Staring into the Abyss of Fascism…
What Are You Going to Do If Trump Fires Mueller?

April 16, 2018 | Revolution Newspaper |


In the past week, an investigation by Robert Mueller, the special counsel charged with examining Trump’s campaign’s ties with Russian agents, has been lurching closer to Trump. Trump has lashed out in response. He has made repeated threats to fire Mueller and Rod Rosenstein, the Department of Justice official who appointed him.

A Fork in the Road

The fascist Trump/Pence regime is confronted with immense and intense challenges, globally and domestically. Conflict over the Mueller investigation is sharpening at the same time as the regime has launched attacks on Syria. In early April it began “war games” in South Korea. Trump has assembled a “war cabinet” around him, adding longtime fascist warmonger John Bolton, Christian fascist Mike Pompeo, and torturer Gina Haspel to his inner circle. As Andy Zee said at the launch for Refuse Fascism’s new Call to Action, “We are approaching a fork in the road.”

People must recognize Trump’s attacks and threats on the Mueller investigation for what they are—a big step towards the consolidation of fascism. As Revolution/revcom has written, “Fascism is the exercise of blatant dictatorship by the bourgeois (capitalist-imperialist) class, ruling through reliance on open terror and violence, trampling on what are supposed to be civil and legal rights, wielding the power of the state, and mobilizing organized groups of fanatical thugs, to commit atrocities against masses of people, particularly groups of people identified as ‘enemies,’ ‘undesirables,’ or ‘dangers to society.’”

Trump’s attacks on Mueller are aimed at establishing his ability and that of his regime to shred and disregard the law. They are aimed at sweeping aside and crushing opposition, even when it comes from within the ruling class.

To consolidate fascism, the Trump/Pence regime must attack and shatter the norms, laws, and institutions that cohere bourgeois democracy in the U.S. Even in “normal times,” while the masses of people have some democratic rights, this takes place in the context of an overall class dictatorship of the capitalist-imperialists, in which the terms are set by the imperialists and backed up by the state’s monopoly on the use of force. It is not a matter of indifference—indeed, it is a matter of grave consequence—if a fascist form of rule is consolidated. It will wreak an even greater degree of suffering on the masses and make the fight for any kind of better future much much more difficult.

The need to shatter those norms is a central reason Trump keeps assailing the press, and appointing Christian fascists to the federal judiciary. He also continues to attack and degrade sections of the ruling class who oppose his program and his efforts to establish unhindered authority of the executive (presidency). His attacks on the Mueller investigation are an attempt to shatter the constitutional “separation of powers” that has been a core principle of this country since its founding.

Bob Avakian, in his article “The Fascists and the Destruction of the ‘Weimar Republic’... and What Will Replace It,” made this important and highly relevant observation about fascism and its attempts to consolidate power:

Besides attacking people who are genuinely opposed not only to this fascism but to the capitalist-imperialist system as a whole, one of the main lines of their assault is (to use a very relevant analogy) viciously going after the Weimar Republic (the bourgeois-democratic republic in Germany after World War 1, which was replaced and forcibly abolished when Hitler and the Nazis came to power in the 1930s)....

Going after the equivalent of the Weimar Republic in the U.S. today, the Democratic Party and the “Liberals” and so on—attacking them as nothing less than traitors―is part of an overall program aimed at silencing and outright suppressing, including through the force of the state, any group or section of society, even within the ruling class, that would pose an obstacle to the implementation of the program that the Christian Fascists, and forces in the same general camp with them, are very seriously seeking to impose on the U.S. (and indeed throughout the world). There is, and for some time there has been, a very definite, conscious and concerted effort by the forces in that general fascist camp to systematically attack not just communists, or anarchists and other radicals, but liberals, mainstream ruling class liberal politicians—attacking them as having been nothing less than traitors, from the time of the cold war to the “war on terror.” [bolded emphasis in original, italicized emphasis ours]

Trump is not just demolishing these norms; he is moving to establish fascist norms in their place. If he moves to fire Mueller, people must get in the streets and stay in the streets in protest. It will not be enough to vent our anger and opposition once, and go home. The fascist regime would absorb the protest, and move on to carry out further suppression of opposition—within the ruling class, and broadly in society.

This is a challenge the people must rise to, and meet. An attempt by Trump to shut down or cripple the Mueller investigation must become a moment when masses of people express—in the streets—a determination to not go any further down the road to fascism. We must protest, and persevere in sustaining that protest as our numbers and determination grow.

Acting in the Interests of Humanity

Different forces in the ruling class are clashing sharply over how to proceed in this situation. Democratic senator Chuck Schumer, addressing Trump, said, “For the sake of our country, we plead with you. Don’t put this country through a constitutional crisis, whether by firing Mueller, Rosenstein or otherwise impeding this investigation from going forward. The rule of law is paramount in this country. No man—not even the president—is above it.” Some leading Republicans have also warned against Trump’s threats to shut down Mueller’s investigation. Senator Lindsey Graham, usually a Trump ally, said that if Trump moved to fire Mueller, “that would be the beginning of the end of his presidency.”

Meanwhile, Steve Bannon, back from rallying white supremacists in Europe, has been huddling with other fascists, including congressional representatives and White House staff. They are reported to be hatching a plan to protect Trump and put an end to the Mueller investigation by firing Rosenstein and stopping Trump’s “cooperation” with Mueller.

Pleading with fascists, as Schumer argues for, will not help. In fact, it can only do great harm, by raising illusions that the Democratic Party can somehow be relied on to stop fascist consolidation, and by demobilizing people from the struggle that must be waged to prevent fascism from consolidating its grip on power. But millions of people acting on this crisis in the interests of humanity, not “our country,” as Schumer puts it, is in fact the only way many, many people who look to Schumer and other Democrats for leadership can become part of an effort that actually derails the fascist juggernaut. And that is what humanity, and the planet, urgently need.

Revolution will continue to analyze this rapidly developing and highly volatile situation.

Points of Orientation

  • Any move by the Trump/Pence regime to shut down or suppress the Mueller investigation would represent further demolition of the bourgeois-democratic norms that have cohered the U.S., and their replacement with openly fascist norms. It would mean a big leap in the centralization of executive power by the fascist Trump/Pence regime. It would deliberately break with established procedures for how the ruling class confronts and deals with disputes in its own ranks, and keeps the power of the president under some constraint by other bourgeois forces and institutions. It would mean the Trump/Pence fascist regime is further knocking down obstacles to its program from within the imperialist power structure, and setting an example for others who would dare oppose it.
  • This conflict could trigger a constitutional crisis within the system. A constitutional crisis in this case means that the opposed forces cannot work out their deep differences within the established norms, procedures, and institutions of U.S. society. The Democratic Party is a ruling party of the imperialist system whose leadership disagrees with Trump on how to serve that system best. They can not be relied on to stand up to Trump’s moves towards fascism. A massive movement in the streets that perseveres in its opposition to Trump’s moves against Mueller, and in fact at driving out the entire Trump/Pence fascist regime, is the only way anything positive for humanity can emerge from this situation.
  • If and when the Trump/Pence regime moves to cripple Mueller’s investigation, the people must respond with mass protest; getting into the streets and staying there, our numbers and determination growing.
  • Conflicts that begin as one thing, on terms set by the system, do not necessarily end up that way. Something that starts as a major conflict at the top can lead to significant openings to develop mass opposition in the streets to the fascist regime. It can contribute to making big advances in leading and organizing millions to drive out the Trump/Pence regime. A major conflict at the top can lead to significant openings to build the movement for revolution.
  • Dig into the works of Bob Avakian, in particular the film of his talk THE TRUMP/PENCE REGIME MUST GO! In The Name of Humanity, We REFUSE To Accept a Fascist America. A Better World IS Possible to understand more deeply the driving forces and stakes of this conflict, and what must be done to confront and stop it. Revolutionary communists and all those who hunger for a better future outside the constraints of imperialism need to seize on this moment to get this film and others of BA’s works out far and wide.


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