Before the institutions of a social order careening toward the scrap heap can be overthrown by a social revolution, the class that requires and embodies its emancipation of labor must establish new institutions expressing this new organization of power.
That’s a difficult task.
Before a social order suffering from advanced decrepitude can be saved, and preserved, it must dispense with those old institutions also, in order to preserve the domination of private property. For that to occur, the apparatus of governing has to be debased, demeaned, made to look ridiculous.
That’s not so difficult.
Bankruptcy, humiliation, failure, fraud are the four corners of pre-apocalyptic accumulation, government decay.
Who better covers those four corners than Donald J. Trump? Who embodies bankruptcy, humiliation, failure, and fraud more than he?
Trump had failed with his first “strategy” for dealing with the 2020 election, namely to delay or postpone it indefinitely. It wasn’t much of a strategy since Trump had not yet accumulated enough power to impose a delay definite or indefinite. So he turned to plan B: capitalizing on his personal popularity with the white folk of the country club, militia, church-going, hedge-funded, e-trading, authoritarian-loving, mask-hating, anti-vaccine, covid-spreading propertied classes.
Big monied and small monied, these folk dreamt by night and prayed by day, and vice-versa, of le grand homme orange on le grand cheval blanc to ride in, look around, and deputize each and every one of them to do as he has said and done: namely to lie, steal, bully, cheat, and shoot somebody in the middle of Pennsylvania Avenue.
“I’ll pay your legal expenses,” they remembered the Big Orange promising five year earlier.
In what surely came as no surprise, Trump had overpromised and underdelivered again, coming 7 million votes short of winning the election. He received 74 million votes, the second most any candidate for president had ever received.
And so we come to plan C– to disavow the reality, to belittle, demean, degrade the process, institutions, and results of the so-called republic.
Trump was doing his part, and that part was one he played before. Trump’s role in the twilight of wrecker-capitalism was one played by real-estate developers the world wide. Trump’s the guy who pays some other guy to bring scores of rats into a poor but solid working class Latino, or black, or mixed neighborhood, to let all those rats loose in the basements of the poor but solid buildings. Trump knows rats, and he knows the rats will drive those poor but solid people out, emptying the buildings of the poorer but solid types so he could remarket them to the sons and daughters of richer families.
He knows the rats will panic the other landlords, so he can pick up and/or destroy their property on the cheap.
After that, there comes the inevitable gentrification, the boutique capitalism of “trendy” bistros, shops, restaurants, and hotels. Without rats, urban real estate has no future.
On the political stage, the “other landlords” in this dismal drama are the….Democrats.
That was Trump’s plan.
So Trump called his “base” to Washington on January 6, 2021, for a rally and a brisk walk to the Capital where both houses of Congress were meeting in joint session to record the electoral votes already certified by states. At that rally, he told his idolators that the next step was to parade down Pennsylvania Avenue–“and I’ll be there with you”–to confront those senators and representatives who hadn’t yet bought their tickets to Jonestown.
And parade they did down the boulevard and onto the steps and into the Capitol building itself, greeted by some members of the so-called Capitol police, resisted by some others, but not too hard. After all these were your ordinary, hard-working, god fearing, white supremacists, fighting for….Donald Trump. These were not the satanic people of color objecting to police murderers. Big difference.
We were then treated to the sight, on live TV, and streaming over numerous channels, of the tough-talking Trump supporting and opposing senators and representatives united at last in seeking safety from the Trump’s army of counter-revolutionaries.
Abandoning their chambers, huddling on the floor in “safe rooms” the men and women of the US Congress were terrorized. Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer, Democrats in chiefs, dialed the White House frantically on their cell phones, pleading with Don to call off his messengers.
The legislators asked each other and themselves, “Where the fuck are the troops? Where is the National Guard? Where are US Marshals? Slavery’s over. They can’t be busy hunting down fugitive slaves. Where are the Drug Enforcement Agents, the Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms Agents, the FBI agents, the ICE, the CBP, the FPS, the FBP, officers? We spent $55 billion of other people’s money on the Department of Homeland Security and this is what we get? Not even a T-shirt that says ‘I cowered through the siege of January 6”?
One hour later, they were still asking the same question.
Two hours later, the same questions. Although this was an obvious case of sedition, the Department of Defense just couldn’t see its way clear to deploying the DC National Guard against the mob. After all, that would be going outside the chain of command, the chain wrapped around the finger of the Seditioner-in-Chief.
Three hours later… the governors of Virginia and Maryland dispatched National Guard Units from their respective states to retake the Capitol Building.
It was a pathetic display, exceeded in its miserableness only by the same Federal government’s response to the Covid pandemic.
Now facing a mob is scary business…and I would only do it if I had established proper lines for enfilading fire. However, all the legislators had taken an oath, swearing (or affirming) to support and defend the Constitution of the United States, the so-called “greatest political document” a slaveholding country has ever produced, against all enemies foreign and domestic.
When push came to shove, not a single one, not Josh Hawley, the posh toff from Missouri who had given a clenched-fist salute hours earlier, stayed behind to greet this tinker’s army–not plucky Chuck Schumer, not Tough Ted Cruz (the single most loathsome human being in any of the three branches of government, yes, worse than Kavanaugh), not Frat Boy Matt Gaetz, not Rasslin’ Jim Jordan of Ohio, none could be bothered to risk a well-manicured fingernail in defense of the Constitution when it was threatened by an enemy domestic.
Not a one; the institution is sacrosanct, the institution is ludicrous.
This is the way the bourgeois republic ends, with its “defenders” moving to a place of safety.
The plague follows.
January 7, 2021