Skip to content
View Featured Image

Political Crisis In The US

Above photo: Photo composition showing interrupted images of street protests, intertwined with a falling Statue of Liberty, the back of Donald Trump, US Capitol building and one blue stripe and another red color stripe and an arm with an upright fist. Christina Animashaun/Vox.

It is becoming clear that the United States is in a serious political crisis. By political crisis we  mean that the ruling class is no longer able to rule and control the masses of people in the  same way it has been running the country in the past period of time. Since the end of the  Second World War the dominant section of the capitalist class has controlled the working class  through the two party system in general and through the Democratic Party in particular. In fact  the Democratic Party emerged from WWII as the most influential organization within the  working class. The foundation for this was laid in the 1930s with the role of Democratic  President Roosevelt and the New Deal.

When we look at activity in the electoral arena we see that on the one hand important sections  of the working class have been blocked from participation in the electoral arena through legal  and extra-legal methods. These attacks on the poor are well documented. On the other hand  leaders of the working class have been mislead into fighting for limited reforms which are  periodically given and then taken away. Under these conditions the dominant international  financial section of the capitalist class has had no trouble controlling the masses of people in  the US and also rendering peripheral the right-wing, more nationally based section of the  capitalist class.

Political developments in the final analysis are the result of economic developments. For more  than 50 years global capitalism has been undergoing a slow, but qualitative economic  transformation. With the discovery of the semiconductor or microchip, the capitalist process of  production has been undergoing a transformation from industrial, nationally centered  production to a global, electronics based production. Production based on electronics is not  just labor-saving, but labor-replacing. With the continuing development of this labor-replacing  technology the global capitalist system has entered a structural, fundamental crisis. This new  form of production has been expressed in the de-industrialization that has racked the US  economy. Not only are jobs being eliminated, but the limited jobs being created are mostly low  skilled and low paying. This labor replacing technology has increasingly forged a new  revolutionary section of the working class. The social effects of this transformation can be seen  in the growth of the “informal” economy and the deterioration of the social and economic  institutions within the US. The healthcare and education systems have been undergoing a rapid  deterioration. Government policies are shredding the limited social safety net. In the wake of  the 2007-2008 economic crisis, US society has entered a period of serious social decline. The  masses of working class people are struggling to survive under these conditions and are  looking for solutions. The Democratic Party and the liberal establishment, representing the  dominant section of the ruling class, have been “unable” to provide answers to the problems.

As a result of these developing economic conditions, the ruling circles are looking for political  means of controlling the situation. When we examine history we see that forms of fascism and  authoritarian rule are established on the basis of the country’s own historical development.  Authoritarian or fascist governments do not come into existence due to the policies of evil men,  like Trump or other right-wing fanatics. Bourgeois, “democratic” governments are replaced when economic and political needs of the ruling class demand change. Hitler was not the  cause of fascism in Germany. It was a major sector of finance capital, the major German  industrial corporations, like I.G. Farben, Volkswagen, Siemens, Krupp and Daimler-Benz, that  needed fascism to accomplish their economic and political goals and used Hitler for their  purposes.

A study of US history shows that the context for fascism in the US will not be an ideological  fringe movement backed by a limited reactionary section of capital. The transformation from  one form of rule to another comes about within the developing struggle for political power. The elements of the ruling class that are supporting the “populist,” “MAGA” Republicans are  disrupting the goals and ability of the dominant sector of the ruling class to run the country.  This polarization within the ruling class is the context for the unfolding political crisis within the  US. Many “progressives” and activists on the left only see the danger of the MAGA  Republicans and their policies and are supporting the powerful, dominant section of the ruling  class. However, we see tendencies within the dominant, “liberal” section of the ruling class to  move toward a more authoritarian form of government in order to block the MAGA Republicans  from disrupting their policies for the global capitalist economy.

Given the particulars of US history it is probable that if fascism comes to the US it will likely be under the guise of fighting against “fascism.” Georgi Dimitroff, in his writings on fascism  pointed out that, “It is a peculiarity of the development of American fascism that at the present  stage this fascism comes forward principally in the guise of an opposition to fascism, which it  accuses of being an un-American tendency imported from abroad.”

The current political situation in the US is quite complex. First, it is critical to understand that it  is the deteriorating economic situation that is driving the various political responses. Since the  current economic crisis is systemic, neither the dominant, global sector of the ruling class nor the “populist” sector has a solution or a way out. Both sectors may be forced to turn toward  authoritarian measures to control the response of the masses to the growing poverty and  deterioration of social life.

At this time the dominant sector of the ruling class is leading the mass struggle against the  populist sector. Many “progressive” activists are advocating supporting this “liberal” sector of  the ruling class in a “united front” effort to block the “fascist” right-wing populists. This  approach of “uniting to fight the right” ignores the fact that these “liberal” capitalists have no  solution to the economic crisis and may turn toward authoritarian policies. Both sectors of the  ruling class are questioning their ability to control the US working class through measures of  “bourgeois democracy.”

Thus the political crisis in the US demands that revolutionaries participate in the class struggle  so that the political independence of the working class is preserved and strengthened, rather  than fighting in a way that increases the power of one section of the ruling class. Under the  economic and political conditions today, political independence relies on the organization and  education of the leaders of the revolutionary section of the working class. It is important for  revolutionaries to avoid distractions and concentrate on this task.

Sign Up To Our Daily Digest

Independent media outlets are being suppressed and dropped by corporations like Google, Facebook and Twitter. Sign up for our daily email digest before it’s too late so you don’t miss the latest movement news.