New MHI Pamphlet: Resisting Trumpist Reaction (and Left Accommodation)

 
At this critical moment for the US and the world, there is an urgent need for widespread discussion of the ideas put forward in Marxist-Humanist Initiative’s 2018 Perspectives thesis, Resisting Trumpist Reaction (and Left Accommodation). We have therefore decided to publish it as a printed, bound pamphlet. We are pleased and proud to announce that it is available now––for only $5. (Payment in foreign currency is also welcome).

Karl Marx stood for a new society in which the full and free development of every individual forms the ruling principle. This 88-page pamphlet brings his revolutionary humanist perspective to bear on the singularly critical task of this moment: opposing and defeating Trumpism and other resurgent far-right tendencies.

We encourage everyone to read Resisting Trumpist Reaction (and Left Accommodation), to share it widely, and to discuss it with colleagues, friends, family––and with us. Beating back and transcending the latest wave of reaction requires wide and deep discussion among everyone fighting to protect liberal-democratic rights and to continue the struggle until we achieve full freedom for all human beings.
 
cover of 2018 Perspectives, _Resisting Trumpist Reaction (and Left Accommodation)_


Only $5 + shipping charges. Order your copy here.


 

Key ideas in this pamphlet include the following:

* 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. Similarly, the real threat Trump poses to Americans’ civil rights and liberties could be just as fatal. The unthinkable must be acknowledged and our support for the Resistance to Trumpism must be intensified.

* The ongoing activity of tens of millions of people resisting Trump and Trumpism is the principal reason why Trump has not yet done even more harm than he has done to date. The permanent state of revolt across the US underlines the Resistance movement’s firm and indefatigable commitment to get rid of Trump, not to reform him.

* One notable feature of the Resistance is that women, and especially women of color––who know that Trumpism is a threat to people’s lives, and women’s bodies in particular––dominate the field in intensive, continual, and creative protesting. The convergence of the anti-racist and Resistance movements is likewise very significant, as is the fact that the leading edge of the Resistance also challenges the Democratic Party and its efforts to play “politics as usual.”

* Marxist-Humanists must help to ensure that the Resistance remains independent, so that its goal of ending Trumpism will not be subsumed under alien agendas. Its independence from the Democratic Party is crucial, as is its independence from tendencies on “the left” that serve to normalize Trumpism by trying to divert the Resistance onto an “anti-neoliberal” path, a path that refuses to prioritize the fight against the extraordinary and distinctive dangers of Trumpist reaction.

* We must also combat and root out the idea that the left can somehow win over Trump’s base and turn white nationalists towards revolutionary socialism. That is a pipe dream of a segment of “the left” that wants power for itself, and which acted in ways that helped Trump win the 2016 US election. We redouble our commitment to fight such accommodation. Trump must be removed and Trumpism must be rooted out. The left needs to stand for freedom and the rights of all human beings once again.

* Although research shows conclusively that Trump’s election was not due to an uprising of the “white working class” against “economic distress” brought about by neoliberalism, that myth remains a key talking point of a newly-resurgent left-populist current. Left-populism seeks to win adherents by appealing to popular superstitions and myths, and by offering easy, inaccurate answers in response to popular discontent. It does not worry about the difficulty of delivering on its promises. This is what makes it populism. It is the trait it has most in common with Trumpism.

* An opportunistic relationship to ideas cannot form the basis for a real left project that aims to confront the central contradictions of our era and to posit a way out of them. “Post-truth politics” is a direct impediment to the development of a clear understanding of our world and what is required to change it. And although emotional appeals and the like may help “the left” win new followers and elections, such opportunism reproduces the existing divisions between mental and manual labor and between leaders and the led. It thus represents a real barrier to the self-development of the working class as an independent force for human liberation. We need to wage an uncompromising battle against “post-truth politics.”

* Far from being a revolt against neoliberalism, Trump’s election was actually an expression of a long-standing white-nationalist strain of US politics. It predates neoliberalism; it pervaded the campaigns of George Wallace in the 1960s and early 1970s, which, like Trump’s, were remarkably successful in the industrial Midwest.

* Analyzing Marx’s writings on and activity around Irish independence and the US Civil War, we arrive at a unique conclusion regarding Trumpism and the “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.

 

TABLE OF CONTENTS

 

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
  • Accelerating the “catastrophe of official England”
  • English workers’ “own social emancipation”
  • Irish immigration and xenophobia
  • Freeing English workers from the “leading-strings” of the ruling classes
  • The Impact of the US Civil War on Emancipatory Working-Class Self-Activity
  • Grounds of Marx’s anti-slavery activity
  • Conclusion

 

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

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

 

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