Around the world, capitalist governments are elevating fascist and extreme-right parties while promoting nationalism, anti-immigrant chauvinism and militarism.

In the United States, former president Donald Trump, with the support of significant sections of the Republican Party, is seeking to build a fascistic movement. In Brazil, President Jair Bolsonaro, a former military officer, openly hails the blood-soaked military dictatorship that ruled the country from 1964 to 1985. And in Germany, of all places, the political establishment has elevated the fascist Alternative for Germany (AfD) to the official opposition, while leading German academics with state support attempt to relativise and whitewash the crimes of the Nazis.

As Leon Trotsky, the Russian revolutionary, explained in the course of his struggle against the coming to power of the Nazis in Germany, fascism is a movement of the ruined petty-bourgeoisie, mobilized by the corporate elite against the working class to stave off revolution from below. The resurgence of fascist forces today is the outcome of a conspiracy of the ruling classes, aware that their agenda of austerity, social inequality, and war has no mass base of support.

The International Committee of the Fourth International and the Socialist Equality Party are fighting back against the rise of fascism and alerting the working class of the danger of a descent to all the horrors of the 1930s. Our struggle is based upon the independent political mobilization of the working class, united internationally on the basis of its common class interests, against capitalism and for socialism.

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Against the return of fascism in Germany!

The Sozialistische Gleichheitspartei (Socialist Equality Party), the German section of the International Committee of the Fourth International, is leading the fight against the efforts of the German ruling class to rehabilitate fascism.

While the AfD has been elevated to the official opposition of the German parliament and systematically provided with media time to promote its fascistic propaganda, an effort is underway among German academics to create a new historical narrative based on ferocious anti-Marxism, the trivialization of Nazi crimes, and the rehabilitation of Hitler.

This has been led by the university administration at Humboldt University, in Berlin, which has provided unstinging support for its right-wing extremist professor of history, Jörg Baberowski, who is notorious for his lying claims that “Hitler was not vicious” and that the Führer did not want to know anything about Auschwitz and the mass extermination of the Jews.

More on the fight against fascism in Germany
Leon Trotsky’s struggle against fascism in Germany

Between 1931 and 1933, Trotsky sought to arouse the most politically conscious sections of the German working class and the socialist intelligentsia to the immense danger posed by fascism and the urgent necessity for a unified struggle of the proletariat to prevent a Nazi victory. Trotsky’s writings on German fascism rank among the greatest works of political literature in the twentieth century. No one else wrote with such prescience, precision and passion on the German events and their world historic implications.

The victory of Hitler’s Nazi Party in January 1933 was the result of the betrayals of Social Democracy and Stalinism. The Social Democrats placed their confidence in the bourgeois Weimar Republic and tied the working class to the capitalist state. The Stalinist policy of “social fascism”—which claimed that the SPD and Hitler’s party were “twins”—opposed all forms of collaboration between the Communist Party and the Social Democracy, even for defensive purposes.

The lessons of Trotsky's struggle are of acute political relevance today amidst a universal turn toward fascism and authoritarianism by capitalist governments around the world.

The history of fascism in Ukraine
The Holocaust
Promotion of eugenics in Britain
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