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Some notes on Trump’s ten months and the situation in the USA

Pedro Fuentes

The center of the world situation is focused on the Catalan pro-independence democratic
struggle. It demonstrates once again the importance that popular democratic rebellions have acquired as a response to the increasing authoritarianism of the regimes, be it the government of Trump, the government of Venezuela, or Temer; however distinct, none of them escapes the objective fact of the increase of authoritarianism. This course is a consequence of the incapacity and crisis of the bourgeois democratic regimes based on bipartisanship, which are incapable of responding to the needs and aspirations of the mass movement. Catalonia also shows that the authoritarian course is rejected by that movement, and that it also happens in the US.
Trump increases the political crisis and social polarization and accelerates the decline of
the US world hegemony. 1.- It would be wrong to think that Trump is just a cartoonish clown. Although he has a lot of this, it’s more than that. He didn’t emerge as a coincidence or as an isolated phenomenon, but as a consequence of the crisis of the bourgeois democratic regimes that we pointed out above and that happened in the US.
Trump expresses the polarization of American society and encourages that polarization.
His “peculiar” way of governing and his sudden outbursts show the crisis of the bipartisan regime and accelerate its the crisis. However, he doesn’t act in the air; all of his measures have a clear class side; he governs for the minority of the great American financial capital and USA’s wealthiest. To do so, he relies on a sector of the population that has turned to the right, that likes his macho discourses and his vulgar attacks.
This policy does not act in the air, it responds to the dominant right wing of the Republican
Party that agrees with what Trump does even with their contradictions.
This policy is destroying social security and what was left of “Obamacare”, limits and
represses immigrants. It is preparing a tax reform even more in the service of the rich than there is now, and that will more strongly condemn the middle class and the country’s
poorest. Social security and the greater transfer of taxes to the poor are the trademark of Trump’s policy in the upcoming months.
2.- What is the resistance to this policy? The great mobilizations that began with his term
and had their highest point in Women’s March to Washington decreased in intensity. The socialist comrades also explain to us that no organizations emerged from these great
mobilizations so that they could have permanence. But this doesn’t mean that the people are defeated and accepting Trump. The overwhelming evidence were after the
supremacist demonstrations started in Charlottesville. The left and the democratic sectors clearly won in the streets. The ultra right wing that feeds on Trump’s policy was confronted by the left and suffered a crushing defeat in Boston when 50,000 protesters said no to the handful of supremacists gathered in the city. On the other hand, although there is still no great resistance in the streets to the destructive policy of social security, the extensive American avant-garde has taken as its  central slogan the “Medicare for all”, which is entering with force in the large social sectors threatened by the lack of minimum  healthcare to which they could rely on.

And on the other hand the social conscience grows. It may be that, as in the rest of the
world, the denial to affirm an alternative. But surely the head of the American people is
opening and not closing. The concrete fact in which this is expressed is that Sanders
continues to be a political alternative for a sector of society. He has not died after his
defeat in the Democratic inmates; On the contrary, he is alive and is a pole of hope for the poor people, including the African-American sector. Trump’s discourse consolidates with him a sector of the population that is approximately
30% and on the other side is Bernie Sanders and his discourse of taxing the rich,
defending Medicare for all and the political revolution that means especially the end of the current system of large corporations funding parties.
3.- The crisis of the regime is expressed in an interesting survey of the Washington Post. It
says about political issue and the parties the majority of the population thinks that there is
a situation similar to that which existed in the times of Vietnam. “The Washington Post-
University of Maryland poll – conducted nine months after Trump’s tumultuous presidency – reveals a clearly pessimistic view of US politics, widespread distrust of the nation’s political  leaders and their capacity for compromise, and erosion of pride in the way democracy  works. ” http://wapo.st/2iGIYKv
According to this survey, 71% of the interviewees think that there are as many or more high dangers today as in the greatest moments of danger (Vietnam) and 40% think that this is already a normal situation and not episodic.
The crisis embraces both parties. The poll says that almost two-thirds of those who view  Democrats as the opposition believe they are “undermining the country’s basic principles,” while a slightly smaller percentage in the Republican Party feel a fundamental threat.
Among those who oppose Trump, three-quarters say that he is undermining the basic
principles of the nation.
4.- This crisis seems to be increasingly structural. However, it does not necessarily mean that a change in the correlation of forces between classes can occur due to this fact. This will depend on the emergence in the next few years of a strong social movement and the strengthening of a political alternative such as that expressed by Sanders.
One element that benefits Trump right now is the improvement in the economic situation
that means a low level of unemployed in the US. This improvement is coincident with
some global recovery that has occurred thanks to the violent adjustment plans that have been applied throughout the world. But in the case of the US it does not mean that it is a recovery of its economic power on a world scale. It seems that the opposite is happening and part of this has to do with Trump’s international policy. His global and particularly protectionist international policy, which had as an important point the withdrawal of the TTP, has favored China, which is increasingly competing with its economic power with the US; as US loses space, China advances over Asia, Africa and Latin America. And this situation in the longer or short term will inevitably affect the American economy and the social situation of the country.

There is an open situation to build a transition program that faces the crisis and builds an alternative of power.

1.- The irruption of the independent socialist Bernie Sanders as a political pole is a consequence of this situation that is developing in the northern country. We think that we Socialists have to pay close attention to this phenomenon as well as Corbyn’s in England.

In this country the process opened after the victory of Corbyn in the Labor Party is clearer
and bolder than in the case of the US. Corbyn is already an alternative power in England
and might possibly win the next election which would mean a major change at the global level, demanding to evaluate its scope.
In the case of the United States, such a concrete possibility is not yet in place, although it is brewing. It is a process under construction, and the role that new ranks of militants who have supported Sanders and defended his program can play are very important. And in particular who plays in this process is the DSA (Democratic Socialist of America) that has already reached 30 thousand militants after its victorious August Convention in Chicago.

2 .- The objective conditions have established the possibility that Socialists policy cease to
be only a general propaganda of socialism, as they have done for a long time, to become
a policy that reaches the masses.
The crisis of capitalism exists in the US, but this doesn’t mean we can glance that the
agitation of socialism as an alternative to capitalism. Nor does it mean what some socialist groups are doing – there must be an action program based on a practical slogan (currently Medicare for all) and socialism as a way out; to say that in socialism everything will be different and expect the workers and the people to be convinced of it.
A policy or program of action is necessary and for that it is worth remembering what
Trotsky said in 1938 in a situation in which there are some common points to with what we live now. In the Transition Program he wrote that: “The classical social democracy that deployed its action in the era of progressive capitalism, divided its program into two
independent parts one from another; the minimum program, which was limited to some reforms in the bourgeois society picture and the maximum program, which promised for an indeterminate future the replacement of capitalism by socialism. There was no bridge between the maximum program and the minimum program. The social democracy did not need that bridge, because it only spoke of socialism on holidays. ”

And later he added: The IV International does not reject those of the old “minimum”
program insofar as they have retained some vital force. He tirelessly defends the
democratic rights of the workers and their social achievements, but carries out this work in the framework of a correct perspective, real, that is to say, revolutionary. To the extent that the partial demands – “minimum” – of the masses come into conflict with the destructive and degrading tendencies of decadent capitalism – and this happens at every step, the Fourth International sponsors a system of transitory demands, which moves ever more
openly and resolutely against the bases of the bourgeois regime. The old “minimum
program” is constantly overcome by the transition program whose objective consists in a systematic mobilization of the masses for the proletarian revolution.

3.- Nowadays in the USA and in the great majority of the countries the proletarian
revolution is not put as a task, since we don’t live in a prerevolutionary or revolutionary
situation. However, it is a period in which, although we can’t take the power, we can win a sector of the masses for a new alternative of power. And for this the method with which
Trotsky wrote the Transition Program has all its validity. Today the immediate needs and
aspirations of the masses also clash with the capitalist structure that has no chance of
solving them In the case of the US, the slogan “Medicare for All” has a certain transitional nature since it clashes with the monopoly of large health insurers and large pharmacological laboratories.

However, there are other slogans or demands that although at this moment may have the
same character of slogans for agitation and action, we believe they are indispensable to
respond to the needs that are placed and thereby accumulate forces and win sectors of
the workers to build an alternative power.

4.-There can be no alternative power without an action program or a system of slogans
that respond to the current needs, so within this system there are slogans of action (like
Medicare for all), and others more of propaganda agitation as Lenin said . And there are in the US as in all countries, possibilities to build it because there are demands placed as a necessity for the mass movement.

For example, it is necessary to make clear the concept of political revolution of which
Bernie Sanders correctly speaks. It means a political regime different from the old
bipartisanship that, as we saw, has many fissures. A new political regime would mean that the popular vote elects the president, that there has to be a new system of direct political representation that ends the domination of the big capitalists and their corporations of the political parties. This is undoubtedly not wanted by Republicans or Democrats, but it is wanted by the people of the United States.

On the other hand, the question of who pays taxes to maintain the state and its
administration has been on the agenda for quite some time now; whether the rich or the
poor. And the slogan of taxing the rich connnected to the need for taxing large
corporations and banks, to open their accounting books so that their profits are
acknowledged is also a necessity. Surely there are other important slogans to structure this system and we must be building it.

A new page to support and build new alternatives in Latin America and the world, defending the power of the workers and people against the 1% of the rich and privileged, and a society without exploitation.

Writing office

  • Pedro Fuentes
  • Bernardo Corrêa
  • Charles Rosa
  • Clara Baeder