As Trump Puts Together His Fascist Team, The Resistance Must Grow Stronger!
November 21, 2016 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us
In the first week and a half of his “transition,” Trump has shown how he intends to rule. He has put together a core team of outright fascists—this includes Pence, Bannon, Flynn, Sessions, and Pompeo. To get a sense of who these people are, just look into the accompanying articles on them. Trump has also made clear that he intends to continue to go after the press and those in the arts who dare even the mildest dissent—with his Twitter assaults against the New York Times and the cast of the Broadway show Hamilton. Even if in the weeks to come he now adds some more “moderate” voices, he has made very clear what the core of his rule will be: a leap into fascism.
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Fascism means something very definite. As is said in the statement “In the Name of Humanity, We REFUSE To Accept a Fascist America,”
Fascism is a very serious thing. Fascism foments and relies on xenophobic nationalism, racism, and the aggressive reinstitution of oppressive “traditional values.” Fascism feeds on and encourages the threat and use of violence to build a movement and come to power. Fascism, once in power, essentially eliminates traditional democratic rights. Fascism attacks, jails, and executes its opponents, and launches violent mob attacks on “minorities.” In Nazi Germany in the 1930s and ‘40s, under Hitler, fascism did all these things. They imprisoned millions in concentration camps and exterminated millions of Jews, Roma people (Gypsies), and other “undesirables.” And Hitler did almost all of this through the established institutions and the “rule of law.” This is where this goes. And yes, Hitler himself could “talk graciously” when he felt it would serve his interests and lull his opponents.
While there are some people saying some of this, and certainly many people feeling parts of it in their guts, there is still a need to fight for this understanding of the problem: what is going on now is the imposition of fascism. Trump is not just a collection of horrible attitudes, policies, and appointments: he aims to take a leap to a qualitatively more repressive form of rule and a qualitatively more oppressive society.
The Resistance Must Get Stronger and Go Further
There have also in this past week been important outpourings against this beginning fascism. People are standing up and speaking out in all kinds of ways. Students have walked out of high schools and colleges. People have taken to the streets and come to meetings and even organized their own meetings to deal with this. People have taken stands within professions and workplaces and schools. People have vowed defiance against different policies, and some have reached out to those directly targeted by the Trumpites. There is a sense of urgency in everyday conversation, and people who have not demonstrated in years now are flooding into active political protest and resistance. (See "Protests vs Trump: Walking Out of Schools…Going Up Against Fascists and Racists…Speaking Out in Resistance," “Obama & Clinton Say ‘Get Over It,’ But Tens of Thousands Rebel in the Streets” and “Other Voices on Trump and Resistance.”)
This is extremely important. But this must go further. The still very embryonic acts and actions and sentiments must be pulled together into an active, organized movement to prevent the implementation of this fascist program... and to actually oust this fascist regime before these Trumpites crush, or “neutralize,” any effective opposition. People of all kinds of viewpoints need to work together to forge the answers to how to do this—and there is not that much time. So we want to hear, from readers new and old, your ideas on what this would mean and how this might happen. We want to hear from you on every form of resistance you are undertaking and what you are hearing from others. And we want to figure out with you how to both push forward and give direction so that millions of people can be led to actually rise to this huge challenge.
One big step that everyone can take is to get out the statement “In the Name of Humanity, We REFUSE To Accept a Fascist America.” We need to get out, at the very least, hundreds of thousands of this statement on campuses, in neighborhoods—all throughout society. As you do so, get that slogan everywhere. One woman who works helping immigrants told us she’s going to put up the front page of last week’s Revolution newspaper in her office, because “it’s telling the truth and people need to see this”; when asked what would happen if those who run the office asked her not to do this, she said simply and fiercely: “I don’t care.”
One important fight to wage is within the movements coming out to oppose Trump in different ways. Some people insist that what we see now is on a continuum with what has been going on. “Yeah, things are gonna get worse under Trump, but they’ve been bad for a long time,” these people say, “and we should keep doing more of what we’ve been doing, and not get people all alarmed about what this will mean.” Some of them are already talking about “the long run”—as if Trump is not going to take things to a different level and put in changes that may not be able to be reversed for some time to come. Sorry, but this kind of normalization is just wishful thinking... and dangerous wishful thinking at that. If Trump is allowed to hammer his regime into place... if he is not prevented from doing that and then driven from office... there will be a huge price to pay and irreparable damage to millions of individuals that humanity cannot afford. Wake the hell up, people; do you think it would have been wise to quarrel over definitions when Hitler came to power? The fact is: the beast is loose.
Stopping Trump and Getting Rid of the System That Produced Him
At the same time as we aim to urgently unite with everyone we can to oppose this onslaught, we want to discuss, and debate, with everyone the source of the problem—and the solution.
To be clear: Trump is the product of a system—the capitalist-imperialist system. For all this “Make America Great Again”—and for all of Hillary Clinton’s “America Is Still Great”—the fact is that this country was founded on genocide and slavery, that it has rampaged and plundered all over the world, and that to this day continues to be the “greatest” criminal on the planet. Right now this system faces extremely difficult problems for which it has no real answers; up against this, those who run this system have reached for and are now uniting around a very extreme program to resolve those contradictions, one which will take those crimes to new levels and go very far in crippling people’s ability to resist them.
On the one hand, the fact that this is a product of the system overall is illustrated by the fact that much of the machinery to launch Trump’s program is in place. Actions taken by the Bush and Obama administrations have set the stage for all the repressive measures Trump will now take. And remember, this is a program that includes ratcheting up to whole new levels the persecution of minorities, the widespread denial of political rights, the unrestrained pillaging and destruction of the environment, the intense ramping up of war against the Middle East, Central Asia, North Africa, and elsewhere, the demonization of all Muslims, and the drastic curtailment of press freedoms and rule of law. This machinery needs only to be “adjusted” or “tweaked” for Trump to crush all opposition. This systemic character is also illustrated by how quickly those like Obama and Clinton, who just weeks ago warned that a Trump presidency would be an unprecedented disaster, now support “working with” Trump.
And yet, to underestimate how disastrous Trump’s program would be for the masses would be a very grave error. The bourgeoisie and its politicians may be able to adjust to Trump’s rule—and they all certainly prefer it to masses of people making revolution or even “getting out of hand”—but for many millions here and even more all over the planet this will be a question of life and death and very directly so. This must be stopped.
We Need Revolution
At the same time as we work together with all kinds of people to stop and reverse the disaster of fascism, the revcoms will continue and actually intensify organizing people directly into the revolution. We'll be putting forward two very important reasons why we have to get rid of this whole thing to everyone now flooding into political life. First, because all of what Trump is doing represents a concentration of what goes on every day under capitalism-imperialism. Second, because unless and until we DO get rid of this whole system, then this threat of a massively repressive fascist rule will always be in reserve and ready to be used against the people.
Drawing an analogy to the ways in which Hitler and the Nazis in Germany attacked the Weimar Republic in Germany (that is, the bourgeois-democratic, non-fascist regime which preceded the Nazis), Bob Avakian put it like this:
The answer is not to seek to defend and maintain the “Weimar Republic” (bourgeois democracy—the “democratic form” of capitalist dictatorship) as such. That does not offer a real solution, and certainly not one in the interests of the masses of people and the great majority of humanity. But we should recognize and not be blind to what it means when these fascists put the “Weimar Republic”—by analogy, the liberals in the ruling class—in the camp of enemy, and go so far as to label them traitors, and go after them in that way. What is that preparing the ground for, what are the implications of that? The point, and our objective, once again, is not to defend the Weimar Republic—tailing and upholding the “liberal” section of the imperialist ruling class—but to fully recognize, and oppose in a radically different way and toward radically different ends, the seriousness of these attacks and what this all represents. In previous talks and writings I have spoken to this phenomenon of the unraveling of what for some time has been the “cohering center” of the society and the rule of the bourgeoisie in the U.S.—and how we are already seeing manifestations of that. I have emphasized that all of this will not, by any means, be positive in the short run, and left to itself—and it is not the role of communists, it is not meeting our responsibilities, to simply stand by and celebrate all the unraveling of the existing cohering center and form of capitalist rule and think it is going to mean that something positive is bound to emerge from this and in fact is just going to “fall into our lap.” We have to take up the tremendous challenge of repolarization—repolarization for revolution.
The “Weimar Republic” does need to be replaced, and superseded. The bourgeois republic—the rule of capitalism and imperialism, in its bourgeois-democratic form—is in fact a repressive system of rule, rooted in a whole network and process of exploitation and oppression, which brings untold, and unnecessary, suffering to millions, and literally billions, of people, throughout the world, including within the republic itself. It needs to be replaced and superseded, however, not by an even more grotesque and more openly murderous form of the same system, but by a radically new society, and a radically different kind of state, that will open the way and lead finally to the abolition of all forms of oppressive and repressive rule and all relations of domination and exploitation, throughout the world.
From that standpoint, and with an acute sense of the dangers that Trump poses, we extend the hand to every single person who wants to stop this fascist juggernaut dead in its tracks.
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