We’ve lived so long under the spell of hierarchy—from god-kings to feudal lords to party bosses—that only recently have we awakened to see not only that “regular” citizens have the capacity for self-governance, but that without their engagement our huge global crises cannot be addressed. The changes needed for human society simply to survive, let alone thrive, are so profound that the only way we will move toward them is if we ourselves, regular citizens, feel meaningful ownership of solutions through direct engagement. Our problems are too big, interrelated, and pervasive to yield to directives from on high.
—Frances Moore Lappé, excerpt from Time for Progressives to Grow Up

Monday, November 14, 2016

From “political revolution” to collaboration: Sanders and Warren pledge to work with Trump

Click here to access article by Patrick Martin and Joseph Kishore from World Socialist Web Site.

The authors point out the career politicians and union leaders who are scrambling to climb on board the Trump bandwagon to secure their careers after the capitalist ruling class has decided to use Trump and associates to head their government following the discovery that their chosen candidate, Hillary Clinton, was so distasteful to the general public.

However, I think the authors were placed too much weight with the appointment of Stephen Bannon as "chief strategist and senior counselor". Given his background I think he will serve in the latter position mostly as a public spokesman for his administration. What I believe to be a more important appointment is the selection of Reince Priebus as Trump's chief of staff. (Obviously the authors did not learn of this appointment when they published this article.) The latter is clearly an approved political functionary of the ruling capitalist class, the directors of which likely made a deal with Trump to clear his election as president. As such Priebus will likely perform the role of handler/controller for Trump to see that he pursues the policies of the ruling capitalist class as mediated by their secretive think tanks such as the Council on Foreign Relations and Brookings Institution, and not do something that they regard as stupid. (How do you think Ronald Reagan, who had Alzheimer's, made it through his second term of office?)

Thus with the Trump administration nothing substantial will change. You will still have ever increasing inequality, poverty, a growing prison industry, and definitely more wars--just like you would have seen if Hillary had won the election. With Bannon handling public relations, the rhetoric will change a bit: instead of the smooth talking Obama, you will likely hear more jingoistic rants against Russia and China, racist rants against Muslims and foreigners, war-on-crime lectures to justify imprisoning desperate poor people, and moral condemnations against the lazy poor.

This should be a political lesson for especially young people whose "sins" are looking to career politicians in the capitalist class and other collaborators such as union leaders to lead them out of today's capitalist purgatory instead of understanding that only they, themselves, can do this and acting accordingly.

The authors conclude with this statement:
One of the basic problems in the demonstrations is that many of those participating still express illusions in the role of the Democratic Party. In fact, the Democratic Party—from Obama and Clinton to Sanders and Warren—bears political responsibility for the election of Trump, and it is now making clear that it is willing to work with him in implementing a policy of war abroad and reaction at home.

In the coming months, popular anger will grow, as workers, including those who voted for Trump, come to realize what they confront. Opposition to Trump cannot be organized through or in alliance with the Democratic Party, but only in a ruthless and uncompromising break with it and all of its political agents, and with the capitalist system they defend.

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