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The US Ruling Class and Trump's Personality and Politics: A Fatal Attraction

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"Either this nation shall kill racism, or racism shall kill this nation." (S. Jonas, August, 2018)


"To announce that there must be no criticism of the President . . . is not only unpatriotic and servile, but is morally treasonable to the American public. Nothing but the truth should be spoken about him or anyone else. But it is even more important to tell the truth, pleasant or unpleasant, about him than about anyone else."

Theodore Roosevelt, Editorial in The Kansas City Star May 7, 1918


"Ruling Class" is a term that over the centuries has had a variety of definitions. For this purpose, I shall use the following one:

"The elements of society that own and control the means of industrial and natural resources production; the financial system including the banks, the insurance companies, and the investment houses; the personal and freight transportation systems; and the media for both news and entertainment, print, motion picture/television, and electronic."

The primary, although not always the exclusive, objective of the owners of these various enterprises is the production of "profit." Profit is that excess of financial gain from the operation of their enterprise(s) over the costs in plant, materiel, and labor, of producing their product. Profit is used for two purposes: to enrich the enterprise's owners personally and to create more productive resources to make more profit. The system under which they operate is called "capitalism."

In any society, capitalist, socialist, or other (there are still monarchies), the ruling class controls the political system and the government it produces. A now obscure late 19th-early 20th century Russian political scientist named Vladimir Ilyich Ulyanov (better known by his nom-de-plume "Lenin") termed what we call government "the State." The term covers the Executive, Legislative, and Judicial branches of government, law enforcement, social and health services, transportation and communication, and so on and so forth.

Many economically advanced capitalist countries operate under a system usually called "constitutional democracy." About the function of this system under capitalism, in 1917 Ulyanov had this to say:

"To decide once every few years which member of the ruling class is to repress and crush the people through parliament this is the real essence of bourgeois parliamentarism, not only in parliamentary-constitutional monarchies, but also in the most democratic republics."

It still holds.

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Steven Jonas, MD, MPH, MS is a Professor Emeritus of Preventive Medicine at StonyBrookMedicine (NY) and author/co-author/editor/co-editor of over 35 books. In addition to his position on OpEdNews as a "Trusted Author," he is a Senior Editor, (more...)
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