No 1496 9th August 2016
Petty-bourgeois calls to “Stop Trump” are worse than futile because, not only do they fail provide an answer to capitalism’s revolutionary warmongering crisis that creates the alienating conditions Trump’s reactionary foreigner scapegoating philistine responses feed off, they help to perpetuate the cynicism and small-minded bitterness by insisting on yet more of the “Western democracy” solutions that has generated such contempt in the first place. PC super-reformist responses (feminism, gay rights, etc.) prove useful to fascist reaction for stirring up the divisiveness. Polemics to develop Marxist revolutionary science urgently needed.
Reformist Democratic Convention calls to “Stop Trump” by backing Clinton are reactionary and aid counter-revolution by diverting the working class from the real question thrown up by the deliberately stirred up racist chauvinism and divisiveness, demagogic scapegoating and bullying, and ever-intensifying imperialist warmongering everywhere - how to end capitalism once and for all.
Capitalism, and the irresolvable ‘over-production’ contradictions within its profit-driven system, is the root cause of all this resurfacing Nazi viciousness.
It is set to get far nastier as the fearful ruling classes of every imperialist power prepares the ground for the next round of inter-imperialist slaughter to destroy the surplus capital (and people) of their imperialist rivals in a last ditch, desperate, hopeless, attempt to unclog the system, restore the rate of profit and re-establish ‘normal’ capitalist relations.
Inter-imperialist war in some form is the logical end-point of its crisis, just as it was in 1914 and 1939 following economic slump disaster then.
Revolution to overturn this outmoded degenerate system and establish socialist societies world-wide is the only logical end-point solution to the revolutionary crisis, and the only way in which humanity can begin to create the conditions for stable and peaceful relations between all peoples.
But this is precisely what is not being talked about by the “democratic socialist” reformists around Bernie Sanders.
And by not putting this perspective to the forefront and explaining it to the working class, ALL REFORMISM, from the most ‘sincere’ single issue campaigners to the most demagogic of fake-”left” ‘revolutionary’ poseurs, are finding their reformist class-compromising world outlook increasingly sharing common ground with imperialism’s need to impose counter-revolution on the planet as capitalism’s crisis intensifies.
By avoiding this revolutionary perspective and insisting on reforms as the only ‘respectable’ and ‘responsible’ way forward, this Sanders non-revolutionary ‘political revolution’ movement has actually found itself arguing for positions that are, in reality, helping to stir up the national chauvinist and jingoistic atmosphere they are rightly objecting to.
For all his fraudulent posturing pretences about leading a “political revolution against the elites”, Sanders has offered zero guidance on how to develop the real revolutionary perspectives necessary to end capitalism.
Instead, he has submitted to the increasingly poisonous trade war atmosphere with his ‘reformist’ class-collaborating calls for import controls and protectionism as a “solution” to the capitalist crisis, saying nothing different in essence from Trump, and effectively lining the working class up behind him.
Sanders calls for the US ruling class to “reverse trade policies like NAFTA, CAFTA, and permanent normal trading relations with China” and ensure that “corporate America manufactures their products in the US” is barely different from Trump’s isolationist threats to withdraw from the same global trading alliances and “bring manufacturing jobs back home”.
Sanders reformist response to the crisis has placed him on the same side as Trump’s demagoguery on this, and on the sinister labelling of the Chinese workers state as a “currency manipulator”.
First from Trump:
We are going to enforce all trade violations, including through the use of taxes and tariffs, against any country that cheats. This includes stopping China’s outrageous intellectual theft, along with their illegal product dumping, and their devastating currency manipulation. Our horrible trade agreements with China and many others will be totally renegotiated.
And now Sanders:
As everyone knows, China is manipulating its currency, giving it an unfair trade advantage over the United States and destroying decent paying manufacturing jobs in the process. If we imposed a currency manipulation fee on China and other currency manipulators, the Economic Policy Institute has estimated that we could raise $500 billion over 10 years and create 1 million jobs in the process.
Putting linguistic style to one side, there is no essential difference between the two.
They are both singling China out for special treatment - a “problem” that needs to be “dealt with” - blaming China for the capitalist slump, and thereby helping to whip up racist anti-Chinese hostility amongst the working class.
Similarly in Britain, Corbyn’s equally ‘respectable’ and ‘responsible’ Labourism, died-in-the-wool TUC reformism, and much of the fake-”left” careerists and hangers-on have joined in with imperialism’s scapegoating of China, pinning the blame for the Tata steel closures on alleged “Chinese steel dumping” - a lie that distracts the working class from the real cause - monopoly capitalism’s devastating ‘over-production’ crisis.
The British ruling class is in a much weaker position than that of the US and cannot push these grotesque attacks too far, however.
Their economy is probably the most parasitic of the major capitalist powers, almost completely dependant on providing financial services to international capitalism, inward foreign property speculation, and its role as a haven for money laundering and tax evasion, and so it is extremely vulnerable to lurches in the capitalist crisis.
They are in deep trouble, as the latest panicked QE and interest rates cuts show.
It would be a disaster for them if such unwarranted accusations against Chinese investment are allowed to undermine years of humiliating Tory and Blairite crawl-arsing to China for desperately needed inward investment, as the Chinese have warned over the recent prevarications around the Hinkley Point deal; and particularly as May’s government prepares to cut (or loosen) Britain’s ties with the European Union, and as the US becomes potentially more isolationist under a Trump leadership (and in the overall context of looming global capitalist slump).
Chinese “product dumping” is a gross slander anyway.
US monopoly capitalism has been at the forefront of routine Western imperialist dumping of “surplus” products on the Third World for decades, often cynically dressed up as “food aid”, undercutting local farmers and driving them out of work, and forcing local enterprises to close in order to create markets for products they are unable to sell profitably at home.
At their most sinister, they have compelled third world nations, through rigged trade deals and other forms of trade trickery and bullying, to open up their domestic markets to food, pharmaceutical drugs and other products that are unsafe to consume and illegal to sell domestically, resulting in untold levels of injury, poisoning and death to those who have had no other choice but to consume them.
The real “manipulator” is US imperialism and its deliberate trade war dollar devaluations aimed at pushing the capitalist slump onto weaker economies, who have seen the values of their reserves of US bonds tumble along with their economies as a consequence (see the Japanese economy, for example, unable to climb out of stagnation for three decades following US dollar devaluation measures, and harsh tariff impositions).
Sanders has effectively joined Trump in covering all this up by foully scapegoating revisionist China for its clever use of monetary policy to protect and defend its workers’ state against this financial onslaught.
China’s only “crime” is that its better and more efficient production practices has allowed them to out-compete the imperialist nations, whilst maintaining fairer trading arrangements with their third world trading partners.
The appeal of Trump’s preening Nazi bombast is a sign of US imperialist weakness; a sign that, despite its overwhelming global dominance as the main imperialist power, not even its insane pumping of trillions of valueless dollars non-stop into the banking system through “quantitative easing” as a desperate trade war measure to head off capitalist collapse after the 2007-8 crash has stopped the slide into further disaster, and so a further stepping up of the trade war towards open hostilities is required.
“We already have a trade war and we are losing badly” says Trump. And it is this fear of defeat that is forcing huge splits within the US ruling class on how to respond, hence the rancorous and increasingly bitter open feuding within the Republican party and beyond throughout the entire period of electioneering.
A further weakening of the dollar, alongside increased import controls, curbs on immigrant labour and huge infrastructure spending demanded by Trump (if these were even possible given the paralysed state of the US economy) would have the consequence of intensifying the ruling class splits.
Increased inflationary pressures as a result of these measures would be to the benefit of the real estate and landed interests wings of the American ruling class, of which Trump is a part, who would see their debt burdens fall, but to the detriment of the finance and banking interests.
Behind the fear that US imperialism may already be displaying signs that it could potentially lose out in the ongoing trade war conflict, despite its overwhelming financial and military might, is the humiliating impact of the titanic defeats it has already suffered in the preliminary stages of its drive to step up its inter-imperialist warmongering, from attacks on ‘easy target’ third world “rogue” recalcitrants to open all-out hostilities against all rivals.
And the greater the difficulties in remaining top dog in the trade war, the more urgent becomes the need to transform it into open inter-imperialist warfare.
US imperialism has suffered defeat after humiliating defeat since it launched its drive towards world war over 20 years ago.
Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Syria, Somalia, Yemen, etc, have been warmongering disasters, and returning to Libya for yet more desperate bombings and blitzing to suppress growing third world rebelliousness, nearly five years after declaring their Nazi onslaught on Gaddafi’s bourgeois nationalist regime a “victory”, only serves to highlight their failure.
Ruling class weakness, failure and defeat is the drive behind US imperialism’s potential turn to Trump’s fascist demagoguery, and which Trump reflects back, as in his presidential nomination acceptance speech denunciations:
Now let us consider the state of affairs abroad. Not only have our citizens endured domestic disaster, but they have lived through one international humiliation after another. One after another.
We all remember the images of our sailors being forced to their knees by their Iranian captors at gunpoint. This was just prior to the signing of the Iran deal, which gave back to Iran $150 billion and gave us absolutely nothing. It will go down in history as one of the worst deals ever negotiated.
Another humiliation came when President Obama drew a red line in Syria and the whole world knew it meant absolutely nothing.
In Libya, our consulate, the symbol of American prestige around the globe was brought down in flames.
America is far less safe and the world is far less stable than when Obama made the decision to put Hillary Clinton in charge of America’s foreign policy. I am certain it is a decision he truly regrets.
Her bad instincts and her bad judgment, something pointed out by Bernie Sanders are what caused the disasters unfolding today. Let’s review the record.
In 2009, pre-Hillary, ISIS was not even on the map. Libya was stable. Egypt was peaceful. Iraq had seen a big reduction in violence. Iran was being choked by sanctions. Syria was somewhat under control.
After four years of Hillary Clinton, what do we have? ISIS has spread across the region and the entire world. Libya is in ruins, and our ambassador and his staff were left helpless to die at the hands of savage killers. Egypt was turned over to the radical Muslim Brotherhood, forcing the military to retake control. Iraq is in chaos. Iran is on the path to nuclear weapons. Syria is engulfed in a civil war and a refugee crisis that now threatens the West. After 15 years of wars in the Middle East, after trillions of dollars spent and thousands of lives lost, the situation is worse than it has ever been before.
This is the legacy of Hillary Clinton: Death, destruction and terrorism and weakness.
‘Humiliation’, ‘disaster’ and ‘weakness’ being the key words here. Sanders’ name is dropped in to tap into the incoherent anger and disgust at all this warmongering death and destruction; his soft ‘reformism’ having prepared the way with the shallow perspective that “things could be better” if only there was a leader with “better judgment”.
It is the fear over where capitalist society is heading; the disgust at the crime, political corruption and ruling class greed and decadence that now forms the backdrop of daily life; and the destabilising effects of mass immigration on jobs and communities that is driving support for Trump (and for the rise of fascist populism in all imperialist countries - Farage, Le Pen, Wilders, Hofer, the Golden Dawn, Pegida, etc., etc.).
Bourgeois ‘democratic’ society is falling apart and no amount of “good judgement” will be able to do anything about it, unless it is informed by revolutionary theory.
Reformist wishful thinking is actually helping the imperialist warmongering because it avoids the revolutionary perspective of world developments and the urgent need for a leadership that can best develop and articulate that perspective through open polemical struggle and debate.
(Interesting to note how the museum Stalinists of Lalkar/Proletarian’s “poor judgement” because of their avoidance of revolutionary theory (despite what they say in the masthead of their paper) also find themselves on the same side as Trump’s thuggery, by welcoming Sisi’s bloody military coup regime against the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt.)
Clinton has been at the heart of this fascist warmongering, backing Obama’s escalation of the Afghanistan war and the destruction of Libya, helping to stir up civil war provocations in Syria by lobbying for arms to CIA-backed “rebels” (before many went “rogue” and turned on imperialism), assisting in Obama’s expansion of lethal drone strikes, gleefully cheering on the brutal rape and murder of Colonel Gaddafi and the assassination of bin Laden, and assisting the death squad Honduras coup.
Anti-Russian chauvinism is now stirred up by the Clinton machine as a distraction from the Wikileaks email leak exposure of the rigged Democratic primaries against Sanders, feeding into the general anti-Russia atmosphere that has just seen its paralympics athletes banned from the Rio games in a disgusting act of collective punishment for alleged doping (with not a PC “disability rights” outcry in sight from the fake-"lefts”.).
Clinton is loved by big bankers who see her recent vows to “reform” Wall Street for what they are, opportunistic political manoeuvring to get into office. She has received millions in speaking fees from firms like Goldman Sachs, and donations from hedge funds and private equity firms in Wall Street have poured into her presidential campaign.
As the EPSR said of the Clinton firm in 1999 at the time of the Lewinsky scandal [0980 05-01-99]:
The Clintons Incorporated are a huge big-business racket which Democrat Party big money sank huge investments into a long time ago as a potential future Presidential couple. They are both ruthless grasping opportunist crooks.
Personally they hate each other. Their marriage is a total sham. Their domestic scrapping is closer to the ruthless internal discipline of a mafia ‘family’ demanding accountability for how the ‘family business’ is being managed, than the ups and downs of a man and wife.
Hillary, and large parts of the Democratic establishment, are not best pleased at such a fortune-making golden opportunity as 8 years in the White House being frittered away, possibly, by Clinton’s arrogant sexual predations.
The millions of poor Black Americans who have spoken up for a reprieve for a ‘good president’ are being monstrously duped by the accumulated historical effects of ‘reformist’ nonsense.
The Clintons are a wounded big business regime of routine imperialist viciousness (ask the slaughtered innocents of Iraq, Palestine, Khartoum, etc). Their lameness, whatever its causes, should be used to bring them down.
Clinton is at the heart of the ruling class establishment Sanders claims to oppose and yet, despite spending months building a mass support base of people who follow him precisely because they can’t stand Clinton’s grotesque warmongering and ties with big business and want “a new kind of politics”, and despite the email exposures of the crooked Democratic establishment’s dirty tricks to undermine the momentum behind him, Sanders astonishingly declared at the Democratic Convention that “Hillary Clinton will make and outstanding president” and that he is “proud to stand with her”!!!
Can grovelling opportunist reformism stoop any lower???
The teary-eyed response of black delegates to Michelle Obama’s comments about her black young daughters playing with their dogs on the lawn of a White House built by slaves, carefully targeted to induce such emotionality to continue the duping of poor Black Americans into backing Clinton, is one thing.
The tears of despair from Sanders’ “Never Hillary” supporters over his capitulation to big business pressure is quite another.
These tears reflect the falling apart of an entire reformist perspective that gravitated to Sanders because it does not want to look at the revolutionary nature of the world.
Now that the prospect is of a Clinton or, very possibly, a Trump presidency in an ever more volatile world, and with a financial system on the brink of total collapse again, these petty-bourgeois-minded professional workers and labour aristocrats are being confronted with the revolutionary question head on, and they don’t want to see it.
Hence the tears.
The same reformist perspective will soon reach the same level of anguish in Britain once the shallow “Jez we can”, “I am a Corbynista” tee-shirt and badge wearing activism surging towards Corbyn in their thousands hits a brick wall of unendurable class-collaborating compromise and capitulation; when it becomes clear to everyone that the only choice possible is either to build a revolutionary movement or line up behind fascist reaction.
Clinton is a piece of monstrous warmongering corporate reaction, which is why she’s hated.
Only by exploiting petty-bourgeois delusions that capitalist society would be much fairer and far more equal if only nasty demagogues like Trump were prevented from spoiling everything can any momentum be given to a “vote Clinton to stop Trump” campaign.
Of course, genuine reforms can and have been made, giving the working class some temporary respite even in the midst of capitalist breakdown, because civilisation doesn’t come to a complete stop; and the ruling class will retreat from ‘reformist’ pressure if it is better for them tactically to do so at any given time; but to go from this to developing an entire perspective which says that reforms are the only way civilisation advances overall is disastrous, and plays right into the hands of the ruling class, just as Sanders does in endorsing Clinton:
In these stressful times for our country, this election must be about bringing our people together, not dividing us up. While Donald Trump is busy insulting one group after another, Hillary Clinton understands that our diversity is one of our greatest strengths. Yes. We become stronger when black and white, Latino, Asian-American, Native American – all of us – stand together. Yes. We become stronger when men and women, young and old, gay and straight, native born and immigrant fight to create the kind of country we all know we can become.
And so the PC super-reformism card is played as a desperate last gasp attempt to kick some life back into the ‘democracy’ racket at the very moment when the entire election fraud stands exposed, just as it was used to put the black Obama presidency into the White House - when total contempt for ‘democracy’ was at its highest in the midst of the 2008 crash, and following on from Bush’s 2000 electoral coup.
And so a huge mobilisation effort is to be made around the reactionary feminist notion that a first ever female “leader of the free world(!!!)” would be “progress” just as Obama’s “first ever” black presidency was said to be “a step forwards”, a lie that has exploded in the Ferguson riots, the Black Lives protests, and the recent Dallas and Baton Rouge police shootings.
To pull this trick, victory is declared for Sanders’ ‘political revolution’ because it has “shown that real change can be achieved” (without having changed a single thing) because it has supposedly “pushed the Democrats to the left” by “forcing issues on the agenda”, thereby clearing the path for the real struggle to get Clinton elected:
Together we have begun a political revolution,” declared a triumphant Bernie Sanders to the Democratic national convention. He has every reason to be triumphant. According to the conventional yardstick of political success, Sanders is a failure: he lost his battle to become the Democratic presidential candidate. But he – and, more importantly, the movement behind him – represent an extraordinary political triumph.
The relatively obscure septuagenarian self-described socialist senator from Vermont was expected to attract derisory support: he ended up running the US’s most formidable political machine uncomfortably close. Who could have imagined that, in 2016, a socialist candidate in the United States would have 46% of mandated delegates at a Democratic national convention?
His movement not only forced issues on the agenda, most notably the injustice of a country with such potential being so monstrously rigged in favour of a tiny elite, but it has dragged the Democrats’ policy platform to the left: from the minimum wage to the war on drugs. As his policy director Warren Gunnels has put it: “I think if you read the platform right now, you will understand that the political revolution is alive and kicking.” It is worth looking to the political right for precedent. The rightwing Republican Barry Goldwater suffered a landslide defeat in the 1964 presidential election, but much of his politics would go on to dominate the party. “We… who voted for him in 1964 believe he won,” wrote the American journalist George Will. “It just took 16 years to count the votes.”
Undoubtedly, the vast majority of Sanders’ supporters will vote for Hillary Clinton, despite a media focus on those pledging to do otherwise. Yes, his most zealous supporters refuse to distinguish between Clinton and Donald Trump. There is nothing radical about failing to take a stand on a far-right racist demagogue sweeping to power in what remains the world’s most powerful nation. The election of Trump would represent one of the greatest calamities to befall the west since the end of the second world war. The task ahead is to ensure Trump’s defeat – as decisively as possible – and Democratic control of both Houses of Congress, and then to build pressure from below to enact progressive legislation.
There are no shortage of social ills to address: that, as one Princeton academic study found, the US resembles an oligarchy more than a democracy; that wages have been stagnating or falling for many years, fuelling resentment that Trump feeds on; a racist judicial system; an inefficient private healthcare system; extortionate university fees; a younger generation facing a future of insecurity; the likelihood of further disastrous military interventions in the coming years; and so on. The Sanders movement is now a force in American politics, and it must surely set itself ambitious goals for the years ahead.
Political change does not depend on individuals, however much they inspire their most ardent followers. A dependence on one leader is a weakness, not a strength, not least when it becomes a substitute for a clear vision or set of policies. That is not the case with this movement. For those who believe in social justice, the Sanders phenomenon is a beacon – and proof that political change can be achieved, however gruelling and difficult it often is.
“No need to talk about revolution now sistas and bruvvers. It’s on the agenda...Victory is ours”!!!
Such blinkered petty-bourgeois reformist outlooks really can’t, or won’t, see the devastating world turmoil and crisis around them, or don’t have the imagination to see the scale of devastation to come once the world is finally engulfed in the consequences of capitalist collapse, or even begin to understand the revolutionary consequences of all this.
True, “there are no shortage of issues to address” (to describe the situation in this grossly understated way) but how is the working class to begin to address anything when it is clear that all “democratic” roads are closed off to them, as the sabotage and dirty tricks to prevent even Sanders’ mild reformist measures from building up steam demonstrate (or the dirty tricks, smears and innuendoes against Corbyn’s mildly reformist “Momentum” movement).
Syriza’s “new way of doing politics” fraud in Greece proved to be a complete dead-end as it capitulated to EU pressure and bullying immediately after “victory” was declared; and it is now implementing cuts on a greater scale than those it was set up to “stop” in the first place (now never mentioned by the Trotskyist and Euro-communist fake-”lefts”, including its Left Unity ‘sister organisation’, because they were up to their necks in building up support for it, and are now caught out).
Sanders, the Corbynites, Syriza, Podemos, the Portuguese Left Block, etc, are the new Allende-ism. They can provide the glamour that the capitalism looks for in times of crisis, and will be promoted by the capitalist media as “great dangers to society”, but only as a means of saving the system by heading the working class away from a revolutionary understanding.
If they push their reformism too far, they will be toppled and potentially slaughtered, just as Allende’s “democratic socialism” was, and many other variants were before and afterwards.
It is also true that Clinton and Trump are not the same, but not in the way Owen Jones describes it in the piece above (as a mainstream politician who may have many flaws but basically remains within the boundaries of political “acceptability”, set against a highly dangerous far-right demagogue).
Clinton represents the continuation of the capitalist system and the alienating conditions that the Trumps feed off, and so a Clinton victory will only make things worse by perpetuating this alienation, and so create a greater “Trump problem” in the future.
And even if Trump is “stopped”, another version will be waiting in the wings.
Did French society become any healthier or more civilised once the “Le Pen problem” was “stopped” by “left” votes for Chirac in 2002?
Of course it didn’t.
The contradictions and alienation of French society (as with all capitalist societies) have intensified as capitalism’s crisis has deepened, with frequent eruptions of riots, individual acts of violence and suicidal massacres committed by people from some of the most oppressed and alienated sections of society, and responded to by greater calls for Le Pen Jr’s “law and order” reactionary populism from those fearful about where all this chaos is heading.
And why is the anger spilling out from France’s marginalised banlieues?
Only because capitalist society has carried on being capitalist society.
Hollande may say that Trump makes him “retch”, but is there anything more “retch”-inducing than the wave of blitzkriegs, wars and conspiracies to topple bourgeois nationalist leaders mainstream capitalist France has routinely taken part in or instigated since Le Pen Snr was “stopped” in 2002, including Afghanistan, Côte d’Ivoire, Haiti, Chad, Somalia, Libya, Mali, the Central African Republic, Iraq, and Syria, and escalated under Hollande’s Blairite regime.
It was mainstream capitalist Hollande who suspended “normal” “democratic” practices by imposing an ever-extending state of emergency against all opposition, and used extra-parliamentary mechanisms to push through the anti-working class labour laws, backed up by vicious police thuggery to break up the huge wave of strikes and protests against these measures.
It is the routine decadency of Hollande’s in-your-face taxpayer funded Euro 10,000 a month daily hair cuts, and the everyday cronyism of Cameron’s “up yours” honours gongs for chums, that is giving the despicable philistinism of the Trumps, Le Pens, etc, their momentum, despite Trump’s outlandish flaunting of his billions or his even more outlandishly sculptured hair.
Trump is a the symptom of all this sickness, not the cause.
The wretched Hollandes, Mays, Obamas, Clintons, Merkels, etc, are the “real threat” and all political activity needs to be focussed on “stopping” them, as part of a revolutionary movement to overthrow the capitalism system they represent.
Fake-”left” campaigns to “stop the growing fascist danger” are futile because they do nothing to address the conditions that gives Nazi stridency its appeal.
They mislead the working class by suggesting that there is a “third force” that is even worse than capitalism, a consequence of their wooden reformist way of looking at the world.
Jones correctly points out that “the US resembles an oligarchy more than a democracy”, that the judicial system is “racist”, that more wars are “likely”, etc. but the implication that things can allegedly be improved by “more democracy”, fought for by a “leaderless” social movement is hopelessly misleading.
Bourgeois “democracy” has always been a lying fraudulent parliamentary racket used as a smoke-screen to conceal the real bourgeois dictatorship “oligarchy” calling the shots. It only appear less “democratic” now because it forced by the deep intensification of its crisis to reveal its true “fascist” nature.
The French ruling class don’t “want” to deploy armed soldiers in their major cities in a “state of emergency” as such because it makes it harder for them to pull off their “democratic” pretences. They are forced to take these fascist measures to suppress the growing anger against their failing capitalist society.
Parliamentary “democracy” is the best mechanism the ruling class has found to ensure that their bourgeois dictatorship maintains its power.
Tearing up all these pretences is a sign of weakness, and a desperate turn to out-and-out fascism is not a “strengthening of reaction”, but a sign that it is hurtling towards total failure, just as German imperialism’s turn to Hitlerism did in just 12 years.
To respond to this growing reaction by giving a central role to “anti-racism” in all campaigning work, as the fake-”lefts” do, not only fails to prevent racism from constantly resurfacing in times of crisis because it is an inherent part of the capitalism system, it plays into the hands of the Trumps, Farages and Le Pens.
Telling the working class in Britain, who have just given a massive two-fingered Brexit response to the government’s policy of using mass immigration as a tool to drive down wages and employment conditions as a consequence of the 2008 crash, that the answer is to “open all borders” and “welcome all migrants”, as the fake-”left” Trots (SWP, etc.) say, merely adds fuel to the fire feeding the UKIP, Britain First, etc., reactionary garbage.
The stronger the mass campaign to boycott hipster Byron Burgers for the harsh treatment meted out to its exploited illegal migrant workers by the immigration service, for example, the more the working class’s dissatisfaction with “left” politics grows because it is not addressing their concerns (which includes illegal working), and the greater the audience for fascism’s “answers” becomes.
The crypto-Trotskyist circle around the Weekly Worker has managed to avoid falling into the trap of anti-Trump “lesser evil-ism”, but only by down-playing the significance of Trump and the world revolutionary crisis pushing him to the fore (read “smart money” as “WW academics”):
The smart money is on Clinton winning, just as the smart money was on a narrow vote for ‘remain’, and indeed a Jeb Bush GOP ticket this autumn. The smart money is on a losing streak. Yet America has had worse, more reactionary presidents than Trump; the world will survive him.
Whether “the world” as such survives Trump is neither here nor there, it is the capitalist world that is falling apart into the greatest slump and war catastrophe the world has ever seen, and it is this dynamic that is driving Trump-ism - a desperate last-pitch “throw the kitchen sink out” attempt to ensure its survival, just as 1930s Hitlerite Nazism was.
Capitalism’s chance of surviving the coming slump and war collapse is much less likely than it was in before the WW2 endpoint of the 1930s slump. Hitlerism arose then because capitalist Germany’s latent industrial might and enormous capacity for growth was being suppressed by its US, British and French imperialist rivals through the punitive measures of the Versailles Treaty following its WW1 defeat (a consequence of the titanic impact of the 1917 Russian Revolution, the near revolution in Germany, and ruling class fears of revolution across Europe).
The capitalist world is different now.
The crisis is now at the point where all imperialism has hit a brick wall, and total collapse has only been temporarily staved off by the insane printing of money to unimaginable levels since the 1973 oil crisis, when the dollar’s link to gold was broken, and intensified a thousand-fold since 2008.
Trump has emerged as a phenomenon because the global dominance of US imperialism is under terminal threat, not from its imperialist rivals, but because capitalism itself is facing terminal collapse, and so the potential for renewed Nazism to go very far is tinier than even Hitler’s “1,000 year” Reich.
This doesn’t mean that a Trump presidency would not be extremely nasty. To say that “America has had more reactionary presidents than Trump” is extremely complacent, as is the view expressed in the same piece that Clinton is “to the right of Trump” on “foreign policy”.
Whoever gets into the White House will be a far “greater danger to life and limb worldwide” than previous presidents, not because of any particular “policy positions” held (a line of argument that illustrates these crypto-Trots' totally reformist world view), but because the capitalist crisis is reaching such a level of intensity that only a turn to some form of renewed world war sorting out between all imperialist rivals is the only “policy” direction that can be taken if US imperialism has any hope of remaining top dog.
Total fascist suppression (by Clinton, Trump or whoever) against all opposition at home is becoming increasingly necessary as part of a drive towards civil war against the coming communist resurgency (and is already underway as the increased militarisation of the police, the huge extension of mass incarcerations in private prisons, and the mass surveillance and whole-scale data collection sweeps shows - a long-term fascistisation process that has sped up under the “black hope” Obama regime).
Side-by-side with these moves towards fascism is the growing co-option by the ruling class of single-issue PC reformism (feminism, gay rights, anti-racism, etc) to maintain the pretence that capitalism is becoming more “progressive” and more “democratic”, just at the point where everything that gives the appearance of capitalist progress and democracy falls apart.
Astonishingly, such is the non-revolutionary content of PC super-reformism, we now see Trump cynically exploiting the tragic Orlando gay nightclub killings to mobilise “LGBTQ citizens” as part moves to whip up vicious anti-Muslim vigilante thuggishness and build support for increased warmongering aggressiveness against the growing Islamic Sunni insurgency, which he threatens to “wipe out”, using thermonuclear weapons if necessary:
Pro-gay Republicans have held Donald Trump up as the most supportive nominee in GOP history, but at this week’s Republican National Convention, their excitement is clashing with the stark realization that their party is still pushing a very different message.
While Republicans seek to broaden their appeal ahead of November’s election, the party adopted a platform that moves farther away from gay rights with a new admonition of gay parenting, adding language that says kids raised by a mother and father tend to be “physically and emotionally healthier.” On the convention’s first day, the platform maintained its opposition to gay marriage and to bathroom choice for transgender people.
Trump declares himself a “friend of the gay community,” but his nominating convention has featured awkward silences on the rare occasions when gay rights have come up. Connecticut State Rep. Cara Pavalock said that’s a reflection of how much work the party needs to do on the issue.
“I joined the party not for what it is but for what I know it will be in the future,” said Pavalock, a Trump supporter.
An explicit call for better GOP treatment of gays was to come Thursday from PayPal co-founder Peter Thiel, a Trump supporter who has faced blowback in Silicon Valley for giving the speech. Gay Republicans were eager to see what reception delegates would give Thiel, who planned to say he’s proud to be gay and disagrees with the party’s platform.
For those hoping Trump’s nomination will help repair the perception that Republicans are hostile to equality, there’s another challenge: Mainstream gay rights groups are denouncing the New York billionaire, arguing that tolerance for one minority group doesn’t excuse prejudice toward others — like Hispanics and Muslims.
Trump, who has said he’d nominate Supreme Court justices who might overturn gay marriage, has nonetheless spoken effusively about his friendships with gay people while avoiding anti-gay rhetoric that many other GOP candidates have embraced. After a gunman claiming Islamic State allegiance killed 49 people at a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida, Trump said he’d be better than Hillary Clinton because he wouldn’t allow in Muslim immigrants who want to “murder gays.”
At the same time, Trump has rattled many voters with unflattering comments about women, while insisting Mexico sends rapists and criminals into the U.S.
“His hatred toward anybody is a huge concern,” said Jay Brown of the Human Rights Campaign, the largest gay rights group. “When he attacks women, he attacks us. When he attacks Muslims, he’s attacking us.”
Gay Republicans who attended one event in a downtown ballroom Tuesday — titled “Wake Up! (the most fab party at the RNC)” — said it promoted the message that Islam and LGBT tolerance are incompatible. Outside the party, police kept at bay protesters with signs reading “Queers Against Racism.”
Though gay rights groups have pointed to Trump’s rhetoric about other minorities as evidence of intolerance, Republicans say that’s an attempt to blur the issues to help Democrats win elections and raise money.
“They are hell-bent on keeping this a political issue,” said Republican strategist Richard Grenell.
Four years ago Grenell, who is gay, was hired by 2012 Republican nominee Mitt Romney to be his foreign policy spokesman, but resigned under pressure from social conservatives who questioned Romney’s conservatism. This week, he attended a “Big Tent Brunch” on the convention’s sidelines, hosted by the American Unity Fund, a GOP group that promotes LGBT rights.
At the brunch — held in a literal big tent at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, pro-LGBT Republicans sipped mimosas and mingled with transgender activist Caitlyn Jenner while a man carried a rainbow version of the Gadsden flag — a tea party symbol. Added was the phrase “Shoot Back,” employed by gun rights advocates after the Orlando shooting to suggest the victims should have been armed.
And at the Quicken Loans Arena where Trump was nominated, there were only vague allusions to gay rights from convention speakers — such as former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani, who praised police for protecting, among others, people of “every sexual orientation.”
While not all “gay rights” groups have entirely gone along with this anti-Muslim scapegoating nastiness, as the piece shows, their subjective obsession with single issue campaigning for better treatment of gays, women, Muslims, Mexicans, Hispanics, etc., misses the point entirely.
Transforming the Republican party into a bastion of ‘equality’ political correctness would change nothing about the nature of this reactionary propaganda machine for fascist-imperialist blitzkrieging of white, brown, black or yellow-faced men and women (“gay” or “straight”) across the planet.
The Democratic party is no less a party of fascist-warmongering viciousness for all its “proud” embrace of single issue reformism.
In fact, individualist obsessiveness for PC single issue causes above all else becomes barely distinguishable from general anti-communist reaction at key historical points, and thereby helps to pave the way for the sort of fascist anti-Muslim provocations Trump is making now, as the EPSR warned about following the disgraceful “gay rights” counter-demonstration against a Palestinian protest in 2004:
The homosexual disruption of a Palestinian political demo against Zionist tyranny in London last week demonstrates the EPSR’s point that single-issue reformism (feminism, black nationalism, etc) will be the last refuge of anti-communism, and will provide history with the most reactionary last-ditch defenders of the monopoly-imperialist “free world” system in its final counter-revolutionary debacles.
When the “personal became the political”, it was endless variants of extreme individualist philosophy which were being deliberately aggressively promoted.
Forget the pretence that society “hated” having to accommodate improved rights for women, ethnic minorities, homosexuals, etc, etc.
Just the opposite. Temporary conservative lifestyle discomforts apart, the culture shock was quickly adjusted to by Big Business, the media, and bourgeois politics, and quickly taken advantage of via “political correctness” bureaucracy, Blair’s Babes, the Pink Pound, and a huge new pool of “entertainment” clichés for the soaps, game shows, ever-more-extreme pop-music novelties, etc, etc, etc, etc.
So-called “human rights” became more successful than ever as a major battering ram for the Western imperialist controllers’ non-stop worldwide propaganda priority to wipe out communism.
This homosexual counter-demonstration against Palestinian “homophobia” inevitably completely sabotaged the aim of the protest to draw attention to the unbelievable suffering and humiliation still daily tormenting this 8-million strong Arab nation who have now been ethnically-cleansed out of 85% of their own homeland since 1945 to make way for “Israel” at Western imperialist insistence (approved by a tame UN), and whose assassinations, mass murders, beatings, house demolitions, and increasing effective total imprisonment in refugee camps and patchwork reservations, criss-crossed by Zionist military highways and other non-stop surveillance and interference, continue nonstop today, ignored by the whole world.
This greatest longstanding colonial-genocide tyranny in modern records can remain without public attention or sympathy as far as these homosexuals are concerned who are only interested in their own message.
Such extreme anti-communist individualism could not care less that by undermining this key anti-imperialist struggle in the world, the rebirth of international socialist revolutionary perspectives is further delayed.
Some personal homosexual agendas believe that reformism has served their interests, and just want more reforms, not revolution.
Their counter-demonstration was 100% politically reactionary.
And with their single-issue agitation driven 99% by powerful subjective motives, then in the coming world era of communist revolution, reactionariness is bound to be the perceived character of more and more of this “personal” politics. [1242 20-07-04]
Whilst public sympathy for the tragic victims of the of the Orlando killings is to be expected, it has been exploited by imperialism to stampede gay “left” activists such as Jones into “condemning” it at a “homophobic terrorist act”, which then feeds into the general warmongering atmosphere.
It is tragic that Jones, who can write so brilliantly at times about the alienation of the white working class, as in his book “Chavs”, does not place this attack within the context of the intensifying contradictions of capitalist society that is pushing alienated, and frequently damaged, individuals over the edge.
To suggest that it is driven simply by “homophobic hatred” (or in other outbursts “anti-Semitism”, “religious mania”, “blind hatred” etc) is an over-simplification which does not explain why such eruptions are happening now; and any explanation that rings true has to start from the objective material reality of life in a failing capitalist society, not the subjective ideas people have in their heads reflecting that reality.
Any psychological investigation as to why the Orlando killer targeted a gay club he is said to have frequented would also have to begin with the material environment within which he lived and which helped to determine how he was brought up.
Such is the febrile censorial atmosphere around PC single-issues today, any attempts to argue that there may be more to this than just “anti-gay hatred” risk baseless accusations of “homophobia”.
Even PC “icons” like Peter Tatchell and Germaine Greer have been “no platformed”, had speaking invitations removed and experienced boycotts, walkouts and other forms of disruption (and astonishingly been smeared with accusations of “racism”, “misogyny” and “transphobia”!!!) for simply raising questions and developing arguments.
This suppression of debate has more to do with fascist book-burning censorship than an attempt to assist in the cultural advancement of society around these issues through greater awareness and understanding.
The atmosphere has got to such a pitch of reactionary anti-theory philistinism that even the fake-”lefts” around Corbyn’s “Momentum” who have been at the forefront of PC single-issue campaigning for the last 30 years (to divert attention away from the need for revolution and suppress debate) are now also ironically at the receiving end of similar accusations of “misogyny”, “anti-Semitism”, “homophobia”, etc.
Far from helping to “create a more equal and fairer society”, their po-faced PC posturing and censorship has had the opposite effect, by enhancing Trump’s “tell-it like-it-is” appeal to a working class ill-at-ease with the suppression of discussion and debate around immigration, homosexuality, etc, as the right-wing Republican Clint Eastwood correctly points out:
In a recent Esquire interview, Eastwood, 86, a long time conservative, said that he would chose Trump over democratic candidate Hillary Clinton even though the GOP candidate has said “a lot of dumb things.”
The acclaimed actor and director said Trump is “onto something” because people are fed up with the political correctness of the “kiss-ass generation.”
“We’re really in a pussy generation. Everybody’s walking on egg shells. We see people accusing people of being racist and all kinds of stuff. When I grew up, those things weren’t called racist,” Eastwood said in the interview, published on Wednesday.
Trump is “onto something” very powerful, and his provocative anti-PC pronouncements are made precisely because he knows they will generate howls of denunciation from the PC lobby, and hence add to his appeal, most recently by exposing the tangle the fake-”lefts” can get themselves into by posing as a defender of a Muslim woman’s “right to speak” at the Democratic Convention in order to stir up anti-Muslim sentiment.
Communism is the ultimate target of this witch-hunting atmosphere, and the ruling class will use every PC weapon in its armoury to prevent the movement for rational scientific (revolutionary) enquiry from taking off.
The only way to combat imperialism’s degeneration into fascism and war is to build a movement for revolutionary theory that struggles to understand and explain the revolutionary warmongering crisis generating racism, hatred and divisiveness everywhere.
Only by establishing centrally-planned workers’ states for socialist cooperative development under firm proletarian dictatorships across the planet will the working class be in a position to begin to shake off backward racial prejudice, initially by removing the need for mass emigration and asylum-seeking.
This can only be achieved by building a party of revolutionary scientific theory that strives to resolve the questions that are dividing the working class - on the strengths and short-comings of the Soviet Union and the reasons for its eventual disintegration, the nature of the capitalist crisis and how to bring it to an end, and how best to defend the workers’ states from capitalist subversion.
But the necessary open polemic and debate to sort these questions out are still being avoided, as with this recent shift in position of the Sons of Malcolm group:.
The period from 1999 to 2010/2011 was a GlobalSouth giving increasing leadership, remember the conferences with Chavez, Gaddafi, Mugabe, Ahmadinejad, Lukashenko, Morales, Castro, Correa and others all building up their unity and leadership? Those golden era days are GONE! Sadly some of them are dead and gone.
Rather than admit that they made a mistake in declaring that there was a “Global South leadership” capable of leading the working class towards the establishment of socialism in the first place, and then try to work out why they got things so badly wrong, these revisionist-influenced black nationalists try to cover their tracks by bemoaning the end of some sort of “golden era”.
What “golden era”??? As the EPSR has consistently pointed out, the whole notion of a “21st century socialism” was a fraud from the start, that consciously avoided the need for revolution to overthrow capitalism and establish firm proletarian dictatorships.
Rather than learn the lessons of 1973 Chile and the slaughter of Allende’s “democratic socialism” by Pinochet’s butchers, Morales, Chávez, Correas, etc. declared that they had discovered “a new way of doing things”, which today, with non-stop CIA-backed coups, conspiracies and provocations across Latin America to crush the “Bolivarian revolution” regimes in Brazil, Argentina, Venezuela, Bolivia, etc, is starting to look remarkably like the disaster that befell Chile, as the EPSR always insisted that it would.
And whose fault was that? The soft-headed revisionist illusions of Castro’s Cuban leadership that lauded Allende as a great hero and example must surely accept a great deal of blame for this.
Their disastrous mis-leadership on this question was made all the worse for the fact that they lead a sterling example of the highly successful “20th century” way of doing things - its 57-year-old revolutionary workers state defended by its firm proletarian dictatorship.
It is tragic that the circle around the Sons of Malcolm, who are well aware of the ESPR’s perspective on these questions, still avoids taking up the polemical struggle for understanding.
If there is a leadership vacuum, how did it come about? And if “we have to politically act, build and develop leadership like we are on our own”, how do they propose to do it?
A useful starting point for such a debate would be their position which gives the central leadership role to the subjective experiences of immigrant communities rather than a leadership of scientific theory that can best articulate the objective understanding of capitalism’s revolutionary warmongering crisis.
Surely only the Leninist struggle for scientific understanding that the EPSR has alone been battling for for nearly 40 years is the only way forwards (now more glaringly obvious as all other approaches have failed)?
The Sons of Malcolm correctly warn of the great dangers China is in, encircled by imperialism and constantly under threat of imperialist war but, again, what sort of leadership do they think should China be giving?
But they are all very consumed by their own challenges of trying to maintain their position in the brink, or in the case of China frantically batting away imperialist war plans against them, and preparing for the big showdown. China *might* just have to give more leadership to the West as the USA and less so UK especially continue their war plans against it.
China’s wooden “don’t rock the boat” revisionism has not taken up the fight for the revolutionary theory needed by the international proletariat to guide them in their battles to establish their own proletarian dictatorships, or by the Chinese working class to “bat away” imperialist war pans.
Tragically, Stalinist-influenced revisionism in both the Chinese and Vietnamese workers’ states is unable to overcome needless disagreements over the Spratly Islands, thereby presenting US imperialism with opportunities to exploit the differences, such as its attempt to win over the Vietnamese with its agreement to lift its decades-long arms embargo.
The inability to resolve their differences arises in their failure to place the need to defeat imperialism above all other considerations.
China’s hostile rejection of the Philippines filed compulsory arbitration at the UN is a positive move, however, as is the ongoing military defensive preparations against further potential imperialist provocations in the region.
Their intransigence has put imperialist attempts to utilise the Philippines stooge regime, now led by the populist anti-communist thug Duterte, on the back foot, not least because of the Philippines’ urgent need to improve trading relationships with China.
It is also a set back for imperialism that exposes its hypocrisy in allowing Australia’s imperialist bullying of tiny Timor-Leste to grab vital maritime resources from a nation newly-formed out of a revolutionary struggle against the decades-long genocidal slaughter of a quarter of its population by the Indonesian stooge fascist thug Soharto:
He may be facing the biggest fight of his life but the charismatic leader of the world’s youngest democracy certainly didn’t show it.
Jose Alexandre “Xanana” Gusmao dispensed with protocol and reached out to total strangers as he went on spontaneous walkabouts after arriving in Malacca for a conference, three days earlier [...]
The 67-year-old former president and prime minister of Timor Leste was clearly on a charm offensive, something which he does wherever he goes.
But it is no secret that the hero of the fledgling nation, whose two nicknames are Maun Boot (Big Brother) and Katuas (Old Man), is in the midst of a David-and-Goliath fight against a powerful neighbor – Australia.
After voluntarily stepping down as prime minister on Feb 6 last year, two years before his term was due to expire, the former rebel has remained as Minister for Planning and Strategic Investment.
And since then he has been focusing on negotiating a maritime boundary with Australia in the Timor Sea and along with it, the rights to the oil in its seabed.
Timor Leste signed the Treaty on Certain Maritime Arrangements in the Timor Sea with Australia 10 years ago.
Under the deal, Timor Leste gets 90 percent of the output of a Joint Petroleum Development Area with a proposed 50-50 split of Australian oil giant Woodside Petroleum Limited’s Greater Sunrise gas field.
The Greater Sunrise field, located about 100km from Timor Leste’s coastline, is expected to generate about US$40 billion in revenues.
If the line is established in accordance with international law, it would entirely be within Timor Leste’s Exclusive Economic Zone.
Australia’s boundary with the tiny nation, though, remains undefined.
Last month, Gusmao told a gathering in Sydney that while Australia had settled its maritime boundaries with its other five maritime neighbors bilaterally, it has refused to talk to Timor Leste about the remaining 1.8 percent of its boundary in the Timor Sea.
Highlighting that Timor Leste was clearly taken advantage of when it was at its weakest, he said: “We were a young nation and a people with little or no experience in governance.
We were activists, freedom fighters and guerrillas.
We were ‘babes in the woods’ when it came to negotiations and the world of petroleum resources.
“We lacked knowledge in complex issues and experience in critical areas of state building. We knew nothing about that. That is why we accepted to transition for two years,” he said.
Although Timor Leste’s vulnerability was taken advantage of when the deals on how to divide resources in the Timor Sea were signed, he said they were not agreements marking maritime boundaries, stressing that there must be certainty on where the country’s sovereign rights began and ended.
“In an affront to our dignity, Australia continues to maintain that it is generous in providing us with 90 percent of the revenue that has flowed from petroleum fields, which under international law, belong to us. So generous, so generous!” he added.
The issue was first raised when Julia Gillard was prime minister of Australia but she insisted that no wrong had been done.
In 2013, Timor Leste filed secret proceedings in the Permanent Court of Arbitration, claiming that the treaties dividing petroleum revenue were null and void because Australia had bugged government offices in Timor Leste in 2004 when it undertook renovation works as part of an aid program.
The Australian government’s response to the revelations was to send intelligence agency officers to raid the office of a Canberra lawyer who had been acting for Timor Leste and the home of a former spy, identified only as “Witness K”, and slap them with criminal charges.
Timor Leste, however, agreed to Australia’s request to put the case on hold in 2014, believing that it would lead to negotiations on the maritime border.
Australia did not admit to any violation of Timor Leste’s sovereignty but returned the seized information last year.
Timor Leste is in a quandary as it cannot file a case against Australia in the International Court of Justice under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea because Australia is not a party to a clause allowing compulsory dispute resolution since 2002.
In March 10,000 people protested against the unfair maritime boundary, outside the Australian Embassy in Dili.
In April, the Australian Labour Party’s shadow cabinet minister Tanya Plibersek addressed the glaring hypocrisy.
Among other things she said: “Australia’s unwillingness to commit to maritime border negotiations with Timor Leste has raised valid questions about our commitment to a rules-based international system and to being a good global citizen.
This must change.
“We are seeking to end more than 40 years of uncertainty over a maritime border, and committing to international norms that we expect others to follow.
“At the same time as we’re saying that China and other nations that have claims in the South China Sea should submit themselves to arbitration and should abide by the outcome of that arbitration, particularly under the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea, it’s a bit rich if we’re not prepared to do it ourselves.”
The insistence here that China submits to imperialist pressure at the UN further demonstrates the disastrous influence Stalinist revisionism has had on the world anti-imperialist movement (despite the brilliant technical and military support the Soviet Union provided to those struggles).
The guidance of a Leninist revolutionary perspective and party leadership is urgently required to cut through all this confusion, and needs fighting for.
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