The Rise of Fascism is the Fault of those who “abstained”

The people who chose not to vote are as responsible as those who voted for far-right parties

I wrote this in conversation on twitter with friends and I stand by every word. Those who chose not to vote are as responsible for the rise in Fascist and racist parties as those who voted for them. We have known for months that the far-right and fascist parties were mobilising in an attempt to become mainstream and, yet, many didn’t bother to vote, including feminists.

Voting won’t result in the complete destruction of the capitalist-patriarchy. It never will, We all know that. That doesn’t mean we can’t prevent the worst of our so-called options from taking power. We have allowed our elective representatives to be drawn from a group of racist, homophobic, disablist and misogynists. Not voting let UKIP take the EU seat in Scotland. It lead to the rise in votes for fascist parties across Europe. In Croydon, a Tory-led council has voted to charge children who need specialist support with reading £3500 for a right to education supposedly guaranteed under the Education Act. Councils across England and Wales are controlled by parties who don’t think specialist services for women are needed. This has led to the closure of women’s aid and refuges in many counties. It has also decimated specialist services for Black and Ethnic Minority women.

We can’t change the world by voting but not voting helps no one. If you chose not to vote in the last election in some ridiculous attempt at “protest”, all you’ve done is allowed those in power retain power and give them a clear mandate to continue policies which will harm women and children.

You’re responsible for allowing local councils to continue closing refuges, slash social work budgets to help families and vulnerable people and erode our education system. It has allowed racists to dictate immigration at the national and EU level.

Not voting isn’t cool or revolutionary, contrary to the drivel spouted by Russell Brand, it’s simply the only way to keep the worst of the worst out of the decision making process on the continuation of the NHS, education and specialist services for women.

Just to be perfectly clear here: fascism is a movement of the middle classes. It’s electoral support, regardless of nation or time, has always required the middle class vote to gain power. The idea that fascism is somehow tied to poverty and the disenfranchisement that goes with it is a convenient myth for those who are in power. After all, the Republican party in the US and UKIP and the Tories in the UK have policies which do not differentiate them from mainstream fascist parties (look at how the Republicans fight to disenfranchise poor, African-American communities). They are the acceptable face of fascism  – and, increasingly, are being given space to espouse fascist ideologies, much like the Nazi party in the early 1930s. We are repeating patterns of scape-goating which allow fascist  parties to gain power and which give those right-wing mainstream parties permission to become more fascist.


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