The Elements of The Leadership of The Destruction of Society: Imperialism, Trump and Climate Change

In order to fully demonstrate my point I will refer to examples in House of Cards and The Walking Dead. You don’t have to have seen the shows to understand as I elaborate on them. To understand the ticking time bomb we are living in and why it is a ticking time bomb we must first understand a fundamental aspect of the nature of leadership and examples of it found in these two shows. The parallels between the shows and living under Trump are uncanny.

A fundamental element of leadership is knowing when to use violence and to what extent, but more importantly is the reasons why. Take The Governor in The Walking Dead. After the town of Mayberry is gone The Governor finds himself as leader of a relatively large group of people displaced from the apocalypse and the loss of Mayberry, however he is ruling the community with two other people. One of them knows the unspoken rule of leadership, its violent nature while the other does not. The three of them go out to find food and come across a group of campers with an abundance of supplies. Both The Governor and the other leader standing to his right know what has to be done to maintain the unsustainable lifestyle of the people but the leader standing to his left is taken aback by the brutality of such an act. They leave the campsite without a trace much to The Governor’s dismay.

What The Governor is doing in this scene is precisely what Frank Underwood is doing in the first scene of House of Cards (the necessary but inconvenient act of killing a dog who was run over by a car to end its suffering and to decrease the pain of the dogs owners when they find him). In the case of The Governor the moral justification for his actions are less apparent but it is nonetheless necessary. To ensure the livelihood of his people, and to protect their unsustainable way of life he has to kill people of other small campsites and settlements and rob their campsites for supplies and food. The other leader was taken aback by this unspoken rule, this inconvenient truth of leadership, and thus in order to protect the people from finding out so blatantly this unspoken truth The Governor kills him. Was this necessary? To stay in power it was, but more importantly it was necessary to maintain the peoples unsustainable way of life.

I cannot help but draw a parallel to US imperialism today. We all know the inconvenient truth behind the wars in the Middle East. We all know the brutal nature of US imperialism, the millions and millions killed in wars for the acquisition of resources, what is essentially the robbing of other countries by crushing them with massive debt in order to get them to sell their resources for a cheap price to US companies. This violence is necessary to maintain the global capitalist system and thus the way of life for millions in the so-called first world. We also know the inconvenient truth (as did the people living under The Governor in The Walking Dead) that this way of life is unsustainable. In that regard is The Governor’s actions any more morally wrong than the actions of our government? Of course imperialism is very complicated, and foreign policy even more so. This is simply said so blatantly to not sugar coat the nature of imperialism, yes it is a complicated issue but I am not here to elaborate on how imperialism works. Imperialism is always an ulterior motive. The purpose of this is to show the A and the E of imperialism but not the B C and D. But this is a moral and economic discussion for a different time.

In both situations there is the irrefutable unsustainability of the lifestyles of the people. What made their lifestyle so unsustainable? It was to live as nothing bad was happening, to have normal family life and play games such as hide and go seek outside in such a world. To have an abundance of food and water at nearly all times and to not get their hands dirty by killing zombies. All of these things are absolutely unsustainable and the people seem to know this to some degree. But it is their lack of acting on this knowledge that gets most of them killed in the end. Is the same not true for America? We all know the unsustainability of the capitalist system (at least as it exists today), and of our never-ending reckless consumption due to its effect on our planet; we know it is destroying our planet beyond repair and that we have likely passed the point of no return. In this regard the state, and in our case the leader or leading party acts in the interests of shielding the people from what is really going on by whatever means necessary.

Because the republicans are more the party of the ‘big capitalist’ and the democrats of the ‘small capitalist’ the republicans are the first to defend the fossil fuel industries and deny the existence of global warming entirely (thanks largely to the traditional anti-science, anti-intellectual stance of conservatives). We see this on traditional democratic ‘left’ too but not in the form of blatant denial. It is the attitude of ‘oh yes we’re fucked but not fucked enough to stop consuming as we are. Just buy a hybrid and recycle and we’ll be okay’. Both sides to one degree or another deny the actuality of how fucked we are, of how absolutely unsustainable the current capitalist system, and the system at large really is. In both situations the lifestyles of the people are unsustainable and it is the inability to address this truth directly that leads to the total and complete destruction of society, or in our case of humanity at large.

We see the left leaning liberal and social democratic left trying to address this issue not by overturning capitalism but by regulating it more. The more left leaning liberal democrats and the green party seem to have an understanding of the scale of this issue and I applaud them for that, however the way to address capitalism within the framework of a capitalist system is difficult to say the least and requires a fundamental and radical change in our energy system and thus our economy at large. This of course requires is what we would call the ‘welfare state’ capitalism of Scandinavia and other countries. But even this is recognized as not nearly enough, in order to address this problem requires an extreme change in the way we consume, create and use energy yesterday. The liberal left only wishes to change the energy system and is perfectly content in maintaining the culture of reckless consumption that crates massive amounts of trash and non-biodegradable waste which is filling our oceans and destroying the ecosystem. Look at Norway for example, a liberal social democratic country that boasts having 100% renewable energy. This is certainly good, but the top exports of Norway are Crude Petroleum($45.1B), Petroleum Gas ($43.6B), and Refined Petroleum ($6.56B), all of which are fossil fuels that are contributing to the problem. This is a prime example of the impossibility to fully address this issue under capitalism. But at least it is a step in the right direction.

The conservative backlash to these reforms is radical, but only in the sense that it is radical as to not change the status quo. They are doing in essence what the people living under The Governor were doing, ignoring the problem until it explodes and kills everybody. The blatant denial of science is not really an issue for the conservative right. First and foremost most religious fundamentalists are conservatives, and even as a religious person myself I am appalled by the anti-scientific and anti-intellectual attitude of this group of people. The belief that the world is only 6000 years old and that the world will end soon anyways isn’t helping anybody. They already deny the big bang and the existence of evolution so climate change and global warming are non-issues. Combine this with the fact that the entire party is in the pockets of big business and insists that it is not a serious and one can see how we have a president who believes that global warming was a hoax invented by the Chinese to slow the development of US industry. We see the same denial of Climate Change by the Republican Party as we saw they did about the dangers of smoking. But this time it is even worse. It won’t just be people getting cancer and other illnesses and dying 50 years from now, it will be all of humanity dying and not having a habitable planet in 300 years, perhaps even less.

If we do not take radical action now, or better yet yesterday on this issue our children will not have a future. Of course I am not going to bank on the inevitable collapse of capitalism happening anytime soon, so even I would support the establishment of a capitalist welfare state that would regulate the hell out of industry and transform our energy system in order to reduce the effects this disaster. The radicalism of maintaining the status quo is really what is so dangerous about Trump. It is not merely that he’s going to establish a fascist state or that he is too authoritarian, it is that he is content on doing what The Governor is doing in pretending everything is okay when it isn’t. Of course all presidents do this in regards to imperialism but it is particularly alarming in the case of global warming. When imperialism collapses it will be the fall of capitalism, but when the ability to ignore climate change collapses it will be the end of humanity at large.

There has never been a more serious issue in all of human history. It is an existential threat on the scale of that posed by nuclear war. Its inevitability is certain if we do nothing, and likely even if we do everything we possibly can. But to ignore it and pretend it doesn’t exist is the worst of sins, and among a world leader it is unforgivable. It is the trait of a leader who wants to maintain the status quo at the expense of all of humanity. It is the trait of a leader who is too blinded by greed and selfishness to understand the gravity of the situation, and that is no leader at all!

Trump’s ‘morality’ on Immigration is a immorality, legality ≠ morality

What is the classic excuse among Trump supporters towards the issue of immigration? “They shouldn’t have broke the law and came over here in the first place!” This equates legality with morality, not only a grave mistake but historically a source of great evil. I hold firm to my convictions that laws are valid only insofar as they are grounded in justice, and a commitment to justice carries with it an obligation to disobey unjust laws.

Thus to say, “They broke the law!” is not a moral justification for punishing them if the law was unjust in the first place. In fact this is not only not a moral justification, it is immoral in and of itself! Morality does not, nor has it ever been equal to legality. As Thomas Jefferson said, “If a law is unjust, a man is not only right to disobey it, he is obligated to do so.” Authoritarianism depends on ‘law & order’ above morality. It recognizes no morality above the law. This must be combatted with the utmost vigor!

“Fuck people who voted for Trump” -The saying of the misguided liberals

“Fuck people who voted for Trump!”
This is the typical liberal attitude. Working people voted for Trump because they saw tax cuts for the rich and petty jobs programs as better than massive foreign trade agreements by the neoliberal ‘left’. Most people didn’t vote, either out of alienation from the political process or out of disdain for the two god awful candidates. But the majority of those who did vote voted out of fear of the other evil, NOT out of conviction, dedication or belief in the candidate they voted for. This is crucial, the MAJORITY of people who voted for Trump or Hillary did NOT believe in them! They just saw them as the slightly better alternative than the other absolute disaster! And lets face it, they are both absolute disasters. We must smash the two party system that alienates so many Americans! Smash it with the utmost brutality! Labor voting for a billionaire!? There is nothing more absurd. This alone demonstrates that the democratic party does not now- nor did it ever have the interests of working people at heart. We need a new party of the 99%! An American Labor Party- like the one in the UK but better, something that looks solely after the interests of working people. Why should a working person vote for the republican or democratic party? Why should a billionaire vote for the socialist party? For precisely the same reason that a billionaire would not vote for the socialist party, a working person should not vote for the republican or democratic party- and the working people make up the overwhelming majority of the country. They are the 99%.

The ‘small government’ far-right in power

The ‘small government’ far-right is now in power! It now fills all three branches of government! This seems strange that they always rave about ‘small government’ whenever it helps poor people or is even perceived as threatening the dictatorship of the rich. Of course this ‘threat’ from the ‘left’ is always an inconvenience to the neoliberal center-right democratic party which only gives concessions when the people force its hand and threaten to leave its shitty reactionary party. Funny that this ‘small government’ party- now that it is in power wants to make it a crime to call them bigots when they are being bigots (1), wants to make protesting illegal (2) , wants to send Muslim’s to concentration- er I mean internment camps (3) , wants to deport 3 million hard working people (4) , wants to regulate a woman’s body and punish them for having an abortion (5) , wants to send people to jail on the basis of what they do with other consenting adults (6) , wants to electrocute- er I mean ‘convert’ gay people (7) , wants to discriminate against people on the basis of their gender identity (8) , uses ‘alternative facts’ like doublethink in 1984 (9) , calls anything it doesn’t like ‘ungerman’, anti-sovet’- er I mean ‘unamerican’, wants to teach pseudoscience and religion in the classroom, wants poor people who can’t afford healthcare to die (10) , wants poor people to stay poor and rich people to get richer, wants corporations to effectively wield all state power and pollute the earth as much as they want (11) . Am I forgetting something?

Connolly’s Socialist Party on Religion: A Model for any Socialist Organization

Socialism_Religion.jpg
I have posted this image here before but I think it deserves another post because to me it is so fundamental. I think one of the Bolsheviks biggest mistakes was foregoing this principle, the Bolshevik Party accepted religious members but the party itself was inherently atheistic. On this issue I side with the party of Connolly and the early German party. Marxist materialism to me is an analytical tool, why insist upon matters of God as absolute fact? Criticize religion, yes! Please do by all means! Religious fundamentalism is something I despise as much as the next person. Replace ‘religion’ itself with ‘religious fundamentalism’ and I’ll agree with everything Marx has to say on the issue.
 
Firstly it is a mistake to insist on such matters as any business of the state, secondly from a strategic point of view it is simply guaranteeing that you will increase bourgeois and religious reaction towards socialism tenfold. State atheism is one of the key factors that led to the fall of communism in Europe. You cannot prohibit religion in the same way that you cannot prohibit drugs or alcohol, the state cannot insist upon one theological belief or lack thereof. State secularism must be the policy of any future socialist policy, on religion it must take the attitude of Connolly.
 
Go back to Marx, his belief was that communism would make religion superfluous, NOT that it was something to be prohibited or done away with by any means of force, except when the church and state are merged and in that case- even I support such actions. He believed that religion is the reaction to the human suffering brought about by class society. That removing the root cause of this suffering would remove the need for something like religion to appease that suffering. I do not share in this view. Religion is yes used by the ruling class to solidify its rule. But will it ever go away? I certainly do not think so, even in a thousand years people will still find reason to believe in a higher power or system of beliefs that there is something better after death. The reasons people cling to religion are not merely class antagonisms or the suffering brought about by the bourgeoisie, this to me is absurd.
 
Of course I agree that such a belief system should not and cannot reinforce systematic suffering and oppression here on earth, in this sense Marx’s criticism of religion is correct. Instead of upholding atheism, having such neutrality on this issue will cause religion to first rebel against any change to the social order as it always does. But then it will act as it has in all previous epochs- as a force which solidifies the new ruling class which is the proletariat and thereby defend the destruction of class society. In this way religion acts not in opposition to socialism but wholly in support of it- not merely out of self interest but because this ideology returns itself to its ideological roots.
 
Has class society not tainted religion in every possible way? Has it not been forced defended systems fundamentally based on greed, extortion, violence, and theft, systems that betray its own ideology in the name of self preservation? Has it not been obliged by the material conditions it finds itself in to reject the very founding principles of the faith itself? The abolition of class society is the abolition of its poisonous effect on all things including its poisonous effect on religion. The call for socialism is thus a call for religion to turn back to its ideological roots, in Christianity in particular that is the call for the rejection of greed, selfishness and even the state itself.
 
“Nothing is easier than to give Christian asceticism a Socialist tinge. Has not Christianity declaimed against private property, against marriage, against the State? Has it not preached in the place of these, charity and poverty, celibacy and mortification of the flesh, monastic life and Mother Church? Christian Socialism is but the holy water with which the priest consecrates the heart-burnings of the aristocrat.” – The Communist Manifesto

“Why do you oppose the two party system” Take a good look at what it has gotten us. We need a new party of the 99%!

We solemnly declare the need for a new party of the 99%. Before the election liberals and conservatives alike went to us and said, “Why are you opposing the two party system? Just vote for the lesser of the two evils! Don’t throw your vote away!” Look now at exactly what this attitude has gotten us, look at the news right now. Donald Trump is in the Whitehouse, he is president of the United States. Do you know why? Because half the country was so scared of the other horrible candidate that they had to ‘vote for the lesser of the two evils’. Yes, Hillary would have been a disaster too. Make no mistake. The recognition of this fact is crucial, absolutely crucial. Look at what 40 years of absolutely horrible neoliberal politics from the ‘left’ have gotten us. Wages haven’t risen with productivity since the 1970’s.

There is absolutely no solution to be found from the center-right democratic party for working people. It has irrevocably betrayed the working and middle class. There is a reason traditional lower class blue voters have voted for Trump and refused to vote for Clinton. There is a reason for why many of the major unions backed Trump. It’s not because they are ‘dumb’ or ‘racist’ or whatever other term liberals like to throw at the ‘deplorables’ (though these are contributing factors). It is literally a contest to see who is the least popular, and to a lot of working people Trump looked like the best candidate.

Neither the Republican or Democratic party have, nor have they ever had the interests of working people at heart. Has this ever been more clear? The DNC rigged the election against Bernie Sanders and in favor of the  Hillary Clinton, the Wall Street friendly capitalist. Meanwhile the Republican party backed a billionaire. We’ve always known the country is run by the rich and powerful but now we have a billionaire (the top 1/10 of 1%) in the Whitehouse. This is precisely what a dictatorship of the rich looks like.

Lesser evilism has forced the 99% to take concessions from the ruling class to avoid one travesty over another. People weren’t insane for not voting for a war hawk. Hillary Clinton is literally the embodiment of brutal neoliberal global capitalism with a human face. I’m sure you all see Trump in a similar light, now you see how the Trump voters feel! The working people have no mainstream party which supports their interests, only the interests of the capitalist class.

As Eugene V. Debs said,

“The ignorant workingman who supports either of the two parties forges his own fetters (chains) and is the unconscious author of his own misery… Why should a workingman support the Republican (or Democratic) Party? Why should a millionaire support the Socialist Party? For precisely the same reason that all millionaires are opposed to the Socialist Party, all workers should be opposed the Republican (and Democratic) Parties.”

Do you honestly believe that most people who voted for Trump genuinely believe in him? That they genuinely want him to be POTUS above all other viable alternatives? Absolutely not. It was him (horrible) versus Hillary (terrible). I bet only 1/4 of his votes were cast by people who genuinely believe in him, and the same goes for Clinton. How many more future Trumps and future Clintons have to come around before the working people in this country, the 99%, say enough is enough? We at Socialist Alternative continually say, “We need a party of the 99%!” This is not some empty phrase. This is truly our only salvation. I call on all working people regardless of who you voted for, regardless of your, social, cultural, or religious beliefs to gather together in the name of self preservation, in the name of true and absolute democracy.

This new party we speak of is not some radical communist party. It is to be a democratic-socialist party, an american labor party, similar to the labor party in the UK. But nonetheless it will be irrevocably opposed to the reign of capital, its interests, and its cronies. It is to solely represent the proletarian class (those who sell their labor to live, the 99%). It is to be democratically run by its members from the bottom up under the principles of democratic-centralism and not some bureaucratic leviathan at the top. It is to be a force that brings the hard working men and women who toil away 50 hours a week just to secure a wretched existence into the front lines of American politics, it is to shake the very foundations of bourgeois democracy. It is to bring all who have been alienated by the two-parties of big business into the political process, to represent their and their interests alone. It is to smash the two-party system which alienates so many from the political process! It is to be a grassroots movement devoid of corporate cash or billionaire influence! It’s coming about shall be soon. Let the masters stop the wheels of history if they can! Workers of America Unite! You have nothing to lose but your chains!

I Believe In Absolute Democracy

I believe in absolute democracy, may the 99% have 99% of the political power and the 1% have 1% alone. “Too much democracy!” means you want democracy to protect and serve the ruling class, the bourgeoisie. Democracy must serve the overwhelming majority, the oppressed class of the 99%, the proletariat. In this sense the limited democracy today which only serves the 1%, the dictatorship of the bourgeoisie, becomes the absolute democracy of the majority, the dictatorship of the proletariat. True democracy is nothing but a dictatorship of the majority while today’s ‘democracy’ is but a dictatorship of the minority, a virtual oligarchy. This does not mean I do not support limits on state power, I most certainly do. Constitutional restrictions (among other)s, as to what can or cannot be passed are necessary. But it is absolutely necessary that the overwhelming majority of society be armed and have a direct say in how the state operates, it is necessary that the people rise up and overthrow that government if it betrays the interests of the proletariat. This includes the necessary and inevitable abolition of private (not personal) property and the whole of the capitalist system which will result from such a system.