Chapter

Popular Front and War

Marc Mulholland

in Bourgeois Liberty and the Politics of Fear

Published in print October 2012 | ISBN: 9780199653577
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780191744594 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199653577.003.0012
Popular Front and War

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In Russia, Stalinism attempted to build a society on the basis of proletarian civil society, but with the overbearing state gathering all reins of authority into its hands. Internationally, Communism abandoned its Leninist denial of the progressive potential of bourgeois politics to promote a pan-class ‘Popular Front’ against fascism and militarism. In Italy and Spain, Popular Front governments came to power, but bourgeois opinion was, if anything, alienated by leftist adherence to parliamentarianism. The Chinese Communist Party's ‘Popular Front’, unhappily yoking Chiang Kai-shek and Mao Zedong, was, in fact, peasant-based, with little to do with either proletariat or bourgeoisie. The middle-classes remained democratically minded in Britain and America, where consumerism began to break down rigid class barriers. In the Second World War, democratic corporate capitalism (and Stalinism) out-performed – over the long haul – fascist hyper-militarism.

Keywords: Popular Front; Spanish Republic; Léon Blum; Chinese Communist Party; Mao Zedong; Chiang Kai-shek; Second World War; Holocaust

Chapter.  10477 words. 

Subjects: Modern History (1700 to 1945)

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