“The victory of fascism in Germany must be regarded not only as a symptom of the weakness of the working class and a result of the betrayals of the working class by Social-Democracy, which paved the way for fascism; it must also be regarded as a sign of the weakness of the bourgeoisie, a sign that the bourgeoisie is no longer able to rule by the old methods of parliamentarism and bourgeois democracy, and, as a consequence, is compelled in its home policy to resort to terrorist methods of rule, as a sign that it is no longer able to find a way out of the present situation on the basis of a peaceful foreign policy, and, as a consequence, is compelled to resort to a policy of war.” - J.V. Stalin, Report to the Seventeenth Party Congress on the Work of the Central Committee of the C.P.S.U.(B.)
"Fascism is an open terrorist dictatorship of the most reactionary, the most chauvinistic, the most imperialistic elements of the financial capital... Fascism is neither the government beyond classes nor the government of the petty bourgeois or the lumpen-proletariat over the financial capital. Fascism is the government of the financial capital itself. It is an organized massacre of the working class and the revolutionary slice of peasantry and intelligentsia. Fascism in its foreign policy is the most brutal kind of chauvinism, which cultivates zoological hatred against other peoples." - George Dimitrov
What fascism is:
Tossing out the accusation of fascism has become popular with the election of Trump and the subsequent rise of the "alt-right." The question of whether the Amerikkkan Empire has become fascist is correspondingly discussed more and more. To get to the bottom of this we need to start with a coherent understanding of what fascism is and then look at how fascism comes about.
Here is a liberal meme which, as of late, has been making its way around the social media world. It is based on the work of Lawrence Britt, and purports to define fascism via 14 points:
Realistically, like any liberal analysis, this set of characteristics is too abstract, giving zero historical context by which to define the concept. In fact, all of the characteristics listed here are more or less equally true of virtually any right leaning government in history; yes, even the United States at every point since its birth, can be found guilty of these charges.
Of course, Britt doesn't see things that way. After all, it is difficult to see one's own society as being this way when one is on the privileged side that benefits from state oppression.
Dimitrov actually gives the most useful definition of fascism in his detailed study of the subject, "The Fascist Offensive and the Tasks of the Communist International in the Struggle of the Working Class Against Fascism":
"Fascism is an open terrorist dictatorship of the most reactionary, the most chauvinistic, the most imperialistic elements of the financial capital..."
Fascism is not a separate economic system from capitalism.
Fascism is not merely "authoritarianism" or "totalitarianism." These terms are polemical abstractions not good analysis. You are not helping when you throw around the term loosely.
The Recipe for Fascism:
Historically speaking, to cook up a fascist state, you need the following ingredients:
1. Imperialist capitalism: fascism is a capitalist phenomena; specifically, an imperialist one in the sense that Lenin defined imperialism. The earlier colonial style capitalism could always avert crises via increased conquest of new unexploited markets. Imperialism cannot do this as there are no new markets, only old ones to be constantly re-carved.
2. Crisis: Capitalism inherently leads to crises, but most of the time the ruling class can cut costs and liquidate capital in various ways so as to normally avoid a fascist take over. Many capitalists don't actually prefer fascism. They would much prefer to maintain the pretense and sham of democracy and freedom. They only embrace it wholeheartedly if the crisis is deep enough to be willing to trade away some freedom to the state in exchange for protection of their private interests and boosts in profit. Once this works, other capitalists will joyfully embrace and even fund the new status quo as the pretense of "free markets" goes out the window.
3. A strong and rising Left: fears of socialist revolution fueled the rise of fascism, the victory of the Bolsheviks sent European capitalists into a panic. The revolution spurred the strength of the global working classes making it difficult for the capitalist governments to depress wages and benefits, which helped make solving economic crises basically impossible. At this point, the capitalists stop playing nice with their unruly populace and the crackdowns begin.
Trump and Amerikkka
So, is Trump a fascist? Well, he is certainly a reactionary bigot and capitalist imperialist who is supported by many people who are quite blatantly fascists. So, effectively, we at RTC would have to say that he is, in fact, a fascist.
Is Amerikkka fascist? Not at the time of this writing. Amerikkka is indeed a capitalist empire rife with bigotry that just elected an unmistakable fascist to the presidency, but the US has been able to maintain the pretenses of democracy and freedom and much of the capitalists within it seem to think the current crises are solvable without dropping said pretenses. This is likely because of the lack of a strong Left wing and the lack of a strong and organized working class to make the crises immediately unsolvable. This, however, could change: the Left in the US is rising and beginning to organize. So, currently, the US may be on the road to fascism but it isn't quite there yet. We at RTC do consider the US to be in the preparatory stages of full blown fascism and thus:
"Whoever does not fight the reactionary measures of the bourgeoisie and the growth of fascism at these preparatory stages is not in a position to prevent the victory of fascism, but, on the contrary, facilitates that victory." - George Dimitrov