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23/10/2020
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Wall Street throws its weight behind Biden to achieve a clear victory

Will they be able to avoid a profound political crisis?

Versión en español

Donald Trump’s catching coronavirus in the midst of his campaign did not serve, as some speculated, as a relaunch of his campiagn nor a reconsideration of his minimization of the impact of Covid-19’. Rather, it was the confirmation of the criminal policy that has allowed contagions to run until reaching 210 thousand deaths, 7 and a half million infections and could lead, according to projections, to another 200 thousand deaths.

Anthony Fauci, the highest authority on contagious diseases of the american State, confirmed that there was an activity in the White House that served as a “super spreader event”, with people without masks and without social distancing.

The social and economic swamp

The economic recovery, which some cited as a saving grace for Trump, has shown its superficial character. Real unemployment, adding those who are said to have “left the labor market” is at least 9.6%, which, although it fell from 14.7% of April, is much less than the announced unemployment reduction by half (Financial Times, 8/10). New requests for unemployment benefits rose again last week, reaching 898,000 cases, the largest number since August (Washington Post, 10/15).

The data on the increase of retail sales that continue to grow in relation to the first impact of the pandemic are related to the subsidy packages, which are already ending, and a widespread phenomenon of using savings to make regular purchases, which logically will not hold much longer either (FT, 10/17). Meanwhile, one in three families in the US cannot safely cover the food needs of their children (npr, 7/29).

The description of the economic recovery as a “K-shaped” curve (even Biden said it in the presidential debate) has become popular, which means that the bourgeoisie is making record profits, while the workers remain absolutely mired in misery. The average between them makes up a statistic that does not reflect any common social reality.

The approval of a new fiscal subsidy package to contain the impact of the social crisis is completely stuck by the growing political crisis. Jay Powell, president of the Federal Reserve, has been demanding that a new package of capital subsidies be directed, arguing that the economic damage of the recession is far from having reached a limit. Trump himself has reiterated that a meaningful package must be passed. Democrats approved a $ 2.2 trillion package in the house of representatives, which the Republican caucus that dominates the Senate has refused to approve, demanding that the fiscal spending that this would imply should be reduced.

Another serious scandal was the attempted kidnapping of Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitner by trumpist militias, with several members arrested by the FBI. The state prosecutor investigating the case remarked that the President has been supporting these groups and their anti-lockdown actions, and even quoting their tweets as calls to action.

The anti-lockdown actions of these militias were financed from the beginning by sectors of the big bourgeoisie, interested in breaking the workers resistance to maintain the rhythm of factory work during the pandemic, without claiming for sanitary conditions. Democratic governors have been targeted by these militias in other states as well. But they have decided not to request any investigation into the obvious ties between the militias and the Trump administration, which could not fail to expose a large part of the bourgeoisie, the security forces and the officials themselves, including Republicans, with whose support they want to rule.

Record participation

Republicans have had a months-long campaign to try to limit voter turnout, understanding that that would improve Trump’s chances. Yet more than 17 million Americans have already cast their vote. They are approximately 10 times more people than at this point in 2016. The Elections Project monitored by the University of Florida, estimated that this trend would be anticipating a turnout of about 150 million voters, 65% of the North American electorate, the highest since 1908. (Clarín, 10/16)

In Florida, on Monday the 19th the possibility of voting in person in advance was opened, and participation records were also broken with 350,000 votes cast in one day (Politico, 10/19).

Polls give Biden between 9 and 10 points higher in the popular vote. If this is confirmed in the election, the “blue wave” would occur, with which the Democrats could regain the Senate along with the presidency. The truth is that the presidential office will be defined in a series of disputed states that will define the outcome of the electoral college.

In states that are at the center of the electoral dispute for the presidency such as Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, legal litigation already exists over the Republicans’ claim to limit voting both in the time limits to send votes, and in the amount that can be cast by that means (FT, 10/14).

Wall Street joins the fray

The final section of the campaign has made it possible to size the turnaround of big capital, concentrated in the corporations that are measured on Wall Street by Biden’s campaign car. More than 3,500 companies have launched a string of legal filings against the White House over the impact of the tariffs imposed on China. This includes heavyweights like Coca-Cola and Disney, Ford, which was part of the tug-of-war against “essential” work played in the auto industry, and even Elon Musk’s Tesla corporation, which has directed praise and support for Trump until a few weeks ago (Clarín 10/9).

50 large companies, which include the technological firms Linkedin and Yahoo, issued a statement asking that all votes be counted and that the media avoid naming a winner with the preliminary results, to prevent a resurgence of political (and physical) clashes around the elections. As a warning to Trumpism, which is the one who threatens not to recognize the vote and even not give up the command.

A fund that manages donations from the tech billionaires that dominate the Silicon Valley, including Facebook co-founder Dustin Moskovitz, has placed more than $ 100 million in television commercials for Biden in the last month of the campaign (Vox 10/20)

That doesn’t mean that there are no capitalists with Trump. Agricultural producers, beneficiaries of protection and systematic subsidies, seem to massively support him. The yacht marches in Florida in his support, which have been followed by the international media, are organized by a gathering of capitalist adventurers. But the representation of concentrated capital, the Wall Street stock market, have made their move clearly. Trump’s methods were tolerated when they meant dividing the rescue package among themselves and keeping the economy running despite the deaths. But they are not willing to let him play civil war to defend his personal power, at the cost of social upheavals that can be awfully expensive for them.

The genie does not go back into the bottle

Can such a deployment of capitalist resources prevent the deepening of the political crisis? Only those who pretend to ignore the seriousness of the systemic crisis, that have generated the enormous social and political polarization can think that. It is the crisis that has generated the trend towards trade war and protectionist and authoritarian political regimes, not the other way around.

A comfortable victory for Biden, which is not guaranteed, will not reverse the ongoing social breakdown. Trump has so far failed to mount the Bonapartist regime, but the legacy left by the magnate will not go unnoticed in the period that opens. If he leaves the government, he would at least initially leave an ultra-conservative majority on the Supreme Court of 6 to 3, with the addition scheduled for the next few days of religious fanatic Amy Coney Barret. Right-wing and fascist militias, although small, have gone out to dispute the streets with unprecedented aggressiveness, trying to exploit the support of the White House. With or without Trump, we are clearly facing a political phenomenon that is not going to fade solely because of an adverse electoral result. Even less when the depository of the Trumpist defeat is an element of the establishment, like Biden.

The possibilities of profound political crises are numerous. For starters, a close election will lead to a judicialization that tries to place the Supreme Court as the final arbitrator. The very development of this entire crisis has revealed the distorted nature of representation in the Senate and the electoral college, which gives a very amplified weight to the rural and white population, which massively supports Trump and the conservative proposals. It is a reactionary system of guarantees of North American bourgeois democracy. In this sense, different elements of the Democratic Party have proposed that the election for President be established by direct vote, as well as the formation of new States such as Washington DC, Puerto Rico or the Virgin Islands. Another reform proposal that has been resonating is to suppress filibustering, which enables the possibility of discussions without a time limit, making in fact a minority in the Senate to impose the need to obtain a special two-thirds majority for any law to which it opposes.

Many Democrats raise the need to expand the Supreme Court judges through a law to leave the conservative bloc in a minority. The Conservative Court is itself a guaranteed source of clashes. The agenda brought by the ultra-reactionary Barret includes the annulment of the right to legal abortion, gay marriage and, in general, a reinforcement of the religious and family social control against women and diversities. This was understood by the more than 100,000 people who participated in some 430 mobilizations throughout the country, rejecting advances in the judicial takeover of Trump. The women’s movement continues to be an active component in the process of radicalization and struggle.

Trump does not renounce making the elections themselves a terrain of political and physical confrontation to impose his Bonapartist approach. The President’s sons coordinate the constellation of militiamen, KKK, neo-Nazis and religious fundamentalists in an “Army for Trump” that tries to control the election and deter the presence of voters. Faced with the rottenness of capitalist society that the crisis shows, the fascistic right shows a disruptive and supposedly “anti-system” profile, although, behind racism and conspiracy theories, there is an underlying defense of capital.

The tasks of the left

The “anti-system” right cannot be confronted with a left that is integrated into the regime and its parties. The need to work for an independent party of the working class, bringing together the nuclei that speak out in this sense, is an urgency in the face of the widespread tendency to co-opt the left and the struggle movements to the state, starting with Black Lives Matter. This, as it is openly discussed even in sectors of the Socialist Democrats who increasingly refuse to vote for Biden as indicated by his leadership, implies starting immediately by promoting the vote in favor of some of the left and independent candidates of the Democrats for president, and in the local positions in which they have managed to appear.

The United Front of the workers’ organizations and the exploited is a necessity to face state and parastatal repression. The recovery of the unions to fight is another vital need. AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka says the central must be on “alert and mobilization” in case of an attempt by Trump to ignore defeat. The union council of Rochester, New York, asked the central to prepare a general strike if necessary, for that purpose (Jacobin, 10/15). It is crucial to bring the proposal of the United Front in defense of all the demands of the working class to the unions, as well as to organize self-defense against parastatal clash groups.

If Trump has the opportunity to deploy a coup plan, it can only be stopped by a mass movement beginning with large concentrations of the working class. For big capital and the Democratic Party, a fascistic dictatorship is a lesser evil in the face of the perspective of an awakening of the American working class.

 

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