(from the editorial, European Socialist Action No 44, January/February 2013)
A reader recently advised me on the folly of promoting fascism. I agreed
Action is post-fascist, it has to be affirmed here and now. The reason is simple; fascism was a peculiar
phenomenon of the 1930s and ended in the ashes of its military defeat in 1945.
There was never any attempt by Oswald
Mosley to resurrect it, to the disappointment of some of the “old guard” but to the relief of more thinking elements.
Mosley said it rode roughshod over civil liberties and that he now proposed a “new style democracy” in the form
of European socialism.
do not want a “new fascism” because there is no such thing, only a cringingly embarrassing parody of something
are those who imitate the fascism of the 1930s by donning the trappings of fascism. They are nothing more than clowns, some
of them rather dangerous clowns, at that.
I was put in mind of this when watching a documentary on the Russia
Today TV channel. I highly recommend this channel for news. The title of the documentary was “European
extremism” and featured a body building group of thugs dressed in black ... black being the favoured colours of fascist
impersonators ... or re-enactment societies, to be more accurate.
Their aim was to harass and intimidate the local gypsy community
in the name of their “Motherland”. I now forget in which Eastern European country it was filmed but former communist
countries seem to be fertile ground for fascist impersonations.
I was immediately repulsed by what I saw, these decent and neighbourly
gypsies living peacefully in their small, clean houses ... until these thugs and bullies turned up. Is this fascism? ... well,
yes, I think it is in a sort of parody.
I think it has something to do with the wearing of uniforms that transforms these numbskulls
into extreme nationalist bullies. You can read their filth on online forums and they don’t make any secret of their
darkest, vilest thoughts in their semi-literate style.
When Oswald Mosley emerged from jail and then house arrest after the Brothers’ War,
he should have resisted calls from the old comrades of British Union to re-enter the arena of British party politics. In hindsight,
he would have served our country and the rest of Europe better as an individual, as a writer and as a visionary economist.
He could have saved his reputation in that way, by the same token serving his country and its people.
It was Manny Shinwell the veteran Jewish
Labour MP who charitably said of Mosley in the late 1960s, “He should have stayed in the Labour Party where he could
have done a lot of good for the party and for the country. He had everything - good looks and a brilliant mind ... and he
threw it all away”.
he stood for in the Labour Party, the desire to cure mass unemployment and to avenge the war generation, spurred him on throughout
the rest of his life.
fascist phase lasted eight years (1932-1940) with only half of those years in those black uniforms. With the ban on uniforms
in 1936, he showed he could carry on holding mass rallies without them. So much so, that in 1939 he could speak in the Earls
Court Exhibition Hall in West London to an audience of 30,000 people.
His message was the same when he was in the Labour Party because,
let’s face it, he embraced the fascist mode of doing things in order to realise all that he had fought for in the Labour
was to explain in The Times newspaper in the 1970s, “I have never been a man of the
right. I was a man of the left but now I am a man of the centre”.
On Panorama in
1968 he said, “I exhausted every means in the Labour Party of getting my policies accepted before I left. First of all,
the Parliamentary Party; secondly the Conference. And not until I was rejected and defeated in every attempt to get the Labour
Party to accept it did I go over with precisely the same policy — and this is so curious — and start the fascist
movement. Having been denounced as the wild man of the Left by Snowden and others, I was then supposed to become a right-wing
reactionary. But my policy was precisely the same”.
This statement, late in his career, more or less sums up the
real Mosley ... of Mosley the socialist who tried to use the new vehicle of fascism to realise the fight for the unemployed.
sometimes ask, why are you pushing that old fascist thing? The truth is, we are not and never have done.
We acknowledge Mosley the socialist
and not Mosley the fascist. The former being what he was at heart with the latter being a temporary aberration from it.
The reason we persist with this is because
his economic and social ideas could have saved this country under whatever political label you would wish to attach to them.
The ideas of European socialism are
basically Mosley’s ideas, although we occasionally need to update them as times and conditions change. We are, after
all, in the 21st century now.
is for the workers, the ordinary people, and its image represents the flash of ACTION within the circle of brothers’
solidarity, the unbreakable bond of the working class.
The enemy is that ruling class of parasitic exploiters that needs little introduction. Our
aim is the establishment of a new society under a socialist union of Europe.