The SF Bay Area sports world is in a tizzy about the owner of the SF (baseball) Giants having donated to the campaign of the racist Cindy Hyde Smith of Mississippi. (Hyde Smith had said that she’d be happy to sit in the front row of a “public hanging”, which in the context of Mississippi history can only be a reference to lynching.) They’re missing the point. The issue is not the owner of the SF Giants. Back around the time that Trump was elected, somebody I know had pointed out to me that he must have some support from some of the capitalists; he can’t be a total outsider. I’ve thought about that in relation to a related issue: There always has been a wing of the capitalist class that never has accepted any of the changes that have come about in the US. Workers winning some rights through the labor uprisings of the 1930s? No. Black people putting an end to the worst excesses of racism? Nope. Women being regarded as equal to men? Scratch that too. Even the few social benefits put into effect by the New Deal, done to prevent an even worse crisis. No need for that.
And why is there no need? Because the owners of the forces of production have all the power, or so they think, so nothing can or should stop them from imposing their will by brute force. This is the domestic political equivalent of the neo-conservative foreign policy. That was the policy taken up by Bush, Powell et al that held that since nobody can stand up to the US military, they – the US military – can go anywhere in the world it likes, with or without allies, and impose its will by brute force. As they found out in Iraq, it has led to complete disaster. But for awhile it seemed to be “working”.
Domestically, the Charles Johnsons, Mellon-Scaife’s and others of that ilk have the same view. “Who can stop us?” they ask. (It seems, by the way, that this wing of the capitalist class is particularly strong among the owners of professional sports teams. It would be interesting to do a study to understand why.) The Democrats are as determined as the United Nations. The US working class is as united and powerful as was the Iraqi army under Saddam Hussein. And the leaders of the US working class – the union leaders – they exhibit all the courage of those military leaders in Mosul who were the first to abandon their post when ISIS threatened. As for the socialist left, they are at most a mere annoyance, something like a mosquito buzzing around your ear.
All wings of the ruling class will have a base of support within the working class, and this is certainly true of this wing. Given how the union leadership has repressed the more conscious and more courageous wing of the working class for 75 years, and given that this most reactionary wing of the ruling class is more brazen nowadays, is it any wonder that this more reactionary wing of the working class is also more open?
As for the comparison to the Iraq invasion: It was a disaster first and foremost for the Iraqi people. But exactly this disaster and the chaos that followed meant a disaster for US capitalism also. It can serve as a model for what will happen here politically if this wing gains full control. It will mean chaos, a smoking ruins for US society. The capitalist class itself will be in ruins also, just as they were in Germany after WW II, but that did little good to the working class.
As Trotsky put it: “History says to the working class ‘you must know that unless you cast down the bourgeoisie (the capitalist class), you will perish beneath the ruins of the capitalist civilization. Try, solve this task!’”