“So much for the tolerant left!” cries the far-right. I am intolerant, yes! But of what? I am intolerant of intolerance on the basis of race, gender identity, sex, sexual orientation, religion or nationality. In a word, I am intolerant of bigotry. “You are a dogmatist!” I am a dogmatist, yes! I am irrevocably convinced of the equality of black and white people, of men and women, of the fact that rape is bad, and I want society to be also. Do you mean that I am not ‘liberal’ and that I do not wish to give bigots a platform? To this crime I plead guilty, I do not wish to give Nazis, white supremacists and other hate groups a platform. No, I wish to deprive them of that.
“If fascism could be defeated in debate, I assure you that it would never have happened, neither in Germany, nor in Italy, nor anywhere else. Those who recognized its threat at the time and tried to stop it were, I assume, also called “a mob”. Regrettably too many ‘fair-minded’ people didn’t either try, or want to stop it, and, as I witnessed myself during the war, accommodated themselves when it took over … People who witnessed fascism at its height are dying out, but the ideology is still here, and its apologists are working hard at a comeback. Past experience should teach us that fascism must be stopped before it takes hold again of too many minds, and becomes useful once again to some powerful interests.”
— Franz Frison, Holocaust survivor
Do I mean that I am intolerant of conservatives? I do not like their views in the least, in fact I despise their views. I myself may not like their views, but I will not try to make society itself, or the state deprive them of their right to organize, debate, rally and petition freely. Conservatives do not wish to burn people alive, to send them to concentration camps. They do not wish to kill people for things they cannot help. Will I discourage it and in every way oppose all reactionary sentiments? Absolutely. But will I, in a stable democratic republic, deprive those people, conservatives, of the right to the free battle of opinions? Will I rape the human conscience and dogmatically force people to take up my views at the barrel of a gun like a fascist? No, I will not do that.
But when it comes to fascists, to Nazis and white supremacists, yes, I most certainly will deprive them of their right to organize, rally, run for office and have a platform. The state must draw a line as not to rape the human conscience, but to deprive fascists of having a platform. Does this mean I support this policy in times of revolution or civil war? Absolutely not. But as a general rule, for a stable society in which the foundation of the people’s republic is founded, I think this absolutely applies. Am I as an individual intolerant of conservatism? It is absolutely opposed to everything I for, but I do not wish the state to deprive people of the right to the free battle of opinions within reason.
When I drive my car, I see that people either have the Jesus fish on their car or the Darwin fish with legs. Well then, I must ask, why not both? An expression of the total acceptance of the Darwin fish, that all humans evolved from an ape-like ancestor, and, at the same time, the acceptance of the Jesus fish because religion and science are not mutually exclusive insofar as one does not subjugate reason to faith. Why, WHY must you object to the subjugation of your faith to reason?
I tell a grim warning, that our religion will die out in a few generations if you refuse to accept rudimentary, basic, undeniable scientific fact. It will die out completely if you cling to your outdated myths. It will die out completely if you cling to literalist interpretations of creation which are, in actuality, and because of their fundamentalist interpretation, illusions. Let’s not beat around the bush here, to think the earth is 6000 years old is an illusion, a fog of scientific denial and ignorance of material reality.
If your God is but an ever-receding pocket of scientific ignorance, and not the totality of the scientific endeavor, the force that set all matter into motion, then in 500 years or perhaps even less we will have disproven your foolish notion of ‘God’ and along with it all faiths that refuse to accept scientific fact will go into the dustbin of history.
Even more problematic is those that use my faith, and religion generally, to tell the oppressed and exploited people of the earth to work hard, accept their oppressive conditions, to be pacifists and refuse to change their conditions here on earth in hope of a better life after death! What mockery of the Christian legacy is that? No! True Christianity is an emancipatory doctrine firmly rooted in the principle that the meek shall inherit the earth, it is an emancipatory doctrine of liberation! Both liberation in the spiritual sense and thereby, necessarily, of those in this life here on this earth from poverty, oppression, and exploitation everywhere!
It is absolutely, positively, and irrevocably incompatible with capitalism, feudalism, and all class society, as well as all forms of systematic oppression and exploitation beyond their historical necessity. And it is against capitalism even more so than feudalism because of its foundations in the sins of greed, gluttony, and pride. It is not to be used as a tool to numb the pain of those who are oppressed but to rouse them up in an open and unrestrained fight against the oppressors and exploiters of the earth!
To promote Christianity is one thing, but the realization of the impossibility of secular Judeo-Christian ethics being the foundation of our social structure is another. As Christian Socialist James Connolly said, “We know that Christianity teaches us to love our neighbor as ourselves, but we also know that if a capitalist attempted to run his business upon that plan his relatives would have no difficulty in getting lawyers, judges and physicians to declare him incompetent to conduct his affairs in the business world… Personally I am opposed to any system wherein the capitalist is more powerful than God Almighty. You need not serve God unless you like, and may refuse to serve him and grow fat, prosperous and universally respected. But if you refuse to serve the capitalist your doom is sealed; misery and poverty and public odium await you. No worker is compelled to enter a church and to serve God; every worker is compelled to enter the employment of a capitalist and serve him. As Socialists we are concerned to free mankind from the servitude forced upon them as a necessity of their life; we propose to allow the question of all kinds of service voluntarily rendered to be settled by the emancipated human race of the future.”
Even to you self-proclaimed pacifists, when you assert that your religion, your church should be embodied in, officialized and have power over the state do you not realize what you are doing? The state is that organ in a given society that has a sole, absolute, and legitimate monopoly on violence. It is an inherently repressive institution whereby one class subjugates another by the police, the army, the courts, etc. In other words, by the barrel of a gun. What Christian, in their right mind could claim to be a pacifist and support anything but strict state secularism? And even those like me who are not pacifists, you cannot in your right mind support the state in capitalist society, a tool used to hold down the oppressed and not the oppressors. A tool used solely to keep the poor and bondage by enforcing and prolonging their exploitation.
What else is there to say? I admit wholeheartedly that the atheist’s criticism of religion is correct up to and excluding the point where it dictates the necessity of atheism. Take a look in the mirror, when I read the works of Karl Marx on issues such as religion, I, a religious person, find myself agreeing with him. What does that say about our faith? That it was Marx, a brilliant man no doubt, but an atheist, who first discovered and unveiled the laws that dominate human society and the capitalist economy at large? It was Marx, not a man of God, who correctly discovered such things. What does that say about us? Take a look in the mirror damn it! If you truly care about your faith, subjugate it to reason and scrutiny. Reject any and all literalist interpretations, especially those of creation, and stop using it as a tool to keep the oppressed and exploited people’s of the earth in bondage! Turn all organized religion upsidedown from a tool of the oppressor to a tool of the oppressed. You think religion is powerless and pacifistic, but in reality, it is a weapon. For centuries it has been used to hold down the oppressed. Now let it be used to encourage the oppressed to hold down the oppressors until the systematic exploitation of man by man is no more! What more can I say?
1.) Never burn books. Write new books, new articles and new criticisms to refute wrong ideas. To destroy wrong ideas by burning them physically is to admit that you are afraid that you are wrong. It is to suffer a defeat.
2.) Never subjugate reason to faith. Everything must justify its existence before the judgement-seat of reason or give up existence. This does not imply either theism or atheism, it is a general matter of attitude, to avoid dogmatism in all regards.
3.) Accept the possibility that everything you know is wrong. Everything.
4.) Treat others how you would want to be treated but do not hesitate to enforce justice where it is deserved.
5.) “The life of a single human being (of the poorest human being) is worth a million times more than all the property of the richest man on earth.” Treat homeless people with dignity and respect. Address them properly.
6.) Accepting the prevailing socioeconomic and political system is not a fundamental part of growing up, the spirit of rebellion against injustice must never be crushed by old age.
7.) Love is infinitely more valuable than hate in most every instance
8.) An injustice suffered by one might as well be an injustice suffered by all
9.) “It is right to rebel”
10.) Every bridge has a person who first walked across it. Do not be afraid of going where no other person has ventured.
11.) Laws are only valid insofar as they are grounded in justice, and a dedication to justice carries with it an obligation to disobey all unjust laws. Obey the law of conscience and the law of reason, disobey the written law at every instance if it is unjust.
12.) “Unless you have investigated a problem, you will be deprived of the right to speak on it. Isn’t that too harsh? Not in the least. When you have not probed into a problem, into the present facts and its past history, and know nothing of its essentials, whatever you say about it will undoubtedly be nonsense.”
13.) Avoid the number 13 at all costs* (* may contradict rule no. 2)
14.) Pray and then act, that’s how prayer is supposed to work.
15.) Always read differing opinions and points of view. Familiarize yourself with what the other side believes and take from it what, if anything, is based on reason.
16.) Religion must not be used to justify oppression and exploitation here on earth in hope of a better life after death. Religion (more specifically Christianity) generally must be and ultimately is, in essence, militantly opposed to all social orders but socialism, but communism. As such it must mean a fight against all the oppressors and exploiters of the world!
17.) Pacifism is only useful in personal and private matters, oppose all unjust wars but do not hesitant to use violence when and where it is both necessary and justifiable.
18.) Ideological dogmatism is toxic, avoid it at all costs.
19.) “The police become necessary in human society, only at that juncture in human society where it is split between those who have and those who ain’t got.” The policing institution is worthy of absolutely no respect. Misguided individuals who join the police out of a desire to genuinely help people should be respected, but never the institution itself.
20.) Fight for justice and equality of those of color, women, immigrants, LGBT+ people and all oppressed and exploited peoples
21.) Capitalism is fundamentally based on exploitation, it systematically creates extreme inequality (poverty). It is split between the proletariat (the workers who have nothing to sell but their labor) and the bourgeoisie (the capitalists who do no productive work yet live off of and amass fortune off of those who have nothing to sell but their labor). You can’t have capitalism without racism, without poverty, without exploitation.
22.) Fight for actual socialism, meaning industrial democracy (not the state-capitalist system of the former USSR). Oppose Stalinism and alternatives to capitalism which in practice are just as bad, or worse than the system it is trying to replace.
23.) NEVER embrace or uphold historical revisionism. (I.e. holocaust denial) It means revising history in order to justify your political, social, or religious views.
24.) In times of great social upheaval and revolution they may be absent, but any society which does not recognize the fundamental rights of man, (the bill of rights as it is called in the U.S.) excluding capitalist rights to exploit others for profit, is not worthy of being a model society. Certain principles may be taken from such a society. But no such society is worthy of fighting for.
25.) Equality, Democracy, Liberty, and Justice are grand ideas, but in our society, they are not genuine, they are truncated, false, hypocritical and deceptive in our society. Fight for these things in actuality and expose the hypocrisy of our society in all instances.
To be born is arguably the worst injustice, one cannot consent to being thrust into existence, for to say “I consent” implies that there is an I, that existence is already attained. It is to be, in the inverted sense, raped by mother nature, a one in a trillion rape, a one in a trillion, horrific injustice. And of course, we are wired to consent after the fact, after we already exist. “I don’t want to die” is the norm thanks to natural selection, and I say that not cynically. I say that as someone who has had depression in the past. In absolutely no way do I defend or support social Darwinism, but natural selection as opposed to human selection has hitherto been responsible for shaping our instincts and minds from birth, not to say that they are not largely malleable by the material conditions and society this mind finds itself in, but that the general trend has been a desire to live and survive, the most deeply rooted instincts.
This is also not an argument against procreation. Yes, we should have fewer babies because of overpopulation, but by all means, have children if you so will. Just know that it is as you will, or the material conditions you find yourself in (i.e. sex, rape, moral stance against abortion or contraception, etc.) and not a non-existent other, not according to the will of the thing you are going to thrust into the world without its consent. But there is a silver lining, being a good parent helps to atone for this injustice, in fac, if you are responsible for creating this thing then it is you alone, with (hopefully) the obligation of the other, that can, and therefore must do to atone for this injustice.
Perhaps this can explain the paternal/ maternal instinct. “My god I have brought this innocent thing into the world, It’s so helpless.” And then in the subconscious, “It couldn’t even consent to being thrust into existence, I have to give it a happy life and be a good parent to make up for this”, even though it is in most every regard a most happy moment. I think this may be a valid form of subconscious moral reasoning. In essence, you do not choose to exist, someone and something else did. To be born, to exist against your will is in the absolute sense, injustice. But this is an absolutely necessary, and permanent injustice. Not in the sense that immorality, oppression, and exploitation are unjust, but in another, wholly existential and absolute form.
Without more unions, without a militant, politically independent and class-conscious working class, any gains in regards to healthcare, pay, and other necessary reforms will be attacked with the utmost scrutiny by the ruling class. The bourgeoisie will declare such reforms a failure despite its successes, horrendously attack it and look only at its faults. It will undo such progress, privatize, and fool the masses into loving the fact that they are essentially being robbed.
Reforms can come in our current society only by the ruling class, particularly by the liberal bourgeoisie, making concessions to the workers who threaten independence from the two party system. Political movements are de-radicalized by the democrats and turned into a reluctant concession out of fear at best, or totally destroyed by the henchmen of the bourgeoisie at worst.
Political radicals and leaders who were persecuted by the ruling class in life are canonized, turned into harmless icons and stripped of their radical message by that same ruling class after death. By owning the mainstream media, which are in essence for-profit institutions, the ruling class shapes public opinion. It scorns reform, and fools the masses into hating that while benefits the overwhelming majority of society and embracing that which only benefits the top 1%.
“Freedom of press” is our slogan too, but their “freedom of press” is subject to the domination of those with capital, those who own the earth, and those who wish to continue and defend this exploitative system, giving the opposition not an ounce of real criticism.
Democracy at work, along with the grand notions of equality that founded the liberal republics are shaken off and dismissed as ‘socialism’. So long as capital rules, so long as the leftover surplus produced by 100,000 is dictatorially owned by, and given to a tiny minority consisting of 10-20 people in board rooms, so long as there are oppressor classes and private property, slogans of “democracy, equality, liberty” will be just that- slogans.
Tell me, what liberty is enjoyed by the homeless person, the unemployed, by those who toil 50 hours a week and still live in hunger and poverty, who live in constant fear of losing their job, their home, their food. What liberty is that? True liberty can only exist where there is no systematic exploitation of one person over another, where there is no unemployment, homelessness or poverty. True liberty can only be attained not through formal declaration but by a fight against the oppressors and exploiters of the earth!
True liberty can exist only in a socialist society, transforming formal declarations of the rights of man, of human rights, from mere formal recognitions and into material reality. True liberty can only exist where there is no state, where there is no ruling class. Onward to socialism!
I decided to write this after I saw on a conservative facebook page an image of 2 flags. One of the Soviet Union, and the other of Nazi Germany. It read, “Why is one of these flags and its followers shamed and banned whereas it killed 20 million people, and the other is seen as embodying equality and justice, and it killed 50 million?” At the top, it read COMMUNISM = FASCISM. My blood boiled, but not for the reasons you would think (i.e. historical revisionism, support of Stalin, etc.) This page was comparing fascism to communism, not fascism to Stalinism. It completely lacked any in-depth analysis of the ideological foundations of Soviet Marxism and German National Socialism alike. I will here show the absurdity of this argument, I am arguing openly as a communist, but moreover as a Trotskyist. I take a very critical view of the USSR, it’s totalitarianism, its crimes, its lack of liberty and democracy. I will show how these ideological trends are not only not the same, but often the exact opposite of one another, and no, it’s not what you think.
First, let us look broadly at the two ideologies, Fascism is inherently authoritarian by nature while communism (moreover the pursuit of communism) is much more ideologically diverse. Fascism by default is a totalitarian system of government enforcing a system of state-capitalism, while Marxism-Leninism is typically a totalitarian institution of state-capitalism in the pursuit of communism. But what is Marxism-Leninism? Marxism-Leninism is the ideological system you think of when you hear the word communism, it was the core ideology at the heart of all the 20th century Marxist states (USSR, China, Cuba, Albania, Romania, etc.) You may know it by its other name, used by critics on the communist left such as myself to refer to it in its pure form: Stalinism. The Stalinist legacy of Marxism-Leninism was diluted in the USSR after Khrushchev’s reforms and ‘de-Stalinization’ in the USSR (as I will cover later), however, communist leaders Enver Hoxha and Mao Zedong maintained a much more Stalinist form of Marxism-Leninism after Stalin’s death, calling it Anti-Revisionist Marxism-Leninism, or just Anti-Revisionism. This anti-revisionism is what I am referring to when I say Marxism-Leninism. Though there are few Marxist-Leninists today that reject Stalinism as there were in the later USSR (Khrushchev and co.)
Both Fascism and Stalinism embody a system of over-centralization of state power and totalitarianism. In fact, the criticism of Stalinism is not left to the liberal intellectuals and rightists. It’s most militant critics are actually found on the communist left. The term ‘Marxism-Leninism’ was developed by Joseph Stalin after the death of Vladimir Lenin in the USSR. Stalin pursued a highly authoritarian variant of Leninism after Lenin’s death, the USSR was subjected to what Trotsky called a ‘bureaucratic degeneration’ of the Soviet Union, making it what he called a ‘degenerated/ deformed workers state’. Trotsky? Who’s that? Leon Trotsky was the co-leader of the October Revolution, next to Lenin he was the most important figure in the 1917 revolution. Consequently, Trotsky, a bolshevik to the core, was among the first to criticize the totalitarian nature of Stalinism, its inherent lack of democracy and fundamental rights of citizens, its criminal justice system, overuse of state-terror and bureaucratic nature. He referred to the USSR not as a socialist state, but as a degenerated workers state in desperate need of political, not social revolution. Trotsky is still vilified by Marxist-Leninists today, saying the man who wrote The Revolution Betrayed was actually himself a traitor. But I will not entertain this notion of the demonization of such a hero of liberty.
It is not entirely fair to blame Stalin for the USSR’s bureaucratic degeneration, the material conditions of early Russia are largely responsible for what happened. Lenin repetitively said that without the revolution in Germany that the socialist revolution was doomed, that Soviet Russia was doomed, for socialism in one country alone was impossible. After the October revolution, it was invaded by a coalition of 14 countries (including the US and UK, mind you), it was in the midst of a famine, it had just gotten out of the first world war, 2 revolutions, a civil war, and a foreign invasion. It was completely isolated and surrounded by hostile capitalist foreign powers on all sides. Authoritarian degeneration, some would say, was inevitable in such conditions. To make matters worse the overwhelming majority of early Russia was illiterate, barefoot and living in extreme poverty. Nevertheless, Lenin and Trotsky attempted to lead the country out of economic and political disaster, taking no more than a workman’s wage while doing so.
Contrary to popular belief, Lenin never once wrote about or suggested a one-party state. In fact, the USSR was a multi-party state up to 1924 (the year of Lenin’s death) during the New Economic Policy (where state-regulated capitalism was favored over state-capitalism) when the Mensheviks took up blatant counter-revolutionary positions that they felt they had to temporarily suspend it. When Lenin died, Stalin rose to power and never re-established a multi-party system. Up until Stalin’s rise to power, there had been no mention by Marx, Engels, Lenin, Luxemburg or any other Marxist thinker of a one-party state. It is purely a vestige of Stalinism, one that still haunts the world to this day in Cuba, China, etc. In fact, if you read Lenin’s writings on the party it is very clear that it was not to be the only political or ideological force guiding the country, freedom of open criticism and disagreement was to be encouraged, as was freedom of speech, press, striking and protest by default. His proposed system (in his book The State and Revolution) was actually extremely democratic, even more so than the United States or Europe is today, it was based largely on Marx’s analysis of the Paris Commune, one of Marx’s few writings of what a democratic dictatorship of the proletariat (of the working class, of the majority) instead of a capitalist dictatorship of the bourgeoisie, would actually look like. I think it doesn’t even need to be said that Stalinism proved to embody the exact opposite of this proposed system. Lenin’s vision of a truly democratic society could tragically not have been realized in backward Russia, so he had to pursue a different path. Nonetheless, I cannot help but laugh when people mention a one-party dictatorship when I mention Lenin’s name, Lenin would have and probably did, roll over in his grave when Stalin came to power and did the things he did.
The economic system of the USSR, from a class and Marxist analysis, was actually a system of state capitalism, not socialism. Though many socialists still debate if it really was since the USSR was, at least in theory, the dictatorship of the proletariat. But what is state capitalism? And how does it differ from socialism? State capitalism is a system where the state, owning the means of production, acts as the capitalist. The worker is still exploited but by the state instead of a private capitalist. In essence, the state acts as the capitalist. Socialism is quite different, as Trotsky said, “socialism needs democracy like the human body needs oxygen”. To explain this more clearly here is a basic (and I do mean basic) analysis of how a capitalist enterprise works, from a Marxian economic perspective of course:
Under state capitalism, the relation between Labor and Capital remains the same, the board of directors (or planners) is selected by the state instead of by wealthy shareholders. Under socialism, the BoD would be democratically elected (assuming we are speaking of a corporation). There is no real difference between being oppressed by a private capitalist and by the state. Lenin and Trotsky understood that state capitalism was a necessary prerequisite to socialism in the USSR and that it could only be achieved under the following conditions. 1.) In an advanced country having undergone a period of capitalist (or state capitalist) development, and 2.) Only on an international scale, capitalism is an international system, so too must be socialism.
In the 1930’s, after the USSR had undergone strenuous hardships, Stalin, now leader of the state, had to make a political decision. On one hand, he could have been honest and formally declared that the USSR had achieved a system of state capitalism, that the people would have to endure God knows how many more decades of rapid industrialization and hardships, or he could lie. So Stalin did what politicians do, he lied. He went to the Soviet people, who were tired and overworked, who had transformed their country from one of the poorest agricultural countries in the world into a budding industrial superpower in a hitherto unseen level of rapid industrialization, and he lied. He declared that “Socialism has been achieved!” Well, Stalin didn’t ‘achieve’ anything of the sort, he declared it. This goes hand in hand with Stalin’s theory of ‘Socialism in one country’ which he developed after it seemed that the revolution in Germany wasn’t going anywhere.
The USSR was alone and would remain alone largely until the second World War. Stalin had solidified power, through purges and state terror, and through constructing a massive and bureaucratic state apparatus. This is largely the reason for the confusion of what the term socialism actually means today. We Trotskyists uphold the original Marxist definition of socialism advocated by Marx, Engels, Lenin, Luxemburg, Trotsky and Connolly instead of the state-capitalist definition upheld by Stalin, Mao, Hoxha, and co. When people today advocate socialism, oftentimes they are advocating state-capitalism or worse still, social democracy (regulated capitalism, or as I like to call it ‘capitalism with pretty flowers’). We uphold the older definition, the one of genuine workers democracy (both politically and industrially) which is possible to be almost immediately realized in the U.S. and Europe today without undergoing a long period of state capitalism as was the case in the backward USSR. Because we already are living in an advanced capitalist society, such a period of transition would not be necessary.
In the USSR there had been forced collectivization, mass repressions, and purges of both the Communist Party and the population at large- and yes, a lot of people died, unlike the historical revisionist Marxist-Leninists we do not deny this. In the time that this was occurring we communists did not remain silent. Those who identified themselves as Marxist-Leninists, which was the prevailing trend of 20th century Marxism, sided with Stalin. And who could blame them? The only people who understood what was going on were those bolsheviks and dissidents who were exiled or fled from the USSR. The Soviet Union offered a tempting alternative to capitalism, even if it wasn’t the socialism fought for by Marx and Lenin despite its appearance. Leon Trotsky was one of those exiles. He was the co-leader of the revolution, and he was exiled under Stalin’s orders. He founded the Marxist ideological trend of Trotskyism, of which I am a part. In fact, it was we Trotskyists who were persecuted and scapegoated more than any other group in the USSR, next to of course the Kulaks and former capitalists. Trotsky remained a dedicated Leninist and Marxist till the end when he was assassinated under Stalin’s orders. Apart from Stalin, he was the last significant Bolshevik who participated in the October revolution still alive. The rest had been executed by Stalin’s orders. Trotsky did not shy from comparing Stalinism (Marxism-Leninism) to fascism, and particularly to the rising Hitler’s form of government, and neither do I. Trotsky often referred to the Soviet secret police as the ‘Gestapo’.To compare the two would not be a wrong analysis. In fact after Stalin’s death, his successor Khrushchev gave an infamous speech to the Communist Party congress accusing Stalin of the crimes that Trotsky had been accusing him of his whole life.
In fact, even Leninism as an ideological trend was rejected by many communists at the time. For instance, many Marxist and socialist groups sided with Marx’s original analysis, that socialism could only come about in most advanced capitalist countries at the end of capitalist development due to its own internal contradictions. They took on the view that Russia must undergo a phase of natural capitalist development before it could achieve socialism, despite its (as they would say) premature socialist revolution. In fact, this cannot be entirely disputed. There is no doubt that we are living in the times Marx spoke of today, and many socialists assert (myself included) that the USSR never transcended state-capitalism.
Then there are the anarchists. Anarcho-communism is a belief held by anarchists that anarchism can only be achieved in a classless, communist society. We may have our disagreements on the state, but they are certainly communists all the same. They are the epitome of anti-authoritarianism. When people compare ‘communism’ to fascism I cannot help but laugh in light of this fact alone. People do not realize that libertarian socialism, libertarian Marxism, and anarcho-communism are popular ideological trends among communists today.
Marxism-Leninism, anarcho-communism, Leninism, Trotskyism, Luxemburgism, Libertarian Marxism, Marxism-De-Leonism, etc. are but different systems of getting to socialism as an economic system, and finally to communism. Communism itself is the mortal opposite of fascism, it has of course never been achieved anywhere on earth. I can’t think of a moneyless, classless, stateless society where people work freely “from each according to their ability” and take freely “to each according to their needs”. The system itself is in essence, anarchism, or at least embodying an extremely decentralized government without an oppressive state organ. Marx never wrote a ‘master plan’ for communism. His work was on the analysis of capitalism as an economic system, not on building a communist society, this explains the radically different approaches to such a system, and yes, some of them were tragically totalitarian and should never be repeated in human history. We, communists, do not deny this fact. If you condensed everything he ever wrote down to say ~50 volumes, only about 10 pages would describe what a communist system would actually look like. He always said when asked about the future, “I do not have a crystal ball”. Now that we have defined the ideological foundations of Soviet Marxism and what we commonly refer to as 20th century communism, we can accurately compare and contrast communism and fascism.
In a nutshell, all National Socialists defend Hitler and defended Hitler during his rise to power. Not all communists defend Stalin nor did they in his rise to power. The difference is that communism can be as authoritarian as Nation Socialism (in the form of Marxism-Leninism, especially in its anti-revisionist variants in Maoism or Hoxhaism), but it can also be as libertarian as anarchism. The difference is inherent to the moral ineptitude of National Socialists and Stalinists alike. But as we have demonstrated, there are quite many among us, communists to the core, who are appalled at all forms of totalitarianism, including that of Stalinism and the 20th century Marxist states. We do not need to embrace historical revisionism to justify our views and aims, though the fascists and Stalinists certainly do. In denying the material conditions inherent to Stalinist Russia and Nazi Germany alike, they make fools of themselves. There are but two possibilities for a neo-Nazi and an ardent Stalinist. 1.) They embrace historical revisionism (i.e. alternative historical analysis such as genocide denial) to justify their views, in which case they are naive, ignorant and generally historically illiterate, or 2.) They reject historical revisionism, accepting the totality of what occurred (the crimes central to the ideology of National Socialism, that unlike Stalinism is to Marxism, Naziism is to National Socialism), and are in and of themselves; immoral, heartless, unempathetic, deluded and potentially psychopathic. Either way, we have here a wretched or at the very least misguided human being either totally incapable of empathy and remorse or of thinking objectively for himself in light of overwhelming evidence.National Socialism (Naziism) and fascism are intrinsically authoritarian forms of government, there are no libertarian variants or less authoritarian versions of it, unlike the much more diverse ideological school of communism. It is authoritarian to its core and worse still, this authoritarianism is not a means to an end such as communism, but it is an end in and of itself.
So yes, to compare anti-revisionist Marxism-Leninism to fascism is not a nuanced analysis, however, to compare communism to fascism most certainly is. To fly the Soviet flag often signals support for the October Revolution and its historical significance. It can also mean support of the Soviet Union up to Lenin’s death or during its much later reforms. To fly the Nazi flag or support its ideology is inherent to supporting Hitler. While to support the ideology of communism is absolutely not inherent to, nor is the support of Stalin implied. I hope I have sufficiently explained the absurdity of such a comparison to you, thank you for taking the time to read this somewhat lengthy polemic.