Are fascism and democracy two sides of the same statist coin? What can the history of fascism tell us about our current moment? How has opposition to fascism ended up strengthening liberal capitalist democracy?
“The question is not: who has the guns? but rather: what do the people with the guns do? 10,000 or 100,000 proletarians armed to the teeth are nothing if they place their trust in anything beside their own power to change the world. Otherwise, the next day, the next month or the next year, the power whose authority they recognize will take away the guns which they failed to use against it.”
This is a reconceived version of “Fascism and Anti-Fascism“(PDF), which Dauvé wrote (under the pen name Jean Barrot) as a preface to a selection of articles on the Spanish Revolution in the French communist journal Bilan (published in 1979). In this text, Dauvé draws on the experiences of the revolutionary movements in Russia, Germany, and Spain to criticize anti-fascism and democracy, and to draw general conclusions for communists today.
Another version of this text appeared in Endnotes #1 (2008) and corrects some typographical errors and improves layout, but has no substantive alterations.