Friday, October 14, 2016

Opposition to Trump changes the consciousness in the country.

By Sean O’Torain

This Blog and its authors have never supported any of the three capitalist parties, the Republicans, The Democrats or the Libertarians, or their candidates for President or any other position. Nor will it ever do so. The reason for this is simple. All these parties and candidates represent the interests of the 1% and act to make sure this class stays in power, holds onto its wealth and power nationally and internationally and acts to keep the working class nationally and internationally exploited and controlled.

No support for capitalism, no support for capitalist institutions, no support for capitalist parties these are fundamental principles of this Blog. However this does not mean that all other issues can be ignored or that this position can be stated crudely and left hanging in the air. Something very important in terms of changes in the American workforce and society and consciousness is taking place at present and this must be analyzed and understood and properly related to. I am talking about developments and changes in the consciousness of a large section of the women in the workforce, in the schools and colleges as the struggle for the presidency unfolds. And also developments and changes in the consciousness of a section of men in the workforce.

In the statement Facts For Working People published on the present political crisis
that we posted earlier in the week,  we explained that the Republican Party was coming apart. And that as it did this would end the relative stability of US capitalism as it would lose the two party capitalist political monopoly it had held for over a century. We also explained that this would probably take the form of a right split from the Republicans which would evoke a left split from the Democrats and the trade unions and the formation of new movements or parties of the right and the left. And these could at least for a time have a semi mass or mass base. This would lead to an increase in class polarization and class consciousness.

Of course it will be necessary to continually monitor developments because it is possible that Trump and his bunch of thugs might so overplay their hand and so damage themselves, that they might not be able to hold together sufficient forces to evolve into or form a new right wing movement or party out of the wreckage of the Republican party. Under the leadership of such as Steve Bannon and Breitbart and Trump himself they could destroy themselves.

However this is by no means certain. There is still a significant section of people supporting Trump and they might stay with Trump and possibly stay with him and follow him out of the Republican party and set up a new extreme right wing movement or party. The section of people who are sticking with Trump, are not insignificant in numbers. And they include significant numbers of women. How can this be so?  There are a number of reasons. Jobs and wages and conditions are under attack, this attack is seen rightly as being carried out by the two capitalist parties and so these parties have been losing authority.

At the same time there are the challenges to the conventional personal relationships, recognition of same sex marriage, recognition of gay and transgender rights, more open opposition to racism and sexism and police brutality, a weakening of US power abroad, for a whole layer of people these changes are very frightening. It is here Trump comes in and how he keeps his base. Make America Great Again. This means going back to the old racist, sexist, imperialist ways. This has a certain appeal to people whose world is coming apart. This is why Trump holds onto a certain base. 

The old world that these people thought existed was of course mostly fraudulent. However this did not mean that nothing was changing.  The old world that these people imagined they lived in was coming apart. The jobs going abroad, wages being attacked. For the first time an African American President was in power. Yes change was taking place. And with the leaders of the 14 million strong trade union giving no alternative there was room for the Trump weeds to grow. 

But this post today is about another aspect of this issue. It is not about those who are afraid of change and cling to Trump, it is about those who want change and who seeing no alternative support Clinton. As the election comes closer and more and more filth comes out about Trump it looks increasingly likely that Clinton will be elected. As this becomes more likely a greater and greater enthusiasm and hope arises amongst the majority of women that Trump and his vicious misogyny can be defeated. "I want somebody who looks like me in the White House" is a familiar demand from many women. This desire tends to hide the fact that the Clintons themselves are guilty of misogyny and abuse and intimidating and abusing women. Every time Trump opens his mouth this reality is pushed to the background. More and more women look at what Trump says and has done and represents and remember all the times in their lives when they were sexually harassed and abused and "had to take it."

A powerful pent up rage has developed amongst large sections of women. A powerful demand for an end to this situation, an end to their special oppression, to their second class citizenship, has developed. A huge change in consciousness amongst women has taken place and  this is now beginning to break to the surface. Part of the reason for this change in consciousness has been the example of other struggles such as the Black revolt of the I960's, the women's revolt of the 1960's and 1970's, and more recently struggles such as those in many countries on the one day in support of Irish women's struggle for the right to choose and the recent struggle in Poland where women drove back the extreme right wing Catholic dominated government's efforts to pass new much more restrictive anti choice laws.  We have seen women factory workers in Bangladesh and South East Asia battling strikebreakers and hired company thugs. And in India where between 150 and 180 million went on a one day strike against more repressive labor laws.

Part of this change in consciousness of US women and women internationally is the huge movement of workers into the paid workforce. This is taking place all over the world. 50% of the world's factory workers today are now women. This enormously strengthens the struggle of women workers and all workers. It increases women's confidence and strength. As one woman recently said "I have my own job now I don't have to take any s... from any man." More women in the paid workforce gives more weight to the special demands and needs of women workers and all women. 

As US capitalism increases its attacks on the US working class to pay for its wars and occupations abroad, more and more women workers have to move into the paid workforce and also in many cases take more than one job. This is part of what is reflected in the support for Clinton against the extreme reactionary Trump. Women workers by moving in increasing numbers into the paid workforce have more power, have more needs and have more expectations. They want somebody who looks like them in the White House and they want the misogynist bully and violent abuser to be stopped. 

There is a saying in political struggle that sometimes the revolution needs the whip of the counter revolution. What is meant by this is that sometimes, especially when there is inadequate leadership, or in the case of the US, a trade union leadership which is so backward, the movement forward has to be threatened with, or actually go through, a movement back before it concludes it has to stand up and fight, that it has to organize and fight. This is  what is happening at present in the US. More and more people cannot close their eyes to what a Trump society would be: Back to the past, women being grabbed, women being harassed, men and women alike being fired at the bosses' will, a nut case with his hands on the nuclear buttons. Remember "You're fired". This was not a joke. All the old crap would come back.

This is what is meant by make American great again. This is what the Trump campaign is actually saying with their slogan. Trump and the scum who run his campaign are the whip of the counter revolution. They embody within themselves what society under their rule would mean. More and more people are being forced to face up to this. And as the polls show this is being increasingly understood and increasingly rejected. 

An extremely important part of understanding what is going on is what is taking place in relation to consciousness. Both the consciousness of a large section of women, but also and very importantly the consciousness of a large section of men are being affected. All are being forced to consider how they act and how they talk. Many men as well as women are being forced to think and are being repulsed by Trump. Do they speak and act like Trump with his "locker room" talk, this in itself is a lie, and his aggressive violent actions against women, or do they  treat all people with respect and consideration for each others feelings and wishes. US society is going through a period where it is being forced to look at itself and decide.

So far the majority is rejecting the Trump road. This is a major and great and wonderful development. Consider how deep rooted this change that is taking place actually is. My companion and her friends, none of whom have a political tradition or background, have bought champagne to celebrate when as they believe will be the case Trump is decisively counted out. Now we also have the professional athletes speaking up and saying that things are not like that in their "locker rooms." This comes on top of the protests against racism and police violence that are taking place in the sports stadiums. All kinds of struggles are coming together. If only the trade union leaders could even make a squeak or even a half bleat or say some goddamn thing. I once worked for a veterinary surgeon who had won an award in a war he had fought in for taking the vocal chords out of mules which carried munitions so they would not give away their positions to the enemy. I am wondering have the US trade union leaders had their vocal chords removed? 

US society has entered a new period. However long it takes for this new period to play itself out, we cannot predict in advance. But the old two capitalist party monopoly is beginning to break up. And at the same time under the threat of Trump the most reactionary, racist and sexist attitudes which exist are being challenged and thrown back.

It will probably have to go though some harsh experiences in order to learn the more harsh reality of US capitalist society as it goes deeper into crisis-------will probably have to go through the experience of a Clinton presidency which will carry on with the capitalist offensive, even step up the capitalist offensive, against its own working class and its imperialist offensive abroad.

While this must be explained, and Clinton's role spelled out and opposed, this must be separated from the entirely progressive demand and urgency amongst so many women for an end to the old sexist and misogynist society in which they have been and are treated as second class citizens. The authors of this Blog seek to do this by the most intransigent opposition to sexism and misogyny, by seeking to organize all workers into fighting trade unions, (the gap between the wages and conditions of men and women is less in those industries where the unionization rate is highest).

We also seek to take control of our own lives by ending capitalism and building a democratic international socialist society. In the coming elections we support Jill Stein for president. Her and the Green Party's policies, while not perfect, are more in the interests of women and working class people than any other party or candidate. 

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