The moribund politics of the ruling class posing as The Resistance are creating the perfect conditions for another four years of Donald Trump.
“A truly independent political party of working people can only arise when the Democratic Party is no longer able to masquerade as a party of the left.”
It doesn’t appear that Trump’s position as president is in any real danger. Impeachment is no longer a serious discussion among the leaders of the “resistance.” Russiagate isn’t letting up steam but has time and time again been exposed as nothing but hot air. There is a segment of the population that believes the US intelligence-driven narrative that Russia helped elect Donald Trump. However, most people living in the US simply do not believe that Russia is either a threat to the US political system or an important subject matter at all.
What has been most surprising about the Trump era does not involve the orange billionaire’s racism or his “authoritarian” rule as President. These aspects of Donald Trump are fully explained by his career as a capitalist. Capitalists occupy by far the most repressive and anti-democratic class position within the Empire. Racism is to capitalism as the brain is to a beating heart. One cannot exist without the other. The real story of the Trump period is the rapid rate in which the Empire is falling apart.
“Most people living in the US simply do not believe that Russia is either a threat to the US political system or an important subject matter at all.”
Obama ended his Presidency confident that Hillary Clinton would take over the Empire and continue the pursuit of unipolar imperial conquest at the behest of finance capital. Little did he or his masters in Wall Street know that Clinton was unelectable. Clinton took the Democratic primary from Sanders by way of influence-peddling through the DNC. She then ran an uninspired campaign against Trump by huddling all the bankers, warmongers, and spooks that she could squeeze under her big nasty tent. Clinton promised nothing to the masses other than a continuation of policies she claimed indicated that “America was already great.” WikiLeaks added insult to injury by airing the many secrets that Clinton was hiding from the public regarding her deep subservience to Wall Street and the Pentagon. Her reward was low voter-turnout and a loss to Trump at the hands of the Electoral College system.
Unable to accept the results, Clinton and her friends on Wall Street and the Pentagon blamed Russia for Trump’s victory. Trump campaigned on a platform that included détente with Russia. Such a position was enough to drive the Clinton coalition of neoconservative and neoliberal capitalist warmongers mad with fear over the increasingly independent policies of the Russian Federation. Putin, Trump, and WikiLeaks were lumped together in a conspiracy to make Trump the 45thUS President. Proof of the accusations against Putin or WikiLeaks was never the concern of the ruling class forces behind Russiagate. The Russiagate conspiracy began as and continues to be a policy provoked by a crisis of legitimacy that has only compounded the Empire’s thirst for war.
“The real story of the Trump period is the rapid rate in which the Empire is falling apart.”
Russiagate is an indicator that things are falling apart for the capitalist empire headed by the United States. Trump is not supposed to be in the White House. His opposition to NATO, the EU, and the foreign policy goals these institutions embody make this fact clearer by the day. It does not matter how many tax cuts Trump gifts to the super rich. His support of Israel, drone warfare, and militarized immigration policy has not satisfied the appetite of the US ruling class one bit.Trump’s very presence in the White House means he cannot as an individual pursue the entire program of the ruling class, which includes most importantly the containment of Russia and China.
This containment strategy reached dangerous heights under Obama. Obama placed US military hardware on Russia and China’s borders. Trump’s Presidency has complicated the US imperial project toward the rising powers to the East. He has waged a fraudulent “trade war” with China all the while conceding to the People’s Republic on issues such as Korea. While Trump has been pressured by the ruling class to continue sanctions toward Russia, his summit with Putin in July and his antipathy toward NATO has led to very real instability between the imperialist countries. Trump is no anti-imperialist warrior. His hostile yet contradictory postures toward Latin America and Iran speak for themselves. However, these positions are not the principle contradiction of the Trump era. The sum of contradictions under the rule of Trump has inevitably led to stagnation and decay in the military arena.
“Trump’s support of Israel, drone warfare, and militarized immigration policy has not satisfied the appetite of the US ruling class one bit.”
Decaying US military hegemony compliments the political and economic crisis afflicting the empire.
Russiagate has attempted to bury the reality of decay and crisis in a heap of old “Cold War” logic. The ruling class cannot afford to admit that Trump is the product of a general crisis of imperialism. The profit-motive does not allow monopoly corporations and banks to concede that China has already surpassed the US in terms of Purchasing Power Parity (PPP). It also cannot admit that endless war does not create the conditions for a capitalist economic recovery like it did in the mid-20thcentury. Imperialism has reached a point of no return where austerity, poverty, and state terror are all that much of the planet can expect under US domination. And Trump has no intentions of stabilizing a system he was never deemed fit to govern.
Trump has certainly stirred up a lot of emotion from his opponents. Some of the emotion is understandable yet easily exploited by the ruling class. Trump indeed appeals to white supremacy and his status as a capitalist makes him no friend of a real left. Still, to ignore the realities that undergird his presidency is akin to political suicide. If the empire is crumbling, then it should be the leftthat gives the decisive push toward its destruction.
“Russiagate has attempted to bury the reality of decay and crisis in a heap of old ‘Cold War’ logic.”
Yet it seems as if what passes for the left has little interest in opposing empire at all. When Trump opposes NATO, only a handful of organizations and publications such as Black Agenda Report and the Black Alliance for Peace can be relied upon to remain principled in its opposition to NATO as well. When Trump speaks of a détente with Russia, much of what passes for the left in the US curiously links Russia with Trumpian racism instead of demanding the President make good on his word. When Trump speaks against free-trade agreements, few labor unions or workers organizations in the US take up the call to demand the President to institute real policy to alleviate the jobless and poverty associated with these policies.
That’s because the left is not really a left at all. The left was herded like sheep into the Obama camp beginning in 2008. Issues of war, austerity, and racism were abandoned in place of an obsession with the “first Black President.” Occupy Wall Street and the Black Lives Matter uprisings were thus left with little ideological guidance and subsequently crushed by the combined forces of the non-profit industrial complex and the state. However, the sentiments behind these movements have persisted. Trump is in the White House because two-party duopoly has nothing to offer its respective voting bases,let alone the workers and oppressed peoples that the system has always forsaken.
“It seems as if what passes for the left has little interest in opposing empire at all.”
The Trump era is another signal toward the end of US empire. However, the empire will not go down without a fight. Trump cannot offer what the masses of people need and want. Resentment is bound to fester as things continue to fall apart. The moribund politics of the ruling class posing as “the resistance” are creating the perfect conditions for another four years of Donald Trump. It is a mistake to think that fighting Trump alone can lead to anything like the development of an independent political party that represents the interests of working class and poor people. This party can only arise when the Democratic Party is no longer able to masquerade as a party of the left. An independent political party should be able to articulate why the empire is falling apart and provide a clear vision for what should replace it: socialism. And no, socialism doesn’t need “democratic” in front of it to be attractive. The power of the people requires no reservations. However, it does need to be articulated and given real expression in the form of organization. No Democrat can do that, regardless of how radical they sound.
Danny Haiphong is an activist and journalist in the New York City area. He and Roberto Sirvent are co-authors of the forthcoming book entitled American Exceptionalism and American Innocence: The Fake News of Wall Street, White Supremacy, and the US War Machine (Skyhorse Publishing). He can be reached at [email protected]
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