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Salient. Official Newspaper of Victoria University of Wellington Students Association. Vol 40 No. 11. May 23 1977

Tendencies to Fascism

Tendencies to Fascism.

When a social system is in decline, when it can already feel the hand of its replacement on the scruff of its neck ready to throw it off the historical stage, then the ruling classes of the old order resort to any and every foulness in order to hold on to their power, wealth and privileges.

The weapon of the monopoly capitalists in this epoch, used to crush the rising forces of the proletariat and the national liberation movement, is fascism. No capitalist country, however supposedly "civilised" (remember Germany!) is immune from the dangers of fascism being imposed by internal — not external — forces. The Communist International gave fascism in power its classic definition as "the open, terroristic dictatorship of the [unclear: mos] reactionary, most chauvinistic and most imperialist elements of finance capital."

Whenever the working class en masse rejects the disgusting sham of parliament and gravitates towards socialist revolution as happened in pre-war Germany and Italy, for instance, fascism is the typical answer of the ruling class. It is also the means for suppressing opposition to imperialist war and to the preparation for it.

However, right at this time open fascism is not to the advantage of the ruling class in New Zealand. The workers still accept the parliamentary fraud, though with increasing cynicism. But that is not to say that fascist tendencies, "creeping fascism," are not being pushed ahead.

We see such tendencies in the legislation designed to hamstring militant trade unionism (the only sort the boss fears) and to turn trade unions into ciphers. We see them also in regard to the expanded powers of search and arrest handed to the police, ostensibly in connection with drugs, But Usable also for Political Ends. We see them in relation to the new crime of "unlawful assembly," ostensibly aimed at gangs, but Usable also for Political Ends. We see them in systematic police photographing of demonstrators and compilation of dossiers on them for filing in the Wanganui computer centre, a more direct form of political intimidation by the state forces. We seem them as well in the so-called "riot control" training given to the armed forces. And we see them plainly in the growth of racism towards the Islanders and other Polynesians, and its use by the ruling class to divide workers..

The Communist Party of New Zealand does not doubt that, as and when the impact of the sharpening crisis of imperialism leads the working class to vigorously take up the revolutionary struggle for its emancipation, the capitalists will resort to increased fascist oppression. But "where there is oppression there is resistance!" Our Party is confident that the workers and their allies will be able to successfully counter the onslaughts of reaction and in due course to rid themselves entirely of that vast parasitic incubus on their backs, the capitalist system.