Lookleft Editorial – Issue 25

LookLeft 25 Cover

“This Bonaparte, who constitutes himself chief of the lumpenproletariat …”
– Karl Marx, The Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Bonaparte (1852)

The mask is off. The first months of the regime of Donald J Trump have revealed the unvarnished revolting face of American imperialism. Not only in the actions of the man and his cohorts but also in the enraged reaction of the warmongering US media, cultural and military elite towards the slim possibility that their policy of violently imposing government change on other states maybe under threat.

While many have greeted the election of the former reality TV star and alleged billionaire with an outpouring of rage, that American imperialism is now represented by a less polished salesman, from a strategic view, presents opportunities. Have no doubt that Trump is all he is accused of being; a bellicose nationalist, racist, charlatan – but these are merely the characteristics of the US State, and the Trump presidency may well provide openings for progressive politics. Noteworthy is that Trump’s attempt to merely ban people from several Middle Eastern States entry to the US produced a cacophony of protest from quarters that were silent while the previous US regime oversaw the massacre of people in the very same countries.

In order to capitalise on what opportunities may emerge, mockery of the Trump presidency will not be enough. It must be balanced with an offer of real alternatives to those suffering under the global attack on working class standards of living.

The Trump regime may reverse some key economic policies of all recent US governments and also provides an opportunity to widen the base of opposition to US imperial interests. In Ireland, the key aspects to this struggle must be ending the US military’s illegal use of Shannon Airport, and a push to loosen the economic straitjacket of US multinational companies on our economy.