Sunday, May 28, 2017

Capitalism's Crisis Opens Cracks in the US Ruling Class

The US capitalist class is divided. Whether or not its in turmoil is another matter but it is close.  As we have pointed out on this blog, the US capitalist class, in fact all national capitalists, prefer to govern society through bourgeois democracy or liberal democracy as some call it. This is the most stable and least disruptive structure. With it comes universal suffrage, a relatively cohesive working class with independent organizations, a strong and vibrant middle class and certain freedoms, the  most important being the right of the capitalist class to purchase labor power and the necessity of the working class to sell it to survive.

Lenin pointed out that in order for revolutions to occur, the ruling class has to believe it cannot govern in the same old way and therefore becomes fractured, at war with itself, while the working class feels it cannot continue to be governed in the old way and is moving forward seeking to resolve this crisis, not in a straight line, not without confusion, but in that general direction. How that plays out has a great deal to do with the leadership of the working class.

The capitalist class will, if necessary, resort to military rule if it has to, if its position as ruling class is threatened, if bourgeois democracy falters.  In the former colonial countries, the capitalist class is too weak for bourgeois democracy to be an option. It is dominated by the imperialist countries and its own working class potentially too strong to afford such a luxury. There we see military dictatorships, theocratic regimes and as we are experiencing now, the break up of nation states entirely. The advanced capitalist world is not exempt from this process which is a result of capitalism's decay and inability to advance humanity. In the absence of a democratic socialist transformation globally, a world federation of democratic socialist states, capitalism's future is one of endless regional wars, fragmentation and eventually the destruction of life as we know it through nuclear war, environmental disaster or combinations of such.

It is clear that Trump is a destabilizing factor as far as the US bourgeois is concerned. But they are in a bind. They have to get rid of him, but that has dangers, he remains, that too has dangers. One section of the US ruling class is overconfident, too cocky, they want to drive the US working class further backwards, they don't quite see the potential danger to their governance in its present form. The US working class has been relatively quiet and the leaders of the organized workers are all on the team, therefore, these elements within the US bourgeois do not fear us.  But this is a mistake, Trump and they will raise the whip of the counterrevolution as we have stated before and sometimes that's what it takes to drive the working class to act.

The article below is another example of the cracks that are opening up within the ruling class in the US.  The tragic aspect of this is that the leadership of the potentially powerful organized working class is absent, is an obstacle to a fightback that has to be breached and will at some point. 

Turmoil may be too strong an expression at this point but there is no doubt that the US ruling class is in perhaps its greatest crisis since the US Civil War.  A crisis of leadership is not allowing us to take advantage of such a favorable moment.  This means that the future will be unnecessarily rough to put it mildly. It's fortunate we have free will but we rarely choose the circumstances under which we exercise it and we have to choose to exercise it. The emancipation of the working class and therefore all humanity, must be the act of the working class itself. No one can do it for us. RM

Reprinted from the Wall Street Journal
Trump Faces the Fury of a Scorned Ruling Class

The ‘threat’ that has elites quaking is his serious attempt to curb federal power and cut spending.

President Trump in Brussels, May 25.President Trump in Brussels, May 25. Photo: Getty Images

A lobbyist friend who visited Capitol Hill recently came away horrified. “I now am ready to believe that the partisanship is so unhinged that it’s a threat to the Republic,” she writes in an email.

This Washington hysteria comes at a time of full employment, booming stocks, relative peace and technological marvels like an electronic robot named Alexa who fetches and plays for you songs of your choice. What’s the fuss about?

We all know the answer: Donald Trump. The Washington body politic has been invaded by an alien presence and, true to the laws of nature, that body is feverishly trying to expel it. These particular laws of nature demand rejection of anything that threatens the livelihoods and prestige of the permanent governing class.

The “threat” that has Washington quaking is the first serious effort in a long time to curb federal regulatory power, wasteful spending, and a propensity to run up mountainous budget deficits and debt. That’s presumably what the voters wanted when they elected Donald Trump. Democrats—accurately regarded as the party of government—seem to fear that Mr. Trump might actually, against all odds, pull it off.

The Washington Post, the New York Times and other apostles of the Democratic Party have apparently set out to prove that despite their shaky business models they can still ignite an anti-Trump bonfire. A recent headline in the Post. asserted that “Trump’s scandals stoke fear for the 2018 midterms among Republicans nationwide. What scandals would those be? There was of course the firing of FBI Director James Comey. Democrat Hillary Clinton went on TV to claim that Mr. Comey cost her the election. Mr. Trump fired Mr. Comey. Did Democrats praise the president? No, they want him impeached. Devious logic, but devious is a good descriptor of much of what goes on in this fight.

Mr. Comey retaliated by leaking a “big scoop” to the Times—notes taken when Mr. Trump allegedly asked him to back off on the investigation of national security adviser Mike Flynn. But let’s recall the circumstances of this “investigation.” The Obama administration—possibly the FBI—tapped a phone conversation between Mr. Flynn and Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak. Then Mr. Obama’s minions used the raw data to “unmask” Mr. Flynn and get the retired general fired for not giving a full account of the discussion. Given that sorry record of political involvement, was Mr. Trump so wrong if he asked Mr. Comey to go easy?

Then there was the Post’s “shocking” revelation that the president gave classified information to Russia’s foreign minister. The president is commander in chief of the U.S. military and conducts foreign policy. The intelligence agencies work for him, and he is responsible for using what they provide to further U.S. interests. Is it so unlikely that a friendly tip to Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov about an ISIS tactic was calculated to earn trust? A more interesting question is who walked out of the room and illegally handed the Post this “scoop.”

Russians aren’t popular in the U.S., for many good reasons. That has its uses for Trump baiters. Democratic claims that Mr. Trump conspired with the Russians to swing the November election led the Justice Department to appoint a special prosecutor, former FBI chief Robert Mueller, to investigate. But is this claim even slightly plausible? So far all we have are anonymous officials who claim that intelligence agencies know of individuals with connections to the Russian government who supplied WikiLeaks with hacked emails from the Democratic National Committee and John Podesta’s accounts. But these officials are still unwilling to go on the record.

The Washington community knows how to fight back when it feels threatened. Leakers are having a ball, even if it has taken a lot of journalistic imagination to turn the most notorious leaks into “scandals.” Almost everyone in town has a stake in fending off the Trump threat: government workers and the businesses that serve them, public unions, lobbyists and their clients, owners of posh hotels and restaurants that cater to well-heeled visitors seeking government favors, journalists whose prestige derives from the power center they cover, academics who show politicians how to mismanage the economy, real-estate agents feeding on the boom—to name a few. It’s a good living, and few take kindly to a brash outsider who proclaims it is his mission to drain the swamp.

Mr. Trump is on the attack and Washington is fighting back. Is the Republic in danger? Another question is how much danger will it be in if Mr. Trump loses?

Mr. Melloan is a former deputy editor of the Journal editorial page and author of “When the New Deal Came to Town,” (Simon & Schuster, 2016).”

Appeared in the May 26, 2017, print edition.

No comments: