How do you spell “fascism” in Pennsylvania? M-A-S-T-R-I-A-N-O

BY: Dom Shannon| November 4, 2022
How do you spell “fascism” in Pennsylvania? M-A-S-T-R-I-A-N-O


Many of us on the left have been calling Doug Mastriano, the Republican candidate for Pennsylvania governor, a fascist for some time. Let us examine fascism and its expression in our state.

Georgi Dimitrov, at the 13th Plenum of the Executive Committee of the Communist International, described fascism as “the open terroristic dictatorship of the most reactionary, most chauvinistic and most imperialist elements of finance capital.”

The increased rate of anti-Semitism, police violence against people of color, and violence/hate against the LGBTQ+ community accompanied by increased economic despair is no mere accident. Sections of the bourgeoisie seek refuge in fascism to cement ruling-class power due to the currently increasing economic crisis. In return they offer workers salvation by appealing to urgent needs and their most reactionary beliefs.

This is artfully done by the fascist elements in the GOP and Doug Mastriano. The financial ties to the GOP and, by extension, Mastriano, are no secret. However, many may be unaware of his reactionary beliefs and conduct. Mastriano hired anti-Semite Andrew Torba as a campaign consultant. And on his website he vows to ban “biological males” from “women’s restrooms and sports.” He has also vowed to ban “critical race and gender theory studies” in Philadelphia schools.

Mastriano, like many other GOP politicians, is a 2020 election denier. He spent thousands of dollars in campaign money to bus protestors to D.C. on January 6th. Some of the measures he’s proposed recently, like requiring everyone to re-register to vote and giving control of election oversight to Republicans with the creation of a state elections commission, are direct attacks on our existing (bourgeois) democracy.

Let’s return to Dimitrov, who says, “The accession of fascism is not an ordinary succession of one bourgeois government by another, but a substitution of one state form of class domination of the bourgeoisie—bourgeois democracy—by another form—open terroristic dictatorship.”

This clarifies the nature of the GOP and their future plans. They seek to substitute fascist dictatorship for bourgeois democracy. And they are doing this by running fascist candidates all over the country, many of whom are on standby for 2024. They’re trying to succeed in doing what they failed to do in 2020.

So is the phrase “vote against fascism” appropriate? Of course, it is. And Dimitrov would agree:

Before the establishment of a fascist dictatorship, bourgeois governments usually pass through a number of preliminary stages and adopt a number of reactionary measures which directly facilitate the accession to power of fascism. 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.

Mastriano and others have openly laid out their plan to us, and we have demonstrated how their plan is fascist in nature. We are already seeing parts of their plan unfold with the sham impeachment attempt of District Attorney Larry Krasner, who was overwhelmingly supported by the people of Philadelphia. The task of a Communist is to struggle for the best possible foundation for revolution. And fascism, by its very nature as a far-right political monopoly, would be counter-intuitive to our fight.

Right now we must mobilize the working class to vote in its own interest, against the fascist threat. At the same time, we must participate in on-the-ground struggles that pressure politicians into passing reforms that tip the balance of forces in our favor. The fight for a united front against fascism begins with us!

The opinions of the author do not necessarily reflect the positions of the CPUSA.

Images: Doug Mastriano, Times Leader Video, Wikimedia (CC SA 4.0); Jan. 6 riot, Tyler Merbler, photo cropped, Wikipedia (CC BY 2.0).


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