Tendance Coatesy

Left Socialist Blog

Morning Star on Capitol “Carnival” and need to fight Joe Biden “Restoration”.

with 15 comments

History of Communism on Twitter: "#OpenAccess "The Communist Party of Great Britain and the struggle against social fascism" The Communist International, 15 March 1932. https://t.co/Tjc1aviGdK @MRCWarwick @evanishistory #SocialFascism #Sozialfaschismus ...

British Communists have a Long History of Expertise in Fighting Fascism.

Some on the left have already begun to dismiss the assault on the US Capital as a ‘pantomime’. Or as one leading cadre puts it, ” less Nuremberg and more fancy-dress party.”

How we laughed at their  antics….

The above writer, Nick Wright, stalwart of the Communist Party of Britain, CPB writes in the Morning Star. 

Trump hysteria ends in anti-climax. Nick Wright.

Under Biden, as before, we need the broadest possible class-conscious coalition against the capitalist machine that intends to march the US and the world into more war and poverty — singling out Trump as a ‘fascist’ aberration only hinders that task, writes NICK WRIGHT.

Wright points out with expertise in putsches all kinds that that,,

…a coup needs decent staff work, careful planning, a modicum of secrecy and enough disciplined troops to look credible for CNN.

Trump supporters’ effort at the beginning of this month failed to meet every one of these criteria — and a question naturally occurs.

Why is the Washington political Establishment so invested in the presentation of Trump’s carnival outing as a threat to the existing order?

Hard-nosed cadres of the CPB were wondering that.

Now a bit of theatre does not just turn up and happen.

Even a bal masqué has its organisers.

Meet Trump’s Pro-Insurrection “Intellectuals


We should have known January 6 was coming, because Trumpism’s “intellectual” wing called for it, for weeks.

Last December, Ross Douthat suggested that “there are two Republican Parties.” One of them governs dutifully, “certifying elections, rejecting frivolous claims and conspiratorial lawsuits, declining to indulge the conceit” that Donald Trump’s defeat could be overturned anti-democratically.

The article continues,


The other GOP, Douthat argued, “is acting like a bunch of saboteurs.” However, these Republicans “are doing so in the knowledge—or at least the strong assumption—that their behavior is performative.”

He called it dreampolitik, “a politics of partisan fantasy that . . . feed[s] gridlock and stalemate and sometimes protest but not yet the kind of crisis anticipated by references to Weimar Germany and our Civil War.”

So that brings in sense of proportion.


But saying that a real coup was not on the cards is not Wright’s principal intention.


First, he attacks the real enemy, Paul Mason.

Britain’s own prophet of impending fascism, Paul Mason, speculated immediately after the Capitol riot, “if the militias ever turn up to an event like this — and that could be as early as the inauguration — America is looking at a serious fascist challenge for power.”

In emboldened type he argues that the far right “understand the weakness of the state machine they are up against, despite its bloated, militarised character.”

In hyperventilated hyperbole Mason then went on to argue that Trump “overtly and physically reached out to the fascist element in his base and their immediate response was to take that as permission for the most shockingly violent act.”

Mason has a book to sell but — even in his chosen marketplace for fleetingly held and indisputably daft ideas — to equate this pantomime protest as a “shockingly violent act” invites derision.

Most people would agree with Paul Mason’s main argument, which is that fascists, and the far-right, were present in the gambol around the Capitol. They form an important part of Trump’s political base.

MAGA is a form of National populism, which has its counterparts in Europe – parallels with parties classes on the extreme right, such the French Rassemblement National of Marine Le Pen, at present, however fleetingly,  leading in the opinion polls.  They, like Trumpism, are “dependent on the reactionary mobilisation of distinctive national narratives of nationhood and empire. ” None easily fits into whatever  “boilerplate fascist formulae” can be found. Obviously the French far right appeal to les Français de souche, French history, and la terre et les morts,  is not going to be the same as the US, with its ” racist specifics of the slave and settler state.”

Trump was  in power, and with a lot more power than national populists in Poland and Hungary. There was no totalitarian  state, and no mass fascist unified movement – the idea that the GOP was one hardly arises. But it was national populist, claiming to embody the Will of the People, and contemptuous of anybody who opposed it. It was socially illiberal. It was economically nationalist, encouraging others to follow, as when Trump actively backed Brexit. as Paul Mason has called it, it was national neoliberalism (Clear Bright Future: A Radical Defence of the Human Being 2019).

The next point is to gain traction for the idea that Joe Biden is the new enemy of all progressive humanity, if not worse.

To Wright,

The forces that coalesced around Trump’s thwarted bid for a second presidency cannot be retrofitted into the commonplace conceptions of a fictionalised “fascism” to prettify Biden’s restoration regime.

Not a word on what kind of regime the Trump Presidency was. Was it a revolution, now followed by Bourbon Biden?

The final objective of the article is clear: it is to mobilise against the “restoration regime”.

The most pressing need is for the working class to act in its own class interests, the liberal outriders of the neoliberal order want us to outsource anti-fascist action to the capitalist state machine.


Building the widest anti-racist and anti-fascist coalition is a priority — but in undercutting the fascist appeal to workers, the principal strategic objective of the left and the working-class movement must be to become the most powerful advocates for working-class interests and against the governments of big capital.

Watch out for those liberals and socialists who collaborate with the state machine not to mention governments of  big capital.

A word for them occurs, social….fascists, not enemies of fascism but objectively their allies.

O for the days of the Popular Front….

We look forward to reading Paul Mason’s forthcoming book: How to Stop Fascism  Paul Mason (out in August).


J.V. Stalin. Concerning the International Situation





Written by Andrew Coates

January 27, 2021 at 12:47 pm

15 Responses

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  1. Two random thoughts. If, by some kind of ‘back to the future’ mechanics, both Nick Wright and Paul Mason had been catapulted back to November 1923, would we hear from the former that following events in Munich “In hyperventilated hyperbole Mason then went on to argue that (Hitler) “overtly and physically reached out to the fascist element in his base and their immediate response was to take that as permission for the most shockingly violent acts.” ? Seondly, the stance on Biden, and the emphasis placed by Wright on, at present, an imaginary ” working-class movement, (advocating) working-class interests and against the governments of big capital” mirrors the CPUSA in 1931 when, in the apogee of the Third Period, FDR had been criticized on virtually every policy, even being called a “fascist” even as he was helping, via the New Deal, the ability of the AFL and the CIO to build working class organisation in the factories and fields.

    david walsh

    January 27, 2021 at 1:23 pm

    • You miss the point of the article which is to warn that unless the left as a whole finds a way to connect with the working class element in Trump’s 77.3 million base and deal with the problems which the neo liberal governments of both parties and all recent US presidents present American workers with then Capitol Hill’s ‘Carnival of Reaction’ will signify a strengthening of an actually existing, nationally specific US fascism.

      The point is that in 1923 capitalism in Germany had no immediate recourse to fascism as the repression of the working class revolt had been outsourced to Ebert and the social democrats.

      By 1933 the German ruling class (and the US and Britain) feared there was no alternative except Hitler.

      A second aim of the article was to warn against idealising the Biden stabilisation regime after the disruption to routine capitalist rule that Trump’s eccentric regime entailed.

      Judging by Andrew’s commentary here I failed most dismally.

      Nick Wright

      January 27, 2021 at 1:51 pm

      • But of course that task – the left (left undefined here) ‘connecting to Trump’s base’ has to be done in a backdrop and terrain overseen by a Biden administration, and which would have, despite its falings, to be defended aganst ‘an actually existing, nationally specific US fascism.’

        david walsh

        January 27, 2021 at 3:47 pm

        • This makes the point:

          , the core of the far-right threat to US democracy goes well beyond these still relatively small groups of potentially violent extremists. That is why these extremists have been minimized and protected by sympathizers in law enforcement and the political mainstream. If Biden really wants to fight far-right “domestic violent extremism”, he has to go to the core of the issue, not limit himself to the most violent outliers. In fact, the “domestic violent extremism” threat can already be reduced significantly by simply providing political cover for FBI and homeland security agents who have been investigating them for decades. No new agencies, laws or resources are necessary – just a refocus of existing resources away from jihadi terrorism and towards the domestic far right.

          Our task is to call out the far right in all its guises, irrespective of connections and power
          The real threat comes from the broader political and public context in which these “domestic violent extremists” operate – such as the enormous media and social media infrastructure that promotes white supremacist ideas and spreads conspiracy theories. Banning extremist rhetoric and conspiracy theories from social media might help a bit, but it doesn’t do anything about more powerful voices in traditional media, such as Tucker Carlson and Sean Hannity on Fox News. Similarly, it is easy to focus on relatively marginal groups such as the Proud Boys, but their actions are insignificant compared with those of Republican senators such as Josh Hawley and Ted Cruz.


          Andrew Coates

          January 27, 2021 at 4:30 pm

      • I’m actually not too concerned with connecting with that base, which is comprised of the US petty-bourgeoisie. Its the same kind of social strata the Narodniks tried to connect with in Russia, whereas Lenin advocated connecting with the industrial proletariat. The real answer here is a rapid economic development that undermines the social base of that petty-bourgeoisie, and transforms many of them into industrial workers, drawn into the labour movement.

        But, that requires at least a progressive social-democratic response that would see interest rates rise, and asset prices crash hard, and stay crashed, so that profits once more can grow, and get invested in real capital. I can’t see Biden, Starmer, Macron et al doing that, because they are conservative social-democrats tied at the hip to the owners of fictitious capital, and the need to keep asset price bubbles inflated.


        January 27, 2021 at 7:05 pm

    • There was a lot of history between the Beer Hall Putsch, and Hitler coming to power. A lot of things changed, and without analysing those changes, its dangerous to simply connect the dots between the two.

      As for FDR, this is not the 1930’s. The kinds of conservative, and even progressive social-democratic policies that he adopted at that time, could offer a way forward out of stagnation. The problems faced today are completely different. The low growth seen over the last few years has been a deliberate policy choice of states that deliberately slowed growth via policies of austerity, and via policies of QE that diverted potential money-capital, and money into financial and property speculation, to inflate asset prices – the main form of property owned by the ruling class. The problem faced by the ruling class today is not how to speed up growth, but how to prevent it being too fast, which would cause interest rates and wages to rise, causing asset price bubbles to burst, which is what happened between 1999 to 2008.

      The problem here is that in these conditions, the measures of conservative social-democrats like Starmer, Biden et al have no way of dealing with this in the way FDR did in the 30’s. The only real answer is to burst those bubbles, by allowing interest rates to rise, but that is the last thing they want to do, as it is directly contrary to the interests of the top 0.01%. So, unlike FDR, they will inevitably fail, and that failure will simply provide added fuel to the fascists advance.


      January 27, 2021 at 6:57 pm

  2. Thanks for this Andre,
    your link to Stalin doesn’t work Try this instead

    Nick Wright

    January 27, 2021 at 1:39 pm

    • It does now, though it is said that CPB cadre have their own hard print copies by their bedsides,

      “it is not true that fascism is only the fighting organisation of the bourgeoisie. Fascism is not only a military-technical category. Fascism is the bourgeoisie’s fighting organisation that relies on the active support of Social-Democracy. Social-Democracy is objectively the moderate wing of fascism. There is no ground for assuming that the fighting organisation of the bourgeoisie can achieve decisive successes in battles, or in governing the country, without the active support of Social-Democracy.

      There is just as little ground for thinking that Social-Democracy can achieve decisive successes in battles, or in governing the country, without the active support of the fighting organisation of the bourgeoisie. These organisations do not negate, but supplement each other. They are not antipodes, they are twins. Fascism is an informal political bloc of these two chief organisations; a bloc, which arose in the circumstances of the post-war crisis of imperialism, and which is intended for combating the proletarian revolution. The bourgeoisie cannot retain power without such a bloc. It would therefore be a mistake to think that “pacifism” signifies the liquidation of fascism. In the present situation, “pacifism” is the strengthening of fascism with its moderate, Social-Democratic wing pushed into the forefront.


      Andrew Coates

      January 27, 2021 at 2:26 pm

  3. “Most people would agree with Paul Mason’s main argument, which is that fascists, and the far-right, were present in the gambol around the Capitol. They form an important part of Trump’s political base.”

    True, but its a huge leap from that to the conclusion that this represented a serious and credible attempt at a fascist coup, or that the US is faced with an imminent fascist danger. It most certainly isn’t, which simply cries wolf and demobilises the working-class for those occasions when such a threat does exist! Its a bit like all those times in the 1980’s when the SWP and others called Thatcher a fascist, and so on. It stems from a lack of any kind of real Marxist class analysis, or Marxist understanding of the class nature of the state.


    January 27, 2021 at 6:47 pm

    • Very few people, apart from using the word fascist rhetorically, refer to it as serious coup. Trump is charged with ‘Insurrection’, which does not seem likely to happen, “House managers presented the Senate with an article charging Donald J. Trump with “incitement of insurrection.” But Republicans are increasingly indicating they are unlikely to find him guilty.

      That is still a bit more serious than the CPB’s claim that it was only a bit of a lark by a few muddle-heads.

      Andrew Coates

      January 27, 2021 at 7:57 pm

      • I would have thought that insurrection is a more serious charge than coup, and the two usually signify two different class scenarios. A coup is normally conducted by the state itself, or a dominant part of the state against the government. That certainly is not what happened on January 6th. But, a coup can also be, as Trotsky describes, in The History of The Russian Revolution, the pinnacle of an insurrection, its sharp break as the forces of the incipient state, developed during a period of dual power, strikes at the head. That is certainly not what happened on January 6th either, because although Trump has a large amorphous mass behind him, mostly, however, purely electoral in nature, it certainly has not created the kind of structures of dual power required for an insurrection, or to signify a revolutionary situation.

        Unfortunately, much of what is being written is purely subjectivist in nature, and not based upon Marxist class analysis. Paul Mason’s accounts have been a classic example of that, unfortunately. Paul seems to be spending too much time writing books, when he should really be spending time reading them, in order to get a proper grasp of some of these basic Marxist concepts. In his latest offerings, for example, he completely confuses the concept of the Workers Government with the Popular Front government, he confuses the position taken by the early Comintern on the former, with the position of the Stalintern on the latter. He even tells us that the “classic Marxist” position was that given by the Stalinist Dimitrov in 1935, and so he also completely confuses the concept of the United Front with the Popular Front.

        In my critique of Paul’s Postcapitalism, it became obvious that he also does not understand other basic Marxist concepts such as the labour-power as distinct from labour, and so also doesn’t understand the concept of surplus value, and so on. If you don’t understand these basic Marxist concepts then you are not going to understand what is going on from a class perspective, and so your analysis necessarily descends into subjectivism, wildly responding to the latest “event”.


        January 28, 2021 at 11:27 am

  4. We know that Nick Wright is a Stalinist. The question is: is he a Third Period Stalinist? I’d say the evidence suggests that he is.

    Jim Denham

    January 28, 2021 at 6:12 pm

    • I used to think that, apart from the fact that he has a sense of humour, not widely shared in this quarters, that he was a run of the mill Brezhnevite, and backer of the line,

      “The Brezhnev Doctrine was a Soviet foreign policy outlined in 1968 which called for the use of Warsaw Pact (but Russian-dominated) troops to intervene in any Eastern Bloc nation which was seen to compromise communist rule and Soviet domination.”


      These days it’s back to class against class.

      Andrew Coates

      January 28, 2021 at 6:26 pm

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