What Is To Be Done?

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Paul Craig Roberts

 March 3, 2017 

The question in the title is V.I. Lenin’s question. His answer was to create a revolutionary “vanguard” to spread revolutionary ideas among the workers, the economic class that Karl Marx had declared to be the class rising to the ascendency of political power. Finally, democracy, frustrated by upper class interests in its earlier manifestations, would become reality. The workers would rule.


Given the presence of evil and human failing, it did not work out in that way. But Lenin’s question remains a valid one. Americans whose economic life and prospects for their children have been destroyed by the offshoring of American manufacturing and tradable professional skills jobs, such as software engineering, answered the question by electing Donald Trump.

The Americans, dispossessed by the offshoring corporations, elected Trump, because Trump was the only American running for a political office who called attention to the problem and declared his intention to fix it.

By standing up for Americans, Trump alienated the global corporations, their executives and shareholders, all of whom benefit from stealing the economic life of Americans and producing abroad where labor and regulatory costs are lower. Neoliberal junk economists describe this labor arbitrage, which reduces the real incomes of the American labor force, as the beneficial working of free trade.

These offshoring firms not only have destroyed the economic prospects of millions of Americans, but also have destroyed the payroll tax base of Social Security and Medicare, and the tax base of local and state governments, with the consequence that numerous pension systems are on the verge of failure. The New York Teamsters Road Carriers Local 707 Pension Fund has just failed. This failure, experts predict, is the beginning of a tsunami that will spread into municipal and state pension systems.

When you add up the external costs of jobs offshoring that are imposed on Americans, the costs far exceed the value of the profits that flow to the One Percent. Clearly, this is an intolerable situation.

Dispossessed Americans rose up. They ignored the presstitute media, or perhaps were driven to support Trump by the hostility of the media. Trump was elected by dispossessed America, by the working class.

The working class is out of favor with the elite liberal/progressive/left which abhors the working class as racist, misogynist, homophobic, gun nuts who oppose transgendered toilet facilities. Thus, the working class, and their chosen representative, Donald Trump, are under full assault by the presstitutes. “Trump Must Go” is their slogan.

And well he might. Trump, in a fit of stupidity, dismissed his National Security Advisor, Gen. Flynn, because Flynn did what he should have done and spoke with the Russian ambassador in order to avoid a Russian response to Obama’s provocation of expelling Russian diplomats at Christmas.

Russians have been demonized and ascribed demonic powers. If you speak to a Russian, you fall under suspicion and become a traitor to your country. This is the story according to the CIA, the Democratic Party, the military/security complex, and the presstitute media.

Once Trump put Flynn’s blood in the water, he set the situation for the sacrifice of other of his appointees, ending with himself. At the present time, “the Russian connection” black mark is operating against Trump’s Attorney General, Jeff Sessions. If Sessions falls, Trump is next.

Americans do not need any more evidence that the entirety of the American media is totally devoid of integrity and respect for truth. The American media is a collection of whores who lie for a living. The presstitutes are despicable, the scum of the earth.

Let’s be clear. As a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, Sessions met with the Russian ambassador, just as he met with a number of other countries’ ambassadors. There is nothing unusual or surprising about a US senator meeting with foreign diplomatic representatives.

Those who accuse Sessions of lying are misrepresenting the facts. Sessions met with ambassadors in his capacity as a US Senator, not in his capacity as a Trump representative. As a former US Senate staffer, I can attest that it is perfectly normal for US Senators to meet with diplomats. John McCain and Lindsey Graham even fly to the Middle East to meet with terrorists.

Despite the facts, the Washington Post, New York Times, CNN and all the rest of the CIA’s media whores are consciously and intentionally misrepresenting the facts. Americans do not need any more evidence that the entirety of the American media is totally devoid of integrity and respect for truth. The American media is a collection of whores who lie for a living. The presstitutes are despicable, the scum of the earth.

The real question is how has contact with Russian government officials become criminalized, grounds for removing a National Security Adviser, an Attorney General, and impeaching a President himself. President John F. Kennedy had ongoing contact with Khrushchev, the head of the Soviet government, in order to resolve the Cuban/Turkish missile crisis without nuclear war. President Nixon had ongoing contact with the Russians in order to achieve SALT I and the anti-ballistic missile treaty. President Carter had ongoing contact with Russians in order to achieve SALT II. President Reagan worked with the Russian leader in order to end the Cold War. I know. I was there.

But if President Trump wants to defuse the extremely dangerous tensions that the reckless Clinton, George W. Bush, and Obama regimes have resurrected with a powerful thermo-nuclear state that only wants peace with the US, President Trump and any of his appointees who spoke to a Russian are unfit for office! This madness is the position of the idiot liberal/progressive/left, the CIA, the Democratic Party, the right-wing morons of the Republican Party such as Lindsey Graham and John McCain, and the two-bit whores that comprise the Western media.

Dear reader, ask yourself, how did communications with Russians in the interest of peace and the reduction of tensions become a criminal act? Have laws been passed that it is forbidden for US officials to speak with Russian officials? Are you so utterly stupid that a presstitute media that has never in your entire life told you anything that was truthful can convince you that those who seek to avoid a conflict between thermo-nuclear powers are “Russian agents”?

I have no doubt that the vast bulk of Western populations are insouciant. But if there is no intelligence and awareness left anywhere in the population, and most certainly there is none whatsoever in the governments of the West or in the Western media or the Identity Politics of the liberal/progressive/left, then don’t expect to be alive much longer.

The entirety of the world has been put on the knife edge of existence by the arrogance, stupidity, and hubris of the neoconservative pursuit of American world hegemony. The neoconservative ideology is perfect cover for the material interest of the military/security Deep State that is driving the world to destruction.


 Dr. Paul Craig Roberts was Assistant Secretary of the Treasury for Economic Policy and associate editor of the Wall Street Journal. He was columnist for Business Week, Scripps Howard News Service, and Creators Syndicate. He has had many university appointments. His internet columns have attracted a worldwide following. Roberts’ latest books are The Failure of Laissez Faire Capitalism and Economic Dissolution of the West, How America Was Lost, and The Neoconservative Threat to World Order.  


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6 thoughts on “What Is To Be Done?

  1. The establishment is forcefully attacking to dismantle the bourgeois US state. Though in fact there have been many socialist attacks on the bourgeois US system, it has never been seriously challenged from below, able to retaliate in the most cruel ways in its history against any significant change. That is now being executed from above in order to replace it here and wherever the US can exert its influence in order to construct a structure of complete control. Already envisioned as in books like Brave New World by Aldous Huxley, this has become a reality through increased electronic surveillance as Glenn Ford from Black Agenda Report has outlined in his insightful https://blackagendareport.com/corporate_media_cut_cadence_fascism. The chaos, often deliberate of capitalism is now threatening to demolish its own strongholds and anchors in the population. The Trump agenda gathers and concentrates power into a strict cordon of rules to contain a fast disintegrating capitalist system that can only be saved by his rules. But it also represents falsely the interests of the downtrodden and exploited underclasses in the US. That dichotomy is his weakness that is forcefully attacked by those who misunderstand that his is the only bulwark against the overall normalization of surveillance. By undermining his administration, the establishment will have won its first victory in the struggle for a panopticon-style of total social control.

  2. A brilliant expose by Pepe Escobar of the Trumpian era or rather the death of the soul is http://www.counterpunch.org/2017/03/09/total-screen-how-baudrillard-anticipated-trump/. Baudrillard understood the unreality which allows for extreme cruelty in human affairs, the unrelenting flow of the attempts toward complete command by the state or rather the controllers of our thoughts, actions and desires, which is the pinnacle of a capitalist victory. It is not only the federal government which is deconstructed but a hidden structural information system is being installed which will form the mechanism for total obedience to accepted forms of thought and that overrides all political action. The fibrillation of US national laws is already a severe case of the public being bound into a cuirass of rules that they have no say in. But the totalitarian theater of political obfuscation helped strenuously by television ‘news’ programs deadens independent thinking. We live by lies (or in Derrida’s words: the simulacra of reality) and thus are cuddled into fake protests, which only serve to show our ‘freedoms’ of speech and action. In such a society anything goes (per Cole Porter) because nothing matters. All is but a chimera…

  3. Lenin’s question, What is to be done? must be answered by the Left. But not the Left as we know it today. Left? What Left? What kind of Left? The Democratic Party of America is still considered by many the Left. Liberals are considered the Left. Progressives maybe even more Left. The Radical Left considers itself the real Left. Such classification are no more than shifting titles and social classes and distinctions in one direction or the other. A matter of degree. Some claim that the Trump vote, the Le Pen vote, the Lega Nord vote in Italy are a new kind of Left since they originate from the bottom, from the workers class, from the non -elite classes, from the “people”, as if that “shift” authorized their claim of Left, or rather to what some consider leftist values, since the Left itself has failed. Others believe the name Left no longer has any practical value, that it is mere tradition and to be thrown on the trash pile of history. By this point in social evolution it must be recognized that gradual change “leftwards”, i.e. reforms and one of the many new fashionable classifications, are in reality meaningless. The answer to what is to be done is not as different today as it was 100 years ago: abolition of what exists and its replacement by something entirely new that grasps best the demands of those voices emerging and rising from below, as Lenin and the Bolsheviks did in Russia. No efforts to save capitalism a la Thomas Piketty, of resolving the issue of inequalities, (which is what Lenin fought for in thos etimes) or more pay and less taxes for workers and the middle classes, not mere change, not even only transformation, but the complete elimination of advanced capitalism. And the USA is the place to accomplish it , one of the rare fields (revolution, I mean) in which America’s leadership and contribution to world society would be appreciated.

    NOTE: The author is TGP’s senior editor and Europe Correspondent.

  4. However do not count on any salvation coming from Europe. After all the US is Europe’s last empire, which has engulfed all of the global West by force of weaponry and economic blackmail, the basic modus operandi of expanding capitalism. Elsewhere Ms Gee has stated that men should be prevented from having the power to wage war and she is correct. But the gene for territorial aggression is deeply baked into mankind. For Russia having more magnificent weapons than the US one could say ” l’chaim ! “, but what does it mean for humanity ? Stewart is right that the problem is neither Trump nor Obama, but that the whole US structure is lethal and absurd, but many live in it in compliance.

    What to do indeed. Already ‘enlightened’ 18th century France had cynical men like Voltaire despair of humanity’s humanity and idealists like Rousseau propose that a flight from civilization would endow humans with dignity. Since then we have seen industrialization held in private hands, Alois Schiklgruber and his brother Mussolini lead many men to their death in service to empire and an assortment of US bureaucrats destroy countries wholesale. Nu, what is new under the sun ? Going back into the mists of history we have Nebuchadnezzar and Ramses the Second wrecking the then known world and fine heroes like Caesar following their splendid example. And all through history sane people have tried to stop these power seekers from making others suffer. Have we progressed much ? I doubt it but the sane need hope and idealism to seek solutions to the human problem, which destroys people and nature. We have come a long way Baby, in succeeding to cause mayhem and frankly the future does not look very promising …

  5. I sense an expression of desperation in Craig’s piece, a sensation that many of us can share. Yet with desperation can come exaggeration and misjudgment. Of course, the mass media has become a mouth piece for The Establishment. There is only free press for those who own them. Yet it is not useful or correct to claim that the whoring mass media NEVER has told us one factual truth, as Craig contends, understandably in a sensation of despair.

    I too despair. In fact, I am of the reluctant opinion now that the working class of various sectors–pro-Trump, pro-Obama/Clinton, pro-Sanders/Stein are all fucked up–are not anti-capitalist, not pro-revolutionary and perhaps never will be. What is to be done?

    When one cannot foresee a fighting working class for revolution, for socialism what are we few “enlightened”, mostly gray haired men, and a handful or two of equally disillusioned gray haired women, to do? Fuck it all. Commit suicide. Vacation in Spain’s Costa del Sol? Or what? Right now, I am traveling around Spain from sunny Costa del Sol to tormented Catalan, simmering Basque land, and dominating Madrid. Many wounded souls and separatist cultures. Solutions?

    After 57 years of activism generally, with thousands of pages of words to “my credit”, I truly do not know what to do. And I am truly tired of punching out more words to absolutely no avail. I know not what else to do but I do know that words won’t do it.

  6. Revolt is presently possible in the US thanks to the Trump presidency. His and his party’s openly reactionary policies are forcing the scales to fall off the public eyes, which would have been impossible under a Clinton presidency with its usual hypocrisy and greasy obfuscations. The ‘Democratic’ party is now busy trying to co-opt all the protests into support for it’s equally reactionary policies. But even though a rationally conducted revolution is not in the offing for the US, the chaos caused by the Trump election may disrupt the full execution of his agenda and thus could open up a large but dispersed resistance to the present status quo. The people who voted for him already are in full rebellion against the usual and deleterious establishment policies. One could already predict this outcome several years ago during the presidencies of Bush Junior, Clinton and Obama, even though the suspension of disbelief in the population during the last two office holders was quite disheartening. The propaganda is seriously weakening and becoming therefore more hysterically loud. But it will have the reverse effect because it disturbs the mythical security of the US public and will cause a slow increase in cynicism about the reasons for alarm (as with the McCarthy phenomenon). The belief in security is already damaged because the competition from abroad compels the reductions in social entitlements. It is always hard to predict the future but chaotic disruptions and riotous events may lie in the nation’s future.

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