Party of the Radical Left – Declaration on Anti-Fascism

Together into the struggle against fascism!

Anti-fascism is the permanent orientation of the Party of the Radical Left. The struggle against fascism in all its manifestations is the struggle for survival, and for the preservation of all the progressive legacies of our society, which are being systematically dismantled for the last thirty years. The growth of fascism across Europe, as well as in Serbia, is a symptom of the crisis of capitalism, which in its stage of decay moves to strengthen its capacity for violence and repression against the working class and the impoverished people. Fascism is the last line of defence of the capitalist oligarchy from the threat of socialism.

The vampiric return of nationalism during the wars of the Nineties was the framework for implementing a counter-revolution, disposessing the working class and a massive robbery enacted upon the peoples of Yugoslavia; behind it, it left devastation, more than a hundred thousand dead and hundreds of thousands of refugees, and the perpetrators of war crimes are today celebrated as heroes. The revision of history and the rehabilitation of fascist movements and ideas from the Second World War are an important part of the systemic dissolution of the progressive socialist legacy in Europe after the collapse of the Soviet Union. While the crimes of Chetniks, Ljotić-followers and other collaborationist formations against the peoples of Serbia and Yugoslavia, including the Serbian nation itself, are being erased and relativized – and the deeply quisling character of these organizations quietly ignored – at the same time there is a campaign of mud-slinging and demonization against the true liberators of Serbia – the partisan Army of the People’s Liberation and the Red Army – with the aid of historical forgeries and distortions. Serbia is formally a secular republic, but this did not prevent the nationalists of 5th October to gift the church – one of the bearers of this revisionist and reactionary tendency – with a degree of influence in society that has not been witnessed for a long time.

These revisionist narratives give fuel to far-right parties and organizations, whose primary tasks are distracting the public’s attention away from important social questions, fighting against the idea and legacy of socialism, and normalizing police and para-police repression in the service of capital. Far-right groups of supposed “keepers of order” more and more often go about our cities and harass young people, Roma people, impoverished citizens and migrants – sometimes as a way of promoting themselves, sometimes directly in service of “investors” and capitalists; and either way with the support of the government and the police, which itself carries out violence upon these same groups.

These parties and organizations are most often a part of the ruling structures in Serbia, and together with liberal politicians – who they oppose and are opposed by in words only – they carry out the same neoliberal policies of robbery, austerity, exploitation and violence against the people, crowning these policies with a nationalist color as in many other countries. The ruling “Serbian Progressive Party”, as a hybrid of nationalist and liberal oligarchy, is the most obvious example of the neoliberal political reality we live in.

At the same time, there are attempts to co-opt antifascism itself into becoming a part of the system: to reduce it to a mere liberal and identitarian question and to, in this manner, take away its strength and its purpose. Certain politicians and public figures promote this concept of liberal “antifascism” whose ideas and values are everything except anti-fascist: elitism, contempt and hatred for the working class and the less well-off citizens of Serbia; auto-colonial consciousness and worship of “European civilization” and imperial powers as their moral and political compass; and sometimes even accompanied by open displays of racism. This custom-made “antifascism” for the self-proclaimed elites has nothing to do with real anti-fascism, and its only purpose is to dehumanize workers and poor people, legitimize the neoliberal order and promote imperial interests. It does not represent the struggle against fascism; it strives to push progressive forces in society into an elitist, marginal position and draw them into the neoliberal death-spiral – a spiral on whose end is inevitably the fascistization of the system and our society.

We reject the blackmail of liberal “antifascism” and refuse to be a left-ish appendage to the neoliberal order. The Party of the Radical Left strives to build up an anti-fascist front which is based on socialist values. We recognize that historical revisionism, nationalism and the fascistization of the state and society can be halted only by an anti-fascism which comes from a class perspective. We believe that the only real political dividing lines are, ultimately, social ones – and not national, racial, religious and other lines promoted by far-right political organizations. We recognize all minority groups which are affected by the activity of far-right political organizations as our natural allies and invite them to a common struggle against both the far right, and its neoliberal allies and cultivators.

Solidarity, brotherhood and unity in the struggle for a more just society will be sorely needed in these hard times; times in which the activity of the far-right will be intensified further, and which are – with the general state of crisis in the world – inevitably ahead of us.

Death to fascism – freedom to the people!

adopted at the Congress of the Party of the Radical Left, 18/12/2022 in Belgrade


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