The managers of the US imperialist system are facing a crisis too large to reconcile. Old methods of rectification are off of the table. There will be no expansion of employment for working class whites. War has been automated. Increased military spending no longer provides economic relief for any section of the US population. The aggregate decline in the conditions of all workers in the United States reflects the crisis of the system. This crisis paved the way for a billionaire service industry magnate to become the 45th President of the United States.
In just two months, the Trump Administration has sewn deep fear into the section of the electorate most loyal to the Democratic Party. This fear has been stoked by deeply contradictory phenomena that highlight US imperialism’s rapid decline. On the one hand, Trump and his Administration have adhered to the GOP agenda of austerity and privatization. Trump’s plans to further privatize education, slash away what few benefits the Affordable Care Act provides, and pull away minuscule funds from programs such as Meals on Wheels are on par with US imperialism’s unfettered lust for profit in the face of economic stagnation. His Presidency has also escalated Obama’s drone program. Drone strikes have increased by 400 percent since Trump took office.
These examples of Trump’s compliance with imperialism have been complimented by an all out attack on his Administration by the neo-cons and neo-liberals over his alleged ties to Russia. Although the allegations remain fact-free, the House Select Intelligence Committee has been holding a series of hearings to supposedly settle the matter. The attempt to smear Trump by attaching his victory to Russia has little to do with preserving “American democracy.” Evidence that the CIA has the capability to steal cyber attack techniques and leave digital fingerprints on the victim party gives little credibility to the CIA narrative that Russia hacked the 2016 elections. The Trump-Russia connection fable ultimately serves two objectives: the escalation of war with Russia and the distraction of the masses from the root causes of Trump’s victory.
Donald Trump is the 45th President of the US because the Democratic Party and the GOP have been on a decades-long collision course toward irrelevancy. The deep impoverishment of the masses, especially for the workers and poor, has pushed the two-party duopoly against an impenetrable wall. Trump’s laser focus on jobs and foreign policy won him surprising states in the 2016 campaign. Suspicions of voter fraud have yet to be verified as the decisive factor in Trump’s victory over Clinton. What is verifiable is the Democratic Party’s complete refusal to answer the most pressing questions of the day.
Instead of fighting for single payer healthcare, the Democratic Party and the GOP blame Russia for Clinton’s loss. Instead of discussing poverty and unemployment, the two parties are more concerned with Trump’s rhetorical gestures toward peace with Russia. Neither the GOP nor the Democratic Party has protested the Trump Administration’s promise to increase the military budget by 54 billion USD. Indeed, the entire attack on the Trump Administration occurring within the bowels of Washington is defined by war. The Democratic Party and the GOP are united in their goal to wage war against the Russian Federation and believe that the former Soviet Union is the perfect boogeyman to capture the gaze of the US populace.
So fear Trump, the corporate media says. Fear his overt racism and his brutish patriarchal character. Fear his tax returns and fear Russia. Resist his rule, but don’t pay attention to the system at large. The bipartisan consensus of privatization of education, healthcare, and the public sector is of little importance. Ignore the mass Black incarceration state and police brutality. Find Trump’s accusations about being “wiretapped” by the Obama Administration and his conflict with the corporate media to be ridiculous, but don’t question the US military state’s mass surveillance program or the deeply monopolized media environment that exists in the United States.
The crisis of imperialism has engulfed US political life entirely. The system’s profitability over time has been greatly damaged by permanent automation and unemployment. Capitalists all over the planet warn of the technological revolution’s great collapse, knowing full-well that financial speculation alone cannot prevent the inevitable. Policing and incarceration only provide limited respite from the rage of the oppressed. And the corporate media narrative has unraveled completely as evidenced by a recent poll that found major outlets to be even less popular than the much maligned Donald Trump.
The ruling class wants the oppressed paralyzed by a state of fear over Trump’s rule. This gives the capitalist class time to address the many cracks in the system’s armor. For one, there is the complication of Bernie Sanders. Sanders remains popular with the Democratic Party electorate. The Democratic Party needs Sanders to maintain relevancy but desperately want to isolate his politics. So establishment Democrats have chosen a delicate balance of promoting Sanders to Trump voters while at the same time delegitimizing him whenever possible.
Then there is the issue that the GOP and the Democratic Party have become indiscernible in both word and deed. Out of sheer necessity, the Democratic Party and the GOP have united on the questions of war, austerity, and state-sponsored surveillance. During the elections, the neo-conservatives huddled under Hillary Clinton’s big tent with hopes that her victory would lead to a direct military confrontation with Syria, Russia, and China. Ever since Hillary Clinton’s loss, political elites such as George W. Bush, John McCain, and Robert Kagan have maintained their loyalty to the Democratic Party’s anti-Trump strategy of Russia-baiting.
But these are revolutionary times and the ruling class knows it. The antagonisms between the exploiter and the exploited classes are reaching their limit. Black Americans will no longer face occupation and incarceration without a fight. Workers facing starvation wages or unemployment will not stay quiet forever. And indigenous people and immigrants will make their power felt in the struggle against land theft and deportation. Such antagonisms have the potential to erupt into open air rebellion at any given moment.
The duty of revolutionaries is to sharpen the conflict embedded in the principle contradictions and antagonisms of society. At this moment, the principle contradictions are internal to Washington. The US state is in disarray over Trump Presidency. Now is the time to prepare the masses for a revolutionary war that is markedly different from what people in the United States are usually taught about the nation’s origins. The infrastructure of US imperialism has come unhinged and it is only a matter of time before the system collapses. What replaces the ruthless system of US imperialism will be determined by the strength of the people, not the system’s technology or military state.