Letter: Capitalism with the gloves off

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Sir: Your leading article 'Liberalism can cope with the skinheads' (16 April) correctly points out that the problem with the neo-fascist British National Party is that it is seen as voicing 'grievances that derive from real social and political problems'. The social problems are a direct result of Tory government policy which has starved inner-city areas of cheap public housing and increased unemployment. The political problems are, at least partly, the failure of the Labour Party, nationally, to develop the sort of radical policies that will solve the inner-city twin problems of unemployment and housing.

On the question of the rise of fascism both here and abroad, the lesson of Nazi Germany is not that capitalism with a liberal face was defeated by some quirk of fate, but that fascism was, ultimately, the only option left to German capitalism, short of socialist revolution. Fascism represented capitalism with the gloves off.

Your assertion that in this century liberalism has seen off fascism and 'Communism' is, in the case of the former, nave and in the latter, premature. The price of fascism was the Holocaust and it was only 'seen off' when the perceived danger of Europe-wide revolution had passed.

The demise of Stalinism does not signal the end of Communism/socialism, but the demise of capitalism is the only guarantee of an end to the threat of fascism.



Wallasey, Merseyside

16 April