January 6 Events in the United States

The Fight Between "Violence" and "Defence of
the Democratic Institutions"

Things are moving fast in the aftermath of the January 6 events in Washington, DC. The Democrats are circulating articles of impeachment of President Donald Trump, which give as an argument for impeachment "incitement of insurrection." They claim to have the support of close to 190 Democrats in the House of Representatives for these articles. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has said that unless Trump resigns immediately there is going to be a move to force him out either through impeachment or through the 25th Amendment of the Constitution, which would require that Vice President Mike Pence and half the Cabinet declare that Trump is "unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office." So far, Pelosi has not given her blessing to the motion of impeachment, but the media expect that the articles of impeachment will be presented to the House of Representatives. 

Media are also saying that Pence is not in favour of pursuing efforts to get rid of Trump as President before President-Elect Joe Biden is sworn in on January 20. Biden says the country must heal and unify under his presidency. If the motion of impeachment is adopted by the House of Representatives, the Constitution requires a two-thirds vote of the Senate to convict. The penalty for an impeached official upon conviction is removal from office.

There is even discussion that because the Senate is not planning to meet before January 19, the vote on impeachment in the Senate could be held after Trump finishes his term as president. A president convicted of impeachment no longer qualifies to run for office. There is clearly lots of behind the scenes manoeuvring to achieve some sort of resolution to the crisis.

Meanwhile, Twitter has forever banned Trump's personal account, Facebook until January 20 and Amazon Web Services has banned social media app Parler (similar to Twitter) because, Amazon says, it advocates violence. This feeds the debate about freedom of speech versus prohibition of incitement to violence. Meanwhile, police forces are said to be combing media footage in preparation for laying more charges against those who breached the Capitol building on January 6 and were seen to commit crimes. 

What we can see from these facts is that the conflicts between the factions of the imperialist elite are continuing relentlessly, while further deployment of police powers is provided with a justification through the discourse on insurrection, violence and the need to protect the institutions of democracy.

Despite talk about defending the democratic symbols and institutions, a problem discussed without the seriousness it deserves is the humiliation the revenge-seeking will cause to what is called "the Trump base" which is far from being limited to the racist militias said to have broken into the Capitol on January 6. There are 73 million people who are reported to have voted for Trump, many of whom simply do not trust the government to help them deal with the serious problems they face. The cartels and coalitions trying to use these events as a way to line up workers and the people behind themselves are sowing the wind and are sure to reap the whirlwind sooner rather than later. Attempts to divert the peoples' consciousness into believing it is a fight between "violence" and "defence of the democratic institutions" seek to cover up that this violence within the ruling class is what is left when the democratic institutions, including elections, do not function and serve as a block to people's empowerment.

This article was published in

Volume 51 Number 2 - January 10, 2021

Article Link:
The Fight Between "Violence" and "Defence of
the Democratic Institutions"


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