Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Organize Against Trump and Trumpism

Women's March For Jobs. 
Sean O'Torain.

Trump is a vicious racist, sexist, anti working class and anti environment thug. And he sits in the White House surrounded by extreme right wing thugs such as Bannon and he seeks to add more right wing thugs to his cabinet in the days ahead.

He has no intention of becoming more moderate now that he is in power. On the contrary, he intends to step up his drive to make what appeared to be mere campaign slogans during his campaign, an actual reality. But he is doing this in a particular way. He said he would clean the swamp in Washington. How has he been going about this?

He is Increasing the number of Wall Street, Oil and Gas people and right wing thugs like Bannon in his circle and administration. At the same time he is firing the more moderate people like acting Attorney General Sally Yates and gagging and firing the forces in the regulatory bureaucracy who are supposed to keep some grip on the most destructive impulses of capitalism. This is what Trump means by "draining the swamp" in Washington. He means to remake it in his own image, to let US capitalism do what it likes. It is a bit like rearranging the seats on the Titanic.  This is a major crisis for US and world capitalism. And he has not even got started with the Middle East, with relations with Putin and Xi in China. He has already alienated the President of Mexico and other heads of state.

A major question is: What will the top layers of the US capitalist class do about what is happening? What will the more conscious less, more astute sections of the capitalist like the James Bakers, the Kissingers, the heads of the major corporations, the new high tech capitalist wing, the heads of the Joint Chiefs of Staffs do about this? It is too soon to say yet. But the top layers of the capitalist class will not let themselves be pushed aside and ignored by a moron like Trump.

It seems that for now their attitude is  to support Trump and wait and see, hope he can be reigned in. So far he is delivering the goods for Wall Street, for the fossil fuels industry, he is reducing regulations. It is not clear what he will do with trade and with the geo political relations with the major powers of Russia and China. So it seems the top capitalists in the US and in the state apparatus are keeping their powder dry and waiting to see with the understanding that they can remove him one way or another if things get out of control.

Another part of the equation which has to be taken into account and which pushes the dominant sector of US capitalism to wait and see, is that they do not have much of an alternative at this stage. Their other party the Democrats is so pathetic they cannot offer a more sane capitalist alternative to Trump. Anybody who still  has illusions in the Democrats as a party that could represent working class people needs a head reboot. I am sorry to say. The Democrats cannot even provide an alternative for their own less extreme wing of the capitalist class to take on the extreme right wing buffoon Trump. There is no way they could represent workers.

The women's marches here were historic. Millions took action who have never taken action before. This and the marches and demonstrations against the Muslim ban show that a new era of struggle has begun. This genie will not be put back in the bottle. The task now is clear. To organize. And in doing so to avoid allowing the movement that is developing from being captured by the Democrats and their pro capitalist opportunism and posturing. Their pathetic opposition to Trump is shown by Schumer pretending to weep, by them boycotting congressional hearings, by screaming in the Senate. The movement to bring down Trump must not be captured by the opportunist capitalist Democrats. If it is, the movement will not take mass direct action against Trump and this is the only way he and what he represents will be stopped. If there is any doubt about this we only have to remember what happened to the movement around Sanders.

Along with opportunism, there is another danger to this movement. That is ultra leftism. This is where the small numbers of left forces that exist in the country try to commit the anti Trump movement to socialism. There are  many many different forces fighting Trump on many issues. Of the millions who marched on the women marches practically none of these are socialist. To try and bring them all together now in a socialist movement would only be to drive them apart. What is necessary is to build an Alliance against Trump and Trumpism. Draw up a series of demands which take on and confront Trump but which also bring together the greatest numbers of people who are wanting to take him on. Bring together the millions who marched on the marches and many more. To try and build a socialist movement out of the present consciousness and movement would only be to divide that movement. Those of us who, like Facts For Working People, are socialist, can of course and should explain in a non sectarian manner, our belief that socialism is necessary.  But it would be an ultra left mistake, a damaging mistake, to try and commit the anti Trump forces to socialism at this early stage.

We need to organize in every locality and link our organizations together nationally and internationally. This organizing has to have as its objective to bring down Trump and stop Trumpism. That is to stop the attack on the working people of the world, on the women of the world, on the environment, to stop racism and sexism. To end the control of the world by a handful of profit addicted mad multi billionaire war criminals. This organizing has to be in the form of an Alliance to stop Trumpism.

We must not forget that the less crude and not so vulgar wing of the capitalist class also share along with Trump his vicious anti working class, sexist and racist and anti environment policies.  The tactics of resistance, the way to bring down has to include mass direct action. Trumpism will not be stopped by lobbying and protesting. It will only be stopped by mass direct action, by stopping the wheels turning. No more business as usual. Mass street action, mass strike action, mass confrontation with the capitalist state and racist forces. We must have no illusions. 

If Trump can get away with it he will enforce his agenda with brute force. Those of us who oppose him and wish a different world, a different world where its riches are collectively owned and democratically utilized in the interests of all, must face up to hard facts: We will not achieve this unless we organize and take mass direct action. Trump is organizing to use the mass forces of the state and his racist forces, the less insane sections of capitalism are also readying themselves to use the mass forces of the state and the racist groupings that are developing to put us down, that is to put down the working class. We have to be realistic and organize and fight. We must organize to answer Trump and Trumpism's brute force with mass direct action force of our own.

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G de Leon said...

the Women's March and the demonstrations at the airport were wonderful but for the most part "spontaneous" i.e. unexpected in scope and, truthfully, simply unexpected. nonetheless, according to the mainstream polls, 48% of folks support the ban. 42% oppose it. these same pollsters predicted Hillary's victory so we have to take them with a grain of salt.

Trump's supporters have not taken to the street and aside from isolated terrorist acts there is little grass roots activism behind Trump's actions. there is police, military, intelligence activity given that he's "head of state". even at those levels, there's blowback.

the various coalitions that have taken credit for the Women's March and the anti-Muslim ban demonstrations are not deeply rooted in the population. as you often point out, the only mass, well funded organization that the working class has ...the AFL-CIO unions... have either taken a hands off attitude or been hostile (as in the case of the NoDAPL movement).

the major problem that we face is are we "OKAY" with a multi-class united front against Trump, share the stage with the Schumer's, Warren's, Clinton's, jerry brown's and do we tailor our slogans to their sensibilities? what the communist (especially, the Troskyist) left calls a "popular front"????

my answer would be that the left have it's own coalitions that w'd issue calls for actions and join the demonstrations called by bourgeois forces while not joining their coalitions. would they then exclude us from their stages? they did not invite Sawant or even Naomi Klein to speak from their DC stage.

that stage was controlled by Bernie Supporters and they are gearing up to play a major role in the anti-trump movement. Bernie may distance himself from mass demonstrations and general strikes but the Bernie symps may realize support for these actions is necessary if they're to maintain their credibility.

how closely does the left work with the Bernistas? ISO & SA are having "leadership" meetings with these forces. (check out Sane Progressive's interview with Araquel Bloss of the People's Independent Party on YouTube).

ultimately (???) if mass demonstrations & general strikes bring Trump's administration down, it will be other sectors of the bourgeoisie that will take over. as in many uprisings (France/1968, Nixon's downfall, the Arab Spring), most folks return to their "normal" lives and we have new bosses same as the old bosses. we have to accept that this will be the likely outcome and continue. if fortunate & far sighted, the left will emerge as a respectable force to be reckoned with.

Sean said...

Facts For Working People calls for an Alliance against Trumpism. One that fights on the issues of jobs, wages , conditions, environment, education, mass incarceration, racism, sexism. How would such an Alliance not be a popular front which we as well as Comrade De Leon opposes. I believe it would not be a popular front if we approach it in this way. That to be part of this Alliance against Trumpism it is necessary to agree on the struggle on all these fronts including all wars and occupations abroad. This would separate the pro capitalist forces from the forces who wanted to defeat Trump and Trumpism. This approach would also allow the many different forces who already exist and are in struggle to be part of this Alliance without making them choose in advance whether or not they were revolutionary socialists. The other way to prevent this from slipping into the swamp of a popular front as well as insisting that the various forces support the demands and program including the anti war and occupation program already stated is to commit the Alliance to the tactic of mass direct action. None of the pathetic phony weeping of the Democrats, the screaming in the Congress while they vote for Trumps nominees. The anti Trump movement must be based on a program of mass direct action. No lobbying, no joining the Democrats and trying to influence them. Mass Direct Action, that is mass movements on the streets, blocking the streets, mass strike actions and occupations. In the case of the wars and occupations the call for the troops to rebel and refuse to fight. Finally one of the major issues we look at in our diuscussions with this new movement is how does the new movement relate to the trade union movement. There are 14 million union members in the US. Their place in the key industrial sectors gives them a power way more than their numbers. In the Chicago area where i live there are 320 union locals and half a million union members affiliated to the Chicago Federation of labor. They, like their unions throughout the country, were totally absent from the women's march. They should have all been marching with their banners and heads held high. More importantly in one way the self styled revolutionary left made no effort to get to these union locals and members and get them with their banners onto the march. This new movement that is emerging will take many different forms. If it is to succeed it will have to not only evolve towards taking on Trump and his capitalist system but also evolve towards taking on the pro capitalist union leadership and building a new workers movement. Bringing tens and tens of millions into the unions and building new trade unions. Imagine if the Trade union movement had produced millions of flyers for the women's march. Held meetings in all its locals and workplaces to build for the march. Imagine if the marches had been festooned with union banners. Imagine if the union leaders had put the resources of the unions to the march. If this had been done it would now be possible to be moving towards a transformed trade union movement. But the union leaders did not do this and will not do this. They are too wed to the capitalist system and the capitalist Democratic party. And the present left will not build an opposition in the unions that will fight the existing leadership and build a new leadership. There its a lot of work to do.