The Meaning, Consequences and Lessons of Trump‘s Victory: Chapter IV. Lessons and Perspectives for the Struggle

 

Note of the Editorial Board: The following document is an extensive study of the consequences of Trump’s victory. It contains 12 figures and 5 tables. The figures can only be viewed in the pdf version of the document here for technical reasons.

 

 

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As we have said, there is no doubt that the ascent to power of the Trump administration will provoke a massive upswing of class struggle both in the US as well as globally. Again, thousands of youth have taken to the streets in large US big cities to protest against the Trump election. However, there is a danger that the public outrage will fizzle out or will be co-opted by bourgeois politicians from the Democratic or Green Party.

 

The rise of the right-wing chauvinistic forces demonstrates, as always, that if socialists are unable to offer a consistent and internationalist program for struggle, including the founding of an authentic revolutionary party that will be part of a world party, they will certainly not be able to rally and organized the workers, migrants and youth and lead them to defeat Trump and other forces of reaction.

 

Therefore, it is extremely urgent to draw lessons from past struggles and, in particular, from the recent electoral campaign.

 

 

 

  1. Is the Democratic Party – or at least its Left Wing around Sanders and Warren – a Vehicle for the Struggle against Trump?

 

 

 

A first and most crucial lesson is the utter bankruptcy of the classic strategy of mainstream progressive forces in the US: to support the Democratic Party as a “lesser evil” against the Republicans. In fact, the Democratic Party is – like the Republicans – an imperialist party, representing a wing of the ruling class. The Clinton family itself is an excellent example illustrating this point. They are closely tied to the bankers of Wall Street as Hillary Clinton’s speeches before the managers of Goldman Sachs so tangibly illustrated.

 

In fact, the entire policy of the Obama administration has been thoroughly reactionary. As we showed above, during Obama’s Democratic presidency, wages declined and unemployment rates rose while the incarnation of masses of blacks and Latinos kept apace and the deportation of undocumented migrants rose to record levels.

 

In a similar fashion, the reaction of both Obama and Hillary Clinton to Trump’s victory demonstrated that the Democratic Party is, first and foremost, a party of the ruling class which is willing to “patriotically” assist the transition to power of even the most reactionary US government for decades! It is revealing that Obama and Clinton did not call upon Americans to protest on the streets, but rather to collaborate with and support the new Administration. Obama declared after meeting Trump that his “number-one priority in the coming two months is to try to facilitate a transition that ensures our president-elect is successful.” He added, speaking to Trump, “I want to emphasize to you, Mr. President-Elect, that we now are going to want to do everything we can to help you succeed—because if you succeed, then the country succeeds.[1]

 

Hillary Clinton, too, called to support Trump and expressed her hope that he “will be a successful president for all Americans.[2]

 

The Democratic Party never has been nor will it ever be a party of the working people or an instrument against the ruling class! Once again it has proved that it is a party whose prime responsibility is to maintain the stability of the capitalist order, even if this means handing over power to the most reactionary forces. While the aptness of the following analogy is limited, one is reminded of the attempts of the German Social Democrats to appease the recently appointed chancellor Hitler in 1933 by calling on their supporters to participate in the fascist-organized marches on May Day of that year, or by supporting the Fuhrer’s announced foreign policy in the Reichstag vote on 17 May 1933. [3]

 

One of the greatest, if not the greatest, obstacles to the struggle for liberation in the US is the subordination of the trade union bureaucracy and the leadership of the black and Latino mass organizations to the parties of the capitalist class – in particular the Democratic Party. It is this subordination which has traditionally resulted in the political exploitation of the workers and oppressed for the electoral goals of the Democratic political apparatus, and has thus so severely hindered them from fighting for their own interests.

 

The trade union bureaucracy is perhaps the most significant obstacle to liberation of the working class from bourgeois control. In this last election, nearly all AFL-CIO leaders called upon their membership to vote for Clinton – as they have traditionally done for other Democratic Party candidates – and spent millions of dollars to help her advance her campaign. Several leaders like Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers (AFT), were engaged at length in massive lobbying for Clinton and did everything in their power to destroy the Sanders campaign. Emails released by WikiLeaks show that “Weingarten promised to act as an attack dog for Clinton against another union that had endorsed Sanders in the primary.[4] The bureaucratic leadership of the Service Employees International Union unconditionally supported Clinton, despite the fact that she refused to endorse a $15 minimum wage that this union had made into its national battle cry.

 

Some unions and many activists placed big hopes in the campaign of Senator Bernie Sanders who ran for the Democratic presidential nomination as an alternative to Clinton. Sanders waged a left-populist campaign for “social justice” and for “political revolution” without, however, touching upon the fundamentals of capitalism. As a result, Clinton could only stop him from winning the Democratic nomination by mobilizing the entire party machinery, including the notorious Super PAC’s. Various polls conducted this past summer predicted that, if Sanders would have run as the party’s candidate against Trump, the latter would have been defeated.

 

However, as we have described in past articles, Sanders is a long-time bourgeois politician who has always understood politics to be game played according to the typical bourgeois parliamentarian rules – running for election, filling an office, re-running at the next election, etc. While formally an Independent, Sanders in fact has always collaborated closely with the Democratic Party which he finally joined last year so that he could compete for that party’s presidential nomination. [5]

 

We note in passing that another leading progressive politician, Senator Elizabeth Warren, plays the same role of acting as a left-wing cover for one of the two major capitalist parties.

 

Sanders’ campaign undoubtedly created great enthusiasm among a new generation of activists who want to fight against the ills of capitalism. However, in reality, his candidacy for the nomination only channeled the enthusiasm of his supporters into bourgeois-electoral politics and the Democratic political machinery. In an Open Letter, published in the New York Times shortly after the election, Sanders wrote:

 

In the coming days, I will also provide a series of reforms to reinvigorate the Democratic Party. I believe strongly that the party must break loose from its corporate establishment ties and, once again, become a grass-roots party of working people, the elderly and the poor. We must open the doors of the party to welcome in the idealism and energy of young people and all Americans who are fighting for economic, social, racial and environmental justice. We must have the courage to take on the greed and power of Wall Street, the drug companies, the insurance companies and the fossil fuel industry.[6]

 

Even worse, instead of mobilizing for the already ongoing mass protests in order to stop Trump, Sanders has fostered the dangerous illusion that this arch-reactionary demagogue may indeed be able to act in the interests of the working people, and has even offered to collaborate with him on some issues! As Sanders wrote in the same letter:

 

I will keep an open mind to see what ideas Mr. Trump offers and when and how we can work together. Having lost the nationwide popular vote, however, he would do well to heed the views of progressives. If the president-elect is serious about pursuing policies that improve the lives of working families, I’m going to present some very real opportunities for him to earn my support.

 

Similarly, Senator Warren called upon her party to act as “the loyal opposition.” Like Sanders, she offered collaboration with Trump:

 

So let me be 100% clear about this. When President-Elect Trump wants to take on these issues, when his goal is to increase the economic security of middle class families, then count me in. I will put aside our differences and I will work with him to accomplish that goal. I offer to work as hard as I can and to pull as many people as I can into this effort. If Trump is ready to go on rebuilding economic security for millions of Americans, so am I and so are a lot of other people-Democrats and Republicans.[7]

 

All this is reactionary nonsense! It is as absurd as if a faithful Christian would say, “OK, if the devil promises to do something good, I am willing to work with him.” This can never happen, because running the government in the interests of the working people would be completely nullify the interests and the political nature of the Trump administration. In fact, all these calls to “give the Trump administration a chance” are nothing but an attempt to halt the mass mobilizations on the streets which want to stop – and not to collaborate with! – the demagogue president to be.

 

The same bourgeois electoralist approach characterizes two new political organizations – Our Revolution and Brand New Congress – which have recently been created by prominent Sanders supporters.

 

In short, Sanders’ (and Warren’s) objective role is to divert the new generation of radical activists who have entered political life and to channel their energies away from activism on the streets and away from building militant mass organizations and encourage them to act as foot soldiers for the Democrats.

 

For these reasons, socialists in the US should denounce bourgeois progressive politicians like Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren and warn activists not to join their political projects.

 

Naturally, this should not be understood to mean the up front rejection of any practical collaboration with supporters of the Sanders (or Warren). Quite the contrary, socialists should recognize that Sanders’ call for a “revolution” has energized but, at the same time blinded, tens of thousands of honest activists who must be won over to the socialist cause. This will require that socialists prepare solid explanations about the necessity to combine a political revolution with a social revolution, and the need to expropriate the corporations and the Donald Trumps, Rockefellers, Zuckerbergs, and the like. This also requires that socialists think about how and when to apply the united front to reach practical collaboration with Sanders and Warren supporters in the mass movements on the streets or inside the trade unions. [8]

 

However, the unequivocal goal must be to stop all attempts by the bureaucrats working for Sanders and Warren to channel the mass movement into the ranks of the Democratic Party.

 

 

 

  1. Break with the Democratic Party – Build a Multi-National Workers Party!

 

 

 

We repeat that, in the opinion of the RCIT, a strategic task of utmost import is to break the trade unions and mass organizations away from the Democratic Party. The workers and oppressed need their own party – independent of any faction of the capitalist class! Socialists should therefore fight within the unions and within the black and Latino mass organization against the leaderships which bind these forces to the Democratic Party.

 

Socialists should call upon these organizations to support a campaign to build a new Multinational Workers’ Party that will fight for the interests of the workers and all oppressed (black, Latino and all other national/ethnic minorities, Muslims, women, youth, LGBT, etc.). As revolutionary communists, we would propose a transitional program for such a party – starting from the immediate economic (defense of wages, jobs, etc.) and democratic demands (no deportations, equal wages, equal rights for all migrants – including the right to vote – and minorities, for an electoral reform where all votes are equal and the Electoral College system will be abolished so that the candidate with most popular votes wins the election, etc.) up to the armed self-defense of workers, blacks and Latinos, the expropriation of the capitalist class and the formation of a workers government. [9]

 

Ultimately, for socialists, the adoption of such a program would be a condition for their participation in the formation of such a Multinational Workers’ Party. Given that the founding of such a party would represent tremendous historic progress, in particular in a country like the US where there never has been an independent mass workers’ party, socialists should work within such a party even if it is initially dominated by non-revolutionary forces. However, in such a case, socialists should form a revolutionary faction and work to convince the membership of its program and to fight against any attempts of reformist forces to bureaucratize the party.

 

Most importantly, such a Multinational Workers’ Party should fight for these goals via mass mobilizations and organization on the streets, in the workplaces and in the neighborhoods. Instead of focusing on elections, it should concentrate its political work in organizing mass demonstrations, in building unions and factory committees in the workplaces, and mass organizations of the blacks, Latinos, Asians and poor in the neighborhoods. It should focus on organizing strikes and boycotts in workplaces, schools and neighborhoods as well as on building self-defense forces against the racist and repressive police.

 

Naturally, such a new Multinational Workers’ Party should not stay away from elections based on principle. Quite the contrary, it should fight against the Democratic Party during elections in order to help workers and oppressed becoming independent from the capitalist parties. However, the electoral field must only play a subordinate role in the party’s political work. All representatives of the party – included those elected to offices – must be under strict control of the party and commit themselves to obey to all collective decisions. They must agree not to earn more than an average worker’s wage and to donate the rest of their income to the party.

 

This brief outline of the RCIT’s perspective regarding the strategic task of US socialists, i.e., fighting for a Multinational Workers’ Party, makes it clear that this will be impossible to achieve without revolutionizing of the trade unions and the mass organizations of blacks and Latinos. These organizations are currently dominated by powerful bureaucracies mostly linked, directly or indirectly, to the Democratic Party. Therefore, such a struggle must include the formation of revolutionary factions inside such mass organizations, as well as broader, militant rank-and-file movements. The concrete course of the struggle will reveal if such a policy of revolutionizing the unions and other mass organizations can be achieved by reforming them, or if the bureaucracies will prefer to expel the revolutionaries, forcing the latter to found – together with the more militant forces from within – new mass organizations.

 

 

 

  1. Is the Green Party a Vehicle for the Struggle against Trump?

 

 

 

Some progressive activists advocate support for a “third party” as an alternative to the Democrats and Republicans. Concretely, this usually means support for the Green Party led by Jill Stein. The RCIT maintains that these activists are thoroughly mistaken in such advocacy. As we have explained in our articles on the US election, the Green Party is a pro-capitalist, petit-bourgeois progressive party. Yes, it raises many supportable demands, but at the same time spreads illusions regarding the nature of US imperialism, contending that, without a socialist revolution, it can become a progressive force. The Green Party in the US is comparable today to the Green parties which arose in Europe in their earlier stages, i.e., they represent progressive sectors of the middle class, but are not based on organized support among the working class and the oppressed.

 

Jill Stein herself has made this clear. Asked whether she would accept a post in a hypothetical Bernie Sanders administration, she answered: “Well, you know, there are Greens who work in the EU in other administrations – that happens all the time.[10] And indeed, in Europe we have seen how the Greens have become part of imperialist governments administering neoliberal austerity programs and NATO wars of aggression in Afghanistan and Serbia (e.g., in France and Germany).

 

The reactionary character of the Green Party is reflected in its leadership’s position on the Syrian Revolution. Instead of supporting the popular rebellion, since November 2015 Jill Stein has publicly called for support of Assad’s and Putin’s effort to liquidate the Syrian Revolution. Here is the statement her campaign published (but which was removed from the Green Party’s website four weeks before the election):

 

Stein said the US should be working with Syria, Russia, and Iran to restore all of Syria to control by the government rather than Jihadi rebels. Collaboration could lead to real success against ISIS. And it would stop the flow of refugees that is reaching crisis proportions in Europe.[11]

 

No, the Greens are not a party of the workers and oppressed (in fact, trade unions are not even allowed to become affiliated with the party!). It is a pro-imperialist party of middle class liberals who are dissatisfied with the Democrats. It is not a party orientated to activism, but primarily to winning offices via elections.

 

For this reason, we believe that centrist organizations like Socialist Alternative (the US section of the CWI) or the ISO (International Socialist Organization) acted in an unprincipled manner when they called their members and supporters to vote for the Green Party at the recent US election. [12] Such a tactic totally disorientates socialist activists, as it encourages them to support a petty-bourgeois pro-imperialist party.

 

 

 

  1. The Importance of the National Question – the Multi-Nationalization of the US Working Class

 

 

 

The centrality of the issue of migration in the US electoral campaign, the importance of the BlackLivesMatters movement against increasing police repression directed against blacks, and the prominent role which Latino (and black) youth play in the current mass mobilizations against the upcoming Trump administration, all these emphasize once again the crucial role played by the issues of migration and national/ethnical minorities in the imperialist states today. We in the RCIT have emphasized this numerous times, and have insisted that, particularly in imperialist countries, a revolutionary organization must put an emphasis on these issues and strongly orientate towards these struggles. [13]

 

While this is not the place to develop an extensive analysis of the situation of the black, Latino and other communities in the US, we do want to note here some points that demonstrate the strategic importance of these issues. Like in most other imperialist countries, the share of migrants in the US population is continuously increasing. This is as result of the desire of imperialist corporations to import cheaper sources of labor as well as the demographic ageing of the imperialist societies.

 

This development has taken particularly dramatic proportions in the US Taking the labor force as a whole, i.e., without class differentiation, whites make up the majority (about 62%), Latinos represent about 17%, and blacks and Asians account for 12% and 6%, respectively. [14]

 

Valerie Wilson from the Economic Policy Institute published an extremely interesting study only a few months ago. [15] Defining the working class as that section of the labor force with less than a bachelor’s degree –or 66.1% of the US civilian labor force between the ages of 18 and 64 [16] – Wilson reached the a number of conclusions.

 

First, a massive change in the national/ethnic composition of the US working class is in progress. Today, whites account for slightly above 60% of the working class, with the Latinos, blacks and Asians following. If the dynamics of the past two decades continue, by the year 2029 the non-white “minorities” will compose the majority of the US working class (See Figure 10).

 

 

 

Figure 10. Majority of US Working Class to Become “Non-White” by 2029 [17]

 

 

 

 

This proportion of “non-whites” among the working class will increase even faster for the younger sectors of the working class. According to Wilson, the Latino, black and Asian minorities will become the majority of the working class in the 25 to 34 year old age group by 2021 (See Figure 11).

 

 

 

Figure 11. Older millennial working class becomes majority-minority in 2021 [18]

 

 

Furthermore, Wilson also draws our attention to the fact that – while unionization is decreasing among all national groups of the US working class – black workers are still the best organized. (See Figure 12)

 

 

 

Figure 12. Union membership as a share of total employment, by race and ethnicity, 2000–2014 [19]

 

 

 

 

It is therefore clear, that the issue of national/ethnical oppression of the Latino, black and Asian communities is not an issue of “irrelevant minorities” or “identity politics” but rather a strategic issue in the struggle for working class liberation. This makes the struggle for revolutionary equality imperative for all socialists.

 

So – in addition to important economic demands like mass actions for higher wages, against sackings, for affordable housing, in defense of free education, etc. – socialists should also currently advocate an internationalist program in solidarity with the black and Latino communities. Such a program should contain, among things, the struggle against all deportations, against the construction of the wall, for Open Borders, for equal wages, for a public works program to achieve full employment, financed by massive taxes on the rich, for the right to use their native language in education and public administration, etc.

 

Such a democratic revolutionary program is the best basis for uniting all national/ethnic groups of the working class and to win the poorer sectors of the white workers over to an internationalist perspective of the class struggle.

 

It is indeed encouraging to witness, in the current spontaneous mass movement that arose following Trump’s electoral victory, numerous signs of multi-national solidarity between people from different nationalities. There have even been joint statements of Jewish and Muslim organizations against the rabid Islamophobia of the Trump Administration. [20] Indeed, the ugly combination of right-wing support for Zionist Israel and anti-Semitism within the Trump Administration creates the possibility that many Jews could begin to break with Zionism and Israel.

 

Finally every revolutionary organization in the US must strongly orientate itself towards building unions and other mass organizations and, most importantly, founding the revolutionary party, while at the same time directing these organizations to mobilizing membership and support among the oppressed layers of the working class.

 

 

 

  1. Down with all Great Powers! For the Defeat of US Imperialism in Every Military Conflict against Oppressed People

 

 

 

As we have described, the world situation is increasingly characterized by the rivalry between the imperialist Great Powers – first and foremost the US, the EU, Japan, Russia and China. Any socialist organization – be it in the US or any other country – cannot possibly elaborate a correct tactic without deriving it from a scientific analysis of the imperialist world system. In various studies, the RCIT has shown that, in addition to the old imperialist powers – the US, the Western European powers and Japan – new imperialist powers (Russia and China) have emerged. [21] Without a scientific understanding of these developments, socialists will inevitably fail to take a consistent, anti-imperialist stand against all Great Powers.

 

In the coming period, this rivalry between the Great Powers will inevitably be exacerbated with the increase of protectionism – driven forward by the Trump administration.

 

Trump has and is trying, unfortunately with some success, to rally sectors of the working class behind a chauvinist program hailing economic protectionism as a solution against their misery. In fact, protectionism only divides the international working class, as it links the workers of each country to their national state and hence turns them against one other. Prices will rise as a result of protectionism and the bosses in all countries will use the appeal to patriotism as a tool to force their workers to make “sacrifices” in the interest of “national competitiveness”.

 

Socialists should strongly oppose all appeals for patriotism and protectionism. Our brothers and sisters are not the US bosses – those who have become rich in the past at our expense! – but the Chinese, Mexican, and workers of every other country! Therefore, more than ever, it is vital to advocate the international unity of trade unions and the joint struggles of workers.

 

Likewise socialists should oppose any punitive tariff (e.g., against China) or politically motivated sanctions (e.g., against Russia) as they are only a manifestation of Great Power rivalry by economic means.

 

Naturally, this does not mean that American socialists should express any sympathy for the imperialist rulers of the rivaling Great Powers. For example, the support of the Stalinists or the Green Party for Chinese or Russian imperialism – disguised as “anti-imperialism” – is nothing but shameful social-imperialism.

 

Hence, American socialists must not take a neutral position either towards strikes of Chinese workers against their own bosses or in struggles by Chinese peasants against the dictatorial bureaucracy; neither should they sit on the fence in the case of the Syrian people against the bloody Assad regime its the Russian ally, or of the Chechen people against the Russian occupation. Quite the opposite: US socialists should stand – like all socialists around the world – for unconditional support for these liberation struggles.

 

Of course such international working class solidarity must not contain any support for the hypocritical US administration which might verbally express sympathy for the struggles of Chinese, Russian or Syrian people against their rulers.

 

The second aspect of socialists correctly understanding the nature of imperialism pertains to their necessary solidarity with the resistance of oppressed people against the imperialist aggression. This already became clear during the American occupation of Afghanistan and Iraq. The RCIT and its predecessor organization have always stood for the military defeat of the imperialist forces and the unconditional support for the resistance struggle of the oppressed people in these countries. While we support the resistance struggles despite being led by petty-bourgeois Islamists, we never give any political support for these forces. [22]

 

Naturally, such a consistent, anti-imperialist tactic must be continued today and in the future, as the US may intensify its military aggression in Syria, Afghanistan, and Iraq or if it invades new countries like Somalia.

 

Likewise, it can be expected that Trump’s anti-Latino chauvinism and protectionism will provoke a massive rise of anti-imperialist mass sentiments against “the Gringos” in Latin America. While socialists in Latin America should oppose bourgeois-nationalist ideologies and warn against potential maneuvers by the ruling class of their respective countries to replace their national subordination to the US with one to another Great Power (like the EU or China), they should call for practical actions directed against American imperialism (expropriation of US monopolies, material support for the anti-Trump resistance of migrants in the US, etc.).

 

 

 

  1. Perspectives for the Spontaneous Mass Movement in the Streets against Trump

 

 

 

The spontaneous mass movement which emerged in major US cities immediately after the announcement of Trump’s victory is an impressive and promising phenomenon. It is particularly impressive that this mass movement is one of the youth – particularly many school students – and migrants.

 

In order to help this movement to become broader and to be sustainable for a long period of time, socialists must participate and intervene in it with a clear strategy for action and organizing. As a first goal, the movement should organize itself towards a massive popular protest all over the country on 20 January when President Trump is to be inaugurated. Activists should attempt to organize a general strike on this day similar to the general strike declared on May Day in 2006 when the Latino migrants organized a country-wide day of action in which millions participated. When schools and universities are closed down, when enterprises stop work, when millions assemble in the streets in protest against the taking of power by the candidate who lost the popular vote – this would be a major signal and encourage the momentum for protest in the coming months and years.

 

However, to organize such a day of action – and even moreso, to organize a long-term movement of resistance – it is crucial that the spontaneous mass movement be expanded and organized. Socialists should explain to activists that such a spontaneous mass movement, like the one the country is now experiencing, cannot be maintained without being brought to a higher level.

 

The author of these lines was an active participant in a similar movement in Austria in the spring of 2000. At that time, a spontaneous mass movement emerged after a right-wing government took power. For several weeks thousands, and sometimes even tens of thousands, of people marched literally every day in the streets of the capital city, Vienna. At the high point of these protests, 300,000 people demonstrated against this government on a single day. These numbers were remarkable for a country of only 8 million residents, of which just 1.6 million were then living in Vienna. However, the movement failed to organize these thousands of activists. Furthermore, it failed to expand the movement from marches in the streets to strikes in the work places and the schools and universities. (Pitifully, there was only a single, one-day school strike and a failed attempt for a strike at the university in Vienna.) As a result, the movement declined and finally disappeared without achieving its goals.

 

The RCIT calls upon socialist activists in the US to energetically work for the formation of committees of action in the schools, universities and workplaces. It is vital that the movement be expanded from regular street demonstrations to strike activities and occupations. In particular, it is important to push the trade unions to support such actions. Mass mobilizations with the goal of shutting down the cities on 20 January during the inauguration of President Trump could be the focus around which to build such committees.

 

Most importantly, socialists should discuss and unite around a revolutionary program of action for the US. Without an organization, socialists cannot effectively intervene in this movement. If the socialist prove too weak to influence the direction of this movement, other forces will certainly succeed in doing so and eclipse them. This might be either the “Sanderistas” or other bureaucrats from the Democratic Party. Or this might be autonomist-libertarian forces which will lead the movement towards empty militant actions and finally exhaustion. No, only if socialist activists unite in a revolutionary organization with a clear program, elaborated tactics, a joint set of tactics, collective propaganda and agitation, etc. – only then can they shape the mass movement.

 

Any program for the U.S. must be closely connected with an international orientation and programmatic basis. In fact, the US is probably the best example that national-centered organization is useless in a period like today. The fate of the US is connected with the fate of the world and vice versa. The American working class is more international than ever before and a socialist organization cannot find a correct orientation without an international program and an international revolutionary organization.

 

In our recently published programmatic Manifesto (written before the US election), we stated:

 

The world we are living in is in turmoil. Capitalism has entered a period of never-ending crisis. In fact, it is decaying. Climate change, long denied by the big corporations and their puppet governments, is endangering increasingly larger sectors of humanity. The ruling class around the globe is relentlessly accelerating its attacks on the workers and poor. The imperialist Great Powers of West and East, whose mutual rivalry is steadily intensifying, are terrorizing the peoples of the semi-colonial world both militarily as well as economically by means of super-exploitation. The oppressed are initiating mass struggles to revolt against this situation again and again, even to the extent of waging armed uprisings and civil wars. But they are being betrayed by their leaderships, who are either selling out the just struggle being waged in exchange for some governmental posts or, if not corrupt, lack a valid program to overthrow the greedy rulers. The coming years will be increasingly marked by a reactionary offensive of the ruling class, but also by mass struggles of the workers and oppressed. This is the time for every person to decide. All who don’t want to stand by in indifference; everyone who wants to change the fate of the oppressed, should join the struggle. But he or she should join the struggle not like some blind daredevil, but with a plan, a program and as part of a collective.” [23]

 

We believe that these words are even truer after Trump’s victory! The RCIT calls upon all revolutionaries in the US to unite on the basis of a revolutionary program and to join us in our international struggle for a socialist world revolution. Comrades, these are historic times! Let us shake the world not only for a day or a week, but let us a start a struggle which will leave no stone standing!

 

[1] Julie Hirschfeld Davis: Trump and Obama Hold Cordial 90-Minute Meeting in Oval Office, New York Times, 10 November 2016 http://www.nytimes.com/2016/11/11/us/politics/white-house-transition-obama-trump.html

[2] Ruth Sherlock: ‘I hope he will be a successful president for all Americans’, Hillary Clinton says as she concedes after Donald Trump victory, The Telegraph, http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2016/11/09/hillary-clinton-supporters-in-dismay-as-the-democrat-candidate-c/

[3] On this, see, among others, our pamphlet Michael Pröbsting: Faschismus – Was es ist und wie bekämpfen wir ihn? RKO BEFREIUNG, Vienna 2006 (Second Edition in 2011)

[4] See e.g. Micah Uetricht: Labor Leaders Deserve Their Share of the Blame for Donald Trump’s Victory, Nov 10, 2016, http://inthesetimes.com/working/entry/19621/labor_leaders_deserve_their_share_of_the_blame_for_donald_trumps_victory

[5] On this, see the analysis of the RCIT on the US race for the presidency and the Sanders campaign: Yossi Schwartz: Once Again: Opportunism of US Left Exposed. An Analysis of the US 2016 Elections Campaign, 14 August 2016, http://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/north-america/left-and-us-election/; Yossi Schwarz: Why Not to Vote for the Democratic Party in the Forthcoming US Elections OR AT ANY OTHER TIME, 2.3.2016, http://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/north-america/no-vote-sanders/

[6] Bernie Sanders: Where the Democrats Go From Here, New York Times, Nov. 11, 2016, http://www.nytimes.com/2016/11/12/opinion/bernie-sanders-where-the-democrats-go-from-here.html

[7] Nik DeCosta-Klipa: Read Elizabeth Warren’s speech about working with President-elect Donald Trump, November 10, 2016, http://www.boston.com/news/politics/2016/11/10/read-elizabeth-warrens-speech-about-working-with-president-elect-donald-trump

[8] For a more extensive discussion of the united front tactic in general we refer readers to RCIT: RCIT-Theses on the United Front Tactic. Theses on the Principles of the United Front Tactic and Its Application to the Current Conditions of Class Struggle, 9 April 2016, http://www.thecommunists.net/theory/united-front-tactic/; Michael Pröbsting: Marxism and the United Front Tactic Today. The Struggle for Proletarian Hegemony in the Liberation Movement and the United Front Tactic Today. On the Application of the Marxist United Front Tactic in Semi-Colonial and Imperialist Countries in the Present Period, May 2016, http://www.thecommunists.net/theory/book-united-front/

[9] The RCIT’s international program can be read here: RCIT: The Revolutionary Communist Manifesto, April 2012, http://www.thecommunists.net/rcit-manifesto/. We have recently adopted an updated programmatic Manifesto which can be read here: RCIT: Manifesto for Revolutionary Liberation. The Tasks of the Liberation Struggle against Decaying Capitalism. Manifesto for the Socialist Revolution of the Workers and Oppressed, October 2016, http://www.thecommunists.net/rcit-program-2016/

[10] Morgan Brinlee: What Happens If A Third-Party Presidential Candidate Is Unsuccessful? They Could Still Make It To The White House In This Way, May 20 2016, https://www.bustle.com/articles/162031-what-happens-if-a-third-party-presidential-candidate-is-unsuccessful-they-could-still-make-it-to-the

[11] Stein Opposes Obama’s Troops on the Ground in Syria, Posted by Jill2016 Team on November 02, 2015, http://web.archive.org/web/20160211082710/http://www.jill2016.com/stein_opposes_obama_s_troops_on_the_ground_in_syria. As a side-note we draw attention to the fact that leading Democratic supporter of Bernie Sanders, Tulsi Gabbard, also supports Putin’s war against the Syrian people (see Tim Mak: Democratic Rep. Tulsi Gabbard Goes to Trump Tower to Defend Assad. Tulsi Gabbard, a favorite of both progressives and Trump senior counselor Steve Bannon, met with the president-elect Monday to make a plea: Leave Syria’s dictator alone, 22 November 2016, http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2016/11/21/democratic-rep-tulsi-gabbard-goes-to-trump-tower-to-defend-assad.html)

[12] For a more extensive discussion of the tactic of critical electoral support, we refer readers to Michael Pröbsting: Marxism and the United Front Tactic Today (Chapter VI: Traditional Reformist Parties, New Workers Party and Electoral Tactics), http://www.thecommunists.net/theory/book-united-front/chapter-6/

[13] On this see, e.g., Michael Pröbsting: The Great Robbery of the South, e.g. pp. 179-188, pp. 228-240, pp. 385-386; Michael Pröbsting: Migration and Super-exploitation: Marxist Theory and the Role of Migration in the present Period, in: Critique: Journal of Socialist Theory, Vol. 43, Issue 3-4, 2015, http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/03017605.2015.1099846; Michael Pröbsting: Marxismus, Migration und revolutionäre Integration (2010); in: Revolutionärer Kommunismus, Nr. 7, http://www.thecommunists.net/publications/werk-7. For a summary of this study in English, see: Michael Pröbsting: Marxism, Migration and revolutionary Integration, in: Revolutionary Communism, No. 1 (English-language Journal of the RCIT), http://www.thecommunists.net/oppressed/revolutionary-integration/

[14] U.S. Bureau Of Labor Statistics: Labor force characteristics by race and ethnicity, 2015, September 2016, Report 1062

[15] Valerie Wilson: People of color will be a majority of the American working class in 2032. What this means for the effort to grow wages and reduce inequality, Economic Policy Institute, June 9, 2016

[16] We are fully aware that this is not a completely scientific definition of the working class. Nevertheless, we think it is a useful and rough approximation. The RCIT’s definition of the working class (in contrast to the middle class and the bourgeoisie) can be read in our program as follows:

The working class (also called the proletariat) is hence the class of wage labourers who live by selling their labour power and don’t own any means of production. They are exploited by the capitalist class. The resulting extorted surplus labour forms the basis for their profits and the incomes of the middle layers, whose existence is necessary for the maintenance of the capitalist system. (police, army, smaller managers, sectors of the teachers and intellectuals etc.) Inside the working class there exists top layers (labour aristocracy), which receive certain privileges from the capitalist class. On the other hand there are various lower strata which are particularly oppressed and often super-exploited (migrants, women etc.)” (RCIT: The Revolutionary Communist manifesto, 2012, p. 10, http://www.thecommunists.net/rcit-manifesto/the-world-we-live-in/)

[17] Valerie Wilson: People of color will be a majority of the American working class in 2032, p. 4

[18] Valerie Wilson: People of color will be a majority of the American working class in 2032, p. 6

[19] Valerie Wilson: People of color will be a majority of the American working class in 2032, p. 11

[20] See on this e.g. Judy Maltz: Trump Effect: Jewish and Muslim Organizations Form New Alliance. A new Muslim-Jewish Advisory Council will work to protect religious minorities’ rights as well as other ‘issues of common concern.’ Haaretz, Nov 14, 2016, http://www.haaretz.com/world-news/u-s-election-2016/1.753161. See also Jewish activist vows solidarity with Muslims in the US. Head of Anti-Defamation League pledges to register as Muslim, if Donald Trump creates a database of Muslim Americans. Al Jazeera, 18 November, http://www.aljazeera.com/news/2016/11/jewish-activist-vows-solidarity-muslims-161118165023701.html

[21] See on this RCIT: Imperialism Theory

[22] See on this e.g. Michael Pröbsting: The Great Robbery of the South (Chapter 12 and 13), http://www.great-robbery-of-the-south.net/great-robbery-of-south-online/download-chapters-1/

[23] RCIT: Manifesto for Revolutionary Liberation, p. 4, http://www.thecommunists.net/rcit-program-2016/introduction/

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Islam, Islamism and the Struggle for Revolution

Resolution issued by the ISL (Section of the RCIT in Occupied Palestine) and adopted by the International Secretariat of the RCIT, November 2016, http://the-isleague.com/ and www.thecommunists.net

 

 

 

  1. The relationship of communists to religion and religious workers is different from that of the secular social-chauvinists, nationalists, populists and pro-imperialists. Every worker who agrees to act together according to our program belongs in our movement. We see religion (in today’s world) as a double edged sword. It can be used to pacify the masses and block their revolutionary advancement, but can also serve as a pretext to objectively rally and unite them in revolt against imperialism, oppression, injustice, etc. In many cases religious leaderships take both roles at the same time, depending on the class character of the leadership as a whole and how much their rank and file pushes them to struggle. Therefore, unlike other organizations on the left, RCIT members are united around its action program and theoretical analysis, which have their roots in the philosophy of Dialectical Materialism – regardless of their private religious thoughts, views and beliefs. In other words, the RCIT welcomes to its ranks atheists, agnostics as well as religious members. This is especially true for religious minorities and those who suffer religious discrimination like Muslims and those of Muslim background in the global north.

 

  1. The decisive aspect in the class struggle is the political opinion and the deeds of activists and oppressed people, not their philosophical believes (if they believe in god, or what they think will happen to them after they die). For us it is important to change the world we live in today and to not to direct our hopes to heaven, paradise, Nirvana or justice by god. We also want to stress the fact that not believing in god in no way guarantees a progressive position in the class struggle: many revolutionary fighters were religious and some of the most reactionary enemies of the working class were and are atheists. Secular regimes can be much more undemocratic and brutal than those with a religious gloss. The central aspects are the political circumstances, the class struggle and not the ideological justification of a dictatorship. For example, even if the political ideology of Laïcité has its origin in the great French Revolution and is preaching the separation of religion and state , today it is mostly used to harass, murder and oppress Arabs, Muslims and other people of color – as it is the “honorable” legacy of French secular imperialism.

 

  1. We consistently fight against every form of hatred against a religion or people. We also staunchly reject the spreading of reactionary Anti-Semitism in both theory and practice. Today, we see Zionism as the leading cause of the spread of such ideas. Let’s remember some of the quotes of the founding fathers of Zionism towards Judaism, quotes that are not particularly well known nowadays.

 

“Zionism and Judaism are not the same, but two very different things. Of course they are opposed to each other. He who cannot be Jewish becomes Zionist. Zionism starts from the destruction of Judaism, from a place where people become tired…one thing is clear, Zionism is not a continuation, not a healing but destruction and uprooting. Even more, it incites its opinion between the people, opposes them, goes against their will and spirit, undermines it and uproots it, and breaks into a different road, for a far and specific purpose. Zionism and the few people in her vanguard are the nucleus of a different people. Please be aware, not new and not renewed, but a different. He who doesn’t think so either is wrong or is deceiving himself.” (Haim Hazaz, Zionist Novelist)

 

“In our national homeland we will declare those Jews who refuse to remove from them the stains of the diaspora and refuse to cut their beards as second class citizens. We would not allow them to vote.” (Jabotinsky, father of right wing revisionist Zionism). And if this is their view of Judaism, the view of Islam is much worse.

 

  1. Muslim workers face sharp oppression in the West – at times, more than any other minority. In their homelands, they are being massacred by, mostly western but also eastern, imperialist forces. In the past, revolutionary communist movements managed to form splits within political Islam. Thus, forming united fronts for joint practical struggle with those who struggle against imperialism and reactionary regimes is critical – regardless of political and religious differences. It is also noteworthy the fact that in the Soviet Union under Lenin – the transitional society between capitalism and socialism – saw no problem in having a choice between both state-funded secular courts and community-funded religious courts. Under Lenin’s leadership this was the case in many Muslim-dominated areas.

 

  1. Islamic resistance to imperialism and Zionist colonization has an impressive record of heroism. Dating back to the 1880s the Mahdi was able to defeat Britain in Sudan and win over a couple more years of peace for his people. In Morocco, Abed Al Karim fought fiercely against the Spanish and the French in 1921-26 and paid a heavy price for doing so. In Iran, the Islamists helped topple the pro-western regime of the Shah. In Afghanistan, they have been waging guerilla warfare against the imperialist occupation, turning an easy invasion into a muddy adventure. The same we could see in Chechnya were popular resistance was able to defeat Russia in Grozny. In Palestine, Hamas is the prominent force retaining a certain degree of fighting spirit against Israel. In many countries such movements were repressed. Nasser cracked down upon them with an iron fist, executing and jailing many, including their spiritual guide Sayyid Qutb. In Egypt today general Sisi is trying to eliminate the Muslim Brotherhood altogether. Thus, many Islamist forces have gathered a lot of valuable experience confronting oppression and occupation.

 

  1. Despite all of this, we offer no political support to such religious forces. Once victorious, their true class-character reveals itself through the constant willingness to kiss the feet of capitalism and to compromise with one or other great power. In places where the Islamists have come to power, they have used the same mechanisms of oppression against left wing and secular organizations and sometimes have even joined the imperialists – like in Bangladesh, Indonesia and after 1979 in Afghanistan. Their frequent clashes with imperialism show only that they have a base in the working class, peasants and urban poor, which many secular movements don’t have. The reason for this is its seemingly uncompromising appeal to anti-imperialist sentiment, the capitulation of the left in most Muslim countries towards the elitist secular bourgeois-nationalism, and the aura that the Islamists would serve the poor. Revolutionary communists who wish to win over Muslim workers to the proletarian revolution must also consistently fight within the anti-imperialist movement against those forces willing to stop short of the complete and utter defeat of imperialism, while exposing any other elements, Islamic or secular.

 

  1. Today under the banner of the war on terror, more and more Muslim organizations within civil society are subject to surveillance and police harassment. The mainstream western media have been leading defamation and smear campaigns against Islam and Muslims in order to gather public support for imperialist wars of aggression (this is true for EU, US, Russian and Chinese imperialism). As we have seen in the election of Trump, the rise of Le Pen, Farrage and Van Wilders, more and more politicians are building their careers upon this hatred and fear, calling for laws which limit the freedom of religious expression – like the ban on the hijab or the full-body-covering swimsuit in France.

 

  1. The attempt to create truly multicultural societies in the West has largely failed. Some Muslims have illusions that in joining imperialist armies, conducting joint prayers in the White House, etc., they may be able improve their position. Such status, however, is only open to a very small minority. Furthermore, such opportunism hurts poor Muslims in other countries by helping the imperialist super-powers to continue to terrorize Muslim countries and communities – all under slogans of democracy, while denying the racist character of their actions.

 

  1. We as revolutionaries fight for a state in which power is in the hands of the workers and the poor. This can only be achieved by a socialist revolution – which needs to include workers from all religions, struggling together, hand in hand. The people who are most oppressed under capitalism will have a disproportionally higher representation and more rights. In contrast to the imperialist Europe, the US, China and Russia, all of which discriminate against the religion of Muslims, the workers’ revolution will grant them full religious rights. It is the duty of all revolutionaries to enthuse religious workers and oppressed with the spirit of revolution. We cannot possibly win if we cast them aside – as so many so called “leftists” arrogantly do under the pretext that the consciousness of our religious brothers and sisters is “not sufficiently developed.

 

 

 

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The Meaning, Consequences and Lessons of Trump‘s Victory: Chapter III. Global Consequences: The Beginning of a New Era

 

Note of the Editorial Board: The following document is an extensive study of the consequences of Trump’s victory. It contains 12 figures and 5 tables. The figures can only be viewed in the pdf version of the document here for technical reasons.

 

* * * * *

 

Trump’s assent to power will have major consequences not only on the class struggle in the US, but will also fundamentally reshape global politics economically, politically and militarily. As we said, it has opened a new era for both US and world politics.

 

The starting point for understanding the rise of Trumpism is the decline of the US as the dominant Great Power. Trumpism implicitly recognizes this decline while at the same time expressing the will of the ruling class to reverse this trend. In fact, the Trump campaign acknowledged this decline in its selection of its key slogan: not “Keep America Great” but rather “Make America Great Again.

 

We have demonstrated this decline of the US in many of our publications. [1] To briefly summarize, we will cite here a few facts that reflect the US’s rapid decline during the past decade. America’s share of global industrial production declined rapidly in a relatively short period – from close to 30% in the early years of the 21st century to less than 20% by 2015 (see Figure 7). Similarly, its share in Global Fixed Capital Investment declined from 20% (2003) to 13% (2013) (See Figure 8).

 

 

 

Figure 7. Rise and Decline of Great Powers: China’s and US’s Share of the World Industrial Production 1980-2015 (in Percent) [2]

 

 

 

 

Figure 8. Distribution of Global Fixed Capital Investment, 2003 and 2013 [3]

 

 

 

 

Finally, the U.S. decline is reflected in the substantial reduction of its share among the world’s biggest corporations. A comparison of the Forbes Global 2000 list shows that in 2003 the US had a share of 776 (38.8%). By 2016, this share had declined by nearly one third to 540 (27%) (See Table 5). [4]

 

 

 

Table 5 U.S. Share among the World’s 2000 Biggest Corporations (Forbes Global 2000 List) [5]

 

Number                                 Share

 

2003                                                       776                                         38.8%

 

2016                                                       540                                         27%

 

 

 

This decline has been mirrored politically in the wrecked US occupations of Afghanistan and Iraq and in the failure of the Obama administration to intervene in the Ukraine and Syria to stop Russia’s expanding influence. Yet another manifestation of this decline was the Iran deal after the US unsuccessfully tried to bring down Teheran via sanctions and military threats for decades.

 

 

 

  1. The Accelerating Rivalry between the Great Powers

 

 

 

We have said that Trumpism is in fact recognition of the US’s decline while at the same time an expression of the determination to reverse this descent. In this sense Trump’s victory, which has been acclaimed by both Moscow and Beijing, is also confirms that, geopolitically, Russia and China have become imperialist powers; and this despite the dogged denials of numerous “left” social-imperialists who maintains that the workers’ movement should side with Putin and Xi against Washington.

 

While Trumpism currently has nothing approaching a concrete program, there are nevertheless some axes around which such a program is likely to evolve. The policies of America’s past administrations were based on the assumption that Globalization works to the benefit of US imperialism. This was obviously a correct assessment insofar as it enabled US corporations to make huge profits by exploiting cheap labor forces in semi-colonial countries. However, as we have shown, in the end the era of Globalization has been more beneficial to the US’s rivals – first and foremost China – than to America itself.

 

Trump’s program represents a departure from Globalization and a turn towards protectionism. Naturally, Trump is not opposed to trade agreements, but he has promised to more actively use protectionist tariffs in order to better impose US interests on others states. Consequently, the president-elect has already announced that, on the first day of his presidency, he will withdraw from the negotiations on the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal (TPP) – Obama’s main project to advance US hegemony in Asia against China. [6]

 

It’s not difficult to imagine the consequences of such a policy: the provoking of a chain reaction encouraging other Great Powers to speed up the creation of trade blocks which they themselves dominate as a means of protection against their rivals. As we have pointed out in previous documents, for some time this process has already begun. (See, for example, our discussion of the China-dominated RCEP as an alternative to the US-dominated TPP) [7]

 

The result of all this will be a significant disruption of world trade and the entire global economy, and may escalate to major trade wars between the US and China. This, in turn, will have major consequences not only on trade but also in the realm of world finance. As we have pointed out in the earlier documents, China is the most important foreign holder of U. debt – it currently holds $1.25 trillion (20% of all foreign debts), followed closely by Japan, which holds $1.13 trillion.

 

In a major conflict between Washington and Beijing, China will refuse to continue financing the rapidly growing US public debt. Under such circumstances, Beijing will prefer to sell its holdings which would cause tremendous harm to the US. In fact, we have recently witnessed a strengthening of the trend whereby foreign countries are selling off US treasury bonds. [8] In 2015, central banks sold off a net $225 billion in US Treasury debt, the highest figure since 1978 (see Figure 9). Trump’s protectionist policy will likely accelerate this process and thereby increase difficulties for the US in financing its rising debts.

 

 

 

Figure 9. US Treasury Bond Net Purchases per Year by Foreign Central Banks (2006-2015)[9]

 

 

One consequence of Trump’s victory will be that the European Union will have to face, more than ever before, the dilemma of either speeding up its unification or crumbling. [10] The discussion about the formation of a supra-national EU army is an indication that EU leaders are willing to move towards closer union, even despite Brexit and the rise of right-wing nationalists. [11]

 

Donald Trump repeatedly stated during his campaign that he plans to finance a massive armament program. In his recently published book, Crippled America: How to Make America Great Again he wrote, with the inimitable style of a pubescent narcissist making an entry in his diary:

 

There is no one-size-fits-all foreign policy. We need to make our beliefs very clear and let them form the framework of our policy. Everything begins with a strong military. Everything. We will have the strongest military in our history, and our people will be equipped with the best weaponry and protection available. Period.[12]

 

One hardly needs a lot of imagination to understand that this will provoke a global chain reaction among rivaling Great Powers which will also massively speed up their armament programs.

 

This will not only affect the direct rivals, China and Russia, but America’s traditional allies as well. This is because Trump is planning to significantly reduce US expenditures for maintaining its troops stationed abroad in Europe and East Asia, as he stated in his book:

 

We defend Germany. We defend Japan. We defend South Korea. These are powerful and wealthy countries. We get nothing from them. It’s time to change all that. It’s time to win again.[13]

 

The pro-Putinist left has hailed Trump as a “dove” – as opposed to the “warmonger” Hillary Clinton – and some like the fake-left philosopher and star of the petty-bourgeois academic left, Slavoj Žižek, even openly called for his election. [14] They hope that the Trump Administration will operate a less confrontational foreign policy towards Russia and China.

 

It is possible that Trump will avoid such confrontations in the first period because of the necessity to consolidate his regime and because he shares Putin’s goal of liquidating the Syrian Revolution. However, sooner or later major confrontations between the US and its rivals will become inevitable, because the decline of the capitalist world economy and the accelerating global order will lead to clashes between the Great Powers, as they all struggle to increase their share of the world’s wealth at the expense of their rivals.

 

Furthermore, it is very likely that, as Trump is forced to adapt US foreign policy to the country’s loss of hegemony, this will also lead to an expansion of the geopolitical influence of its major rivals. Such a trend may even be strengthened in light of the protectionist policy of the US, which may even encourage semi-colonial countries to align themselves with other powers, like China. This may possibly even include an expansion of the influence of Chinese imperialism inside Latin America, which the US has traditionally considered as its own, exclusive backyard.

 

 

 

  1. More Imperialist Wars

 

 

 

Trump has repeatedly announced that the US should only wage wars against enemies which constitute a threat to the U.S. He has criticized Bush’s war against Iraq in 2003 and he has urged for more cooperation with Putin in order to liquidate the Syrian Revolution. This has led the Russian and various other governments, as well as the “left-wing” supporters of Putin and Xi, to hope that America led by Trump will become less interventionist and more “peaceful.” [15]

 

While we cannot exclude that Trump will initially attempt to avoid major military interventions in order to consolidate his regime (Hitler was also a “pacifist,” in terms of foreign policy, in his first years of power), it is clear that his administration will pursue a thoroughly militarist policy. In fact, the appointment of General Flynn, who advocates a “multi-generational world war against Islam,” as Trump’s National Security Advisor, reflects an agenda of the Trump administration that will make George W. Bush’s tenure look like that of a peace dove.

 

Naturally such a “war against Islam” creates a justification for military operations in wide areas of the globe, from Western and Central Africa to Somalia, the entire Middle East up to Pakistan, Bangladesh and Indonesia.

 

Such a “war against Islam” has also the advantage from the US imperialist point of view in that it will not necessarily provoke a direct clash with the other Great Powers. We should note that not only the US but the EU, Russia and China are also oppressing Muslim minorities at home and waging wars against countries with Muslim populations abroad.

 

For these reasons the Trump administration will most likely make the “War on Terror” a priority under the pretext of waging war against Daesh. In his book Trump wrote: “Unfortunately, it may require boots on the ground to fight the Islamic State. (…) We could also easily expand air operations to make it impossible for ISIS to ever find safe haven anywhere in the region. (…) However, I have a unique perspective on what action we should take. While ISIS is our most violent enemy, they ended up with oil in Iraq and Syria that we should have taken. That oil, along with ransom and extortion, is funding their army. I’ve advocated bombing the hell out of those oil fields to cut off the source of their money. This would barely affect the world oil supply, but it would dramatically reduce their ability to fund terrorism.[16]

 

In reality, this would be a war not only against Daesh, but against various Islamist-led resistance movements fighting against dictatorships and imperialist occupation.

 

A second major target of Trump’s militarism will be Iran – a long-time enemy of US imperialism as well as of Israel. It is hardly surprising that Trump received enthusiastic support – irrespective of his numerous anti-Semitic remarks – from Israel’s Netanyahu government, as well as from many right-wing Zionist forces. [17]

 

It is therefore likely that the Trump administration will revoke the nuclear deal with Iran. However, it is unlikely that it will manage to isolate Tehran as neither Russia, nor China and probably not even the EU, will be prepared to follow Washington’s confrontational course against Iran. The next possible step in escalation could only involve military threats.

 

This does not necessarily mean that the US will inevitably attack Iran. It is possible, however, that Trump will encourage and support Israel to attack Iran. Obviously this would provoke major tensions and unrest in the Middle East and beyond.

 

In general, Trump has made it clear on many occasions that he will increase the unconditional support of the US for Israel and its expansionist plans. This will likely encourage the Zionist state to initiate wars – be it against the Palestinian people in Gaza, against Hezbollah in Lebanon or, as already said, Iran. All of this will provoke major political explosions around the globe and see Israel more isolated and hated than ever before.

 

It is hardly surprising that Trump’s victory was greeted enthusiastically by arch-reactionary dictators like Syria’s Bashar al-Assad or Egypt’s General Abdel Fattah al-Sisi. The former hopes for a more active collaboration between the US and Russia in order to liquidate the Syrian Revolution. And General al-Sisi looks forward to even stronger support for his bloody repression of people belonging or supporting the Muslim Brotherhood or leftist democratic forces. [18]

 

One important change – compared with past US administrations – will be that the Trump’s will be much less inclined to purport that it’s waging wars to spread “democracy” or defend “human rights.” Rather it will much more explicitly and unabashedly defend “American interests,” without resorting to the camouflage of some civilizing mission. In other words, Trumpist foreign policy will be similar, to a certain degree, to the neo-conservatives concept of the Bush era, but without the pretensions of spreading “democracy.”

 

In short, the Trump regime will be epitomized by neo-conservatism under conditions whereby the US has lost exclusive global hegemony – in contrast to the Bush era, when the US was stronger and hoped to retain its absolute dominance with an aggressive militarist foreign policy.

 

 

 

  1. Reactionary Offensive and the Rise of Chauvinism

 

 

 

The future Trump administration has already threatened to pull the US out of the Paris climate change accord, to eliminate the Environmental Protection Agency, repeal environmental regulations, and cut climate funding. The president-elect is pushing to revive the fossil fuel industry, in particular the coal industry. [19]

 

This is hardly surprising, as Trump – ever an extraordinary fool– has repeatedly called climate change a “myth” or even a “Chinese hoax.” Thus, one can read on the American president-elect’s Twitter account: “The concept of global warming was created by and for the Chinese in order to make US manufacturing non-competitive.[20] He even welcomes global warming: “It’s freezing and snowing in New York –we need global warming! [21] Then-President George W. Bush once remarked that one doesn’t need to be very smart to become president of the US. That was certainly an accurate self-characterization, but is even more true in the case of Donald Trump.

 

Trump’s policy of anti-immigration chauvinism and protectionism will also have dramatic consequences for semi-colonial countries – in particular for Latin America. His plans for mass deportation of undocumented migrants, the creation of a wall along the southern US border with Mexico, [22] and the renegotiation or even abolition of NAFTA will affect these countries in several ways. [23]

 

Firstly, it will result in massive losses of remittances sent by migrants to their families in countries of origin. In 2013, for example, migrants from Mexico in the US sent more than $23 billion to their families at home. Families in other countries are also very dependent on remittances – e.g., in the same year migrants in the US sent $10.84 billion to India and $10 billion to the Philippines. [24]

 

Secondly, mass deportations of migrants back to Mexico will create additional burdens on that country, as these millions of people will have to be looked after by the Mexican state. It will also affect other Latin American countries, as the Mexican government will use the forced return of its own citizens as an excuse to deport migrants from other countries who have settled in Mexico itself.

 

Regardless of whether Trump abolishes or renegotiates NAFTA, the terms of trade for Mexico in relation to the US will certainly worsen. Unsurprisingly, Trump’s victory has already led to a substantial devaluation of the Mexican peso.

 

In addition, Trump´s victory is likely to politically damage the conservative Mexican government of Enrique Peña Nieto. Peña already welcomed Trump in September, during the election campaign, which infuriated many people in his country. The PRI government has already become unpopular and his sympathies for Trump will only increase this.

 

Furthermore, Trump’s victory will undoubtedly strengthen right-wing populist and chauvinist forces in many countries around the world. This was already become evident from the triumphant reactions to the outcome of the US election by Marie Le Pen in France, Geert Wilders in the Netherlands, Golden Dawn Party spokesman, Ilias Kasidiaris, in Greece, Austria’s right-wing leader HC Strache, as well as among Israel’s right-wing extremists inside and outside of the government.

 

 

 

  1. The End of the Ideological Superiority of the US as the bearer of “Democracy” and “Human Rights”

 

 

 

The outcome of the US election will also have major ideological consequences. Until now, the US – as a result of its character as the strongest economic, political and military power – could play the role of a “world leader.” This was also reflected in Washington’s global ideological leadership as a “defender of human rights” and advocate of “democracy.” With the Trump administration, such pretenses will come to an end. Nobody can seriously see “The Donald” as a compassionate liberal man caring for the poor and oppressed around the world. Of course, we are fully aware that such liberal, cosmopolitan language was pure rhetoric used by past US presidents to deflect attention from the real goals of US imperialism. But for Marxists it is also important to understand the illusions of sectors of the middle class and how they will be affected by recent developments.

 

Bill Clinton and Barack Obama (but George W. Bush, hardly not) were able to attract hopes and illusions among millions of middle class people in other countries. They could create a certain kind of “global ideological consensus” among these layers. With Trump this is over.

 

It is hardly surprising that numerous liberal intellectuals around the world have started to panic since November 8 about the loss of the “leadership of the free world”! [25]

 

In other words, we think that the US’s decline as the leading imperialist power is also reflected in its loss of ideological hegemony – something which it had a virtual monopoly on for many decades.

 

 

 

  1. Acceleration of the Class Struggle

 

 

 

The coming to power of the Trump administration will bring about a massive acceleration of all class contradictions. Immediately after the election, we saw spontaneous mass protests in all major US cities. This will be a government that not only attacks the workers, migrants and poor. It has and is bound to continue to provoke wide sectors of the population – including the liberal middle class – with its chauvinism, sexism and simply outrageous idiocy.

 

We can expect new upswings of class struggle if and when mass deportations start and if the government launches yet another war. The next Great Recession, waiting in the wings, will accelerate the economic and political contradictions even more.

 

Furthermore, it is nearly unavoidable that Trump’s foreign policy (rescinding agreement to the climate protocol, protectionism, wars, etc.) will also provoke mass outrage around the globe. We experienced similar developments during the Bush era. Bush’s Iraq war provoked the biggest global mass movement since the Vietnam war, with about 15-20 million people demonstrating around the globe on 15 February 2003 against Bush’s planned aggression. Trump is Bush squared and, as we said above, the new administration is a Molotov cocktail only waiting to be ignited.

 

In summary, the new era which has commenced with the election of Trump confirms our characterization of the new historic period which opened in 2008, one characterized by the decay of capitalism and the acceleration of the economic, political and military contradictions of the system. As we stated a year ago in our World Perspectives document:

 

To summarize, capitalism is in the throes of a historic period of decline which threatens not only the world economy but also the living standard of the popular masses, and even puts the survival of humanity in danger. The current period is characterized by what Trotsky described as a “declining curve of capitalist development”. It is the decay of the productive forces which constitutes the fundamental, the most important factor, for the acceleration of the contradictions between the classes which is so characteristic of the historic period since 2008. It is because of the declining dynamic of capital accumulation and the growth of profits that the bourgeoisie is forced, lest it face ruin, to relentlessly attack the working class. For the very same reason the imperialist bourgeoisie is forced to relentlessly strangle the semi-colonial countries of the South and to wage more and more military interventions and occupations. And it is for the very same reason that the rivalry between the imperialist Great Powers is accelerating, since they have to struggle against one other to gain a larger share of the relatively decreasing production of global capitalist value. Finally, if the imperialist Great Powers are not smashed by revolutionary international working class, their rivalry will lead to World War III. The working class can only end this continuous chain of misery, wars and catastrophes via a world socialist revolution. Rosa Luxemburg’s statement that humanity is faced with the alternative “Socialism or Barbarism” is more relevant than ever. Under the conditions of the early 21st century, the concretization of Luxemburg’s statement means: “Socialism or Widespread Death through Climate Destruction and World War III”![26]

 

[1] See e.g. Michael Pröbsting: The Great Robbery of the South. Continuity and Changes in the Super-Exploitation of the Semi-Colonial World by Monopoly Capital. Consequences for the Marxist Theory of Imperialism, RCIT Books, Vienna 2013, http://www.great-robbery-of-the-south.net/great-robbery-of-south-online/download-chapters-1/; Michael Pröbsting: Lenin’s Theory of Imperialism and the Rise of Russia as a Great Power. On the Understanding and Misunderstanding of Today’s Inter-Imperialist Rivalry in the Light of Lenin’s Theory of Imperialism. Another Reply to Our Critics Who Deny Russia’s Imperialist Character (2014), http://www.thecommunists.net/theory/imperialism-theory-and-russia/

[2] Credit Suisse: China In Pictures: Under Pressure, September 9, 2015, p. 7

[3] OECD: Economic Outlook, Volume 2015/1, p. 210. However, one should note that these figures most likely are exaggerated since they are calculated in PPP and not in exchange value. Nevertheless, they reflect a real shift which has taken place.

[4] Forbes: The Global 2000, 7.3.2003, http://www.forbes.com/2003/07/02/internationaland.html and Forbes: The World’s Biggest Public Companies, http://www.forbes.com/global2000/

[5] Forbes: The Global 2000, 7.3.2003, http://www.forbes.com/2003/07/02/internationaland.html and Forbes: The World’s Biggest Public Companies, http://www.forbes.com/global2000/

[6] Tom LoBianco: Donald Trump outlines policy plan for first 100 days, CNN, November 22, 2016, http://edition.cnn.com/2016/11/21/politics/donald-trump-outlines-policy-plan-for-first-100-days/index.html

[7] See e.g. RCIT: Advancing Counterrevolution and Acceleration of Class Contradictions Mark the Opening of a New Political Phase (Chapter IV.1. The Accelerating Rivalry between the Great Powers), http://www.thecommunists.net/theory/world-perspectives-2016/part5/

[8] Matt Egan: Foreign governments dump U.S. debt at record rate, CNN, 5 March 17, 2016, http://money.cnn.com/2016/03/16/investing/us-debt-dumped-foreign-governments-china/?iid=EL

[9] Patrick Gillespie: China leads global U.S. debt dump, CNN, February 17, 2016, http://money.cnn.com/2016/02/17/news/economy/china-us-debt-dump-central-banks/?iid=EL

[10] We have elaborated on this issue extensively in Michael Pröbsting: Marxism, the European Union and Brexit. The L5I and the European Union: A Right Turn away from Marxism. The recent change in the L5I’s position towards the support for EU membership represents a shift away from its own tradition, of the Marxist method, and of the facts, August 2016, in: Revolutionary Communism No. 55, http://www.thecommunists.net/theory/eu-and-brexit/; RCIT: After the BREXIT Vote – Stormy times ahead for the workers and oppressed in Britain, 24.6.2016, http://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/europe/brexit-vote-results/; RED*LIBERATION (Bulletin of Socialists in the Labour Party): UK: No to Cameron’s Trap: Neither YES nor NO to UK membership in the EU! For Abstention in the Referendum! We call on Momentum to create a “Third Camp” and to launch a socialist and internationalist campaign! For international Unity of the British, Migrant and European Workers! 25 February 2016, https://redliberation.wordpress.com/2016/05/02/100/; RCIT und RCIT Britain: Boycott Cameron’s Trap: Neither Brussels, nor Downing Street! For Abstention in Britain’s EU-Referendum! For international Unity and Struggle of the Workers and Oppressed! Fight against both British as well as European Imperialism! Forward to the United Socialist States of Europe, 2 August 2015, http://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/europe/eu-referendum-in-uk/; Michael Pröbsting: The British Left and the EU-Referendum: The Many Faces of pro-UK or pro-EU Social-Imperialism. An analysis of the left’s failure to fight for an independent, internationalist and socialist stance both against British as well as European imperialism, Revolutionary Communism Nr. 40, August 2015 http://www.thecommunists.net/theory/british-left-and-eu-referendum/; RKOB: The European Union and the issue of the accession of semi-colonial countries, 14.10.2012, in: Revolutionary Communism No. 6, http://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/europe/eu-and-semi-colonies/

[11] See on this e.g. German Foreign Policy: Make Europe great again, 21.11.2016, http://www.german-foreign-policy.com/de/fulltext/59486; German Foreign Policy: Die Supermacht Europa, 16.11.2016, http://www.german-foreign-policy.com/de/fulltext/59483; German Foreign Policy: Der Trump-Impuls, 11.11.2016, http://www.german-foreign-policy.com/de/fulltext/59480; German Foreign Policy: Strategische Autonomie, 13.09.2016, http://www.german-foreign-policy.com/de/fulltext/59439

[12] Donald J. Trump: Crippled America: How to Make America Great Again, Threshold Editions, New York 2015, p. 52. As a side-note we draw attention to the fact that, despite Trumps claims of being a “successful businessman,” reality shows that, despite his being born into a billionaire family, he is very far from having achieved this! See e.g., http://gawker.com/a-complete-list-of-donald-trump-s-business-disasters-1764151188; https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2016/02/29/the-myth-and-the-reality-of-donald-trumps-business-empire/; http://www.motherjones.com/kevin-drum/2016/10/donald-trumps-first-30-years-business-failures-and-bailouts-dad

[13] Donald J. Trump: Crippled America, p. 41. On this, also see the following article by two of Trump’s supporters: Alexander Gray, Peter Navarro: Donald Trump’s Peace Through Strength Vision for the Asia-Pacific. How the Republican nominee will rewrite America’s relationship with Asia, November 7, 2016, http://foreignpolicy.com/2016/11/07/donald-trumps-peace-through-strength-vision-for-the-asia-pacific/

[14] See Zizek: Electing Trump will ‘shake up’ the system, Al-Jazeera, 16 Nov 2016, http://www.aljazeera.com/programmes/upfront/2016/11/zizek-electing-trump-shake-system-161116062713933.html and Channel 4 News: Slovenian philosopher Slavoj Žižek says he would opt for Donald Trump as the apparently less dangerous choice in the US election, https://twitter.com/Channel4News/status/794232437337247744/video/1. Another shameful example for a “left-wing” politician hailing Trump’s victory is the British ex-MP George Galloway. (See the letter signed by him and other: Trump’s victory has paved the way for Corbyn’s win in 2020, The Independent, 14.11.2016, http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/letters/prime-minister-theresa-may-nigel-farage-brexit-donald-trump-corbyn-a7416636.html )

[15] See e.g. Al-Jazeera: Vladimir Putin and Donald Trump discuss mending ties, Kremlin says Vladimir Putin congratulated US president-elect Donald Trump in phone call that also covered Syria war, 15.11.2016, http://www.aljazeera.com/news/2016/11/vladimir-putin-donald-trump-discuss-mending-ties-161115042114865.html

[16] Donald J. Trump: Crippled America, pp. 42-43

[17] See on this e.g. Yossi Schwartz: Israel Loves Donald Trump who Loves Israel but Dislikes Jews, RCIT, 20.11.2016, http://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/africa-and-middle-east/trump-jews-and-israel/. In this article, comrade Yossi Schwartz rightly drew attention to the fact that such a combination of support for Zionism and hatred against Jews is not unique. It even reached more ugly proportions in the years after 1933 when the Zionist Federation of Germany collaborated with the anti-Semitic Hitler regime. The Zionists perceived Hitler’s persecution of the Jews as a blessing, since it forced Jews to immigrate to Palestine and pushed more Jews to support Zionism. (Of course, we are not characterizing the Trump Administration as a Nazi regime, despite its extreme right-wing tendencies.). In this context, we refer readers to Yossi Schwartz’s pamphlet The Origins of the Jews which the RCIT published last year. (See Revolutionary Communism No. 38 and http://www.thecommunists.net/theory/origins-of-jews/)

[18] See e.g. Assad willing to cooperate with Trump, 10/11/2016, https://www.almasdarnews.com/article/assad-willing-cooperate-trump/; Reuters: Egypt’s Sisi congratulates Trump, looks forward to new era of closer ties, Nov 9, 2016, http://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-election-reaction-egypt-idUSKBN13415U?il=0; Shahira Amin: Why Egypt’s Sisi welcomes Trump win, Al-Monitor, November 10, 2016, http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2016/11/egypt-reacts-us-election-trump-sisi.html

[19] Valerie Volcovici and Alister Doyle: Trump looking at fast ways to quit global climate deal: source, Reuters, Nov 14, 2016, http://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-election-climatechange-accord-idUSKBN1370JX. see also Tom LoBianco: Donald Trump outlines policy plan for first 100 days, CNN, November 22, 2016, http://edition.cnn.com/2016/11/21/politics/donald-trump-outlines-policy-plan-for-first-100-days/index.html

[20] https://twitter.com/realdonaldtrump/status/265895292191248385?lang=de

[21] https://twitter.com/realdonaldtrump/status/266259787405225984?lang=de

[22] To be precise, there has for a long time already been a wall along the US-Mexican border to prevent Mexican migrants from entering their northern neighbor. However, Trump wants to build an even bigger wall.

[23] On this, see e.g., Jonathan Levinson: Mexicans react to Donald Trump’s election win. From fears of inflation to speculation about what it may mean for undocumented migrants, Mexicans reflect on the result, Al Jazeera, 2016-11-10, http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/features/2016/11/mexicans-react-donald-trump-election-win-161110063500759.html

[24] Simon Tomlinson: Revealed: How immigrants in America are sending $120 BILLION to their struggling families back home, The Daily Mail, 31 January 2013, http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2271455/Revealed-How-immigrants-America-sending-120-BILLION-struggling-families-home.html

[25] See e.g. Yascha Mounk: Donald Trump Is the End of Global Politics as We Know It. What it means to live without a leader of the free world, Foreign Policy, November 11, 2016, http://foreignpolicy.com/2016/11/11/donald-trump-will-change-global-politics-as-we-know-it/; Benjamin Soloway: Under Trump, U.S. Allies in Asia May Look to Themselves for Security, November 11, 2016, www.foreignpolicy.com/2016/11/11/under-trump-u-s-allies-in-asia-may-look-to-themselves-for-security; German Foreign Policy: Der Trump-Impuls, 11.11.2016, http://www.german-foreign-policy.com/de/fulltext/59480

[26] See World Perspectives 2016

 

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The Meaning, Consequences and Lessons of Trump‘s Victory: Chapter II. Where is the Trump Administration Heading?

 

Naturally, at this stage – a few weeks after the election – it is still not possible to make a very concrete and precise assessment about the future course of the Trump administration. However, the new government’s main lines of attack, as well as its inner contradictions, are clearly visible.

 

As is widely known, Trump’s election campaign was characterized by rhetoric around a specific number of issues.

 

* White chauvinism, Islamophobia (Trump’s call to ban Muslims from entering the US, etc.); his anti-immigration policy (calling to build a massive wall along the Mexican border, mass deportation of undocumented migrants, etc.),

 

* Economic protectionism (claiming he would impose a 45% tariff on Chinese imports; pull out of free trade agreements like TPP, NAFTA and TTIP; leave the WTO, etc.)

 

* Neoliberal financial liberalization (e.g., reducing corporate taxes from the current level of 35% to 15%; bring about the elimination of Wall Street regulation, including the removal of Dodd Frank Wall Street reform – the anti-bank bailout regulation put into place after the 2008-2009 financial crisis)

 

* His call to immediately cancel the Climate Change Accord as, according to Trump, climate change “is a myth created by the Chinese to harm American Manufacturing” (a quote from the US president-elect!)

 

* Attacks against social and health care programs (his plan to abolish Obamacare, etc.)

 

* Attacks on women’s rights like abortion

 

* Calls to reduce obligations arising from long-term alliances with other states (demanding from the EU, Japan and South Korea to raise their defense budgets so that the US can reduce its military expenditures in these theatres; loosening or even abolishing NATO)

 

* Calls for more military aggression against “Islamic terrorists”

 

However, Trump never elaborated his plans more concretely or detailed exactly how he wants to achieve these goals. Nevertheless, while it is clear that bourgeois governments usually do not implement all electoral promises, these plans give a clear indication of the direction of the Trump’s presidency.

 

 

 

  1. What is the Political Class Coalition behind Trump?

 

 

 

In this chapter we will attempt to determine the specific character of the future Trump administration. While most positions of the administration have still not been publicly elaborated, it is likely that it will contain different currents – reflecting the coalition character of the Trump electoral campaign. It currently appears that the Trump administration currently represents an unstable coalition of three main groups (while we naturally take into account the connections and transitions between them): a) the Trump clan itself which is rather characterized by its absence of strong political beliefs; b) the extreme right-wing conservative Republicans (including Christian evangelical fundamentalists and Tea-Party populists); and c) the white supremacist alt-right movement.

 

The main thrust (and inner contradictions) of the Trump administration will become more vivid if we examine the political coalition behind him. First of all, the Trump family itself is one of the richest families in the country: it has an estimated wealth of $3.7 billion, based on an empire of 515 enterprises focused on real assets! [1] In other words, this clan itself represents a sector of the US monopoly bourgeoisie. Its notorious history of speculation with real assets makes it a prime example of the parasitic nature of America’s big capitalists. Naturally, as president-elect Donald Trump does not entertain for a minute his willingness to separate himself from his wealth, as has been called for by many in the public to prevent conflicts of interest, but is simply taking steps to transfer the management of his financial empire to his children (who also play a central political role).

 

Jared Kushner, Donald Trump’s son-in-law and a crucial player in the inner circle, is another real estate tycoon whose father spent some time in prison for illegal campaign contributions he made, tax evasion, and witness tampering. (As it is typical in the circles of the super-rich, Jared Kushner was admitted to the Harvard University, not long after his father made a large donation of $2.5 million in 1998 to the prestigious Ivy League school. [2]) This background in speculation, together with the fact that no one of the Trump clan has any political experience or any known strong political beliefs – deeper than vulgar racist and sexist prejudices [3] – gives the Trump clan, and hence the whole administration, a strong characterization as adventurists.

 

Naturally, the history of political regimes in capitalist societies knows a number of cases of adventurists who ruled a country. But there are adventurists and then again there are adventurists. Hitler and Mussolini certainly were adventurists, but they had strong (and thoroughly reactionary) political beliefs and a record of political activism for many years before they took power. To a certain degree it seems that the Trump clan considers the presidency as just another “project” which should serve the expansion of the family’s wealth and influence.

 

The dominance of the family clan is also underlined by the fact that 4 of the 16 members of the transition team – responsible for the selection of 4,000 candidates to make up the future administration – are Trump’s three children and his son-in-law.

 

Never before has there been such a close fusion between one capitalist family clan and the central political power in the US. This lends the new regime both strength and weakness. Its strength is derived from its not being based on mere a political power which must regularly ensure for itself the support of the country’s monopoly capitalists. On the other hand, such a constellation weakens the Trump administration because (a) it discredits his credentials as a “leader and a representative of the “entire people” and (b) it will lead to conflicts with other family clans and factions of the big bourgeoisie.

 

Beside the family itself, the Trump administration is basing itself on a various extremely conservative and Christian fundamentalist Republicans. Vice President-elect Mike Pence, who also heads the transition team, is the leading representative of this current. He was a long-time member of Congress and Governor of Indiana, a state of 6.6 million people in the Mid-West. Pence is part of the Republican establishment, albeit its extreme right, Christian fundamentalist wing. He introduced a law which allows shops to refuse serving lesbians and gays, and opposes abortion. He is a typical conservative opponent of public social and health security and has supported all free trade agreements. He also unconditionally supported Bush’s wars of aggression in the first decade of this century. The prestigious political plog FiveThirtyEight rates Pence as the most conservative vice presidential candidate in the last forty years. Given Trump’s zero governmental experience and limited political perception, the vice president may play a more influential role than is usually the case. Pence himself is probably well aware of this as he stated that his role model as vice president would be Dick Cheney, the highly influential vice president who had the ear of his dumbbell president, George W. Bush.

 

Another important figure in this camp – with links to the alt-right movement – is the newly appointed White House National Security Advisor, retired Lieutenant General Michael T. Flynn. Flynn is a former director of the Defense Intelligence Agency and an early supporter of Trump. He is an unabashed Islamophobic racist who recently joined the board of Act for America, an alt-right activist group that has helped introduce bills to ban Islamic Sharia law in nearly two dozen US states. [4] He advocates the superiority of “a Judeo-Christian ideology built on a moral set of rules and laws” and openly considers Islam as “a cancer” and a “political ideology that hides behind religion.[5] He has claimed that “fear of Muslims is rational.[6] In his recently published book he states: “We’re in a world war against a messianic mass movement of evil people, most of them inspired by a totalitarian ideology: Radical Islam.” This “world war” is “probably going to last through several generations.” He is an advocate of unconditional support for Israel and its right-wing government, of supporting Egypt’s dictator General Sisi, and of waging war against Iran. [7]

 

He is a strong admirer of Ronald Reagan’s combination of armament and deterrence with ideological warfare based on “American exceptionalism.” Flynn’s influence points to a more militarily aggressive foreign policy which looks less for “spreading democracy” and long-term occupations (as was the case in Afghanistan and Iraq) but more short-term wars instead and installing submissive regimes. At the same time, such a policy will be combined with a more open Islamophobic ideology praising the “exceptional American values” – instead of the more liberal model of praising “human rights,” “democracy” and “civilization” as the ideological rallying point. [8]

 

Jeff Sessions, a Republican Senator from the southern state of Alabama, has been nominated as the president elect’s designee for attorney general. He is another extremely conservative and racist Republican who has supported Trump’s call for a temporary ban on Muslim immigrants and has suggested that a “toxic ideology” lies at the root of Islam. [9] He considers Afro-American civil rights organization like the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) and the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) as “un-American” and “Communist-inspired.[10] He is on record as having said that he used to think that the Ku Klux Klan was “okay, until he learned that they smoked marijuana. [11]

 

Another important security figure is Mike Pompeo who has been slated by Trump as the next director of the CIA. Pompeo is a Republican congressman from Kansas who was elected in 2010 as a representative of the right-wing Tea Party. Pompeo is – like the entire Trump camp – an advocate of terminating the nuclear accord with Iran. He also co-sponsored a bill to ban the Muslim Brotherhood, which US right-wing conspiracy theorists have accused of plotting to infiltrate the government! It is hardly an exaggeration to call the Trump administration the most Islamophobic government the West has seen since the crusades in the Middle Ages!

 

Another important figure in this radical conservative wing of the Republican Party is Rudolph Giuliani, a former mayor of New York City and a law-and-order hardliner. Other representatives of this wing of the Republican Party are the former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich (who led the campaign to bring down then-President Bill Clinton in the late 1990s because of the Monica Lewinsky affair); John Bolton, the former ambassador to the United Nations under President George W. Bush (the “face of Bush’s unilateralist foreign policy” as a commentator noted); and Tennessee Senator Bob Corker. [12]

 

Reince Priebus, who has been assigned the position of Trump’s White House Chief of Staff, will be an important figure in the upcoming administration. This importance will be due to that of the Chief of Staff position in itself but also because Priebus served as chairman of the Republican Party for three consecutive terms. Hence he is a crucial link for Trump to the party’s establishment. Priebus has “proven” himself in the past by reconciling the party with the right-wing Tea Party movement, i.e., by moving the party to the right as was manifested in the blockade tactics of the GOP against Obamacare which led to the US government shutdown of October 2013.

 

In addition to these right-wing conservatives from the Republican Party, there is also another force in the Trump camp: the “anti-establishment” white supremacist, so-called “alt-right movement.” Its most important representative is Stephen Bannon who was head of Breitbart News, an extreme ultra-right media outlet who became the chief executive officer of Trump’s presidential campaign. Trump has now named him as Chief Strategist and Senior Advisor in the new administration – a highly influential position.

 

Bannon is such an open white supremacist and extreme right-winger that even John Weaver, a Republican strategist who worked for Ohio Governor John Kasich’s presidential campaign, reacted to the appointment: “The racist, fascist extreme right is represented footsteps from the Oval Office. Be very vigilant, America. [13] However, despite his anti-establishment rhetoric, Bannon worked for Goldman Sachs in the past, and has good connections to Sarah Palin, a darling of the Tea Party movement who was the Republican vice presidential candidate in 2012. [14]

 

Despite his anti-establishment rhetoric, Trump has close contacts to various Wall Street bankers from among whom he is considering choosing his treasury secretary. Among the prospective candidates for this role are Steven Mnuchin, a former Goldman Sachs official who served as Trump’s campaign finance chief during the 2016 campaign, and JPMorgan Chase chief Jamie Dimon, the leader of the largest of the Big Four banks in the United States. [15] Another advisor of Trump is David Malpass, a banker who wrote in the Wall Street Journal shortly before the crash in 2008 that the is no reason to panic about the financial markets!

 

To sum up, we reiterate that the Trump administration appears to reflect the coalition character of the Trump electoral campaign. It contains basically three groups: (a) the Trump clan itself which rather lacks strong political beliefs; (b) the very-right-wing conservative Republicans (including Christian evangelical fundamentalists and Tea-Party populists); and (c) the white supremacist alt-right movement.

 

This character results in the following situation: In the past we have seen a Republican Party which, under the influence of the Tea Party and as an aggressive opposition party to the Obama Administration, shifted to the right. Trump, conducting an extremely chauvinistic and protectionist campaign, alienated the party’s establishment and secured only the support of the extremely conservative wing of the Republicans. However, this right-wing of the party now has to be considered as the “moderate” wing of the administration in face of the alt-right wing led by Chief Strategist Stephen Bannon! True, Trumps is attempting to also win over representatives of the Republican mainstream for his administration (like Mitt Romney). But even if he succeeds in this, it is no exaggeration to state that this is truly the most right-wing government in the modern history of the US!

 

If we attempt to give a preliminary class characterization of the Trump administration, we must say that it is a coalition which has at its top an important family clan representing a minority wing of the monopoly bourgeoisie, as well as extreme right-wing sectors of the political state apparatus which played only a secondary role in the past. These forces have been joined by the extremely right-wing Tea Party movement and alt-right groups which reflect the desperate and racist sectors of the middle class. These middle class sectors, as well as backward sectors of the working class (many former labor aristocrats), both of which are mostly based in the rural-dominated states of the Mid-West, constitute the foot-soldiers of the Trump “movement”.

 

However, the above characterization also means that the Trump administration will represent only a clear minority of the ruling class and openly provokes hostility from other factions of the bourgeoisie, from the liberal middle class, as well as from the mass organizations of the working class and the national/ethnic minorities.

 

It also appears that it will quickly become a highly unstable government, not only because of the opposition of these forces just cited but also because of the tensions between its different composite wings. This has already led to the resignation or purging of several figures linked to the Republican Party’s establishment. Examples for this are former Republican congressman Mike Rogers, who chaired the House intelligence committee, and who left the Trump transition team. New Jersey governor Chris Christie, an early supporter of Trump, was also ditched as the head of the transition team. Eliot Cohen, a senior state department official under George W. Bush, was expelled from the transition team.

 

 

 

  1. Trumpism Both as an Adventure and an Objective Necessity for the Bourgeoisie

 

 

 

Let us finally discuss briefly how it was possible that Trump came to power in a “legal” fashion despite the fact that the majority of the monopoly bourgeoisie as well as the people in general opposed his election? We have already elaborated above the bizarre specifics of the US electoral system which make it possible for a candidate to win the presidential election despite losing the popular vote. Here we want to add some political considerations for this turning point in US and world history.

 

It’s true that the majority of the big bourgeoisie did in fact oppose Trump’s election. However, Trump’s policy of chauvinism and protectionism objectively represents a possible – and in the final analysis even inevitable – response of the US capitalist class to the current and future trajectory of both the world economy as well as US capitalism. As we have pointed out our past analyses of the world economy, globalization has entered a period of decline since the beginning of the Great Recession of 2008, which has manifested itself in the decline of world trade, the rise of protectionism, and the emergence of rivaling trade blocs. [16] Therefore, rather than introducing a completely new development, Trumpist economics is rather accelerating already existing tendencies.

 

Furthermore, US imperialism has been in decline for a long time. As we have repeatedly stressed, the US bourgeoisie simply can no longer play the role of the “world policeman.” Obama tried to cushion this decline by retreating from Afghanistan and Iraq, as well as by strengthening US collaboration with other great Western powers. However, this US decline continues as has become even more obvious with the rise of China and Russia as new great powers. Thus, once again, Trump’s election to the US presidency will only accelerate an already existing tendency.

 

Likewise, Trump is certainly not responsible for re-launching American class polarization. For many years now we have been witness to the process of impoverishment of vast sectors of the black, Latino and white working class (along with sectors of the middle class). Trump’s neoliberal policy of lowering corporate taxes and cutting social welfare and health care – met with enthusiasm by many capitalists [17] – are merely accelerating a process which already began with the Reagan Era in the early 1980s.

 

Similarly, racism leading to the regular killing of unarmed black people by (mostly white) police, and the rapid increase of black and Latino people serving time in prison have been an inherent part of US society for a long time. Likewise, the massive arming of US police forces so that they can act as an occupation force against the citizens of their own local jurisdictions is also a process which has been taking place for decades. So again, Trump’s chauvinism and law-and-order bonapartism is an acceleration of an already existing development.

 

In short, Trump represents the monopoly bourgeoisies’ objectively necessary policy for tomorrow – even though the majority of this class may still not recognize this. Hence, we can say that Trump is, to a certain degree, a “revolutionary” reactionary whose coming to power is in anticipation of the future shocks in store for capitalism and the class struggle.

 

However, the course of the class struggle cannot be determined in advance. Trump’s gamble is very risky. His provocative and adventurist course of aggression, domestically and globally, without sufficient support by the US ruling class, could backfire and create such a storm of resistance in the face of which his administration could simply crumble. In the end, the Trump clan’s highest priority is … the wealth and influence of the Trump clan, and certainly not America’s well-being. Faced with the choice between personal wealth and patriotic interests, without a blink they will choose the former. Hence, an impeachment or early resignation of the Trump administration can be no means be excluded.

 

 

 

  1. Where will the US going under President Trump?

 

 

 

Naturally, at this stage it is only possible to make predictions about the course and the consequences of the Trump Administration within certain limits. Nevertheless, we think it is possible to stress a few trends when taking into account the central political themes of this administration and its leading figures; the class character of the political coalition on which it is based; the objective contradictions of US imperialism both domestically as well as globally; and the responses we can expect against this administration rooted in the class struggle.

 

First, the Trump Administration will most likely follow an aggressive capitalist agenda, while trying at the same time to implement its avowed program at least to a certain degree. This they must do in order to prove the legitimacy of its campaign and its “new road.” According to the New York Times, Steve Bannon, the alt-right representative in the administration and Trump’s official Chief Strategist, has already told people in Mr. Trump’s inner circle that the new administration will only have a short window of opportunity to push through its agenda and therefore should focus first on the priorities that are expected to be the most contentious. [18] Furthermore, if they do not advance the attempt to consolidate the Republican Party around the “Trumpist” platform they will soon lose much support. Such a development might result in the loss of the reactionary forces currently behind the Trump project, without adding new substantial support from other layers. The result could be – depending on the concrete course of the class struggle – either a crisis, even leading to the collapse of the Trump administration, or at least massive defeats for the Republicans in the next mid-term elections in 2018. Such a development would make the government a lame duck for the second half of its term and, in all probability, lead to its electoral defeat in the presidential election of 2020.

 

Naturally, an aggressive pushing through of the Trumpist agenda is a risky strategy. If successful, the administration can at least consolidate its popular support, withstand the first wave of mass protests, and violently put down more militant forms of resistance. In doing so it could convince broader sections of the ruling class that its course of action is the only realistic option. Or, in other words, it can present the rest of the bourgeoisie with a fait accompli. In combination with another Great Recession – which in any case is likely to occur in the near future [19] – it is reasonable to assume that all the other Great Powers will also resort to a protectionist, chauvinist course of action. Under such circumstances, Trump’s strategy will appear as the only realistic option and gain legitimacy among these circles.

 

However, as we previously indicated, such an aggressive course of action will virtually guarantee mass protests and may also fail to consolidate the bourgeoisie around the Trumpist project. For example, mass deportations of hundreds of thousands of migrants in the next few months could may lead to an explosion of civil unrest. The rhetorical promises of various mayors of New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, etc., who declared their cities as “sanctuaries” (which, of course, they didn’t mean seriously) could encourage mass resistance against deportations.

 

The US has already experienced a number of important class struggle movements in recent years. The BlackLiveMatters movement, the movement for a minimum wage of $15, the Occupy movement, and more recently the protests of the Standing Rock Sioux against the Dakota Access Pipeline – these are all examples of increasing class struggle during the period of the Obama administration. Now, with Trump´s victory, the masses will have an common, visible and provocative enemy in the person of Trump.

 

If the resistance proliferates and radicalizes – for example, if it is transformed into mass strikes and occupations as well as militant self-defense against police forces trying to enforce deportations, or armed revolts in black ghettos – this could place the Trump administration before a serious crisis. If, at the same time, the administration pushes sectors of the ruling class away from supporting an “irresponsible” and “destabilizing” government policy, it could quickly open a full governmental crisis. The opening of another Great Recession, which would demonstrate the failure of Trump’s demagogic promises, could also hasten such a development.

 

Another possible factor which could bring about a governmental crisis would be a major failure of Trump’s foreign policy – for example a military adventure against Iran or against, let’s say, Al-Shabaab in Somalia if this would result in an embarrassing defeat. [20]

 

Such a development could open a real crisis of American imperialism reminiscent of the late Nixon era in 1974 or even a pre-revolutionary situation.

 

For these reasons – and this seems to us to be a second important characteristic of the Trump administration – we think that it will most likely be an unstable government. Under such conditions of massive pressure – both from the working class and the oppressed, as well as from sectors of the bourgeoisie – it is quite likely that tensions within the coalition which constitute the Trump administration will increase.

 

The looming next Great Recession will accelerate these developments even more. Such a recession will unmask the empty demagogy of Trump by creating even more poverty and unemployment. It will also likely provoke the administration to deflect attention from its domestic failures by either adopting even more outrageous attacks on migrants and black people or by starting another war.

 

In other words, the Trump administration will be a Molotov cocktail waiting to be ignited. It cannot possibly implement its promises and satisfy all of the sectors from which it garnered its victory: the bourgeoisie, the middle class and the working class. Trump came to power by promising to improve the lives of ordinary Americans. But its program of tax cuts for corporations and armament will increase public debt and will lead to massive cuts in social programs and health care. Trump promised to create jobs, but his administration will not prepared to make major investments in public infrastructure (except for the military and the police). Its protectionist policy will make imports much more expensive and thereby raise the cost of living for ordinary people and production costs for capitalists. Trump promised “no more Iraq wars” but his militarist policy will inevitably lead the country into additional wars. Trump’s reactionary policy against migrants will provoke mass resistance, and the reactionary outlook of his administration will, from the start, make it the most unpopular of governments. Trump’s campaign claimed that it wants to make America “great again,” but in fact it will only make more visible the US decline as the leading global power. The Trump government will make the US, ever more than before, the most hated country around the world.

 

[1] Marc Pitzke: Milliardengeschäfte von Donald Trump Beispielloser Interessenkonflikt, Der Spiegel, 15.11.2016. http://www.spiegel.de/politik/ausland/donald-trump-und-seine-geschaefte-beispielloser-interessenkonflikt-a-1121287.html

[2] See Daniel Golden: The Story Behind Jared Kushner’s Curious Acceptance into Harvard, ProPublica, Nov. 18, 2016, https://www.propublica.org/article/the-story-behind-jared-kushners-curious-acceptance-into-harvard

[3] There is a never ending list of vulgar racist and sexist quotes from Donald Trump. While we are aware that this is an incomplete list (not the least because he regularly adds new ones!), here are some links:

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/women/politics/donald-trump-sexism-tracker-every-offensive-comment-in-one-place/; http://www.cosmopolitan.com/politics/news/a44629/donald-trump-insults-women/; http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/us-elections/donald-trump-sexist-quotes-comments-tweets-grab-them-by-the-pussy-when-star-you-can-do-anything-a7353006.html; http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/donald-trump-racist-examples_us_56d47177e4b03260bf777e83; http://newsone.com/3465253/donald-trump-well-educated-black-advantage/; http://tmznewsonline.net/donald-trump-if-black-lives-dont-matter-then-go-back-to-africa/; http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation-now/2015/04/28/donald-trump-barack-obama-tweets-baltimore-riots/26500879/; http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2015/sep/9/donald-trump-black-lives-matter-i-think-theyre-loo/; http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/donald-trump-black-voters-slavery_us_57b4bd84e4b0fd5a2f40ee2d.

[4] Joby Warrick and Abigail Hauslohner: Trump’s security picks deepen Muslim worries about an anti-Islamic White House, November 18 2016, Washington Post, https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/trumps-security-picks-deepen-muslim-worries-about-an-anti-islamic-white-house/2016/11/18/d7796cc6-add6-11e6-8b45-f8e493f06fcd_story.html

[5] See his speech: RWW News: Michael Flynn: Islam Is A ‘Cancer,’ ‘Political Ideology’ That ‘Hides Behind’ Religion, August 2016, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fzh9b_vo4vs

[6] Thomas Gibbons-Neff: ‘Fear of Muslims is rational’: What Trump’s new national security adviser has said online, November 18 2016, https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/checkpoint/wp/2016/11/18/trumps-new-national-security-adviser-has-said-some-incendiary-things-on-the-internet/. On the extreme right-wing views of General Flynn’s son and chief of staff see: Andrew Kaczynski and Nathan McDermott: Michael Flynn’s son and chief of staff pushed conspiracy theories, obscene memes online, CNN, November 18, 2016, http://edition.cnn.com/2016/11/17/politics/kfile-michael-flynn-social-media

[7] See on this Michael T. Flynn and Michael Ledeen: The Field of Fight, St. Martin’s Press, New York 2016

[8] To underline this thesis we reprint the following quotes from a speech of General Flynn in 2015:

The foundation of Reagan’s thinking was a core set of principles founded on a strong commitment to American ideals and recognition of both good and evil.

We should acknowledge now that this fight against Islamic Extremism is a sociological, psychological and cultural phenomenon, and not a military one AND, as I said earlier, we need to tell the American public, this is likely to last for decades, if not an entire generation.

Retreat, retrenchment, and disarmament are historically a recipe for disaster.

We should assail isolationism, any form of American withdrawal, and the fallacy of moral equivalence. But we should also not believe for a second that exporting democracy the world over will work either. However, we should also never be ashamed of our American values.

We need to embrace American exceptionalism.”

Our adversaries around the world are self-described Islamic militants.

For that reason, we must always be ready to deploy what Winston Churchill called “overwhelming power.” This posture will deter most aggressors most of the time and, when even the best deterrent sometimes fails, it will still defeat them at the lowest possible cost and risk.” (Thomas E. Ricks: The text of General Flynn’s speech, January 27, 2015, http://foreignpolicy.com/2015/01/27/the-text-of-general-flynns-speech/)

[9] Joby Warrick and Abigail Hauslohner: Trump’s security picks deepen Muslim worries about an anti-Islamic White House, November 18 2016, Washington Post, https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/trumps-security-picks-deepen-muslim-worries-about-an-anti-islamic-white-house/2016/11/18/d7796cc6-add6-11e6-8b45-f8e493f06fcd_story.html

[10] Scott Zamost, Curt Devine and Katherine Noel: Sessions dogged by old allegations of racism, November 18, 2016, CNN, http://edition.cnn.com/2016/11/17/politics/jeff-sessions-racism-allegations/

[11] Amber Phillips: 10 things to know about Sen. Jeff Sessions, Donald Trump’s pick for attorney general, November 18 2016, Washington Post, https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-fix/wp/2016/11/18/10-things-to-know-about-sen-jeff-sessions-donald-trumps-pick-for-attorney-general/

[12] See on this e.g., John Hudson and Colum Lynch: The Top Contenders for Donald Trump’s Foreign-Policy Cabinet, Foreign Policy, November 9, 2016, http://foreignpolicy.com/2016/11/09/the-top-contenders-for-donald-trumps-foreign-policy-cabinet/, Mark Landler: Trump’s Hires Will Set Course of His Presidency, New York Times, 12 November 2016, http://www.nytimes.com/2016/11/13/us/politics/donald-trump-administration-appointments.html?&moduleDetail=top-news-0&action=click&contentCollection=Opinion&region=Footer&module=TopNews&version=WhatsNext&contentID=WhatsNext&pgtype=article; David Smith: Trump transition team in disarray after top adviser ‘purged’, The Guardian, 16 November 2016, https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2016/nov/15/donald-trump-transition-team-disarray-adviser-purge

[13] Quoted in Ben Norton: “The racist, fascist extreme right is represented footsteps from the Oval Office”: Republicans warn of Trump presidency, Nov 15, 2016, http://www.salon.com/2016/11/15/the-racist-fascist-extreme-right-is-represented-footsteps-from-the-oval-office-republicans-warn-of-trump-presidency/

[14] Jeremy W. Peters: Trump’s Choice of Stephen Bannon Is Nod to Anti-Washington Base, New York Times, Nov. 15 2016, http://www.nytimes.com/2016/11/15/us/politics/stephen-bannon-white-house-trump.html

[15] David Francis: Main Street Champion Trump Turns to Wall Street to Fill Treasury Post, November 10, 2016, http://foreignpolicy.com/2016/11/10/main-street-champion-trump-turns-to-wall-street-to-fill-treasury-post/

[16] See RCIT: Advancing Counterrevolution and Acceleration of Class Contradictions Mark the Opening of a New Political Phase. Theses on the World Situation, the Perspectives for Class Struggle and the Tasks of Revolutionaries (January 2016), in: Revolutionary Communism No. 46, http://www.thecommunists.net/theory/world-perspectives-2016/

[17] See e.g., Neil Irwin: What the Markets Are Really Telling Us About a Trump Presidency, New York Times, 12 November 2016, http://www.nytimes.com/2016/11/12/upshot/what-the-markets-are-really-telling-us-about-a-trump-presidency.html; David Francis: Trump’s Impact on the Economy: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly. A Trump presidency carries a lot of economic risk. But in some sectors, there’s also quite a bit of opportunity, Foreign Policy, November 9, 2016, http://foreignpolicy.com/2016/11/09/trumps-impact-on-the-economy-the-good-the-bad-and-the-ugly/; Nouriel Roubini : The Taming of Trump, 11 November 2016, https://www.project-syndicate.org/commentary/donald-trump-pragmatic-policies-by-nouriel-roubini-2016-11

[18] See Jeremy W. Peters: Trump’s Choice of Stephen Bannon Is Nod to Anti-Washington Base, New York Times, Nov. 15 2016, http://www.nytimes.com/2016/11/15/us/politics/stephen-bannon-white-house-trump.html

[19] See on this RCIT: Advancing Counterrevolution and Acceleration of Class Contradictions Mark the Opening of a New Political Phase (World Perspectives 2016: Chapter III. The World Economy: Facing the Next (Even Worse) Great Recession), http://www.thecommunists.net/theory/world-perspectives-2016/part3/ as well as RCIT: Perspectives for the Class Struggle in Light of the Deepening Crisis in the Imperialist World Economy and Politics. Theses on Recent Major Developments in the World Situation and Perspectives Ahead (January 2015), in: Revolutionary Communism No. 32, http://www.thecommunists.net/theory/world-situation-january-2015/

[20] It is worth recalling the dramatic consequences of the devastating defeat of the US Special Forces by Somali rebels in Mogadishu in October 1993. This led to the resignation of the then U.S. Secretary of Defense Les Aspin and caused a national trauma reflected in the movie “Black Hawk Down.” On this, see e.g., Matt Eversmann and Dan Schilling (Ed.): The Battle of Mogadishu. Firsthand Accounts from the Men of Task Force Ranger, Ballantine Books, New York 2005; Steven Tuckey: Mogadishu! Heroism and Tragedy, Greenwood Publishing Group 1994

 

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The Meaning, Consequences and Lessons of Trump‘s Victory: Chapter I. The Election Outcome

Note of the Editorial Board: The following document is an extensive study of the consequences of Trump’s victory. It contains 12 figures and 5 tables. The figures can only be viewed in the pdf version of the document here for technical reasons.

 

* * * * *

 

 

 

The outcome of the US presidential election has been a surprise and shock to many. The most right-wing and reactionary candidate for several decades – probably since Barry Goldwater ran in 1964 – defeated an opposition composed of the organized workers’ movement, the Afro-American and Latino mass organizations, and even the majority of the ruling class (as was reflected in the opposition to Trump not only in the Democratic Party, of course, but also within the Republican Party’s establishment).

 

Naturally, such an outcome needs to be explained in its own right, but this is also crucial in order to elaborate an analysis of the character of the future Trump administration and new attacks on the US working class as well as on the international working class which we can expect.

 

 

 

  1. Trumps Elected President despite Losing the Popular Vote

 

 

 

The first statement which we have to make relates to the fact the Clinton and not Trump won the largest plurality of the votes! While all the votes still have not been counted (in itself a testimony about the backward character of US “democracy”), Clinton currently leads Trump by more than 2 million votes (64,223,958 to 62,206,395 million votes or 48.1% to 46.6%)! [1]

 

David Wasserman, the editor of Cook Political Report who is closely monitoring the counting at the polls, has commented that, as those states which still have not been fully counted are states with a strong lead for Clinton, it is possible that, when the final results are attained, Clinton may have an even bigger lead.

 

This is, in fact, a powerful example how undemocratic America’s praised “democracy” is. This anomaly is the result of the reactionary “Electoral College” system which gives very different weight to the votes of people in different states. Concretely, small and rurally-dominated states have proportionally more weight than bigger and more urban states.

 

Characteristically, when the “founding fathers” devised the Electoral College system and wrote it into the Constitution of 1787, they justified it by arguing that the purpose was “to prevent mob rule”!

 

As a side note we call attention to the fact that this is not the first time that the winning candidate received fewer votes than the runner up. In the 2000 presidential elections, the Democratic candidate Al Gore received more votes than the elected President George W. Bush.

 

Furthermore, nearly 100 million eligible voters stayed away from the polls on Election Day, i.e., about 43% of the eligible voters. This means that Trump was elected by receiving only 26.8% of the eligible voters.

 

Not only does this demonstrate the undemocratic nature of the institution of the US presidential election but it potentially could also prove to be a factor in that it could potentially undermine the democratic legitimacy of Trump’s election in the eyes of large sectors of the people, and might encourage protests against his administration in the future.

 

 

 

  1. An Important Lesson: Bourgeois Democracy is Essentially Undemocratic

 

 

 

In addition, we shouldn’t forget another aspect of the undemocratic character of US democracy. At least 11 million undocumented migrants – who are not US citizens, of course — had no chance of participating in the vote. But neither could those millions who are victims of the “felony disenfranchisement” – the reactionary law which bans prisoners and ex-felons from participating in elections. As a consequence of this draconian law, about 6.1 million US citizens are not allowed to vote. [2] Among them the share of black people is particularly high, as they are a primary target of state repression. As a result, 13% of the adult black male population does not have the right to vote! [3]

 

Finally, there is a massive disparity in the rate of voting based on class and ethnicity. While participation in the elections was high among the wealthy, it was much lower among the lower strata of the working class (See Figure 1 and 2).

 

Sean McElwee, a social scientist who published a number of studies on the relation of income and voting, reports: “After studying 30 years of data at the state level, William Franko, Nathan Kelly and Christopher Witko could not find any year in which low-income voter turnout was higher than high-income voter turnout. Recent research by Benjamin Page, Larry Bartels, and Martin Gilens suggests that the super-rich members of the top 1 and .1 percent turned out to vote in 2008 at a whopping 99 percent. This compares to only 49 percent turnout for citizens earning less than $10,000. In midterm elections, the voting gap is even more pronounced. In 2010, only 26.7 percent of citizens earning less than $10,000 voted, while 61.6 percent of those making $150,000 voted. Voter turnout is heavily biased towards high-income voters.[4] Concerning the presidential election in 2012, McElwee found out that 80.2% of those making more than $150,000 a year voted, while only 46.9% of those making less than $10,000 voted. [5]

 

 

 

Figure 1. Voters Turnout, by Household Income, 2008-2012 [6]

 

 

 

 

Figure 2. Share of Voters and Share of Population, by Household Income, 2014 [7]

 

 

 

 

 

 

Likewise, voting participation is much higher among the white population than among Afro-Americans and Latinos. In Figure 3, which compares voting rates in congressional elections from 1978 to 2014, we can see that whites’ participation was always higher than that of other groups. In 2014, 45.8% of the whites voted, but only 40.6% of the blacks and 27% of the Latinos. [8]

 

 

 

Figure 3. Voting Rates in Congressional Elections by Race and Ethnicity: 1978 to 2014 [9]

 

 

 

 

The reason for this gross inequality is that the share of middle class and wealthy people is much higher among whites than among Afro-Americans and Latinos, and for middle class and wealthy people it is much easier to be registered to vote.

 

It is therefore unsurprisingly that, in general, non-voters have a more progressive outlook than voters. A number of reports show that voters are more likely to oppose unions, government-sponsored health insurance and federal assistance for schools than non-voters. [10]

 

In short, the US presidential election is a powerful demonstration that bourgeois democracy – even in the so-called “motherland of democracy” – is undemocratic. It gives advantages to the dominating and wealthy classes and groups relative to the broad mass of the people, i.e., the working class and the oppressed.

 

Those who want to fight for authentic democracy must have no illusions about the nature of bourgeois democracy, which has always been and can only be undemocratic, as it grants privileges the wealthy and discriminates the poor and oppressed. Real democracy can only exist in society where the means of production as well as the media are not privately owned by small minority but are collectively owned and controlled by the laboring population.

 

 

 

  1. Why Did Trump Win? How did the Working Class and the Oppressed Vote?

 

 

 

There are clear differences in the voting behavior between the different classes and social layers as well as the different national/ethnical groups. According to US election exit data compiled by CNN, among white voters – who made up 70% of the total election votes – 58% voted for Trump, while 37% cast their ballot for Hillary Clinton. By gender, among white men, 63% voted for Trump and 31% for Clinton. Among white women, 53% cast their ballot for Trump and, perhaps surprisingly, only 43% for Clinton.

 

African-Americans, who made up 12% of the vote, overwhelmingly supported Clinton (88%; 8% voted for Trump). Latino voters, who made up 11% of the vote, largely supported the Democratic candidate too (65%; 29% voted for Trump). [11]

 

When we classify voters by income, we see that among those who earn less than $30,000 a year Clinton led by 53%-41% and among those with an income of $30,000 – $49,999 by 51%-42%. These two groups represent nearly half of the total population (but not the voters!), and the majority of the lower and middle strata of the working class, as we showed above in Figure 2. However, Trump received a majority of the votes – albeit here the race was relatively close – among the middle and higher income groups, i.e., the upper layer of the working class, the middle class and the bourgeoisie (see Table 1).

 

 

 

Table 1. Voting Preferences by Income Groups, Presidential Election 2016 [12]

 

Clinton                                  Trump

 

Less than $30,000                             53%                                        41%

 

$30,000 – $49,999                              51%                                        42%

 

$50,000 – $99,999                              46%                                        50%

 

$100,000 – $199,999                         47%                                        48%

 

$200,000 – $249,999                         48%                                        49%

 

$249,999 and more                           46%                                        48%

 

 

 

Liberal journalists around the world attributed Trump’s victory to support he received from “uneducated” workers. We will deal with the voting behavior of the white working class more in detail below. For now we only want to refute the myth that education level in itself was a decisive factor in favor of Trump. It is true, as is seen in Table 2, that white voters without a college degree voted overwhelmingly for Trump (67% to 28% for Clinton). A smaller majority among white college graduates also voted for Trump (49% to 45% for Clinton). However, among the non-white college graduates Clinton won decisively (71% to 23% for Trump) and among non-whites without a college degree her lead was even greater (75% to 20%) – despite the so-called “lack of education” of the latter.

 

 

 

Table 2. Voting Preferences by Education, Presidential Election 2016 [13]

 

Clinton                                  Trump

 

White College Graduates                                                                45%                                        49%

 

White without a College Degree                                                   28%                                        67%

 

Non-White College Graduates                                                      71%                                        23%

 

Non-White without a College Degree                                         75%                                        20%

 

 

 

These statistics show that the most important factors in voting preferences were not education but class and national/ethnic background.

 

 

 

Millions of Workers and Oppressed Deserted the Democratic Party (But Didn’t Vote for Trump)

 

 

 

Since the elections the liberal intelligentsia tends to accuse the white male working class as being responsible for Trump’s triumph. This is, of course, nothing else but an attempt to deflect attention from the real culprit of the electoral outcome: Clinton and the Wall Street-connected Democratic Party establishment.

 

First, the major shift in this election was not a rise in votes for the Republican Party’s candidate but rather the collapse in support for the Democratic Party’s contender. Look at the numbers: the Republican candidate in 2008, John McCain received 59.9 million votes (or 26.5% of the electorate). Mitt Romney got 60.9 (25.9% of the electorate) in 2012. And Donald Trump received, as we showed above, 62.2 million votes or 26.8% of the electorate. So we see that the Republican contender garnered, more or less, the same number of votes in the presidential elections of 2008, 2012 and 2016!

 

On the Democratic side, the picture was very different. Barack Obama received 69.4 million votes in 2008 and 65.9 million votes in 2012. However, Hillary Clinton got only 64.2 million votes on 9 November – 5.2 million less than Obama in 2008 despite a growing number of potential voters!

 

The explanation for this rapid decline is very simple. The Obama administration disappointed many of workers and ethnic minorities. During the 8 years of the Obama administration, employment declined to unprecedented levels (i.e., unemployment rose dramatically, something which the official figures hide). Nearly all of the new jobs which have been created since the Great Recession in 2008/09 – 11.5 million out of 11.6 million jobs – have gone to the minority of employees with some college education. [14]

 

At the same time, real wages declined for most people. American working and middle-class households experienced a serious decline in income from 1999 to 2014. Nationally, the median income of middle-income households decreased from $77,898 in 1999 to $72,919 in 2014, a loss of 6%. The median incomes of lower-income households even fell by 10% – from $26,373 to $23,811 – over this period. [15]

 

During the Obama presidency, the situation of black people didn’t improve at all – despite having a “black” president. For example, the official unemployment rate for blacks averaged 8.7% in the first six months of 2016 compared with an unemployment rate of 4.3% for whites. This 2-1 ratio is still the same as 10 or 20 years ago. [16] Another indicator is the ongoing massive incarceration of black people (as well as the Latino minority) which has not lessened at all under the Obama administration. A recent study reports: “If current trends continue, one of every three black American males born today can expect to go to prison in his lifetime, as can one of every six Latino males—compared to one of every seventeen white males.[17] This national oppression is also manifested in the widespread killing of Afro-Americans by the police that continued during the Obama administration and which resulted in mass uprisings in Ferguson, Baltimore and other cities, as well as in the emergence of the #BlackLivesMatters movement.

 

Likewise, mass deportations of undocumented migrants rose to record levels under the Obama administration. Since 2009, when Obama took office, about 2.5 million immigrants have been deported according to newly released Department of Homeland Security data – a figure similar to the one Trump has announced (see Figure 4). [18] As a result, it’s hardly surprising that many Latinos feel betrayed by the Democratic Party.

 

 

 

Figure 4. Deportations by U.S. Department of Homeland Security, 2001-2014 [19]

 

 

 

 

Figure 5 provides a more long-term view and shows that mass deportations started in 1990s with the taking of power by the Democrat Bill Clinton and have risen uninterruptedly since then, irrespective of the president’s’ party affiliation.

 

Figure 5. Total deportation of non-U.S. citizens, 1925–2013 [20]

 

 

 

 

Furthermore, Trump’s plans for mass deportations will be assisted by the huge mass of personal information which the Obama administration has already collected from young migrants – yet more proof that workers and oppressed must not trust the state! [21]

 

Bruce A. Dixon, the managing editor of the Black Agenda Report, has pointedly remarked:

 

But Hillary’s decades-long record as a tool of banksters, billionaires and one-percenters was so well established in the public mind that Imaginary Hillary was a difficult sell, not credible. (…) All in all, Democrats were the authors of their own defeat this presidential election. Hillary couldn’t campaign against the one percent because her party is a party of the one percent. Hillary Democrats including Bernie himself after the convention could no longer acknowledge joblessness, low wages, lack of housing, permanent war or the high cost of medical care or they’d be campaigning against themselves. Donald Trump didn’t win because of some mysterious upsurge of racism and nativism. He won because Hillary Clinton’s campaign was even less inspiring and less competent than his own, and worked hard to snatch its own defeat from the jaws of victory. America might not deserve President Donald Trump. But Hillary Clinton didn’t deserve to win.[22]

 

In addition, the Obama administration didn’t rescue millions of people – including many of the white middle class – from the consequences of the financial collapse in 2008/09. Instead, Obama helped to bail out the banks which massively increased public debt.

 

In short, the main reason for Trump’s victory is not a growth of support for the Republican Party or for Trump, but rather the substantial loss of support for the Democratic Party and its contender, Hillary Clinton. Millions of workers and oppressed are repelled by this party and view them as inextricably linked with the super-rich elite – as Clinton’s leaked speeches to Goldman Sachs demonstrated. Consequently they either didn’t go to the polls or they voted for a third party.

 

 

 

Reactionary Support for Trump among Sectors of the White Working Class

 

 

 

However, all these facts should not divert our attention from the fact that Trump – as an extreme right-wing populist candidate of the Republican Party – managed to receive substantial support among sectors of the white working class, as his high share of white voters (67%) without a college degree indicates (see Table 2). It’s vital for Marxists to understand this in order to effectively fight the reactionary cancer of racism inside our class.

 

It is crucial to take a number of factors into account. First, a substantial portion of white workers and poor does not live in the big cities but rather in smaller cities. Hence, the big cities have a substantially higher share of black and Latinos than the country-wide average. It is therefore hardly surprising that Trump was decisively defeated in all big metropolises like Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco or Chicago. As we can see in Table 3 Trump received only 35% of the vote in cities with more than 50,000 inhabitants. At the same time he dominated in the more rural areas where white workers are more strongly represented.

 

 

 

Table 3. Voting Preferences by Residence, Presidential Election 2016 [23]

 

Clinton                                  Trump

 

City over 50,000                                 59%                                        35%

 

Suburbs                                                45%                                        50%

 

Small City of Rural                           34%                                        62%

 

 

 

So the absence of a multi-national composition of the working class and the backward, rural character of these areas certainly was one important factor in explaining why such a right-wing demagogue like Trump could win so much support among sectors of the white workers.

 

Furthermore, these areas have often depended on jobs provided by a single or only a few corporations. So when the capitalists closed such enterprises and moved their production to the semi-colonial countries of the South where they could exploit workers with lower wages, this had devastating effects on the workers in these regions as in many cases they were unable to find another job.

 

Trump tried to address the hopes of many workers by advocating protectionism as a means of creating new jobs. He became famous in addressing the shift of jobs from the US to Mexico and the water crisis in Flint by saying: “It used to be, cars were made in Flint and you couldn’t drink the water in Mexico. Now, the cars are made in Mexico and you cannot drink the water in Flint. That’s not good,” he said. “We shouldn’t allow it to happen,” he said. “They’ll make their cars, they’ll employ thousands and thousands of people, not from this country … and we’ll have nothing but more unemployment in Flint.” [24]

 

Clinton, on the other hand, didn’t show any concern for the fate of these workers and, worse, even went on record as characterizing the coal workers of West Virginia as “deplorable.[25]

 

As a result, Trump managed to get massive support from white workers in several states in the Midwest and Pennsylvania. In Ohio, Iowa, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Michigan and Minnesota, Trump succeeded in winning over the support of many white workers without college educations, allowing him to win all these states (except for Minnesota). This is remarkable considering that all these states voted Democrat in the previous six presidential elections. Figure 6 and Table 4 depict the massive swing of voters without college educations in favor of Trump in this last election compared with the previous presidential election of 2012.

 

 

 

Figure 6. Voters without College Degrees in the Industrial North Swing to Trump in the 2016 Presidential Election[26]

 

 

 

 

 

 

Table 4. Voters without a College Degree in Industrial North, Share of the Total Electorate and Voting [27]

 

 

 

Minnesota

 

2012: 53% of electorate, 52-46 Obama

 

2016: 44% of electorate, 55-38 Trump (net gain: Republicans +23)

 

Wisconsin

 

2012: 58% of electorate, 51-47 Obama

 

2016: 55% of electorate, 56-40 Trump (net gain: Republicans +20)

 

Iowa

 

2012: 57% of electorate, 52-46 Obama

 

2016: 57% of electorate, 54-40 Trump (net gain: Republicans +20)

 

Michigan

 

2012: 54% of electorate, 56-43 Obama

 

2016: 58% of electorate, 49-45 Trump (net gain: Republicans +17)

 

Ohio

 

2012: 60% of electorate, 53-46 Obama

 

2016: 56% of electorate, 51-45 Trump (net gain: Republicans +13)

 

Pennsylvania

 

2012: 52% of electorate, 57-42 Obama

 

2016: 52% of electorate, 52-45 Trump (net gain: Republicans +12)

 

 

 

Therefore, we see that the rise in unemployment and wage losses resulting from the Great Recession of 2008/09 against which Obama’s Democratic administration didn’t do anything was another major factor that led white workers in these states to put their hopes in the demagogic promises of Donald Trump. This is a phenomenon which we have also witnessed in many other countries in Europe, where right-wing populists like Le Pen or Strache have managed to win over huge support from white workers.

 

Thus, it’s not surprising that the Democratic Party, with its close connection to Wall Street and the corporations, and with all the broken promises of the past 8 years, did not appeal to these workers.

 

However, there is also a third crucial factor explaining white, working class support for Trump which must not be overlooked: This is the deep-seated chauvinism among white workers against blacks, Latinos and migrants in general. Trump’s slogan about car production in Mexico and dirty water in Flint quoted above is not merely a protest about the closure of production sites and the water crisis in a former auto-manufacturing city in Michigan. It is also a glorification of the “good old times” when “we” (i.e., the US-Americans) had a vital car industry and clean water and “they” (i.e., the Mexicans) had no industry and dirty water. In other words, Trump appeals to white workers by praising the times when the US was still “great,” indeed “greater” than “backward” Mexico. In short, Trump’s inroads into sectors of the white working class demonstrate the aristocratism among these layers – an aristocratism which, in the case of many impoverished white industrial workers, is less a material factor than an ideological remnant of the past, when they were part of the well-paid US labor aristocracy.

 

This deep-seated reactionary, aristocratic sentiment among sectors of the white working class is also reflected in the fact that Trump’s triumph is not a sudden development, but is the result of what has been cultivated during the past two decades. While the Democrats managed to achieve a slight lead (of 1%) among whites without a college degree in 1992 and 1996, subsequently the Republicans have received a solid majority of this electorate (2000: +17%, 2004: +23%, 2008: +18%, 2012: +26%, 2016: +39%) [28]. In other words, in these states there has been a long-term advance of reactionary right-wing forces among white workers, one which reached its apex in the 2016 presidential election.

 

In order to fight reactionary Trumpism among these layers of white workers, socialist must advance an economic offensive which fights for the nationalization of industry under worker control, massive public works programs to create jobs, alongside unambiguous solidarity with the nationally oppressed minorities (which, by the way, are on their way to becoming the majority of the US working class, as we shall show below!). It is clear that the main bearer of such a socialist message will have to be the multinational working class – with its dominant black and Latino sectors – in the large metropolises of the country. While Maoists may believe that villages encircle the cities, Marxists know that it is the other way round. It is the multi-national, heavy battalions of the large metropolises which must take the lead in the struggle for liberation and carry along with them the more backward, mostly white sectors of their class living in the smaller cities and rural areas.

 

Yet another backward characteristic among large sectors of the white working class in these states is their strong corporatist sentiment. The trade union United Mine Workers of America has helped to create a culture in which the coal workers in West Virginia identify their interest with Donald Leon “Don” Blankenship, the millionaire and long-time boss of Massey Energy Company — the sixth largest coal company in the United States. Blankenship is a long-time donor to the Republican Party who, as a typical American reactionary, denies the existence of climate change and who, decades ago, associated President Jimmy Carter’s support for energy conservation in the 1970s with the first stage of communism! Blankenship was recently sentenced to a year in prison for conspiring to violate federal mine safety standards – a late consequence of a mine accident in Massey’s Upper Big Branch mine which killed 29 men, the deadliest coal mining accident in American in about 40 years. Characteristically, Blankenship supported Trump during the recent election campaign. [29]

 

Furthermore, the election also demonstrated the horrendous state of the US trade unions. Traditionally, these have been subordinate to the bourgeoisie and, in particular, the Democratic Party. Consequently, the political values of the American bourgeoisie are well-rooted among many union members. As a result, Trump did pretty well among many trade union members. According to a CNN poll, Clinton had an 8-point lead among union households nationally. However, this means that 43% of those union members (or, to be more precise, of the households of union members) who went to the polls voted for the most reactionary, chauvinistic candidate which the US has seen for decades! [30]

 

However, something which in fact points to the potential for addressing workers even in more rurally-dominated states are the results of the various referendums which took place in many states on November 8 in parallel with the presidential election. In nearly all such referenda in states which held them, there has been a positive outcome regarding the issue of raising the minimum wage as well as about decriminalizing the use of marijuana. As a result, workers in Arizona (where Trump won a majority of votes), Colorado, and Maine will see their hourly wages rise to $12 an hour—all gains of more than $3.75 an hour—while the state of Washington’s minimum wage will rise to $13.50 by 2020, an increase of $4.03 an hour. A referendum that would lower minimum wages for workers under the age of 18 was roundly defeated in South Dakota (where Trump also won a majority of votes). In addition to these wage hikes, voters in Arizona and Washington also voted in favor of the introduction of mandatory sick-leave measures, a boon for the nearly 45 percent of the American workforce without such paid protection. [31]

 

Referenda about the decriminalization of marijuana use were held in Arizona, Arkansas, California, Florida, Maine, Massachusetts, Montana, Nevada, and North Dakota. In all these states, except Arizona, the electorate voted in favor of decriminalization. This is particularly important in light of the widespread use of the criminalization of marijuana as a tool of oppression against youth in general and, in particular, against young blacks and Latinos.

 

Without exaggerating the significance of these referenda, we believe they indicate the potential to fight for progressive issues even in the more conservative states.

 

 

 

An Aside on Liberal Academics who Consider the Ordinary People Too Stupid

 

 

 

A particular telling example of the liberal intelligentsia’s arrogance towards the working class is the proposal to limit the voting rights of people who are “uninformed.” This bourgeois elitist idea is currently advocated by various academics like Jason Brennan, author of the book with the telling title Against Democracy. In a recently published article about the outcome of the election, Brennan wrote:

 

The real worry, though, is that when we look at the policy platforms of the two major parties, we see that both the Republicans and Democrats push agendas that tend to appeal to the uniformed and disinterested. We can’t quite blame them for that. After all, politicians need to win elections, and to do so, they have to appeal to voters. In a modern democracy, the uninformed will always greatly outnumber the informed. (…) There is no real solution to the problem of political ignorance, unless we are willing to break with democratic politics. (…) In my recent book ‘Against Democracy’, I discuss how we might experiment with epistocracy — where political power is widespread, as in a democracy, but votes are in some way weighted according to basic political knowledge. (…) But each proposal at least takes seriously that universal suffrage and voter ignorance go hand in hand. Trump’s victory is the victory of the uninformed. But, to be fair, Clinton’s victory would also have been. Democracy is the rule of the people, but the people are in many ways unfit to rule.[32]

 

Brennan is at least honestly enough to admit that his elitist alternative to bourgeois democracy would be a system privileging the white male middle class and bourgeoisie:

 

If the United States were to start using a voter qualification exam right now, such as an exam that I got to design, I’d expect that the people who pass the exam would be disproportionately white, upper-middle- to upper-class, educated, employed males.[33]

 

We can expect a rise of such proposals and sentiments among the liberal bourgeoisie in the coming, highly politically instable period.

 

[1] See David Wasserman: 2016 National Popular Vote Tracker, November 16, 2016, http://cookpolitical.com/story/10174. Also see on this BBC: US Election 2016, http://www.bbc.com/news/election/us2016/results.

[2] Jean Chung: Felony Disenfranchisement: A Primer, The Sentencing Project, October 2016

[3] Jonathan Purtle: Felon Disenfranchisement in the United States: A Health Equity Perspective, in: American Journal of Public Health, April 2013, Vol 103, No. 4, p 632

[4] Sean McElwee: Why the Voting Gap Matters, Dēmos Publication, 23 October 2014, p. 2

[5] Sean McElwee: The Income Gap at the Polls. The rich aren’t just megadonors. They’re also dominating the voting booth, Politico, January 07, 2015, http://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2015/01/income-gap-at-the-polls-113997

[6] Sean McElwee: How to Reduce the Voting Gap, October 30, 2014, http://www.demos.org/blog/10/30/14/how-reduce-voting-gap

[7] Sean McElwee: Class Bias in the 2014 Midterms, November 5, 2014, http://www.demos.org/blog/11/5/14/class-bias-2014-midterms

[8] Thom File: Who Votes? Congressional Elections and the American Electorate: 1978–2014Population Characteristics, July 2015, p.4

[9] Thom File: Who Votes? Congressional Elections and the American Electorate: 1978–2014Population Characteristics, July 2015, p.4

[10] See on this Sean McElwee: Why the Voting Gap Matters, Dēmos Publication, 23 October 2014, pp. 3-5

[11] See Jon Huang, Samuel Jacoby, K. K. Rebecca Lai And Michael Strickland: Election 2016: Exit Polls, CNN, 8 November 2016, http://edition.cnn.com/2016/11/09/politics/election-results-reaction-streets/index.html

[12] See Jon Huang, Samuel Jacoby, K. K. Rebecca Lai And Michael Strickland: Election 2016: Exit Polls, CNN, 8 November 2016, http://edition.cnn.com/2016/11/09/politics/election-results-reaction-streets/index.html

[13] See Jon Huang, Samuel Jacoby, K. K. Rebecca Lai And Michael Strickland: Election 2016: Exit Polls, CNN, 8 November 2016, http://edition.cnn.com/2016/11/09/politics/election-results-reaction-streets/index.html

[14] Anthony P. Carnevale, Tamara Jayasundera, Artem Gulish: America’s Divided Recovery: College Haves and Have-Nots, Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce, 2016, p. 3

[15] Pew Research Center: America’s Shrinking Middle Class: A Close Look at Changes Within Metropolitan Areas, 11 May 2016, pp. 15-16

[16] Dean Baker: Rigged: How Globalization and the Rules of the Modern Economy Were Structured to Make the Rich Richer, Center for Economic and Policy Research, Washington, D.C. 2016, pp. 26-27

[17] Report of The Sentencing Project to the United Nations Human Rights Committee Regarding Racial Disparities in the United States Criminal Justice System, August 2013, p. 1. The same study also reports the racial disparities within the justice system. From 1999 to 2005, African Americans constituted about 13% of drug users, but they made up 36% of those arrested for drug offenses and about 46% of those convicted for drug offenses (pp. 14-15).

[18] Julie Hirschfeld Davis and Julia Preston: What Donald Trump’s Vow to Deport Up to 3 Million Immigrants Would Mean, New York Times, Nov. 14, 2016, http://www.nytimes.com/2016/11/15/us/politics/donald-trump-deport-immigrants.html

[19] See Ana Gonzalez-Barrera and Jens Manuel Krogstad: U.S. immigrant deportations declined in 2014, but remain near record high, Pew Research, August 31, 2016, http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2016/08/31/u-s-immigrant-deportations-declined-in-2014-but-remain-near-record-high/; Meg Wagner: President Obama deported record number of undocumented immigrants, despite what Donald Trump says, New York Daily News, September 1, 2016, http://www.nydailynews.com/news/politics/obama-deported-record-number-immigrants-trump-claim-article-1.2774180

[20] Valerie Wilson: People of color will be a majority of the American working class in 2032. What this means for the effort to grow wages and reduce inequality, Economic Policy Institute, June 9, 2016, p. 19

[21] On this see e.g., Betsy Woodruff: Immigrants Gave Their Info to Obama, Now Trump Could Use It to Deport Them

Young undocumented immigrants trusted their government and offered up personal information to avoid deportation. The Trump administration may use that information to do just that., 11.11.16, http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2016/11/11/will-trump-use-immigrant-dreams-against-them.html

[22] Bruce A. Dixon: America Might Not Deserve Trump, But Dems and Hillary Deserved To Lose , 11/09/2016, http://www.blackagendareport.com/node/5427

[23] See Jon Huang, Samuel Jacoby, K. K. Rebecca Lai And Michael Strickland: Election 2016: Exit Polls, CNN, 8 November 2016, http://edition.cnn.com/2016/11/09/politics/election-results-reaction-streets/index.html

[24] Adam Kelsey: Trump Attacks Ford Motor for Outsourcing Car Production to Mexico, ABC News, Sep 15, 2016, http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/trump-attacks-ford-motor-outsourcing-car-production-mexico/story?id=42112216

[25] Jonathan Swan: Clinton’s coal gaffe likely hurt in West Virginia, The Hill, 10.05.2016, http://thehill.com/blogs/ballot-box/presidential-races/279464-clintons-coal-gaffe-likely-hurt-in-west-virginia

[26] Domenico Montanaro: 7 Reasons Donald Trump Won The Presidential Election, November 12, 2016, http://www.npr.org/2016/11/12/501848636/7-reasons-donald-trump-won-the-presidential-election

[27] Domenico Montanaro: 7 Reasons Donald Trump Won The Presidential Election, November 12, 2016, http://www.npr.org/2016/11/12/501848636/7-reasons-donald-trump-won-the-presidential-election

[28] Domenico Montanaro: 7 Reasons Donald Trump Won The Presidential Election, November 12, 2016, http://www.npr.org/2016/11/12/501848636/7-reasons-donald-trump-won-the-presidential-election

[29] A good coverage on the problem of corporatism is provided in the following article by Jen Yamato: ‘Blood on the Mountain’ Reveals How Hillary Clinton Lost the Rust Belt to Trump, 10.11.2016, http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2016/11/10/blood-on-the-mountain-reveals-how-hillary-clinton-lost-the-rust-belt-to-trump.html. A thoughtful commentary on the issue of white chauvinism in the US working class has been published by Lena Afridi: The working class Trump will suppress. Trump won’t bring more jobs to the white working class, but he will undermine socioeconomic gains by workers of colour, Al Jazeera, 2016-11-13, http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/opinion/2016/11/working-class-trump-suppress-161112142432583.html

[30] Dave Jamieson: It Looks Like Donald Trump Did Really Well With Union Households. That’s A Bad Sign For Unions, The Huffington Post, Nov 11, 2016, http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/donald-trump-did-really-well-with-union-households_us_582367d0e4b0aac62488cc32

[31] On the ballot results see: 2016 ballot measures, https://ballotpedia.org/2016_ballot_measures as well as Adam Chandler: Minimum-Wage Increases: Another Big Winner on Election Night, Nov 9, 2016; http://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2016/11/minimum-wage-2016/507158/

[32] Jason Brennan: Trump Won Because Voters Are Ignorant, Literally. Democracy is supposed to enact the will of the people. But what if the people have no clue what they’re doing? Foreign Policy, November 10, 2016, http://foreignpolicy.com/2016/11/10/the-dance-of-the-dunces-trump-clinton-election-republican-democrat/

[33] Jason Brennan: Against Democracy, Princeton University Press, Princeton 2016, p. 225

 

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After the BREXIT Vote – Stormy times ahead for the workers and oppressed in Britain

 

Statement of the Revolutionary Communist International Tendency (RCIT), http://www.thecommunists.net, 24.6.2016

 

 

 

  1. An historic day has shattered Britain and the European Union. In the Referendum deciding whether to remain in or leave the EU 51.9%, of the British people voted in favor Brexit. Since the results were announced events have developed very quickly. Prime Minister David Cameron has resigned, the British Pound is at its lowest since 1985, and The London’s stock market closed with a loss of 7.5%, But London’s stock market is not the only financial markets which suffered from the result.

 

 

  1. A new Black Friday hit the stock markets worldwide. Germany’s DAX index has dropped by 10% for longer time during the day – the same with Paris stock market. Even Tokyo’s Nikkei plunged by 7.92% and the Dow Jones dropped by 2.7%. However, the banks have been hit the hardest. The Commerzbank and the German Deutsche Bank had a loss of 17%. Banks at the London stock market plunged even by 25%! The BREXIT vote has obviously led to a stock-market-‘Hara-kiri’. The parasitic financial capital is shattered and the illusion that the Pro-EU forces would win the Referendum has created a huge financial crisis. Financial experts are even thinking about downgrading Britain’s Triple A. On this post-BREXIT Black Friday figures have shown that the unbelievable amount of 5 Trillion Dollars market capitalization has been eliminated. This is equal to double the economic output of Britain. The RCIT stands for the elimination of these freeloaders – the stock markets – and for the Nationalization of the assets in commodity trading at the stock markets!

 

 

  1. The historical character of the BREXIT VOTE is not dominated by the short term consequences for the parasitic financial capital. The long term outcome of this historic referendum poses important questions. The results from Scotland and Northern Ireland are completely different to the ones of England and Wales. 55.8% of the votes from Northern Ireland and even 62% of the Scottish votes were in favor of remaining in the EU. Immediately after the referendum the Scottish Prime Minister Nicola Sturgeon announced that she wants a new referendum on the independence of Scotland. Also Sinn Fein argued immediately after the referendum for the independence of Northern Ireland and the creating of a united Ireland. The deputy First Minister of Northern Ireland, Martin McGuiness, asked the British government to enable a referendum on an independent Northern Ireland.

 

 

  1. Those are the developments which the British bourgeoisie has tried to avoid: We are witnessing the breakup of the United Kingdom, whilst Northern Ireland has had a long tradition of struggle for independence against England; the Scottish working class has mainly economic interests which has led them to break with Britain. The privatizations and the cuts in the Health Care System, in the NHS led by London’s austerity plans for Britain are the main triggers for the Scottish working class to opt for Scottish independence. A huge part of the votes for remaining in the EU came from Scotland and Northern Ireland who feared more austerity packages dictated by London. Both, the bourgeois and the petit-bourgeois forces in Northern Ireland and Scotland hope to use BREXIT as a good chance to break with Britain without any problems (supported by and with the support of the EU).

 

 

  1. The outcome of the Referendum was not only interesting because of the gap between the votes from Scotland and Northern Ireland compared with the ones from England and Wales. The huge gap between the votes coming from the younger and the older people is of special interest. More than 75% of the 18 to 24 years old voters were in favor of remaining in the EU. Even the majority, i.e. 56% of the 25 to 49 years old voters were in favor of remaining in the European Union. The victory of the UK first campaign was based on people who were over 50 years old! It is much more likely that the result would have looked different if the 16 and 17 years old youth had been allowed to vote. The RCIT called correctly for supporting neither the YES-Camp nor the NO-Camp in the referendum of the BREXIT. However, the RCIT demands the equal right of young people to vote from the age of 14. It is ridiculous to force such young people to work, to put them in jail if they are breaking the bourgeois law and to deny them basic democratic rights. In addition to this the youth have a much more progressive character which is also shown in the number of the supporters of UKIP, an emerging right-wing populist force. Young people under 21 years rarely support right wing parties like UKIP compared to all other age groups. The majority of UKIP supporters is over 45 years old and support Britain’s inhuman anti-migration laws.

 

 

  1. The outcome of the referendum, the victory of the BREXIT campaign, is indeed ambivalent. In the first place the victory of the NO-campaigners is a protest against the politics of the British government. The huge majority of the British ruling class was in favor of the YES-campaign. Even the assassination of the Labor MP, Jo Cox, who was shot and stabbed by a radical right-wing activist, was used by the bourgeois media to mobilize for the YES-campaign. Indeed, all parties except UKIP were in favor of remaining in the EU. The NO-campaigners also focused to win the older voters by an obviously successful orientation towards their interests. The central slogan was to actively support the NHS instead of paying money to the European Union. They argued that the weekly paying from Britain of 350 Million Pound should be used for the health care system. This slogan was immediately rejected by UKIP after the referendum but it was not raised by them beforehand. However, it is undoubtedly the case that many voted for leaving the EU because of their fear of further migration. This fear was not evident in Scotland and Northern Ireland. In Scotland alone the problem is enormous and without migration there would be no chance to keep the economy working.

 

 

  1. The Revolutionary-Communist International Tendency (RCIT) in opposition to the social-imperialists of the UK first campaign like the Socialist Party of England and Wales (SPEW, British section of the CWI), the Socialist Workers Party (SWP, British section of the IST) and the Stalinist Communist Party of Britain (CPB) were not in favor of the exit of imperialist Britain from the EU. The RCIT has chosen neither the way of the so-called Marxist supporters of the YES-campaign who are in reality part of a Pro-EU-social-imperialist strategy like the pro-Zionist Alliance for Workers’ Liberty (AWL) and the Mandelite Socialist Resistance. Even our former comrades of the League for the Fifth International (LFI) have argued wrongly in favor of remaining in the European Union likewise Jeremy Corbyn. The RCIT chose revolutionary defeatism. Now the time has come to utilize the outcome of the referendum to strengthen the revolutionary forces in Britain and the whole of Europe!

 

 

  1. The outcome of the referendum is a clear signal against the British government and has to lead in the right direction. Part of this is the formation of a new workers party on a revolutionary basis which is able to organize the working class and all oppressed who are frustrated by the politics of the existing parties. Now is the time to fight strongly against any kind of racism that is led against migrants and refugees. We have to fight for opening the borders and, for unlimited right of residence in Britain and for full equal rights for all migrants. Now is also the time to fight strongly against the austerity politics of the British bourgeoisie. The fight against the cuts in the NHS is an important and progressive aspect which can bring the NO-Voters who are against the austerity politics of the British government together with the YES-Voters from Scotland. The fight against the privatization of the heath care system and the social system as such must go hand in hand with the slogan of the expropriation of the banks and the corporations under workers control!

 

 

  1. In addition to this the slogan „British troops out of Northern Ireland!“ is essential for a revolutionary movement in Britain as well as the demand to withdraw all British troops out of semi-colonial countries. The semi-colonial countries have to receive massive compensation for the exploitation of British imperialism and the super-rich. The superrich have to be expropriated as soon as possible! Last but not least the fight for an alternative to the imperialist European Union is important. Such an alternative should not be the same as practiced in Switzerland but instead a Britain which is part of the United Socialist States of Europe. Only through revolutionary uprisings, and the armed revolution of the workers and oppressed of Europe can lead to the United Socialist States of Europe. Britain is facing exciting times ahead.

 

 

  1. Facing these exciting times is of such high and urgent importance that authentic revolutionary forces in Britain must build a united organization by their joint efforts! Such an organization has to be truly internationalist. It means that it has to fight consequently any kind of chauvinism –may it be pro-EU or pro-UK – and that such an organization has to combine revolutionary defeatism with the perspectives of the United Socialist States of Europe. It means that such an organization has to combine the fight against austerity and privatization with the demand for full equal rights for migrants and ethnic minorities and the demand for the opening of the borders for all migrants. It means that such an organization works as a part of an international Marxist organization instead of trying to exist as a national-isolated force. Such an organization has to be based on a Marxist program and the Leninist principles of party building. It means that such an organization is not orientating towards the middle class and the intellectuals but instead towards the broad layers of the working class and the oppressed. It means that such an organization intervenes as an avant-garde organization in class struggle and fights against reformists and centrists. It means that such an organization works as a united collective on the base of united program, strategy and tactic and not as an agglomerate of individuals. To all class-conscious workers, to all oppressed and revolutionaries in Britain: Let us turn the exciting times ahead into revolutionary struggle! It’s high time to organize yourselves! Join the RCIT!

 

 

 

International Secretariat of the RCIT

 

 

 

We refer our readers also to the following essay:

 

The British Left and the EU-Referendum: The Many Faces of pro-UK or pro-EU Social-Imperialism; An analysis of the left’s failure to fight for an independent, internationalist and socialist stance both against British as well as European imperialism; By Michael Pröbsting, Revolutionary Communist International Tendency (RCIT); http://www.thecommunists.net/theory/british-left-and-eu-referendum/

 

 

 

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Israeli Government Pushes for Atmosphere of Lynching of the Palestinians Citizens of Israel

By Yossi Schwartz (Member of the Revolutionary Communist International Tendency [RCIT] and Central-Israel Branch of Balad), 25.11.2016, http://the-isleague.com/

 

 

 

Before the waves of blazing fires began last Tuesday, many Israelis were disturbed by the corruption scandal involving the purchase of military submarines and the prime minister’s personal lawyer involvement in the deal. (1) A very similar case to the case of Olmert – a former Prime Minister who is now sitting in prison. But then very serious fires have been consuming forests and houses. The blazing fire is a real disaster for the population but not for Netanyahu and the other right wing politicians. It has been seen by them as a gift to be used for shifting the focus of the public attention from the corruption scandal to the fire. Furthermore they have been using it to ignite a political fire against the Palestinians citizens of Israel and of the West Bank.

 

This is already the fourth day that fires are consuming houses and forests in Israel. The worst fire was in Haifa, a city where both Jews and Arabs live. Tens of thousands people were evacuated. Dry air, no rain and high winds turned the city into a tinderbox. Haifa is not alone. Arab villages in Israel have also been battling fires in the past days. In Nazareth in Fahura an Arab neighborhood, in the forest Ben Ami near Um al Fahem, in the area of Misgav that include 6 Bedouin villages amongst its 35 small towns and villages. (2)

 

In addition Khan Younis, in the Gaza Strip, as well as Ramallah, Hebron, Qalqilya and Hawara, in the West Bank, have also seen blazes, as have cities in Egypt, Lebanon and Syria.

 

The weather conditions in 2010 were remarkably similar to those today, as Shahar Ayalon, Israel’s former fire and rescue commissioner, notes. He stated that he was not surprised by the outbreak of the latest fires. “You have a combination of drought conditions and dry winds from the east, and this is the result,” he told Haaretz. “It’s to be expected.” (3)

 

So far there have been no reports of deaths. However tens of thousands were evacuated from their homes and several dozen people were hospitalized for smoke inhalation. Hundreds of military reservists have been called to join the police and firefighters. An international fleet of firefighting aircraft has been sent by various countries and joined the battle against the fire. The Russian Emergencies Ministry has sent two Beriev Be-200 amphibious aircraft to Israel to help put out forest fires. American Super tanker was sent to Israel. Eight Palestinian Firefighter vehicles arrived from the Palestinian Authority. Egypt and Jordan offer to help.

 

 

 

Where is the Help for the Palestinians?!

 

 

 

We, as revolutionary socialists, of course, support the fight against the fire that is dangerous for Arab, Jews, guest workers, refugees and tourists. Yet the Palestinians in Gaza and the Arabs in the neighboring states have not received such help and the Palestinian authority to our knowledge has not offered the same help to the people in Gaza. We also ask how many supertankers could have been bought for the price of a one German submarine? How many supertankers could have been bought for the price of the three of them? Why were they bought is it for a possible war with Iran that will cause rivers of blood? How many firefighting trucks could have been bought instead of expending the settlement in the 1967 occupation? The huge sums spent on the racist propaganda in its different forms?

 

After the last disaster caused by the 2010 fire, Netanyahu’s government has promised that it will act to prevent such event in the future. Clearly whatever it did, it was not sufficient because money was wasted on projects in the service of making Israel an open unmasked apartheid from the river to the sea, rather than a safe place for the people who live in this country.

 

One cause of the fire in Israel is the planting of the Aleppo pines, also known as the Jerusalem pines that grow very quickly. These trees were planted on ruins of Palestinians villages whose population was expelled in 1947-8 in order to hide these ruined villages. These trees catch fire very easily. The colonialist KKL who planted those trees clearly thinks Israel is located in Switzerland or some other place in Europe. Also, the government failed to provide money to build a new fire fighting department in Ausafia (Druze village) as previous reports suggested, allowing the fire to spread faster.

 

 

 

Atmosphere of Lynching

 

 

 

For the right wing government of Israel this fire is another golden opportunity to blame the Palestinians for arson. Immediately, without any serious investigation, they have declared that the fire is the work of Palestinians and this is a new Intifada of fire. The racist atmosphere among Israeli Jews brings to mind the racism of the American South during the slavery and the Jim Crow period. There exists an atmosphere of lynching Arabs. It plays on the memory of the Holocaust when Jews were burned by the Nazis.

 

It is the same tactic Netanyahu used during the elections with his racist speech “the Left is busing Arabs to vote, the Right is in danger“. The same tactic he also used when he said that it was the Mufti of Jerusalem who convinced Hitler to kill the Jews. On Friday Netanyahu told reporters there is no doubt there have been incidents of arson. He also said that anyone implicated in setting the fires would be punished severely. “It’ a crime for all intents and purposes it is terror for all intents and purposes”. He added that incitement to arson was also playing a role in spreading the fires. The only thing he did not say openly is “death to the Arabs

 

Education Minister Naftali Bennett said on Wednesday night that a series of fires raging across the country in recent days, a number of which are believed to be arson, could only have been set by “someone whom this land this does not belong to him” making a seemingly oblique reference to Arabs. (4)

 

It will not come as a great surprise if Israelis mobs, that follow these hate propaganda speeches, will attack Palestinians. The police have detained some suspected Palestinians. However there are growing indications that the fires or at least most of them have not been caused by arson. It is possible that the fires, or at least most of them, are the result of careless acts as was in the previous fire in Haifa in 2010. The fire then focused on Ein Hod, Nir Etzion, Usfiya, and the wildlife reserve. 44 people mostly prison service officers’ course cadets and their commanding officers died and at the beginning the Palestinians were accused of setting the fire, but at the end it was clear that the fire was result of careless act of a youth.

 

On Thursday, Anas Abudaabes, 29, an activist from the southern Israeli town of Rahat, was arrested after posting two messages critical of Arabs who see the fires plaguing Israel as punishment for a bill that seeks to silence mosque loudspeakers. The Police mistranslated one of his posts, reaching the mistaken conclusion that he encouraged on Arabs to set fires. He explained it to the Judge who nevertheless ordered his detention. (5)

 

It is enough that a Palestinian youth has a backpack to be considered a suspect for arson. A video released by the military shows how a drone is used to help locate arson suspects. “He has a backpack,” a drone operator is heard repeating in the video. “Robot, just confirm that you see my image,” he says, before using the aircraft to direct forces toward the suspect. (6)

 

Another Suspect was detained because he carried standard materials used for igniting barbecue coals which is very common method of cocking in Israel. (7)

 

 

 

Absurd Accusations

 

 

 

Israel’s public security minister, Gilad Erdan, told journalists on Friday that his forces had found evidence that gasoline was used to start a fire in Zikhron Yaaqov, a town in northern Israel. A man from a Jerusalem was arrested with fire-making materials. (8) Just think about it, Gasoline was found in the north of Israel, no one was caught with this gasoline or seen setting the fire. A man is caught in Jerusalem with fire making material. What was he carrying? Matches? Lighter? Materials for Barbecue? What is the connection between the gasoline in the North of Israel and the man in Jerusalem?

 

Unlike most of the right wing politicians who are pushing the Jews to blame and attack the Palestinians, Police Commissioner Roni Alsheich was more careful and said that there are some cases of arson, but lots of cases that are not.

 

It should be noted that Hamas and the government of Syria, Lebanon and Egypt – unlike the government of Israel – has not blamed the Zionists for setting the fires.

 

“Amira Hass a reporter for Haaretz wrote that she asked some Palestinians friends in the West Bank whether it is possible that Palestinians set the fire near the military base Neveh Yair. No, it’s the army, she was told – even before it was reported that a careless soldier might have tossed away a burning cigarette. People in the village have stopped counting how many times their fields have caught fire from the stun grenades and tear gas thrown by soldiers to quash demonstrations against settlers stealing their spring water.

 

Are you sure it wasn’t intentional?” She asked.

 

A friend said that is impossible. And if someone did it on purpose, it’s madness, irrational and wrong. It’s nature and the environment that get hurt; trees and animals.

 

There were reports about a fire breaking out near the settlement of Mevo Horon, and about the evacuation of hikers from Canada Park in the Latrun enclave. She called an acquaintance who lives in the village of Beit Liqya, beyond the separation barrier.

 

How do you think it happened? She asked.”

 

The acquaintance is originally from Beit Nuba. The army expelled the residents of his village and the neighboring villages Yalo and Imwas immediately after they were conquered in the 1967 war. Mevo Horon was built on Beit Nuba’s lands. The Jewish National Fund built Canada Park on the ruins of Yalo and Imwas. The name honors the Canadian Jews who donated money for it.

 

His reply was, “No Palestinian is allowed to get to that area, apart from the laborers in the settlements who need their wages. Second, it’s our trees there, our dead who are buried in the graveyards there, the water cisterns dug by our grandfathers. We’ll return there, so why destroy it?” (9)

 

In the case of Maale Adumim the police reported the fire was caused by electric failure. (10) Two Palestinians suspected in setting fire in Halamish were released. (11)

 

 

 

Prevailing Racism against Arabs

 

 

 

A friend of mine told me today that in his mind this fire reminds him of the burning of the Reichstag in February 1933. The Communists were blamed for it, but many historians think it was the act of the Nazis themselves.

 

There are reports of comments in the social nets that some Arabs hope the fire would burn the Zionist state as punishment for the bill to ban mosques from broadcasting the call to prayer over loudspeakers, the hand of God. There were quotes from the Koran corroborating this, as well as criticism of the Palestinian Authority, which would once again offer its firefighting equipment .This reaction result of decades of oppression plays into the Hands of the Israeli government, yet it is not surprising in light of the Israeli state crimes but it is not the same as deliberately setting forests on fire.

 

The real danger for the Israelis is that the prevailing racism that makes them an easy prey for the government manipulation and as long as they will not break with Zionism and join the anti imperialist struggle of the Palestinians and the Arabs in the region they will not be able to fight for secured life.

 

We do not know of course whether there are some cases of arson in reaction to the systemic discrimination and oppression of the Palestinians, it is also possible that some right Jewish extremists set the fires to create a hate wave against the Palestinians.

 

Setting Palestinians fields and houses on fire has been for a long time one of the tools used by settlers while the police and the army not only do not see it but defend them against the angry oppressed Palestinians. We will not form an opinion on this question before the facts will be clear. Unfortunately an honest truthful investigation is unlikely to happen. How the investigators determine that the fires are cases of Arson? According to Haaretz on Thursday, investigators managed to determine that at least some of the fires were intentional, although they did not have unequivocal proof. In the best case scenarios, witnesses, videos, wind direction and objects help investigators put the puzzle together. “In other cases, there is no explanation,” Shelef says. ” … We will only be able to tell following a thorough investigation. We are very careful.” (12) How careful such investigation can be when without strong evidence they already determined that these are cases of arson?

 

The fact that some Arab village are fighting the same fire and that fire is blazing in Gaza and in Syria and Lebanon indicates that it is the dry weather and the wind that is behind the fire. Furthermore no Palestinian has taken responsibility for the fire and if it was a case of arson somehow it would be publicize in some Arab mass media or the social nets.

 

The Zionist hysteria and lynching Atmosphere ignore the fact that the Palestinians are the native of this country and they care about forests and the green environment not less than the Jews. They will not set fire to areas where they live in.

 

Ayman Odeh, the head of a joint Arab bloc of parties in Israel’s parliament and a Haifa native, appealed to Israelis to come together and abandon “politics” during the trying time. “This is something that harms all of us. This is not a story of Arab or Jew. Whoever did this is an enemy of all of us,” he told Israeli Channel 2 TV news.

 

This is a very wrong message. Why to accept Netanyahu line that it is arson? This is the time to accuse the right wing Zionists for playing with fire of hate!

 

 

 

Footnotes

 

(1) See e.g. http://www.jpost.com/Breaking-News/Attorney-General-to-open-police-investigation-into-Netanyahu-submarine-affair-473471

 

(2) http://news.walla.co.il/item/3016870

 

(3) Judy Maltz: Israel Fire Is a Painful Case of Deja Vu for Those Watching the North Burn Again read more, 24 November 2016, http://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/.premium-1.755208

 

(4) The Time of Israel: Alleging arson, Bennett blames fires on those ‘this land doesn’t belong to’, 24 November 2016, http://www.timesofisrael.com/bennett-only-those-whose-land-this-doesnt-belong-to-could-have-start

 

(5) Jack Khoury: Satirical Facebook Post Criticizing Celebration of Israel Fires Lands Arab in Jail, Haaretz Nov 25, 2016, http://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/.premium-1.755367

 

(6) Gili Cohen: Israel using drones to find suspected arsonists, 25.11.2016, http://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/LIVE-1.755044

 

(7) Diaa Hadid: Israel Arrests 22 Over Wildfires, as Arson Is Suspected, New York Times, 25.11.2016, http://www.nytimes.com/2016/11/25/world/middleeast/israel-wildfires-arson.html?_r=0

 

(8) ibid

 

(9) Amira Hass: Palestinians’ Response to Israel’s Fires: If It’s Intentional, It’s Madness. Fires in Israel have been cheered by online comments from Gaza and Arab countries, but many other Palestinians say: These are our trees and lands, so why destroy them? Haaretz, Nov 25 2016, http://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/.premium-1.755322

 

(10) http://www.mako.co.il/news-mivzak?id=02ff4c2a72825210VgnVCM100000290c10acRCRD

 

(11) http://news.walla.co.il/item/3016905

 

(12) Ilan Lior: More than 13 arrested in connection to the fires, Minister says, Haaretz 25/11/2016, http://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/LIVE-1.755044

 

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