LEON TROTSKY ON THE CULTURE OF FASCISM

Fascism has opened up the depths of society for politics. Today, not only in peasant homes but also in city skyscrapers, there lives alongside of the twentieth century the tenth or the thirteenth. A hundred million people use electricity and still believe in the magic power of signs and exorcisms. The Pope of Rome broadcasts over the radio about the miraculous transformation of water into wine. Movie stars go to mediums. Aviators who pilot miraculous mechanisms created by man's genius wear amulets on their sweaters. What inexhaustible reserves they possess of darkness, ignorance, and savagery! Despair has raised them to their feet; fascism has given them a banner. Everything that should have been eliminated from the national organism in the form of cultural excrement in the course of the normal development of society has now come gushing out from the throat; capitalist society is puking up the undigested barbarism. Such is the physiology of National Socialism.


From What Is National Socialism? by Leon Trotsky. Written in exile in Turkey, June 10, 1933. Translated from Russian and from German. Appeared in several versions in various journals, first being The Modern Thinker, October 1933. Last two paragraphs of entire essay added as postscript November 2, 1933.


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