Donald Trump a fascist in the making
Donald Trump’s time in office has been one of unexpected and, as he would say, “unpresidented” actions. His blatant disregard for checks and balances, ruthless attacking of those who defy him and major backing of monetary interest leads many to ask the question: is Donald Trump a fascist?
The accusation is generally thrown around loosely, the most ironic examples being anti-fascist groups. I wish to investigate the question seriously to ascertain methods of dealing with Trump and the future of the people versus the Donald.
Fascism has many definitions, the most prominent one being “extreme nationalism” among other characteristics. However, nationalism takes many forms and is unsuitable for a concrete political definition.
For example, in the case of Hawaii’s military occupation by the U.S. in the late 19th century, would Hawaii nationalism against U.S. conquest be bad? Wouldn’t African countries displaying unity against slave trade via a nationalist united front be a progressive and liberating force? In both cases, absolutely. Therefore, “nationalism” is too broad a word to pin on a definite and concise political form such as fascism. We need a different, more concrete definition.
For the sake of this article, I’ll be using a definition coined by the Soviet Union during the height of Hitler and Mussolini’s fascist governments: “Fascism is the open terrorist dictatorship of the most reactionary, most chauvinistic, most imperialist elements of finance capital.” This definition is more easily traceable to material reality.
A key aspect of this definition is the “open terrorist dictatorship.” It’s important to note that “dictatorship” here does not mean a single tyrannical ruler, but the dominance asserted by a dominant class. In the case of capitalism, the ruling class is the capitalist class, and its rule over the working class is the dictatorship of the capitalist class. Thus, the “open dictatorship” is but the casting away of the limited power of the non-capitalists, i.e., the masses of people.
Trump has not only threatened to bring the three federal appeals court judges who declined to reinstate his travel ban (by Twitter, of course) but has fired the acting Attorney General who refused to defend the ban. This complete disregard for checks and balances has proven Trump to be totally against any defiance of his political power. An adviser to Trump has even gone so far as to say, “Our opponents, the media and the whole world will soon see as we begin to take further actions, that the powers of the president to protect our country are very substantial and will not be questioned.”
Further, Trump has called for arresting all protesters who disrupt his rallies, demonstrating his disdain for dissent. All of this, coupled with Trump’s call for a “law and order” government promises a more militarized police to fight violence “against law enforcement” — Trump, of course, makes no mention of hundreds more who’ve been killed by police. Finally, and arguably most importantly, is the placing of Steve Bannon, known white supremacist, in the National Security Council (done by executive order); we arguably have an explicit fascist at the head of our military.
The characteristics of this dictatorship were the “most reactionary, most chauvinistic, most imperialist elements of finance capital.” “Reactionary’s” definition is clear: the complete refusal of social progress and a wish to maintain the status quo or return to an older one; “make American great again” captures this idea perfectly. Trump often references the “good old days” in his speeches, funnily enough especially when referring to protesters and their being violently removed from political events, (specifically by “law enforcement”). Trump’s entire appeal is the most reactionary elements of the United States, and this is embodied perfectly in his xenophobic rhetoric against immigration, appealing to all of your aunts and uncles.
Chauvinism is Trump’s specialty. We all know he builds “the best” walls, draws “the best crowds,” and has, and I quote, “the highest IQ.” The president of the U.S. has bragged about sexually harassing women. Need I continue? Chauvinism also embodies the idea of American exceptionalism, in which the U.S. places itself, for some unknown reason, at the top of civilization. Any attempts to bring down the U.S. from this supremacy is usually deemed “white genocide,” a favorite aphorism amongst Trump’s voter base in the alt-right and its doppelgänger, the Klu Klux Klan.
Imperialism is America’s pastime. The U.S. has decimated the Middle East for decades and Trump has already picked up where Obama left off. Imperialism necessarily expands under an ever-expanding market and need for raw materials, so imperialism will perpetually continue under a dictatorship of the capitalist class.
Trump’s stock in the Dakota Access Pipeline and business deals with countries excluded from the ban (along with his claim that “a president can’t have a conflict of interest”) shows exactly where his loyalty lies: with the capitalists. Couple this with his lethal attack on the freedom of the masses, and we’ve got an antagonistic contradiction that needs resolving.
Trump’s sharp move right from the recent history of U.S. presidents proves a troubling future. Trump is, at the very least, a fascist in the making. The masses of the U.S. should prepare for the worst and continue struggling via direct action against Trump and his policies. Above all, we must keep in mind that when an entity is dying, it is most violent. The move toward fascism merely proves the degeneration and decay of the ruling class in a last-ditch effort to save itself. We must remember that the masses themselves have the power to change the world, as it historically has always done. Trump may be vicious, but it is purely out of weakness.