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Trump: Fool or Juggernaut?

Trump: Fool or Juggernaut?

By Dennis Loo (4-30-19)

According to some people on the political Left (namely some revolutionary communists), Trump and Pence are juggernauts who are riding roughshod over – and succeeding – in their quest to install fascist norms.

According to others, Trump and Pence are both fools who are departing from norms and standards that are expected of the head of an empire.

According to least the present author, neither stance is entirely correct, although the latter view is closer to the truth: Trump, and to a lesser degree, Pence, are both, yes, fools, as they are singularly incompetent and stupid, but they are useful idiots, in that they laying bare some of the characteristics of capital in charge, and by taking extreme positions, such as around women and minorities, and by siding with bigots, such as in Charlottesville, or authoritarian dictators such as Kim and Putin, they are revealing the seemly underside to capital in charge.

That doesn’t mean, by the way, that I support them or welcome their present role! There is a difference between correctly assessing the current circumstances, and cheering on what is happening. The one does not necessarily lead to the other. And, if your stand is to fight injustice no matter the immediate circumstances, then one cannot support the hardships they are creating and fight against that.

The communists led by Bob Avakian have a problem, which they could overcome if what they’re basing their actions on is the truth, but they are wrong about Trump and Pence to begin with. That is their biggest problem – that their assessment to start with, is wrong: that Trump and Pence are winning and hell-bent on installing fascist norms and therefore, powerful. While it is true, that Trump and Pence are fascists, they will eventually be prevented in their goals, and they will be punished by that system that they have such contempt for.

The problem that Avakian faces is that, on the one hand, they are bent on treating the Trump/Pence regime as powerful but, on the other hand, call for their ouster, which would make them very vinceable, rather than the powerhouse they have been painting them as. If they are so all-powerful, how can you drive the Trump/Pence regime out? Which is it?

The fact that Trump is a moron and very uninformed is not a closely guarded secret; it shines through in everything Trump says and does. The fact that people like John Brennan and Mitt Romney openly say oppositional things about Trump is, by now, taken-for-granted, and they have a lot of company, including those in the White House who leak like crazy and are embarrassed by their boss and his antics.

The pronounced tendency out there is to see Trump as exceptional and as an aberration, rather than as a symptom of what ails us. It is common to see things in this way, much as at one time I saw Nixon as a particularly bad guy, rather than as an egregious example of an egregious system. It took me a while to finally reach that conclusion; and it was not, and is not, easy, to come to that realization, especially for someone with an upper-middle class background where you are used to thinking that the system is basically fair. That system may need some changing, you tend to believe, but you are inclined to think to yourself that is the nature of systems that are fundamentally fair. The impulse to reform what is, rather than see the system as fundamentally unjust, is a widespread belief; it is going to be stubborn and persistent for a long time.

When I became a sociologist, I learned that systems don’t operate based on the individuals in them but that systems work based on system-logic. Even though this result is always found, this is not universally or consistently observed, however, even by sociologists, though this premise makes this profession scientific and this occupation distinctly different and possible.

Some people think that this makes reality too simplistic, and it is true that some people treat this as if it’s some kind of cookie-cutter operation that requires no further thinking. But those people are boring and wrong. The best clue to this is that such people use this as a crutch and suspend their thinking, perhaps out of laziness, but reality requires us to be on our toes at all times!

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