Resisting Trumpist Reaction (and Left Accommodation)

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Resisting Trumpist Reaction (and Left Accommodation): Marxist-Humanist Initiative’s Perspectives for 2018

Published by Marxist-Humanist Initiative, May 2018. 88 pgs.

This 88-page pamphlet provides our analysis of and response to: Trumpism and leftist accommodation to it; the Resistance; left-populist economics; “post-truth” politics; white nationalism; and individual responsibility for the collective development of Marxist-Humanism.

 


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Resisting Trumpist Reaction (and Left Accommodation): Marxist-Humanist Initiative’s Perspectives for 2018

Published by Marxist-Humanist Initiative, May 2018. 88 pgs.

It may not be possible to stop US president Donald Trump before he launches the country and the world into a monstrous war, even a nuclear war–and the threat Trump poses to Americans’ civil rights and liberties could be just as fatal. MHI’s Perspectives detail these dangers, but also the strength and determination of the Resistance to defeat Trumpism. We offer the Resistance our ​full support, but warn that it must remain independent––of the Democratic Party and of tendencies on the “left” that would divert it onto an “anti-neoliberal” path. Its goal of ending Trumpism must not be subsumed under ​others’ agendas and myths about how to defeat capitalism.

These Perspectives challenge the idea that the left can win over Trump’s base and turn white nationalists towards revolutionary socialism. We review a wealth of research which shows conclusively that Trump’s election was not a “white working class” revolt against neoliberalism. Yet that myth remains a key talking point of a newly-resurgent left-populist current. Left-populism seek to win adherents by appealing to popular superstitions and myths, and by offering easy-but-incorrect answers in response to popular discontent. Yet a politics rooted in emotional appeals and myth-making hinders genuine understanding of our current crisis and how to transcend it, and it reproduces existing divisions between mental and manual labor and between leaders and the led. Thus, “post-truth politics” is a real barrier to the self-development of the working class as an independent force for human liberation.

The Perspectives argue that, far from being a revolt against neoliberalism, Trump’s election was an expression of a white-nationalist strain of US politics that long predates neoliberalism. Analysing Marx’s writings on Irish independence and the US Civil War, we arrive at a unique conclusion regarding Trumpism and the so-called “white working class.” To fight white nationalism in the tradition of Marx, ​the way to solidarize with the “white working class” is by helping the Resistance to decisively defeat Trumpism and other far-right forces. Their defeat will help liberate the “white working class” from the grip of reaction and thereby spur the independent emancipatory self-development of working people as a whole.

 

Part I
TRUMPISM IN POWER, AIDED BY THE SOFT-ON-TRUMP LEFT, THREATENS LIFE AND LIBERTY

  • What Trump Has Already Accomplished
  • “F––ing Moron,” “Heading Towards World War III”
  • Blatantly Racist, Deliberate Neglect of Puerto Rico
  • The Republican Party Will Not Stop Trump
  • Trump’s Threat to Liberal Democracy
  • Varieties of “Leftist” Accommodation to Trumpism, and the Marxist-Humanist Alternative

 

Part II
THE RESISTANCE: A PERMANENT STATE OF REVOLT AGAINST TRUMPISM

  • Leading Edge of the Resistance Also Challenges the Democratic Party
  • Saving Health Care
  • The Struggle Against Racism and White Supremacy
  • Women’s Movements in the Forefront
  • New and Old Organizations Flourish
  • New Developments

 

Part III
ECONOMIC MYTHOLOGY OF LEFT-POPULIST ALTERNATIVES TO NEOLIBERALISM

  • The Mythology of the Populist Left
    • Neoliberalism as a Political Project
    • Ford’s $5 Day
    • Ideal Deal
    • Off-shoring as the Big Job Killer
    • Social Democracy is Left Politics
  • Political Implications
    • Fighting for Concessions vs. Claiming to Solve Capital’s Contradictions
    • Voting vs. Supporting
    • Fighting Neoliberalism vs. Fighting Capitalism––including Proto- and Neo-Fascism
    • Economic Populism is Not the Only Form of Left Politics
    • Ideas are Important

 

Part IV
COMBATTING “POST-TRUTH POLITICS,” IN PRACTICE AND IN THEORY

  • The Vital Importance of the Fight for Truth and Reason
  • Dialectical Reason as Counterweight to Post-Truth Epistemology
    • Marxist-Humanist Philosophy and Organization vs. Unmediated “Knowledge”
    • Transcending the Limitations of Enlightenment Rationality and Capitalism

 

Part V
COMBATTING WHITE NATIONALISM: LESSONS FROM MARX

  • Trumpism: A Pre-Existing Condition
    • The Anti-Neoliberal “Left” Narrative
    • Middle-Class Income Stagnation?
    • Why Votes of Non-College Whites Flipped to Trump
    • Trumpism is Wallace-ism Redux
  • Lessons from Marx
    • Taking the “Independent Movement of the Workers” Seriously—and Literally
    • Marx on Irish Independence
    • The Impact of the US Civil War on Emancipatory Working-Class Self-Activity
  • Conclusion

 

Part VI
INDIVIDUAL RESPONSIBILITY FOR THE COLLECTIVE DEVELOPMENT OF MARXIST-HUMANISM

  • Selected Tasks of Marxist-Humanist Initiative in the Coming Year

 

Additional information

Weight 5 oz
Dimensions 9 x 6 x .5 in

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