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The сhanging of the guard: A marxist analysis of Donald Trump

The current public discourse on Donald Trump from both the liberal left and chauvinist right do very little to reveal the reality of his fascist policies.

Haneul Na'avi

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A casual stroll through the lunatic asylum shows that faith does not prove anything. — Friedrich Nietzsche

US President Donald J. Trump’s Jan. 20 inauguration, coincidentally occurring the same year as the October Revolution centenary, comes after a century of accumulated socioeconomic crises.

Outgoing president Barack Obama and his ignominious administration have cleared the way for his polar antithesis to command the White House, separating America into two distinct camps.

These camps personify social-chauvinism and social-democracy respectively, and are two sides of the same coin in bourgeois politics, used to obscure the reality of America’s dysfunctional system. News outlets in Western mainstream media, as well as Russia Today, have manned either side of the polarizing dichotomy, effectively throwing the working class under the bus.

One camp houses the Holy Grail of Opportunism, where self-proclaimed ‘liberals’ sycophantically endorse Hillary Clinton, a wet-nurse of American exceptionalism, irrespective of the glaringly apparent criminality of her actions across the planet and complete lack of a political platform.

The other camp contains the Holy Ghost of Chauvinism, where nationalists hail Trump as an “anti-establishment” candidate, unbeknownst of the anarchy of the establishment itself, and anyone that has been on holiday in Corleone would have a clue what this means.

This anarchy, however, emerged within a week’s time as Trump enacted several draconian measures and proclaimed himself Il Duce della Dolce Vita, leaving the public flabbergasted.

Immediately, Trump signed several executive orders: first, for the construction of the US-Mexico border partition, prompting a backlash from Mexican President Pena Nieto, and second, for the construction of the Keystone XL pipeline at the bemusement of Standing Rock protesters.

In foreign policy, Israeli-Palestinian relations have stalled after Trump froze $221 million in Palestinian aid and wholly endorsed Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. In one swift move, he callously disregarded Russian peacekeeping efforts in Syria by supporting ‘safe zones’ without consulting the Kremlin, dumbfounding his lickspittles whom previously saw him as an isolationist.

It is not by fate, but choice that America is doomed to repeat the mistakes of other Great Powers (French, British, Germans, Spanish, etc.) following a major capitalist crisis.

Vladimir Lenin elucidates this clearly in State and Revolution:

Engels’ could, as early as 1891, point to “rivalry in conquest” as one of the most important distinguishing features of the foreign policy of the Great Powers, while the social­-chauvinist scoundrels have ever since 1914, when this rivalry, many time intensified, gave rise to an imperialist war, been covering up the defence of the predatory interests of “their own” bourgeoisie with phrases about “defence of the fatherland”, “defence of the republic and the revolution”, etc.!

How is this possible in such ‘shining democracies’? Lenin explains further:

[…] the omnipotence of “wealth” is more certain in a democratic republic [because] it does not depend on defects in the political machinery or on the faulty political shell of capitalism. A democratic republic is the best possible political shell for capitalism, and, therefore, once capital has gained possession […], it establishes its power so securely, so firmly, that no change of persons, institutions or parties in the bourgeois­ democratic republic can shake it.

It is clear that all Western ‘democracies’ are bourgeois, parliamentary democracies, where factions of the ruling class remain dedicated to extorting surplus value (appropriated wealth) of the working class, which is impossible without factionalism—an indispensable tool in managing, redirecting, and mitigating the energies of each capitalist crisis as they develop naturally.

Trump and Clinton supporters, as well as most subdivisions of Western class structures, reflect this perfectly due to a fundamental codependence on the bourgeoisie on a material and ideological basis. Both social-chauvinist and social-democratic ideologies are the craftsmanship of the bourgeoisie, its institutions, economic agendas, values, and so on, in order to direct each crisis.

However, every instrument of bourgeois exploitation is mere ephemera, which collapses faster by the day. In the Communist Manifesto, Karl Marx highlighted that:

Modern bourgeois society […] is like the sorcerer who is no longer able to control the powers of the nether world who he has called up by his spells.

The anarchic mafia of the ruling class and their “learned henchmen” that control Western institutions remain the dominant base, or material reality. As the masses have done nothing to overthrow prevailing production relations, or the relationships to capital (the means of production),  the proletariat and petit-bourgeoisie resort to revolutionary spontaneity as a reaction to each crisis; precisely what is happening throughout the US and throughout Europe.

Therefore, no matter how many times Transatlantic states “change the guards” through voting, protesting, or ‘writing letters to Congress’, there will always be another Trump, Hillary, Cameron, Hollande, or Merkel to take the former’s place, with twice the delusions of grandeur. The material foundations of these systems will remain, which is the unmitigated anarchy of capitalism.

Neither will the symptoms of imperialism, or capitalism in decline, disappear, which are defined as:

  1. the concentration of production and capital […] to such a high stage that it has created monopolies which play a decisive role in economic life;
  2. the merging of bank capital with industrial capital, and the creation, on the basis of this “finance capital”, of a financial oligarchy;
  3. the export of capital as distinguished from the export of commodities [which] acquires exceptional importance;
  4. the formation of international monopolist capitalist associations which share the world among themselves, and
  5. [Completion of] the territorial division of the whole world among the biggest capitalist powers

It is important to understand how these forces materialize in Western society and find clear examples as to how they operate on a theoretical basis. Without doing so, all classes will continue to be at their mercy, which operate in a scientific, observable manner, and are beyond the control of identity and nationalist ideologies.

Take the most central component of Trump’s economic policy, which is to create infrastructure and jobs by boosting the number of public-private partnerships (PPPs).

The London School of Economics defines PPPs as “the delegation […] of state powers to private organizations [or] the delegation of powers that, in a given society, are generally considered state powers, to private organizations”.

The Foundation for Economic Education (FEE) attributes this to Benito Mussolini’s program for economic fascism, which, echoed by the enthusiasm of former US Secretary of Labour Robert Reich and Clinton Foundation advisor Ira Magaziner, “would require careful coordination between public and private sectors [which] must work in tandem.”

However, the LSE notes that:

A fundamental issue [in PPPs] is the sharing of risk in the presence of information asymmetries [and that] the risks facing private investors are particularly high during the development or construction phase. This relates not just to the costs involved, and the subsequent pricing that may be constrained by the state, but also future revenue streams in relation to the usage and demand have yet to be tested.

The Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) seconds this by mentioning the drawbacks of PPPs, such as:

[…] “moving spending off budget [to] bypass expenditure controls [and] create untransparent direct and contingent liabilities for the government”, in addition to threatening “the integrity of the budget process” and undermining “efforts to safeguard macroeconomic sustainability” [which] is “an obstacle for achieving fiscal discipline and good governance.”

This implies that Trump will entrust private wealth to manage the affairs of the US government, bypassing the “smoke and mirrors” approach of the Clinton Foundation and others—the government itself will empower corporations to have direct control of its affairs.

Additionally, rather than streamlining the state machine, he will effectively place the US economy in a position of uncertainty, as many private investors vigilantly safeguard profits for their infrastructure development projects.

Although the State will manage the parameters of PPP cooperation, Trump will find himself herding (fat) cats as many corporations begin a “scramble for America” in a morally bankrupt manner.

This is the reality for America’s largest PPP: the Federal Reserve. The Mises Institute explains:

Even though public-private partnerships are championed as cutting age methods to modernize the state, underhanded bribes on the taxpayer dime go back at least a century. Perhaps the biggest, most powerful public-private partnership around is the Federal Reserve System. The New York branch of the Fed, which has been given a monopoly on the supply of what has become the world’s reserve currency, is still technically a private entity that just so happens to have the guns of the state defending its open market operations.

The Minneapolis Fed also demonstrates the dangers of placing control of public infrastructure into private wealth, recreating feudalism from capitalism, as American serfs pay tolls to use their landlord’s roads:

Critics believe such partnerships are heresy to the very notion of public infrastructure. These opponents of PPPs are uncomfortable with the perceived sale of public assets to private interests […] Private firms then stand to make a profit by charging users (taxpayers) for access to something they previously used for free and believed was already paid for.

It is also dubious to focus on building transport infrastructure. The World Bank finds that America’s largest competitors by land mass—Russia and China—have typically used PPPs for infrastructure projects that have a high organic composition of capital and subsequently, a larger rate of profit, predominantly in developing countries that require more greenfield projects.

From 1990-2016, Russia’s largest PPP investments were in Information and Communication Technology (ICT), with 186 projects totaling over $90 billion in investment, and China’s were in electricity, with 397 projects at $50.6 billion.

Unfortunately, Trump’s economic policy exploits fossil fuels without advocating green technologies, and are heavily dependent on brownfield projects, which revitalize preexisting infrastructure. By appointing former ExxonMobil CEO Rex Tillerson as Secretary of State, America is confined to obsolete transport projects that do not generate dependable revenue streams, whereas ICT and renewable energy—constantly developing technologies—are more lucrative in the long-term.

US Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Rep. Peter DeFazio already exposed this weakness, stating that Trump should “only work on projects that create revenues”.

“The vast majority of the national highway system, and our bridge problems and all our transit problems, do not generate revenues. It will not help them,” he stated.

America’s Economic Policy Institute also highlights that Trump’s “jobs and growth” mantra is impossible to forecast in terms of long-term lucrativeness:

Because the impact of infrastructure investments on the overall level of economic activity depends on the degree of productive slack in the economy, the stance of monetary policy, and how the investments are financed, it is impossible to reliably forecast the long-term (further than five years out) effects of such investments on the overall level of economic activity.

In sum, the superficiality of Western bourgeois politics are mere gossamer covering its material, underlying forces, and without properly understanding them, both the bourgeoisie and working classes will always remain at their mercy.

For the proletariat, emancipation will always appear another four to eight years away; however, the capitalist state will never allow it to pass. No Clinton, Obama, Trump, or Sanders will ever empower the working class as long as the ruling class is behind the curtains.

Just as a dog to his own vomit, so does a fool to his folly—his “team”, which is simply “his” own bourgeoisie.

Haneul Na’avi, affiliate of the CPGB-ML

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Some Russian monarchists want Tsar Vladimir Putin

Latest news from Russian monarchists highlight the debate over bringing the Russian Empire back to life in modern times.

Seraphim Hanisch

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A December 13 report in The Wall Street Journal shone light on a notion that has been afoot in the Russian Federation since the fall of Communism in 1991 – the restoration of the Monarchy as the form of government, complete with a new Tsar of all the Russias.

Of course, some of these monarchists have a top contender in mind for that post, none other than President Vladimir Putin himself.

This idea has long been used in a pejorative light in the West, as various shadowy and not-so-shadowy elements in the American media speculated over the years that Mr. Putin was actually aspiring to become Tsar. This was thrown around until probably the time that the Russian president spoke, lamenting the fall of Communism, and since then the prime accusation has been that President Putin wants to bring back the Soviet Union.

This is not true. It also does not appear to be the case that the Russian president wants to be Tsar. But the monarchists are not fazed in the slightest. Here is excerpted material from the WSJ piece, with emphases added:

The last time term limits forced Russian leader Vladimir Putin to step down from the presidency, he became prime minister for a few years.

This time around, a group of pro-Kremlin activists have a different idea: Proclaim him Czar Vladimir.

“We will do everything possible to make sure Putin stays in power as long as possible,” Konstantin Malofeyev, a politically active businessman, said recently to thunderous applause from hundreds of Russian Orthodox priests and members of the country’s top political parties gathered at a conference outside Moscow. They were united by one cause—to return the monarchy to Russia…

Even among those who want a monarchy, however, there are splits over what kind it should be. Is an absolute monarchy better than a constitutional monarchy? Should a blood line be established or should the czar be elected? For those who favor male succession, would it be a problem that Mr. Putin reportedly only has two daughters? Some have even suggested others besides Mr. Putin should accede to the throne.

There is a very keen interest indeed among some in Russia that propose various options as to who might best become Tsar in the event that the Monarchy is restored.

Grand Duke George Mikhailovich Romanov and his mother, Grand Duchess Maria Vladimirovna of Russia, together with Metropolitan Hilarion Alfeyev, head of the Russian Orthodox Church Department of External Relations

One candidate that has received significant attention is a man by the name of George Mikhailovich Romanov. He is an actual member of the Royal family, the heir apparent to Maria Vladimirovna Romanova, Grand Duchess of Russia. There are other heir apparents as well, and the issue as to who it should be has not been settled among the surviving members of the Romanov family.

The restoration of the Russian monarchy is unique because to carries strong religious significance. As far back as the 8th and 9th centuries, A.D., a host of saints and prophets appear to have foreseen the advent of the Soviet times and the restoration of the Tsar after their conclusion.

Some such prophecies are attributed to anonymous sources, but some are named. Here are two with rather extensive editing, so please go to the site linked for the fullest description of the prophecies.

Monk Abel the Prophet (+1831).

In a conversation with Tsar Paul I (+1801), after prophesying the destinies of all the Tsars from Paul I to Nicholas II:

“What is impossible for man is possible for God. God delays with His help, but it is said that He will give it soon and will raise the horn of Russian salvation. And there will arise a great prince from your race in exile, who stands for the sons of his people. He will be a chosen one of God, and on his head will be blessing. He will be the only one comprehensible to all, the very heart of Russia will sense him. His appearance will be sovereign and radiant, and nobody will say: ‘The Tsar is here or there’, but all will say: ‘That is him’. The will of the people will submit to the mercy of God, and he himself will confirm his calling. His name has occurred three times in Russian history. Two of the same name have already been on the throne, but not on the Tsar’s throne. But he will sit on the Tsar’s throne as the third. In him will be the salvation and happiness of the Russian realm.”

“Russian hopes will be realized upon [the cathedral of Hagia] Sophia in Tsargrad [Constantinople]; the Orthodox Cross will gleam again; Holy Rus will be filled with the smoke of incense and prayer, and will blossom like a heavenly lily.”

And from one of the most famous saints in Russian history:

St. John of Kronstadt (+1908):

“I foresee the restoration of a powerful Russia, still stronger and mightier than before. On the bones of these martyrs, remember, as on a strong foundation, will the new Russia we built – according to the old model; strong in her faith in Christ God and in the Holy Trinity! And there will be, in accordance with the covenant of the holy Prince Vladimir, a single Church! Russian people have ceased to understand what Rus is: it is the footstool of the Lord’s Throne! The Russian person must understand this and thank God that he is Russian.”

“The Church will remain unshaken to the end of the age, and a Monarch of Russia, if he remains faithful to the Orthodox Church, will be established on the Throne of Russia until the end of the age.”

What may surprise those in the West is that there are a great many people in Russia and in Orthodox Christian countries in general who take these prophecies quite seriously.

Interestingly enough, when the idea of restoring the monarchy was brought to President Putin’s attention, he regarded the idea as “beautiful” according to Lt. General Leonid Reshetnikov, but also expressed concern that it would lead to stagnation within the country.

A second statement, this one by Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov, noted that President Putin does not like the idea of bringing back the monarchy, but offered no comment on the conversation with Mr. Reshetnikov.

The idea of restoring the monarchy is not completely absurd. Britain overthrew its own monarchy in 1649 during that country’s Civil War, but it was restored shortly afterwards under King Charles II. Spain cast aside its monarchy in 1931, with its king, Alfonso XIII going into exile, but after sixteen years this monarchy, too, was restored.

Both of these monarchies have become largely ceremonial, with most governing functions carried out through some kind of Parliament and Prime Minister. It is therefore not clear what a ruling monarchy in Russia would look like.

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US confirms pullout from INF treaty, Moscow will respond if missiles placed in Europe – deputy FM

Moscow will respond to possible attempts to place short and intermediate range nuclear-capable missiles in Europe if the US decides to go on with this plan.

RT

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Via RT…


Washington has confirmed its decision to withdraw from the INF treaty is final, Russia’s deputy foreign minister said, adding that Moscow will ‘take measures’ if American missiles that threaten its security are placed in Europe.

“Washington publicly announced its plans to withdraw from the treaty (the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces) already in October. Through the high-level bilateral channels it was confirmed to us that this decision was final and wasn’t an attempt to initiate dialogue,” Sergey Ryabkov told the Kommersant newspaper.

The Deputy FM said that Moscow will respond to possible attempts to place short and intermediate range nuclear-capable missiles in Europe if the US decides to go on with this plan.

“We’ll be forced to come up with effective compensating measures. I’d like to warn against pushing the situation towards the eruption of new ‘missile crises.’ I am convinced that no sane country could be interested in something like this,” he said.

Russia isn’t threatening anybody, but have the necessary strength and means to counter any aggressor.
Back in October, President Donald Trump warned that Washington was planning unilateral withdrawal from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) treaty because “Russia has not adhered to the agreement.” The US leader also promised that the country would keep boosting its nuclear arsenal until Russia and China “come to their senses.”

Earlier this month, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced that Washington will suspend its obligations under the treaty within 60 days if Russia does not “return to compliance.”

Signed in late 1988, the INF agreement was considered a milestone in ending the arms race between the US and the USSR.

In recent years, Moscow and Washington have repeatedly accused each other of violating the INF deal. While the US has alleged that Russia has developed missiles prohibited by the treaty, Russia insists that the American anti-missile systems deployed in Eastern Europe can actually be used to launch intermediate-range cruise missiles.

The deputy FM said that Washington “never made a secret” of the fact that its INF treaty pullout “wasn’t so much about problems between the US and Russia, but about the desire of the Americans to get rid of all restrictions that were inconvenient for them.”

The US side expressed belief that the INF deal “significantly limits the US military’s capabilities to counter states with arsenals of medium-range and shorter-range ground-based missiles,” which threaten American interests, he said. “China, Iran and North Korea” were specifically mentioned by Washington, Ryabkov added.

“I don’t think that we’re talking about a new missile crisis, but the US plans are so far absolutely unclear,” Mikhail Khodarenok, retired colonel and military expert, told RT, reminding that the Americans have avoided any type of “meaningful discussion” with Moscow in regards to its INF deal pullout.

While “there’ll be no deployment of [US missiles] in Europe any time soon,” Moscow should expect that Washington would try to void other agreements with Russia as well, Khodarenok warned.

The INF deal “just stopped being beneficial for the US. Next up are all the other arms control treaties. There’ll be no resistance from the NATO allies [to US actions],” he said.

“The neocons who run Trump’s foreign policy never have liked arms reduction treaties,” former Pentagon official Michael Maloof told RT. “The new START treaty which comes up for renewal also could be in jeopardy.”

“The risk of a new nuclear buildup is really quite obvious” if the US withdrawals from the INF treaty, Dan Smith, the director of the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, told RT.

“I think the relations between the great powers – the US and Russia as well as the US and China – are more difficult than they’ve been for a long time,” he added.

However, with Washington having indicated that it wants China to be part of the new deal, “there are still possibilities for negotiations and agreement,” according to Smith. Nonetheless, he warned that following this path will demand strong political will and tactical thinking from the leadership of all three countries.

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US Pressures Germany To Ditch Huawei Over ‘Security Concerns’

This news will likely not go over well in Beijing, which is still struggling with the US and Canada over the arrest of Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou in Vancouver.

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Via Zerohedge


First it was Australia, New Zealand and Japan, now the US is pressing the German government to refuse to use equipment manufactured by Chinese telecom giant Huawei as Europe’s largest economy seeks to build out its 5G infrastructure.

According to Bloomberg, a US delegation met on Friday with German Foreign Ministry officials in Berlin to talk about the security risks presented by Huawei’s equipment, which the US says is vulnerable to spying. The meeting in Germany follows a report from late last month claiming the US had launched an “extraordinary outreach campaign” to warn its allies against using Huawei equipment (while its vulnerability to Chinese spying has been cited as the reason to avoid Huawei, it’s also worth noting that the US and China are locked in a battle for who will dominate the global 5G space…a battle that Huawei is currently winning).

Germany is set to hold an auction early next year to find a supplier to help expand its 5G network. The Berlin meeting took place one day after Deutsche Telekom said it would reexamine its decision to use Huawei equipment.

US officials are optimistic that their warnings are getting a hearing, though any detailed talks are in early stages and no concrete commitments have been made, according to one of the people.

The US pressure on Germany underscores increased scrutiny of Huawei as governments grapple with fears that the telecom-equipment maker’s gear is an enabler for Chinese espionage. The Berlin meeting took place a day after German carrier Deutsche Telekom AG said it will re-evaluate its purchasing strategy on Huawei, an indication that it may drop the Chinese company from its list of network suppliers.

France is also reportedly considering further restrictions after adding Huawei products to its “high alert” list. The US has already passed a ban preventing government agencies from using anything made by Huawei. But the telecoms equipment provider isn’t taking these threats to its business lying down.

U.S. warnings over espionage are a delicate matter in Germany. Revelations over the scale of the National Security Agency’s signals intelligence, including reports of tapping Merkel’s mobile phone, are still fresh in Berlin five years after they came to light.

Huawei is pushing back against the accusations. The company’s rotating chairman warned this week that blacklisting the Chinese company without proof will hurt the industry and disrupt the emergence of new wireless technology globally. Ken Hu, speaking at a Huawei manufacturing base in Dongguan, cited “groundless speculation,” in some of the first public comments since the shock arrest of the company’s chief financial officer.

This news will likely not go over well in Beijing, which is still struggling with the US and Canada over the arrest of Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou in Vancouver. In an editorial published Sunday, the Global Times, an English-language mouthpiece for the Communist Party, warned that China should retaliate against any country that – like Australia – takes a hard line against Huawei. So, if you’re a German citizen in Beijing, you might want to consider getting the hell out of Dodge.

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