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(en) France, UCL AL #313 - Anti-fascism, United States: will the fascist melting pot succeed ? (ca, de, it, fr, pt)[machine translation]

Date Wed, 3 Mar 2021 09:28:36 +0200

On January 6, when the United States Congress was to officially invest Joe Biden, several thousand demonstrators white-hot by Trump took over the Capitol without opposition, interrupting the nomination session. If the coup attempt was cut short, it should not be downplayed. ---- On Wednesday January 6, several thousand demonstrators stormed the Capitol without firing a shot. This remains in the hands of the demonstrators for several hours. Joe Biden's nomination session is suspended and parliamentarians must put their feet up to escape the crowds before the National Guard regains control. ---- How could the demonstrators so easily take over one of the most secure buildings in the world ? Let us not forget that the United States is one of the western countries where the maintenance of order is most brutal. In June 2020, when Black Lives Matter (BLM) protesters approached the Capitol, a militarized device of 5,000 heavily armed police and National Guard soldiers awaited them.

Complicity and failure of the coup
This is not the case on January 6. The police present on the spot only resist weakly before opening the doors to the demonstrators [1]. In fact, the Capitol's security officials refused to set up a reinforced device when the risks were known " [2].

In addition, while the demonstrators have already taken the Capitol, they refuse six times to involve the National Guard, a refusal shared by the Pentagon where Trump appointed a faithful in December [3]. The most disturbing element of this invasion is not that thousands of far-right demonstrators attack the Capitol, but that the Capitol police and the Pentagon leadership are complicit in this attempted attack. attack on parliament.

However, this is not enough to reverse the election results. The connivance of part of the security apparatus with the Trumpist far right is not generalized. Most of the state apparatus remains on the side of legality, as does the Republican Party. If part of the base and even some elected officials were very active in taking the Capitol [4], the leadership of the Republican Party does not follow the adventurism of the apprentice Caesar. Vice President Mike Pence, yet loyal among Trump's loyalists, disassociates himself and orders the National Guard to retake the Capitol.

Barack Obama and the Tea Party
How to explain this abortive coup d'état, the first one experienced by the United States, whose institutions are particularly stable ? The capture of the Capitol has its roots in two events that took place more than a decade ago: the 2008 economic crisis that plunged millions of Americans into poverty and the election of Barack Obama. From an anti-capitalist point of view, the election of the first black president is mere window dressing in order to pursue the same neoliberal and imperialist policies.

On the contrary, for large sections of American society, the election of Obama was an earthquake calling into question a (poorly) hidden but still extremely present racist hierarchy. Many militias appeared (Oath Keepers, III% ers, Proud Boys...) while the Tea Party, a racist and ultra liberal conservative group was taking off within the Republican Party.

Despite good economic results, Trump's tenure is largely a failure in both international and domestic politics. Despite various authoritarian attempts, Trump fails to fascize the state: the Muslim Ban, the border wall, the destruction of Obamacare [5], meet strong institutional resistance. The last year of Trump's tenure is a health and social disaster greatly compounded by the president's incompetence.

At the end of May 2020, the assassination of Georges Floyd marks the beginning of a great revolt which is embodied by the BLM movement, a massive uprising against police violence and more generally against the social insecurity experienced by minorities.

The BLM movement provokes counter-mobilizations on the part of the extreme right which intends to suppress demonstrations, sometimes alongside the police. A patchwork of militias made the punch even the shot for months. The Proud Boys and Patriot Prayer specialize in tough street clashes with anti-fascists. This climate of latent civil war is fueled by Donald Trump who prepared his operation to contest the election results several months before November 2020.

This is based simultaneously on a legal strategy of protest and on the call to the streets and to the militias. After losing the election and then failing to challenge the legal results, Trump plays his trump card on January 6, 2021 and launches the coup. This is doomed to failure for lack of support from the Republican Party, the military apparatus as well as the big business: it will be the final slide in the mud that concludes the mandate.

The coup attempt revealed in broad daylight the existence of a fascist current around the figure of Trump which greatly exceeds the numbers of small American fascist groups (alt-right, militias, white supremacists).
The consequences of this failed coup will be lasting. Whether Trump stops politics or not, the coup attempt has exposed the existence of a fascist current around his figure that far exceeds the numbers of small American fascist groups (alt-right, militias, white supremacists ). Without doing any foresight, it is likely that Trump will continue to have an important role in American politics.

The other major consequence is the authoritarian hardening of the current neoliberal regime. A new anti-terrorist law restricting freedoms and giving more power to the police is looming, while it is precisely part of the police who will have allowed the capture of the Capitol [6]!

Far-right militias do the punch
There is no doubt that this type of measure will also apply to the far left when it opposes the economic liberalism of Joe Biden. The only element of hope in this bleak picture: social movements and revolutionary awareness have not been so strong in the United States for a long time. Let's hope that the deadly duel between liberalism and the extreme right will be interrupted by the social movements and the revolutionaries who have a bright future ahead of them in the United States.

Matt (UCL Montpellier)


[1] " United States: Did the police allow the demonstrators to invade the Capitol ? What the amateur images show ", Observers.france24.com .

[2] Former Capitol Police Chief Steven Sund's request for National Guard backup was denied, he says in interview ", Eu.usatoday.com .

[3] " Donald Trump fires Mark Esper, head of the Pentagon ", Cnews.fr .

[4] " Republican elected representatives hunted down after the insurrection on the Capitol ", 24heurs.ch .

[5] Health insurance for the poorest.

[6] " Here Are 4 Better Responses to the Capitol Riot Than Expanding" Domestic Terror "Crackdowns ", jacobinmag.com .

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