Convention Discussion: Trump, Monopoly Capital, and the “Extreme Right” Stage

BY:Chris Butters| March 25, 2019

As a CP member since 1994 (Public Workers Club;Brooklyn Club) I have sought to build the Party on the basis of our programs  (1984, 2005).

Our Draft Program commits us to a “struggle against the  extreme right” stage in the struggle for socialism until the extreme right is “rebuffed”. A balance sheet shows that the alliance we propose, dominated as it has been by the neoliberal policies of the national Democratic Party, has  not delivered the substantial rebuff our program requires.

In fact, those  neo-liberal policies have  frequently exacerbated the “extreme right”. One has only to see the response  of the extreme right’s base to policies of each  DP administration/congressional majority to see this. Even if Trump is removed by a Democratic-led push, the conditions which gave rise to Trump and the Tea Party are likely to grow.

Driven on by decades-long capitalist assaults, the people’s  fightback has increasingly taken on an anti-monopoly, even  anti-capitalist  character. People’s campaigns and demands are raised that challenge the monopoly capital stranglehold  regarding health care, environment, criminal justice, student debt, while also continuing to oppose/expose the authoritarian and racist nature of the Trump administration. One has only to look at the Bernie Sanders campaign to see this , although other candidacies reflect this also.

Increasingly, activists are seeing that key to defeating any extreme right is not just opposing the Trump program, but offering a 50 state alternative, including a program that addresses human needs and splits whatever working class and oppressed support the extreme right has.

Our program says “the main enemy” is  the “extreme right”, dominated by  the most reactionary section of the U.S. ruling class; what is required is an alliance against that extreme right that includes  the  less reactionary sections of monopoly capital.

This led us to be neutral in the 2016 primaries for Bernie, concerned his anti -monopoly demands  would jeopardize the struggle against the extreme right; a lack of clear Party support for Occupy Wall Street’s anti- monopoly and anti-capitalist thrust in 2011; opposition  to anything less than  unqualified support for Clinton in the 2016 general  election.

We call for an all-peoples front – not just on specific issues like defense of constitutional rights, but a longer multi- issue platform in the fight against the extreme right. We do not make clear the distinction between a united front and a popular front, which Dimitrov did.

The theoretical basis for the stage is our characterization of the extreme right as dominated by the most reactionary  sections of capital, (arms manufacture, fossil fuels, pharmaceuticals). This is portrayed as separate and distinct from a less reactionary section, dominated by other sectors.

But our analysis ignores the important connections between different sections of monopoly capital, and that Trump is a sign of the crisis of U.S. monopoly capital as a whole. The Kochs’/Mercers’ massive funding of the extreme right  is part of their  battle for a greater share of state monopoly capital from the more powerful and longstanding Rockefeller interests. Also,  our analysis  underestimates the Rockefeller group’s domination of finance capital and connections to the state apparatus. It is not for nothing Goldman Sachs has supplied Treasury Secretaries to both Republican and Democratic administrations in recent years.

We identify the political expression of the most reactionary section as the Republican Party. But just as each section of monopoly capital is tied  by hidden strings, so are the two parties of capital. Their differences can ultimately be traced to the bases they draw support from, not any separate and distinct character of the monopoly capital section. The problem now is that the GOP electoral base of lesser exploiters is in rebellion against the dominant families and their state. It is also possible the DP electoral base may be beginning an open rebellion against the dominant families.

Also, and more particularly, our analysis ignores the central role of the bipartisan 2008 bailout of the dominant banks, both as a major  factor  in recent working class and oppressed disaffection, and its exploitation by Trump. It also ignores why  the national Democratic Party, whose neoliberal policies approved the bailout, has not been able to  rebuff  the extreme right (although Sanders and Warren are now opposing this).

An emboldened “extreme right” does represent a serious danger. Given the balance of forces, communists were right to use what vehicles were available  to block Trump’s fascistic power grab, including  participation with our coalition partners in the 2018 election to flip the congress.

But these actions are primarily defensive in nature, and   no substitute for raising our own program. Our emphasis must be  on building the strength and initiative of the working class, at the same time placing  no confidence in capitalism to resolve its crisis.

Veterans will remember a different Party 1984 program where “the main enemy” was monopoly capital, not one of its sections. Until the 2000s working within the DP was seen as a tactic in our “communist plus”, not a strategy.

But this is not a call to go backward, but to go forward together, in a 21st century  where the worldwide capitalist crisis deepens, and there is increased hunger for answers that can only be provided by  our revolutionary socialism.

Desperately needed is leadership by our Party and a socialist strategy of raising democratic and anti- monopoly demands around people’s  needs for health care, education, housing, environment, and an end to the banks’ and corporations’ stranglehold.

The many positive aspects of our work, including our vanguard  record  of opposition to racism, national chauvinism and fascism, our fighting mass approach, can better be continued  through  a more accurate conception of stages.

By dropping the “extreme right” stage, this does not mean ultimatistic calls for revolution now, but fighting the  “extreme right” by carefully chosen transitional demands at every step, as part of an anti-monopoly stage of the struggle for socialism. Some  of these demands can  be found in the anti-monopoly section of our Draft Program.






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