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Are Institutional Fascism and One-man Fascism two different things? Distorting the political content of fascism.

In the article titled “Election results and what they proved”, I stated that saying “there is no difference between the two (AKP and CHP)”, they are both “fascists”, so “let's not get involved”, stay on the sidelines, “wait for the revolution” has nothing to do with Marxism- Leninism…The reason behind this unconscious claim is theoretical inadequacy, confusing the Fascist political system, which is a product of monopoly capitalism, with the "bourgeois democrat" system, which is also based on oppression.. This misunderstanding is a dangerous understanding that puts serious obstacles in front of organizing and mobilizing the masses against fascism and forming a front against fascism. “The maintenance of capitalist domination depends on the division of the working class. Therefore, for the bourgeoisie, "the real danger is the united working class front".

This confusion about what fascism is reveal itself in the practice of defining CHP as “institutional fascism” and Erdoğan’s AKP as “one-man fascism” .

Such a distinction finds itself in a Bundist, anarchist and anarcho-Trotskyite definition that is self-contradictory and incompatible with the Marxist-Leninist definition of Fascism.

First of all, such a definition seems to pave the way for the distorted and anti-Marxist understanding that "one-man fascism" is not institutional. On the contrary, the primary practice of fascism—especially fascism that is inevitable and historically focused on one man— have been and must be the seizure of all the institutions of the state structure and the creation of the appropriate structure and administrative personnel for the service of fascism. In this sense, "one-man fascism" is not only theoretically but also practically the "institutional" form of fascism.  

The practice of "institutionalization" entails the fact that one has seized power and is "in power" . Defining a party that is not in power as the representative of "institutionalized fascism "while  the existing power is politically "fascist", that is, it has already "institutionalized" the fascism, can neither be a logical explanation nor have any value for the application of Marxism-Leninism and its Marxist dialectic.

Fascism can be evaluated in its concrete reality, which corresponds to a specific historical stage of capitalist development and decay (monopoly capitalism). If we try to evaluate any given specifics without trying to do a class analysis of fascism, we find ourselves meeting with two diametrically opposed anarchist perspectives . Of course, Marxist Leninists do not make any attempt to separate Fascism from its ancestor - the bourgeois dictatorship. But this does not mean that Marxist Leninists, like anarchists, do not define all of them as "fascism" with the narrow-minded understanding that forms of Bourgeois dictatorship have no significance for the working people and their struggle for socialism. Bundists in Turkey have taken quite a step forward in spreading the anti-Marxist understanding that "There has always been "fascism" in Turkey from the beginning and there will always be fascism.

To define every bourgeois dictatorship as fascist, as a result of roteism (learning by rote) and the failure to understand and apply the dialectic of Marxism, the argument that there is no difference between fascism and bourgeois dictatorship in the form of the Parliamentary Republic has nothing to do with Marxism-Leninism and its dialectic.

Lenin in his article, “State and revolution, Debate with Anarchists says; "yes, for Marxists," as Engels emphasized, " that in a democratic republic, "no less" than in a monarchy, the state remains a "machine for the oppression of one class by another" , and continues with what  the “extreme-leftists” ignore  in their quotations,;

"However, in saying this, Engels by no means signifies that the form of oppression makes no difference to the proletariat, as some anarchists “teach”. A wider, freer, and more open form of the class struggle and of class oppression vastly assists the proletariat in its struggle for the abolition of classes in general...”  It is extremely clear that our party and the working class can achieve sovereignty only in the form of a democratic republic. The democratic republic... is also the specific form of the dictatorship of the proletariat... "

So in terms of the interests of the working people and their struggle, they are not the same thing. Fascism is an expression of the extreme stage of conflict between the capitalist forms and the productive forces that chain the working masses. It is a specific form of  bourgeois system of modern monopoly capitalism under specific conditions . Fascism is not an "inevitable" form of system for the bourgeois in general. It becomes "inevitable" with special circumstances. Likewise - dependent on the disengagement process of the specific political crisis that made it necessary - it is not a "permanent" form of system forever.  When fascism fulfills the political purpose of capital, either the intra-capital contradictions deepen- the way to go as they come is opened, or – even if it achieves its short-term economic goal to a large extent – it will collapse as a result of the struggle of the working peoples, as it will exacerbate the economic problems.

The way and process of fascism's coming and going depends on the balance of power and the changes in the balance of powers..

The only general and absolute correct definition of fascism is its class base assessment that; it is " specific to monopoly imperialism " which "in the face of any economic-political crisis, at least some of the capital cannot continue its policies with the existing system form and are obliged to introduce a new system that is even more oppressive " . The obvious difference between bourgeois dictatorship and Fascism is that Fascism basically works with the method of PRESSURE and FORCE as well as deception. Bourgeois (dictatorship) Democracy, on the other hand, shows itself primarily in its work with the method of deception,  as well as coercion .

The confusion in the definition of fascism is generally due to the fact that the emergence of fascism is analyzed by disconnecting from the dialectical connections of economic, social,  and ideological factors or- it is attempted to be evaluated only on the basis of its practices reflected in social life.

As can be understood from the discussions in the Comintern, Fascism, unlike the characteristics of all the oppressive regimes that emerged before, it is a "new authoritarian" system specific to monopoly capitalism, which encompasses all areas of social life by creating a "new ideology" dominant and following various layers of society and directing them towards their own political goals.

Fascist systems aim to implement the "new policies", to make the "new ideology" dominant, when the bourgeoisie deems necessary, both in crises that arise as a result of the unequal development of the economy in any country (the example of Brazil and Turkey), or in any specific situation where economic crises are experienced in general. It is a form of system that bourgeoisie puts into practice when it finds it impossible to rule by “democratic” methods and “means”.

As we have seen, from the point of view of Marxist Leninists for the interests of the laboring masses and of their struggle , the Fascist form of the Bourgeois dictatorship and the bourgeois-democratic form are not the same thing .

To claim that a party that is not in power and has no influence in any state institution is the representative of "institutionalized Fascism" means inevitably inferring that "one-man fascism" is an "un-institutionalized fascism".. In a way, this distinction leads to a strange and absurd understanding that shadows the relationship between the state and capital, as if institutionalized and non-institutionalized Fascism exists independently of each other at the same time.

Fascism is the political power, the form of the system of the most reactionary section of the capital in developed and developing countries . One of its most important tasks (as in Germany and Italy) is to soften the contradictions within the capital and to bring harmony between them.  In other words, it is not possible to talk about more than one fascist "institutionalization" against each other at the same time under fascism. Especially, creating the false image of "one-man fascism" as "un-institutionalized fascism" (Let's not forget that Fascism is generally focused on one man)  cannot be compatible with Marxism-Leninism.

Preparing a theoretical cover for boycotting the elections based on such strange and self-contradictory definitions cannot be compatible with Marxism-Leninism. As I emphasized in the article I mentioned above;

“The irrefutable truth shown by the election results; It is a proven fact that Turkey is a country that is not even ready for a bourgeois democracy, let alone a revolution, more than 60% of its population is reactionary and counter-revolutionary, and more than 90% expects hope from the parliament. Except in exceptional circumstances , to speak of a "boycott" in such a country, to reject the "parliamentary struggle" means "stupidity" in Stalin's words , and in practical reality it means "supporting" the existing autocratic system ."

If we repeat the words of Lenin;

“The use of one or the other means of struggle depends on the objective conditions of the particular economic or political crisis. Not on any decision that the revolutionaries might have made before. And “every form of struggle requires a corresponding technique and an appropriate apparatus. The features of the apparatus of parliamentary struggle inevitably become more pronounced in the Party when objective conditions make the parliamentary struggle the main form of struggle.

On the other hand, when objective conditions give rise to a struggle of the masses in the form of political mass strikes and uprisings, the party of the proletariat must have an "instrument" to "serve" these forms of struggle, and of course this must be a special "device" unlike the parliamentary apparatus. “Lenin, The Crisis of Menshevism

Lenin wrote, in his article “Boycott”

“The principal difference between revolutionary Social-Democracy and opportunist Social-Democracy on the question of boycott is as follows: the opportunists in all circumstances confine themselves to applying the stereotyped method copied from a specific period in the history of German socialism...The revolutionary Social-Democrats, on the contrary, lay chief emphasis on the necessity of carefully appraising the concrete political situation....it would be ridiculous to shut our eyes to realities. The time has now come when the revolutionary Social-Democrats must cease to be boycottists.”

And Lenin likewise says in the Third Conference of the R.S.D.L.P.; 

“"active boycott, as the experience .. has shown, is correct tactics .. only under conditions of a sweeping, universal, and rapid upswing of the revolution, developing into an armed uprising, and only in connection with the ideological aims of the struggle against constitutional illusions arising from the convocation of the first representative assembly by the old regime;..........the tactics of boycott could be appropriate only provided our efforts to convert the trade-union upswing into a revolutionary assault were successful."

Stalin's proposals are also very clear and unambiguous, addressing such boycotters on September 2, 1946;

" A boycott makes sense when it causes elections to fail-prevented. Otherwise, a boycott is stupid."

Now, let alone the democratic task of overthrowing the autocracy, which is urgent on the agenda, I think it would be futile to ask whether there is a possibility of “failing-preventing the elections” in a country where 90% of the population participates in the elections. Neither “institutionalized” fascism theories nor any other sophistry can hide the fact that the boycott tactic, under the current conditions, will meet the final result of being a crutch for AKP fascism .

Erdogan A

25 May 2023


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