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 WHITHER FASCISM?
(from the editorial, European Socialist Action No 44, January/February 2013) 

A reader recently advised me on the folly of promoting fascism. I agreed with him.

European 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.

We do not want a “new fascism” because there is no such thing, only a cringingly embarrassing parody of something long dead.

There 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”.

What 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.

The 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 Party.

He 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.

People 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.

It 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.

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