Inauguration of Donald Trump as
President of the United States
Step Up the Work in Defence of the Rights of All, for Democratic Renewal, an Anti-War Government and Independent Canada!
– Statement of the Communist Party of Canada
(Marxist-Leninist), January 20, 2017 –
Today, Donald Trump is sworn in as the 45th President of the United States. The overriding necessity for the Canadian working people is to concentrate on their own work in defence of their rights. The antidote to the non-stop promotion of the ideological beliefs of both Trump and the official anti-Trump forces is the work to build the independent institutions and voice of the Canadian working class and its allies, and broaden the struggle in defence of rights, for democratic renewal, an anti-war government and an independent Canada.
The extravagant celebrations to inaugurate the presidency of the oligarch Donald Trump as the all-powerful leader to “Make America Great Again” are meant to overwhelm people with awe, trepidation and a feeling of their own powerlessness. The triumphant section of the ruling elite is not only creating a climate of uncertainty but also bestowing on Trump an aura of invincibility, as somebody who will solve all problems by means of a government of police powers. The wealth, celebrity and state-organized police powers behind Trump are to create the impression of an individual who can crush anybody and anything standing in his way. Everything is made a matter of personal beliefs, likes and dislikes not to say hatreds, so as to eliminate the political movements of the working class and others in the United States and those countries caught in the U.S. crosshairs. The U.S. is indispensable and the working people are dispensable. The dispensable are declared incapable of leading themselves and solving their problems; they are to be convinced they need a state-organized oligarch with police powers to do everything for them.
The media and pundits are spreading apprehension and doubt as to the capacity of Canadians to defend their rights and interests in the face of the “great disruptor.” They fail in their duty to Canadians to expose the truth that the election of the oligarch Trump to lead a government of police powers is a sign of weakness and crisis in the U.S., not strength.
Trump’s ascent to the presidency used the crumbling electoral and political mechanisms, the power of celebrity, money and social media to complete the destruction of the electoral process while employing the ugliest language of racism, misogyny and U.S. chauvinism. It exposes the crisis of U.S. imperialism and its division into irreconcilable feuding gangs of the ruling elite. His triumph over other members of the U.S. ruling class exposes an empire in crisis that has turned upon itself to devour each other in civil war where reconciliation within the traditional institutions of U.S. state power has become impossible.
“Trump is not a legitimate president,” declare those who lost the electoral battle for supremacy. Many are boycotting the inauguration in the vain hope that the verdict of history can be escaped by affirming righteous beliefs. Others hope that a peaceful transition of power will provide the escape they so desire, as if upholding the 18th century constitution of the empire will provide a way out of this historical juncture in which the old forms have exhausted themselves but the new ones have yet to come into being.
Before the election result was known, both factions of the ruling class declared that if the other won, it would be because the system was rigged or because the intelligence agencies failed to do their job. The inability of the intelligence agencies to predict the results of anything and their similar descent into factional feuding, one day leaking information favouring one camp and something else the next, are being used to fan the flames of chauvinism and war. All the while the people are told to entrust their security to those police powers that have been unable to predict anything and are a source of great insecurity for all humanity. This not only shows the degree of irrationality that has taken over the American polity but also the intensity of the contradictions within the ruling class itself. Siding with one side over the other in the name of high ideals and progressive values is not an option.
The problem is not the legitimacy of either Trump or Clinton but the profound crisis in which the U.S. polity is mired and the failure of the institutions said to be democratic. The covenant declaring, “We the people by virtue of these elections entrust you to represent us” is archaic and broken. No amount of attempts to enforce a government of police powers under a guise pretending it to be a government of laws will right the situation. Not only the U.S., but also Canada, Mexico and other countries caught in the U.S. crosshairs need democratic renewal and modern constitutions that bring the working people to power to solve the economic, political and social problems of the 21st century.
Today, the recognition that people have rights by virtue of being human must be affirmed with a political process providing those rights with a guarantee. Oligarchs, plutocrats and autocrats have no place. Those who do the work to create the value upon which people and society depend for their existence must assume their rightful honourable role as leaders of the economy, politics, government and throughout society.
With the election of Donald Trump, Canada is in a quandary. According to official circles, the problem requiring a solution is how to appease Trump so as to come out of the “America first” wringer with the least possible damage. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and the pundits are reporting that senior government officials have had “constructive and positive discussions” with Trump’s team. Canadians are informed that under the present “cloud of uncertainty,” federal officials and members of the ruling elite have been “trying to develop a good relationship with members of Trump’s inner circle” and “build a case to shield the Canadian economy from policy changes.” A cabinet shuffle took place to appoint Chrystia Freeland as Minister of Foreign Affairs with the added responsibility for Canada/U.S. trade relations, and to empower others who are said to have personal relationships with members of the new U.S. administration. Chrystia Freeland is an unapologetic proponent of resurgent Nazi forces in Ukraine and advocates pursuing war against Russia. Meanwhile, Donald Trump appears to want a new tri-polar arrangement to set Russia and China at loggerheads so as to facilitate “Making America Great Again.”
While currying relations with plutocrats worldwide, the hypocrisy of Freeland is such that she claimed a seat in Parliament brandishing the now widespread thesis of the Trudeau government and world’s ruling elite that a small plutocracy control the lion’s share of the world’s wealth and this is unsustainable and needs to be corrected through negotiating better terms and a change of behaviour. Highlighting the depravity of the current situation, social agencies recently revealed that eight plutocrats alone control as much social wealth as half the world’s people. In Canada, two oligarchs control social wealth matching that of 11 million Canadians.
Freeland, the great negotiator facing those plutocrats who need correcting, brags of clinching the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) with many of those very same plutocrats of the European Union who “need correcting.” This trade arrangement will further subject Canada’s economy to the control of the world’s biggest oligopolies and put yet another nail in the coffin of Canada’s sovereign independence and ability to control and manage its own affairs. CETA gives the European oligopolies an entry point into the entire North American market setting up yet more competition and collusion amongst the giants as they jockey to control yet more of Canada’s economy. The Liberal government credits Freeland with the negotiating skills saving CETA at the 11th hour, and gaining applause from the plutocrats who strongly advocate it. Canadians are now to presume that Freeland is the least wimpy bet to match the “negotiating skills” of the knavish oligarch Donald Trump.
All this ignores that the causes of economic and institutional crises are objective, not a matter of good or bad policies, theses or intentions of this or that political leader, party, administration or oligarch. Such ideological beliefs centered on policy objectives are false and divert attention from the need to draw warranted conclusions from the objective class and social contradictions that exist and the subjective conditions that need to be prepared to change the situation.
The latest “Global Risks” report published by the 2017 Davos Economic Forum continues in the same Trudeau/Freeland vein offering the following warning: “The combination of economic inequality and political polarization threatens to amplify global risks, fraying the social solidarity on which the legitimacy of our economic and political systems rests.” What “social solidarity” it does not say. What is obvious, however, is that similar to the United States, its European allies are also mired in civil war scenarios, which the imperialist rulers are preparing to deal with brutally even if it means plunging the world into a nuclear holocaust.
Launching foreign wars to avert civil war at home has always been the method used by the imperialists as they strive to unite the bureaucracy and military and overcome economic crises by destroying the productive forces on a massive scale. Lining Canada up behind one or another of the imperialists, as they collude and contend with other great powers, is a very dangerous course which must be opposed.
Attempts to have the Canadian people follow behind the Trudeau government’s claims that it has Canada’s interests at heart would be laughable if they were not so dangerous and diversionary. What will be negotiated with the Trump administration? Not jobs for Canadians, not “good middle class wages,” peace or anything remotely resembling what Canadians would consider their “national interest” at home and abroad. Negotiations will centre on how best to serve the private narrow interests of the oligopolies.
While it is true that the Canadian economy is integrated with the American economy and whatever affects Canada will affect the United States and vice versa, this does not mean that integration with the U.S. imperialists and their war economy and war preparations is a redeeming quality, which should be endured. When Donald Trump and his cabinet appointments talk about job creation in the United States, they are not talking about the creation of jobs that provide a standard of living and life commensurate with the standard of living the U.S. working class has fought for and created in the past. The talk is centred on workers competing for jobs being created in the former slave states and even in the U.S. industrial heartland where anti-worker laws are becoming the norm. The oligopolies want what they have done to industrial workers in the U.S. to be extended into Canada. This is not what Canadian or U.S. industrial workers want and that is the challenge the current situation presents.
Donald Trump will use the police powers of the U.S. state to push wages and working conditions to rock bottom while protecting the claims of the oligopolies that cooperate or are allied with him. A Trump presidency represents the power of the public authority exercised through police powers, with the same being done more and more in Canada as well. The cause is not “bad people” and “bad policies” but the fact that finance capital cannot harmonize the interests of all the individuals and collectives comprising society. The financial oligarchy cannot provide the country with an aim worthy of the challenges posed by the times.
The civil society based on a covenant between those who govern and those who are governed is broken. The equilibrium achieved by a system of representation was legitimated by institutions and elections that formed a government of laws. Those arrangements are exhausted; they no longer function. Appeals to the gods of plague to make them function are desperate; they have no merit. What remains is the naked police power and the need for the people to recognize the changed situation within which they must affirm their rights. A new direction is necessary with a new social force in command, the working people themselves.
The Trudeau government’s claim that it will do everything in its power to place Canada in a position where it can effectively compete with Trump as he pushes workers to the bottom is unacceptable. It must be fought in favour of a new direction for the economy that puts Canada on an independent self-reliant footing so that it can trade on the basis of mutual benefit and the positive development of the peoples of both countries and the world, not for the benefit of the oligopolies, which have seized power by means of force and fraud.
The oligarch Trump is the negation of modern politics, democratic renewal and the recognition of rights. In his twitter tirades, Trump presents solutions to the grave problems confronting the U.S. in terms of attacking people as things, not people. Police categories include “undocumented migrants,” “criminal gangs,” “violent protestors,” “degenerates,” “cop haters,” “terrorists,” “Muslim fundamentalists,” with all the like, the “things,” slated for elimination. A polity made up of human beings must create the conditions so that they can sort out their relations and problems without violence, threats and police powers.
The triumphalism of Donald Trump and the interests he represents is their greatest weakness. They are finding opposition everywhere including in the United States. The trend of history is towards the affirmation of rights, democratic renewal, the sovereign independence of the peoples and nations of the world and their deep anti-war sentiment. The peoples have matured in the course of waging their struggles for their rights throughout the 20th century and since this period of reaction began on the eve of the 21st century. Everywhere, expressed in life and death situations and in the face of the great powers unleashing their might, we witness the earnest desire of the peoples to live in peace and sort out differences, social relations and problems without violence, with respect and dignity, and in firm opposition to any denial of the rights which belong to people by virtue of being human.
Police powers do not legitimize the rule of the financial oligarchy. Police powers ensure compliance with the state and the police powers themselves. They are used to decide whom to criminalize and how to mete out punishment. There is no “arguing” against them. All argument must be directed towards Building the New that provides a way forward based on the affirmation of the rights that belong to people by virtue of being human. People must lay claim to all that belongs to them as human persons. The more the financial oligarchy and powers that be try to legitimize police powers by suspending civil rights and passing laws making the most egregious violations of human rights “lawful,” the more they isolate themselves and expose their desperation and inability to govern. The way is open for the working class and its allies amongst all the people to make headway in the battle of the New against the Old.
The key is to organize in defence of rights and the interests of the working people of all countries and to build their independent headquarters, voice and institutions. This means stepping up the organized and conscious struggle in defence of the rights of all, for democratic renewal, an anti-war government and independent Canada.
Step Up the Work in Defence of the Rights of All, for Democratic Renewal, an Anti-War Government and Independent Canada!