Storming of the Capitol: The Working Class Has its Own Battles to Fight

Statement of the Internationalist Communist Tendency

Submitted by Internationali… on January 13, 2021

The picture we’re getting from the US is shocking and serious. The formal institutional events are the least important. Only two things matter. The first is that, even knowing that there’s no possibility of invalidating the election, Trump has fully mobilised the worst of the American reactionary world which has always seen him as the strong man: the "leader" who would restore the US to its rightful position as number one in the world, ready to fight not only in the Middle East but against real enemies such as China, Iran and North Korea. In addition to the uncompromising "hardcore" loyalists amongst the 74 million votes he got, some parts of the state also responded to Trump's "subversive" appeal. These included sections of the police, like those who went to great lengths under his administration to kill black workers who still "haunt" white America; parts of the NSA, the CIA and the FBI. Add to that groups such as QAnon, the KKK and neo-Nazis, the white supremacists who have mobilised to save true American "democracy" from corruption, paedophilia, the integration of migrants, and the "communism" of Democrats by acting, even in para-military fashion, with Trump’s backing. This shows how, as a long economic and social crisis deepens, reactionary forces are able to move as they please if there is a president in power who, not only accepts such a revolt, but is its charismatic leader. Trump's belated message to remain calm after lighting the fire was a fraud.

The US has always had a strong conservative and racist tradition which today acts in support of the Republicans. In this case, the intervention on the streets demanded by the President himself has gone beyond the limits of a false democracy. He has put himself forward as the prime defender of the interests of the nation, of that section of the big bourgeoisie who have benefited from Trump’s laws. Here, we need to remember the green light given to the biggest polluters to do as they like to gain profits on the increasingly competitive international market. Then, the lowering of taxes for all businesses and labour market "reform" that has given the business world the opportunity to take advantage of a legally defenceless workforce, which can be dismissed at any time and which exists on starvation wages and without health insurance. For the petty bourgeoisie there is a frightening economic crisis which has brought a process of proletarianisation accompanied by political confusion. Given the absence of any credible political alternative, this has been channelled towards the false sirens of "America First", or towards the interests of big business in all its forms, even the most brutal ones, in the fear that a Democratic government could plunge the whole idea of white supremacy into deeper crisis.

The second factor is that, in the midst of so much collapse (general economic crisis, the political crisis of the state, businesses and families, which the pandemic has only exacerbated) and which is without parallel in recent American history (not just in recent decades), the proletariat is absent, unfortunately not only in the US. We know why the revival of a class response has been delayed. Today the American masses, including some immigrants, have been duped by false electoral promises by both the right and left of the capitalist class who promise that if they get into power they will give us anything and everything.

Meanwhile, Trump will have to leave the White House. His "coup attempt" which, besides being a last desperate act, provides in this head-on clash a sense of continuity in a sort of nominal underground power struggle, and this is the beauty of two conceptions of democracy: Biden's liberal version and Trump's totalitarian one. With the Tycoon, America would remain fiercely divided into two; big capital is not going to easily give up the benefits it has received up to now and the economic crisis, a scenario which is never properly acknowledged, will continue its devastating march. But the scenario will have to change. Ultimately only the working class can carry out the last rites on whatever political administration is formally overseeing American capitalism. Meanwhile, the Biden/Harris version will have to take responsibility for US imperialism. Biden will have to reformulate a more pragmatic foreign policy for Washington's imperialist needs. Biden's Democrat administration will aim to get out of the crisis by making workers pay for it in the name of "real democracy" against white supremacists and against the reaction promoted by his predecessor. Any change in the form of government will not alter the economic, social and imperialist order that has allowed all US governments to be economically, militarily and financially the first raider of the surplus value produced around the world.

Against all this there is only one way out: either the American working class emerges from the intoxication of a clash between the "good" and the "bad", between “freedom” and the supremacists, between “democracy” and “fascism”, by recognising that these apparent political divisions are two sides of the same coin, albeit with different images; or it will continue to be the same hell for millions of the exploited. Their place will be at the bottom of the social pyramid, if not in its unhealthy underground tunnels, and their only right will be to vote, from time to time to acknowledge the perpetuation of their exploitation. To put an end to this we need a revival of the class struggle everywhere. In turn this demands a clear vision of a social alternative (communism) to this decadent society whose ultimate way of getting out of its own disaster is to mobilise the base of the pyramid and transform it from “a herd of pack animals" into meat for slaughter in a "purifying" war which, through massive destruction, would create the conditions for a new cycle of accumulation even more vicious than the previous one.

These are the necessary conditions for a social revolution to come about. But everything would be useless if there were no party with an alternative tactic and strategy to capitalism, a party capable of being the political weapon of the class as a whole. Otherwise, any revolt, any longing for social recovery is destined to be defeated or reabsorbed in the sewers of capitalism. The objective is not to change how capitalism is managed, but to get rid of capital itself, ending its exploitative relationship with the work force, its devastating economic and environmental crises and its imperialist wars. Either socialism or barbarism!

Internationalist Communist Tendency
11 January 2021