The abhorrent and loathsome events of a mob storming the US Capitol reveal the depth of the political crisis of imperialism.
09 January 2021
By Miguel Sorans, a leader of Socialist Left Argentina and the IWU-FI
The 6 January hundreds of far-right and Trump supporters assaulting on and storming the Capitol has caused an understandable worldwide impact. These are unprecedented events that show the seriousness of the crisis US imperialism is undergoing and also the danger Trumpism represents as a far-right, reactionary and racist movement. Many said it was an “attempted coup” and part of an “insurrectional plan” to prevent Biden from taking office and keep Trump in power.
Naturally, this was perhaps what many of the neo-fascist and racist participants who stormed the Capitol believed. However, we do not believe that this was an attempted coup d’état. That was not Trump’s plan, and certainly not of any bourgeois or armed forces sectors.
In fact, it was Trump’s shot in the dark, trying with this reactionary demonstration, to keep his popularity in the far-right movement of the American society. But it was another expression of his political defeat. He is not someone on the rise. Rather defeated and in retreat.
We could expect Trump went on with new provocative actions in his campaign on “fraud” and that the election “being stolen from him”. With that undemocratic campaign he did not intend to carry out a coup but to strengthen, in the future, its neo-fascist social base and to hold control of the Republican Party.
He was so alone in contesting Biden that vice-president Pence did not support him. The House Minority Leader in the United States House of Representatives Kevin McCarthy said the events were “un-American” and “unacceptable”. Former Republican president George Bush condemned the events and Trump saying that is a way election are disputed in a banana republic.
Not a single military sector adhered. A sector of the police force seemed to support it or they let it go, some even taking pictures with the racists. Some police officers may have fired too. A former air force female member and Trump supporter was killed and there were others killed and injured. But as members of the movement BLM denounced, a very different outcome would have happened if the protest had been of African American.
The assault on the Capitol provoked such a condemnation among Republican leaders that they threatened Trump with impeachment. He had to “accept” Biden should take over. Though he announced he would not attend Biden’s inauguration.
What happened in the Capitol is another example of what we in the IWU-FI defined as extreme polarisation not present in other countries. “That polarisation has grown with the social crisis combined with the anti-racist rebellion, the growth of the workers movement, the women’s movement or against climate change” (http://www.uit-ci.org/index.php/news-a-documents/2842-on-the-world-situation-and-prospects-for-2021 In the statement we warned “Trump loses but consolidates as a leader of a large ultraconservative, reactionary and racist social sector (…) Trump relies on millions of people from the traditional social base of racists, neo-fascists, white supremacist hate groups, armed far-right militias, of visceral xenophobia, hatred of feminists and environmentalists» (…) Millions believe in the «crazy» discourse that Biden can «lead to socialism», that he is «going to Cuba and Venezuela» and that Biden is part of the «far-left» that is going to «destroy» the United States The more social crisis, economic crisis and popular struggles, the more the racist and fascist pole grows” ” .http://www.uit-ci.org/index.php/news-a-documents/2842-on-the-world-situation-and-prospects-for-2021
This was clear in the racist and white supremacist mob that assaulted on the Capitol.
When Trump took over in 2016, we defined him as a neofascist. What we also pointed out was that this was not the same as the Trump government being able to transform the US political regime into a fascist one. To transform the imperialist bourgeois democracy into a dictatorship following Mussolini or Hitler.
This was confirmed by how Trump’s government ends: a political electoral defeat. After a popular rebellion against his government and the racist police repression after the assassination of George Floyd.
Trump strengthened the serious social polarisation and the existing racist mass movement, white supremacist, fascist, anti-Semitic, homophobic, etc that exists in the US. Therefore, we cannot understate his 70 million votes. What happened in the Capitol on 6 January reflects Trump’s political and electoral defeat. So, what political future is left for Trump is an open question. The events on 6 January will turn against him.
To make matters worse, on 5 January the Republican Party had lost the election for senators in Georgia. With this defeat, they lose control over the Upper Chamber for the first time in 20 years. It is also the first time that an Afro-American candidate from the Democratic Party wins a seat in Georgia.
Another victory for Biden and the Democrats. We should remember Trump’s defeat is the electoral expression of the large anti-racist popular rebellion after George Floyd’s assassination. That struggle is still ongoing. And Biden’s new government will suffer from it.
In the US there is an unprecedented and serious political crisis, the country centre of world imperialism. What will come is not so much a danger of coup d’état but the maintenance of this global social-economic, political and military crisis. An imperialism still dominant but in a profound and deepening crisis. Crisis that parallels the crisis of the imperialist capitalist system and the struggles and world social polarisation.
The tendency is towards a new political crisis but now under Biden’s Democratic Party government. He has to face a very serious social, economic and health crisis, because of the pandemic.
The social crisis can bring about new union and anti-racist struggles and also new sectors joining the far-right movement. So, the US social polarisation so particularly American develop and move violence can erupt from the racist white supremacist far-right groups, Trump’s supporters and fans. It’s a great danger and it will be part of the reality we will have to fight.
The task and challenge, not exclusive to the IWU-FI but to the entire left that claims to be anti-capitalist, is to move forward in the building of an independent left political alternative. It is the crucial task.