Title: The United Front
Author: Sam Dolgoff
Date: October-November 1935
Source: Retrieved on 10.02.23 from https://libcom.org/article/vanguard-vol-2-no-5-october-november-1935
Notes: Published in Vanguard (Vol. 2, No. 5, October-November 1935)

The triumph of fascism in Germany, Italy, Bulgaria and the growing influence of the movement throughout the world, the threat of another catastrophic world war, have shocked millions of workers everywhere into the realization that their hope for a better future is at stake. The defeat of the workers in fascist countries has taught the workers the necessity for united action against the common danger. Therefore the question of the united front has become one of tremendous importance in the present crisis. What should be the aims of the united front? How to achieve these aims? Without a clear answer to these crucial questions all attempts as unity will fail. Fascism and war will be the direct consequence of such a failure.

It is obvious that fascism will not be exterminated by a set of pious resolutions but demands the most drastic action of aroused proletarian and peasant masses. Only a power great enough the uproot the military dictatorship, to expropriate the industries, annihilate everyone of the old entrenched institutions and props of the capitalist terror, will ever be able to extirpate the fascist menace. The regime of force will yield only to the superior force of the social revolution. To the counter-revolution must be opposed the gigantic powers which only the social revolution can generate. This must be the goal of the united front. All policies, every action undertaken must be orientated on the basis of preparing the ground for social revolution.

By failing to apply that standard the Second and Third Internationals have clearly demonstrated their complete bankruptcy in the face of the most crucial period in the history of the revolutionary movement. They are calling upon the masses to unite with their bourgeois-democratic masters in order to fight fascism. They are urging the workers to fight shoulder to shoulder with French Imperialist democracy. This slogan is based upon the stupid assumption that the bourgeois-democratic countries, owing to their democratic traditions, will not follow the example of Germany or Italy.

The liberties that were conquered by the masses in centuries of struggle must be preserved and extended. It is bourgeois democracy itself that is an obstacle in the way of fuller expansion of liberty in the economic and social life of mankind. That is why capitalist democracy has to be transcended by the socialist movement. Liberty, Equality and Fraternity have yet to be established by the social revolution.

Fascism is not an accidental phenomena: it is the form taken by a decaying capitalism desperately clinging to its power and therefore resorting to terror and dictatorship. It is a development that is taking place in all capitalist countries, the democratic ones included. Because they were the weakest links in the capitalist chain, Italy, Germany, Bulgaria, etc., capitulated first. The democratic countries are about to capitulate now and their democratic traditions are being swept away by the powerful current of fascist reaction.

France is ripe for fascism. The Croix du Feu and other fascist organizations, with the assistance of the government, await only a war to consolidate their power and establish the French variety of fascism. The government is honeycombed with fascist influences. Many of the high army officials are fascists themselves. To call upon the workers and peasants to fight in a "Holy" war against fascist countries with this semi-fascist apparatus is to call for the militarization of France.

The suicidal theory of the lesser Evil is based upon faith in capitalist democracy. The application of this theory in Germany was to a large extent responsible for fascism. The logic of the united front as it is being practiced in France is bound to lead to the same capitulation before the objective demands of a decaying capitalist economy.

In calling for the United Front, neither the communists nor the social-democrats are fulfilling any of the necessary prerequisites for genuine revolutionary action. They are neither ideologically nor tactically capable of leading the working class in the direction of militant and effective struggle. The principle of supporting bourgeois democracy is a negation of the class struggle and the social revolution. The class struggle means to our would-be leaders the struggle of political parties for State power. The masses, misled by the chimera of a peaceful coalition with the bourgeoisie, meaningless resolutions and parliamentary actions, have allowed their economic organizations to become footballs of the politicians. Robbed of their initiative, unschooled in revolutionary principles and tactics, the workers are rendered incapable of fighting fascism and preventing war. The united front of opportunism between the social patriots of 1914 and the new social patriots of 1935 is the kind of an united front which spells doom for the workers and certain victory for the fascist. Only in the process of struggle for clear cut revolutionary objectives, can the indispensable militancy and experience of the oppressed masses be developed and the necessary power generated for the supreme effort. To build the united front of workers' and peasants' organizations through militant revolutionary action, to struggle for the social revolution – permeated with the principles and spirit of libertarian communism – these are the tasks of the revolutionary movement.