Paul Street’s definition of Trumpenleft is sadly becoming incredibly relevant and is becoming central to the right’s fake populism. Bulent Somay deconstructs populism in a recent interview with Douglas Lain. Somay rightly noted that populism, as it is described, is not for the people because populism claims to be for all people. For Somay this is false because by claiming all people have the same interest it erases class difference amongst the people.
Therefore the so-called populists are erasing the elimination of hierarchy by claiming we are all already equal. Such is the mentality of American institutions today which have systematically been taken over by the right. The fact that people advocate for equity rather than equality goes to show how far we’ve fallen. The Democrats remain willfully asleep at the wheel while Republicans obstruct democracy at every turn and as a result we are in the midst of a fifty-year counterrevolution according to Pascal Robert.
The MAGA judge in the Rittenhouse case is one of many examples and we have to recognize the system is rigged and not worth saving. The judge said the victims of Rittenhouse couldn’t be called victims but only rioters or looters. In the postmodern world of Trumpism, a member of the jury is eliminated for expressing racial equality by saying “Black Lives Matter” while a white supremacist is allowed who says “All Lives Matter” because this is viewed as a racially neutral statement. I don’t care for Orwell’s anti-communism but this is the definition of Orwellian doublespeak. A similar standard is applied to teaching “both sides” of the Holocaust in schools. Indeed Donald Trump normalized the “good people on both sides” narrative.
What to make of the Trumpenleft argument that the Rittenhouse verdict is a victory for the “people” as such. What was Kyle Rittenhouse doing exactly? He was defending white supremacy. But what specific dimension of it, in his words? Private property. He brought an assault rifle to murder people in order to defend private property.
For the Trumpenleft the bourgeois private property of alienated whites matters more than the lives of people of color. This of course was not even what Rittenhouse was doing. His passion for capitalism was surely only a subconscious factor in his primarily white supremacist motives.
If the thesis of the Trumpenleft was to replace capitalism I could understand why they dismiss all other concerns but they fail to understand how people express their allegiance to capitalism and miss that often the motives of fascists are so reactionary that they cannot even be directed tied to capitalism as such. That being said the Trumpenleft gave up on socialism a long time ago because it doesn’t pay.
The right’s claim to revolution through gun rights has never been about taking on the state. They instead have infiltrated it while decrying it for providing for others. They recognize that by having a monopoly on the violence they can create a welfare state for themselves facilitated by the market while claiming any help for the poor to be an overreach of government. Where has the revolutionary right been for the Native Americans gunned down for protesting a pipeline through their land? They were busy defending the state for siding with the rich.
The counterrevolution is on and despite the fanatical fear tactics, it has been a long disciplined campaign to seize the state. The only choice is between left-wing revolution and right-wing counterrevolution. The nature of the right is to consolidate power and as capitalism reaches this late stage of accumulation it makes a splendid bedfellow with fascism.
The Trumpenleft will continue to peddle conspiracy about a liberal takeover of the state when they know the opposite is true. As capitalism becomes profitable for fewer and fewer the right will more desperately cling to violence as a means of controlling the masses who continue to become more and more left-wing as contradictions in capitalism become more and more obvious.
Right-wing extremism will become institutionalized while the people will increasingly openly embrace moderation through a dedication to far-left Marxist ideas. Marxism is naturally moderate because it is scientific and historical and not reactionary.
The right has seized almost complete institutional control but to borrow from Bernie Sanders, it has completely lost the ideological battle. Such a gaping chasm between desire and reality lends itself well to the inevitable implementation of socialism. The question is not if, but when. The open question is whether the revolution to stop the counterrevolution will be too late. For many it already is.