Among the most engaging passages in Trotsky’s History of the Russian Revolution are those dealing with the weeks and days leading up to the October insurrection, when the Petrograd Soviet, under the leadership of the Bolsheviks, began pushing. That is, they gradually took for the Soviet more and more power from the Provisional Government, waiting at each step to see if there would be resistance. The more they gained, the more certain was the victory.
In the past, reading about this, I was focused on the importance of revolutionary leadership—indeed, this tactic was one of the reasons the October Revolution was all but bloodless. But now I’m seeing it differently: the same tactic applied by our enemies.
Each step of militarizing police, of normalizing murders by police, of increases in surveillance, of attacks on the free press such as Julian Assange’s extradition, and now of the reversal of Roe v Wade, needs to be seen as fascism pushing, seeing how far they can get before there is resistance, thus weakening the resistance in advance.
In this, the Republican Party—by now openly fascist—has no greater ally than the Democratic Party, which plays the role of stifling the resistance, of keeping everything within the safe channels of electoral politics.
You don’t stop fascism by voting for the non-fascist party. It takes a mass working class movement under a socialist program. The working class has, right now, no more dangerous enemy than their own illusions in the Democratic Party.