The Socialist

The Socialist 30 May 2018

Stop war, fight trump, walk out Friday 13 July

The Socialist issue 997

Stop war, fight Trump, walk out on 13 July

United working class movements can defeat Trump


Landslide vote to repeal Ireland's abortion laws

Historic victory won by grassroots movement


Sting's shipbuilders showcase class pride and change from below

Aberfan disaster novel reminds us Grenfell was not an anomaly

The Socialist Inbox


Johnson and Rees-Mogg widen Tory Brexit splits

Welsh Labour reprivatises rail lines: reverse Tory sell-offs!

Toxic air hits schools as EU ponders slap on wrist years late

England facing water shortage due to underinvestment

Them & Us


PCS conference 2018: members ready to fight to end pay misery


UCU conference: Members are organising and winning - build the union, build the struggles!

900-strong north west NHS strike

Unison ballots workers at Yorkshire hospitals at risk of privatisation

Wales TUC 2018: Socialist Party members challenge leadership at undemocratic conference

Springfield school strike in Birmingham against job cuts and workload

Broad Left candidate elected as Usdaw deputy general secretary


Socialist nationalisation: what it is and why we need it


Action demanded from new council

Hands off Teignmouth Hospital!

Socialist Party members inspired by revolutionary events

Police shootings in Tamil Nadu condemned

Leicester plans sales boost of 1,000th edition of the Socialist

 
 
 
 
 

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Editorial of the Socialist issue 997

United working class movements can defeat Trump

Seattle protest against Trump's victory called by Socialist Alternative, photo Socialist Alternative

Seattle protest against Trump's victory called by Socialist Alternative, photo Socialist Alternative   (Click to enlarge)

When asked by a journalist if North Korea is "playing games", Trump responded: "Everybody plays games". He was referring to the interplay between the global elites, but in this case his flippancy - being on the issue of nuclear weapons - will be especially repellent to workers and young people across the world.

The recent "games" involved monstrous threats: North Korea's foreign affairs vice-minister speaking of the possibility of a "nuclear-to-nuclear showdown" and Trump saying the US nuclear capability is "so massive and powerful that I pray to God they will never be used". He added: "We are more than ready than we have ever been before".

These shows of brinkmanship, alternated with charm offensives, are claimed to be for the objective of denuclearising the Korean peninsula. But less overt agendas are numerous, not least the idea in Trump's administration of forcing 'regime change', so tensions at a later stage could escalate to a more dangerous level.

Fear of this has increased since Trump elevated a number of 'hawks' to the top levels of US government. Among them was new national security advisor John Bolton, who previously - under George W Bush - oversaw US withdrawal from the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty originally signed with the Soviet Union. He wants no limits placed by treaties on the US's arms capability and has made clear his appetite for war on many occasions.

It was Bolton who threw the US talks with North Korea into jeopardy by saying the denuclearisation could follow the "Libya model", remarks later rubbed further into the North Korean regime by US vice-president Mike Pence. Gaddafi in Libya had given up his nuclear project only to face being removed and killed eight years later, with western backing for his fate.

Added to the Trump administration's ramping up of tensions on the nuclear issue, with Iran too, have been other aggressive or destructive actions, including backing the Israeli military's barbaric killings of Palestinian demonstrators, launching missiles on Syria, and pulling out of the Paris climate change accord.

All this is more than enough to merit building massive demonstrations against Trump internationally, including in Britain when he visits on 13 July. And workers internationally must give solidarity to the anti-Trump movement in the US, which has the task of developing its strength in order to see him and his coterie removed from power as soon as possible.

The US

The strategists of US capitalism are wary of Trump's unpredictability and the volatility he causes in international relations through trade protectionism and his other policies - witness at present the fissures with Europe over the Iran deal. US big business is therefore concerned about US credibility and influence weakening internationally and over whether opportunities are being given to Russia and China to advance their interests.

Added to this is concern over the US debt level, which Trump's policies have increased.

But the latest issue of the Economist concludes that on balance US big business is content and benefiting from Trump's office, due to the deregulation measures and massive tax cuts, along with some of the changes in trade relations, which all fuel their profits bonanza.

In the first quarter of 2018, mentions the Economist: "The earnings of listed firms rose by 22% compared with a year earlier". It also points out the underlying weakness of the growth: "Investment was up by 19%. But ... the investment surge is unlike any before - it is skewed towards tech giants, not firms with factories".

Following the 2007-08 crisis, the US economy was nudged by unprecedentedly huge stimulus measures into nine years of expansion. But this growth has been at a low rate by historical standards and the economic cycle will head into recession again in the not too distant future.

For the time being though, the growth helps Trump to maintain his core base among sections of workers, who hope that wage growth will pick up from its present sluggish level if the economy continues to grow. And while polls show that more US workers disapprove of Trump than approve of him, his use of the issues of trade policy and immigration to appear to be fighting for those who have suffered from lost industry, haven't yet been fully exposed as being no solution.

Contributing enormously to this is the fact that the main electoral alternative, the Democratic Party, is a second party of big business, not offering any way out of the problems ordinary Americans face, whether on housing, education, low pay or health care. This unattractiveness, and memory of the cuts, privatisation and racist policies carried out during the Democrats' terms in office, paved the way for Trump's arrival in the White House.

Even so, Trump and his Republican Party are not facing the November mid-term elections with a secure prospect of victory. Every seat in the House of Representatives will be re-elected and just over a third of the Senate. If the Democrats win control of the House, which recent polls indicate they could, Trump will face an additional obstacle in pushing through laws he wants passed and he could face more corruption investigations.

While the Democrats are no real alternative, a victory for them in November would open up a further period in which they can be tested out and have their limitations exposed, through applying pressure on them to resist Trump's policies and to deliver improvements in workers' living standards.

Some excellent workers' struggles have recently taken place, in particular a wave of strikes by teachers fighting for adequate pay and education funding. Action began in West Virginia and spread to Kentucky, Oklahoma, Arizona and North Carolina. In most cases these states voted for Trump in 2016, but that hasn't meant an unwillingness to struggle. The action has been pushed along mainly by rank-and-file trade unionists and an influx of new union members.

Notable also have been the many student walkouts against gun violence; and during May a 50,000-strong strike of staff at the University of California, and a victory by the Tax Amazon campaign in Seattle. The latter spearheaded by Socialist Alternative, the co-thinkers of the Socialist Party in England and Wales.

These struggles come after the interest shown by many young people in the left-wing ideas of Bernie Sanders and the growing interest in the ideas put forward by left radical and socialist organisations - including Socialist Alternative.

Socialists call for the coordinating and linking of present and future struggles, along with the anti-racist and anti-sexist campaigns against Trump, to develop the power of a united working-class based movement that can bring forward the removal of Trump. In the process, vital steps forward towards building a political alternative in workers' interests can also be taken.

See also:
Stop war - Fight Trump - walk-out on 13 July

In this issue


Donald Trump

Stop war, fight Trump, walk out on 13 July

United working class movements can defeat Trump


Irish abortion referendum

Landslide vote to repeal Ireland's abortion laws

Historic victory won by grassroots movement


Opinion

Sting's shipbuilders showcase class pride and change from below

Aberfan disaster novel reminds us Grenfell was not an anomaly

The Socialist Inbox


Socialist Party news and analysis

Johnson and Rees-Mogg widen Tory Brexit splits

Welsh Labour reprivatises rail lines: reverse Tory sell-offs!

Toxic air hits schools as EU ponders slap on wrist years late

England facing water shortage due to underinvestment

Them & Us


PCS conference

PCS conference 2018: members ready to fight to end pay misery


Workplace news and analysis

UCU conference: Members are organising and winning - build the union, build the struggles!

900-strong north west NHS strike

Unison ballots workers at Yorkshire hospitals at risk of privatisation

Wales TUC 2018: Socialist Party members challenge leadership at undemocratic conference

Springfield school strike in Birmingham against job cuts and workload

Broad Left candidate elected as Usdaw deputy general secretary


Nationalisation

Socialist nationalisation: what it is and why we need it


Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Action demanded from new council

Hands off Teignmouth Hospital!

Socialist Party members inspired by revolutionary events

Police shootings in Tamil Nadu condemned

Leicester plans sales boost of 1,000th edition of the Socialist


 

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Related links:

Trump:

triangleIran: Renewed wave of protests and strikes

triangleTrump, coronavirus, capitalism, and the presidential race

triangleTrump puts profit before safety (again)

Working class:

triangleSwansea Socialist Party: Class struggle and the role of the working class in changing society

triangleEast London Socialist Party: Labour - time for a new party for the working class

triangleLifting the lockdown: workers must not pay the price

triangleLessons from the Corbyn experience

The Socialist:

triangleWhy I joined - Covid changed my outlook

triangleThe Socialist summer schedule

triangleGetting the Socialist over the summer

Socialist:

triangleNHS workers demand improved pay - 15% for all now!

triangleYoung Socialists and Socialist Students day of action

US:

triangleAnniversary of nuclear destruction of Hiroshima and Nagasaki

Workers:

triangleCuba: Covid-19 and the 60-year-old embargo

North Korea:

triangleCampaigning in Southampton for school and college walkouts when Trump visits Britain on 13th July

Korea:

triangleSouth Korea shows capitalism has money to respond to coronavirus

Democrats:

triangleAmazon bosses defeated in Seattle - Kshama Sawant reelected

Big business:

triangleTesting: Tories' 5bn gift to private sector

Iran:

triangleRenewed protests shake Iranian leaders

Libya:

triangleLibya: Civil war and chaos follow interventions by world and regional powers

Young people:

triangleAfter Scottish government U-turn, Young Socialists fight for a future on A-Level results day

Socialist Alternative:

triangleCapitalism means empty shelves, food insecurity, and soaring profits - the case for a socialist alternative

Nuclear weapons:

triangleSouthampton Socialist Party: Is there a global nuclear threat?