Read: January 2021
Inspiration: What is the history of fascism? (recommended by a friend)
Written with the help of ChatGPT, below is a brief summary to understand what is covered in the book.
“Fighting Fascism”, published in 1923 by organizer of the First International Women’s Day Clara Zetkin, relays Zetkin’s Report and Resolution on fascism presented at the June 1923 enlarged plenum of the Communist International’s executive committee. At a time when fascism was a new and little-understood phenomenon, Zetkin’s work proposed a sweeping plan for the unity of all victims of capitalism in an ideological and political campaign against the fascist danger.
Direct from my original book log, below are my unedited notes (abbreviations and misspellings included) to show how I take notes as I read.
Fascism originate 1920 italy with Mussolini in response to rising labor movement–Muss to power 1922 to crush unions, Clara Zetkin was big communist and socialist women’s movement leader who fight vs capitalism and report on fascism in 1923, key features: fascism rise out of capitalism crisis–attacks on workings class and working class/socialism fail to assume power, fascism is outlet for disgruntled and socially exiled, use nationalism as a cover for militarism, use racism and scapegoating, capitalist support fascism to avoid socialism/communism, all workers must unify to fight fascism (can’t just say leave you alone, leave us alone), working class stagnation and frustration fuel fascist rise–disillusioned by failure of socialsm and workers nonascent to power, disillusioned workers turn to strong people and strong state (“nationalism”) to help but goes awry b/c rich have diff motives, rich lean into working class (pretend sympathetic) and workers oblige (rich now have broad support and use to justify harsh measures of gvt/rule), italy fascism rise as economy crushed by ww1 and lots of unemployment–Mussolini enter as pacifist socialist, fascism fail to deliver on promises to proletariat (working class), Mussolini help rich people get richer and poor not get helped, Germany similarly have post ww1 econ struggles that give fascists an opportunity, fascism is ideologically bankrupt (contradict all promises) and soon becomes politically bankrupt but can be drawn out and still terrorize, need to actively combat by speaking to the suffering/disappointed/hungry who are drawn to fascism, need to unite all workers not just some to act, workers organization must energetically fight against fascism and the rich capitalists abuses, 1920s into 30s antifascist movement become sectarian (not bring in all workers) and this give nazis in germany ability to exploit by 1933, Communist International (comintern) fail to unite and 1924 trosky in russian pushed aside for stalin/zinoviev (communist party embrace socialists less now, division hurt), stalin take over as communist leader in russia, stalin turn ultraleft with bolshevik which break unified front of communists and collaboration with socialists against fascism (soviets under stalin exile trotsky, bukharin (led other right faction)), late 1920s Zetkin speak out against Stalin–though happy communists lead, but Zetkin want unity vs fascism (speak in 1932 in reichstag to nazis who hate her, hope for unity, workers who sustain capitalism are also victims of it and must stand up