Is President Donald Trump a threat and danger?
By: Zaher Baher
Certainly he is, but who is he a threat to? Before answering this question, I believe that history has so far taught us a few things about the revolution that we cannot ignore.
Firstly, it has shown that political parties, such as-lefties and authoritarian socialists, cannot fundamentally change the current system. In fact, they create so many obstacles by maintaining and prolonging the system.
Secondly, revolution cannot happen through a military coup or a political plot.
Thirdly, we have a very long history of a parliamentary system that has failed to bring about real changes.
Fourthly, poverty alone is not a foundation that revolution can emerge from. History has shown that poverty has made people more dependent on the state and charities instead of relying on themselves to struggle for change.
In the UK, the history of the struggling working class shows that the number of demos, protests and strikes decreased dramatically while the Labour party was in power*. This is the case even though there is barely any difference in the conditions of the working class when the Conservative Party is in power.
I recognise that some of the reforms that are usually carried out by leftists and social democrats when they are in power can slightly improve the lives of the working class, but this only benefits them for a short time. In the long-term, it gives them false hope and makes them more dependent on the political parties to make change. In other words, it damages them, makes them lose their confidence in doing things for themselves, and also brainwashes them by giving them a false meaning of democracy. It gives people an impression that there is a different kind of power and, a different kind of government. It tells people, one state is a democracy and the other is a dictatorship. However, in reality having a democracy or a dictatorship is the same. Whatever name the state has for its political system, it is to control and subdue the people, by using the tool of democracy and dictatorship accordingly to suppress them. In other words, democracy or dictatorship are the same to whoever governs us.
When dictators and right wing political parties are in power, it is true that there is very little freedom, or no freedom at all. But in fact, the social relationship between the people is very strong, solidarity is there, and cooperation and support exist. The line is clearly drawn between the supporters of the government/state and those against it. There is unity and trust between the people, and almost everybody rejects the propaganda of the state and its media. I have experienced this under Saddam Hussein in Iraq, and other comrades share the same feeling in other countries.
Let’s look at the United States (US) under President Trump, as leader of the most powerful country in the world. I do not need to go through his record of the last three years as he has been very frank in what he believes in and what he says. In fact, he implements most of his domestic and foreign policies.
He has introduced us to the realities of the capitalist system. He is clear about his dislike for climate change science, and he is open about his love of rich people and his support for big corporations. He does not hide his hate of the poor, unions, leftists, socialists and anarchists. He is frank to tell us that his administration’s involvement in Syria and Iraq is for exploiting oil. He denounces human rights and equality. His position towards Israel, the Kings and Princes in the gulf countries, President Jair Bolsonaro, and the Philippines’ president is very obvious to all. He is not diplomatic like UK politicians and those of other European countries, who tell us one thing and do something else. He is against the hypocritical attitudes of Congress. He shows us that the state and its entire administrations are reflected and embedded within businesses. He tells us that business and politics cannot be separated; one serves the other. The list could go on and on.
So, the questions here are: Who is actually showing us the capitalist system, truly? Trump, or the leaders and the politicians of the UK and other western countries? Who is actually as honest as him, telling us that this system is not for us and does not benefit us, and only serves him and the others I mentioned above? Who is really a long-term threat to capitalism, serving the working class movement by pushing people to carry out strikes, protests, and even rise up against the system? Him, or the other leaders who always try to portray the system as a democracy, or keep people happy with reforms?
In fact, President Trump has created the best grounds for uprising in the US by implementing all of the policies which favour the rich. Under his leadership there has been more police brutality, more inequality, more injustice, more poverty and more hate towards Muslims and the LGBTQI+ community.
We have this existing climate in the US and people have had enough. The killing of George Floyd, unfortunately, was only a trigger point.
President Trump might not create a revolution, but he has certainly created a movement, not only in the US, but in many European countries, especially here in the UK. The name of George Floyd is only a symbol of uprising. ‘Black Lives Matter’ is not just a movement of black people and for black people. It is a movement of millions of people around the world. It is a movement of everybody who has been suffering for so long at the hands of state brutality, austerity, inequality, social injustice, unemployment, wars, displacement, homelessness and much more.
This movement certainly cannot resolve everything, but can surely change many aspects of life. By using direct action, it can quickly achieve what lobbying, petitions, complaints, traditional protests and parliament debates couldn’t achieve in a few decades. It has changed the nature of protests, smashed the lockdown, has had no permission from the police and has not listened to politicians. It has taken matters into its own hands and has revived the movements which existed around the world prior to Covid-19.
In the UK, the protests look capable of changing more things: taking away the statues of racists and slave traders in public places is just a start. In addition, activists are forcing the state and media to begin to acknowledge the true reflection of a multicultural British society. Campaigners are calling for a change to school syllabuses and university curriculum, to include studies of the role of black history. And finally, campaigners are calling for museums to document the UK’s role in the slave trade.
However, if people want to fundamentally change their own lives staying on the streets and fighting with the police is not enough. We need to use this kind of tactic less often and put our weight, experience, knowledge and efforts into organising ourselves in the neighbourhood, on our own streets, in the universities, in the factories, in the offices, in the farms and in other places of work. We need to do this in non-hierarchical groups and organisations to prepare ourselves for the final push against state power, in order to manage our lives by ourselves and make the real changes. The first step is to struggle and fight to achieve a libertarian municipality at local level to replace the existing bureaucratic councils or local authorities.