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On 2017-08-08 18:49, Louis Proyect via Marxism wrote:

No, there will be no dictatorship in the USA--not as long as bourgeois
democracy can ensure Nissan workers voting against their own class
interests. Why would the American ruling class sanction a risky and
unnecessary fascist state when the electoral machine keeps everybody
under its thumb so well? With the largest socialist group in the USA
determined to support Democratic candidates, why rock the boat?

All you have just proved is that you would be a valuable and clear-thinking analyst for the ruling class; fortunately you are on the right side though! I agree, indeed most of the ruling class in the US and similar countries agrees, that bourgeois democracy is a better way for them to maintain their power and profits. If you then conclude that therefore we will probably not see a fascist take-over, then I also agree.

But that rests on the use of the word "probably." Just like I said: you *probably* won't get killed crossing the street blindfolded. That doesn't mean there isn't a great danger, just that that danger is less than jumping off a cliff.

And further, there can be a rather tenuous connection with reality whenever we talk about the "ruling class thinks" this or that. First, you can't assume that the ruling class knows exactly what's in its best interests. If they did, then they would all be of the same opinion, which is obviously not the case. They argue like hell among themselves, just as do we.

But beyond that, there is no absolute law that guarantees the views of the majority of the ruling class will prevail. The only way they could do that is by having elections in which only they are allowed to vote. Instead, they erect a great charade in which their interests will be conveyed through their ideological influences (and buying TV ad time, etc. etc.) in an approximate scheme that gets their predominant views chosen by the voters. It more or less works, but delivers results in which their original intention is only achieved in a very approximate fashion.

For instance, I'm not sure that the majority of the German or Italian ruling classes were clamoring for fascism before those dictators came to power. Or closer to the present, I'm pretty sure the bulk of the US ruling class -- in October -- would have preferred Clinton over Trump. But after he was elected nonetheless, then almost all of the Republicans in congress were willing to work with him, just as most of the German ruling class was fine with Hitler once he took power.

Just talking about what the ruling class wants is what the ruling class gets (until the revolution) is a fatalistic interpretation of history that would disarm our side. It isn't the way any of us think in practice. There is a great deal of uncertainty in many outcomes, and if there is a threat of a fascist take-over, even a small threat, of course we take that seriously and we take action.

Forget about elections for parties and candidates for a moment. If there were a referendum held on whether the US should become fascist, then everyone calling themselves a leftist (with a few sad exceptions) would be campaigning for a "No" vote, not abstention. I saw Trump's election campaign as tantamount to such a referendum.

- Jeff

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