As I write this, thousands of racist proto-fascists are storming the US Capitol while over 140 immigrant detainees at Essex County and Hudson County, NJ ICE detention centers are on hunger strike, the third wave of such strikes at NJ facilities in 2020. While protesting inmates are being threatened and coerced, masses of rioting white people are being gently removed from the Capitol, only 13 arrested (that number may grow) after breaching the legislative chambers and causing death and injury. The chasm between the treatment of those who struggle against hatred and oppression, who have fled from violence and poverty, who sicken and die disproportionately from disease, and between those who have been won to hatred and racist violence is gaping and widening.
We can be sure that Biden will better attack Covid-19 than has Trump, for there must be a functioning economy and working class to maintain profits and power. But we quake in the surety that more lives will now be lost to imperialism and expansionism, not only from bullets on the battlefield but from poverty, exploitation, displacement and environmental devastation. We know from his own history that Biden is a capitalist and an aggressive imperialist, a loyal servant of US finance capital (see https://multiracialunity.org/2020/06/16/biden-lesser-evil-or-just-evil/). At the same time, it is important to remember that all the recent Democratic presidential candidates, from the democratic socialists to the moderates, are pro-capitalism and only proposed moderation of the system, at best. No matter who is in office, there is an existential battle between the largest world capitalists for control, primarily China and the US today. Thus it is clear that if we truly want to alter the manner in which capitalist ruling classes attack the workers of the world or their own working class, then it is the system, not the capitalist party or individual in power, that needs to be changed.
In many respects the early decades of the last century resembled our own disordered and perhaps calamitous moment, though the differences between the two periods were equally apparent. In the two decades between the two world wars, fascism was on the rise, particularly in Western Europe, notably in Italy, Spain, and Germany and, in the East, China and Japan. Benito Mussolini, the head of the Italian National Fascist Party, became Prime Minister in 1922. In the decade before Hitler became the Chancellor in January, 1933, post-war Germany was roiling with street battles between fascists belonging to roughly thirty different parties and at least eight left-wing parties, most significantly the KPD (the pro-Soviet German Communist Party) and various factions of the Social Democratic Party.
We should celebrate a victory in New York City (NYC), even though it is a temporary and limited one in a war that we should never need to fight.
Until Covid -19, single homeless adults in NYC were housed in up to 100 bed dormitories where crime and drug use were rampant. Many homeless people preferred to sleep on the street or the subways rather than in these facilities. However, the Covid-19 epidemic forced the City to use vacant hotels –even upscale ones – for shelter in the face of the highly contagious virus. One such move of over 700 single adults to four hotels in the prosperous and “liberal” Upper West Side of Manhattan resulted in a battle between wealthy racist property owners, who used racist slurs to castigate their new neighbors and demand their removal, and local anti-racists who fought back. The anti-racists not only organized petitions and demonstrations to pressure the feckless Mayor de Blasio into reversing his removal order, but they are providing aid and services to the homeless. The once-empty hotels are still home to the needy – for now.
The background for the Chinese exclusion cases starts with the immigration of tens of thousands of Chinese to the U.S during the late 1840s “Gold Rush.” These immigrants later made up the majority of the workforce that constructed the U.S. transcontinental railroad. When insufficient numbers of white workers applied to perform the arduous, dirty and dangerous labor that this project required, railroad bosses from the Central Pacific Railroad (including Leland Stanford, the founder of the University) began hiring immigrants from China. They were paid $26 per month, working 6 days per week, 30-50% less than white workers. “Hundreds [of these workers] died from explosions, landslides, accidents and disease.” (https://www.history.com/news/transcontinental-railroad-chinese-immigrants) After the completion of the railroad in 1869, these workers continued to toil for the big railroad bosses, who pocketed enormous amounts of money from their sweat and blood.
With the death of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg and the nomination by President Donald Trump of Amy Coney Barrett to immediately fill Ginsburg’s position on the Court, competing factions of the U.S. ruling class have geared up for a furious battle over Trump’s third appointment to that Court. The Democrats threaten to retaliate against Trump’s plan (if they win the 2020 presidential election and retake the U.S. Senate) by expanding the number of justices on the Court and then packing it with liberal justices. Liberal and conservative media pundits, law professors and political analysts have all staked out their positions.
The “debate” over the Social Security (SS) “crisis” is a cover for a trillion-dollar looting of the SS Trust Fund, pulled off for over 52 years by every Democratic and Republican president who has occupied the White House — Johnson, Carter, Clinton, Obama, Nixon, Reagan, the two Bushes and now Trump. It IS a crisis, not of SS but one of U.S. capitalism, mired in a multi-trillion dollar debt resulting from illegally spending the workers’ SS surpluses to finance US imperialism’s wars against Vietnam, Grenada, Panama, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Somalia, Yugoslavia, Iraq and Afghanistan. It mirrors a general law of the profit system: shift the bosses’ financial burdens onto the backs of the working class.
Many bloodbaths and much pain. Many overseas tragic events have been forgotten, some hardly noticed as they occurred, especially if Americans were not killed. And many have been committed by those we label liberals, progressives, humanitarians – – Democrats. We must not forget that Democrats support military and political hegemony as devotedly as any other leaders of US capitalism, much moreso than Trump’s domestically based supporters like the Koch and Mercer families. His isolationism is even more worrisome to the liberal ruling class than his blatant white supremacy and incompetence with respect to Covid-19. More urgent than quelling the protests over racism and mitigating the mass evictions, unemployment, and lack of health insurance is retaining resources, pipelines, cheap labor and bases overseas.
To many nonwhite, immigrant, unemployed, and humane workers, Trump is so repulsive that his replacement with a Democrat is desperately desired, and that is why it is imperative that we recall the criminal legacy of that party. In this essay, we will review only the Democrats’ imperialist endeavors since the end of World War II, not to imply that mainstream Republicans are any less guilty.
“It is worse, much worse, than you think. The slowness of climate change is a fairy tale, perhaps as pernicious as the one that says it isn’t happening at all.” This is the first sentence in the 2019 book The Uninhabitable Earth: Life After Warming by David Wallace-Wells. Although the book is typical of mainstream literature on climate change in that it has only idealistic ideas about what to do next, based on a non-existent or very naive political, class, or race-based analysis, it does provide a wealth of detailed information about the lethality of climate change—now everywhere on the planet.
What is fascism? Is it a separate political system, distinct from capitalism or communism? Is it a set of practices like the SS and concentration camps that we associate with Nazi Germany? Is it the result of Trumpism? Or is fascism something that we might experience even if Trump is no more? Most certainly, yes, even without Trump.