[Audio] Constitutional Chaos and COVID in the White House: A Marxist Take on Election 2020

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These days, we go from one crisis after another. From the death of RBG, to the so-called presidential “debate,” to the spread of COVID-19 to Donald Trump and the White House, events are moving so quickly that you can hardly keep up. What should socialists make of all this? Socialist Revolution editor John Peterson provides a Marxist perspective.

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Transcript

The relative stability of the postwar period is long gone. These days, it’s one crisis after another. Events are moving so quickly you can hardly keep up. A couple of weeks ago, it was the death of Ruth Bader Ginsburg, and the rush to replace her with an even more reactionary enemy of the working class. Then it was the fallout from the so-called debate—which was widely considered the worst in US history.

But I think Trump and his inner circle getting COVID-19 really takes the cake. The laws of epidemiological gravity finally caught up with him and the sycophants around him. Now the leadership at the Pentagon is quarantining due to exposure. The Emperor’s Clothes have finally been revealed in all their puny glory.

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Hi everyone, and welcome to this episode of the Socialist Revolution podcast. My name is John Peterson, I’m the editor Socialist Revolution magazine, the official publication of the US section of the International Marxist Tendency. You can check out our website at socialistrevolution.org. Each episode we feature contributions and discussions on current events, history, and theory from a Marxist, class-struggle perspective, featuring revolutionary socialists from around the country and around the world.

The great dialectical philosopher, Hegel, famously said that at a certain stage, everything turns into its opposite, or, as he put it another way, that reason becomes unreason. Now this isn’t automatic, mechanical, or guaranteed. And it doesn’t necessarily apply to every contradictory, dynamic process in nature and society. But science and history abound with highly illuminating examples.

Take the United States. Not too long ago, at least in the grand scheme of history, it was regarded as a worldwide beacon of liberty, opportunity, and revolution, in both the 1780s and the 1860s. But as we all know this has since turned into its opposite: and the US is now the most reactionary, counterrevolutionary force on the planet. It’s pretty clear that any shred of progressive, rational content has been exhausted, that reason has become unreason. The problem with the liberal ideologues think they can bring reason back to a system that has lost all reason to exist. This is their insoluble contradiction.

The many crises we’re living through today: the economic catastrophe, the uncontrolled pandemic, the deepening political & constitutional crisis, are part of a systemic crisis of capitalism, a crisis of the regime of capitalist rule, which is reflected in a profound crisis of confidence in the system.

The capitalists can no longer take humanity forward. In fact, capitalism is now a colossal brake on the further advancement of our species. It threatens to take us all down with it if we don’t get our act together and rid the planet of this diseased system once and for all. And the only way to get rid of it is through a revolution.

Although it may seem counterintuitive, history shows that revolutions actually start at the top, with divisions in the ruling class. Feeling the ground trembling under their feet, they belatedly realize that they can’t continue ruling in the old way—by relying on either carrots or sticks. They are paralyzed and desperate, unsure as to how they can get out of the crisis with their wealth and accompanying power and privileges intact. That’s because the only way out of the crisis is to get rid of capitalism—and they’re obviously not about to do that.

And although the working class makes up the vast majority of the population, and contains within it the seeds for a total reorganization of society, the workers’ leaders are equally confused, desperate, and paralyzed. They are as terrified of the awakened masses as the ruling class itself. Thus, the unsteady and convulsive stalemate can drag on for a very long time.

As the crisis drags on and on, and the irrationality of the ruling class and of the system they defend is becoming increasingly evident—and not only to the working class and youth. This leads to deepening splits in the state apparatus. We see this today, from the FBI to the CIA to the diplomatic corps and the civil service generally. Now even elements in the Secret Service have openly expressed their anger after Trump’s motorcade photo op. These people are supposed to be willing to take a bullet for the president—but only if absolutely necessary. Being exposed to the president’s known COVID infection was totally unnecessary. Many of them must be questioning what it is they’re defending.

So while the ultrarich get unimaginably richer as a result of the crisis, the majority are sinking deeper into a reality of unemployment, eviction, debt, and despair—despite playing by the rules. That’s because the rules are written by and for the capitalists, not the workers. The house always wins. Always. This reality is being smashed into millions of working-class brains as they experience the joys of capitalism in its epoch of terminal decline.

But history also shows that sooner or later, when a breach is opened by the power struggles, chaos, and instability at the top, the masses eventually surge forward to put their own mark on events, to seize their destinies in their hands, and remake the world in their interests.

This is the kind of period we are now living in. A period of revolution, counterrevolution, crisis, polarization, and open class struggle. The relative stability of the postwar period is long gone. These days, it’s one crisis after another. Events are moving so quickly you can hardly keep up. It’s one straw after another being dropped on the already overburdened camel’s back.

A couple of weeks ago, it was the death of Ruth Bader Ginsburg, and the rush to replace her with an even more reactionary enemy of the working class. Then it was the fallout from the so-called debate—which was widely considered the worst in US history. Long gone are the days of Lincoln and Douglas and their eloquent arguments for and against the expansion of slavery in the years before the Civil War.

But I think Trump and his inner circle getting COVID-19 really takes the cake. The laws of epidemiological gravity finally caught up with him and the sycophants around him. Now the leadership at the Pentagon is quarantining due to exposure. The Emperor’s Clothes have finally been revealed in all their puny glory.

For months, these scumbags have pretended they live in an alternate reality. They have made a mockery of science, preying on the anti-science skepticism and anti-government distrust of millions. No wonder just 20% of Americans trust the federal government, and only 69% of Americans say they trusted what they heard from the White House when it came to Trump’s illness and hospitalization.

Because the reality for millions of people is very different from life in Trump’s little West Wing and campaign rally bubble. By the time the president was flown by helicopter to Walter Reed Medical Center, there were 7.4 million confirmed cases of COVID-19 and nearly 210,000 deaths. The death count is fast-approaching the nearly 300,000 Americans killed in World War II.

But we shouldn’t forget that COVID was merely the drop that overflowed the cup, the snowflake that triggered the avalanche. A rational and stable society, one democratically planned in the interests of all, could have dispensed with COVID easily, with minimal loss of life and negligible long-term disruption of our daily routines. But American society as a whole was at high-risk for COVID. Its underlying symptoms made it particularly vulnerable to this kind of disease.

Decades of cuts to public health and austerity in general, an overworked and overstressed population fed largely on instant, unhealthy food, a ruthlessly callous for-profit healthcare system, all provided fertile ground for the disease to flourish—not to mention the president’s obsession with nonstop positive spin, ratings, and praise. The result has been an unmitigated disaster. Little wonder that 60% of Americans think the government has only made the pandemic worse.

So we are living through a perfect storm, a whirlwind of violent cross-currents, in which cause becomes effect and effect becomes cause. There are so many factors to account for. In addition to the economy and the pandemic, we have to add this summer’s extraordinary BLM movement, which saw the rise of neighborhood patrols and armed militias on both the right and the left. And overlaying all of this is the climate crisis and the apocalyptic wildfires in the west.

And 2020 isn’t over yet. We still have the elections to get through, which I’ll get to in more detail in a bit. Before we get to that, though, let’s look at some of the underlying economic factors that are driving these processes, and which in turn, are affected by those processes.

We sometimes talk about how ignorant, stupid, and short-sighted the bourgeois are, and there are plenty of examples of this. But there are still some serious strategists of capital. People who rack their brains trying to square the circle of their system. These people often come to similar conclusions as the Marxists, albeit from the perspective of the ruling class.

Take Deutschebank, for example. They are one of the top 20 banks in the world, and like all banks under capitalism, are in the business of making profits. As a result, they are highly concerned with the big-picture perspectives for making even more profits in the future.

According to their strategists, we can say goodbye to the age of globalization—and hello to the “age of disorder.” They claim we have now entered the sixth distinct era of modern times, that is, of capitalism. They say we’re approaching a turning point in world history—one in which there will be an almighty backlash against the inequality of the past. In this new era, the millennial generation—which is a generation of “have nots”— will “take their revenge” and redistribute wealth from the old to the young.

And nowhere will this sharp blowback against the system be more evident than in the belly of the beast itself. We’ve already seen the beginning of this process with the incredible revival of the Black Lives Matter movement.

A few basic facts and figures can give us a flavor of the depth of the crisis, of the conditions in which the class struggle is unfolding:

US GDP was down 32.9% in the second quarter of this year, the largest quarterly drop since the Great Depression. CNN Business’s Economic Recovery Dashboard shows the US economy is only 80% as strong as it was before the pandemic. And there are serious headwinds that could prolong a recovery for a very long time.

As Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell recently told the annual meeting of the National Association for Business Economics, a second wave of coronavirus could “more significantly limit economic activity, not to mention the tragic effects on lives and well-being. Managing this risk as the expansion continues will require following medical experts’ guidance, including using masks and social-distancing measures.”

And yet those are precisely the guidelines that are being blatantly flouted by Trump and those around him, despite his recent and ongoing illness. Powell also noted that “the US federal budget is on an unsustainable path, has been for some time.” And yet, he says the risks of Congress injecting too much stimulus into the economy are far lower than the risk of not doing enough.

As it is, the US government budget deficit will triple this year to $3.3 trillion, the largest percentage of GDP since 1945. As a result, federal debt held by the public hit 98% of GDP in fiscal year 2020, which ended on Sept. 30, and will exceed the size of the economy by 2021.

For weeks on end, millions upon millions of people claimed unemployment. In 2008 and 2009, the highest one-week loss of jobs was around 650,000. The highest in history before this year was 695,000, in October 1982. In the first week of April this year, 6.6 million people filed for unemployment.

More jobs were lost in a single month, this last April, than were created in the 10 years of recovery after 2008–2009. By the end of 2009, some 20 million had collected unemployment. This year, more than 50 million have collected so far. By some estimates unemployment in NYC was as high as 30 to 35% at one point.

These are mind-boggling numbers—and you’d better believe people are asking serious questions about a system that subjects the working class to crises like this, not every few generations, but every few years.

At first we were told that these cuts were temporary. But millions of people are now being told that their layoffs are permanent. The ripple effects this will have throughout the economy are only just beginning.

The official unemployment rate is just 7.9% but it is at least double that, probably even more, especially when we consider underemployment. Many furloughed workers collecting unemployment are formally considered employed, for example. Millions of others are no longer considered part of the working population since they have stopped looking for jobs altogether.

But even in this rosy version of events, only around half the jobs lost at the start of the crisis have been recovered. The overall labor force participation rate is below 62%. That means that 38% of the working-age population is not working. That’s a decisive indictment of the system.

Of course, black and Latino workers are hit the hardest, with nearly double the rates of official unemployment. And when it comes to COVID, it is said that disease doesn’t discriminate by class or color. But that’s a lie. You can be sure that poor working-class single mother without health insurance will not have the same outcome as the people who work in the White House.

In fact, black Americans have fared worst of all, with a COVID death rate twice as high as white Americans. This is directly linked to poor housing and a higher prevalence of underlying health conditions, longer wait times for care, and understaffed testing centers.

So when Trump says, “don’t worry about COVID” and even implies that he might be immune to its effects, he means: “don’t worry if you’re rich.” For ordinary workers, the last few months have meant incredible dislocation. And again, it’s only the beginning.

The government has imposed a temporary moratorium until the end of the year, but it estimated that anywhere between 25 and 40 million households could be at risk of eviction in the new year—far more than the estimated 10 million who lost their homes in 2008/09. Tens of thousands are being evicted anyway, despite the moratorium.

And of course, the states and municipalities face a severe budget crisis which is already leading to cuts in essential social services, which are further impacted by the pandemic and the need for social distancing.

At the same time, according to a study by the Institute for Policy Studies and Americans for Tax Fairness, American billionaires’ wealth grew by $845 billion—that’s a whopping 29%—during the first six months of the pandemic. Roughly $400 billion, just under half of the total gains, were captured by just 15 individuals.

The top three gainers alone—Jeff Bezos, Mark Zuckerberg, and Elon Musk—enjoyed fully 16% of the bonanza, for a collective increase of $137 billion. Meanwhile 19,000 Amazon employees have come down with COVID. Dan Gilbert, the billionaire owner of Quicken Loans, saw his wealth increase an astonishing 672%, growing from $6.5 billion to $50.2 billion.

In fact, the total wealth of all the billionaires—$3.8 trillion—is two-and-a-half times the $1.5 trillion in total wealth held by the bottom half of the population, or 165 million Americans. This would be more than enough to cover several years of the budget gaps faced by states and municipalities. Enough to fully fund education, healthcare, transportation, and more.

And yet, we are told there is no money for such things and prominent politicians like New York’s Governor Cuomo refuse to raise taxes on the rich to pay for the crisis. Of course, some billionaires claim to know exactly how to get out of this mess.

Bill Ackman, the chairman of Pershing Square Capital Management, recently told investors in a recent note that, in order to preserve capitalism, steps need to be taken to close the increasing inequality gap. His proposal is for the state to fund investment accounts for every child born in the US. They would each receive $6,750 in a government-funded basket of stocks that could only be tapped at retirement. Then, assuming 8% returns over 65 years from birth to retirement, that total would ultimately exceed $1 million, and it would only cost the government about $26 billion a year.

Needless to say, this is bourgeois utopianism at its most absurd. But it shows that they are increasingly worried and desperate. And they should be worried.

The polarization in American society is getting sharper and sharper. And though much of it is misdirected, most of it, from both the left and the right, reflects a seething anger at the status quo. As we saw, the pent-up anger exploded to the surface in the movement against police brutality this summer.

Polls showed majority support for the BLM movement as a whole, including the burning down of a police station in Minneapolis. We saw the rise of neighborhood patrols in black, Native American, and working-class neighborhoods in Minneapolis, and the setting up of a so-called autonomous zone in Seattle.

But we’ve also seen an increase in armed and murderous right-wing militias on the streets, in open collusion with the police. Even Trump’s DHS has had to concede that domestic “white supremacy” is currently the greatest threat to national security. There has also been a rise, not only in police murders, but in anonymous state agents terrorizing, kidnapping, and even executing activists.

The energy expended by the masses over the summer was colossal—an estimated 10% of the entire US population participated in the George Floyd protests, despite the pandemic. The state was on the defensive. Trump was even forced to hide in a bunker. But without a revolutionary leadership and organization through which to channel all that energy, the masses had no clear way forward.

Nonetheless profound lessons have been learned by the workers—and expressed in action. These lessons will come in very handy in the months and years to come.

And it’s not only the rise in protests, which took place in every single city of over 20,000 people in the country, but the rise in strikes, mainly by low-paid essential workers defending their lives against hazardous working conditions. Hundreds of wildcat strikes and walkouts have been recorded.

Of course, the labor leaders have been an absolute disaster in all of this. They have capitulated 100% to capitalism and barely even go through the motion of representing the working class, let alone mobilizing the millions of unionized workers to fight in their collective interests.

In Portland, we saw the walls of moms and veterans. These were inspiring, to be sure. But what is needed, in every city around the country, are walls of steel and iron workers, laborers, and firefighters. Eventually we’ll see this. But the process could be accelerated dramatically if the unions were headed by class-struggle trade unionists who understand that the interests of the workers and the bosses are diametrically opposed.

Some sectors of the class have already begun assert themselves, despite their leaders. The teachers, who unleashed a wave of strikes a few years ago have threatened strikes across the country over the unsafe reopening of the schools. And of course, there were the political strikes by NBA players and others after the shooting of Jacob Blake in Kenosha.

Not surprisingly, by the way, Barack Obama urged the players to suspend the strike, to go back to playing games and entertaining the masses. Instead, he advised, they should turn the sports arenas into voting centers—to vote for the Democrats of course.

Which brings us to the elections. In yet another bitter bait and switch, millions of people are being forced to vote for someone they despise. In the aftermath of the BLM protests, they’re being asked to vote for someone who chose California’s former top cop as his running mate—and who would be next-in-line for the presidency if Biden wins and something were to happen to him.

Biden is an old-school Senator, part of the elite of the elite of the political establishment. Not only is he accused of sexual assault, but among other things, he sponsored the 1994 Crime Bill signed Bill Clinton, which expanded the death penalty to 60 additional crimes, added $12.5 billion for new prisons, and hired 100,000 new police officers.

He also supported Clinton’s notorious 1996 “welfare to work” legislation. All of this led to the explosion in mass incarceration and the criminalization of poor people, and black and brown people in particular.

This great friend of blue-collar workers and black people eulogized the racist segregationist Strom Thurmond, championed the Iraq War, and sided with Clarence Thomas against Anita Hill. No wonder, 56% of people who support Biden say they support him primarily because “He’s not Trump.”

The liberals are in a tizzy over the threat Trump poses to American democracy and the Constitution. They pine for a return to the “founding ideals of democracy and equality.”

But let’s be real: this country was founded on chattel slavery, the expropriation of Indigenous lands, “democracy” for a handful of white, male, property owners, and the Alien and Sedition Acts. If anything, Trump is merely dispensing with the hypocrisy and envisions a return to the real founding principles of this country.

People’s instincts about the reactionary nature of the Democrats were confirmed in a recent study by the Independent, which found that “moderate” Democrats like Joe Biden are essentially the same as Republicans. The researchers found that men who refer to themselves as “moderate” or “centrist” score basically the same on values and opinions as people who identify themselves as “conservative.”

As one former Trump supporter eloquently put it earlier this year, “You’re asking me to choose between projectile vomit and diarrhea.”

So far, there hasn’t been a mass exodus out of the Democrats to form something new. But that doesn’t mean it won’t happen at a certain stage. Already we’ve seen the emergence of the Movement for a People’s Party, which has declared itself as a new party to the left of the Democrats. Though it has an amorphous “popular” character, and not a clear working-class character, we’ll have to see what comes of it.

But one thing is clear: there is enormous of discontent with the Democrats. If Biden wins, the Democrats won’t have an indefinite honeymoon as the crisis is only going to get worse. Eventually something will have to give. Let’s not forget that although it is terribly distorted, there is a deep class hatred of the liberal elite and the status quo, which Trump has skillfully and demagogically tapped into. This is the real secret of his success.

That being said, the “anyone but Trump” pressure is greater than any lesser-evilism I’ve ever seen before. The top issue on voter’s minds in the November 3 election is the federal response to Covid-19. Nearly 60% polled say they disapprove of Trump’s handling of the virus. The other top issue is the economy. 86% say they are very or somewhat worried about the economic situation.

So the odds are stacked against Trump, and historically, the incumbent is almost always at a disadvantage. So although we should never count Trump out, it would seem, that just four weeks out from Election Day, Biden should win pretty handily. Biden outraised Trump’s reelection campaign by more than $154 million in August, raising nearly $365 million versus $210 million—and Trump used to be an unstoppable fundraising machine.

Biden also leads by a pretty big margin in the national polls. After the first debate his lead grew even further, more because people detested Trump’s performance more than they were appalled by Biden’s. The best that US capitalism has to offer was on full display in the debate. It’s not surprising that both Trump and Biden have favorability ratings below 50%. In other words, “none of the above” is the clear choice of a majority of Americans—yet again.

As of this week, however, The Economist gives Biden a 99% chance of winning the popular vote and Trump has merely a 1% chance. Of course, in an undemocratic country like this, which does not use the popular vote to determine the president, what really matters is the Electoral College and, as a result, a handful of swing states. Never mind that 61% of Americans support abolishing the Electoral College, including 89% of Democrats and 23% of Republicans.

Still, the Economist also does give Biden a 90% chance of winning the Electoral College. But again, a lot can happen between now and the election.

What is really scandalous is that a majority of the left has utterly capitulated to lesser evilism. Everyone from Chairman Bob of the RCP to Socialist Alternative call for a vote for Democrats, either explicitly or implicitly. Some of them try to cover their hides with the so-called “safe state” strategy, calling for a left-of-the-Democrats vote “only” in states already guaranteed to go to Biden.

They call this “realism” and accuse those of us who stick to the need for class independence “idealists.” This, at a time when more Americans than ever are in favor of a major third party. And yet the left continues to cling to the stinking corpse of the Democrats, which never was a workers’ party in any way, shape, or form.

For his part, Trump says Biden will bring chaos to US cities and spread socialism across the nation. This is obviously laughable. Unsurprisingly, the former vice president has tacked even further to right in response. Trump’s tactic during the debate, such as it was, was clearly to force Biden to do just that, to make him come out even more openly as a reactionary defender of the capitalist status quo, in order to shave just a few progressive votes from his total, to hopefully tip the balance in his favor.

Far from being a rabid commie, The Economist’s knows full well what Biden represents: “Mr. Biden, a life-long pragmatist, looks likely to govern as one. Stylistically that means getting sensible advice, behaving consistently and working with America’s institutions…. The claim that a Biden presidency would destroy American capitalism is silly. If he can restore competent management and make the economy work better for ordinary people Mr. Biden’s last job in politics will be done.”

That’s a tall order, as the tools the capitalists usually use to get out of crises have already been used, first to delay the onset of the crisis in the first place, and then in the first weeks of the crisis itself. And while millions and perhaps billions worldwide will breathe a sigh of relief if Trump is defeated, the far-right will become more virulent than ever, and Trump can cause even more trouble and damage to the system once he’s back on the outside.

Let’s not forget that even if Trump is kicked out, it will only pave the way for someone even worse than Trump—if not Trump himself—to get back into power in the future. If he were to concede defeat, he would almost certainly begin campaigning immediately for a second term in 2024. But he has made it pretty clear that he will not accept defeat in any form and will not commit to guaranteeing a peaceful transfer of power.

We may well see a nightmare scenario for the legitimacy of the electoral system. Trump could win the vote on election night but lose once the mail ins are counted, and he might refuse to step down when his term ends in January. This is why he is making such a fuss about mail-in voting and taking a wrecking ball to the US Postal Service.

This is a colossal constitutional crisis in the making, and would put to shade anything we’ve seen since the US Civil War. The world is already on fire, and Trump’s instinct is to pour even more fuel on it, all to boost his ego and to cover his inadequacy, insecurity, and hubris in the smoke and flames. He doesn’t give a damn about the consequences for the system as a whole. This is why Biden is the clear choice of the ruling class. Unlike Trump, he can be tamed and trusted 100%.

Goldman Sachs chief economist Jan Hatziu believes that a “‘blue wave’ in which Democrats gain unified control of Washington is becoming more likely.” And they’re not suggesting investors dump stocks. In fact, he continued: “all else equal, such a blue wave would likely prompt us to upgrade our forecasts.”

Of course, Trump is threatening chaos if he loses and has preemptively cut off negotiations over another stimulus package—until after he wins the election. This is clearly an attempt to blackmail Congress and voters into accepting a second Trump term no matter what the result of the election. It’s my way or the highway—the typical behavior of a spoiled brat, or rather, of a lumpen bourgeois.

No matter who wins, we can be sure there will be mass mobilizations of one kind or another in the aftermath of the election. Violence and chaos on the streets are almost guaranteed. Trump’s directive to the so-called Proud Boys to “stand down and stand by” was not accidental.

Unlike most of the left, who cower in the shadow of the liberal bourgeoisie, the extreme-right are armed, organized, and prepared to use any means necessary to defend their man in the White House. Biden will be viciously and at times violently opposed by these hooligans, with Trump goading them on. For all his talk about the so-called rule of law, Trump’s actions will only serve to tear down any remaining illusions in the institutions of the system.

So if you think things can’t possibly get any worse—believe me, they can. If you think it can’t get any more irrational—you best believe that Trump will find a way. The crisis of the regime has gone so deep that the military has been compelled to declare that it wouldn’t intervene to decide the election one way or another. This is an extraordinary state of affairs.

The revolutionary pressure is growing, and it will eventually find an outlet. Or, rather, many outlets. But eventually all these struggles will converge and the strategic task of winning working-class political and economic power will be clear to millions of workers—and especially the youth.

Young people in the US are living in conditions very similar to those enjoyed by millions of Arab youth on the eve of the Egyptian and Tunisian Revolutions in 2011. 52% of young adults in the US are living with their parents. That’s the highest share since the Great Depression.

So much for the “American Dream” of getting a job, your own place, a car, and starting a family. In 2010, 68% of people aged 18-29 had a positive view of capitalism. Today… it’s just 45%. 59% of 18–39 year olds say they would rather live under socialism.

But it’s not only the youth. 20% of the general population has drawn the conclusion that “no form of capitalism is capable of producing the kind of world we want for the next generation.”

In the California primary, exit polls revealed that 53% of Democrats viewed socialism “favorably.” In Texas, Democratic voters in the primary approved of socialism by 56%, a 20-point margin over capitalism. And let’s not forget that 54% of all Americans thought burning down the Minneapolis Third Police Precinct was justified after the police murder of George Floyd.

All of this has the serious bourgeois and their apologists worried. A popular investment site recently published an article called “We’re Witnessing the Death of America’s Capitalist System.” And the infamous Heritage Foundation recently published a piece titled: “The Looming Threat of a Socialist America.” Here’s what they had to say:

“Those on the far left agree that a workers’ party is ‘a crucial strategic goal for the socialist movement.’ These radicals clearly see themselves as a revolutionary vanguard like the Bolsheviks of 1917, prepared to strike when the moment is ripe to bring down a weakened political and economic structure.”

“According to the polls, the mood of the country is favorable to radical solutions such as free education, free health care, and the Green New Deal, which would eliminate oil, coal, and natural gas as energy sources.”

“Are we certain that a socialist America is impossible—especially when 70% of Millennials say they would vote for a socialist? We cannot depend on someone else to step forward. We must go on the offensive, disseminating the truth about socialism and the free-enterprise alternative.”

Comrades and friends, this is the world we’re living in. This is the situation in the land of Joseph McCarthy and 100 years after the Red Scare that followed the Bolshevik Revolution. The way these people carry on, you’d be forgiven for believing that Marx isn’t dead and buried after all.

Trump and his apologists are vehemently against socialism. But this too will turn into its opposite, since a majority, of the population, and especially of the youth, are against Trump. In classic black-or-white, yes-or-no American pragmatism, millions of people are drawing the conclusion that if Trump is anti-socialist, they must be pro-socialist. The growing number of hits to our websites and the large volume of people writing us to get involved is clear evidence of this.

The parasitic and inhuman nature of the system has never been more clear. The tectonic plates of consciousness are shifting dramatically, and this affects all classes in society. Right here in the US, millions of people are wide open to socialist ideas and many are drawing the conclusion that we need a revolution—a socialist revolution. In these conditions, any spark can unleash a new and even broader movement.

The workers and poor have already shown incredible willingness to fight and to sacrifice. But this energy needs to be organized and channeled into a fundamental transformation of society. What is needed is leadership! And that is precisely what the IMT is building.

So let’s not forget old Hegel. Everything turns into its opposite. The situation we are living through today will also turn into its opposite. In the nest historical period, unreason will become reason. A new society, a new vista will open for humanity.

The American socialist revolution—the revolution of the American working class—will usher in a new world, a world of superabundance, a world without hunger, homelessness, ignorance, and misery. A world in which exploitation and oppression will gradually but relatively quickly wither away, along with the state, money, and religion, as we transition from capitalism through socialism to classless, stateless, moneyless communism.

The IMT is filled with revolutionary optimism for the future of humanity. We’re doing everything in our power to speed the process of working-class preparation along. But we need you to add your grain of sand to this collective effort.

So, if you’re tired of watching in despair as the world fall to pieces around you and those you love, there’s no time like the present to join the comrades of the International Marxist Tendency in the fight for socialism in our lifetime.

[THEME MUSIC]

That’s it for this episode of the socialist revolution podcast, thank you so much for listening! A big thanks to Laura Brown, our producer and audio-visual engineer, whose hard work makes these episodes possible.

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