[Marxism] Trump and the reluctance to reckon with something fundamentally new

Chris Slee chris_w_slee at hotmail.com
Thu May 9 21:38:41 MDT 2019


John Reimann asks:  "Is Russian imperialism operating on a different wavelength from US imperialism?"

My answer is "no".  Russia and the US are two rival imperialist powers, which sometimes cooperate and sometimes come into conflict.

Venezuela is a case where they have come into conflict.  Hence Putin has sent a small military contingent to help deter a possible US invasion.  It is far too small to prevent a full scale US invasion of Venezuela.  It is a symbolic gesture, indicating that Russia will assist the Venezuelan armed forces in resisting a possible invasion.

Similarly the US is planning (unless Trump changes his mind again) to keep a small presence in northeastern Syria to deter a possible Turkish invasion and/or an Assadist invasion.

John says: "Putin is looking out for the interests of the Russian capitalists".  I agree.

Similarly Trump, when he intensified the sanctions against Venezuela, was acting in the interests of the US capitalist class, which wants to overthrow the Venezuelan government.  Trump acted in the tradition of US imperialism, which regards Latin America as its "backyard".

Why do imperialist powers sometimes support progressive governments or movements?  Why does Russia support Venezuela, and why does the US support Northeast Syria?

Sometimes inter-imperialist rivalry leads to such surprising occurrences.  During the second world war the US and Britain supported Communist-led resistance movements against German and Japanese imperialism.

While both Putin and Trump act in the interests of their respective ruling classes, there are some differences.  Putin is firmly in control of Russia, whereas Trump faces a lot of opposition.  A large part of the ruling class is hostile to him.

But this does not mean Trump is a servant of Putin.  It just means the US ruling class is divided.

Chris Slee



________________________________
From: John Reimann <1999wildcat at gmail.com>
Sent: Friday, 10 May 2019 2:08:27 AM
To: Chris Slee
Cc: Activists and scholars in Marxist tradition
Subject: Re: [Marxism] Trump and the reluctance to reckon with something fundamentally new

I was going to bow out of this discussion since I felt I had nothing further to add. But "Russia sending aid"? Really? Does anybody really think that that reactionary capitalist government, whose head of state is little but the capo di tutti capo is sending "aid" to Venezuela when he sends in his troops and fighter jets? Is Russian imperialism operating on a different wavelength from US imperialism? Putin is looking out for the interests of the Russian capitalists. Period.

Of course, the article was on far more than just Venezuela, as I've pointed out before, and in fact Venezuela is not the only issue that exists on the planet. But that's another question.

John Reimann





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