File spoon-archives/marxism-international.archive/marxism-international_1997/marxism-international.9710, message 124

Date: 	Tue, 7 Oct 1997 16:34:22 -0800
Subject: Re: M-I: Fascism and social fascism

Louis P writes:

>The connection that Mattick made with the Social Democrats was entirely
>spurious, however. The Social Democrats' political and social base was in
>the independent trade union movement, while the Nazi regime's was in
>corportarist institutions that broke the power of the unions. There was a
>class struggle between the Socialists and the Nazis that Mattick's
>superficial treatment does not give justice to.

A superficial treatment which obviously you have not read. What connection
do you think Mattick made? Mattick criticizes social democracy not as
social fascism but as part of capitalist society and the production of
relative surplus value which only gives the appearance of  advance because
of real wage gains to what is actually the gradual defeat of the working
class, its increasing powerlessness and exploitation in its relation to
capital.  Mattick  makes the argument that social democracy never even
attempted its more radical long-term goals of the 'socialisation of
capital' as instead of encouraging the formation of revolutionary soviets,
it instead hoped to use legal trade union-parliamentary means to improve
the condition of workers during upswings of capital accumulation. It took
on a legal, assimilationist character. Social democracy was left hopeless
when crisis conditions made business as usual impossible, so hopeless that
its more radical ideas about the nationalisation of capital were taken over
by the fascists.

>The managers are not a class.

Of course I did not say that they were. I said that since their full time
*occupation* was management they are likely to develop interests
antagonistic to those who labor.

>reading Djilas or James Burnham? The Nazi state was ruled by the
>bourgeoisie, just as the British or American state was in the 1930s. The
>Krupps ruled Germany, not civil servants like Eichmann.

Yes, I agree with Neumann's analysis that the commanding heights of the
economy remained in the hands of monopoly capital. You are refuting
arguments of your own making. If you want to talk about Neumann vs Pollock
(and we can bring Rob S into this discussion), I would be most happy.

>This is inaccurate. The program of the social democracy is not simply
>state management of industry. It includes democratic rights as well, most
>especially the right to collective bargaining. Sweden in the 1960s, West
>Germany under Willi Brandt represented the program of social democracy,
>not the Third Reich.

Right, but Mattick's argument is that this is not Marxism, revolutionary
class struggle; it is an attempt to get as much real gain despite increased
exploitation, that is the production of relative surplus value.

 Mattick does not argue that this is social fascism. He does argue that due
to bourgeois empiricism social democrats cannot understand that the working
class is gradually being defeated, despite the bacon that is being brought


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