Saturday, August 4, 2018

Is Trump as Popular as the Mass Media Claims?

Top building trades leaders sucking up to the Predator in Chief
Richard Mellor
Afscme Local 444, retired

Look at this headline from the guardian:
"Elizabeth Warren: Democrats can be ‘party of white working class and Black Lives Matter"

It appears that the leadership of Black Lives Matter is very middle class and as far as its base it would certainly have strong support of the black working class as it does white liberal middle class types, but to the guardian it has no class I guess. What is missing of course is a party for the working class black white or otherwise.

And here's another from the Guardian: "The crowds still love Donald Trump – but for how long?"

Is the Guardian not aware that There are huge swathes of the US that Trump can't visit? He was driven out of Chicago. He cannot come to California the most populated US state and 6th largest economy in the world and he has to avoid most urban areas as best he can. The Guardian's liberal middle class bent leads it to fear the ruling class as it does not see the working class as being able to play any role at all.

There were some 80 million people who did not vote in the 2016 election from what I gather. Trump also lost the popular vote by some three million to the war criminal and Goldman Sachs spokesperson Hillary Clinton. Trump was guaranteed victory thanks to the undemocratic Electoral College which is not a college by the way but is composed of the dominant leaders of the parties.

The US population is not as conservative and right wing as the leading liberal media and much of the liberal/lefty sections of the social media would have us think. This is not to say that with the rise of Trump, the fascists, KKK, Nazi's and white nationalists haven't been given confidence to come out more in to the open which has its positive side as well. Better we can identify them openly. But among the average workers I find those that voted for Trump are still not so keen championing him by name.

That working class consciousness is low in the US is a given and is also a product of the fact that we've never had a political party of our own, a political party being the consciousness of a class so to speak, and the criminal role of the heads of organized labor who 's silence on the major issues of the day is deafening. I have not researched it but I would bet that prior to the Second World War and the favorable post war era (for the US) that US workers would not have referred to themselves as middle class as they do today.

Then we have the dominance of identity politics as well . Every sort of personal identity and feeling can be discussed but not class. Raise class and it's as if you've thrown down the gauntlet, you're a terrorist almost and it shows how terrified the US ruling class is of the US working class whose standard of living it is savaging. There is a section of the US bourgeois that doesn't care, that is too cocky, overconfident and this is increasing division among the US ruling class as the more serious and astute of them see the catastrophe that lies ahead, the disastrous consequences for capitalism and profit taking if Trump is not stopped. The crisis among the US bourgeois as US capitlaism's influence on the world stage is under siege with the rise of China and Russia and to a lesser extent India is also reflected in the serious crisis facing its two parties, the Republicans and Democrats. The era of this two party dominance is over as both of them are facing potential splits.

As I have written previously, the trade union leadership at the highest levels share a huge responsibility for the rise of Trump and the right wing as they have kowtowed to big business through forcing concessions on their members and even cooperating with bosses to fire uncooperative local leaders (Freightliner's Cleveland Five) and certainly in undermining any movement from below that threatened the cozy relationship the union hierarchy has built with the bosses based on labor peace.

The disgusting picture of the building trades union leaders with Trump says it all. They hide like mice from the war US capitalism is waging on their members and the working class as a whole, keeping themselves out of the spotlight in case they're asked to do something, and yet bask in the glory of a picture with this Predator in Chief who is the commander in Chief of this war and has intensified it.

Trumka, the head of the AFL-CIO, the lawyer that is atop the Teamsters, Hoffa Jr. and other prominent labor officials are also as guilty for their weak responses and promises to "work" with Trump, so revered is this office of leader of the world's most powerful and violent capitalist class. 

So many issues of the day that are crucial with regards to working class interests, both in the US and internationally are not understood by many workers because of the failure or the heads of the workers' organizations to explain them. The struggle facing all activists, the struggle for the cosnciousness of the working class has been abandoned by the labor hierarchy (not that it ever existed) and unfortunately by most of the socialist left in the unions who refuse to openly challenge the labor leaderships role. The ideology of the bourgeois, individualism, selfishness, goes unchallenged for the most part.  The media, the universities (capitalist think tanks), the established churches, mosques, temples, these are all outlets that spread the myth that the market and so called free enterprise are the only forms of social organization.

Trumka just this week made some positive comments about Trump's trade policies which even most bourgeois see as leading to catastrophe if pursued with much more vigor. Trumka supports them feeding in to the false idea that protectionism, workers supporting US capitalism in its life and death competition with rivals from other nation states will save jobs and also keep the revenue (members dues money) coming in to the union coffers which is what Trumka values most. This can then be handed over to Democrats at election time and hopefully slow the pace of decline a little and keep the union hierarchy in lifestyle they are accustomed. Protectionism is the Team Concept at the national and international level.

The more serious sections of the US capitalist class are very conscious of the Smoot Hawley tariffs that exacerbated the economic crisis and sped up the rush to war in the early 1930's as other nations retaliated leading to a war that left some 50 million dead.  Both protectionism and free trade are capitalist solutions to capitalist problems, both are a disaster for workers of all countries and will eventually lead to war and even nuclear conflict if pursued to the fullest.  Disastrous conflict can only be avoided if production of human needs on a world scale, transportation for example or agriculture (food) is a planned rational process taken out of private hands on the basis of profits, and a collective organizational decision made by producers and consumers based on need and in harmony with the natural world not against it. There are already international organizations of workers in various industries; this is not a utopian concept.  Either way, it is the only way out.

We have discussed that the present conditions prevail where every avenue that workers have as options to relieve these pressures are being closed. The courts and the justice system has always served the rich against the poor and disenfranchised and our prisons are bursting at the seams, full of workers that capitalism has abandoned and is threatened by if they have freedom in the form of social movement. With so many of them being people of color it is also a way of denying people access to the electoral process. The electoral system with the domination of two parties of capital and the open bribery of politicians in what is euphemistcally called lobbying has long ago been abandoned by millions of workers also. The trade union leaders are ideologically bankrupt and offer no serious threat to the rule of capital.
We have pointed out on this blog in the past and in our weekly conference calls that under these conditions, with all "official" avenues closed to them, US society is close to its tipping point, a society that is about to explode. The massive poverty, alienation and oppressive weight of the ideology of capitalism that blames the individual for their own condition and that goes unchallenged by any serious social force cannot continue.
I am not pessimistic about the future. I am confident that the US working class will rise to the occasion  but the movement is delayed and the nature of it will be unnecessarily violent and confused and varied due to the objective situation and absence of the subjective force. This will arise as the moveemnt finds its feet.
We have seen not just with Black Lives Matter  but also numerous struggles against environmental degradation and also indigenous rights like Standing Rock and resistance to gentrification, the poisoning of our water and also an uptick in strikes. There is presently a huge conflict in Puerto Rico as it recovers from disastrous weather patterns and economic terrorism inflicted on it by the body politic. The recent strikes and movement of education workers, teachers and others including in Puerto Rico and with women in the forefront are huge developments striking in a state where striking is illegal. We cannot underestimate these movement among education workers and how it has terrified both politicians and the labor hierarchy alike. That movement drew in all workers, was rank and file driven and improved the material well being of more than those immediately involved. This is a dangerous development for supporters of the status quo.
But as we know, we make choices but we don't, or rarely, choose the conditions under which we make them.  We are in for a contentious struggle but out of confusion which will include reaction as well, class unity will be a prominent feature as workers tend to look to class allies in these times, tend to overcome the numerous divide and rule tactics of the capitalist class, racism, sexism, religious sectarianism.
I just got up this morning, looked at the news, and needed this.

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