Facebook Instagram Twitter YouTube

Trump: A Weak Bonapartist Government

The Trotskyist Fraction explains a key definition of Trump’s government as a form of weak bonapartist.

Facebook Twitter Share

Given the unexpected victory of Donald Trump, the Trotskyist Fraction organized an emergency conference in Buenos Aires, Argentina in March of 2017, to discuss new definitions about the shifting international situation. Representatives from Argentina, France, Chile, Brazil, México, United States, Spanish State, Germany, Bolivia, Venezuela and Uruguay attended. The conference began by discussing Trump’s victory and its global implications. Afterwards, representatives discussed the specific political situation in each country and the challenges ahead for each group.

At this meeting we reaffirmed the strategic basis for the Manifesto for a Movement for an International of Socialist Revolution (Fourth International), which we published in 2013. You can read it here.

The following text summarizes some of the primary definitions and resolutions voted at the meeting of the Trotskyist Fraction. It is the second of several parts.

The first few months of Trump’s presidency have been marked by divisions and rivalries within the state apparatus. These divisions are largely the result of the United States’ economic decline, which made a forward leap with the catastrophes in Iraq and Afghanistan, and the disputes regarding US foreign policy following the failure of the “reformist” reestablishment of imperialist leadership attempted under the Obama administration.

Furthermore, the presidential elections reflected the debate among the bourgeoisie on how to address the decline of the neoliberal cycle expressed by the 2008 crisis. Hillary Clinton was the candidate of the large corporations and banks, while Trump’s core base was composed of small, non-globalized capitalists. However, the establishment is adopting a pragmatic approach towards the new government, supporting the policies that could benefit it while staunchly opposing those that affect their interests. This has resulted in a scenario of unstable alliances and complex alignments of large monopolies that could simultaneously form part of different groups.

In this situation, Trump has emerged as the leader of an administration with profound Bonapartist characteristics. In a context of increasing divisions among capitalists, he intends to mediate between the different sectors of the bourgeoisie and, to this end, has sought the support of a part of the bureaucratic military apparatus. During his election campaign, he relied on the public support of 88 former generals and admirals. Once elected, he formed a cabinet composed of big business leaders and retired servicemen. The expansion of the military budget and increased powers granted to the Pentagon are other measures implemented in support of this policy.

This does not mean that Trump has uniform support among the army ranks, but his policy towards the military confirms his Bonapartist characteristics. However, as we have seen in the months since his inauguration, it is a weak, unconsolidated Bonapartism primarily characterized by the political crisis and disputes among the different sectors of the government coalition, and between the executive and other state branches. Another of Trump’s weaknesses is that he has not yet managed to turn his electorate into a solid social base of support and it is unclear if he will be able to do so.

Contrary to the views of certain analysts and even some governments like that of Nicolas Maduro, Trump’s policy is not isolationist. Overall, the economic nationalism supported by Trump implies a more aggressive imperialist policy abroad, guided by militarist unilateralism, and a more reactionary domestic policy, which has taken shape in his anti-immigrant, anti-union and generally anti-democratic measures.

Facebook Twitter Share

Trotskyist Fraction – Fourth International

The Fracción Trotskista—Cuarta Internacional (FT-CI) / Trotskyist Fraction—Fourth International (TF-FI) is an international tendency of revolutionary organizations.

United States

Ahmaud Arbery’s Killers Are Found Guilty. What Does This Mean for the Movement?

Ahmaud Arbery’s killers have been found guilty. The guilty verdict in the Ahmaud Arbery murder trial is welcome news, but we should be tired of the see-saw of injustice, and fight to abolish the racist, capitalist system as a whole.

Tristan Taylor

November 25, 2021

Ahmaud Arbery’s Killers Convicted Despite the Legal System, Not Because of It

Ahmaud Arbery’s killers were found guilty by a jury today. A few days ago a jury also let murderer Kyle Rittenhouse walk free. This system is not for us and never will be. The working class and the oppressed must unite to fight against the capitalist system that is built on racism.

Adnan Ahmed

November 24, 2021

Justice for Antonio Armstrong!

The cops say Antonio Armstrong's death was a suicide. Family and community members don't believe it.

Gigi Schweitzer

November 23, 2021

Let This Radicalize You

The Rittenhouse Verdict was outrageous, but we can’t allow ourselves to fall into despair. We need to take radical conclusions from what happened.

Tatiana Cozzarelli

November 21, 2021

MOST RECENT

Joe Biden in the foreground in black and white, red and blue arrows in the background

The Democratic Party and Capitalism’s Economic Contradictions

The Democratic Party is promising that its spending packages will rejuvenate the economy. And that has helped the party bewitch the Left and dampen mass struggle in the United States. But the economic situation today — riven by fundamental, explosive contradictions — shows that those promises are built on sand, and that we need to reject the Democrats and organize for an independent, revolutionary struggle.

Jason Koslowski

November 27, 2021
A burning building in Minnesota at night. A protester walks by with a flag.

Our Revolutionary Movement in the Twilight of Empire

The uncontested hegemony of U.S. imperialism on the world stage is slowly faltering. The United States needs a coherent revolutionary organization today — united around common answers to the most fundamental questions of the period.

Coco Smyth

November 27, 2021

Germany’s New Government Promises Renewed Attacks on Pensions and Working Hours

Two months after the federal elections, the SPD, the Greens, and the FDP have agreed to form a new government. It promises some reforms, but also new neoliberal measures and increased militarism.

Von Marco Helmbrecht

November 26, 2021
Polynesian president Édouard Fritch at a press conference on November 24

Government Inflexibility Provokes General Strike in French Polynesia

For more than a week, especially in the Caribbean, France’s “overseas territories” have seen a wave of mobilizations against the government. On Wednesday, it spread to French Polynesia, in the Pacific.

Antoine Bordas

November 26, 2021