By Aldous Reno and Orlando Torres A Rising Tide/Déjà vu? The era of Trump and the disarray of the Republican party represent an opening for the reemergence of U.S.[…]
Tagged: United States
My name is Erek Slater. I am a ten-year veteran Chicago public bus driver. My coworkers have elected me to be their union shop-steward and executive board member of the[…]
JUNE 9TH, 2017 In 1975, the United States suffered a severe military defeat in the Vietnam War (the first in its history). This defeat limited the capacity for direct military[…]
If you build a house for your family, it should be a place to live. Similarly, we the builders of this society should make our society a place to live, a place where people’s most basic needs are fulfilled. A most essential human need is access to medical care; for when we’re growing, aging, hurting, healing, and dying. When we slice off a fingertip while cooking, when a train-wreck migraine strikes, when our child breaks their wrist falling off a bicycle- someone is there to bring us the relief of the best medical technology in the history of humanity. At least, this is true for the few of us who have healthcare. For nearly half a million of us in the United States, this poignant moment of relief is nothing more than a bitter daydream. The reality is that most working people in this country are deciding whether we should go to the doctor for our migraine or just pop an aspirin and hope it’s not meningitis.
Fissures within the bourgeoisie caused by Trump with his policy reflect on the international arena as well, by attacking two of the central policies driven by imperialist powers over the past decades. The first one is what we have called the democratic reaction – which means to confront tough situations regarding the relationship of forces with the masses through pacts, negotiations and elections (because of impossibility or limits to use military action). And the second, as we have said in previous articles, is the policy of international Free Trade agreements.
However, Trump in himself expresses a sector of the bourgeoisie that supports his government. In the first place, the oil sector. His Secretary of State is Rex Tillerson, former president of the main oil company in the country, Exxon. Possibly, Trump also has the support of important construction sectors (the main branch of his companies), of agrarian production and of a middle industrial bourgeoisie, harmed with the relocation of industries to China and other countries.
Feb 16th’s ADWI was a good first step to rebuild a mass immigrant rights movement in this country, and moving forward, March 8th’s Women’s Strike is being seen as the next movement build action, with May 1st’s International Worker’s Day being the next big Day Without Immigrants. The immigrant rights movement and its allies should use the momentum for May day being built by the general anti-Trump national sentiment.
There are already organizations that have issued a call for a national Day without Immigrants on May 1, so far these include Voces in Milwaukee, SEIU-United Service Workers West and the Women’s March in California, and the national Cosecha network1 and we can build on these to get more endorsements and commitments. National public opinion polls are showing that majority of people in the U.S. support the rights of the undocumented to remain2.
It can learn from the strengths and limitations of Feb 16th’s demonstrations and organize things more centrally and continue the grassroots elements. It’s important to continue to keep organizational and programmatic independence from the Democratic Party (DP) politicians and organizations. We should contest base and rank and file DP members and we don’t need to work inside the DP to do that.
It’s crucial that the movement put pressure on unions and hold the labor leadership accountable since there are many undocumented workers in unions and in the wider labor force. While the AFL-CIO and labor unions keep silent during Trump’s offensive to immigrants and workers, rank and file workers in their unions should put forward resolutions and build caucuses to push for their unions to come out in full force to support May day’s activities.
At the community, school, and neighborhood level, the undocumented community can build on the the resistance networks being built across many major cities3 by workers centers and community groups against the deportations and attacks to immigrants. There are also organizations and communities pushing for sanctuary (cities that follow certain procedures that shelters illegal immigrants),4 campuses, cities and states that should be supported and expanded.
Setting aside Trump’s playing around with “alternative truths” and things of the kind used to distract workers, something is objectively and empirically very clear: Trump has constituted the wealthiest cabinet ever to run the United States. His cabinet’s worth is estimated around $4.5 billion (at the top are Ross Wilbur and Betsy DeVoss) a sum which “is 60% higher than the aggregate wealth of Barack Obama’s (…) Cabinet, which Forbes estimates to be $2.75 billion” This is without taking into account Trump’s own personal wealth: $3.7 billion.
This government is in fact a pure expression of the American corporate power, which is not afraid to hide its obscene wealth anymore. Obama was the austerity president: austerity for workers and encouraged public restraint for bosses while profits were being recovered on the backs of working people. Trump is the braggy billionaires’ president, where, in his view, workers are supposed to admire and love those who got richer in the aftermath of a traumatic crisis while they got poorer.
“I want people that made a fortune!” Trump stated during his campaign. The billionaire campaigned on the very “simple” idea that making money means being “successful”, capable, smart, etc. Yet, beneath the apparently simple formula of Trump lies hidden the universal mechanism of exploitation of millions of workers. In fact, our society is based on the concealment of the origin of value: money does not come from great minds, actions or decisions. It comes from profits created by the appropriation of a significant portion of the labor of millions of workers, what Marx called surplus-value.
For us workers, who do not belong to the “owning” class, our destiny in this system is to work for wagers to make ends meet. Yet at the same time, if we do not work, they do not get rich. So the problem is that as long as the corporate powers rule, even if we work harder than ever, we never make enough to have a decent life. To celebrate the millionaires and billionaires as national heroes, as Trump pretends, is to celebrate the wheel of capitalist production and exploitation that keeps us chained to our current social condition – it is to toast to our own enslavement.
…even if it is early to close any definition, it seems that the hypothesis of the aggravation of both processes (elements of crisis of the regime and inter-bourgeois friction) is confirming, together with a possible upsurge of workers and masses. As we said, this is a non-precedent situation in the United States. Along a series of articles, we will try to further develop the different aspects of this situation.
DECEMBER 23RD, 2016 ALL OUT January 20th The election of Donald Trump, a far-right populist bigot, is both a symptom of and a turning point in the historical political crisis[…]
NOVEMBER 11TH, 2016 The Republican Donald Trump was elected president of the United States. Although there was a virtual tie between him and Hillary Clinton among the popular votes, Trump[…]
OCTOBER 24TH, 2016 After the Dallas police shooting, the reactionary forces in this country are trying to shift the national rhetoric and public perception of social violence in the United[…]
Beyond The Threat of Trump by Florence Oppen Trump and the rise of Racism and Islamophobia in the U.S. Since Trump has begun his political campaign to[…]
Written by Ari Russo – PSTU Monday, 02 November 2015 22:25 On 19 September, a hospital of Doctors Without Borders in Kunduz (1), a province in northern Afghanistan, was bombed[…]
By Florence Oppen Just after the US bombed Hiroshima and Nagasaki, killing 246, 000 civilians, its President Harry Truman delivered a stunning speech on August 9th 1945 from the[…]