The Helsinki turning point
In this July 16 photo, President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin arrive for a press conference after their meeting at the Presidential Palace in Helsinki, Finland. | Alexander Zemlianichenko / AP

The fascist danger for the moment may be receding, as the U.S. ruling class appears to be uniting against Trump in the aftermath of his performance in Helsinki. It has become too obvious that, for secret, corrupt personal reasons, Trump seeks an alliance with Russia that would uproot the entrenched system of U.S. imperialist world domination based on NATO, the European Union, and Japan. That Cold War alliance was built for the purpose of destroying Soviet socialism, which no longer exists, and Trump can reasonably argue that it now makes little difference whether the U.S. is allied with Russian or Western European and Japanese capitalists. For reasons that are still unclear, Trump prefers the Russians.

The attempt by a major section of the U.S. ruling class to use Trump to save capitalism by establishing fascism has failed to materialize. This is due first of all to the deep democratic feelings of the American people who have occupied the streets by the millions at every turn and also due to Trump’s ineptness as he recklessly spewed degenerate corporate hatred and contempt for minorities, women, Muslims, immigrants, and African countries; implemented policies against them; and openly consorted with neo-Nazis, prostitutes, and gangsters of every stripe.

Trump has been useful to the capitalists by cutting their taxes; trashing regulations on their businesses; weakening unions, public education, and health care; and gaining a right-wing majority on the Supreme Court.

But now it has reached the point where the people have had enough, the dominance of U.S. imperialism is in question, the extremists may lose control of Congress, the Republican Party may collapse and, even the specter of socialism has arisen in the electoral arena. So, the Mueller probe and its legal spinoffs against Trump’s corrupt associates have been solidified and given the green light. It seems like it’s only a matter of time before the godfathers of U.S. capitalism intervene and make Trump “an offer he cannot afford to refuse,” before they throw him under the bus.

He’s gone about as far as he can go, and Helsinki may have given the excuse for the gangsters to cash in their chips, try to salvage their rotten system, and restore some semblance of bourgeois democracy.

How long Trump can hold out is hard to say, but it is clear that the long knives of the corporate media and the Cold War “deep state” intelligence and foreign policy establishment are out as Trump’s circle of political allies shrinks.

The damage Trump has done to the facade of bourgeois democracy is considerable and will not be easily repaired. Trump has torn off the mask and revealed the system’s ugly reality. The fundamental tenets propagated for decades that the U.S. is the epitome of “freedom,” high living standards, decency, human rights, and civilization itself are now seriously questioned by the majority of Americans.

According to Republican surveys reported in the July 3 edition of The Wall Street Journal, the majority of ordinary Americans of all political persuasions have concluded “the whole system” is rigged against them. It will be no easy task to overcome these deeply held doubts and restore public trust.

The majority of ordinary Americans, in the main working people, recognize and increasingly reject divisive capitalist ideology—racism, male supremacy, fear of immigrants, as well as the system’s reckless threats to the environment and world peace. They know the means are abundantly at hand to provide economic security to all and abolish the dangers to democracy and human survival. Increasingly, they see through the demagogy of the right and the dubious promises of bourgeois liberals—the two wings of monopoly capitalism.

They seek a different way, free of corporate exploitation and oppression. They are overcoming defeatism and reformism. Consciously or not, they are seeking revolutionary change, where ordinary working people, not billionaires, rule the roost. The crisis in the U.S. ruling class strengthens the hand of the people to wipe away the cobwebs of anti-Communism and unapologetically build class and socialist consciousness.


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Rick Nagin
Rick Nagin

Rick Nagin has written for People's World and its predecessors since 1970. He has been active for many years in Cleveland politics and the labor movement.