the very period of the supposed "increase" (Jahrbucher fur Nationalokonomie und Statistik, December 1933). 

A correspondent in the Manchester Guardian reports: 

Wages fell considerably in Germany in 1932, and there was a further fall last year. At present the average hourly wage is about 20 per cent. lower than in 1931. 

The fall in wages has been accompanied by a great increase in the deductions for income tax, unemployment insurance, sickness insurance, etc., which have more than doubled. In 1932 these deductions Œamounted to between 12 and 13 per cent. of the wages. They now amount to nearly 27 per cent., including "voluntary" contributions . . . which are voluntary only in name. 
According to calculations made by a very competent statistician, the net average wage of workmen employed in German industry last September was 2 1.65 marks a week. . . . If agricultural workers were included, the average net wage would be much lower.
The "real wages" (purchasing power) of the German industrial workers have fallen since April rather more than the money wages, as general prices, which in the first four months of last year were lower than the average of 1932, have risen about 3 per cent. since April, and prices of primary necessities have risen about 10 per cent. The average real wage in September 1933, was about 3 1 per cent. lower than in 1900.- (Manchester Guardian Weekly, January 12, 1934.) 
On April 9 Dr. Ley, head of the "Labour Front," declared in a speech at Cologne that the German worker "to some extent was being paid starvation wages in the interest of the reconstruction of the nation," but that he must, while the State "was finding bread and work for 7,000,000 unemployed, renounce wage increases and such like things."(Times, April 10, 1934.) 
This is already before the Labour Code, with its abrogation of all existing collective contracts, came into force on May I, 1934. 

It is sufficiently clear that the economic process of Fascism in Germany goes the same path as in Italy, the path of the extreme depression of the standards of the workers and intensification of exploitation. The lesson of facts in Italy and Germany should put all on their guard against the empty economic promises and programmes of Fascism before power in Britain and other countries. 

5. Fascism and War. 
Fascism believes neither in the possibility nor the utility of perpetual peace. . . . War alone brings up to its highest tension all human energy and puts the stamp of nobility upon the peoples who have the courage to meet it. (Mussolini, The Political and Social Doctrine of Fascism.) 
In eternal warfare mankind has become great-in eternal peace mankind would be ruined.- (Hitler, Mein Kampf, p. 149.) 
The chauvinistic warlike character of Fascism is its most obvious external characteristic. The war-role of Fascism can, however, only be correctly understood in relation to its general social role as the expression of the extreme stage of imperialism in break-up. 

On the question of Fascism and war very much nonsense has been written. 

On the one hand, bourgeois critics of Fascism in Western Europe and America express their shocked indignation as if Fascist Germany and Fascist Italy were the first and only countries to go in for jingoism, wholesale war-incitement and war-preparation, and as if England, France and the United States were innocent angels of peace. 

On the other hand, supporters of Fascism in these countries endeavour to accept at face-value the transparently hypocritical "peace speeches" occasionally turned out by the Fascist leaders for foreign consumption, in open and glaring contradiction to their main Œutterances, and seek to soothe an alarmed public with fanciful reassurances, as if Fascism were really a doctrine of world peace. 

Both these lines of treatment are an absurd flying in the face of facts. 

Because Fascism is the leading expression of modern imperialism, of capitalism in decay, of the most violent policies of capitalism in crisis, therefore necessarily Fascism means war. Fascism, with its violent suppression of all socialist, pacifist and internationalist agitation, with its militarisation of labour and centralised dictatorship, as well as with its ceaseless sabre-rattling agitation, is a direct part of capitalist war preparation. Its methods and policies reproduce the conditions of a country at war, as seen in all the belligerent countries in the last war, but already in the pre-war period. In the same way the final outcome of all the policies of Fascism, of all its chauvinist, nationally exclusive, aggressive and domination seeking policies, can only be war, as indeed its leaders in all their principal and most authoritative utterances to their own followers openly declare. 

But these tendencies are not peculiar to Fascism. They are common, in greater or less degree, to all imperialist states. They only receive their most extreme expression in Fascism. 

Fascism in Britain, where there is no such immediate easy basis for war agitation as Versailles provided in Germany and also in Italy, and where mass anti-war feeling is strong, endeavours to hide for the moment the war-role of Fascism and even to put on a pacifist dress and present Fascism as a doctrine of world peace. Thus Mosley writes: 
Fascist organisation is the method of world peace among nations bound together by the universal Fascism of the twentieth century. (Mosley, Fascism in Britain, P. 7.) 
This blatant attempt to throw dust in the eyes of the credulous is exposed by the entire propaganda of Fascism. Mosley, who professes to proclaim the aim of "world peace" through Fascism, will need to fight it out with his masters, Mussolini and Hitler, who denounce in round terms the whole conception of world peace as incompatible with Fascism. "Fascism," proclaims Mussolini, "believes neither in the possibility nor the utility of perpetual peace." "In eternal peace," proclaims Hitler, "mankind would be ruined." "Fascism issued from war," writes the Fascist, Carli, "and in war it must find its outlet." This is the dominant voice of Fascism. The temporary pretence of British Fascism to put on a peace advocate's dress is only a typical example of Fascist demagogy. 

International Fascism is a contradiction in terms. The foreign policies of Fascist states can only be the foreign policies of extreme aggressive imperialist states, with all the consequent antagonisms heightened to the most extreme point. The identity of counter- revolutionary policy produces no identity of foreign policy. This is strikingly illustrated, as soon as the first three fully completed Fascist states, Germany, Italy and Austria have come into existence, by the extreme tension immediately following, even to the point of veiled war-threats , between Fascist Germany and Fascist Italy over the body Œof Fascist Austria. The conception of a Bloc of Fascist States on the basis of a common policy of Fascism is a myth; an alliance between such States can only be formed where an identity of immediate aims of the foreign policy of the imperialist groupings concerned would have in any case made an alliance possible, whatever the political form. But if the Fascist type became generalised for all the leading imperialist Powers, this would only mean an immediate accentuation of the antagonisms and hastening of the advance to war. 

The extreme tensity of war-preparations and inculcation of the war spirit in Fascist Germany and Fascist Italy has been equally noted by observers of all political colours. For the evidence of the developments in Germany, especially, reference may be made to Wickham Steed's Hitler: Whence and Whither?, to the American journalist Leland Stowe's Nazi Germany Means War, and to Ernst Henri's Hitler Over Europe. 

This does not mean that Fascist Germany, any more than Fascist Italy, aims at immediate war. To this extent, and no further, the peace speeches are sincere, in so far as they are calculated to gain time and cover the necessary process of re-armament. Unless the situation is precipitated by unexpected events, a preliminary period is sought for the necessary heavy war-preparations, as well as for the diplomatic preparation of a favourable situation. The present balance of power is unfavourable to Germany, and the position of Italy is also weak. But there is no question of the goal to which policy is being directed, As Hitler's Hein Kampf and Mussolini's speeches make abundantly clear, the full aims of the Fascist programme of territorial and colonial expansion can only be finally achieved by war. 

England, France and the United States, whose statesmen and publicists indulge in expressions of shocked surprise at the militarism of Fascist Germany or of Japan, are in fact far more heavily armed than Germany, Italy or Japan, spend more on armaments, and have bigger records of plunder and armed violence all over the world. But the difference in the present situation of these two sets of Powers (which partly accounts also for the more rapid development of Fascist forms in the latter group) lies in the fact that England and France (the position of the United States, owing to its special continental situation, is in a category by itself and shares characteristics with both groups) are relatively "sated" imperialist groups, gorged with world- plunder and seeking above all to hold what they have, therefore strongly interested in questions of "security," while Germany, Italy and Japan are "hungry" imperialist Powers, without an equivalent share in the partition of the world proportionate to their strength or potential strength, and therefore intent on an aggressive policy of expansion. This is the working of the law of unequal capitalist development which underlay the last war and drives to the next. What, however, is conspicuous in the present international situation is the relative complacency and even conciliatory attitude with which England, the United States, and even to some extent France, treat the question of the rearmament of Germany. Where before the slightest diffident requests of Weimar Germany were met with angry refusals and threats of sanctions, the open violation of Versailles and blustering demands for re-armament by Fascist Germany are met with anxiously polite and sympathetic consideration. The only question becomes, not whether re-armament shall be agreed, but how far and to what point re-armament shall be agreed. The "Disarmament" Conference dissolves into negotiations for re-armament. At the same time the simultaneous anxiety of the Western Powers, lest German re- armament go too far, reveals the profoundly contradictory character of the present situation of imperialism. 

What underlies this change of attitude on the part of the Western Powers, which might at first sight seem contrary to the interests of British and French Imperialism, and which indeed arouses criticism from strong sections of opinion within these? Two dominating factors can be traced. 

The first is the recognition of Fascism as the bulwark against social revolution, and the anxiety not to weaken in any way the position of Fascism and thereby open the way to the fall of the Hitler Government and to the proletarian revolution in Germany. This fear, as a study of the French semi-official Press makes clear, paralyses the French desire to make use of the threat of sanctions or of a "preventive war" in order to strangle the re-emergence of the full armed strength of Germany. As Lloyd George frankly declared in his speech on September 22, 1933:
If the powers succeeded in overthrowing Nazism in Germany, what would follow? Not a Conservative, Socialist or Liberal regime, but extreme Communism. Surely that could not be their objective. A Communist Germany would be infinitely more formidable than a Communist Russia. The Germans would know how to run their Communism effectively. That was why every Communist in the world from Russia to America was praying that the Western nations should bully Germany into a Communist revolution. He would entreat the Government to proceed cautiously. (Times, September 23, 1933.)
The National Government needed no such entreaties, but has acted throughout as the broker for Fascist Germany. 

The second factor is the widespread hope of imperialist circles, especially in Britain, to use a re-armed Fascist Germany, in unity with Japan, for war on the Soviet Union. The objective of an expansionist war to the East, directed against the Soviet Union, and with the support, if possible, of Britain, France and Poland, is continuously expressed in all official statements of Nazi foreign policy, notably in Hitler's Mein Kampf, in the writings of Rosenberg, the official chief of the Nazi foreign political department, whose line is fully and openly set out in his book The Future Path of a German Foreign Policy (Der Zukunftsweg einer Deutschen A ussenpolitik), and also in the formerly withdrawn Hugenberg memorandum. Hitler writes: 
For Germany the only possibility for the carrying out of a sound Œterritorial policy lay in the winning of new land in Europe itself. . . . When one would have territory and land in Europe, this could in general only happen at the cost of Russia. (Mein Kempf, PP. 153-4.) 

We stop the eternal march to the south and west of Europe and turn our eyes towards the land in the East.... If we speak of land in Europe to-day we can only think in the first instance of Russia, and her border States.-Mein Kampf, P. 743.) 
The American publicist, Calvin Hoover, reports the following as his impression of the prevailing tendencies in the event of a possible agreement between Western Europe and Fascist Germany: 
In such a case the Western European Powers might be glad to allow Germany a free band in the Slavic East and South for the satisfaction of any further expansionist aims. . . . There is evidence that the idea of the "reorganisation and restoration of Russia" under German tutelage is again very much to the fore. (Hoover, Germany Enters the Third Reich, pp. 226-7.)
British imperialism above all encourages up to the present with moral and material support both Germany and Japan, and influential circles hope for a combined attack of both Powers on the Soviet Union. At the same time German-Japanese relations are drawn extremely close. 

It is unnecessary here to discuss the powerful resistance which such an attempt would meet, not only from the Soviet Union, but from the whole international working class, leading to the unloosing of revolutionary struggle and civil war above all in Germany itself. just this prospect leads the imperialist and Fascist forces still to hesitate. 

The final direction of Fascist war still lies in the womb of events. What is already manifest is that the advance of Fascism has enormously accelerated the advance to war on every side. 

6. Fascism and the Women's Question. 

In no direction does the contrast of the two worlds of Fascism, or Capitalism in extreme decay, and of Communism express itself more clearly and sharply than in the status of women. 

The position of women has often been referred to as one of the surest measures of the level of a civilisation. By this measure Communism stands out as the first fully-developed civilisation in history, where for the first time men and women participate with full equality' while Fascism is revealed in its most undisguised reactionary character. 

The subjection of women has always been inseparably bound up with class-society' and is one of the indispensable foundations without which private-property society could not maintain itself. Capitalism has taken over from the preceding period and adapted to its own purposes the social institutions built on the subjection of women. While revolutionising and organising production and trade on a gigantic scale throughout the world, it maintained, preserved and even intensified in a still more limited and narrow form the primitive and anarchic basis of the small-scale individual Œhousehold, of the family and its ties, and sought to make of this pre-capitalist institution its most powerful conservative pillar of support.* Only on this basis could capitalism, with its complete individualist cash-nexus repudiation of all social obligations and ties, nevertheless successfully maintain itself, and through the institution
of the family throw off its own shoulders all social responsibility for the proper conditions of motherhood, of the bringing up of children, of the support of the sick and the aged, as well as the enormous volume of so-called "domestic labour"-all socially necessary labour indispensable for the maintenance of society, but offering no profit for capitalism to organise, and thrown off as unpaid labour on to the shoulders of the working-class wives and mothers to be performed in the heaviest, dirtiest, most unproductive and wasteful pre-machine conditions alongside highly organised large-scale machine industry in the world outside. The consequent economic and social institutions, involving the subjection of women and the forcible compulsion of the majority of women to economic dependence on marriage as their sole means of livelihood, are bound up with the existence of private-property society, and can only be ended with communist social Organisation. 

Nevertheless, capitalism in its progressive phase performed also a progressive role in relation to the position of women by offering for the first time the possibilities and conditions of a new economic form of Organisation. Capitalism in its search for ever more and cheaper supplies of labour-power draws increasingly millions of women and young persons into industry, until to-day about one-third of the total labour force in modern capitalist states consist of women and girls. Despite the brutal conditions of exploitation, more heavy than for the male workers (an inequality defended in the name of the sacred "family," on the basis of the illusory theory that the average woman worker is supposed to have no "dependents"), yet this means that millions of women have for the first time the beginnings of possibility of an independent economic existence and active citizenship, in place of the compulsion of dependence on a male earner as their sole possibility of livelihood and existence Marx discerned at an early stage the significance of this process: 
However terrible and disgusting the dissolution under the capitalist system of the old family ties may appear, nevertheless, modern industry, by assigning as it does an important part in the process of production, outside the domestic sphere, to women, to young persons and to children of both sexes, creates a new economical foundation for a higher form of the family and of the relation between the sexes. (Marx, Capital, 1., Ch. 15, para. 9.) 
The realisation of this possibility of emancipation, for which capitalism has thus laid the preliminary conditions, depends on the advance to a Communist society: since the drawing of women into industry, so long as the old property conditions and burden of the Œindividual household remain unreplaced by social organisation, only in fact adds to the burden of women instead of liberating them. Only by the full introduction of women into equal partnership in social production, with the consequent necessary equal education and training, and the destruction of the old wasteful unorganised domestic economy inseparably connected with the private property system, can the old position of the economic dependence of women be ended, and their equality and freedom be realised, not only in form, but in living reality. This standpoint was expressed by Engels in his wellknown declaration in the Origin of the Family:
The emancipation of women and their equality with men are impossible, and remain so as long as women are excluded from social production and restricted to domestic labour. The emancipation of women becomes feasible only then when women are enabled to take part extensively in social production. 
The dependence of the solution of the women's question upon the realisation of a Communist society was constantly emphasised by Lenin: 
The full liberation of woman and her real equality with man requires a communist economy, a common social organisation of production and consumption and the participation of woman in general production. Only through this will woman take the same place in society as man. (Lenin, Speech to Moscow Conference of Working Women.)
The Soviet Union illustrates the advance towards this position, where for the first time in the world's history the real equality of women is being built up and established among all the peoples in its territory. 

But capitalism in the period of the general crisis begins to reverse the engines and move in the opposite direction. It is no longer hunting for new reserves of labour-power to exploit. On the contrary, it can no longer find employment for the existing labour force. Hence the cry begins to be sounded increasingly, always from the beginning voiced by the clerical reactionary forces, but now increasingly taken up by modern capitalism as a whole, to drive women out of industry and thus assist to "solve" unemployment by increasing the number of dependents to be maintaine  on each wage (the process can be observed in England in the operation of the Anomalies Act and of the barbarous Family Means Test).

 This cry is taken up in its sharpest and most undisguised form by Fascism, here as in every sphere voicing the most reactionary tendencies of capitalism in extreme decay. Back to the home! Back to economic dependence on marriage as the sole career for women! Cut down women's education! Expel women from employment and give the jobs to men I Back to pots and pans! Produce more cannon-fodder for war! Back to kitchen slavery! This is the line of Fascism on the women's question. Hitler writes: 
In the case of female education the main stress should be laid on bodily training, and after that on development of character and last of all, on intellect. But the one absolute aim of female education must be with a view to the future mother.-(Mein Kampf, p. Œ163.) 
It may be noted that the new German Government regulations for cutting down university education and establishing a rigidly limited student quota for all forms of higher education (and that also dependent on political "national reliability") restricts women to 10 per cent. of the quota of 15,000-i.e., only 1,500 women for the whole of Germany to be permitted in a given year to proceed to any form of higher education, whether universities, technical colleges or other institutions. In 1931 there were 19,700 women students in Germany: taking an average three-year course as basis, representing an average pre-Fascist annual entry of 6,000 to 7,000 women students, this represents a cut by Fascism of women's higher education by 75-80 per cent.* 

*The drastic cutting down of university education, previously the pride and greatest strength of German civilisation, is a typical expression of the general cultural reaction of Fascism, equally illustrated in the burning of the books, etc. The Berlin correspondent of the Manchester Guardian reported in the beginning of 1934:
 "Of the total number of matriculated students in the whole of Germany only 15,000 are to be allowed to enter universities, technical colleges or other institutes of higher education in the coming year. . . . Some 23,000 matriculated students will be unable to proceed to higher education in consequence of the new regulations." 
At the same time the Soviet Union educational authorities were reporting that the total number of university and technical college students in the Soviet Union in 1933 was 415,000 as against 203,000 in 1926-7, and 130,000 under Tsarism. In the face of these facts even the dullest should be able to see that Communism, with its basis in science, is bound to conquer the world, while Fascism, with its denial of science, is doomed to decay and death.

Spengler writes in his Years of Decision: 
Let German women breed warrior men and take pleasure in breeding them. Woman is to be neither comrade, nor beloved, but only mother.
The American observer, Calvin B. Hoover, reports the Nazi attitude to the women's question: 
The attitude of the National Socialists towards women is an integral part of their belief in the desirability of a return to a system of life and morals characteristic of an agricultural rather than an industrial society. The Party is determined that the place of women shall once more be in the home. . . . In a word, the National Socialist conception of women in the scheme of things is that they should bear many strong sons to serve the State in peace and war. (Calvin B. Hoover, Germany Enters the Third Reich, p. 165.) 
It is an error to suppose that the reactionary Fascist attitude to women is simply a reflection of a religious-reactionary outlook and yearnings for a pre-industrial type of civilisation. The fact that the policy of minute bonuses (not in cash, but in orders on the large shops, and repayable) for marriage, on the condition that the woman passes out of industry, and the violent propaganda for more births, are accompanied at the same time by the policy of wholesale sterilisation of the alleged unfit or mentally weak (i.e., of those likely to produce offspring unfit for military service or of those politically unreliable), this latter practice being extremely offensive to traditional religious sentiment, is sufficient evidence that the policy as a whole is not simply the policy of religious-reactionary romanticism, but the conscious reactionary policy of modern capitalism in its most extreme decay. Modern capitalism, while freely exploiting women in industry at sweated rates so far as it has use for their labour, kicks the remainder out of industry whom it cannot employ, bidding them become dependent on male wage-earners and thus save its total bill for wages or unemployment relief, and at the same time calls on them to perform their service in producing plenty of recruits for the increasing needs of the slaughterhouses of imperialist war. This is the viewpoint of modern capitalism in extreme decay, or Fascism, on the role of women. In this key question of the role of women, as in its attitude to culture, or in its use of torture and re-introduction of barbaric beheadings, Fascism reveals typically its degraded social, political and cultural level.