A Statement from Facts For Working People
The authors of this Blog have explained that US capitalism is in a military, economic and political crisis. Militarily it is in stuck in wars it cannot win, it has military commitments it can no longer afford to finance and as it sinks deeper into these wars, its military will begin to crack in its hands. We have already had members of the military speaking out like Chelsea Manning who released the famous Collateral Murder video, drone operators who sent an open letter to Obama condemning their missions, and others supporting football’s Colin Kaepernick’s protests. There are also 22 suicides a day among military veterans which is a tragic situation indeed.
It is in an economic crisis as its rate of growth from the great recession of 2008 is at an all time low for recoveries from recessions and it is in debt to a level never before experienced. It's record high stock markets and its indebtedness cannot be sustained. A collapse in the stock markets, a new banking and financial crisis and a new recession lies ahead.
These economic and military crises will be unlike any other in the sense that they will take place amid political turmoil as the monopoly the two capitalist parties have had over American life and the relative stability this provided US capitalism is coming to an end. This is the significance of the crisis in the Republican Party. This will have huge repercussions worldwide. What is happening cannot be underestimated.
Capitalism prefers to rule through what we call bourgeois democracy in which it holds regular elections with different political parties and where these elections are dominated by the capitalist parties and their mass media. Despite numerous parties fielding presidential candidates in the present election, the Republican and Democratic parties have ensured only their candidates are allowed to participate in national debates and the mass media coverage of this event. The result is that there is never any questioning of capitalism or the so-called free market. The only option offered by these powerful forces is capitalism.
When there are movements that arise that give the appearance of throwing up an alternative to capitalism, these governments brush bourgeois democracy aside and use their state apparatus, their military, to drown these movements in blood. US capitalism does this abroad as it did in Chile in 1973 and the dirty wars in Latin America. US capitalism has supported and does support some of the most ruthless, undemocratic regimes on the planet. Their preferred clients are regimes headed by free market dictators, those resting on a statist type economy like Iraq or Syria are a threat to the ideology that only capitalism works. They snuff out any attempts at an alternative to capitalism with a vengeance. As Assange commented in his book, The Wikileaks Files, the US didn’t invade tiny Grenada to corner the nutmeg trade.
How capitalism rules is also an economic question. Bourgeois democracy has been maintained in the advanced capitalist countries as a result of their colonial and imperialist plunder, it is how they got rich. This has meant that the advanced capitalist countries could make certain concessions to sections of their own working class, they have been able to provide enough to enough people, that led to the conclusion that the system works. This meant that they were in a better position to take the "democratic" road.
But there have been times of extreme crisis when capitalism, wasn’t able to rule through bourgeois democracy and resorted to fascist regimes like Hitler in Germany, but when it did place such lunatics in power they tended to get out of hand. In Hitler's case this ended up with a war that lost half of Germany to Stalinism. The capitalist class drew conclusions from this experience. It concluded it was best to rule through bourgeois democracy, this method was less costly, more stable and more under its control.
But in those countries whose wealth was looted, the colonial countries of Africa and Latin America and Asia for example, never ending poverty and periods of outright starvation has been the result. This in turn has led to ongoing rebellion and opposition to the market and capitalism. It is not easy, if not impossible at times, for capitalism to take the "bourgeois democratic " road in these circumstances. It is then that military rule or dictatorship of one type or another is resorted to with the violence and oppression that accompanies them.
There are other reasons, the divide and rule tactic of racism and sexism and the refusal of the leadership of the US working class to lead an offensive of our own, but the main reason US capitalism has been able to rule through bourgeois democratic means has been its economic power and dominance.
This is now coming to an end as US capitalism can no longer afford to maintain its position in the world and at the same time keep the living standard of its own working class anywhere near the level it demands. Even during the period of the post World War Two boom, US capitalism was never able to provide a secure standard of living for all Americans, it did provide it for a huge section of them and this laid the material basis for the “American Dream”.
This period has entered the history books never to return. The US can no longer afford guns and butter so the political monopoly its two parties have enjoyed for a century is beginning to fracture and with it its political crisis deepens.
This is why Trump’s refusal to commit to accepting the election results if he lost has been met with such anger. He has questioned the legitimacy of bourgeois democracy and their phony election process. It has caused a furor and the media has picked up on it. Clinton picked up on it immediately. She attacked him for “Questioning the democratic process……that’s been around 240 years.” This was very dangerous talk by Trump Clinton said. She went on to say he was “denigrating, talking down our democracy.”
This is a watershed moment in US bourgeois politics. Election after election has seen the loser accept the newly elected president. Even in the election that pitted Gore against Bush where Gore won the popular vote yet the “rigged” Supreme Court declared Bush the winner, Gore accepted the result. He did so because he saw that not to do so would lead to a major crisis in US bourgeois politics and would weaken the US bourgeois political system.
For capitalism to control through the bourgeois democratic system, large sections of the population must have some belief that the system is at least someway fair, that it at least halfway works. For Gore to have fought Bush to the end back then would have shaken belief in the system. So as the responsible capitalist politician he was and is, he took one for the team, the team being US capitalism, US capitalist stability. He stepped aside.
The problem for US capitalism now is that it is most likely that Trump, being the backward maverick he is, will lose the election and will not step back, will not gracefully accept the result.
Trump’s comments criticized bourgeois democracy and suggested that he may not accept the results of bourgeois democracy. To even hint at such a thing threatens to undermine the belief in their whole political system, in the way they have been ruling up till now. This is what Trump is playing with. He is so stupid he does not know the monster that he threatening to let out of the bag. If he is not careful he will be eaten by this monster.
It is not possible to fully understand what is going on in the head of this egomaniac and the team he has around him, people like Bannon and Breitbart. It is possible Trump is just saying he will decide whether or not to accept the election result in order to keep himself at the center of things for longer and possibly come out of this with a new mass media outfit and through this build a new national right wing reactionary movement based around a mass communication system. It is also possible but less likely at this stage that he and his squad might be aiming to immediately move to split the Republican Party and set up a new extreme right wing party.
One way or another, the Republican Party is heading for a major downward plunge, and sooner or later, it will shatter. There are huge developments that will arise out of this and the reader can read in more detail what we wrote about this last week here.
The main point is that Trump’s threats, empty or not, to undermine the bourgeois democratic process and reject the end result of an election is treading on dangerous ground and will almost certainly ensure his defeat one way or another. More so than his misogyny, his racist and nationalistic ravings, undermining how his class governs society will not be taken lightly.
But the cat cannot be put back in the bag. The old days of the relative stability of US capitalism are coming to an end. The new days when the US working class will take a leading role in US society are on the horizon. Those of us who see ourselves as anti capitalists and socialists, those of us who want to end capitalism and all the filth that comes with it, have to look at our ways of working. We have to look at why the self styled revolutionary left has failed all these decades to put down roots in the US working class and see what mistakes have been made, see what changes have to be made in the work, see what is necessary to help build a new anti capitalist, democratic revolutionary socialist movement of tens of tens of millions.