Some of us have been predicting the collapse of capitalism for 170 years. One day we’ll be right. Today? In a way, the situation transcends politics. Trump and McConnell are adopting socialist policies because there is really no alternative to the collapse of capitalism.
One could argue that capitalism collapsed in 1929. The only way socialism was prevented from sweeping Europe and the U. S. was by the unleashing of the vicious fascism of Hitler, Mussolini, and Tojo, precipitating World War II, which in the U. S. and elsewhere established the military “socialism” that remains in effect today. The war also decimated the infrastructure of Europe, Japan, and the USSR, setting the stage for the post war capitalist boom.
If the pandemic had broken out a few months earlier, Bernie Sanders would be in an entirely different position today. As it is, he has brilliantly pivoted from his “losing” presidential campaign to leading the fight against the pandemic. If Biden doesn’t adopt most of Bernie’s policies, it wouldn’t surprise me if Trump adopted them. “National Socialism” – does that ring a bell?
The key variable in the inevitable transition to socialism is working class power. Bernie’s movement, in addition to running progressives in all the down-ballot races, from Senate to school board, needs to focus on revitalizing the labor movement.
If the collapse is as protracted as now seems likely, we need to be especially vigilant that another world war doesn’t become the way to save the system. Trump and other are already blaming China for the pandemic. Given the unprecedented level of corporate debt and the staggering amount of debt the U. S. system owes to China, such a war is a real possibility. Why else does the U. S. continue to spend more money one its military than all other countries combined?