For almost a week straight, #MAGACommunism has been trending on Twitter. The rank and file British Empire Left has been screeching, fainting and pulling their hair out over it. MAGA Communism isn’t a new idea. But it’s very important. Possibly even the most important idea.
Class Solidarity is More Important than Symbolism
In 1969 Marxist-Leninist Fred Hampton, Chairman of the Black Panther party, was shot at point blank range by the Chicago police at the tender age of 21. This brutal and shameless use of state-sanctioned violence was exercised because what Hampton was doing posed an absolute threat to the ruling class order. He was bringing together people of all races to fight for the economic rights of the working class.
“The Rainbow Coalition was just a code word for class struggle.”Black Panther Bob E. Lee
The Rainbow Coalition brought together black people from the Black Panthers, Puerto Ricans from the Young Lords Organization, and Southern whites from the Young Patriots Organization. These groups were brought together based on a shared interest in ending poverty and improving the human condition for all people, regardless of race. Racism had been invented to keep the working people divided and conquered. This coalition rose above it. The Rainbow Coalition outright rejected liberal race theory by not letting it be a guiding principle.
The Young Patriots used a Confederate Flag to represent their group. Had this happened today, there is no doubt a screeching radlib would have shouted them away, rather than recruiting them to the shared cause. This is because liberalism is about symbolism and empty signifiers. Liberalism is a detachment from real, physical and material reality, into the realm of symbolic. They see symbolism and ideology as the driving force in the world. This is why, in their reaction to MAGA Communism, they say “good luck wearing a hammer and sickle tee shirt in florida” because that is what communism is to them. It’s a set of aesthetics, first and foremost. And their ultimate goal is to win people over to their aesthetic signifiers, rather than seeing aesthetic signifiers as a mechanism to reach people, who you can then recruit to the goal of shared creation of a better, material world for all of humanity.
The name “Rainbow Coalition” would take a much different meaning today because the symbol of the rainbow fully and completely represents the ruling class and imperialism. If you slap a rainbow on something, you are not going to attract anything but clout kulaks and parasitic liberals who want to wheel and deal in the game of identity politics for social capital.
This is why we should recognize the power of the MAGA movement, and the class character of the people it attracts. It has been argued by radlibs that ‘Make America Great Again’ is dog whistling for a return to a more primitive economic mode dependent on chattel slavery. Radlibs insist that America has never been great because this country was founded by white slave-owning men. This is a pessimistic view of the United States of America that helps no one except the oligarchy gunning for collapse and rotting out the country for their own financial gain. In the worlds of Vladimir Lenin in his 1918 Letter To American Workers:
The history of modern, civilised America opened with one of those great, really liberating, really revolutionary wars of which there have been so few compared to the vast number of wars of conquest which, like the present imperialist war, were caused by squabbles among kings, landowners or capitalists over the division of usurped lands or ill-gotten gains. That was the war the American people waged against the British robbers who oppressed America and held her in colonial slavery, in the same way as these “civilised” bloodsuckers are still oppressing and holding in colonial slavery hundreds of millions of people in India, Egypt, and all parts of the world.
The American people have a revolutionary tradition which has been adopted by the best representatives of the American proletariat, who have repeatedly expressed their complete solidarity with us Bolsheviks. That tradition is the war of liberation against the British in the eighteenth century and the Civil War in the nineteenth century. In some respects, if we only take into consideration the “destruction” of some branches of industry and of the national economy, America in 1870 was behind 1860. But what a pedant, what an idiot would anyone be to deny on these grounds the immense, world-historic, progressive and revolutionary significance of the American Civil War of 1863-65!
When we say make America great again, this is what we mean. MAGA Communism stands for growth of industry, national sovereignty, a return to what Lincoln stated in his Gettysburg Address, inspired by our nation’s founding fathers: a government of, by and for the people, that shall not perish from the earth! This is the continuation of the multi-racial working class movement. We are carrying the torch of our republic’s founding. And none of that contradicts with the majority of the MAGA movement that has coalesced behind the image of President Trump.
Symbolism is a means to an end, not an end in of itself
Trump, the man, without a doubt has flaws, but we need to take a closer look at Trump as a meme. A major distinction between Trump and any other US leader in recent decades has been his cooperation and respect for countries leading the world in humanitarian and socialist causes.
Symbolism is a means to an end, not an end in of itself; and that is what separates historical materialism from liberalism. Marxism was created as an analytical science to understand the world in motion. This is the dialectic, the dialogue of difference forces, synthesized into reality. In order to seize the historical moment we occupy, we must understand how this process worked both throughout history and how it is working right now. The entire history of humanity has been a struggle between the population–the people, and a well-positioned minority who exploit the fruits of humanity for personal gain: the ruling class. We have progressed to a point in technology and interconnectedness that we can view the entire world population as a whole. And the vast majority of humanity wants to cooperate and grow. It is only the ruling class that is opposed to this. The ruling class has disseminated this ideology down through its ranks, and it is very rare to have a political leader that challenges this notion, and who valiantly stands up for the interests of the population. I would argue that Donald Trump does not necessarily do this. He is smart, and knows how to exploit attention. He knows what to say to tap into populist sentiment. He saw a blue ocean, and tapped into it. Which is why MAGA Communism isn’t about Trump, it’s about the people who want to rally behind Trump. It’s an expression of the inherent populist sentiment of the American proletariat. Trump may have leveraged this sentiment to create a powerful meme, but we would be idiotic to cede this intellectual property, this territory because Trump the man is impure.
I have argued that landback is intellectual property of the ruling class. Landback is not intellectual property worth seizing, because it is inherently racially divisive. Whereas MAGA is not. Radlibs argue this in reverse because they view history as static, rather than a dialogue or dialectic. America means one thing to them. America is a “white settler colonial state.” They do not see the project of the American nation as anything other than a vehicle for racialized economic exploitation. This view is both deeply pessimistic and completely ignores the sentiments on which this country was founded. The United States of America was founded on fighting British imperialism. And that is fucking based.
There is no drive to keep this optimistic fight against global imperialism within the left. The only thing to be found in the rotting carcass of the American left is pessimism, degrowth and decay. The American left is the British empire made manifest. The only positive energy to be found in this country lives within the MAGA movement. And those who consider themselves communists, who supposedly put the class struggle above all else, would be total fools to ignore it.