Unite Against Capitalism…Fascism (UAF)

uafIn the UK there’s an organisation, by the name Unite Against Fascism (UAF), which says that its primary aim is to “fight against racism and fascism”. This is what it says on the tin:  
 
We believe that these dangers [“fascism” and “racism”] require a strong and united response from all those dedicated to freedom and democracy.”  
 
This organisation has many and various links to the British Labour Party, as well as to trade unions, professors, lawyers, Muslim groups, journalists, etc. 
 
As just stated, Unite Against Fascism often claims to be fighting only against racism and fascism. It also claims that it’s neither “party-political” nor allied to any particular political movement or ideology.

These are blatantly obvious lies – from top to bottom. The thing is, this fight against racism and fascism is simply the main weapon in the revolutionary socialist’s arsenal.

Take this article, ‘Crucial Time For Labour’ (27th May, 2014), by Sabby Dhalu, the joint secretary of UAF. It was written for the Communist Party of Britain‘s online newspaper, The People’s Daily: Morning Star. In this piece there’s far more about the crimes of “the Tories”, unemployment and “austerity” than there is about either racism or fascism. 

 
With the Help of the Labour Party, UAF Can Defeat the Right! 
 
Sabby Dhalu begins her article by saying that [y]esterday many were celebrating fascist British National Party (BNP) leader Nick Griffin losing his European Parliament seat.” 
 
… So now it’s time for the extreme Left to get to work on UKIP, which is precisely what UAF and Hope Not Hate are doing at present. Before that it was the EDL. In fact Sabby Dhalu and UAF see it all in terms of defeating the entire Right – not just what they call “the far right”. As Sabby Dhalu puts it: 
 
We have defeated fascists like the BNP and the English Defence League but Ukip is a problem, not just in itself.” 
 
The thing is, if UKIP didn’t exist, then these communists and Trotskyists would get straight to work on the Conservative Party; as they did in the 1980s and 1990s. Indeed they only stopped concentrating on “the racist Tory Party” because of the rise of what they now call “the far right”. (Such Leftists formerly used the words “fascist” and “Nazi” exclusively: “the far right” has only recently become a common synonym for “fascist” or “Nazi”.) 
 
The forerunners of people like Sabby Dhalu also despised the Labour Party and saw it as being full of “racists”, “reactionaries” and “reformists”. In fact such people still hate the Labour Party. Nonetheless, like the fight against racism and fascism, the Labour Party itself is a useful tool in the toolkit of revolutionary socialism. 
 
The Labour Party itself has had a love-hate relationship with Marxists going back to its birth. That relationship has taken on three main forms: 
 
i) Some – though not all – Marxist revolutionaries feel that it is very useful to align themselves with the Labour Party (for many reasons).
 
ii) Some Labour Party MPs feel they can advance international socialism better inside the party rather than outside it.
 
iii) Most non-Marxist Labourites know that they can never openly dismiss or criticise these unelected revolutionary groups (such as UAF, Hope Not Hate, Trotskyist-led unions, etc.) because they – in tandem with equally unelected Leftist lawyers, etc. – can do the Labour Party some serious damage (as they can all political parties). 
 
Sabby Dhalu is quite honest about her revolutionary socialist message. She says that voting for the Labour Party is simply not enough. Or in her own words: 
 
Why vote for the centre-left when the right, far-right and fascists will always give a stronger racist message? 
 
So what’s the solution? For Sabby Dhalu, the Labour Party must become much more socialist and centrist in nature. She says: 
 
The centre-left and left must provide the solutions to the problems that people face and unite against the far-right and fascism, rather than blaming immigration.” 
 
But, of course, for Trotskyists like Dhalu that simply won’t be enough either. Of course it won’t! 
 
Unite Against Fascism (UAF) was created by the Socialist Workers Party (SWP) in 2003. It is still completely run by it. The SWP, in turn, has been at war with the Labour Party since the 1960s. So talk of the “centre-left and left providing solutions to the problems people face” is, in fact, very duplicitous. Sabby Dhalu basically means that only the extreme Left – the Trotskyist/communist Left (i.e. SWP-UAF or perhaps the Morning Star‘s Communist Party of Britain) – can solve these problems. And it can only do so if it completely “smashes capitalism”. Indeed Dhalu says that the Labour Party “must wake up and smell the coffee”. 
 
In turn, all these extreme socialist demands are bound to result in increased communal conflict or even civil war. And this is precisely what many – if not all – revolutionary Trotskyists and communists want. Why? Because only out of such violence and chaos (they think) can the firebird of revolutionary socialism arise. Trotskyists and communists have always believed this and that is why they’ve consistently agitated to destablise democratic systems. As the saying goes: “The worse it is [for non-revolutionaries], the better it is [for revolutionaries].” 
 
Sabby Dhalu’s Class Analysis of UKIP 
 
As you’d expect, Sabby Dhalu also offers us a thoroughly Marxist “class analysis” of UKIP and indeed of everything else. For example, she begins by saying that [f]ar from being a working-class party, Ukip is a reactionary multimillionaire-sponsored creation.” 
 
The thing is, even if UKIP were a working-class party, UAF-SWP would still offer a critical Marxist class analysis of that fact too. For example, the middle-class Leftist problem with the EDL was once that it was full of “white working-class knuckle-draggers”. Then along came another former leader of Sabby Dhalu’s very own UAF, Martin Smith, who said that it isn’t a working-class movement at all but really a “petite-bourgeois” one. He said that “many [EDL] come from petty bourgeois professions – the classic base of fascism”. (Yes, Trots are still using these quaint archaic terms.) 
 
In any case, UAF and many other Leftists have more or less admitted that most UKIP supporters are working-class. Nonetheless, in the classic Marxist conspiratorialist style, they also argue that it’s led by “reactionary multimillionaires” who simply and very easily hoodwink the workers. (Many Leftists – often the same ones – said exactly the same about the EDL.) And of course the workers are hoodwinked because they are thick; or, in Marxist-speak, they have “false consciousness”. In fact the middle-class whites of UAF and Hope Not Hate think that black and Asian supporters of UKIP are Uncle Toms who also suffer from false consciousness (i.e., they’re not Leftists). 
 
What all these Marxist “analyses” have in common is that what UKIP – or EDL and UKIP Uncle Toms – believes is of absolutely no consequence. It’s the “class nature” of UKIP that really matters – not its values and concerns. 
 
Such is the crudity of Sabby Dhalu’s Marxist analysis and the obsessive way in which Leftists like her try to make reality (or the facts) fit Marxist theory rather than Marxist theory fit reality (or the facts). 
 
… Yet if class and socioeconomic conditions are literally everything, then that must also apply to UAF and indeed this article by Sabby Dhalu. 
 
So what is the “class nature” of Unite Against Fascism? It’s overwhelming made up of white, middle-class people. Indeed many in the higher ranks are upper-middle-class types. Not only that: English universities provide almost the entire “socioeconomic environment” of UAF-SWP members and activities. And that’s forgetting the the professors/lecturers who make up many of UAF-SWP’s leaders and the overwhelmingly middle-class students who make up its foot-soldiers. Now isn’t all that a perfect subject for a Marxist “class analysis”? 
 
Conclusion: Unite Against Capitalism 
 
A communist group (i.e., UAF) could never just be all about “fighting racism and fascism” alone because, according to Marxist theory, the “jobs”, “housing” and “living standards” (Sabby Dhalu’s words) situation simply creates – or causes – both racism and fascism. Therefore the primary task of UAF isn’t to fight against racism and fascism: it’s to fight against the capitalism and parliamentary democracy (the “tool of capitalism”) which causes racism and fascism. Again, the SWP-UAF believes that only though “smashing capitalism”, and implementing a centralised socialist regime, will racism and fascism be eradicated. And this omnipresent dogma (or diktat) has been at the heart of Marxism since at least the 1920s. 
 
Take Sabby Dhalu’s word for all the above when she says: 
 
We are told that the economy is getting back on its feet, but the majority of people have not benefited from this so-called recovery.” 
 
So what racism and fascism is all really about, then, is “jobs, better wages, housing and improving living standards for the many not the few”. 
 
Thus Unite Against Fascism should really be called Unite Against Capitalist Democracies. 
 
And this makes all the many and varied alliances between UAF and the British Labour Party seem all the more ironic, if not deeply suspect.
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