“Fascists At Work”

Bogumil,

Some interesting tidbits of information can be gleaned from these writings about the BUF’s early years. It seems like whenever the Fascists showed up anywhere in London, somebody was not going to appreciate their sudden appearance. William Allen’s brief descriptions of the West End and East End during the 1930s set the scene for helping the reader understand the distinct reactions to the BUF’s political activities. The “mixed receptions” at the West End, given its well-to-do and posh denizens in those days, must have evoked the idea of the BUF as a spectacle, the idea of building a British Corporatist State a farcical dream than something realizable. A stark contrast emerges among the some of the working class Londoners in East End, who seemed to be more receptive to the gamut of groups like the CPGB, the original Labour Party, and so forth.

The responses from the Communists among those East Enders could have been addressed differently. Even today, there are plenty of questions to be raised regarding the establishment of a British Corporatist State, like how it would govern the means of production, the role of the Monarch, its stances toward the Empire’s colonial holdings, or diplomatic relations with other nations. A public debate would have been far more suitable if they wanted to present a convenient case against building a Corporatist State. But because the Communists chose to intimidate them, they inadvertently made the BUF come across as being more reasonable within their own writings. Not that the BUF fared any better, since they ended up being banned altogether during the war.

Seriously, the displays of “militarism” by the BUF was their attempt at self-defense, a decision that was forced upon them by necessity. It was not foisted upon them by their government (which did not come until later) but was instead perpetrated by those Communists who will never find themselves introducing any of their best policies inside Parliament. As Allen noted early on, the BUF’s people also had to live out their own lives under the same Liberal Capitalist regime which they and the Communists both despised.

And yet, I cannot tell which of the two is more likely to help the real Liberal Capitalists get on with their priorities, priorities which the Fascists and Communists should have been opposing. One of them did go on to help the Liberal Capitalists, only to be backstabbed by them in the late 20th century. I think we can both assume that it was the Communists, who did manage to infiltrate the Labour Party around this same timeframe when the CPGB was still at its height.

Signed,

-DAH  



Categories: Philosophy

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