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Negri on the Resurgent Global Far Right



The Verso blog has a reflection from Negri that was sparked by the election of hard-right politician Jair Bolsonaro to the presidency of Brazil. Negri puts Bolsonaro’s victory in the context of the larger global resurgence of the far right, and speculates about what kind of radical coalition in Brazil might be able to oppose him. An excerpt:

What must be done, then? We must stop crying, we must get down to work, taking comfort in the awareness that the fascist cadre is still weak. In what sense, with what spirit, should we start working? The provocations are already numerous, and in the future they will multiply. In the universities there are squads and right-wing groups putting together lists of communists, school programs start to be filled with invocations to a slave-holding past, etc. We must not be afraid. Not having fear becomes the key element for building a resistance.

Fascism is based in fear. Here it awakens and cultivates fear of Blacks and of communists. But this duo is a symbol of life, and its struggle is a sign of liberation. The leftist parties, starting with the unrecoverable PT, are in crisis. It is in the relationship and political recomposition of Blacks and communists that a radically antifascist left can be built. This step is fundamental. There cannot be antifascism in Brazil without a political composition between the white communists and the Black population. It goes without saying that the spark of this recomposition, today, are the feminist movements. They are majoritarian movements, and the majority is not afraid.

Image of Brazilian president Jair Bolsonaro via BBC.


Whenever people invoke the need for “a radically anti-fascist left”, I know that they are still running a million miles away from the need for socialist Revolution, the battle for proletarian dictatorship and the building of Leninist parties.
If you really want to fight fascism, you need to overthrow the collapsing capitalist system that NEEDS fascism to let it survive, and spews out fascism spontaneously because the global “over-production” economic crisis, as explained by Marx, churns out envy, greed, tribalism, national chauvinism, chaos, anarchy, confusion and war.
Of course the Bolsonaro types APPEAR to be making lots of the running, like Trump, Hungarian fascists, Ukrainian fascists in Kiev government, Polish ultra-right, German Hitler-lovers etc. But they are still historic LOSERS. The monopoly-ruling class system that supports their jackbooting-torture fantasies is in warmongering and trade-war turmoil, and their posturing is being ripped to shreds.
How clever does Theresa May in the UK look? How clever does France’s techo-biz clown Macron look with Paris on fire every weekend? How clever does Trump look - making vicious threats but retreating in Syria and Afghanistan?
The missing subjective and objective factor to win the day for socialism and peace is the mass communist REVOLUTIONARY party, ready to battle for genuine Leninist politics in every country. What stops that: ghastly lingering middle-class anti-Marxist ignorance about the true nature of the monopoly-capitalist system, its highly controlled bourgeois “democracy” and its need for world war; and similar philistinism about the real history of the triumphs and difficulties of the world’s first workers states, where most of the time the (middle-class) so-called “left-wing”, whether Trotskyist or revisionist, joins in with the West’s fascist-CIA hatred of proletarian dictatorship and has a history of backing the West’s Cold War against the USSR. Not forgetting for a minute the dialectical need to always argue against the dunder-headed revisionism (from Stalin onwards) that eventually undermined all socialist progress in the USSR (ending in the Gorbachev liquidation of the Soviet workers state in 1989-91).
The PT party in Brazil disgraced itself because in 13 years of government it did NOTHING to end capitalism by revolution, but instead wet its pants at the thought of doing any such thing. No wonder it became a sitting duck for the ultra-right to take down and roll over in a judicial coup.
The Venezuelan experience also points to the same confusion. The Bolivarian “revolution” is not a socialist state: the workers are not armed; the half-capitalist state remains dodgily dangerous, the ideology is “left” nationalist for reforming capitalism, and the rich and their media have not been expropriated. They are constantly staging coup attempts and provocations, and the USA and the neighbouring Colombian ultra-right government are threatening.
This half-way house Maduro government is deep in trouble. It wants to say that expropriating the bourgeoisie and arming the workers would put it in worse trouble; but falling apart and having workers quit you in droves because they see no revolutionary progress just means you could go down any minute to counter-revolution. Why not firmly suppress the bourgeois class; make everybody as equal as possible and arm the workers? Why didn’t Chavismo expect imperialist blockades and start preparing food supply systems decades ago? Why did it count on the oil money alone? What did the Chavistas and the Cuban CP think anyone was gaining by telling the Colombian revolutionary movement (FARC etc) to stop fighting and “join the political process”??
Leninist science is needed in Latin America and the world.
Women’s despair at their economic situation, and at feeding, clothing and educating their kids is going to be a hugely powerful factor in finally getting the turn to real socialist revolution to end capitalist war and exploitation. But feminism (as an ideology) does not have a good track record in fighting for socialist revolution. Instead, it tends to be a middle-class ideology that is hostile to Marxist and Leninist science.
Which known feminists talk positively about the workers states, or the need for proletarian dictatorship? Isn’t it the case that feminism is an anti-Marxist rival ideology that is built on the anti-scientific premise that the problem with the world is “men’s behaviour”?
Surely all working women’s needs are covered by GOOD Marxism (see Eleanor Marx’s writings)?
And when Negri suggests that women’s (and other) organisations will play a crucial role in building the “resistance” to fascism, I would warn that these words imply a serious problem: a lack of preparedness or even willingness to fight for socialist revolution; a middle-class disdain for proletarian dictatorship and the workers states and a truly ludicrous faith in bourgeois “democracy”. “Resistance” there will be - but it isn’t enough. What’s needed is the clear fight for socialist revolution and a party-led workers state.
And it is that “faith” in bourgeois “democracy” and “respect for elections” - nurtured by middle-class “leftism” - that has seen Latin America and the Third World tortured and butchered for decades (with one prime example being the “Marxist” Allende government being overthrown by the Pinochet coup in 1973 with 10,000 killed in Santiago stadium).
So if you don’t want the fascist right-wing to keep having easy coups and easy (bloody) victories, then you need to play for proletarian-dictatorship socialist-revolutionary keeps.