How Liberalism Helps Fascism
“I have never really understood exactly what a ‘liberal’ is, since I have heard ‘liberals’ express every conceivable opinion on every conceivable subject. As far as I can tell, you have the extreme right, who are fascist racist capitalist dogs like Ronald Reagan, who come right out and let you know where they’re coming from. And on the opposite end, you have the left, who are supposed to be committed to justice, equality, and human rights. And somewhere between those two points is the liberal. As far as I’m concerned, ‘liberal’ is the most meaningless word in the dictionary. History has shown me that as long as some white middle-class people can live high on the hog, take vacations to Europe, send their children to private schools, and reap the benefits of their white skin privilege, then they are ‘liberal’. But when times get hard and money gets tight, they pull off that liberal mask and you think you’re talking to Adolf Hitler. They feel sorry for the so-called underprivileged just as long as they can maintain their own privileges.” — Assata Shakur
In the 21st Century, it would be to our benefit to swap “progressive” with “liberal”, as the term liberal has a poor reputation even among the…liberals. Liberals have been lambasted and mocked by both the Left and Right for decades and rightfully so. Liberalism, in the American context, is the ideology of weakness, pacifism and spinelessness in the face of rising and violent fascism. Liberals call themselves a variety of things, ranging from “democratic socialists” to “social democrats” to even “socialists”. But regardless of what they call themselves, they are handmaidens to modern American fascism and should be seen as being the left wing of that trend. Liberals inadvertently or willfully support fascism through: their rejection of the rebelliousness of the masses, particularly the colonized masses, their insistence that revolutionaries use and rely upon bourgeois institutions such as the police, the American electoral system, and various other hollow tools controlled by our enemies in lieu of building for revolution, their rejection of Marxism as being “obsolete”, and their promotion of class collaboration. The use of terms such as “the billionaire class” obscure the reality of class struggle — one does not have to be a billionaire to be bourgeois. Liberalism focuses on the individual, not systems. It investigates and highlights the wrongdoings of individual reactionaries and individual bourgeois in isolation from the machinations of their class as a whole. For example, Donald Trump is seen as being a bad individual bourgeois, while wealthy “progressive” bourgeois are celebrated and lauded despite belonging to the same class as Trump. Liberals engage in historical revisionism — for example they now are working feverishly to reverse the verdict on the criminal Bush family because of Barbara Bush’s japes about Trump’s misogyny, George H.W. Bush’s refusal to attend his inauguration, and the fact that George W. Bush is a decent painter. Nevermind the fact that this family played a critical role in destabilizing the entire world for nearly 60 years and sowed havoc from Panama to Nicaragua to Iraq. Liberals engage in the same revisionism regarding John McCain, even referring to the fact that he was righteously arrested committing war crimes against the sovereign people of Vietnam and suffered “torture” as an obvious fact of his bravery and moral fortitude. Nevermind the fact that the United States poisoned this country and Vietnamese children to this very day are born with birth defects from chemical defoliants and Laotian children are murdered in their hundreds every year by unexploded ordnance dropped during the illegal war in Indochina.
Settler liberals, in their rejection of Marxist analysis and tools such as dialectical and historical materialism, are incapable of doing as Lenin said, seeking out the interests of some class or other behind all moral, religious, political and social phrases, declarations and promises. They lag behind the consciousness of the average working class New Afrikan or other colonized person because whereas they can afford to refuse to see the big picture, so to speak, those who are nationally oppressed are reminded every waking second of who their oppressors are and how they maintain their grip on all aspects of society. As a result, this lends itself to political maturity and revolutionary political consciousness. Take the Popeye’s versus Voting debate, for instance. Liberals all over twitter have been lambasting Black people for regular low voter turnout, and they engage in ivory tower debates over why we’d prefer to have a tasty chicken sandwich than stand in line for a half hour to cast a vote for fascist number one or fascist number two. Black people are not politically inactive. We bled and died for the right to vote. It was granted in the 1960s. You only have to look around and see for yourself whether we are better off now than we were in 1964, or if we were worse, after getting the vote and the ability to sit down next to some colonizer at McDonald’s. Any honest Black person will tell you that we are worse, because we are oppressed by the very system that liberals, through their arrogance and inability to see the big picture, the structure, continue to support and prop up. They lambast Cuba and other revolutionary societies for expelling reactionaries and denying them the freedom to destroy their fragile societies. They claim to oppose Trump, yet they’d put socialist states at the mercy of their own Trumps in the form of Guaidó and others.
Liberals, if allowed to infect our revolutionary organizations and guide our practice, will choke out and inhibit our development and struggle. Liberals do not want revolution. Well paid colonizers that may have even read Marx on the plane to India to “find themselves” do not give a shit about proletarian revolution, national liberation, reparations through blood and sweat, or anything else of that nature. At every turn, they will throw a wrench into the work laid by Communists. They may even inform on Communists to the police for “promoting violence”. They are not to be trusted, and the best thing that they can do is deeply study Communist and decolonial revolutionaries such as Frantz Fanon, Mao Zedong and others to sharpen their outlook and become Communists.
We should also turn our attention to liberalism within our own circles. Because of its lack of a guiding ideology, theory, and rejection of “hierarchy”, we see all sorts of liberals masquerading as Anarchists while engaging in activity that is objectively of benefit to the American state and its institutions. This includes supporting US backed color revolutions, engaging in various anti-Communist propaganda efforts, and criticizing past socialist experiments like those in the USSR pre-1950s and China pre-1978. A place is not “counter-revolutionary” simply because it treats anarchists and US backed liberals who try to destroy these fragile societies in the cradle out of spite. This trend also impacts and rots Marxism as well, as a cursory glance at Jacobin Magazine will show, but real Marxists don’t take people like Bhaskar Sunkara seriously because he was never committed to Marxists goals in the first place. People like these found various publications and journals to give a platform to their grad school rants and join lackluster liberal organizations with no real ideological bite to pass themselves off as “organizers”. In many cases, these liberals posing as Anarchists and Communists are very good at turning their bourgeois/petit-bourgeois class connections into activist clout — piss them off and you find yourself and your organization being gossiped about in activist spaces or worse. This is another manifestation of liberalism — personal connections and clout trafficking in small circles should never trump our goal of revolution. Correct line is determined through line struggle and social practice/experiment. Liberals do not believe in line struggle or social practice/experiment, they believe in elite “advocacy groups”, backdoor lobbying, connections to bourgeois politicians, and the formation of small cliques that legitimize/delegitimize various forms of activity based on who they like or the subjective wishes of one or two people who have outsized access to grants or got a cool picture taken of them at a protest once.
The fact that the United States is the world’s number one imperialist superpower and is also a country founded on the reaction, greed and other fascist standby principles allows liberals to pose as the left. The fact that liberal institutions such as the ACLU, HRC and MoveOn have the ability to reach millions and control substantial assets while the Communist/Anarchist left is tiny and marginal (yet growing) boosts this perception. Smashing liberalism as ideology requires the development of our own forces — we simply must seize power and resources from them and squash the roots of their dominance from the ground up, city by city. To fail to do so is to support the left wing of fascism and fail to do our proletarian internationalist duty which is to bring down Yankee imperialism in our time.