A Totally Original Parable Not Derived From Anything Else Really

Once upon a time a man named Barry Goldwater appeared on the political scene. And the radical cried, “Danger! A fascist!” And the people came running, but they saw that, actually, he was just a right-wing authoritarian, and he was making no effort to build a mass movement based on violence and terror in order to overturn democratic institutions, so the people went away grumbling.

Then a man named Nixon appeared, and the radical cried, “Danger! A fascist!” And the people came running, but they saw that, while he was extremely right-wing, and was, indeed, chipping away at democratic institutions, he still had no mass movement based on the frustrated petty bourgeoisie, nor an agenda to lead such a movement to establish himself as dictator on behalf of finance capital, so the people went away annoyed.

Then Trump came along….

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5 thoughts on “A Totally Original Parable Not Derived From Anything Else Really”

  1. Blaming Donald Trump for everything is ridiculous. He is the result, not the cause, of the corrupt end days of capitalism. Biden is also a product of this corruption.

  2. I quite agree, Carolyn. Trump is a symptom. But my point was different. I agree listening to middle class radicals denounce everything as “fascism” if it was right wing. I would tell them that disarms us. Trump is an actual fascist, as Trotsky described fascism. And all of those petit bourgeois radicals who called everything fascism are now unable to identify the actual thing, the actual danger. I believe this is a point worth making, don’t you?

  3. It probably does not matter much whether Trump wins or loses, there is going to be big trouble either way. The Corporate Dems have proven themselves far less than useless in resisting Trump’s machinations. Only popular movements will be able to stop him.

  4. @Kragar

    I agree in principle, but here is the scary part.

    Trump is an idiot. I don’t just mean that rhetorically. He’s actually a not-smart person of a very high degree. My concern is that his idiocy is the key to his success. He was never cautious or clever enough to try to hide what he was doing, and so he just bulls on ahead with his outrageously awful and illegal behavior, challenging the system (the one set up by the wealthy specifically so that wealthy people never have to face any real consequences for their actions) to hold him accountable. The surprising thing to me is not that he hasn’t been put in jail yet, but rather that people are even TALKING about putting him in jail. The whole system is set up to protect people like him–which is exactly how he’s gotten away with everything (so far).

    But, as people have observed, Trumpism is just a symptom. My real worry is not that Trump will succeed (as I’ve noted, he’s really a not-smart person which ultimately is going to limit his potential for doing harm) but rather, what power-hungry douchebag is waiting in the wings right now, zealously taking notes, and preparing for the inevitable downfall or death of Trump so he can rise to take his place.

    Chances are, that successor is going to be a lot smarter than Trump (I mean, it’s not a high bar). And THAT person (okay, let’s face it, that MAN) is going to immediately present a much greater danger than Trump ever has. We need to be ready to resist when (not if) that day arrives.

  5. Jon: The danger is present whether it’s Trump, those who pull his strings, or someone new. If possible, I’d prefer striking first to resistance because the body count is lower, but developments are unlikely to give us a choice. At any rate, the US has a tradition of preemptive counter-revolution triggering revolutions: see 1861-1865.

    But we need to remember that totalitarian dictatorship, whether fascist, military dictatorship, junta, or some other form, is expensive. Jails, police, police equipment, secret police, cost immense amounts. Never in history has a ruling class resorted to such measures unless they (or a significant section of them) felt they had to. They’re scared, and they are right to be. The resistance is growing, but it has not yet taken managed to acquire a coherent program to unite all of the oppressed and give the struggle a clear direction. That is what is missing, and providing that is exactly the job of the most advanced sections of the working class, or, as we call them, socialists.

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