[Marxism] Fwd: Trump’s Fledgling Presidency Has Already Collapsed

Jeff meisner at xs4all.nl
Tue Aug 8 11:33:56 MDT 2017


On 2017-08-08 18:49, Louis Proyect via Marxism wrote:
> 
> No, there will be no dictatorship in the USA--not as long as bourgeois
> democracy can ensure Nissan workers voting against their own class
> interests. Why would the American ruling class sanction a risky and
> unnecessary fascist state when the electoral machine keeps everybody
> under its thumb so well? With the largest socialist group in the USA
> determined to support Democratic candidates, why rock the boat?

All you have just proved is that you would be a valuable and 
clear-thinking analyst for the ruling class; fortunately you are on the 
right side though! I agree, indeed most of the ruling class in the US 
and similar countries agrees, that bourgeois democracy is a better way 
for them to maintain their power and profits. If you then conclude that 
therefore we will probably not see a fascist take-over, then I also 
agree.

But that rests on the use of the word "probably." Just like I said: you 
*probably* won't get killed crossing the street blindfolded. That 
doesn't mean there isn't a great danger, just that that danger is less 
than jumping off a cliff.

And further, there can be a rather tenuous connection with reality 
whenever we talk about the "ruling class thinks" this or that. First, 
you can't assume that the ruling class knows exactly what's in its best 
interests. If they did, then they would all be of the same opinion, 
which is obviously not the case. They argue like hell among themselves, 
just as do we.

But beyond that, there is no absolute law that guarantees the views of 
the majority of the ruling class will prevail. The only way they could 
do that is by having elections in which only they are allowed to vote. 
Instead, they erect a great charade in which their interests will be 
conveyed through their ideological influences (and buying TV ad time, 
etc. etc.) in an approximate scheme that gets their predominant views 
chosen by the voters. It more or less works, but delivers results in 
which their original intention is only achieved in a very approximate 
fashion.

For instance, I'm not sure that the majority of the German or Italian 
ruling classes were clamoring for fascism before those dictators came to 
power. Or closer to the present, I'm pretty sure the bulk of the US 
ruling class -- in October -- would have preferred Clinton over Trump. 
But after he was elected nonetheless, then almost all of the Republicans 
in congress were willing to work with him, just as most of the German 
ruling class was fine with Hitler once he took power.

Just talking about what the ruling class wants is what the ruling class 
gets (until the revolution) is a fatalistic interpretation of history 
that would disarm our side. It isn't the way any of us think in 
practice. There is a great deal of uncertainty in many outcomes, and if 
there is a threat of a fascist take-over, even a small threat, of course 
we take that seriously and we take action.

Forget about elections for parties and candidates for a moment. If there 
were a referendum held on whether the US should become fascist, then 
everyone calling themselves a leftist (with a few sad exceptions) would 
be campaigning for a "No" vote, not abstention. I saw Trump's election 
campaign as tantamount to such a referendum.

- Jeff













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