25-10-2020: The 2020 US Presidential Elections could well be the catalyst for more political violence, and some say a civil war. On the surface, it appears that both the “left” and the “right” are accusing each other of instigating mayhem. Yet if this year has demonstrated anything, it is that the so-called “left”, via Black Lives Matter (BLM), Antifa and the lockdown left (parties and groups which claim to be socialist while giving full backing to capitalist state enforcement of inhumane “Covid” lockdowns) are overwhelmingly the initiators and the perpetrators of verbal and/or physical violence against those who may have a different opinion to their own. They have been whipped into such a frenzy, that many of them do not now hesitate to use the threat of verbal or physical violence against anyone they perceive has differing political views, let alone opposing views. Unfortunately, it does appear as though BLM/Antifa/lockdown left are being prepped to unleash mass rioting, looting and chaos should US President Donald Trump and the Republicans win the election on November 3.
The “right”, on the other hand, are only becoming increasingly more prepared to defend themselves and their community against the threat or actuality of violence from the “left”. This is only part of a response to riotous BLM/Antifa/lockdown left behaviour such as launching nightly raids on the Oregon Courthouse in Portland, vandalizing (or tearing down) statues of Abraham Lincoln, and even desecrating a statue of Mahatma Gandhi. There is no denying that Lincoln and Gandhi had their political contradictions, but Lincoln helped end slavery in the US, and Gandhi helped India win its independence from colonial British rule. This is lost on BLM/Antifa/lockdown left, whose extreme focus on the need to overcome racism has virtually turned into its opposite.
BLM, (that is, the organisation, rather than the movement), at least in 2020, is a defacto campaigning arm of the US Democrats. This is not only because donations to BLM were exposed as being funneled to the Democrats via “ActBlue”. Their political agenda is transparently pro-Democrat, even if they try to deny it. In fact, BLM has been rolled out not just to campaign against Trump and the Republicans in an election year, but also as shock troops to reinforce the “Covid-19” attack on the working class on behalf of big capital. Antifa and the lockdown left then work as back-up for BLM, providing them with “progressive” cover even as they riot, burn and loot their way across the US. These violent outbursts – which have the aim of electing Joe Biden to the White House – are then interpreted by whole swathes of the working class as the antics of the “left”. It drives some workers right into the hands of Trump and the Republicans, and almost permanently tarnishes the very mention of socialism and/or progressive politics.
BLM/Antifa/lockdown left continue to focus on campaigning against “racism” for two main reasons. Firstly, extreme identity politics (the prioritisation of gender, ethnic background, sexual preference etc., over and above the critical class divide) is one result of the liberalism of the so-called left. To actually be a real left, they would have to abandon identity politics and focus on uniting the working class against the assault from finance capital. In 2020, this assault has taken the form of a pseudo-pandemic. The Covid-19 plot has been used as a cover for the throwing of millions of workers into unemployment and the accompanying extreme levels of political repression. BLM/Antifa/lockdown left, on the other hand, remain true believers that the world supposedly faces a deadly plague of biblical proportions. This leads to the second reason: BLM/Antifa/lockdown left campaign against “racism” in order to cover up their role as police auxiliaries of lockdown terror. That is, by campaigning on an issue previously associated with progressive politics (anti-racism), they obscure their actions in support of the lockdowns, and by extension, their ultimate backing of the capitalism they rhetorically oppose.
The claims of BLM/Antifa/lockdown left that they are carrying out a struggle for racial justice are disingenuous. The civil rights movement of the 50s and 60s was worlds away from their actions today. Martin Luther King and Malcolm X, in their day, did not have anything like the corporate backing that BLM enjoy in 2020. The left cannot seriously expect the working class to join a movement which has the financial endorsement of some of the largest capitalist corporations on Earth. Corporations which are a part of this alleged “anti-racist” movement include: Amazon, Gatorade, Microsoft, Airbnb, Unilever, Nabisco, Dropbox and Fitbit. A cause which has such unashamed backing of several billion dollar corporations cannot by definition contain a shred of pro-working class politics. In and of itself, the struggle against racism is legitimate and, in many cases, necessary. However, anti-racism can only contain progressive politics if it is integrated into the struggle of the working class against the rule of the banks and the stock market. A movement which attempts to unite all those who rhetorically oppose racism, including Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos and Microsoft CEO Bill Gates, and just about every bought and paid for politician, is plainly not interested in the liberation of workers and the oppressed.
Regardless of their intentions, BLM/Antifa/lockdown left are being used as cannon fodder to remove President Trump from the White House, by fair means or foul. While Trump and the Republicans are no friends of the working class per se, a Biden/Harris Democratic administration after November 3 could potentially be a far larger setback for working people, and would not even be a win for “Black Lives Matter”. For one thing, Joe Biden is an arch segregationist, and Kamala Harris willingly enforced the sending of African Americans to prison during her 27 year former role as a cop prosecutor. The class structure of the US, which consigns at least 40 million of its people (black and white) to abject poverty, would not be altered in the slightest way. The marginalisation and deportation of migrants from decidedly non-white and under-developed countries – one real source of racism – may even get worse with the Democrats in the White House. It remains the case that the previous Democratic administration of Barack Obama deported more people from the shores of the US than the Donald Trump administration in its first term.
Just who is planning a coup?
While working people should not be absolutely bound to the outcomes of bourgeois elections, socialists cannot currently ask workers to entirely disregard the results. Unless we are approaching a situation of dual power between something like elected workers’ councils and a capitalist parliament, the left will not be able to win workers to their cause if they enact riots when a “conservative” candidate wins office. Unfortunately, some on the left seem to be preparing their members and periphery to do just that. In the US, the Workers World Party (WWP) latched onto a resolution passed by the Rochester Labour Council which called for the AFL-CIO to call a general strike if Donald Trump refuses to leave office. They wield the slogan “If Trump won’t quit, Shut It Down!”. Ominously, there is no mention of calling off such action if Trump and the Republicans actually win the Presidential election itself. Are they planning to strike and shut the country down only if the Democrats lose?
We know that ultra-reactionary Democrat and former US Secretary of State Hilary Clinton has stated that Joe Biden “should not concede the election under any circumstances”. Is this a not-so-subtle call on the Democrats (and, by extension, BLM/Antifa/lockdown left) to simply ignore the results of the election if they do not win? It is not outlandish to imagine that the Democrats and even “Never Trumper” Republicans are colluding to prevent Trump from continuing the presidency even if he wins convincingly. In fact, there is even a body set up which appears to plan for a “transition” without Trump. The Transition Integrity Project (TIP) is co-founded by a Rosa Brooks, a former Pentagon advisor and the Hilary Clinton state department under the former Obama administration. She was also a previous leading member of the Open Society Foundations (OSF), the body established by controversial billionaire George Soros. Zoe Hudson, a director of TIP, is likewise a former top figure of the OSF.
The OSF has notoriously been heavily involved in orchestrating “colour revolutions” in the former socialist-type states of the former USSR, and others. Examples include the Bulldozer Revolution in Serbia in 2000, the Rose Revolution in Georgia in 2003, the Orange Revolution in Ukraine in 2004, and the Tulip Revolution in Kyrgyrzstan in 2005. The process involves funding and often creating an opposition, rallying people against a “dictator”, and then using international pressure from liberals and imperialist governments to force a leader to step down. Needless to say, the installation of capitalist “liberal democracy” in the former deformed workers states of the USSR and Eastern Europe has in practice been a disaster for working people. It now appears that the OSF, the Democrats and even some Republicans are determined to re-start the colour revolution playbook at home. The OSF itself even admits to recently funneling $220 million to “Building Power in Black Communities”. It is barely conceivable that at least some of this funding will not find its way into BLM. To be sure, there would be many who are drawn into BLM/Antifa/lockdown left actions who do not receive a cent from anyone, and who are misled into believing they are “fighting racism”, or even “fighting capitalism”. However, unless they defy the politics of BLM/OSF, they are being tragically deceived.
Pseudo-Pandemic the critical class issue
Irrespective of the general right-wing politics of Donald Trump, ironically he remains a very partial ally of workers on the main issue – the ruling class attack under the guise of Covid-19. Trump has resisted some of the egregious lockdown measures demanded by big capital, and most enthusiastically carried out by the Democrats when in a position to do so. Even though Trump has gone along with the insane rush to fast track what will almost certainly be an ineffectual Covid-19 vaccine, he has made comments that Biden is going to “lock you down”. And it is Biden, not Trump, who is threatening US workers with a “national mask mandate” if elected to office. It barely needs to be said, at this stage, that facemasks are useless at preventing transmission of respiratory viruses, and are in fact quite dangerous in a psychological and physiological sense. Facemasks, hand sanitiser and social distancing are measures which are meant to obscure the political repression that the ruling class is enforcing on workers. The lockdowns and house arrest of workers are used to prevent resistance to the largest assault – the termination of millions from their employment.
This is why the defeat of the fear pandemic and the reversal of its abolition of basic democratic and civil rights is crucial. The working class will not be able to defend itself against the historically unprecedented attack inflicted on them unless and until all of its logic defying rules and restrictions are junked, from facemasks to the freedom to travel. Currently, the anti-lockdown movement is the only resistance to the onslaught of pandemic lies, and is the only factor preventing Western governments from triggering harsher and longer lockdowns. In some places such as Melbourne, the bravery of the anti-lockdown protestors eventually ended most of the severe restrictions. “Second wave” lockdown measures have been reimposed in Ireland – but even there anti-lockdown protestors continue to mobilise.
Meanwhile, the notion of Trump launching a “fascist coup” to remain in power is little more than liberalism imploring workers to vote for the lesser evil. The problem, though, is that in the 21st century, often the “social-democratic” bourgeois parties are more “evil”, or more right-wing, than the conservatives. The Biden/Harris team certainly fits this bill. While workers’ interests in the US are ultimately not served by the Republicans or the Democrats, workers may find themselves tactically allying with Trump supporters if the Democrats unleash BLM/Antifa/lockdown left riots after an unfavourable election result. This seemingly crazy situation may be yet more proof that liberalism is no longer progressive – if it ever was – and its bankruptcy pushes it towards lashing out with violence.
2020 has revealed itself as the year that capital waged arguably its most concentrated attack on working people in history, via a fake health scare. The good news is that a significant minority of workers have heroically resisted, and have vastly undermined bourgeois ideology by doing so. Marxists need to ensure that the anti-lockdown movement does not stop half-way, but continues on to eliminate the source of the ruling class onslaught – the anarchic and unplanned capitalist economies. The forging of internationally linked vanguard parties based on genuine Leninism is the key task for reversing lockdown terror, and guiding workers to erect states and governments of their own.
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One thought on “US Elections: Left-Wing or Right-Wing Coup?”
Great analysis, as a former supporter of the SEP, I broke away, gradually as the party went to the right and I, and others were attacked for even questioning their MSM narrative about Covid. I agree with your overall analysis and am seriously considering joining the Workers League (again), thank you for the invitation, Adam.