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Will the Left ever defeat fascism? Marxists don't understand the meaning of evil

The Left is trapped by student politics (Photo credit should read OLI SCARFF/AFP via Getty Images)

The Left is trapped by student politics (Photo credit should read OLI SCARFF/AFP via Getty Images)


June 18, 2021   5 mins

“The SWP is a home for dim, middle-class children. For years it has been a sect or cult rather than a party — think of the Moonies, but without the smiles.” So observed Nick Cohen, almost twenty years ago. As it happens, I do remember smiles, emanating from that warm glow of feeling right, of possessing the truth. There was also an intoxicating camaraderie of being a part of some tight-knit group, all speaking a common language, all sharing in the international endeavour of putting the world to rights.

But Cohen’s point still stands. I bridle at dim, of course. But “middle-class” and “sect” hit home. I left the SWP because I felt a fraud: a public schoolboy selling socialist newspapers outside the Haymarket Metro in Newcastle City Centre, imagining my ripped jeans and dyed hair put me at the vanguard of the proletariat. Mea culpa.

Over time, Christianity took its place — one “change the world” belief system replacing another. But for all its many failings, I suspect there will always remain in me some small sense of nostalgia for my Trotskyite phase. The world felt simpler back then.

A hundred years ago this summer, the Communist Party of Great Britain established its youth wing, the Young Communist League. Earlier this week, comedian Alexi Sayle and former children’s laureate Michael Rosen described their experiences of growing up within this all-encompassing belief system. Rosen remembers his mother linking her commitment to Communism to the growing threat of fascism in the 1930s; with Black shirts on the streets of the East End, Hitler’s rise in Germany and the Civil War in Spain. “Who else was going to defend us?” she asked.

Put this way, communism shares its basic question with protestant Christianity: “How are we saved?” Indeed, when considered experientially, Communism is much more like a salvation religion than a dry body of Marxist philosophical doctrine.

Yes, I remember endless arguments down the Student Bar about the precise relationship between the working class and the revolution, just as later I would argue with my friends about the way in which Jesus would inaugurate the Kingdom of God — all rather technical sounding stuff. And both arguments rapidly descended into heated debates on minor details of doctrine: the People’s Front of Judea vs. the Judean’s People’s Front. But the existential punch of both belief systems is carried much more by something like the simplicity of Mrs Rosen’s question.

That question is also at the heart of Paul’s Mason’s forthcoming book, How to Stop Fascism — a fascinating study of how the hard Left continues to reinvent itself despite its numerous disappointments; the kingdom having evidently failed to come, and the supposed harbinger of that kingdom, the Soviet Union, having so clearly betrayed its higher calling, most obviously in the invasion of Czechoslovakia in August 1968.

But Mason also explores a much more interesting question: why did the Left in Germany not unite to counter the threat that was Hitler? Why did they not offer more spirited resistance to the rise of the Nazis? “Who else is going to defend us?” asked Mrs Rosen, encouraging her son to support the Communists. And yet they didn’t.

Why? Partly, as Mason explains, because the Nazis didn’t fit the narrow Communist script of historical development. Its whole economic and class-based analysis was just too narrow a lens through which to recognise the full horror of what the Nazis were planning. Marxism’s failure was “its inability to grasp complexity”. For orthodox Marxism, just as with Christian eschatology, historical progress was unstoppable.

The arc of history was on their side, leading inevitably to the sunny uplands of peace and prosperity for all. The gas chambers were just not in the script. And as Hitler rose to power, too many Communists remained in their equivalent to the student bar, debating obscure points of doctrine. The communist leadership “sit in the tavern and carries on the fight against fascism [there]. Landlord, another pint 
” as one communist remembered from his jail cell.

Mason’s fascinating book is a call for the Left to re-invent itself once again, in the face of a new form of fascism he sees in people like Trump, Modi and Bolsonaro. Of course, the hard Left has reinvented itself many times before. Following the Soviet invasion of Prague, many Communists became disillusioned with the Soviet focus and reinvented themselves as Euro Communists. They started reading Gramsci who proposed a more culturally sophisticated analysis of political power.

But Mason goes one step further. He proposes that Marxism has to learn the language of morality, and even — shock horror — the idea of a radical evil similar to that espoused by Christians. Marxism, he writes, “failed in the face of fascism because it had no explicit theory of evil, and when confronted with a systematic, militarised, genocidal anti-humanism, it could offer scant explanation.”

This is a very long way from Marx, who remained highly suspicious of moral philosophy, and especially of anything that had the whiff of theology. If Gramsci brought about a cultural turn in Marxist theory, Mason is proposing a moral one.

Yet this book still feels a little too much like notes from the student bar. How to Stop Fascism does not mention Winston Churchill, for instance, except to condemn the far-Right racists who rallied in support of Churchill after his statue had been graffitied by Black Lives Matter activists. It’s a strange omission, given Churchill’s actions constituted one of the most obvious solutions to the How to Stop Fascism challenge. Similarly, Zionism is not even mentioned by the former young communists as a possible answer to Mrs Rosen’s question, though Israel was established as a response to precisely that fear. The Left do not have a monopoly on hating fascism.

And indeed, Mason is correct that it would be a mistake to dismiss of fascism as a dead duck. Mason’s definition of fascism — “the organised refusal of human life” — is cleverly pithy, though perhaps a little too broad to be meaningful or accurate. But as the recent hounding of BBC journalist Nick Watt demonstrated, the heightened emotions of street thuggery remain alive and well, and are being expressed disturbingly close to the centre of our democratic institutions — though the hard Left, including Mason himself, is no stranger to whipping up strong feelings on the streets. I am frightened by both, and by the way that both fascism and communism justify their emotional intensity with reference to the moral failings of the other.

One of the insights of salvation theology is that you can pretty much work out the shape of what that theology will be if you understand what it is that we are being told we need saving from. In Christian terms, some think we need saving from death, others from hell, or the devil, or sin or self-regard. Others think we need saving from our enemies.

Mason thinks that we need saving from fascism and from the ethno-nationalism that underpins it — and his soteriology proceeds on that basis. It’s a kind of secular theology.

What Mason could also have mentioned is that Communism and the Abrahamic religions share a belief in iconoclasm — a statue-smashing instinct that refuses to allow the glorious richness of divine or human life to be ossified in stone statues or dollar bills. Religious people call it idolatry Marxists call it commodification.

The problem with statues is not that they sometimes glorify bad people. NO, they are a metaphor for the way some people can stop thinking or stop loving — they are a celebration of unreflective stasis, fixity, dead lifeless doctrine. Iconoclasm is a movement of renewal, with the need to display human love at its centre.

My Marxism is long dead. But I still can’t shake off the idea that I have more in common with communism than I feel comfortable with. Marxist theology is not just about lefty priests, but about disturbingly quasi-religious Marxists, too.


Giles Fraser is a journalist, broadcaster and Vicar of St Anne’s, Kew.

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Saul D
Saul D
2 years ago

” ‘…a systematic, militarised, genocidal anti-humanism…’ ”
That was the world’s experience not just of fascism, but also of all the communist states.
Ideology is our most dangerous invention – believing you have a ‘truth’, and then being willing to do anything to protect that ‘truth’, turning heretics and dissidents into cartoons and caricatures to be hated, leaving believers blind to their own immoralities.

Rocky Rhode
Rocky Rhode
2 years ago
Reply to  Saul D

If we could inculcate (through education) the idea that all forms of totalitarian ideology are lethal we might stand a chance of saving ourselves.
They all start on a hill of high mindedness and end in a lake of blood.

JP Martin
JP Martin
2 years ago
Reply to  Rocky Rhode

Education has been captured by the extreme left so the exact opposite has been happening for some time

Rocky Rhode
Rocky Rhode
2 years ago
Reply to  JP Martin

Sadly true.

Jon Redman
Jon Redman
2 years ago
Reply to  Rocky Rhode

What was ever high minded about Marxism? There’s nothing noble about hatred or swinish jealousy.

JP Martin
JP Martin
2 years ago
Reply to  Jon Redman

Nothing, of course, but they are totally convinced of their own virtue (and that is how they justify for their many sins)

Rocky Rhode
Rocky Rhode
2 years ago
Reply to  Jon Redman

If we don’t grasp the fact that many Marxists genuinely (and naively) think they are trying to improve society for the better then we will fail to fully understand them, which is dangerous.

Martin Smith
Martin Smith
2 years ago
Reply to  Rocky Rhode

A much greater misunderstanding is created by taking them at face value. Essentially ‘marxism’ in most westerners is, as Lenin put it, an ‘infantile disorder’ in people who are afraid to grow up and accept responsibility for themselves. Easier to blame ‘capitalism’ than admit weakness, fear and get on with the hard work necessary to make it right.

Last edited 2 years ago by Martin Smith
Jon Redman
Jon Redman
2 years ago
Reply to  Rocky Rhode

Nobody can possibly imagine Marxism improves society. Anyone who claims to think so is either profoundly ignorant or is lying.

Rocky Rhode
Rocky Rhode
2 years ago
Reply to  Jon Redman

Sadly I fear that, of those who support Marxism, your former category makes up 90%, your latter 10%.

Michael James
Michael James
2 years ago
Reply to  Saul D

The Nazis made a special effort to recruit ex-communists, who were already trained in ideology and regimentation, but also wanted to be on the winning side.

Last edited 2 years ago by Michael James
Matt Hindman
Matt Hindman
2 years ago

The Nazi’s murdered 6 million Jews in the Holocaust and the whole world remembers their evil. However if I tell people that 4 million Ukrainian peasants were forcibly starved to death in the Holodomor by the Communists, people look at me with blank expressions. Why is that?

Laura Creighton
Laura Creighton
2 years ago
Reply to  Matt Hindman

Hollywood has made lots of movies about evil Germans (I used a more specific word, here but that made the post need moderator approval. Don’t know why Matt Hindman can use it, but I cannot.) They haven’t made many (I cannot think of any, but that doesn’t mean much, as I am not a movie-watcher) about evil Stalinists. Of course, the murdered Ukranians weren’t ‘rescued or avenged by a US military response, so Hollywood can’t make a ‘look at us, the heroes’ movie about Stalinism. There are many Jews and few (zero?) Ukranians in positions of power in Hollywood.
Also, geography is not very well taught, these days. People think they know where Germany is (though you would be surprised at how wrong many of them are). They mostly are certain they have no clue where the Ukraine is.

Last edited 2 years ago by Laura Creighton
Jorge Espinha
Jorge Espinha
2 years ago
Reply to  Matt Hindman

Because of their good and pure intentions. It’s always about their intentions and never about their actions.

JP Martin
JP Martin
2 years ago
Reply to  Jorge Espinha

This is an interesting interpretation. A bit like the faith vs works debate
.There is definitely a cult like dimension in leftist politics

Laura Creighton
Laura Creighton
2 years ago
Reply to  Matt Hindman

Hollywood has made lots of movies about evil Germans (I used a more specific word, here but that made the post need moderator approval. Don’t know why Matt Hindman can use it, but I cannot.) They haven’t made many (I cannot think of any, but that doesn’t mean much, as I am not a movie-watcher) about evil Stalinists. Of course, the murdered Ukranians weren’t ‘rescued or avenged by a US military response, so Hollywood can’t make a ‘look at us, the heroes’ movie about Stalinism. There are many Jews and few (zero?) Ukranians in positions of power in Hollywood.
Also, geography is not very well taught, these days. People think they know where Germany is (though you would be surprised at how wrong many of them are). They mostly are certain they have no clue where the Ukraine is.

JP Martin
JP Martin
2 years ago

So many American films have been made about Vietnam but I can only think of one about the Cambodian genocide (the Killing Fields). If there were a way to make a film about Americans in the Ukraine, maybe they would have done it by now
 My instinct tells me that they like films about World War II because they were key participants.

Jeff Butcher
Jeff Butcher
2 years ago

The Soviets made some interesting war movies – ‘Come and See’ (1985) is about the German invasion of Byelorussia, although I hesitate to recommend it because it’s so disturbing

Last edited 2 years ago by Jeff Butcher
Laura Creighton
Laura Creighton
2 years ago
Reply to  Jeff Butcher

Thank you.

Matt Hindman
Matt Hindman
2 years ago

Oh my post awaited moderator approval. Next time I will just go with National Socialists.

Simon Coulthard
Simon Coulthard
2 years ago
Reply to  Matt Hindman

Because it’s obviously not common knowledge. What, you thought there was some deeper truth?

Tom Krehbiel
Tom Krehbiel
2 years ago
Reply to  Matt Hindman

Laura Creighton touches on what I think is much of the answer, along with the Communists’ allegedly purer intentions than the National Socialists’. But I don’t think that it necessarily had to be US soldiers for Hollywood to take notice. Rather, there needed to be some reasonably objective observers to record the horrors of the Holodomor as there were of the Holocaust. And there simply were not. The victims in the Ukraine had already been buried by the time the Wehrmacht arrived, and the German army were scarcely believable anyway. Had we actually seen the suffering in the Ukraine and elsewhere in the USSR, it would have been much harder for the Left to whitewash it. But unlike the Holocaust, we didn’t view it, hence the silence. The same might be said of the Turkish genocide against their Armenian population.

Last edited 2 years ago by Tom Krehbiel
Charlie Dibsdale
Charlie Dibsdale
2 years ago
Reply to  Matt Hindman

The communists murdered 100M people in the 20th century. The Nazi abomination is taught at school but the arguably worse communist abomination is not. The premise of this whole article by only focusing on the evil of extremist right politics is bilge, extremism of any nature is abhorrent. Let’s not forget religious extremism as well. I am sure the bigoted religious persecutors of Galileo believed that they were doing what was best for him.

Stephen Rose
Stephen Rose
2 years ago

Marxism, Facisim they both deny, the particular, the human. Collectivism that subsumes the individual, look at their doctrinal attitude to art, if it doesn’t further the cause it’s superfluous.
I would suggest listening to Alexander Stoddart, the Scottish sculptor on why statues inflame iconoclasm. To paraphrase, it is because political movements live in the dynamic present, statues remain frozen in time, blithely in different, an affront to their notion of change. Statues silently mock political transience. Even defaced, toppled, as a fragment, Colston’s statue exists to say, I lived.

Francis MacGabhann
Francis MacGabhann
2 years ago

Reading a Giles Fraser column is like reading Edward Lear – it’s nonsense but it sounds really good. Fascism is to socialism what Tweedledum is to Tweedledee. The left will never defeat fascism because they’re both of the left, they’re both collectivist and they only distinction is that one is national socialist and the other is international socialist. It’s the distinction between an Alsatian and a German Shepherd, which is to say, no distinction, and one dog cannot housetrain another. It takes a human to do that.

George Glashan
George Glashan
2 years ago

i think your spot on but I would add a distinction between them, public relation, PR, branding whatever you want to call that. Socialism has had better branding than Fascism post 1945 but they are essentially the same thing. Coke vs Pepsi.

Last edited 2 years ago by George Glashan
Tom Krehbiel
Tom Krehbiel
2 years ago

Yes, and I wouldn’t be too sure about the “international” in the supposedly non-Fascist variety of Socialism. After all, when Trotsky promoted worldwide Socialist revolution, Stalin more cautiously boosted Socialism In One Country (the USSR). And we all know who won out in that battle of the internationalist vs. the nationalist. There’s also the matter of national feelings stirring the pot in the fight between the Soviet Union and Maoist China.

Ethniciodo Rodenydo
Ethniciodo Rodenydo
2 years ago

Indeed should GF now cancel himself. It amazes me how no onw kicks up a fuss about the BBC or our universities employing ‘former’ Marxist or Maoists. You can imagine the outcry if GB News offered Nick Griffin a job, yet Paul Mason gets to be economic editor of Channel 4. How the hell does that work? The existential threat this country has and continued to face is from the left who raise the non-existent threat of the far right as a sort of aunt Sally to distract attention from what they are about.

Last edited 2 years ago by Ethniciodo Rodenydo
Drahcir Nevarc
Drahcir Nevarc
2 years ago

“But Mason also explores a much more interesting question: why did the Left in Germany not unite to counter the threat that was H1dtler?”
Because he was one of them?

“Marxism, he writes, “failed in the face of fascism because it had no explicit theory of evil, and when confronted with a systematic, militarised, genocidal anti-humanism, it could offer scant explanation.””
It only needed to look in the mirror.

“How to Stop Fascism does not mention Winston Churchill, for instance, except to condemn the far-Right racists who rallied in support of Churchill after his statue had been graffitied by Black Lives Matter activists.”
As a centre-right non-racist, I was equally disgusted by the racist BLM’s vandalism.

“I am frightened by both, and by the way that both fascism and communism justify their emotional intensity with reference to the moral failings of the other.”
It’s the narcissism of small differences. Fascism and communism are two cheeks of the same totalitarian arse.

“I still can’t shake off the idea that I have more in common with communism than I feel comfortable with.”
This should be a matter of profound personal shame. Owning communist sympathies is every bit as depraved as owning Nartsee sympathies.

Last edited 2 years ago by Drahcir Nevarc
A Spetzari
A Spetzari
2 years ago
Reply to  Drahcir Nevarc

“I still can’t shake off the idea that I have more in common with communism than I feel comfortable with.”

Agreed with your criticism of this. But the reason why is that Communism is so self assured and adamant that it’s for your own good.
And if you’re not for it? Then you are against what is good, what is for the people.

Laura Creighton
Laura Creighton
2 years ago
Reply to  A Spetzari

Also,you are against what is inevitable.

Rocky Rhode
Rocky Rhode
2 years ago

Mason’s description of fascism: “…a systematic, militarised, genocidal anti-humanism…” sounds like a perfect description of Communism too.
Fascism and Communism have much more in common with each other than either does with democratic politics.

George Glashan
George Glashan
2 years ago
Reply to  Rocky Rhode

Masons descriptions he only sees those traits as negative when theeyy are applied to the other side, when its his side then those same traits are for the greater good, a neccesary evil, … etc. etc.

Also at what point did Mason go full whackaloon, i have memories of him being a (reasonable-ish ) champion of working class issue, or am i misremembering?

George Glashan
George Glashan
2 years ago
Reply to  George Glashan

as a measure of credit to Paul Mason, he has actually linked to this review / critique on his own twitter. so fair play to him for that.

JP Martin
JP Martin
2 years ago

“Too many Marxists don’t understand the meaning of evil”
Because it’s hard to see something clearly when you’re completely immersed in it.

John Riordan
John Riordan
2 years ago
Reply to  JP Martin

Good answer, but there’s an equally persuasive alternative which is that if you define evil in ways specifically designed to dehumanise your ideological opponents instead of actually seeking to understand and explain it, you should not be surprised when you find yourself unable to spot it when it’s in front of you.

JP Martin
JP Martin
2 years ago
Reply to  John Riordan

Sure…If one conceives of evil as existing only externally, then it will be impossible to appreciate one’s own capacity for evil. You are describing fanaticism, I think.

Jorge Espinha
Jorge Espinha
2 years ago

“Too many Marxists don’t understand the meaning of evil”Is this satire?
Has the author heard of present-day China, North Korea, Cuba, Venezuela or Nicaragua?
Has the author heard about the “cultural revolution”, Holodomor, Gulags?
Marxists are evil, they are no better than the far right. Actually, they are often worst than the far right.

Samir Iker
Samir Iker
2 years ago
Reply to  Jorge Espinha

Also, a lot of people are genuine supporters of Marxism as opposed to the mythical “far right”

Laura Creighton
Laura Creighton
2 years ago

If you are reding this, Giles Fraser, I think you need to re-examine Paul Mason’s work (which I haven’t read) and your own beliefs if you agree with him that the Marxists don’t have an explicit theory of evil, because I think he had got this precisely upside-down wrong. The Marxists have always had a theory of evil. It’s the fault of the the evil capitalists, and the evil capitalist economic system, and the evil colonialists and the evil imperialists and the fact that the workers don’t control the means of production, and that wealth is not divided equally and those dangerous foreign and domestic elements.
The Marxists have never had a problem coming up with a theory that explains why there is a lot of evil in the world, and why it is somebody else’s fault.
What the Marxists have had a much more difficult time doing is coming up with a theory of what is good. Having the revolution is easy compared to the practical matter of administering a government, especially if you don’t have any idea of specific concrete goods you want to accomplish with your administration. (Aside from ‘make sure the army gets paid, they have pretty much learned that one.) If you believe that progress is inevitable, then it ought to ‘just happen’ once you remove enough of the evils that are getting in its way.
But as the non-Marxists all know, good works do not ‘just happen’. Somebody has to clothe the naked, and feed the hungry, and provide shelter. The sick need tending and sometimes even curing, and the ignorant need teaching. A fair and impartial criminal justice system and civil service do not grow on trees.
A government can do a lot to further these and other good works, and has an even easier time making it difficult or impossible for those who would do these good works. But to the extent that a government thinks that what it needs is a theory of good, and a theory of evil — in other words more ideology — it will find that it usually isn’t doing much good, because good works are practical and not theoretical, and time spent theorising about them is time not spent doing them.

Last edited 2 years ago by Laura Creighton
Martin Smith
Martin Smith
2 years ago

See South Africa under the ANC as an example. Great in theory but the water, power and transport infrastructures have not been maintained and even the know-how is being lost.

Aidan Twomey
Aidan Twomey
2 years ago

“the organised refusal of human life” or as we called it in Britain “3 weeks to flatten the curve.”

Chris Wheatley
Chris Wheatley
2 years ago

Marx said (roughly) “……….. religion is the opium of the masses”.
For me, “Marxism is the heroin of the dim middle-classes.”
I tried to read Das Kapital when I was young and I didn’t understand it but that didn’t stop me from thinking it was great. We used to quote sections to each other (despite not understanding it) and we thought it was cool. With the hindsight of age I tried to re-read it but stopped because it is like reading a script for Monty Python. We used to like Monty Python as well but look how that has aged!!

Martin Adams
Martin Adams
2 years ago
Reply to  Chris Wheatley

Oh, well said! Your experience seems to have been an almost exact mirror of my own. It seems we have drunk from the same well.

Jon Redman
Jon Redman
2 years ago

When you were a Marxist, were you ever concerned about all the millions of people your fellow travellers have murdered? Have you ever expressed contrition for having been such a disgusting apology for a human being yourself? Do you consider yourself morally qualified to preach sermons?

Clive Mitchell
Clive Mitchell
2 years ago
Reply to  Jon Redman

You do realise that this post simply paints you as pompous and judgemental? It reminds me of all those people demanding some cricketer be cancelled because of youthful indiscretions. A baying mob, parading their moral superiority.
A parable for you “Two men went to the temple to pray. One was a Pharisee, the other one a Publican. The Pharisees, stood by himself and prayed “God I thank you that I am not like other people thieves rogues adulterers or even like this publican. I fast twice a week and give a 10th of all I get”. But the Publican stood at a distance. He would not even look up to heaven, but beat his breast and said “God have mercy on me a sinner”. I tell you that this man went home justified before God rather than the other. For all those who exalt themselves will be humbled and those who humble themselves will be exalted”.

Gary Taylor
Gary Taylor
2 years ago
Reply to  Clive Mitchell

If GF had been a member of the Natsee party, or the BNP, this article would have included a section on his remorse and his reflections. The Editor would have demanded it.
We should require nothing less from a similarly murderous ideology like communism.

George Glashan
George Glashan
2 years ago
Reply to  Gary Taylor

how about , instead of requiring nothing less , we actually demand more of ourselves in terms of listening and giving Giles the benefit of the doubt and some consideration and compassion. the article is a reflection on how he felt then , how hes changed and how he hasn’t, give him some credit instead of holding him to an imaginary standard. dont fall for the woke mobs game but pretend your doing something different just by playing it on a different pitch.

Jon Redman
Jon Redman
2 years ago
Reply to  George Glashan

I’ve never read anything by this guy where he admitted he was utterly, evilly and profoundly wrong, and apologised for it. He won’t say sorry because he isn’t. He’s no more fit to preach, sermonise or pontificate than a member of the NSDAP.

Last edited 2 years ago by Jon Redman
Clive Mitchell
Clive Mitchell
2 years ago
Reply to  Jon Redman

Do you actually understand what evil is?

George Glashan
George Glashan
2 years ago
Reply to  Jon Redman

fair play Jon, agree to disagree then or maybe we are talking past each other here?
I think Giles is probably fit to preach, sermonise or pontificate given that he is the Rector at St Mary’s. the article is a response to Paul Masons book, i don’t read it as Giles being an apologist for Marxism, i mostly take away the opposite, he was seduced by it when he was younger, now regrets and is slightly embarressed by that but was of a milieu that was exactly the type to be seduced by it.
my point to garytaylor1a is better clarified with the above , who hasn’t done things as a child / young adult , they are now embarressed by. using the Wokes game of denouncing Giles for Marxist regimes crimes that he hasn’t committed isn’t useful.
And incase anyone is misunderstanding me, marxism is a pile o shite.

Jon Redman
Jon Redman
2 years ago
Reply to  Clive Mitchell

Rubbish. I would remind you that this ghastly hypocrite is an actual priest, so he lectures other people on virtue. This is despite having been an utter moral incompetent himself and sought the imposition of a murderous, expropriatory tyranny.
It is entirely legitimate to want to know if he genuinely repents of his evil. I suspect he does not. Nobody’s forgiven for having been a member of the BNP or NF; why should he be forgiven his past membership of a disgusting movement?
You’re bl00dy right I’m judging him. Everyone should judge him.

Ethniciodo Rodenydo
Ethniciodo Rodenydo
2 years ago
Reply to  Jon Redman

Indeed should GF now cancel himself.
It amazes me how no onw kicks up a fuss about the BBC or our universities employing ‘former’ Marxist or Maoists. You can imagine the outcry if GB News offered Nick Griffin a job, yet Paul Mason gets to be economic editor of Channel 4. How the hell does that work?
The existential threat this country has and continued to face is from the left who raise the non-existent threat of the far right as a sort of aunt Sally to distract attention from what they are about.

Last edited 2 years ago by Ethniciodo Rodenydo
Douglas McNeish
Douglas McNeish
2 years ago

Some other avowedly Marxist members of our elites: Susan Michie, card-carrying Communist Party member and adviser to SAGE, that body that rules supremely above elected officials in the UK currently. Tony Blair, a devotee of Trotsky while at Oxford, and the leadership of the Labour Party, which Blair himself said alarmingly in 2019 is controlled by its “Marxist-Leninist wing.” And of course that media darling, “literally a Communist” Ash Sarkar. All perfectly acceptable without apology!

Judy Johnson
Judy Johnson
2 years ago
Reply to  Jon Redman

Giles recognises and writes about change in himself. Jon, you need the courage to reflect and decide if you need to change.

Jon Redman
Jon Redman
2 years ago
Reply to  Judy Johnson

It’s a really simple, tough set of questions to answer, isn’t it? Don’t look over here, look over there. It’s not him, it’s you. How dare you.
Sorry but it is him. Anyone who’s ever been a Marxist is a profoundly wicked, morally incompetent, utterly failed human being.
Here are the questions again.
When you were a Marxist, were you ever concerned about all the millions of people your fellow travellers have murdered? Have you ever expressed contrition for having been such a disgusting apology for a human being yourself? Do you consider yourself morally qualified to preach sermons?
What do you think his answers would be?

Judy Johnson
Judy Johnson
2 years ago
Reply to  Jon Redman

Your questions are based on your opinions rather than on facts!

JR Stoker
JR Stoker
2 years ago
Reply to  Judy Johnson

The first question is based on facts, and cam be answered “yes” or “no”, with explanation. The second is absurd but is clearly dealt with in the article. The third is clearly answered “yes” and is the core of the article.

So Mr Redman, here are two for you:

1) do you believe in the concept of forgiveness?

2) do you not accept we can all learn from the errors and follies of youth?
.

Judy Johnson
Judy Johnson
2 years ago
Reply to  JR Stoker

Thank you! It’s tempting to predict his answers but I’ll resist!

Clive Mitchell
Clive Mitchell
2 years ago
Reply to  Jon Redman

“ Sorry but it is him. Anyone who’s ever been a Marxist is a profoundly wicked, morally incompetent, utterly failed human being.”

You do talk absolute guff.

George Glashan
George Glashan
2 years ago
Reply to  Jon Redman

your demanding an unreasonable moral standard of someone for actions they committed in the past based on facts you don’t know that they were aware of. thats the Wokes game, its not a useful one to play. Giles isn’t preaching marxism, hes embarressed by his past association with it. if you want to get away from the Woke worldview you cant play thier games. You dont have to like or listen to Giles but you cant hold him accountable for things he hasn’t done.

Andrew Raiment
Andrew Raiment
2 years ago

Perhaps they spend all of their time castigating ordinary citizens failure to acquiesce to Marxism (or facsimile of). Non believers are despised, held with contempt. We are seeing this played out now with the so called culture war.

Helen Moorhouse
Helen Moorhouse
2 years ago

I’m beginning to balk at the language of “left” and “right”. Nazi is short for National Socialism. Fascism is a side wing of communism. They are both totalitarian. Their real opposite is what is now called the Centre. Except being in the middle it ceases to be a destination and becomes instead a passing place from Godless hell type 1 to Godless hell type 2. This political road map is a useful myth by which liberal values – which only work in within the context of Christianity morality (check the history books if you don’t believe me) – can be ignored in favour of the straw man which is the nasty enemy waiting at the other end of the continuum. It’s subversive language and we should scrap it.

Terry Davis
Terry Davis
2 years ago

Giles Fraser, do yourself a favour and read Hayek’s The Road to Serfdom, written in the 1940’s. It clearly explains that the Nazis, ie the National Socialists, were built on nineteenth century German Socialist doctrine, and explains that Socialism can only be achieved by suppressing ‘selfish’ individual freedoms and have everyone bow to the “greater good,” which is defined by the leader of the State, who by the thirties, of last century, was Hitler. I
Should you want a short cut to understanding the link between Nazism and Socialism then simply go to Chapter 12 of Hayek’s book, headed “The Socialist Roots of Nazism.”
Basically, Socialism, drives out Liberalism, as it marches inexorably towards Totalitarianism (witness what has happened to liberty and freedom, over the past 18 months as Johnson has become more and more Totalitarian, supported by Starmer and the Socialists).

Ethniciodo Rodenydo
Ethniciodo Rodenydo
2 years ago

The difference between the left, including socialists, and fascism are largely semantic, or should that be Semitic

Last edited 2 years ago by Ethniciodo Rodenydo
Andrew Raiment
Andrew Raiment
2 years ago

Funny thing, every time I saw a Paul Mason report on Newsnight I was always impressed with his ability to remain objective, even impartial knowing that his political leaning was beyond the centre left. The same could not be said for the likes of James O’Brien and Nick Bryant for example.

JR Stoker
JR Stoker
2 years ago

Was not part of the reason the fascists rose in Germany embedded in its very roots and its name? The full expression of “National Socialist” is what it was: a particularly vile manifestation of socialism. But there lies the problem with socialism; it is all about telling the population what to do, and that compulsion becomes essential.to those at the top 8f the socialist paradise is to be achieved. And so the monster grows and becomes ever more perverted.

The Church has had its moments of that too, but at least modern Christianity recognises, or accepts, that its followers have rights to determine what parts and behaviours of faith they embrace, and what ignore.

It is a rather core difference.

Last edited 2 years ago by JR Stoker
James Chater
James Chater
2 years ago

I

Last edited 2 years ago by James Chater
George Glashan
George Glashan
2 years ago

as a measure of credit to Paul Mason, he has actually linked to this review / critique on his own twitter. so fair play to him for that.

Martin Smith
Martin Smith
2 years ago

The Communist International failed to confront effectively National Socialism because it argued, as directed by Stalin, that there was no essential difference between it and Social Democracy, which was referred to as Social Fascism. It was only after Barbarossa than western communists were allowed to organise against it in co-operation with the Allied powers.

Last edited 2 years ago by Martin Smith
Christopher Chantrill
Christopher Chantrill
2 years ago

All politics is based on uniting a people to fight the enemy.
Interestingly the Commies want to unite the woikers against the eevil bourgeoisie — the middle class– which means civil war.
And our present “allies” want to fight for the “oppressed peoples” against the “white oppressors.” That means civil war.
But the Nazis wanted to unite the Germans against a small minority, The Jews. No need for civil war, just a Kristalnacht.
You tell me who is smarter.

Val Colic-Peisker
Val Colic-Peisker
2 years ago

Dear GF, I am sure you’re onto something here, but your writing put me off. Please consider following good writing conventions (e.g. explain your acronyms, even if they appears in a direct quote-not everyone knows what ‘SWP’ is, especially those of us who don’t live in the UK and for whom UK is not the centre of the universe). Second, the phrasing. “I bridle at dim”??

stanley cohen
stanley cohen
2 years ago

Socialism and Fascism are brother and sister.
One is National Socialism, the other is International
Socialism. A plague on both their houses.

Rob Keeley
Rob Keeley
2 years ago

I often wonder if the vastly-overrated Michael Rosen and the rather wonderful Alexei Sayle have imagined for one minute the millions who suffered under their beloved so-called faith. These people are given such an easy ride these days.