Nationalism and Trump

Trump was elected the president of US in November 2016. Since then nationalism ( or fascism) has advanced not only in US , but in other countries around the world.

Trump was elected on the platform "America first". Although "America first " has been the policy of every US president since George Washington, this is has been the first time when the policy was articulated so forcefully by an US President. Furthermore this policy under Trump has different interpretations to different people. Whites especially racists will interpret it as "Whites first".  Christian fundamentalists consider "America First" as a position to roll back all the changes liberals in US has achieved in the last fifty years since John Kennedy became the President. This election also comes in the heel of the "Brexit" and other seismic changes. Brexit is basically an expression of British nationalism without evaluating the impact. Britain is no longer competitive in the global world . "Brexiters" are still living in past glory. Recently in Europe nationalist/fascists parties have taken great strides. In Germany a pro Nazi party AFD has emerged as the third largest party. One should remember that Nazi party itself was firstly a third largest party, then second largest and finally the largest during 1930s as recession bit Germany.

Slogans of nationalism are advanced when global economy is in down turn and recession hits the ordinary masses. It is an instrument of the capitalist class as an effort to "hoodwink" the masses and keep them divided. It does not solve the underlying crisis in the capitalist economy. Initially in the 21st century world capitalist class advanced the slogan of "religion" to keep the people divided. Religious wars and strife's were encouraged. But now with the collapse of ISIS and other fundamentalist organisations, religion can no longer be used to divide the people in Middle East and rest of the world. Threat of Islam can no longer be used as a Damocles sword on the head of ordinary masses. That is why the ruling classes are using nationalism.

Let us look at all the recent crisis. Kurdistan had a referendum to breakaway from Iraq. Iraq has closed the airspace of Kurdistan. It is an irony that US established a no fly zone over Kurdistan  in 1990s to break it from the control of Saddam Hussein's Iraq. Catalonia held a referendum to breakaway from Spain. Spanish government used brutal force to try to stop the referendum. In Africa in Cameroon, both English speaking Cameroonians and French speaking Cameroonians are in a state of war. As Brexit crisis escalate one will see more nationalistic outbursts in Africa and Middle East as former colonial powers compete with each other for pieces of Africa. Old boundaries may be redrawn. In this midst ordinary people are the ones to suffer.

Trump with the statements such as " North Korea will be totally destroyed" is setting a new tone. Previous US administrations wanted to overthrow North Korean government and establish total control over Korea on the borders on China and Russia . But Trump has set new policy guidelines . If you try to attack US , we will completely destroy you.  This even goes further than capitalist standard policy of exploiting people not destroying countries. This policy is very similar to Nazi policies during the second world war which led to holocaust.

However there is a positive by product of Trump's nationalism. It has buried the slogans religion. Opposition to Trump's international policies will be coming from true nationalist and progressive nations. Trump has extended his ban on travel to US from religious reasons to nationalist reasons by including North Korea and Venezuela in the list. One should expect Cuba and possibly Egypt in the next list. Religion as a rallying cry has started to fail in many countries. Religious parties are losing their shine in Middle east.  Even Saudi Arabia the bastion of Wahabi fundamentalism in Muslim world is carrying out capitalist "reforms" as referred in the article MBS the new Saddam. In India in the important University of JNU ( Jawaharlal National University) CPIML aligned student union won the students election against the Hindu nationalist government backed students. In all the world is moving away from religious bigotry and slogans to nationalist positions. Venezuela's President Maduro's popular ratings increased by 6 points after Trump slapped sanctions on Venezuela. Maduro is more popular in his country than US lackeys such as Macri of Argentina and Temer of Brazil are in their own countries.

Dangers of limited nuclear wars and face off are still there. Mao once said US is a paper tiger. Let us hope it remains so.