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“January 6 Incident” and the Disintegration of the Conservative Interclass Alliance

△ On January 6, a large-scale protest broke out in Washington, D.C., in which Trump supporters violently occupied Capitol Hill and violently clashed with the police.

As a rule, on January 6, 2021, the Senate and the House of Representatives of the United States Congress held a joint meeting to confirm the results of the state elector vote.

Before the joint meeting, enthusiastic supporters of current President Trump from all over the United States arrived in Washington.

During the meeting, these enthusiastic supporters stormed the Capitol, forcing the meeting to be interrupted, and members of both houses had to retreat to a safe place.

In this serious conflict, four Trump supporters died, and two congressional police officers died one after another.” The January 6th incident” was the most damaged by the U.S. Capitol since 1814, and one of the most damaged by American democracy.

This incident not only marks the openness of division in American society, but also means that the electoral system in the United States has lost legitimacy in the minds of a considerable number of voters, so that they are trying to change the election results beyond the law.

Before the joint congressional meeting, Trump hoped that Vice President Pence, who was also the president of the Senate, would prevent Congress from confirming Biden’s election, but Pence refused.

Therefore, in the “January 6 Incident”, Trump supporters targeted not only Democrats, but also their “traitor” Pence and others, and some even shouted to “death Burns”.

You know, Pence has always been Trump’s right-hand man and loyal supporter.” The essence of the January 6th incident is not only the attempt of right-wing populists who support Trump to break through the constitutional system of the United States, but also the collapse of the conservative cross-class alliance.

What is a cross-class alliance?

In a capitalist society like the United States, society is divided into classes. However, class relations are not as simple as we thought before. They can roughly include the following three groups of relationships:

Basic class relations

According to the different conditions of possession of the means of production, a basic class relationship occupies a dominant position in various social relations of class society, and stipulates other social relations.

The basic classes of capitalist society are the working class, the bourgeoisie, and the middle class or petty bourgeoisie in the middle of the two. The class structure of capitalist society is clearer than that of pre-capitalist society, so class conflicts become more concise.

Intraclass relations

Class is not a homogeneous social group. Because of different modes of production and exchange, industries, regions and ethnic groups will be formed, such as financial capital groups and industrial capital groups within the bourgeoisie, and different industries within the working class.

There are also fierce struggles between different groups within the same class, sometimes even seeing swordsmen.

Marx attached great importance to intraclass relations. In Louis Bonaparte’s Eighteenth Day of the Fog Moon, he combined inter-class and intra-class relations to analyze the political history of France from February 1848 to December 1851 in a magnificent and exquisite way.

Cross-class alliance

In fact, it is also a kind of class relationship, but it is not a class struggle that we usually understand. Cross-class alliance is a political alliance organized by some social groups in different classes in the name of ethnicity, religion or gender based on common production, exchange methods and interests. Cross-class alliance is not superclass, but more reflects the interests of the dominant and dominant class in the alliance. In pre-capitalist society, churches, gangs and village societies are such alliances. After the capitalist order was fully established, cross-class alliances constituted an important part of domestic and international political life, and also an important means of implementing social and political control.

Since the globalization of neoliberalism, cross-class alliances have been gradually carried out in the form of nationalism, ethnic politics, right-wing nativism, religious movements and gender politics. The upper class is a group or its representatives in the ruling class. Through a specific ideological organization or the mobilization of the corresponding masses of the lower class, it forms a political alliance that serves the interests of the upper class and can give a share to the middle and lower classes. However, the members of the cross-class alliance are often completely opposed to the class, so they are very unstable.

2016 American Conservative Interclass Alliance

Since the 1970s, the structure of the American economy has undergone profound changes in the process of globalization and divided the whole country into two parts: the East and West Coast states, which are good at finance, services and high technology, namely, the “liberal United States”; old industrial bases such as the Midwest and the South constitute “conservative”.

Theatism of America”. However, new research shows that the geographical differences between “liberal America” and “conservative America” are more obvious in the opposition between large cities and towns and rural areas, shaped by different production and exchange methods.

Thus, “liberal America” and “conservative America” are not so much the concept of political geography as the concept of interclass alliance.” Liberal America” is a liberal cross-class alliance.

The upper class is a group of financial and high-tech capitalists who make a lot of money in neoliberal globalization, that is, the liberal bourgeoisie, gathers New York and Silicon Valley.

Its political representative is the Democratic establishment, and the backbone is the white-collar workers living around these industries. and the petty bourgeoisie.” Conservative America” is a conservative cross-class alliance, with the upper class of which is bourgeois conservatives, the political representative is the Republican establishment, and the backbone is the conservatives of the middle class or petty bourgeoisie. Because there is no strong working-class political party in the United States, a large number of bottom workers are trapped in these two cross-class alliances.

Trump’s victory in the 2016 U.S. election is inseparable from his anti-party style, which attracts white workers and petty bourgeoisie who have been damaged by the structural changes in the U.S. economy and has transformed some white workers from Democratic supporters to Republican supporters, which has strengthened. Conservative inter-class alliance.

For example, Ashley Babbitt, who spearheaded the attack on the Capitol during the January 6 Incident and was shot dead, is a retired female Air Force soldier. She and her husband co-owned a swimming pool equipment installation and maintenance company, but the business situation was not good and she owed usury. She is a fanatic of Trump and is also regarded as a “patriot” by people around her.

Trump, both a member of the big bourgeoisie, and supported by bankrupt white blue-collar workers and petty bourgeoisie because of his anti-establishment anti-globalization stance, is almost the only bridge between upper conservatives and right-wing populists, and the hub of conservative cross-class coalitions.

This is also the fundamental reason why Trump quickly transformed the Republican Party into a “Trump Party” after he came to power. However, in the conservative interclass alliance, the obvious class gap between the upper and lower classes has not been bridged, which is different from the liberal cross-class alliance. The liberal cross-class alliance benefits from economic globalization, which can eat meat at the top and drink soup at the bottom.

The collapse of the conservative inter-class alliance

Lenin pointed out in “The Childishness of the “Left” in the Communist Movement” that the “crazy” petty bourgeoisie who are destroyed by capitalism is a social phenomenon inherent in all capitalist countries.

It needs further be clarified that when the workers’ movement is flourishing, this “crazy” will be manifested as a very “left” face, and when the workers’ movement is at a low tide, it will be carried out in the form of right-wing populism and escalates to fascism when conditions are ripe.

A considerable part of the bankrupt petty bourgeoisie and white workers in the United States unfortunately embarked on the path of right-wing populism.

In the conservative and cross-class alliance of American conservatism, there is always a structural contradiction between upper conservatives and bottom right-wing populism, and the existence of the coalition is almost maintained by Trump.

However, the upper class of the alliance has always been a champion of the capitalist democratic order, but needs to use Trump to earn votes from the middle and lower classes.

And the lower middle and lower classes, who are increasingly inclined to right-wing populism, continue to be the Republican party’s position only because of their support for Trump, and there is always the impulse to break through the American political order in the middle and lower classes.

After the U.S. election vote, Trump never acknowledged the result, claiming that there was fraud in the election, and his grassroots followers, right-wing populists, spread conspiracy theories everywhere and pointed the finger at the Democrats.

However, some senior Republicans have gradually expressed their willingness to accept the election results.

On the eve of the joint session of Congress, Pence’s unreasonable demands showed that the upper class of the conservative cross-class alliance were no longer willing to dance with the wind, and the lower and middle classes of the alliance were not willing to be bound by the upper class to express their posture with violence, which eventually led to the “January 6 incident”.

After the outbreak of the “January 6 Incident”, Trump became the “public enemy” of the entire American bourgeoisie. Many social media with global influence, such as Twitter, Facebook and YouTube, joined hands to block Trump’s accounts or comments, and tolerated Trump’s social media parlers were also blocked by Apple and Google. Take it off the shelves with Amazon.

Democrats set out to push for a second impeachment of Trump in an attempt to kill him politically. Pence issued a statement, declaring that violence will never happen. The Republican establishment effectively abandoned Trump, and thus also abandoned the right-wing populist masses in the conservative inter-class coalition.

The “January 6 Incident” shows that: first, the conservative inter-class alliance of American conservatism has collapsed, and the upper class cannot restrain the right-wing populists of the middle and lower classes; second, right-wing populism shows a highly organized and semi-militarized characteristics.

Since there is no strong working-class political party in the United States, right-wing populism It will become the most effective political movement; third, right-wing populism has many supporters in the army and the police. Will the collapse of the conservative interclass alliance lead to the recurrence of certain historical scenes? We will wait and see.

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