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Fascism, Democracy and the War

Workers who suffered under the monstrous Mussolini and Hitler dictatorships were clearly worse off than their fellow wage slaves in the so-called democratic countries. It is a popular fiction that Britain and its allies went to war against the fascist nations in 1939 to defeat an evil ideology and save the world for democracy. This is a lie, just as false as those invented to persuade workers to be slaughtered in the trenches in 1914. The fact is that Britain and its allies were motivated by a political and economic desire to protect their long-held interests in the world market against the expansionist aims of the fascist nations which had arrived late on the scene of world imperialism. The claim that a major war was initiated to liberate workers from fascist tyranny sounds very noble, but has little to do with the sordid motives of the capitalist class.

Fascism and the British capitalists

War, History and Revolution

Fifty years ago a cold sense of apprehension was creeping over Europe. The first feelings of relief following the 'peace in our time' agreement between Hitler and Chamberlain had passed. By March 1939 Hitler had already moved to crush Czechoslovakia. On 1 September his victim was Poland. The Second World War had begun.

It does, of course, serve the interests of capitalism to deflect the blame for the horrors of war on to the actions of particular individuals such as Hitler. So, in this fiftieth anniversary year of the outbreak of the Second World War, beware the rush of books, articles, films and television documentaries in which historians and journalists will, no doubt, concentrate on the personalities and motives of key individuals. They will be following the traditional view that history is somehow determined by the personal whims of caesars, kings, queens, prime ministers and führers.

Not Made by Great Individuals

Is Bernard Shaw a Judge of Socialism?

Commenting on Mr. W. J. Brown's broadcast "Is Hitler a Socialist," Mr. Emrys Hughes, editor of Forward (March 15th) takes Mr. Brown to task and warns him against underestimating Hitler. Mr. Hughes does not disagree with Mr. Brown's proof that Hitler is not Socialist: "Of course Hitler is no more a Socialist than is Winston Churchill, and Brown had no difficulty in disposing of that delusion." So far, so good, but Mr. Hughes backs up his opinion by calling in Bernard Shaw's recent opinion of Hitler. But is there any reason to suppose that either Hughes or Shaw is competent to recognise a Socialist when he sees one?

Lessons of the Nazi Takeover

The year 1984 has become synonymous with tyranny. It has, in fact, become a cliche. People who have never read Orwell and in some cases have only a hazy idea who he was, know all about 1984 and Big Brother. Orwell's nightmare has not yet come to pass but fifty years ago a real Big Brother, Adolf Hitler emerged; that when the Nazis finally consolidated their hold over Germany and ushered in a tyranny which, while perhaps not quite as grim as Orwell's vision, was still pretty vile. Having crushed all their opponents, they turned on their allies. One thing which distinguishes the modem totalitarian state from older forms of tyranny is that no deviation, however slight, can be allowed. Friend as well as foe must be forced into line. This had already been demonstrated in Russia, where Stalin had shown the way and Hitler was an apt pupil.

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