Trump and epoch

Submitted by AWL on 20 October, 2020 - 5:08 Author: Luke Hardy
Trump and fascism

• See here for other articles debating the US election, Trump, etc.

Trump is a central part of a global wave of authoritarian nationalist populism, but he goes beyond it towards fascism in that:

• the idea of violence and locking up his political opponents is a central part of his political thought. The nature of the US state has made that impossible on a grand scale. However, where he can, by rhetorically encouraging his supporters or using the Department for Homeland Security, he has pushed this violence.

• Trump has been in actual dialogue with the existing organisations of the violent far right and fascism. They support him, they have re-branded themselves to be his champions, they have entered into the MAGA movement. He speaks to them both openly over the air-waves and Twitter and via go-betweens.

Now the nature of his threat has crystallised and hardened in response to the Black Lives Matter protests and the election. The left, anti-racist activists, and socialists are now squarely in his and his supporters’ sights. In terms of the elections, subverting and dismissing the election process is Trump’s way out the crisis.

Obviously, even if Trump is a fascist, no automatic conclusion follows as regards who socialists vote for in the election. It does mean building the working-class movement to sweep him from power is vital. That movement exists, and it sees one tool in that fight as voting Biden to oust Trump. Revolutionary socialists should be involved to present a programme and an organisational pole fighting for independent working-class politics. Whether that leads to calling a vote for Biden against Trump everywhere or only in the “swing states” I am open on. I worry though that a mixed message could blur how dangerous Trump is to the bourgeois-democratic space that allows workers to organise.

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