The sun is setting on the Amerikan empire. As a Biden/Harris presidency begins, we must remember: a break in the waves is not a turning tide.
New feet have slipped into the same old jackboots. In the heat of the political moment, people are all too willing to forget this fact, leading them to false interpretations of Trump’s defeat as definitively progressive. Only a marked transfer of class power signals actual progress, which the Democratic Party will never offer. We will only see meaningful change once we stop defining our politics by what we are against (anti-Trump, anti-Tory, anti-capitalist), and act on the basis of what we are for: communism.
Negative politics, or ‘anti-ism’, causes us to enter a fantasy world in which proletarian anti-fascism may reconcile with the bourgeois electoral apparatus. The liberals and social-democrats in every capitalist country sing a siren’s song of ‘unity’ against the reactionaries. Some of our comrades are tempted, never to return to revolutionary work.
What do the imperialists gain from such symbolic unity with the proletariat and other oppressed classes? Votes from the politically ill-informed and the diminution of the revolutionary ranks. And what do the proletariat stand to gain from this unity? Disappointment, and the further confusion of our ill-informed comrades. To those ‘socialists’ who see Biden’s victory as one in whose glow they may bask, we ask: where and how was bourgeois power eroded by the election of yet another white-supremacist warmonger? To the credit of bourgeois ‘democracy’, who has learned from its feudal predecessor, the downward pressure on humanity does not ease even momentarily throughout presidential transitions. They are purely ceremonial, their pomp reveals but one veiled message to the international working class: imperialism has changed costume.
This act of political trickery, hyped to the heavens by the self-satisfied bourgeois and their servants in the media, is the circus that distracts from the theft of bread. Its purpose is sucking in, chewing up, and spitting out the proletariat, to sap them of their political will through steady and repeated cycles of hope and disillusionment. We in Britain are aware of this better than everyone, where our government’s rhetoric of care overshadows their eugenicist policy. The story is similar in the US, where thousands of workers each day are silently massacred by a brutal marketised healthcare regime. Additionally, the Amerikan working class is presently exiting the heat of Black proletarian struggle, manifested in the reignition of Black Lives Matter protests beginning last summer. In the face of this radical movement, the bourgeois send into working class communities both their fascist police forces and their ‘opposition’ parties. This serves to defang and misdirect the revolutionary impulses of the uneducated masses while brutally repressing those protesters who understand the traps that the bourgeoisie lay and continue to take action. This dual-pronged approach creates general injury and disarray among the oppressed masses, who are made to doubt their proven ability to burn the whole thing down if they so choose. The election of anti-busing Biden and the cop Kamala attest to the success of this strategy, who faced only the hissy fits of fascists in protest to their election. The only intention of these Democrat snakes is co-opting the blood, sweat, and tears of colonised people to legitimise their imperialism with a ‘diverse’ face. The only means the working class in all countries has for countering bourgeois hegemony is to construct vanguard organisations with deep roots in working class communities, capable of sharpening the wits of the people in the field of struggle.
The liberal bourgeois wring their hands and clutch their pearls over Trump’s distinct brand of quasi-fascism. But what seems like disgust is in fact embarrassment, the kind that comes with being stripped in public. More than anyone else, Trump represented the lurid decadence and sordid depravity of the Amerikan capitalist system in general, that preaches the doctrine of the self-made man while accruing wealth through stolen land and labour. All attempts to oust him from politics stemmed from a bourgeois anxiety regarding how he gave their game away.
Only the complete destruction of the US state can fundamentally alter the relations of imperialism. This fact, however, should not lead us to a wholesale negation of this moment’s importance. Due to its hegemonic status in the imperialist world order, the election of each new presidential vulture takes on great international significance. This is especially the case in Britain at this historical moment, for we must prepare for a closure of ranks around our ‘special relationship’ with Amerika following our departure from the EU, which amounts in fact to increased financial predation on our people.
Because the proletariat are defined by our economic powerlessness, our struggle is principally over the state: a political struggle. Where the bourgeoisie conducts class warfare through the extraction of surplus value, and uses their politics to distract from this fact, the proletariat must use its politics to highlight capitalist theft, conquer the political apparatus, and use it to repurpose production to satisfy our needs. Shifts in the political style of imperialists open up new tactical potentials that the proletariat must seize upon in its quest for state power. There is no perfect defence. Every new costume that the enemy wears shows new vulnerabilities. It is by spotting and exploiting them that a spear may be lodged in Capital’s brain.
The principally political nature of our struggle means that reformist and economistic ‘socialisms’ spell doom for the working class. Included in these strains is revisionist Marxism, which seeks, ad infinitum, to push the bourgeois parties left. These amount to a controlled opposition – tolerated by the bourgeoisie as a necessary evil – used to forestall the unified might of the whole exploited people. As earnest supporters of oppressed people, we must only endorse the construction of a wildly uncontrollable opposition to capital.
Communists recognise the utility of having such a blatant reactionary as Trump in power, in that he served as the best advertisement for socialism. We often find our way towards communism via liberalism, which presents itself as the only legitimate opposition to unapologetic reaction. It is only once we’ve had our fill of vacillation and two-faced betrayal from those within the bourgeois apparatus that we make a declarative leap towards revolutionary Marxism. It is our personal history and that of our class which makes us trust no bourgeois. Each day/month/year/election cycle, we are retaught this lesson, which pushes new comrades into the fold of the revolutionaries and solidifies the resolve of our oldest ranks.
Class consciousness, as well as permanently altering the worker’s future activity, also retroactively changes their view of the past. At a certain point, we glimpse a clear historical picture, that upon study teaches us: intensifying opposition to conservatism and fascism correspondingly entails the sharpening of the wit and strengthening of the spirit against liberal lies and social-democratic impotence. It is the dialectical movement between the two political wings of the bourgeoisie in all capitalist states that brings one to communism. The complete political bankruptcy of both wings of the bourgeoisie is evidenced by the sheer amount of money required to pervade their mythology and sustain their dying system. In Cuba, money is kept out of politics; instead, the people feel democracy in their workplaces and communities, from which they elect their leaders. Imperialism is in a downward spiral. The only place for the bourgeoisie is the grave. That is why Cuba will outlive Amerika, and its history shall be infinitely more glorious.
While the same conditions that led to the rise of Trump are produced by the Democratic victory, we must remember that history has no reset button. There are two ways in which Biden’s presidency differs from Obama’s. Neither of them discourage fascist ascendence, but both are cause for limited optimism. The first is that the empire is in decline, stooping lower by the minute. Anti-imperialism is coming off of its defensive streak and is exposing the paper tiger for what it is. Humanity’s progressive forces will only gather strength during this period, and Western imperialism can only respond by increasing its violent reaction. This international context in which Biden begins his presidency lines him up as the head of global imperialist reaction and liberal double-dealing. This will only widen the gulf between the British imperialist bourgeoisie, who will inevitably sell us out to Amerikan capitalist interests, and the British proletariat. As too many of us remain deluded by the honeyed words and petty crumbs of imperialism we must prepare to permanently discredit the British bourgeoisie when the opportunity presents itself.
The second note of central importance that changes the conditions between an Obama and Biden presidency is that the socialist movement has grown hugely over the last four years. It has been demonstrated to the Amerikan people, time and time again, that the settler ruling class have in their hearts only the will to subjugate, imprison, and impoverish. The socialist revolution in the US will be decolonial, destroying their empire in name and material reality. The layered contradictions of the bourgeois settler colony, weighed down by chronic overaccumulated capital, will ensure its own implosion. This, however, is not a forgone conclusion, and cannot be done without class struggle. It is on this count that future generations will owe a great debt to Amerika’s immigrant, Black, and Indigenous populations, for these groups more than any other have advanced the struggle towards proletarian emancipation in general. How are they doing this? By dealing relentless blows to white supremacy, eradicating the false unity between the chauvinists and revolutionaries, exposing the former and developing stronger unity within the latter. These too are lessons we are learning from our Amerikan comrades.
The Amerikan situation and the development of its communist movement illustrate the link between politics and economics. It is objectively and essentially the crisis of imperialist-capitalism that creates the communists who are able to wrest society from the bourgeois colonisers and construct a truly democratic, socialist society. For this reason, the crisis of imperialism must be seized by communists, as we capitalise upon the chaos under heaven.
As we struggle in the imperial core, we know that the defeat of our reactionary states will shake capitalism to its very foundation, facilitating worldwide socialism on an unprecedented scale. Our analysis of the Amerikan situation allows us to signpost our progress and set out our tasks, which are: expose all liberalism, counter pacifism and defeatism, root out class collaborationism, strengthen our relations with the depoliticised, disenfranchised, yet-to-be radicalised majority, and build the movement against imperialism and war. A line in the sand must be drawn over these next four years, so that by its end there may stand two clearly defined camps: one revolutionary, one reactionary. The former must be distilled by a most resolute vanguard: educated, organised, and prepared to employ any means necessary to attain full and lasting freedom. They must stand in opposition to the reactionary camp, containing the class-traitors, counter-revolutionary petit-bourgeois and imperialist bourgeoisie. With these conditions met, the numerical, intellectual, and spiritual strength of the proletariat will leave the reactionary camp no other destiny than a defeat of world historical proportions. We implore all comrades to bury their liberalism, next to the bourgeoisie who use it to dupe the working class into passivity, complacency, and confusion.