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From: The Socialist issue 1071, 29 January 2020: End health and wealth divide - fight for our NHS

Search site for keywords: Trump - Profit system - Profit - Environment - Capitalist - Climate change - Capitalism

Trump's trashing of the environment - Dump the capitalist profit system!

photo Shealah Craighead/CC

photo Shealah Craighead/CC   (Click to enlarge)

Simon Carter

At the recent World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, US president Donald Trump attacked those calling for meaningful action to halt catastrophic, capitalist-induced climate change as "prophets of doom".

It's easy to dismiss such drivel as the ranting of a billionaire, birdbrain bigot. But Trump's one-line attack on environmentalists is driven by his association with the fossil-fuel industries, who bankrolled his 2016 presidential campaign, and more generally by his unqualified embrace of the capitalist profit system.

Since elected, he has rolled back environmental protection measures, allowing landowners, agribusiness, mining companies and coal-fired power stations, and so on, to dump more toxic waste in the waterways, rivers, streams and aquifers of the USA.

That means more arsenic and carcinogenic heavy metals being poured literally down the drains. Indeed, Trump's administration has removed federal government oversight of a least 60% of US waterways. This, despite the fact that millions of Americans are already exposed to unsafe drinking water.

And Trump's trashing of the environment goes on. He issued an order allowing a huge increase in logging of public forests on the spurious 'scientific' grounds that thinning forests would prevent more damaging fires. So instead of tacking global heating - which is driving more extreme weather events such as droughts, leading to more intensive fires - he promoted the financial interests of the logging industry.

Trump's pro-mining and logging messages are dressed up as 'job creation' measures in order to appeal to working-class communities suffering high unemployment. However, a genuine workers' government could create millions of new jobs through investment in sustainable alternative energy projects.

Trump's removal from office is urgent but the Republican majority in the Senate will ensure that the Democrats' impeachment of him will fail.

The Democrat leadership - with its neoliberal, Blairite policies, representing another branch of capitalism to the Republicans - failed in 2016 to defeat Trump with Hillary Clinton, their establishment candidate. Polls, then, suggested that that only Bernie Sanders with his left-leaning platform could have beaten Trump by attracting enough support from the working class and oppressed. But Sanders, having been outmanoeuvred by the Democrat establishment, backed Clinton instead of running as an independent.

In the upcoming presidential election primaries, Sanders is repeating the same mistake of running for the capitalist Democratic Party nomination. Although enthusing tens of

thousands with his campaign, and polls showing once again that he is frontrunner to beat Trump, he faces an uphill struggle to defeat establishment candidate Joe Biden and liberal Elizabeth Warren.

Whether he wins or loses the Democratic nomination, it's imperative that Sanders uses the platform he has built to mobilise the working class - particularly organised workers in the trade unions and those left activists currently supporting him - to break with the Democrats and forge an independent, mass working-class party, based on socialist ideas, to seriously challenge Trump and end capitalism.

That's the only way the pressing issues of climate change and organising sustainable production can be resolved in the interests of the overwhelming majority.

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Coronavirus crisis - Finance appeal

The coronavirus crisis has laid bare the class character of society in numerous ways. It is making clear to many that it is the working class that keeps society running, not the CEOs of major corporations.

The results of austerity have been graphically demonstrated as public services strain to cope with the crisis.

The government has now ripped up its 'austerity' mantra and turned to policies that not long ago were denounced as socialist. But after the corona crisis, it will try to make the working class pay for it, by trying to claw back what has been given.

  • The Socialist Party's material is more vital than ever, so we can continue to report from workers who are fighting for better health and safety measures, against layoffs, for adequate staffing levels, etc.
  • Our 'fighting coronavirus workers' charter', outlines a programme to combat the virus and protect workers' living conditions.
  • When the health crisis subsides, we must be ready for the stormy events ahead and the need to arm workers' movements with a socialist programme - one which puts the health and needs of humanity before the profits of a few.
Inevitably, during the crisis we have not been able to sell the Socialist and raise funds in the ways we normally would.
We therefore urgently appeal to all our viewers to donate to our special coronavirus appeal.

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