I confess that when, on New Year’s Eve, I wrote about my blogging plans for 2021, I had not envisioned that an attempted coup in the USA would happen on January 6th.
To be clear, it was obvious since early December that the far-right around Trump were looking to organise a protest in early January. They were not exactly subtle about their intentions, including their ambition to storm the Capitol. However, I assumed that this was more bluster than anything – that the US security forces would be reading the same things I was and would put in sufficient security so that all that would happen would be a noisy protest outside.
My biggest concern was that the more militant elements of this mob would seek to provoke a response from anti-fascist and anti-racist groups, with the intention of giving Trump an excuse to execute some form of martial law, and do a coup through that way. I was confident they would fail in their attempt to provoke such a reaction.
Well, here we are, four days after the attempted coup. It happened, but not in the way I expected.
In light of the attempted coup, I have decided to try my hand at a series, The American Crisis. My objectives in this series will be to:
- Explore the origins and nature of the fascist/rightwing populist movement in the USA.
- The likely development of this movement in at least 2021, as a result of the attempted coup.
- The likely development of the post-Trump Republican Party (and the internal conflicts shaping this).
- The likely development of the post-Trump Democratic Party (and the internal conflicts shaping this).
- The opportunity for a revolutionary offensive (noting it might not be a revolution, but the opportunity to advance class positions against the right all the same).
- The potential implications of the attempted coup and the ongoing American crisis for Bermuda – and what we, in Bermuda, might do. This includes a look at our own issues of class and race, as well as our constitutional relationship with the UK.
It will take me some time to cover all of these issues. I will seek to first publish a skeleton article hitting my key points, which I will then expand in respective articles
I have taken the name of the series from the work of the same name by my favourite US Founding Father, Thomas Paine.
Additionally, while the US mythos speaks of the 13 colonies that launched the revolutionary war in the first British Empire, a war that ended in their war of independence, there were actually other colonies in the Americas. Bermuda was actually the 14th colony. Only our geography – isolation and small size – and a large British military garrison prevented us being one of the founding States. We have, of course, diverged since. However, we have always remained interlinked with the US. Like Mexico, we are too far from heaven and too close to the USA; in practical terms we remain a British colony formally, but an American colony in reality.