As the US Congress is stormed by pro-Trump mobs, it cannot go unnoticed that America is going through an intensely ironic experience. Scenes of drawn weapons inside legislative buildings are not usually associated with the most powerful ‘democracy’ in the world.
Of course, it goes without saying that the crowd is a composed of the most reactionary elements of the pro-Trump right, and that they should be opposed unilaterally. That being said, watching American pig cops being physically beaten and pushed back by people carrying pro-police thin blue line flags is a deliciously ironic thing.
There is a more serious point to be made about this; America is experiencing the instability that it has consistently imposed on others. From the rubble of Syria, to the fields of Vietnam, to the streets of Venezuela, the world is littered with the history of the US undermining other people’s sovereignty and democracy. The funding of right wing mobs and militias is America’s go-to strategy when dealing with nations it disapproves of. Now a right wing mob – though not as heavily armed as the ones America usually funds – has attacked one of the symbols of US power.
American imperialism has been the main destabilising force on the planet during the last century. Now it’s own tactics – and it’s own people – are being used against it. The empty shell of American ‘democracy’ is at odds with it’s own supporters. Not since the war of independence has this level of conflict been seen in the offices of American power.
For the people of America, this turn of events will be worrying, even scary. For the rest of the world, particularly those of us on the left, there are conflicting emotions. On the one hand, the idea of the US populist right being confident enough to assault Congress is troubling. But on the other, this could be the first of many cracks in the US empire. We must not be tricked into feeling sympathy for the Democrats and the moderate Republicans trapped in those offices. They may not be as brazenly racist or personally unpleasant as Trump, but they’ll vote for war and the defence of capitalism just as quickly as any Trump supporter. It would be irresponsible for anyone who considers themselves an anti-imperialist to not see the opportunity this is for the weakening of US power.
As anti-imperialists, as anti-capitalists and as anti-fascists, our response to this must be a curse on both their houses. Our solidarity and support is with the American working class, not the liberals and conservatives of the American political elite.