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Fascism and Big Business by Daniel Guerin

Sunday, March 13, 2016

"Shutting down political meetings is a dangerous road."

Insightful Facebook comments by  comrades on the events around the Trump campaign.


Many people, many workers, support Trump not because he's a racist, but because he is talking about economic issues like the loss of well-paying manufacturing jobs that the other Republican candidates are not discussing. It is important and necessary to try to win over those workers, but when Trump's opponents come to a rally in Chicago, and many of them openly say they have come with the purpose of shutting down the rally, it makes it extremely difficult to have a good political discussion with those Trump supporters.

There is no disagreement that Trump is a reactionary demagogue, but we have to keep our eyes on the prize, which is to win workers away from his fool's paradise and to a more realistic perspective. Advocating shutting down his rallies is counterproductive in the extreme.


There's no doubt that there's a popular revulsion at Trump's poisonous rhetoric and a popular defense of immigrants, muslims, women etc. Such a reaction is welcome and necessary.

But shutting down meetings through disruption is a political mistake. I don't mean disrespect to any well-intentioned and potential fighters among those participating, but I do mean sincerely that closing off political space is of tremendous concern to anyone who would like to fight to change the world.

I want to discuss politics with many of those inspired by the demonstration in Chicago, but I also want to discuss it with those who attended the rally in earnest to hear trump speak. I don't think they're all brown shirts and irredeemable bigots, though a layer certainly are.


Shutting down political meetings is a dangerous road.

Will you shut down a union meeting if you happen to disagree? You may think you will, but you won't. Want to bet your front teeth?

The working class needs more space, not less, to discuss and debate politics.

Plus those who are celebrating the ‘great victory’ in Chicago are blind to the relationship of forces in this country today. The cops could easily have kept that rally going – and could easily shut yours down. They aren’t neutral.

The most imporant thing that happened in Chicago was the big demonstration outside the hall. That’s the road forward.


Likely everyone here was pleased there was a counter-mobilization outside the venue to protest and take objection to Trump's chauvinism and tough-guy act.  In the future not only will there be counter-mobilizations but there will also be agitators organized by these counter-mobilizations that will engage in fraternization with those on the other side who are looking for answers and can be reached.  Shouting down Trump, or any other candidate (how would folks feel if Trump supporters decided Sanders should not be allowed to speak) cedes the day to Trump.  It makes him (and his supporters, the majority of which are looking for a way out of the crisis) appear to be the one who is the victim of undemocratic attacks and not the other way around.


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