cropped-dokument-1-seite0015.jpgWorld Perspectives 2017: V. Class Struggle in the US after Trump’s Victory

  1. In the following chapter we will summarize the main findings of our pamphlet which we published after Trump’s victory at the US presidential [1] As we stated, the Trump administration will be the most reactionary government in the history of the US. Its assent marks the beginning of a new political era for both the US and the world.

 

  1. The election’s outcome is an example of the undemocratic character of bourgeois democracy in general and of the US electoral system in particular. Trump “won” the election despite the fact that his rival, Hillary Clinton, received more than 2.5 million votes more than he did! In fact, Trump was elected to office by only slightly more than ¼ of the US electorate.

 

  1. The main reason Trump won was the collapse of working class support for the Democratic Party. While Trump received an amount of votes similar to that garnered by Republican candidates in the recent previous elections, many millions of workers, blacks and Latinos who, in the past, voted for the Democrats didn’t vote because they were disgusted by the misery and repression which they continue to experience after 8 years of an Obama government; and for them, Clinton openly represented the interests of Wall Street and the super-rich.

 

  1. While the majority of the lower and middle strata of the working class, of the blacks and Latinos, who went to the polls, voted for Clinton, the majority of better paid workers, the middle class and the bourgeoisie slightly favored Trump. Worryingly, Trump managed to win the support of sectors of the white working class on the basis of a program of chauvinism.

 

  1. The Trump administration being formed and which will assume power on January 20, represents a thoroughly reactionary government. Given its electoral campaign and its initial announcements, it stands for: (a) White chauvinism, Islamophobia (the call to ban Muslims for entering the US, etc.), a policy of anti-immigration (building a wall along the Mexican border, mass deportation of undocumented migrants, etc.); (b) Economic protectionism (a 45% tariff for Chinese imports, rejection of free trade agreements like TPP, NAFTA and TTIP, pulling out of the WTO, etc.); (c) Neoliberal financial liberalization (e.g., reducing corporation taxes from the current 35% to 15%; eliminating Wall Street regulation, including the rescinding of the Dodd Frank Wall Street reform – the anti-bank bailout regulation put into place after the 2008-2009 financial crisis); (d) Immediate cancellation of the Climate Change Accord, based on Trump’s disingenuous charge that climate change “is a myth created by the Chinese to harm American manufacturing”; (e) Deep attacks against social and health care programs (the plan to abolish Obamacare, etc.); (f) Attacks on women’s rights like abortion; (g) Calls to reduce US obligations arising from long-term alliances with other states (e.g., demanding from the EU, Japan and South Korea to raise their defense budgets so that the US can reduce its expenditures defending them; loosening or even abolishing NATO); (h) Calls for more military aggression against “Islamic terrorists.”

 

  1. The Trump administration will be basically an unstable coalition of three main groups: (a) the Trump clan itself, which 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.

 

  1. This administration is likely to prove to be an unstable government, as it lacks the support of the majority of all important classes/layers (monopoly bourgeoisie, urban middle class, lower and middle strata of the working class). While the monopoly capitalists certainly are in favor of the proposed radical cuts in corporate taxes, they fear Trump’s declared protectionist measures and the end of stable alliances with the EU. The administration’s racist and social attacks will likely provoke the mass resistance of workers and oppressed. Likewise, it can face important setbacks by engaging in risky foreign military adventures. A governmental crisis is therefore a realistic possibility.

 

  1. The spontaneous mass protests which arose, after Trump’s victory. under the slogan “Not My President” and which seem to be culminating in a day of mass protests on 20 January 2017, the day Trump is to be inaugurated are a positive harbinger for the future. This movement includes, in particular, many youth, migrants and blacks, and has emerged in nearly all big metropolises throughout the country. It has already resulted in a number of schools, universities and even entire cities declaring themselves as “sanctuaries” for migrants threatened with deportation. While is remains to be seen how many of these plans will in fact be implemented by the relevant local authorities, they are certainly an encouraging expression of mass solidarity with migrants and against the reactionary Trump administration.

 

  1. Another recent encouraging result for the class struggle is the remarkable success of the mass protests at Standing Rock in North Dakota against the Dakota Access Pipeline, owned by Texas-based Energy Transfer Partners LP. This $3.8bn project was planned to run under Lake Oahe, a reservoir of the Standing Rock Sioux tribe, and threatened to contaminate the water supply and to damage sacred tribal lands. The refusal of the army to give a permit for this project is a victory for the joint protest of the Native Americans and climate activists that was conducted for several months. However, there is a clear danger that the new Trump administration will overrule this decision.

 

  1. Revolutionaries in the US must emphasize the lesson of Trump’s victory. The most important one is that the Democratic Party is not, has never been and will never be a party serving the interest of the workers and oppressed. Hence, revolutionaries must not lend support to left-bourgeois figures like Bernie Sanders and Elisabeth Warren, who serve as a left fig leaf covering the nakedness of the Democratic Party. Therefore, forces like the CPUSA, which called to vote for Hillary Clinton, or SAlt (the CWI section) who campaigned for Sanders, objectively acted as supporters for one of the two main parties of US imperialism. The later support by the ISO (a group in the Cliffite tradition) and SAlt for the Green Party of Jill Stein – a petty-bourgeois party with no connection with the workers and oppressed – was similarly an irreconcilable contradiction with the principle of working class independence.

 

  1. Instead the strategic task of revolutionaries in the US is to break the trade unions and the mass organizations of the blacks and Latinos away from the Democratic Party and to advance the formation of a Multi-National Workers Party. Socialists should advocate a transitional program – combining immediate economic and democratic demands with the goal of the expropriation of the capitalist class and the creation of a workers’ government – for such a party, without making its adoption a precondition for participation.

 

[1] See the RCIT’s pamphlet by Michael Pröbsting: The Meaning, Consequences and Lessons of Trump‘s Victory. On the Lessons of the US Presidential Election Outcome and the Perspectives for the Domestic and International Class Struggle, 24.November 2016, http://www.thecommunists.net/theory/meaning-of-trump/; Michael Pröbsting: US Presidential Election: The Victory of Donald Trump is a Historical Turning Point, 09.11.2016, http://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/north-america/trump-victory/

 

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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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