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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About RCIT Britain

What the RCIT stands for Revolutionary Communist International Tendency (RCIT) The Revolutionary Communist International Tendency (RCIT)is a revolutionary combat organisation fighting for the liberation of the working class and all oppressed. It has national sections in a number of countries. The working class is composed of all those (and their families) who are forced to sell their labor power as wage earners to the capitalists. The RCIT stands on the theory and practice of the revolutionary workers’ movement associated with the names of Marx, Engels, Lenin, and Trotsky. Capitalism endangers our lives and the future of humanity. Unemployment, war, environmental disasters, hunger, and exploitation are all part of everyday life under capitalism as are the imperialistic oppression of nations, the national oppression of migrants, and the oppression of women, young people, and homosexuals. Therefore, we want to eliminate capitalism. The liberation of the working class and all oppressed is possible only in a classless society without exploitation and oppression. Such a society can only be established internationally. Therefore, the RCIT is fighting for a socialist revolution at home and around the world. This revolution must be carried out and lead by the working class, for only this class has the collective power to bring down the ruling class and build a socialist society. The revolution cannot proceed peacefully because a ruling class never has nor ever will voluntarily surrender its power. By necessity, therefore, the road to liberation includes armed rebellion and civil war against the capitalists. The RCIT is fighting for the establishment of workers’ and peasants’ republics, where the oppressed organize themselves in councils democratically elected in rank-and-file meetings in factories, neighbourhoods, and schools. These councils, in turn, elect and control the government and all other statue authorities, and always retain the right to recall them. Authentic socialism and communism have nothing to do with the so-called “socialism” that ruled in the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe, and which continues to do so in China and Cuba, for example. In these countries, the proletariat was and is dominated and oppressed by a privileged party bureaucracy. Under capitalism, the RCIT supports all efforts to improve the living conditions of the workers and oppressed, while simultaneously striving to overthrow this system based on economic exploitation of the masses. Towards these ends, we work from within the trade unions where we advocate class struggle, socialism, and workers’ democracy. But trade unions and social democracy are controlled by a bureaucracy perniciously connected with the state and capital via status, high-paying jobs, and other privileges. Thus, the trade union bureaucracy is far from the interests and living conditions of its members, based as it is on the top, privileged layers of the working class – a labor aristocracy which has no real interest in replacing capitalism. Therefore, the true struggle for the liberation of the working class, the toppling of capitalism and the establishment of socialism, must be based on the broad mass of the proletariat rather than their “representative” from the upper trade union strata. We also fight for the expropriation of the big land owners as well as for the nationalisation of the land and its distribution to the poor and landless peasants. Towards this goal we struggle for the independent organisation of the rural workers. We support national liberation movements against oppression. We also support the anti-imperialist struggles of oppressed peoples against the great powers. Within these movements we advocate a revolutionary leadership as an alternative to nationalist or reformist forces. While the RCIT strives for unity of action with other organizations, we are acutely aware that the policies of social democrats and pseudo-revolutionary groups are dangerous, and ultimately represent an obstacle to the emancipation of the working class, peasants, and the otherwise oppressed. In wars between imperialist states we take a revolutionary defeatist position: we do not support either side, but rather advocate the transformation of the war into a civil war against the ruling class in each of the warring states. In wars between imperialist powers (or their stooges) and a semi-colonial countries we stand for the defeat of the former and the victory of the oppressed countries. As communists, we maintain that the struggle against national oppression and all types of social oppression (women, youth, sexual minorities etc.) must be lead by the working class, because only the latter is capable of fomenting a revolutionarily change in society . Therefore, we consistently support working class-based revolutionary movements of the socially oppressed, while opposing the leadership of petty-bourgeois forces (feminism, nationalism, Islamism, etc.), who ultimately dance to the tune of the capitalists, and strive to replace them with revolutionary communist leadership. Only with a revolutionary party fighting as its leadership can the working class be victorious in its struggle for liberation. The establishment of such a party and the execution of a successful revolution, as it was demonstrated by the Bolsheviks in Russia under Lenin and Trotsky remain the models for revolutionary parties and revolutions in the 21st century. For new, revolutionary workers' parties in all countries! For a 5th Workers International to be founded on a revolutionary program! Join the RCIT! No future without socialism! No socialism without revolution! No revolution without a revolutionary party!
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