After YES – Snatching Defeat from the Jaws of the Victory

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This piece was originally going to be a summary of my thoughts on the victorious Same-Sex Marriage Plebiscite in the weeks following that victory – but life got away from me and now that was several months ago. However, in the wake of the recent victory in the Republic of Ireland, where reactionary restrictions on abortion were overturned by popular vote, I have seen the same arguments aired now as I saw then.

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First: The Great Debate

Late last year, Australia saw the realisation of a decade long struggle, one which has seen countless thousands hit the streets in countless marches and demonstrations of a collective desire – to change the Marriage Act instituted by the Howard Government, legalising Same-Sex Marriage. This has been the central demand by the LGBTI movement for over a decade, and the primary demand of the mainstream organisations of the movement – who demanded that the incumbent governments simply change the legislation through parliamentary vote.

Despite a slowly growing majority standing in support of the change, multiple governments, under both Labor and the Coalition, refused to make this simple change – social conservatism was and is still a powerful force in Australian social life, and a key structure of the social formation as it guards itself against social struggles and maintains social reproduction.

When the government of the weak neo-liberal Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull called for a plebiscite on the issue, the reaction from the movement was that of disgust at the idea. Firstly, the argument offered was that the right of a minority should not be put up for a mass democratic vote by the majority (as this is would be worse than it being debated in by the majority straight, white, bourgeois parliament) and that the parliament should simply do its job. The second was that the public debate would have a negative impact on LGBT people’s mental health, due to the heightened levels of public discussion about whether or not LGBT people deserved rights (or were child abusers, communist agents or anything else that the reactionaries would through our way).

For the first response, I am perplexed. When did bourgeois liberal institutions become vehicles for social progress? Even more bewildering is the notion that parliament should “do its job” – last I looked, its job seemed to managing the hideous mess that is the Australian settler colony and the capitalist mode of production. There seems to be a line of thought that has emerged within liberal identity politics that sees the state as a protector of oppressed minorities from the scourge of social bigotry and the mob – despite the fact that the federal parliament as a whole seems to be statistically more homophobic than the majority of Australians.

For the second, we get to a far messier question. There is no denying that many LGBT people felt a great pain during the plebiscite – and the disgusting parade carried out by the reactionary right was truly sickening. However, I would like to question some aspects of this argument.

Is homophobia brought to the surface worse than homophobia simmering beneath? It is certainly easier to confront.

If public debate is necessarily harmful, what happens to the concept of democracy?

I think these questions need to be answered, especially since the victory of another popular referendum in Ireland – and are particularly disturbing in the wake of the plebiscite here.

 

Second: Your politics (and your community) can make you weaker

Let us dig into the reality of this terrible thing. Struggle is hard, and social progress is hard. It is a messy, complex and violent process – ultimately, it is a place where “shoulds” must be put to one side. Should people have to fight for their rights? Of course not. Will they have to? Yes. They always have and they always will. There is no world in which progress comes without struggle, and struggle will never be easy.

A politics that is helpful to oppressed people equips them for this reality. It arms them with the necessary tools (theoretical and organisational) and strengthens them through solidarity and collective action to stand up to their oppressor and to win the battles they need to win. The current dominate tendencies in the LGBT movement do not meet this prerequisite. The dominating liberalism of organisations such as Australian Marriage Equality sees its position as that of the lobbyist, begging for scraps from the table of representative (read: bourgeois) “democratic” institutions and their politicians. The current that feeds off this dominant trend is that of a liberal identity politics, focused on self-care and safety at the expense of building a revolutionary movement and offering a real alternative to the majority of people – a true minoritarian perspective, for a movement that seeks to keep itself in the minority.

I would like to postulate a possible alternative to a politics that is empowering. It is possible for oppressed people to take up politics that makes them weaker. That disempowers them, that leads them astray and that offers up despair rather than empowerment. I would argue that the dominant beliefs held in the LGBT community right now offer this exact poison.

In the wake of the monumental victory of the plebiscite, the feeling was firstly of relief – justifiable. However, since that time I have seen many of my fellows in the community lament on the fact that we had a plebiscite at all. In the spaces I was occupying, you would have thought we had lost. You would have though that we had not scored a massive victory over the conservatives that has sent them scuttling away like the freaks they are, making the issue of marriage entirely dead for them (and forcing them to move decisively to the issue of trans rights). A sense of malaise, indecision and sadness hangs over a community – and with that there comes an inability to capitalise on the victories of our struggles. There has been little talk of driving the movement forward, to take on issues of transgender rights, housing and healthcare issues or defending Safe Schools. Even those who clamoured to remember these issues in the lead up to the plebiscite seem disheartened and unable to proceed with the struggles that now beg to be fought.

Emotional response is not pre-political – it is filtered through your political perspectives and your ideological understandings of the world. And the dominant politics of the LGBT community at this point is a minoritarian one – one that relies on the state to protect an oppressed minority from the savage masses. Such a political perspective is fundamentally defeatist – in that it sees victory as fundamentally not possible – in fact, it cannot even really conceive of victory in a meaningful way. This is not to say that we should ignore social pain – but our response to pain (our self-care, if you will) is a political one, and it embodies our political values, our perspectives and our strategies.

The LGBT community deserves better than this. We deserve, and in fact need, a politics that places our empowerment and our strength first, that builds communities based on a sense that struggle is an inevitable path of oppression – that we are fighting back, not staying brow-beaten and silent.

A politics that links our freedom with the struggles of the entire working class against the state and capitalism – for communism and freedom. That politics is necessary, not just for the path of our movement, but for the hope of our youngest members – the idea that the future is ours, that the path is struggle, and that freedom is on its way.

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Politics, The Discourse and Dinner Parties

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“A revolution is not a dinner party, or writing an essay, or painting a picture, or doing embroidery; it cannot be so refined, so leisurely and gentle, so temperate, kind, courteous, restrained and magnanimous. A revolution is an insurrection, an act of violence by which one class overthrows another.” – Mao Zedong, 1929

“A revolution is not a bed of roses. A revolution is a struggle between the future and the past.” – Fidel Castro, 1959

I am not the first person to write about this, and I will almost certainly not be the last. However, I felt compelled to write it out, because I have been mulling over this same point, in its many different forms, for a while now.

There is a fear that “the discourse” is dying. This fear sits at the heart of liberal punditry, especially in the United States, where the rise of insurgent right wing politics has brought a cascade of navel gazing on behalf of the political class. For them, the rise of renewed populism, class antagonism, protest and mass politics is about the death of “normal” “civil” politics. This development for them is seen as profoundly negative amoungst the liberals, as they call for reason and debate in a world increasingly torn apart by the expression of politics.

However, I for one am glad that the discourse is dying.

Fuck the Discourse. I hope it dissolves away forever. I hope it rots in the swamps and mires of history. Abandon the discourse. Let us return to the essence of politics.7

The problem here is something fundamental in liberal modes of thought. I think it is vital to understand this problem as someone who is wanting to transform the world. For the liberals, the nature of political struggle is one of a competing world of ideas. It is a world where certain ideas are dominant and other marginalised, and this Discourse, is where power is located and disputed. Politics is in essence about a debate between different ideas of the world.

For the centrist liberals, politics then becomes about compromises. It is about “coming together” or “having a conversation” about social issues. It is about the right people with the right ideas being in power and working with the other side in order to reach “sensible outcomes”. This is a West Wing view of politics, where smart people be smart all day.

For the more radical fringe, who are anti-capitalist to their credit, but still unclear as to what comes after capitalism, and more-so how to get there, it takes the form of subversive discourse. Through either academia or art, there emerges a desire for a counter-cultural scene as the agent (rather than as the expression of) a transformative politics.

But politics is not a dinner party. It is not poetry. It is not your experimental art project. It is not your subversive dance music. It is not your liberal sexual mores, nor your interesting sex life. It is not your academic treatise. It is not coming together, nor is it “having a conversation”. Politics is not diverse faces in high faces, nor is it about representation. Politics is not a spectator sport, nor a sideshow, nor a hobby. It is not your fucking university polisci course, it is not your subversive essay on gender theory that 2 people will read. It is not a dance party, nor is it kind, restrained or safe. It is not comfortable, nor pretty.

It is war. Politics is a war, conducted by other means, over who gets what. Over who has power and who does not. And we are to be partisans of that war. This is the fundamental truth of the matter that liberalism, be it in its mainstream centrism, nor its radical variants cannot possibly grasp. That politics isn’t about the discourse. It is not, fundamentally, about who is right and who is wrong. It is about who is more powerful. It is about wielding power.

The forces of reaction have always understood this. They have long understood that one does not need to be correct, or need to have a conversation, or need to engage with the other side, as long as they wield the stick of organised violence – force.

The global spread of right wing populism, as well as left wing radicalism, and the new fractures in the global landscape of class antagonism, have in many ways stripped the illusions away from the nature of power. Donald Trump reveals the nature of the state as that of violent power, the far right is so craven in its openness that it cannot be hidden. This has been useful in clarifying the nature of struggle – that of war – but it is not enough as of yet to dispel these illusions entirely.

This is not to say that ideas have no role in politics – of course that is ridiculous. The political world is in many ways a world of ideas which relate to various moments and trends within the struggle over who gets what in society. And any of the things mentioned above can be part of building a culture of resistance, or a politics of fighting back. And that is not to say that they aren’t good things.

What it is to say is that these things are not a substitute for organised political action. They are a compliment. But it is organisation, political struggle, antagonism – arising from the actual contradictions of capitalist society in the form of class struggle – which is the actual motor of transformation. Not ideas. Not art. And not the Discourse.

 

On Identity, Politics and Identity Politics

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This piece is being written to hopefully intervene, to the best of my ability in a whole series of intense and impassioned debates around identity and politics on the English speaking left. I was inspired to write this by a comrade who asked me to reflect on a very heated debate in a Facebook group around identity, gender, trans-ness and other subjects which get brought up regularly and consistently on the internet. Here, I hope to talk about identity, politics, this thing that we call identity politics, and a radical, Marxist account of it and its alternatives.

What is Identity Politics?

Firstly, what on earth is identity politics?

For such an important point of debate in the Anglo left, it is a surprisingly vague and contested term, around which many different definitions exist. For some people, identity politics is any set of political discussions or struggles which orbit around issues that are not class – that is those that do appear to be immediately economic in character (I will get to a critique of this view in a minute) – such as gender, sexuality, race, coloniality or ability.

For others, identity politics is any discussion of these identities at all. Even the act of identification itself is identity politics. This view was recently illustrated in a debate online, where the question as to what people’s gender identities are was denounced as identity politics in itself – that the very act of talking about transgender and non-binary people in particular is considered to be a form of identity politics.

However, I am going to be using a definition of identity politics which I think best allows it to be understood in relation to various critiques of it. So for me, at least, identity politics is:

A set of political analytics which centre on the definition, clarification and maintenance of a given identity or identities – giving a transcendence to these identities at the exclusion both of other identity groups and projects which seek to emancipate via the abolition of identities-as-social relations.

In this definition, discussions of non-class issues are not inherently “identity politics”. Rather, identity politics is a specific philosophical phenomenon, which does not only centre and discuss identity, but reifies it as unmoving, content to endlessly debate and reflect on the specifics of their identities while being limited in the ability to challenge the limitations these identities impose.

A Queer Marxist Critique

So what then can be our critique of identity politics. Our critique is not that identity politics has “gone too far” in its discussions of gender oppression, or racial oppression, or anything else. We know that this is a reactionary argument. Indeed, our response is that identity politics has not and cannot go far enough in the struggle of emancipation.

We critique identity politics because we critique the stagnation of the identities themselves. As materialists we recognise that our identities are the constructs of a given set of historical and socio-economic processes that exist far outside of individual choice. Indeed they are the products of our oppression – either in that they are direct reflections of our chains, or a way for us to identify with others who share our lived experience of oppression and in turn, resistance.

Identity politics is then a politics of defeat. Its emergence during the rise of neoliberalism is not a coincidence. It is a politics which seeks to maintain and defend the safety of given oppressed groups in the face of the total collapse of the movement of the working class, in the face of crushed trade unions and broken or co-opted social movements, identity politics is the politics of survival, isolation and ultimately, retreat.

Embracing Intersectionality – Against Class Reductionism, Towards Materialism

It is here that we come to a serious problem in the way that radical anti-capitalists talk about identity and politics. The assumption that stands is that there are two different forms of oppression, that there is class oppression, which is fundamental, material and ontologically prior to other oppressions, and there is “identity oppression” which is the product of bourgeois ideology and is secondary to class. This includes race, gender and sexuality.

This is an incorrect framework. Ultimately, all forms of oppression, and all the forms of ideology that help redproduce them, are the products of material relationships – social relations. Gender, for example, is produced and reproduced through the social division of labour, through the structure of the economy and the international division of labour. Race too is the product of the international division of labour, a system by which different groups of people are racialised according to their value within the global capitalist system.

There is no distinction that can functionally be drawn between these systems and class – and nor should there be. Ultimately we live in a world within which class and race and gender deeply construct and reinforce each other in an ever shifting global social formation known as the capitalist world system. These oppressions cannot be understood as separate from each other.

It is for this reason that intersectionality is so necessary to our developing frameworks for understanding oppression – it asserts that all oppression is connected and interlocking.

Identity and Revolutionary Projects

Identity is important. It is a massive part of the way that we understand the world. It is also the way that political movements are constructed. It is by building a shared political identity that people get bound together in a common struggle for a better life.

Of course, proletarian existence is material, and exists outside of consciousness in the sense that the mechanisms of capital accumulation and exploitation are systematic. However, a class-in-itself is not a class-for-itself, and there is a difference between the proletariat as the subservient tool of capital accumulation, and the proletariat as an agent of its own destiny. It is partially a process of identity construction – of seeing oneself as working class and that this identity means something – that transforms the servant into the rebel.

In this sense, our project needs to be about constructing progressive identities, identities which identify common enemies and political goals that are part of who we are – while at the same time knowing that these identities are self-defeating in the sense that seek their own abolition.

Working class identity is essential for building a common notion of what it means to be working class – and in turn to struggle around common goals. But in turn the working class seeks to abolish itself by destroying the oppression that defines it.

In turn queerness seeks to define itself as the coming together of experiences of marginality in sexuality and gender, while simultaneously rejecting and subverting labels and seeking a world in which oppression and marginality are abolished – along with the hegemony of straightness – this abolishing queerness itself.

The Politics of the Offensive

What politics is the alternative then?

The politics which will win is the politics of the attack. The politics of the offensive. We need a politics which does not ignore specific oppression of gender, sexuality or race, but emphasises these struggles as the common need of a growing coalition of oppressed and marginalised people – united in a struggle against capitalist patriarchy and all the hierarchies it brings with it.

We cannot play a game of “priorities” in which we reject the suffering and needs of marginalised people in order to avoid division. Rather we need to build up and centre the experiences and struggles of the most oppressed, while reaching out and building bridges between all sections of the working class and oppressed people of the world.

Against the far right, against heteropatriarchy, white supremacy and colonialism, and against capital and the state, unity through difference is the only path towards freedom.

The Wilderness Letters #2

Dear B,

The wilderness is a strange place. Firstly it is beautiful out here. I have never breathed this fully, smelt air so clean and wholesome for the soul.

So being out here is certainly good for me. I think its made me more creative, cleared my head. Better than the dingy cells and cramped corridors we are used to!

I have made some friends out here. And of course, I know many people who are still on the inside of masculinity, yourself included! Thats important, and I will get to why in a minute.

Its also scary out here. While it was rough on the inside, its nothing like being out. At least when you stuck to all the rules as best you could you were protected from some of their worst excesses. Out here there is nothing to stop them. The guards from the prison have not left me alone.

This week a lecturer emailed my class asking the men of the class to do one reading and the women to do another! Wild. It was quite an awkward experience, seeing myself as neither, and wanting to live that dream as best as I can.

I informed him of this, and he was really good about it. But for a moment I was reminded of the fact that gender constructs everything. And for most people it is invisible – almost.

Its strange. But this brings me to why it is important we remain in contact. The prison remains. And it is becoming increasingly obvious for me that there can be no freedom while it exists. For those inside, or for those outside. The gender binary is a blight on our entire landscape. Not even the wilderness is safe.

Will write soon.

Love and Rage,

A

The Wilderness

On Sugar Taxes, Paternalism and the Greens

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Richard Di Natale has recently doubled down on his call for implementation of a tax on sugar – particularly products laden with sugar. The idea behind this is relatively simple – that by driving up the price of sugary products, consumers will be encourage to look elsewhere – hopefully aiding the in limitation of what is seen as a public health crisis surrounding sugar consumption and obesity. This call has been met with some anger in progressive circles – and for good reason. A sugar tax is not just bad policy – its bad politics.

The sugar tax is a terrible idea. Lets get that out of the way. Fundamentally, by increasing the cost of sugary products the people most affected will be those who have the least income to dispose of – the poorest Australians. These are segments of the population already suffering under the burden of poverty wages, unemployment and taxes which function in a regressive way – such as the GST and this proposed Sugar tax.

Not only that, but it is an ineffectual policy full stop. The idea that a simple consumption tax is going to undo the complex web of social, cultural and economic threads which underlie the current crises of public health is truly ludicrous – and honestly, the Greens should know better. The sugar tax will in all likelihood have next to no positive impact – especially when measured against even other policies which could be initiated on the state level – such as changes to advertising laws.

However, we should look beyond the limitations of what is a shit policy. The entire logic of this proposal is exactly the sort of thinking the Greens need to shed if they are ever going to become a political formation which can actually transform Australia. It is the logic of paternalism. The idea that poor, working class people need to be corralled and told off for their eating habits, or their drug habits, or their smoking habits is individualistic and ignores the actual problems which produce public health crises. It then presents the state, led by enlightened bureaucrats (like the turtlenecked bureaucratic wannabe Di Natale) as the apparatus through which we can create a better, more enlightened society.

Fundamentally, this is the transformation of middle class lifestyle politics into a proposed state policy – and it has plagued our movements for social change for long enough.

Previously, I have written about how the left – and the far left in particular – needs to reclaim the notion of freedom and liberty from the right and position ourselves as anti-state, anti-bureaucratic and anti-establishment. This is the exact sort of policy which undermines such a project. It positions leftists as enlightened managers of society – not liberators – and it drives ordinary people into the hands of the right, who do not have any real answers.

We are living in a global period where anti-establishment politics is the new normal. The neo-liberal centre is collapsing and it is being replaced by renewed calls for social change. In some places this is represented by a renewed left – often putting forward demands which outstrip those ever offered by social democracy. However in most places, it is the anti-establishment right – nationalistic, xenophobic and fascist – which is seeing vast gains and political power.

It is the law of 21st Century politics that the centre cannot hold – and if the Greens do not want to be swept aside, they should take heed. The age of technical experts, think tanks and enlightened leaders is over. The popular is returning. We need to win that space.

Survival is not enough – Self-Care, Politics and Revolution

Its a theme that I have seen repeated multiple times, in multiple different articles and social media posts. In the face of the hideous reaction elected to power in the United States, many people are giving very moving messages of solidarity and support, and encouraging people to do what they need to do to survive.

These messages are of course good. And it is amazing to see the flurry of solidarity that has emerged in the face of a very noxious form of politics which we have known for all too long has been sitting just below the surface of society.

These calls are situated in a complex web of ideas. Some offer practical advice, including legal support, for those likely to be deported, arrested or hassled by an emboldened racist state that needed no emboldening. Others – and I will deal with these in particular – call on ys to bunker down, to self-care and to look after each other while people wait out the first Trump presidency – “We will be back in four years.”

However, there is one thing that I feel needs to be said. I say this as someone who personally deals with mental health problems and is queer – and an activist. The message I hear repeatedly is that now is the time to try and survive – and that survival itself is a revolutionary act.

While this message is in many ways true – and I don’t necessarily disagree with the sentiment or intention, I feel we need to be really, really clear.

Survival is not enough.

It is not enough to just get by. This will not end our suffering. And we do not have the luxury of waiting.

What do I mean by this? Well, its relatively simple. The idea that all we need to do is simply survive is one which is both defeatist and incorrect. Now more than ever, it is not enough to survive, to be safe – it is desparately necessary to fight back.

This understanding comes from the notion that there is no saviour coming. There is no force which will free us from wretched conditions. Only the oppressed can liberate themselves – and each other – from the bestial system of capitalist patriarchy.

The idea that survival is the most important category of resistance – and as such that self-care is a fundamental form of praxis – arises from a period of monumental defeats of our class. During this period, we lost the notion that it is possible to transform the world through struggle – a politics of attack. Thus notion has been supplanted a politics of retreat, of hiding, or refuge.

This is understandable. But now is the time to attack.

This is not to say that self-care is not important – it is. And building community and supports of social-reproduction are vital parts of our praxis. This is not to call for a return to a more macho style of political posturing.

But it is important to salvage the idea of revolution – the idea that struggle, dangerous amd confrontational, loving and tramsformative – can change everything. In fact it is the only hope for humanity.

Surviving a Trump presidency is not enough. We need revolution in our life times.

Hopefully I will be able to return to this line of thought another time.

Après moi, le déluge: Theses on President Trump

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While it is perhaps boring for someone on the other side of the world to join the endless cavalcade of commentary on the election of Donald Trump – especially the lines of shocked liberals wringing their hands and professing their horror at the result.

That said, I do have some thoughts, in fact many thoughts, and felt that I should at least put some of them down, synthesizing and compiling ideas that I have seen and heard thrown around to make sense of this situation – and what it means for us in Australia as proletarians and communists.

  1. This is a political tragedy.
    Before we discussion anything else, lets all be clear. This is a political tragedy. For the marginalised and oppressed in America, for our queer siblings, for women, this is a massive political defeat of a form of social liberalism which has come to inhabit a central political space in American life – and the moderate gains that had come from it. Life is going to get objectively harder for these groups in the coming period and we need to build communities of resistance more than ever.
    I have a lot of sympathy for the young people, mostly working class, urban and educated, who are distraught at this result.
  2. Trump is Amerikkka.
    However, we cannot join in with the liberal shock and horror at Trump’s victory. The idea that this is somehow “un-American” and a totally shocking turn of events. This is extremely American. This is as American as apple pie. The idea that white supremacy, nativism, xenophobia, patriarchy, heterosexism – that these are somehow new or alien to the body politic is toxic and false. These things have been a part of the American social formation since its inception, and define what it means to be American – just as much as it defines what it means to be Australian or British.
    Importantly, the people who are the victims of this oppression are not accepted as fully “American” and are in fact victims of that social reality we call America.
  3. Liberalism is bankrupt and the centre is dead.
    What we can say is that the election exposed a lot of things. Most importantly, it exposed the utter bankruptcy of the liberal political elite and the ideas they uphold. If one could lay blame for complex social and political processes on groups of individuals it is definitely the DNC that should own this mess. Their outdated strategy which deemed an unelectable right-winger a shoe-in, that smothered the populist left of their party and dashed the hopes of young people and that most importantly alienated and took for granted a segment of the white working class for decades – delivered Trump the election.
    This is their fault.
    More than anything, it is the fault of liberalism for upholding a capitalist economic order which delivers the conditions, the ideas and the power to bring people like Trump and the thugs and bigots he represents into being.
    They have marked themselves as much a part of the establishment as their conservative counterparts.
    However, this is part of a broader story…
  4. Politics as usual is over – if that wasn’t already obvious.
    The politics of last few decades is dead. The idea that a managerial, globalisation oriented, neo-liberal political formation was guaranteed to win elections and that any attempt to achieve any other vision of what democracy could be is destined to fail – proven false.
    Neo-liberalism is dead. Instead, a form of authoritarian nationalism, premised on protectionism, social conservatism and nativism will replace it. This may well confuse some sectors of the left that have premised their existence on being “anti-neoliberal” rather than anti-capitalist. But it is the reality.
    Brexit proved this. Teresa May’s victory speech proves this. Trump proves this.
    Politics as usual is dead, and what has come to replace it is ugly – as well as hopeful.
  5. Class played a massive role – and liberals are to blame.
    We cannot ignore the role of class in this election. The reality is that a section of the white working class – many of them rural, many of them unorganised, many of them in the Rust Belt – turned out to vote for a candidate that promised an end to liberal economic policy. Trump promised economic intervention, direct investment in jobs, ending labour market instability and the return of manufacturing jobs from China. This was music to the ears of a massive sector of the working population who had been abandoned by elites, both of the Republican Party and the Democrats. They saw in Clinton a politics of the status quo – and lacking the fear of Trump’s nativism which filled the hearts of many other sectors of the class, they turned out for him.
    Of course, there will be many who say that there were many members of the middle class and the bourgeoisie that voted for him – its true. That many of this white voters had higher education – no doubt. But no one can deny the realities of this class rebellion – and the fact that liberalism’s failures have led to this point.
  6. We cannot forget the role of white supremacy.
    By the same token, we cannot forget the role of identity politics of the most noxious type in this election. Trump ran on a platform of insurgent white nationalism and nativism. His most loyal supporters were drawn from the ranks of the far-right and neo-Nazis. His demand of building a wall across the Mexican border has become a key aspect of a flourishing reactionary zeitgeist. There is a reality to the claim that the victory Trump may be a last gasp of a specific type of majoritarian white supremacy in Amerikkka. This is an attempt for a population of settlers on stolen land to reclaim what they see as lost privileges in the face of a perceived liberal assault – which is experienced in real terms as a fall in standards of living.
    This insurgent white nationalism is extremely dangerous, especially for the most oppressed and marginalised people in Amerikkkan society.
  7. And now, the reaction.
    Perhaps more terrifying than Trump himself, is the growing forces of reactionaries that supported him. While it is true that not everyone who supported Trump was a card carrying member of the KKK, every member of the KKK supported Trump. For the first time in a long time, there is a President in the White House that speaks directly to these sectors of the population – a sector which is growing and willing to use violence.
    White supremacists are not the only group who will feel empowered. Violent homophobes and transphobes will feel empowered. Violent misogynists will feel empowered. This is not just on the level of organisations, but of individuals who will feel justified and legitimised to act out in increasingly violent ways.
    We need to be clear about this. The far right will already be organising. The same goes for Australia – and other parts of the world. The victory of Trump will be a buoy to reaction internationally and we need to recognise this fact.
  8. Forget their calls for unity.
    The liberal establishment has called for unity. Clinton and Obama have called for calm, and for everyone to rally behind a Trump presidency. Even those who call for rebellion against the new regime have called for a focus on waiting for the next election.
    This is seen by many as total bullshit. They are right.
    There is no such thing as “national unity”. That is a lie, spun out to exclude and marginalise. The only “national unity” is unity between the privileged layers of the oppressed and the system – it means complicity and stagnation. The unity that is needed is a unity of the people. As many radicals have commented, and as the people are already getting down for, the time is now to fight.
  9. The need for revolutionary struggle – obviously.
    We know the drill. Now is the time to organise. To come together. To fight back.
    It seems hollow and empty. It seems like more of a prayer than a plan.
    But it remains true. The level of organisation we are going to need is massive. We are going to need to be willing to fight, to put ourselves on the line for a better world, to put in long and hard hours and face adversity. This is true no matter where we are – this election may be confined to Amerikkka, but capital crosses all borders. Trump is but a symptom of the global crisis of capitalism and the reaction it spawns.
    Now is the time to kill the system. We don’t have a choice.
  10. Every crisis, opportunity.
    The people of Amerikkka are already mobilising. The images from protests and battles in the streets of Oakland and New York are heartening – and a promise of what is to come. While this is a profound tragedy and crisis for our side of politics, we need to be clear that what is on offer is an opportunity – to smash the liberalism and compromise that has held us back, to develop a politics of revolutionary communism, of decolonisation, of women’s and queer liberation, of the overthrow of white supremacy, and to build fighting movements – and mean street fight movements which can defend themselves in a serious way.
    Solidarity is the key. It is the only tool we have at our disposal. Its time to use it.