aktiv at rkob.net
Tue Oct 15 23:44:45 MDT 2019
Thanks, John, for your critical remarks. You made a similar point in a
critical post to another article of the RCIT. However, I don’t really
see the contradiction between our arguments as stark as you do.
Those who are aware of my (resp. the RCIT’s) writings on the Trump
Administration will know that I have been always very clear about the
corrupt and bizarre character of the U.S. President. Likewise, I have
also always pointed out the huge tensions and factions struggle within
the American ruling class.
But it seems to me that you view this phenomenon too much in isolation
while I try to put it more into a broader context: the decay of U.S.
imperialism. I am aware that the laws of materialist dialectic allow for
the role of the individual in history as well as for the role of chance.
But leaving aside all random and secondary factors, Marxists should, in
my opinion, realize that there is a necessity behind the fact that the
largest imperialist power is led since three years by such a bankrupt
and dumb figure like Trump.
The mad Roman emperor Commodus opened the long period of structural
crisis of the Roman Empire in the 3^rd century AD. The reasons for the
decline of the Roman Empire have to seen in the structural stagnation of
productive forces and the inner contradictions of the antique mode of
production based on slavery. The rule of Commodus was a result of this
and not the cause of the decline – albeit it certainly accelerated this
Similar with Trump. Is it not an expression of the decay of U.S.
capitalism that Trump was able to take over with relatively ease one of
the two major parties of the monopoly bourgeoisie?! I don’t think so.
Surely, many big capitalists, strategists and representatives of the
American bourgeoisie are unhappy with such an embarrassing figure at the
top. But is there a relatively consensus about an alternative figure and
an alternative fundamental strategy? Not really – at least until now.
Most of them agree on an aggressive course against imperialist China.
And the U.S. decline of influence in the Middle East did not start with
Trump. Obama – obviously a giant on an intellectual and moral level
compared with Trump – also had to start the process of withdrawal from
Afghanistan. And he also flinched from his “red line” in Syria in 2013.
And Russia started its invasion in Syria in 2015, i.e. when Obama was
still in power. In short, one of the reasons why Trump is still in power
(and has not been impeached or faced the fate of Kennedy) is that his
opponents agree on their contempt for him but not on positive alternatives.
Finally, you did criticise when we said that “U.S. imperialism” betrayed
the Kurds and flinches from confrontation with Iran etc. You said this
is not an accurate formulation since it is only the Trump Administration
which is doing this and the majority of the U.S. monopoly bourgeoisie
opposes this. There is no doubt that the majority of the bourgeoisie is
enraged by the utterly incompetent and pathetic way of how Trump is
handling all these. (One bourgeois analyst commented yesterday that “it
is almost embarrassing to watch this.”) But:
1) Do they have fundamental differences with Trump, i.e. would they want
to stay indefinitely in Afghanistan, would they want to go to war with
Iran now, would they want to have a larger intervention in Syria, etc.?
Some might do so but there exists certainly no consensus among the
Anti-Trump camp in the bourgeoisie.
2) In the end, it is the U.S. President who represents U.S. imperialism
and not the numerous critics in the Congress and the media. And what
counts are the facts, not the criticism. And since the U.S. military
retreats from Syria, this has become a fact and hence it is accurate to
say that “U.S. imperialism” retreats. Like it or not, Trump is (until
now) the representative of the largest imperialist power.
In the end, his corrupt and dumb way of running the country is just a
peculiar form of how necessity asserts itself through accidents!
Am 15.10.2019 um 20:29 schrieb John Reimann via Marxism:
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> I largely agree with the RCIT statement on Syria, the PYD, etc. However,
> they also write concerning Trump’s withdrawal “ another “*Saigon moment*”
> as Washington realizes it is no longer strong enough to keep its hegemonial
> role in the Middle East.“
> I think this is mistaken. The US withdrawal from Vietnam was not on the
> whim or personal decision in opposition to every wing of the government and
> the capitalist class which it represents. Trump’s withdrawal is. The
> diplomatic wing, the military wing, even the entire legislative wing of the
> government is aghast. Even the Christian fundamentalists are opposed!
> Yes, US imperialism is in retreat, but this step is nowhere near the same
> as the US military defeat in Vietnam. Where, in fact, have US forces even
> been defeated in Syria? No, what this shows is the extreme political crisis
> of US capitalism at home.
Revolutionär-Kommunistische Organisation BEFREIUNG
(Österreichische Sektion der RCIT, www.thecommunists.net)
aktiv at rkob.net
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