Trump’s Failed January 6 Coup: Just A Whiff of US Fascism

By Cristóbal Cavazos

The unprecedented indictment of former president Donald Trump on four felony charges came incredibly late – close to three years after the fact. Meanwhile, while the details continue to emerge, including the absence of the police and National Guard on January 6. No charges against these institutions of the capitalist state have been made.

Trump’s failed coup effort clearly signaled that sections of the ruling rich, a small minority to date, do not reject the fascist option to resolve US capitalism’s growing crises. In sharp contrast, the vast majority of the ruling one percent have no need or interest in fascist-like coups, at this time at least!

President Joseph Biden, and much of the US establishment, in their drive for regime change in Russia via their US-instigated proxy-war in Ukraine, and while escalating confrontations with increasingly competitive capitalist-imperialist China, have consciously downplayed or ignored the significance of Trump’s January 6 frenzied attempts to retain his presidency, until now.   

Trump’s delusions of grandeur

A panicked Trump, with delusions of grandeur coupled with the belief that his US presidency, especially with a beholden Supreme Court behind him, was essentially immune to serious public scrutiny, unleashed hordes of white supremacists and neo-fascist types, from QAnon, Proudboys, and the Oathkeepers, along with an assortment of off-duty cops and military.

They descended on the White House to overturn Biden’s election victory. It was no secret that Trump rejected a peaceful transfer to a Biden presidency, repeatedly counseling his fanatical followers, even a year before the election, that should he lose, the only explanation could be a massive voter fraud perpetrated by the country’s “deep state” enemies. “Deep state” for Trump was an oblique reference to the usually low profile ruling class corporate power elite for whom both houses of the government are historically subordinate.

Biden himself, in late in 2020, without mentioning Trump, alluded to his then “greatest fear,” the emergence of fledging fascist currents in the Republican Party. But in his quest to ensure bi-partisan cooperation in funding the Ukraine War, maintaining record annual military spending at over $1 trillion, and pressing US imperialism’s ever escalating China confrontations, Biden’s vague “fascism” accusations have been noticeably downgraded. For the time being the majority of the ruling rich see no need to denounce Trump’s neo-fascist type rants; better to hold that option open for their own use when they deem it necessary to deploy terror, force and violence to maintain their rule in the face of future mass working class challenges.

Pentagon, police, National Guard let off the hook

No doubt the same is true with regard to today’s focus on convicting Trump while steering clear of his handful of institutional conspirators, including in the police, National Guard and the military.

The Pentagon’s delayed deployment of the National Guard on January 6 in the face of mass forces heading for the capital screaming “Hang Mike Pence,” Trump’s V.P. who refused his directive to reject the required congressional certification of the election results.

Former Capitol Police Chief Steven Sund testified on September 19, 2023, “I was repeatedly denied assistance by the Army Lieutenant General Walter Piatt citing concerns over ‘optics’ of the National Guard on Capitol Hill.”

Of course no such “optics” concern has been displayed historically when the corporate elite call for the National Guard to break strikes, attack Black Lives Matter or antiwar protests.

“The soldiers were within eyesight of the Capitol,” continued Sund. Piatt, far from being removed from office, is now director of the Army Chief of Staff, while coup enabler General Charles Flynn, who was on the call when Sund requested desperate assistance, is brother to QAnon leader and former Trump adviser Michael Flynn.

It is well known that fascist-types, white supremacist groups like Oath Keepers, QAnon and Proud Boys have disproportionate influence inside the official “forces of law and order,” including police departments, border patrol agents, the National Guard and among the military brass. But purging or punishing these still ruling class-controlled institutions is on no one’s agenda.

No doubt however, with the present rise in working class militancy, including the growing number of strikes pressing for demands to redress deep-seated and decades long incursions on the quality of life of US workers, bi-partisan posturing remains the order of the day, plus a dose of the historically reactionary, today liberal posturing, Biden blaming Trump for yesterday’s anti-labor policies.

Biden’s democratic pretense

Biden and the corporate media aim to demonstrate that the “system,” under his tutelage, with its restored multiple checks and balances, is today once again firmly in place. We survived the Trump presidency, Biden insists, and we are now fully capable of equally representing everyone.

And, this “system” the corporate media daily inform us, will hold Trump to account for his crimes, perhaps even jail him – not so much perhaps as punishment for his despicable deeds, that most ruling class politicians engage in daily, albeit with more tact and intelligent obfuscation, but rather to undermine Trump’s current presidential bid!

The “moron” Trump, the term chosen by the former Exxon Mobile CEO and resigned Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson, is currently an embarrassment to the ruling elite – a bit too blatant and a stupid conniving crooked politician to boot!

But make no mistake, Trump’s evil deeds are no more despicable than the atrocities daily perpetrated against the world’s people by US capitalism at the behest of its “elected representatives,” the product of an electoral system absolutely dominated by the multi-billionaire elite.

Capitalism’s horrors remain intact

The system’s horrors include periodic death squad assassinations and systematic torture, endless drone wars, “Special Operations” secret wars, sanction wars and outright wars of intervention and conquest that starve and slaughter millions.

The 1100 US military bases in over 100 countries exist to impose imperialist rule and plunder. Trump, fully aware of these daily features of US capitalism practiced by all previous presidents, undoubtedly calculated that his petty adventures, like attempting to steal the US presidency, could or would go unnoticed, if not succeed.

As the US empire loses ground in the context of ever-more intense inter-imperialist rivalry for control of the world’s resources and markets, the US is increasingly seen as a divided house with unpredictable and often warring parties vying to impose their interests at the expense of their competitors, not to mention working people – the worldwide victims of capitalist crises everywhere.

The growing absence of quality fulltime jobs, the near obliteration of unions (today representing barely six percent of the private sector workforce), the increasing absence of affordable housing, across the board declining of social services and the degradation and privatization of public education, are coupled with cultural and social decay. Mass shootings, endless racist police attacks and murder, an exploding prison population – the “school to prison” scenario – the permanent degradation of the poor, scapegoating the most oppressed – women, immigrants, LGBTQI people, and oppressed nationalities – are today’s reality for unprecedented tens and hundreds of millions. Need we mention the poisoning of our air and water and the fossil fuel-induced climate catastrophe that threatens life on earth itself?

Republican presidential hopeful Ron Desantis and his Republican Party “opponents” are taken to challenging Trump from the right with “MonSantis” [Monsanto chemical  company] Desantis publicly promising should he be elected to “start slitting throats on day one.” In contrast, the cool and collected racist warmonger, union-buster Biden plays the part of a serious and practiced professional politician!

US Capitalism’s twin billionaire parties

There has never been a serious choice in modern capitalism’s “for billionaires only” rigged electoral arena. That choice will emerge when working people begin creating independent, democratic and fighting organizations aimed at advancing and winning their freedom and dignity in every aspect of life. This includes the massive expansion and democratization of today’s unions, the formation of a massive, independent labor party aimed at taking labor’s struggles on the job at the point of production into the political arena in alliance with all the oppressed and exploited. The objective is to construct a new state power based on the democratic rule of the vast working class majority, not the capitalist exploiters, whose continued existence is inseparable from today’s ever-deepening horrors.

The prerequisite to these critical advances is the construction of a mass revolutionary socialist party, deeply imbedded in all the struggles of working people and based on the historic experiences of working class victories everywhere.

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