The inauguration of Donald Trump: An event that will live in infamy
20 January 2017
president is among the most ignominious events in the history of the United
States. More than $100 million is being spent on the celebrations of the new
president’s installation. In vain! No amount of money can dispel the nauseating
stink that pervades every aspect of this inauguration. Nor can the fraudulent
orchestration of public festivities conceal the widespread sense that the
country, with the installation of the new administration, has embarked on a
path that will lead to a disaster of unimaginable dimensions.
The protracted process of economic and social decay has been covered over for
decades with democratic phrases that served to disguise the gap between the
official political myths and the underlying reality. But the mask has now come
off. Donald Trump personifies the corruption, ruthlessness, parasitism and
essentially fascistic mindset of the capitalist oligarchs who control the
rich, and for the rich. Joining the billionaires in Trump’s cabinet and White
House staff are retired generals, tapped for the key national security
positions, and ultra-right ideologues appointed to oversee programs and social
services that they have devoted their political efforts to destroying. Working
people will pay for huge tax cuts for the super-rich and a massive military
buildup through the gutting of social programs like public education, Medicaid,
Medicare and Social Security, savage exploitation on the job, and the erosion
of whatever remains of basic democratic rights.
chauvinism sets the stage for escalating economic and geopolitical conflicts.
The last quarter century of war—beginning with the invasion of Iraq in 1991 and
continued with the unending “war on terror”—will prove to have been only a
prelude to even bloodier military operations. Even before taking office, Trump
has made it clear that the United States views even its longstanding European
allies as competitors who, to the extent that they get in the way of American
interests, will be dealt with as enemies.
divisions over tactics, reflected in the unprecedented political conflicts that
have erupted after the elections. However, the attacks on Trump from top
Democrats and Republicans are centered not on the ultra-right policy he is
pledged to carry out, but rather on the direction of American war planning. The
factions of the corporate elite and military-intelligence apparatus that backed
Clinton want to ensure that there is no retreat from the aggressive posture
towards Russia, while Trump has directed his rhetorical attacks, for now,
against China and, most recently, Germany.
ruling class are united in their conviction that 1) American imperialism must
pursue its global interests even at the risk of war; and 2) the attack on the
social interests and political rights of the working class must be intensified.
That Trump speaks and tweets not only for himself but on behalf of the ruling
class is proven by the fact that his cabinet selections of billionaires and
generals are sailing through the Senate confirmation proceedings with
negligible opposition. As for Obama, he devoted his final press conference
Wednesday to vouching for the political legitimacy of the incoming
administration and declaring that, having won, “it is appropriate for [Trump]
to go forward with his visions and his values.”
anticipates the revival of a mythic American past—a land where the capitalist
oligarchy is free to exploit the population and pollute the environment to its
heart’s content; where the working class is deprived of any significant social
rights, including the right to public education, medical care and retirement
security; where police can maim and kill with no questions asked; where
corporations can underpay workers, fire them at will and even use child labor;
and where the basest prejudices are cynically encouraged and essential
democratic rights are trampled upon.
capitalist hell cannot be realized without the unleashing of social conflict on
a scale that will dwarf the great industrial struggles of the 1930s. The coming
political and social shocks will jolt the American working class into action.
Skeptics—who are to be found in abundance among university academics and in the
anti-Marxist pseudo-left political organizations of the affluent middle
class—dismiss the very possibility of mass working class struggle. Those who
reject all efforts to politically educate the working class point to the
absence of mass revolutionary consciousness. However, their skepticism
expresses their own ignorance of and indifference to the historical processes
that lay the foundations for revolutionary eruptions. As Leon Trotsky, the
greatest strategist of revolutionary class struggle of the last century, wrote:
revolution thus derive, not from the flexibility and mobility of man’s mind,
but just the opposite, from its deep conservatism. The chronic lag of ideas and
relations behind new objective conditions, right up to the moment when the
latter crash over people in the form of a catastrophe, is what creates in a
period of revolution that leaping movement of ideas and passions which seems to
the police mind a mere result of the activities of “demagogues.”
Trump, his administration is, in the final analysis, the product of the
desperate crisis that afflicts American capitalism. Its reckless policies will
set into motion forces both within the United States and internationally that
it cannot control.
task is the building of a revolutionary socialist movement of the working
class, independent of and opposed to the parties of big business, the Democrats
as much as the Republicans. This is the work to which the Socialist Equality
Party in the United States and its co-thinkers in the International Committee
of the Fourth International are dedicated.
internationalist response to the Trump administration and the crisis of the
capitalist system. In opposition to oligarchic control of the wealth of
society, the SEP demands the transformation of the gigantic corporations and
banks into democratically controlled public utilities, to serve social needs,
not private profit. We call for a massive redistribution of wealth to advance
the goal of social equality and to ensure the fundamental rights of the working
class to a well-paid job, quality health care and education, a secure and
comfortable retirement, and a healthy environment.
ruling class and the drive to war, the Socialist Equality Party fights for the
international unity of all workers. Workers must oppose every effort to
scapegoat immigrants or workers of other countries, and reject every effort to
sow divisions along racial and gender lines.
reality a call for class war, military violence and dictatorship. In response,
workers must embrace the proud banner of international unity, equality and
all those looking for a way forward against the Trump administration to read
the World Socialist Web Site and join the SEP to build
a new revolutionary leadership in the working class.
Trump prepares to slash federal budget by $10.5 trillion over next decade