C. Derick Varn is a reader at Zero Books, a poet, blogger and podcaster. His podcasts have included Symptomatic Redness and Former People and he is a frequent guest on Zero Squared. This week we discuss Gilles Dauve’s essay “When Insurrections Die” and discuss the relevancy of Dauve’s ideas in the Trump era.
Here’s an excerpt from that essay:
The essence of anti-fascism consists in resisting fascism by defending democracy: one no longer struggles against capitalism but seeks to pressure capitalism into renouncing the totalitarian option…Thus reduced to anti-fascist resistance, social critique is enlisted in dithyrambs to everything it once denounced, and gives up nothing less than that shop-worn affair, revolution, for gradualism, a variant on the “peaceful transition to socialism” once advocated by the CPs, and derided, thirty years ago, by anyone serious about changing the world. The retrogression is palpable.
We won’t invite ridicule by accusing the left and far left of having discarded a communist perspective which they knew in reality only when opposing it. It is all too obvious that anti-fascism renounces revolution. But anti-fascism fails exactly where its realism claims to be effective: in preventing a possible dictatorial mutation of society.
Thanks goes out to members of the Zero Books Club. Zero Books Club members receive access to the Inside Zero Books which sometimes consists of unedited or full length interviews from the Zero Squared podcast, sometimes features conversations with Zero Books readers about the state of the left, and sometimes features public lectures from Zero Books authors or staff. This week the Inside Zero Books podcast will feature the second half of this conversation with C Derrick Varn.