As you are all aware, on November 8th, 2016, Donald Trump, the far-right’s ideal candidate, was elected President of the United States of AmeriKKKa. For four years, this bumbling right-wing populist will have the ability to empower a fascist movement that is gaining momentum at an alarming rate. The power of the far-right, both in our political institutions and in the streets, is growing. We cannot deny this fact.
Make no mistake: Trump’s nomination did not take place in a vacuum, and his fascist ideology did not fall from the sky. His campaign did not spontaneously cause today’s surge in white nationalist and white supremacist movements. Instead, it represented the manifestation of these reactionary ideologies that are rooted in the foundations of this country. Despite his ability to encourage these groups to feel emboldened in actively publicizing their toxic ideas, Donald Trump must be viewed as a symptom and not a primary cause. The global rise in right-wing and fascist populism that was already underway before his election, both inside and outside the realms of the State, would have undoubtedly marched forward under a Clinton presidency. Without a question, it is the neoliberal policies that every Democrat will always put into place that have bred deep bitterness among working class, many of whose white sections have now turned to Trump. Fascism cannot be and has never been defeated by a vote, and any belief that a vote for Clinton would have stopped their movement is a false hope. Though Trump is but one person within the enormous system of the capitalist State, events that have occurred in the wake of his election have given a glimpse of what is to come.
In order to defeat fascism, we must understand its fundamental aspects and its origins. Though fascism comes in various forms and varies according to the conditions of countries it takes root in, there are some parts of it which are universal. Simply, the appearance of fascism represents a capitalist-imperialist country in crisis. Though it finds support in a mass base of the working class, it springs from one section of the ruling class which is in conflict with another section. Clinton represents one part of this ruling class who wishes to maintain the consistency of liberal democracy and is a reliable choice for the continuation of capitalism-imperialism on the exact same trajectory. Trump represents the opposing faction, who scares large parts of the ruling class far more due to the volatility and instability that it presents for the ruling class as a whole. With the victory of fascism over typical capitalist democracy, the hidden dictatorship of the ruling class becomes an open, terroristic one that reveals the true nature of the State in relation to maintaining capitalism.
The only way fascism, like every political movement, comes to power is by finding a supporting base within the masses of a country. Fascism, in complete opposition to how the Revolutionary Student Front operates with the practice of the mass line, seeks to consolidate the backwards masses, win over the intermediate, and isolate or exterminate the advanced, i.e. the revolutionaries. In contrast to the prevailing liberal narratives of Trump’s support coming from poor, uneducated people, the truth is that his support comes in large part from the white middle class and not the working class. From data obtained by the Census Bureau during the primaries, it was determined that the typical Trump supporter has a median household income of $72,000. Fascist movements have always loved mythology and the creation of stories surrounding “native” historical traditions. The story at the center of the Trump presidency has been one where whites have been portrayed as the truly suffering class of people in the US. There is, of course, a kernel of truth to this – white working-class people do in fact suffer from the processes that capitalism imposes upon the people. In addressing the real grievances of these groups, fascism offers a short-sighted solution to their problems, promoting violence and hatred against oppressed people so that whites can regain their lost valor. Fascism confuses the white working class and leads them away from the realization that working class unity between all people of the world is actually in their long-term interest.
Yesterday, over 400 LGBTQ activists, Palestinian activists, undocumented activists, communists, anarchists, and students without any formal political affiliation gathered in the Main Mall of UT to express their outrage at the prospect of a fascist head of state. From 11 AM to 5 PM, huge numbers of students skipped their classes to unite in chants that rung throughout the 40 Acres. Students, faculty, and community members took turns speaking before the crowd, and Trump-supporting passers-by were promptly silenced by the power of the crowd.
After spending a good amount of time on campus, the protesters elected to make their voices heard where it counts: in the streets. They marched south down Guadalupe, snaking their way through the streets, confounding the ability of cops to coordinate their route for them. Eventually, they made their way to the First Street Bridge, which was briefly occupied before moving to occupy the Congress Bridge. Afterwards, the group returned to the University, pointing out the various buildings and monuments which uphold The University of Texas as an institution of white supremacy.
At various points throughout the march, which was heavily policed as usual, small groups of protesters spewed pig-sympathizing chants in support of the Austin Police Department. Individuals thanked them for “protecting us”, while it’s actually the case that it would have been safer without their presence. When revolutionary comrades chanted “F.T.P., Fuck the Police,” they responded with booing and insisting, “That’s not what we’re about!” We must be absolutely clear on this fact: pigs form an institution borne from white supremacy and capitalist coercive force at the countrywide level, a function that they still serve today and is displayed in a stark and tragic light on a daily basis with the normalized extra-judicial murders of black and brown people throughout the country. Recall that the Fraternal Order of Police, the pigs’ largest union, endorsed Donald Trump. The repression of the police will only increase under fascist rule; revolutionaries must always struggle against liberalism in highlighting the true nature of the police. On the local level, recall the photo that APD Police Chief Art Acevedo took with our fascist president-elect, both all smiles and with thumbs up. Recall the hordes of pigs that protected said fascist from militant protesters on the day that he visited Austin. The truth is clear: cops and Klan go hand in hand.
When reactionary Trump supporters wanted to confront protestors face to face and undaunted protestors responded in kind, liberals pulled away the protestors, moving forward with chants like “We are peaceful!” As Malcolm X said, “It is criminal to teach a [person] not to defend [themselves], when [they] are the constant victims of brutal attack.” Though liberals are correct about the violent, repressive nature of Trump and the coming of fascism, they hold to their sacred ideas of non-violence as a method of confronting a movement of violence. They have yet to come to grips with the fact that when against an enemy who is unafraid to use violence, all of that non-violence shit will get you killed. The liberal is quicker to hug a cop than they are to deny the fascist their platform, which they desperately desire to spread their ideology. Our comrades in Red Guards Austin are correct to point out that liberalism is the left wing of fascism, and is not to be trusted. As revolutionaries who fight to defend oppressed people from the brutal attacks that will happen under a fascist US, we encourage all leftists to organize on the basis of both armed and unarmed self-defense to prepare for violence when we are inevitably confronted with it. Living under fascism, the “We are peaceful!” garbage has got to go. We will put our fists up and we will fight back. We will not exclaim, “Hands up, don’t shoot!” We will instead proclaim, “Arms up, shoot back!”
We must be clear on what exactly liberalism is – a leftist and a liberal are not the same. Liberalism serves to fulfill the futile task of reforming capitalism, an inherently violent system. Liberals are not revolutionary and revolutionaries are not liberals. Liberalism has no place in the anti-fascist movement at home or abroad if we are to capably fight a fascist movement. By its nature, liberalism is an ideology that not only leaves the fundamental contradictions that enable fascist movements to arise, but also allows for and in fact lends a platform to fascist ideology. Only truly revolutionary methods of struggle can defend the people from the onslaught of violence that fascism brings. Only revolutionary organization and propaganda is capable of answering the questions of the misguided masses that have been fooled into supporting fascism. And only revolutionary methods of work will ensure that we are able to secure an anti-fascist base among the masses to fight against the rise of the reactionaries in our country. Only revolutionaries can win the fight against fascism!
On a local level, dedicated revolutionaries were already struggling against fascism and white supremacy on campus, in the neighborhoods, and in the courts. The local manifestation of this dangerous ideology currently has taken the form of white supremacist graffiti on campus, where the struggle to remove this symbol resulted in false and hypocritical charges being raised against three anti-fascists. It has taken the form of gentrification and urban displacement happening in the historically Chicanx community of East Austin, where the struggles against the scabs of the Blue Cat Café resulted in the support of Alex Jones and his virulently racist following. The struggle between the rising fascist forces and the anti-fascists will become sharper and more widespread both in Austin and on a national level. It is our duty to organize and prepare adequately to fight this fascist threat for the sake of all oppressed people. We must be daring in our struggles, and we must be committed to victory. Anything less is unacceptable.