I got an interesting reply on my post “The U.S. as a one-party state, and the class-character of governments“. Basically, the comment suggests that, yes, there’s little difference between Democrats and Republicans (anyone with an ounce of critical thinking skills can see that), but Donald Trump is outside of this system, and fixing it all.
This is a common refrain from Trump supporters, and I want to use the text of this guy’s comment to illustrate why that’s wrong. This perspective from Trump supporters led me to believe that some of them truly understand the need for revolutionary potential. Yet, our media is so bought, so capitalist and imperialist motivated, that the best we get as a legitimate force challenging the status quo is… a landlord with inherited wealth, who made more money out of his inheritance by exploiting poor people? Great.
But, the American education and media system encourages us not to look for real alternatives. These systems harness the desire for revolutionary potential, and with Republicans having imposing themselves more on society with brute force, and the Democrats utter inability to recognize the revolutionary potential at all, Donald Trump managed to retain the latent revolutionary potential of the lumpenproles, suburban middle class, libertarians and other members of the apolitical mass.
Anyway, I’ll break into the points of the comment, and dissect it bit by bit, in order to show why Trump has been effective at harnessing the anger people have at the system, as well as why that anger would be more effective, reasonable, and directed if it was harnessed instead as leftist and communist anger.
So the comment starts:
Nice article but I think You are missing a big part of the Support for Trump. The Democrat elites are financed by the Banksters. The GOP Elite- Paul Ryan, Mitt Romney, cocaine turtle McConell, Lindsey Graham, etc. are financed by the Military Industrial complex and The Chamber of Commerce. So the UniParty can be said to be financed by the Banksters, the Chamber of Commerce, and the Military Industrial Complex.
So far, I mostly agree. Where I differ, however, is that the difference between banks, military industrial complex, and the Chamber of Commerce is small. They’re different sectors, but they certainly have the same economic incentives (profit), and protect each other’s interests. I don’t see one party beholden to one specific sector within capital, but rather all those sectors, and the government, are necessary to preserve capitalist interest.
In other words, it’s not like some politicians are beholden to some interests, and some are beholden to others. In the U.S., all of these different concentrations of capital, including the U.S. government, are interdependent on one another. They don’t, and can’t, exist without the capitalist system.
The media has played up every utterance of President Trump that in any way could be considered racist. So many are missing why the middle class supports Him.
The thing is though, Trump does say racist stuff. It kind of doesn’t matter though, because I could take the most explicitly racist thing Trump has said, and his supporters would absolutely deny it’s racist. And, I want to use this point to comment on a broader trend among conservatives.
For example, let’s look at Roseanne as a good example. When she got fired from her show, it was because she made a racist tweet, where she compared a black woman to an ape. Did she use the N word? No. Does it still, obviously, blatantly, evoke decades-old racist tropes? Yes.
That’s why when there was conservative backlash, I think they took completely the wrong approach, or at least, the wrong approach if they wanted to seem genuine to liberals. They would say stuff like “oh, that’s not actually racist, and here’s why,” and then go into a semantic, pedantic diatribe with dictionary definitions and shit like that. When a more convincing argument, if you were to find one, is something like “Roseanne shouldn’t be fired because of a tweet.” I don’t agree with that, but at least it’s a tangible argument that has some rhetorical weight, rather than going “nuh uh, I’m rubber and you’re glue. Got ’em libtard.”
This is because what conservatives are actually trying to say is that the thing called racist shouldn’t be considered racist. But this shows the reptilian brain tendencies of right-wingers. When they feel something is socially threatened they go into a fight-or-flight mode, and that’s what the “it’s not racist” reaction signifies. They think that by something being labeled “racist”, it categorically is being rejected by society.
It reminds me of my undergrad philosophy classes. A lot of the discussions would be things like “where is the mind? Is it inside our brain? Is it in our bodies? It it born through the meeting of the world and our brain? This is the terms people talk about racism, even though racism is a material, measurable issue. It’s not a pseudo-existential, metaphysical question – “Where is racism? Does it exist if someone says ape instead of the N word?”. It’s treated like an actual, spiritual presence, and we acknowledge it based on how much we feel the absent presence of racism.
Here’s the newsflash though: when someone is called out for being racist, they aren’t categorically being reduced to “racist”. What they said was racist. And for Donald Trump, he says racist things a lot, and he also has, potentially as the president of the US, more power than anyone in the world. Because of this, when Donald Trump makes remarks that contribute to an environment that is increasingly hostile to people of specific races, that is racist. There’s no need to diagnose the nature of racism, to do linguistics tricks, to do whatever else, to find out where the racism is, there’s tangible, measurable impact from race-based language. That is racism.
i voted for Ron Paul in 2008, and supported Rand Paul in 2016, before it became obvious Trump was going to against all odds defeat the Uniparty’s chosen “Republican” candidate low-energy Jeb of the Bush Crime Cartel. the Democrat wing of the Uniparty nominated Crooked Hilliary was heavily financed by the same groups as Baby Bush so the Uniparty would have been happy with either.
So, it seems the first part of this post is premised on the idea that this guy wanted to undermine the mainstream political elite, which is why they supported Ron and Rand Paul, and therefore went on to support Trump. The issue is Ron Paul and Rand Paul are part of the “uniparty”, and are just as much partisan hacks as the rest of them. And I say this as a Ron Paul supporter in the ’08 election, although for context, I was 17.
There’s nothing cutting edge, interesting, or unique to advocating the neoliberal agenda in U.S., and consequently the world. That has been the tract of history since Reagan. Ron Paul just has a slightly different approach to preserving the capitalist neoliberal agenda. And it’s not even that different. The Paul agenda is to synthesize the most deregulated, neoliberal hell hole version of the U.S. with the “social liberalism” of the Democrats. Oh wow, really subversive! Every apolitical dude playing Call of Duty right now supports that political platform. It’s perhaps the least subversive political orientation in the U.S.
The Ron Paul platform wasn’t even new to the Republican party. He basically just renewed the Barry Goldwater platform. And looking back, we see the authoritarianism masking itself as right-wing “libertarianism” then, with Goldwater’s fixation on the Civil Rights Act of 1964. He opposed it at the time, in the name of businesses having the “right” to not serve people based on race. In retrospect, this is nakedly using capital as means to exert social and cultural violence, even though at the time people didn’t see it that way. In 20 years, the general populace will see how the right libertarian mini-trend of the late 2000s was reactive in the name of capital, in the same way Goldwater was.
In fact, the authoritarian tendencies of the right libertarianism are fully highlighted by this comment I’m replying to, considering the number of self-proclaimed libertarians who have now cleanly lapsed into Trump’s populist authoritarianism.
But in terms of Trump “going against all odds”: just because you’ve bought the narrative that Trump sells, doesn’t make it true. It’s not true. Try to think of one way Trump has tangibly changed policy. There’s none, except pushing things in the same direction they always have been.
The tax cut is what the American political system wanted. Democrats didn’t resist, they just wagged their finger at Trump and then vaguely pretended they didn’t support it. In terms of Trump pulling troops out of Syria and Afghanistan, those things are marketed to us as changes to the status quo – “Trump is striking against the military industrial complex!” – and yet, the troops he’s taking out our troops he added, putting the U.S. to the same levels as under Obama. Trump’s tax cut simply reinforces the power structures that exist under the “Uniparty”, and have always existed, and accelerated more towards existence since Reagan.
Trump the vulgarian is smashing the UniParty. In fact he is smashing it so bad They are probably going to run a well financed “independent’ in 2020 just so whomever They choose for the Democrat wing of the Uniparty glides into office on the backs of the banksters money. Think of how Clinton got in against Bush Sr. Without a man by the name of Ross Perot running third party mainly against NAFTA, Bush would have easily defeated the smooth criminal Clinton.
For one, it’s a common misconception among mainstream conservatives that Ross Perot cost Bush the election. Perot took votes away from Bush and Clinton, and although Perot was opposed to NAFTA, he was otherwise not very different from your average mainstream Republican. So the options were essentially: Reagan’s boring vice president, a centrist shill like Clinton, and a more right-leaning, austerity-minded, quirky Texas billionaire. In other words, the difference in policy between the three candidates were maybe the most negligible in American history.
Reagan radically changed the course of American economic development. Reagan signifies the shift from the Fordist, Keynesian approach to the post-Fordist, neoliberal approach. Every major U.S. politician since Reagan, including Ron Paul, Donald Trump, and even Bernie Sanders are operating under this post-Fordist paradigm. And at no point was this more true than the Bush / Clinton / Perot election, where all three candidates would be fiscally conservative, or at least moderate for Republicans before Reagan. Remember, the marginal tax proposed by Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is more generous than Nixon’s marginal tax rate.
Also, as to the point about Democrats financing an independent candidate: it’s not gonna happen, for several reasons.
- This comment presupposes that mainstream Democrats are afraid of losing the election to Trump. They aren’t, even though they should be. They see Trump winning as a weird, one-off mistake, and although they’re afraid of what he does as president, they aren’t afraid he’ll win again.
- The reason Democrats have pushed Mueller’s Russia probe so far is because they feel that is enough to de-legitimize the Trump presidency. In some ways, it’s worked, but it obviously hasn’t stopped Trump supporters from continuing to support him, no matter what, and it likely doesn’t make any non-voter more interested in voting (although other issues might), because non-voters tend to not care about parliamentary style inter-party West Wing style drama.
- Finally, Democrats won’t fund a third-party candidate because they’re more afraid of losing the left-wing of their party to a better party. Do you realize that A) most people who vote third party probably wouldn’t otherwise vote for either candidate? And that B) even though that’s true, Democrats believe every vote for a third party would have been a vote for a Democrat if the third party wasn’t there? This is what Republicans believe as well. And there may be some truth to it, but I’m highly skeptical most Jill Stein voters (I was one of them), or any Gary Johnson voters, would have voted for either Clinton or Trump.
The point being, as a Trump supporter, it’s very easy to be shielded from the inter-left conflict within the True Left, the left-leaning Democrats, and the democratic centrists. Trump supporters are only exposed to moments when they “trigger the libs,” and are “being threatened” by the liberal agenda etc. It’s hard to blame you though because that’s the singular issue the press is obsessed with. But also, Republicans don’t realize how much the Democrats do to clamp down on any true leftist political project, because Republicans are being told that Democrats are already socialist (literally loled to myself typing that).
The Bush/Clinton Neocon Warfare state was crushed by Donald J. Trump. The Uniparty also owns the Mainstream Media- all of it including Fox. There are million more folks like Me supporting Trump. I want a return to the Constitutional Republic We were given by Our founder’s.
Nope. This is just empty campaign rhetoric you bought. I already went into how Trump not only expanded the U.S. Empire, but his hollow “pull-out” was a complete fabrication. The US, under Trump, has the largest military budget of any country, at any point in history. There are 150 countries with a U.S. military presence in them, which is MOST countries.
Trump will not back down from supporting the Saudi genocide of Yemenis, which is actively supported by both American infantry presence and major arms deals. Trump has been one of the most pro-Israel, pro-genocidal Apartheid presidents, and that’s saying a lot.
Trump has hired neocon staples to fill his cabinet, including John Bolton as National Security Adviser, who is probably the biggest parody of a neocon warhawk possible. Trump has flirted with military force against DPRK and Iran, and the U.S. military has attempted an assassination of Maduro, as well as heavily flirting with full blown military intervention in Venezuela.
I’ve barely scratched the surface about how, not only is Trump actively maintaining the U.S. Empire, but actively expanding it. Here’s a video by Abby Martin that further explains this:
In short, if you are a Trump supporter and genuinely believe that Trump is actually a non-interventionist, and not a neoconservative, neoliberal shill who simply integrates ethnic-based nationalist racism in order to convince his base that he’s “different”, then you’re either extremely ignorant, or extremely deluded.
Donald Trump is patently a neocon, neolib, in every way possible. And if you believe he isn’t then you bought into his hollow rhetoric in the same way Democrats bought into Obama’s rhetoric.
And regarding the remark about Fox: every idea in Trump’s head comes from Fox. He regularly tweets things out that echo what someone else just said on Fox News. And as for MSNBC, the entire hatred of Trump is for publicity. Sure, a lot of those pundits probably legitimately hate Trump. But in their hatred of Trump, they simply reify Democrat opposition to Trump, and reify Republican support of Trump. The opposite is true for Fox News.
MSNBC and Fox are two opposing pieces of the American political media machine. Think of them as two pistons on opposite sides of the same engine.
You seem to believe in Communism. i will admit to You that what little I know from study of Communism/Socialism is that it leads to death. Any government that does not allow individual freedom of choosing what is right for Me as long as i don’t infringe on Your right to choose what is right for You is doomed for failure and leads first to democratic dictatorship, then oligarchy, then “1984” They live type Slavery and dark ages.
Before I go into the content of this post, I just want to say: Orwell and Carpenter are/were leftists. Carpenter has vocally opposed the right-wing interpretation of They Live. 1984 is a critique of big government (the U.S. is unquestionably a bigger government than any Socialist government), not a critique of socialist economies, or any style of economy for that matter. In other words, both pieces of media are critiques of political and/or cultural systems not economic systems – a difference that you obviously don’t make in your critique.
So here’s the issue with your comment: the US government leads to death, and is responsible for millions of deaths, either directly through military force, or indirectly through sweeping sanctions, etc. It’s frankly a complete joke for an American, a citizen of the most oligarchic government in the world, to comment on the hypothetical oligarchy of a hypothetical economic system they know nothing about.
The simple fact is, the U.S. governmental, capitalist elite, and that certainly includes Donald Trump, has managed to convince working people that communism will lead to all kinds of bad things. If you can think of it, they will fearmonger about it. You will starve, be homeless, not have a job, it will be a “dictatorship”, and every other bad thing you can possibly think of. Why do we believe this?
Really, think about it. Even if Donald Trump is actually “smashing the Uniparty,” and completely outside of the U.S. political elite, why do you think every (literally every) U.S. politician is anti-communism? I can tell you think of yourself as a free thinker, so why haven’t you questioned the one universal “truth” forced upon us by the super-rich elite?
Politicians and billionaires are the ones who control our access to information. They control the process and direct the political narrative we consume. They’re our conductors of information. And yet, universally from MSNBC to Breitbart, communism is treated as the absolute worst thing. Anything within the political arena is fair game, no matter how hateful it is, as long as it’s nowhere near communism.
Have you not questioned why you A) have no understanding of what communism is? and B) why your kneejerk reaction to communism is saying “ooga booga, scary boogey man words”?
Surely you have wondered why every rich and powerful person in the U.S. has hammered it into your skull why capitalism is good and communism is bad. You didn’t even have to think twice to continue doing their bidding. Why?
When the French rose up against the Aristocracy they made one mistake they formed a Democracy instead of a Republic. Our forefather’s gave us a republic and were totally against a Central Bank especially one run by private international bankers and having the ability to coin Our money. now they just add 0’s and 1’s on a computer program and charge the taxpayers interest for money created out of tin air.
This is complete ahistorical nonsense. I’ll start with the Democracy vs. Republicanism thing. For one, after the French Revolution, they did form a Republic. Republicanism is a foundational value of the French Revolution. You clearly betray your ignorance for suggesting Revolutionary France was not Republican.
Not only that, but the entire premise is a joke. There’s no practical difference between Republicanism and Democracy. Virtually all governments in the world, excluding Saudi Arabia and some other exceptions, consider themselves Republics, and Democratic. Democracy isn’t even a form of government, it’s a value that all governments claim to uphold, and western capitalist countries believe the best way to do so is through Republicanism. For all practical purposes, in a mainstream western context, Republicanism and Democracy are interchangeable.
Seriously, can you answer this question: where did this talking point come from? Because, out of the blue, a couple years ago, I started hearing conservatives make this argument all the time. It clearly came from somewhere, because conservatives love to echo what they’re told to argue. Did this originate with Ben Shapiro? Fox News? Seriously, I’d love to know who originally floated this flaccid argument.
And more importantly, what is even the point of this argument? Does it have any impact? Is the point to tell people that, who they actually want as a ruler is irrelevant, and they have to accept our inept representatives?
Are you trying to argue that communism is more democratic than capitalist Republicanism? If so, you’re absolutely right.
As for the point about our constitution and the founding fathers, I will say this type argumentation is pointless to argue against conservatives about. Everyone who evokes the constitution and founding fathers in this way are practicing Religion. You are taking about the constitution the way religious people talk about the Bible.
But, I will try to reply shortly. For one, the founding fathers weren’t opposed to a central bank as we know it. they may have been opposed to the equivalent of a central bank that existed in feudal England, but that was before capitalism even existed. And what the founding fathers were most interested in developing was a secular, colonial-Imperial capitalist state.
As the banking system within capitalism developed, the best way to maintain a colonial-Imperial capitalist state – the goal of the founding fathers – was found to include a large, profit-generating, private financial and banking sector.
If it weren’t for these institutions, capitalism in the U.S. would collapse. Much of the labor that generates value in the U.S. economy is done elsewhere, then imported. The only way America remains the richest country in the world is by maintaining exploitative, global exchanges. These exchanges are facilitated by the finance and banking sectors. Without global trade, the U.S. economy would collapse, because our economy depends on value being generated cheaply in the third world, then imported to the U.S., then distributed to market with tremendous mark-up.
In short, if you want to preserve American capitalism, considering the current point in history, and America’s role in the global commodity chain, then the financial and banking sector must remain.
To wrap up, I want to say that in a specific context, based on the information that people are exposed to, and the world they come from, I understand why someone who is extremely dissatisfied with the American political system would turn to Trump. His entire campaign was rooted upon uprooting the political system. But we are two years into his presidency, and it’s obvious he hasn’t changed anything.
If you a still think Trump has actually changed anything, then here’s a news flash: you don’t actually care about politics. The only thing Trump has changed is made the general, social atmosphere of the U.S. much more hostile and aggro.
If you think Trump has changed anything, then your political interests don’t lie in politics, they lie in culture war, racebaiting, redbaiting bullshit, because that’s the only thing he has changed. He has proven himself to be just as much of a neoliberal, neoconservative, war mongering capitalist shill as any other member of the political elite.
Overall, that is a good thing, because if Trump actually realized the entire vision presented in his political campaign, it would be more of the same capitalist bullshit, with even more ethnic war crimes and general crimes against humanity than the U.S. already perpetrates daily.
I want to close with the famous Mark Fischer passage: it’s easier to imagine the end of the world than the end of capitalism. A lot of factors have contributed to so many people seeing the world this way. And Trump has managed to exploit this energy, this sensation that something must change, and this change will yield the end of the world, before it could possibly yield the end of our economic system.