What Is the REAL Solution?

The People Run Trump Out of Chicago—The Crisis Sharpens

Updated March 21, 2016 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us


Since this article was originally posted (March 14), determined protests against Trump have spread to Utah, Arizona, New York, and elsewhere.

Chicago, March 11.
Chicago, March 11. (AP photo)

Chicago, March 11. (Video: revcom.us)

Saturday, March 19, New York City, as many as 2,000 people defied police attacks to protest Trump, including marching to Trump Towers. Photo: AP

Saturday, March 19, a major highway leading to Fountain Hills, a suburb of Phoenix, Arizona, was blockaded and shut down by protesters delaying a Trump rally for over an hour. (Patrick Breen/The Arizona Republic via AP)

Friday, March 18, hundreds of protesters confronted and challenged Trump supporters at a Trump rally in Salt Lake City, Utah, and were attacked by police. Photo: AP

The crisis concentrated in the candidacy of Donald Trump intensified, reaching a new height in the powerful and very justified disruption of Trump’s scheduled rally in Chicago on March 11. Thousands of protesters, including many students of color, confronted the fascist rally and essentially forced Trump to cancel it.

Trump has for weeks incited physical attacks on protesters at his rallies and defended his followers who carry them out. This reached a peak on March 9, when someone reached out and sucker-punched a Black protester being forcibly removed from the rally by eight police. And when the puncher was arrested, he said, “We don’t know who he is, but we know he’s not acting like an American. The next time we see him we might have to kill him.”

In the face of this, and in the face of a constant stream of racist and chauvinist invective and threats coming from Trump and his minions, and on top of all that, in the face of Trump very provocatively coming to the University of Illinois at Chicago, which is attended by many Blacks and Latinos as well as many immigrants and sons and daughters of immigrants, people had very righteously had enough. It clearly felt good to the people in the hall to confront this shit—you can’t miss the joy that people feel when they stand up and sense their potential power—and it felt good to watch it. Fact: conciliating with fascists does not make them go away!! This protest and disruption must be upheld, and those who would lecture people “on the right way to go about things” should be taken on.

The Crisis Sharpens

At the same time, for all the reasons we said in our main article online and in print in Revolution issue #429-430 (“On the Rise of Donald Trump... And the Need and Possibility of Real Revolution”),  what happened in Chicago has exacerbated the legitimacy crisis among those ruling society. By that we mean the crisis over HOW the representatives of the capitalist class that rules America carry out its rule.

As we said in that article:

The system as a whole faces multiple crises on different fronts—the globalization and “turbo-charging” of the world economy, which has led to the hollowing out of the domestic industrial base and the downgrading of the living standards of tens of millions of people, accompanied by an extraordinarily pronounced income inequality... the fracturing international situation, with a direct challenge to the U.S. (and Western Europe) mounted by the fundamentalist Islamic jihadist forces but also coming from other rivals... the tumultuous changes in the role of women, economically and culturally, especially in relation to the family... and changes in the “racial” makeup of America—the increasing necessity to rely on immigrant labor coupled with the actual removal of millions of African-Americans out of the labor force, and the institution of a genocidal system of mass incarceration... and the intensifying ecological crisis. There is widespread alienation and a feeling, among many different sections of people, that the system is not working and the rules are not being applied fairly.

Generally speaking, over the past two decades two sections of the imperialist ruling class have been engaged in extremely sharp struggle. This finds expression in the complaints about “rancor in Congress” and gridlock, etc. One group, more or less corresponding to the Republican Party, has promoted a more or less openly fascist set of “legitimating norms” (that is, basic assumptions that are more or less accepted as the “way things should be” or at least “the way things are”), while the other group—more or less corresponding to the Democrats—has had a more liberal approach, and has over and over again conciliated with the Republicans. In large part, this is because the Democrats find (and attempt to build) their base among the oppressed groups in society, as well as among people who generally want justice and believe in reason. While the Republicans are more than willing to stoke their base of soreheads, reactionaries, and fundamentalist morons and to—sometimes—call them into action, the Democrats fear calling their base into the streets, precisely because these are the groups whose most basic interests can only be met through revolution and who, even if they don’t or may not see that at any given time, still can be part of opening up questions at the very heart of how oppressive and exploitative this system actually IS, as they stand up and fight against it. In other words, the sharpening crisis between these two camps and the wild-card element represented by Trump could set in motion a process containing great potential dangers for the system.

For an example of the craven and disgusting attitude of the top Democrats when those they consider their base do stand up, look at Hillary Clinton’s shameful—and shameless—response to what went down in Chicago. She couldn’t even bring herself to denounce Trump by name or call him a racist when asked about him in the Miami debate. She lectured those who are outraged by Trump, and who courageously disrupted and shut down one of his fascist rallies, that they should be like the families of Black people murdered in a church in South Carolina by “an evil man” (she couldn’t even call him a racist!). Clinton said, “The families of those victims came together and melted hearts in the statehouse and the Confederate flag came down. That should be the model we strive for to overcome painful divisions in our country.” But you are not going to “melt the hearts” of a fascist movement (nor of Hillary Clinton’s heart for that matter)—“hearts” are checked at the door when you enter the high reaches of ruling class politics.

Trump has seized on this situation in general to sort of preemptively call a large part of the fascist social base into action, including in his campaign itself. The violence at his rallies is a big part of his thing—the “strongman” appeal. And, in fact, not only did Trump not back off of threatening people at his rallies, he openly threatened to send his people into rallies for Bernie Sanders.

The intensity of this crisis of legitimacy can be seen in many ways. To take just one, right now, you have Republicans debating over whether they should just basically negate the results of the primaries and deny Trump the nomination should he win the number of delegates he needs. This would have serious ramifications, at minimum for the Republicans’ short-term aims, and it is not clear that they would do this. But this is the kind of thing they’re openly discussing, and that is just the tip of the iceberg—it goes way deeper. To quote from an article in the New York Times: “Behind the showdowns is a climate of frustration and fright not seen since the 1960s, or even the 1850s when, in the words of Joanne Freeman, a Yale historian who has studied violence in American politics, ‘each side was convinced that the other side was about to destroy America—or what they believed to be the fundamental essence of America—and each side totally alienated the other side.’” (“Donald Trump’s Heated Words Were Destined to Stir Violence, Opponents Say,” March 12, 2016)

This quote illustrates just how sharp the crisis is, and the possibility evoked by these historical examples for the social fabric to be torn open—a possibility which carries dangers but also carries the potential for great change and which, together with the very active work of revolutionaries, could be part of what leads to a revolutionary situation and the chance to actually go for power. Not guaranteed by any means, not one-two-three out of today’s situation in any case, and certainly something that would require a great deal of scientific rigor, imagination, initiative, struggle, work, and going against the tide by revolutionaries to even present itself as a possibility... But still, this situation is extremely volatile. And things could happen.

Why the Democrats Are NOT the Answer

Yet many say—even with the proven conciliation carried out by the Democrats, again and again—that while revolution would be good, or might be good, right now people have to unite with the Democrats to stop Trump.

That is wrong, for two reasons. The first is that the Democrats have proven themselves unwilling to oppose any of the Republican-led outrages in any meaningful way—again, because from their calculus, the possibility of “masses in the streets” getting out of their control is far more frightening than anything the Republi-fascists have done—and again, they have done and are doing plenty. Further, the Democrats not only share much of this fascist program (after all, Obama IS “deporter-in-chief” even as he talks a different game), they share the most basic assumption: that the yardstick in everything is the survival of this capitalist-imperialist system. To now rely on these people to oppose the fascists is the popular definition of insanity: continuing to do the same thing over and over, when you know the results will not be what you want and what you are convinced you need.

A Call, a Question, to Those Searching for a Way Forward

Here we have to ask our readers to step back and ask yourselves: What kind of society, what kind of system, IS it which even produces a Donald Trump as a leading candidate? What kind of system produces, as the limits of political discourse in society, an argument over HOW to best preserve and expand a worldwide empire of grinding exploitation of billions of people all over the world? And yes, “even” Bernie Sanders works within these parameters. Sanders, after all, repeatedly says, “I believe that the United States should have the strongest military in the world.” This means the drones, the counter-insurgencies, the proxy wars, and everything else—and if he, or the ruling class as a whole, deems it necessary—all-out brutal war, exactly of the type fought and/or threatened by “progressive presidents” of the past, like Lyndon Johnson or Jimmy Carter or Barack Obama. Bernie Sanders has an economic program of high taxes on the super-rich. But such a program requires the super-rich themselves to BE super-rich. And where does that wealth come from? From the parasitism of this whole system. From the horrifically exploited gold miners in Congo; the women who die whether by slow or all-too-often fast death in the factories of Bangladesh or Vietnam or any of dozens of countries; or the plunder and despoliation—the downright poisoning—of the environment for the massive profits in petroleum, agriculture, etc., in every corner of the planet.

What kind of society, what kind of choice is it, when one of the “social justice” candidates (Clinton) has a history neck deep in the, yes, genocidal policy of massively incarcerating millions of Black and Latino people, and the other (Sanders) has basically ignored the whole question during his decades in power and political life until it became inopportune to not even pay lip service and make cheap promises? Why should we settle for a politics whose vision of “women’s liberation” is essentially confined to incremental adjustments to inequality for some women, constrained within the social relations of capitalism and all the commodification and oppression that means, while severe attacks on the fundamental rights of women overall are not seriously fought and the root-and-branch transformation really required for the emancipation of women—which means revolution and upheaval in everything, from the ways people make a living, to how children are reared and socialized, to the standards of what is tolerable and not, to the very ideas of human potential—is ruled off the table? Why should we have a world where the vast majority of human beings live in countries and regions that have been plundered, impoverished, and dominated by imperialism and where these same people are then deemed “illegal” and demonized, persecuted, drowned, raped, imprisoned, humiliated, and even murdered when they flee their birthplaces that imperialism has made intolerable?

So listen. You are questioning. That is critically important and indispensable. You are fighting. That can be very positive. As you do that, as you intensify that, learn about, get into, struggle over what humanity really needs: revolution, a real revolution. Get into Bob Avakian (BA) and his work and leadership. Get into the way of scientifically understanding the world and what drives a society forward and what the real possibilities are for social transformation that he’s brought forward. Get into the blueprint for a whole new society, on the road to the elimination of all exploitation and oppression that he’s concretized in the Constitution for the New Socialist Republic in North America. Get into the strategy he’s developed for getting to a situation in which millions would be won to and be prepared to go all-out for revolution and win. Get into and spread this website, revcom.us. Get with the Party BA leads and the Revolution Club led by that Party, and get into the whole movement for revolution and the process of “fighting the power, and transforming the people, for revolution.”

Whatever happens with the immediate crisis—whether those on top succeed in defusing it, or whether in fact it sharpens—the most crucial thing is that there be a vanguard, with real roots among the people and a real magnetic pole among millions FOR revolution. There is work to do NOW. Be part of it.



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