Sunday, April 3, 2016

Changing economy, Increased divisions in US ruling class: The Republican's Trump Problem.

The world of High tech.
Sean O'Torain.

Thank you Richard for yesterday's article which you reprinted on this Blog on the "Republicans Trump problem." I found it and your comments on it very useful. We the authors of this Blog have been discussing for some time the developments in the US capitalist class, its different factions, and how these relate to each other and what they mean politically. We have also been discussing the absolute refusal of the trade union leaders to do anything but support the Democrats and suppress any movement that might emerge that would break from the Democrats. The existence of the 14 million strong trade union movement is practically never mentioned in articles in bourgeois and bourgeois academic journals and even left journals. This is for a number of reasons.

One is that the trade union leadership has prevented the US trade union movement from taking an independent stand, have prevented it from standing up and fighting, have prevented it from representing its members and the working class in general in the past years including and especially in the run up to the present election.  So for most of these journals and voices, the trade union movement and the working class does not exist. It is not just the bias of the bourgeois media, it is also that they do not even notice that there are 14 million members in unions and the potential this represents. For most of the working class, this potential also does not exist in their consciousness. This, more than anything, leaves the vacuum for Trump on the one side and Sanders on the other.

This situation is good for what I refer to as the big bourgeois class. You would think they would be happy. But this is not the case. They do not want Clinton and they do not want Sanders and they do not want Trump who is leading in the race for the nomination of their favorite Party. But they are having trouble in getting a candidate they want and can unite behind to stop Trump. They do not want Trump because he has no understanding of how the world works and the balance of forces that exist in the world. The big bourgeois worry he could drag them into a trade war, an actual war, a war on the streets of America between the classes and or races, and out of such instability even ignite a movement uniting working class people, of all races and genders. Trump is too much of a potentially destabilizing factor for the big bourgeois in the US. For this reason I believe he will not be the nominee of the Republican Party or if he would be he would be defeated in the Presidential election. The big bourgeois would not want, I would even go so far as to say would not allow such a person as Trump at the controls. But and this is a But. The big bourgeois are not omnipotent. Trump has got a lot further than most of us thought.

An important question is why has he got so far? There are a number of reasons. I cannot see them all at present but I will venture to raise a few. The big bourgeois underestimated the anger amongst the lower paid sections of the working class and sections of the youth whose economic circumstances have declined over the past decades while the living standards of the rich have skyrocketed.  Some of this anger has gone to Sanders but some also to Trump. And of course there is the racist and sexist backwardness Trump has tapped into. But there are other reasons why Trump has got so far.  One of these are the changes in the US economy and the rise of the new billionaire high tech faction of the bourgeois class. This has resulted in increased divisions amongst the US bourgeois political and economic class and the weakening of this class. These increased divisions and this weakening have made it more difficult for the US bourgeois to unite around a candidate against Trump.

There are different factions in the US ruling class. There is the Military Industrial complex, there is Wall Street, there are the federal and state bureaucracies, there are the huge religious organizations. But now also in the recent past there has been  the rise of a new faction, and a powerful faction. I am talking about the rise of the new high tech billionaire class. We on this Blog have been discussing the rise of this new faction for some time now and what it means economically and politically. What it means internationally and what it means in the US itself. I will try and confine myself here to what it means to the situation in the US. I also make these points tentatively as I am very far from having a full grasp of all that is involved. I would very much appreciate any comments which would help in a better understanding of these issues and the contradictions which are developing with the rise of this class.

The rise of  this new High Tech Billionaire Class and its affects on politics has not been sufficiently considered. See books like when Google meets Wikileaks, see articles like Technology's impact on the future of government and business as the background for a discussion on these issues. The result of this new faction in the US bourgeois economy and class is increased division in the US bourgeois class as a whole. And flowing from this, a difficulty in them getting together, uniting around an alternative to Trump. This means a weakening of the US bourgeois class. However I believe in spite of this the US bourgeois will be able to unite around a candidate and most likely this will be Clinton as she has proved herself over decades to be reliable and to be most in consonance with the new developments in the US economy including this new rising high tech billionaire class.

There is another issue when considering around whom the US bourgeois will manage to overcome their divisions and unite around. The fact that Clinton is a woman will be an important factor. It is no accident that Trump would appear to have peaked because of his vicious comments against women. Women have increasingly moved into the paid workforce. 50% of the world's factory workers are now women. US women will not let themselves be imprisoned for having an abortion. There is no way this will happen. The extreme reactionary Trump has come a cropper with his attacks on women.

This rising of the women has also increased the crisis in the Republican party and between the Republican Party and the major corporations, that is major sectors of the US bourgeois. In state after state the religious fanatics in the Republican Party have been making it almost impossible for women to have an abortion. They have also been moving to pass laws to discriminate against gay people, lesbian people, transgender people. The backlash from many major corporations of US capitalism has been quite ferocious to this attack on gay and lesbian and transgender rights with corporation after corporation threatening to move out of states that pass such laws. These major corporations want access to all workers just as they want access to undocumented workers, they want to be able to exploit all workers. It is a disgrace that in many cases corporations are opposing these attacks while the trade union leadership make barely a whimper. The WASP ruling class ground their teeth and accepted the African American Obama who turned out to be a very good representative for them. If they have to they will grind their teeth again and accept the woman Clinton.

Decades ago the authors of this Blog, when the Republican Party moved to recruit the born again christian right, correctly said that this would blow up in their faces as most of these were lower paid and they would come into conflict with the right wing anti working class policies of the Republican Party, the Democratic Party and the US bourgeois. We were correct on this. And we should recognize this. But on another issue we were incorrect. And we should recognize this also. What we did not see was that the US trade union leadership would be so rotten. That they would provide absolutely no alternative through which this anger could express itself. We thought there would be the rise of a Labor party or a workers party. Instead there has been the rise of the right wing populist Trump movement within the Republican Party and the liberal populist Sanders movement within the Democratic Party.

So where to from here? Most likely Clinton will get the nomination and win the presidential election. She will be a white female version of Obama, the drone man, the Military industrial complex man, the Wall street man, the new high tech faction of capitalism man. This is not certain but I believe it is most likely. We are in a very volatile time. Wars abroad, major terrorist acts such as a dirty bomb in a major city in an advanced capitalist country, a major event rooted in climate change and pollution and capitalist methods of production such as fracking, a new world recession, these are all possible, and some even probable, and could change mass consciousness and events. It is not possible to be specific as to what event or events will change things and will lead to large sections of the working class rising to its feet and putting its imprint on the situation. But rise it will. Where and when it is not possible to say. But rise it will. The present situation in the US and internationally will break. A new and very complex period, even more complex than now, will open up and within it or out of it will arise a new movement of the working class, the progressive class in history. The task is and will be to put a cutting edge on this new movement, to build a mass revolutionary movement of tens and tens of millions of workers internationally to open the road to a new socialist world.

The final paragraph in Charles Post's excellent article that we posted on this blog yesterday stated:

"Fortunately, we have a concrete example of how to fight Trump and the right. The mass mobilization against Trump initiated by immigrant students at the University of Illinois-Chicago that led him to cancel his rally is an example that needs to be replicated whenever and wherever Trump attempts to campaign. Along with rebuilding effective social movements among working people, these sorts of mobilizations will build the basis for a real independent political alternative to both right-wing populism and mainstream neoliberalism."

I would add to this the building of an anti capitalist fighting mass direct action movement with organized squads in every workplace, every union local and council, every community, every school and college. The timing of such events, of such a break in the situation is impossible to forecast. But a break in the situation will come and the US working class will take to its feet. The spontaneous mobilization referred to above which closed down the Trump rally in Chicago was an inspiration. On this Blog we covered this mobilization praised it and thanked the workers and youth who took part. We were right to do so. We are also right to say that it will be vastly overshadowed by the movement that lies ahead.

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