Rising fascism: Liberal bosses use climate reform to squash domestic rival
Saturday, September 28, 2019 at 2:20PM

On September 20, as millions around the world marched to protest climate change, the big oil and auto capitalists behind the movement were calling for stricter regulations—on themselves. A hallmark of fascism is the ruling class disciplining itself and squashing enemies within its own ranks. The call for self-regulation in oil and auto is a not-so-early warning sign. The big liberal U.S. imperialist bosses are accelerating toward fascism as they prepare for war and sharper attacks on the international working class.
The tension between capitalist camps in the U.S. is growing more and more volatile. The liberal finance capitalists, the big fascists, are being pressed on all sides—at home by the little fascists backing Trump, and around the globe by the Chinese and Russian capitalist bosses. The liberal bosses’ response is to push for regulation and to build mass movements like the climate movement under a patriotic umbrella. For workers, following these liberal rulers will be disastrous. Our only path is to turn their drive toward war and fascism into a battle for workers’ power—into communist revolution.
Split in oil industry
The split in the U.S. ruling class is dramatically reflected within the oil industry. The big oil companies have formed the backbone of U.S. imperialism for the last 150 years. They were originally dominated by the Rockefeller family and Standard Oil, which monopolized oil refining and distribution in the U.S. until 1911, when it was broken up into 34 smaller companies, including Exxon, Mobil, and Chevron—an early example of the U.S. ruling class disciplining its own. As oil replaced coal as the capitalists’ energy source of choice, the booming industry wrote or ignored the rules, contaminating the skies and rivers. But now the multinational oil “majors” are fighting off challengers within the U.S. and the ascendant Chinese capitalists. In the face of attacks from within and without, they have embraced regulations that add to their competitive advantage over the smaller, domestically oriented energy capitalists, as represented by the Koch family and fronted by President Donald Trump. As Time Magazine (8/29) noted:
The oil-and-gas industry was split on the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) methane rules [under Barack Obama], with some prominent companies supporting them and many smaller producers pushing for their elimination. The EPA’s decision [under Trump] to side with a group of smaller fossil-fuel firms shows the influence these obscure companies retain within the Trump Administration—and the power they have to slow climate legislation...The split within the industry is partly a matter of scale. The EPA regulation—which required oil producers to implement a range of measures to stop natural gas leaks at new drilling sites, keeping methane from entering the atmosphere—posed little threat to big oil-and-gas firms, which could easily absorb the compliance costs necessitated by the 2016 rule.
Auto bosses conspire against Trump
As the big oil bosses push regulation and environmentalism to crush their domestic rivals, the big auto bosses have opened up their own front against Trump and his little fascist backers, including the Kochs, whose empire relies on the refining and distribution of petroleum products within the U.S. Along with three foreign auto makers (Volkswagen, Honda, and BMW), Ford conspired against the White House to hold to stricter emissions standards, in defiance of Trump’s rollback of Obama-era regulations.
While the auto bosses were plotting against Trump:
 [f]ormer members of Trump’s transition teams … sent a letter to the President…advising him to ignore the car companies and roll back the standards.…The letter was signed by Tom Pyle of the Institute for Energy Research (IER), Myron Ebell of the Competitive Enterprise Institute, and Shirley Ybarra, a former fellow at the Reason Foundation. All three organizations have close Koch ties, and Pyle was himself a lobbyist for Koch Industries (desmog.com).
Dueling political movements
The bosses’ factions are building dueling political movements to mobilize the working class. The small, Koch-led oil bosses are rallying millions around open KKK racists of the Trump-led Republican Party. The big oil bosses, now almost entirely concentrated in the Democratic Party, are funding a variety of liberal reformist mass organizations, including the pro-regulation environmental movement:
“The world’s biggest energy firms have rallied around a carbon tax as a climate measure … committing millions [of dollars] to lobby for such a policy”(Time, 8/29).
For the big fascists, the environmental movement’s value has nothing to do with cleaning up the earth. It is solely a way to mislead millions of workers to enlist in the bosses’ dog fight—and to undermine class struggle as the rulers move society into global war and open fascism. Boss-led movements can never liberate our class. They can never build a society to serve the interests of the great masses of people. Only building Progressive Labor Party and fighting for communism can do that.

Article originally appeared on The Revolutionary Communist Progressive Labor Party (http://www.plp.org/).
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