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In 2017, Fusing Identity and Class Politics in "Trumpland"


In 2017, Fusing Identity and Class Politics in "Trumpland"

Zoltán Grossman

Like millions of other Americans, I was shocked, but perhaps not entirely surprised, by Donald Trump’s victory on election night. His blatant racism and misogyny, cynical exploitation of economic populism, and ties to fascist ideology have generated enormous fears. Yet if we stop at the point of those fears, and let fatalism or blame games drive our response to the Trump regime, then we have already ceded our power to him.


Superb, thanks for re-publishing this analysis and prescription!

Aside from all the great assessment and advice for understanding and organizing across all the divides that are exploited by our exploiters, this line from Grossman really sticks with me, cutting through the pessimism and stunned retreat that so many seem to feel in the aftermath of the 2016 US fake presidential election:

"History may view Trump as the last gasp of the racist and misogynist dinosaurs, but only if we view ourselves as the comet that finally wipes them out."


The piece that has been missing all along are the truly poor, all those who were left behind as the US shut down/shipped out a massive share of our jobs since the 1980s. There has been little grasp of the difference between truly poor and low-income. We (those who are aware of this issue) couldn't seem to shine a bright-enough light on the reality that not everyone is able to work and there simply aren't jobs for all. What happens to people when there are no options, no way to get by? Twenty years into this country's war on the poor, the media marketed to liberals appear to be utterly oblivious to our poverty crisis. To disregard the truly poor has been to disregard a growing chunk of the population.


I agree with you. The truly poor do not vote, and really why should they? It has to go deeper like why? It is not all about education- it's about a lack of resourses and corruption. There are very few statesmen and women in politics- but plenty of egoists and politicians.


I was curious and excited to read the title of this article. The need to fuse identity and class politics is high. As I read the article I became disappointed to see Grossman is still confined by the "Red Scare." First-off, Donald Trump is not a whiff of fascism, he and his appointees are the stinking turds of fascism: privatized governance by the 1%. Second-off, Grossman mentions the "working-class" only once in the entire article and that occurs in the first sentence of the third paragraph where he continues the muddle of misunderstanding by separating "middle-class" and "working-class" interests. We must face the fact that politics is defined as the conflict of interests between the wage/salary earners, and the owners of the means of production of wealth who pay the wages and salaries. War, misogyny, racism and poverty are means used to divide and conquer the working class. Yes, it is important that the oppressed groups stand to defend themselves; but as the last 60 years have shown, this is not enough. The undeniable common thread running all through the movements of the oppressed, the fabric that can unite us all, is our membership in the working class. Our unified, class based opposition is needed to stop global destruction in the interest of private profit. Get over the red-scare. Workers of the World Unite. We have nothing to lose and a world of peace, justice and abundance to gain.


Good post, seabag, I agree with just about all of it, but what makes you think that "privatized governance by the 1%" began with Trump? We've been on that train since Ronnie Reagan. (Not by coincidence did some people refer to Reagan's USA at the time as "friendly fascism.") And Henry Paulson threatening martial law to the Congress if they didn't pony up a trillion or two is just one of many examples of the 1% running the show for strictly private purposes. You will recall what some congressman said impotently after that fiasco: (quoting from memory) "What can you do? They [the bankers] own the place."


Very good article, though it will be interesting to see whether, if Identity politics fuses with class politics, it will be tolerated as blithely by the ruling class as identity politics has been, precisely because it is usually free of trenchant socioeconomic analysis.