The Third International after Lenin

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Workers World Party: If you voted for Trump, you are no smarter than a third grader


With a palpable sigh of relief, the Stalinist Workers World Party finds itself able to heap scorn and ridicule on a U.S. president again.


A Republican president, of course.  For the last eight years, there was no proposal to fight the "Obama agenda," Heaven forbid!  From 2009-2016 it was all "Bail Out the People, Not the Banks," "Occupy4Jobs," "People's Power Assembly" and countless other tailings of what they call the "movement," a coterie of professional and semi-professional left activists whom WWP sees as the lever of "resistance" and "social change."


How does the U.S. working class appear in their program?  As hopelessly divided by racial and gender animosity, happy to lap up the lies of bourgeois demagogues.  And, if the workers are Caucasian, irredeemably racist themselves, backward and ignorant if they did not vote for Clinton.  Instead of leading on the question of breaking with bourgeois politics and promoting independent labor political action, WWP skims along in the whipsawing wake of opportunist layers in orbit around the left wing of the imperialist Democratic Party.  This kind of program used to be correctly termed parasitic.


Imagine how pleased workers in the U.S. are this morning, opening their crisp new issue of Workers World newspaper, and reading Teresa Gutierrez' stream-of-consciousness screed:


He speaks and writes like a third grader….


He is a racist, reactionary demagogue. His administration's agenda amounts to a frontal attack on all the gains won by this country's working class and oppressed people over the last eight decades and more….

One wonders what WWP thinks has been going on for the last eight years. And what is wrong if you can only read at a third grade level?

WWP is expressing their contempt for the multinational U.S. proletariat.  True to their Stalinist and Baathist roots, they see workers as objects to push around, denigrate, and bait.

The petty bourgeois hysteria reflected in the Gutierrez article is part of a broader phenomenon in the US since the 2016 presidential election.

As Maggie Trowe wrote on 26 December:

Trump's victory over Democrat Hillary Clinton had nothing to do with fascism or a new rise in racism. It had everything to do with how Trump spoke about the economic and social crisis facing the working class. He promised to create jobs and grow the economy, albeit with nationalist demagogy thrown in aimed at shoring up capitalist rule, in sharp contrast to Clinton, who said the economy was fine and wrote workers off as "deplorables" and "irredeemable."

Trump took advantage of the lack of any fighting leadership in the labor movement to address millions of workers hard hit by grinding depression conditions and to propose measures he claims will boost the economy.

Liberal, left contempt for workers

Liberal and petty-bourgeois left currents, oozing contempt for the working class and utter lack of interest in the rich lessons learned by the revolutionary working-class movement in past fights against fascism, call Trump's victory a triumph of reaction.

The Washington Post has featured articles like, "This Is How Fascism Comes to America." On Dec. 9 CNN asked, "Is Donald Trump a Fascist?"

"For the most part, those who attend and cheer at Trump rallies are deplorable," Workers World Party leader Teresa Gutierrez wrote, echoing Clinton's smear of workers. They "reflect a danger."

Trump is rebuilding the Republican Party, not as a bastion of white supremacy, but as a party with a working-class base, seeking to stabilize bourgeois rule by convincing workers of all nationalities that "we" — capitalists and workers — have common American interests. He appeals to workers of every nationality.

Trowe's comments recall an article from 2004 by Argiris Malapanis, which noted WWP anguish at the defeat of John Kerry:

"Ignorance and bloodlust have a long tradition in the United States, especially in the red states," said novelist Jane Smiley, in a post-election essay. "The history of the last four years shows that red state types…prefer to be ignorant…. They are virtually unteachable."

The middle-class left had a similar stance. "Bush won the election by triumphing in areas in the South where racism, political reaction and the legacy of slavery are the strongest," said an article in the November 11 issue of Workers World, the weekly newspaper of the Workers World Party. This is a Stalinist group that ran its own feeble presidential campaign, gaining ballot status for its candidates in three states (Rhode Island, Vermont, and Washington State). Bush "won the states in the Southwest and Great Plains area dominated by mine owners, millionaire land owners, agribusiness, cattle barons and oil monopolies," the article said. "But in the large and middle-sized cities…in the Northeast, Midwest, and West Coast—Bush's reactionary agenda was rejected across the board."

No matter what the year, if a Republican is elected, workers get the blame.

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