Movements of Resistance to Movements for System Change

- Charles and Karen McFadden

"First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out— Because I was not a Socialist. Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out— Because I was not a Trade Unionist. Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out— Because I was not a Jew. Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me."

  - Martin Niemöller (1892–1984) - prominent Protestant pastor who emerged as an outspoken public foe of Adolf Hitler and spent the last seven years of Nazi rule in concentration camps.


We are today (November 2016, more than 60 years after the global defeat of the first wave of fascism) in the midst of another political revolution, but not the one from a declining form of capitalist democracy to capitalism with a kinder, gentler face, as Bernie Sanders and his supporters, we among them, hoped for. Rather, it is one from the neoliberal policies and institutions of a globalized transnational capitalist class to a contemporary form of fascism.

The defining characteristic of fascism, past and present, is the replacement of capitalist democracy by militaristic corporate rule, but its contemporary form bears the global stamp of transnational capital – the global network of the heads of transnational capitalist corporations and their subordinate political representatives. Donald Trump, President-Elect of the United States, is the personification of this transnational class and this fascist revolution.

Resistance – international resistance - is necessary. No-one gets a pass, not the USA’s northern neighbors, nor those at the furthest distance from the center of the fascist storm within the world’s leading military power. This military power is one with several times the nuclear weaponry needed and with control over sufficient fossil fuel reserves (within and beyond its territory) to end the experiment in human civilization, quickly by the use of the former, more slowly by the use of the latter.

Our resistance, our global solidarity in this resistance, is a pre-condition to any future worth living, and our immediate task. But it won’t be enough.

As the Green Party of the United States declared in the course of the recently concluded federal election there, "There can be no revolution without a revolutionary party". Whether they have in mind only the political revolution to a kinder, gentler more democratic capitalism, or a more thorough going revolution that includes the economic as well as political institutions of capitalism remains to be seen. Here we argue for the necessity of the latter – in the United States, in Canada – our home, and in every country bound up by transnational capitalism, in our view all countries and all nations on Earth.

Those who believe that even the combined efforts of all the movements in the world for justice, peace, democracy and environmental wisdom will be sufficient, by themselves, are, we argue, mistaken. Without political arms, including political parties, that can change laws and institutions that today permit and in increasing instances even promote fascism, we will be unable to stem the current tide towards its deepening. Without political arms we have no reasonable possibility of even a return to the weak levels of political democracy previously achieved in some, but not all, countries.

Only with political movements and political parties committed to the achievement of the democratic management of both political and economic institutions can we today succeed in reversing the tide towards fascism. The economic power and self-interest of transnational capitalism is simply too great to be countered by more modest changes. The current fascist revolution is the evidence that the leaders of transnational capitalism have run out of other viable solutions for the reproduction and continuation of capitalism as the predominant economic system. While this presents us with the daunting challenge of transforming both the prevailing political and economic institutions, the turn of the dominant fraction of the transnational capitalist class from support for a weakened form of democracy to a growing reliance on fascism means we no longer have the choice of confining our efforts to protest actions or of limiting our choice in the electoral arena to support for non-revolutionary political parties.

Our choice today is to combine our work in the social movements for a more just, democratic, peaceful and sustainable existence, resisting the movements towards the destruction of people and nature, with participation in and, when necessary, creation of genuinely revolutionary political parties, that is parties committed to transform both our political and economic institutions away from fascism and towards democracy.

And we hasten to add, this political-economic revolution will necessarily have to take non-violent paths. We cannot prevent the further destruction of people and the natural environment by engaging in the same destructive behaviour that today characterizes transnational capital and its fascist defenders. We must rely on education, moral persuasion and non-violent civil disobedience to arouse the people to act in their self-interest in a future not only for themselves but for their children and all future generations.


This website was launched September 1, 2010 in support of a green social democratic alternative to neoliberal capitalist policy and practice. The primary result is a work by Charles and Karen McFadden of seven chapters, grouped under the title, Towards a Green Social Democratic Alternative to Capitalism available here in pdf and html formats.

Below under the heading What’s New can be found the most recent materials posted on this website, including opinion pieces, book reviews, articles and selections from the 2017 edition of the main work.  For the interest of new and returning visitors, new materials will be included quarterly.

What's New


Authors' Preface

1.6 The epochal nature of the period we are entering

6.0 The socialism we need against the "socialism" of the 20th century

6.8 Additional concerns about 20th century variants of "socialism"

6.9 The people united!

7.1 Policy alternatives and political movements to advance them


Charles and Karen McFadden, Is revolutionary transformation on the agenda

Charles and Karen McFaddenHumanity on the Brink

Charles and Karen McFaddenMovements of Resistance to Movements for System Change

Charles McFaddenTranslating Green Principles into Education Policy and Practice

Charles and Karen McFadden, The Role of Revolutionaries in the Labor Movement


Charles and Karen McFadden, “The Shape of Water” as an Antidote to the Age of Trump 

Charles McFadden, Decolonizing the U.S. & Canada: The People United for a More Just Sustainable Future

Karen and Charles McFaddenCan emergent early 21st century neo-fascism be defeated without coming to grips with late 20th century restructuring of capitalism into a global system

Karen and Charles McFaddenA Dominant Capitalism or a Sustainable Environment? Why we can't have both.


William I. RobinsonThe Crisis of Global Capitalism and Trump's March to War

William I. RobinsonTrumpism, 21st Century Fascism, and the Dictatorship of the Transnational Capitalist Class


George HewisonWINNIPEG 1919 & THE COLD WAR

George HewisonArt Manuel - "Unsettling Canada

George HewisonThe NDP and LEAP


Albert Einstein, David Swanson, Jill Stein, Chris Hedges, William I. Robinson, and others Selected articles for Winter 2018



1.7 The dynamics of capitalism as a system and the limits of single issue reforms

2.11 The economy in transition towards a new deal for labor and the community

3.1 The challenge of a moribund economic system

3.7 Public banking: A cornerstone of a green social democracy

4.7 Economics and culture

6.5 Using the non-market economy as an opportunity to begin moving beyond capitalism


1.6 The epochal nature of the period we are entering

2.0 Theoretical Perspective: Defining Green Social Democracy

2.5. Socialism and green social democracy in historical materialist theory

4.3 Culture in historical perspective

5.1 Contrasting a green social democratic world with the currently prevailing, but challenged neo-liberal one

6.2 Socialism and capitalism as coexisting social systems


2.11 The economy in transition towards a new deal for labor and the community

5.7 Defeating neo-liberal capitalism: The role of social movements

7.3 Justice: Creating a just society, based on the right of all to a dignified, secure existence

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Creative Commons License: Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0) applies to all work posted on this website except that which appears with authors whose last name is other than McFadden, in which case standard copyright should be assumed to apply.