Meanwhile, as the Republicans Fracture, a New Political Center Emerges—Further to the Right
As a consequence of Donald Trump’s supporters occupying the Capitol building in Washington, DC after a rally promoting his baseless claims of election fraud, the Republican Party is fracturing, setting the stage for the consolidation of a new bipartisan political center—albeit much further to the right than before. Yet this also paves the way for massive sections of Trump’s base to break away from representative democracy altogether, embracing an explicitly fascist alternative. The events of January 6 offer them martyrs and a revanchist narrative that will serve them for years to come, providing an internal mythos for recruitment and a justification whenever they need to use force.
The events of January 6 will discredit Trump supporters in the eyes of centrists and force some Republicans to shift their allegiances to the center, but they will also push the envelope regarding what is acceptable. This may help the far right recruit locally countrywide and could normalize similar actions in the future.
But this is not the only danger ahead. In the name of a war against extremism, centrists are going to demand to expand the same machinery of state repression that the next Trump will inevitably use against us. This is essentially what happened in Weimar Germany, setting the stage for the rise of the Third Reich. Likewise, Trump’s chief weapon throughout 2020 has been the Department of Homeland Security, created under Bush in response to the September 11 attacks, and he has also benefitted from further centralization under Obama. Centrist appeals to fight “chaos” will serve to draw many of our former allies out of the streets, while justifying new crackdowns that will target us as well as the far right.
The state clampdown after this will suppress freedoms across the board, targeting all forms of dissent. In Turkey, when Erdoğan put down a right-wing military coup, that paved the way for him to repress every form of protest. State repression of the right will follow the playbook they use against our movements—incorporating reformist elements while isolating and destroying “extreme” elements. If the only pressure on the government is from the far right, the state will make concessions to them.
We are already seeing our former allies withdrawal from the streets in the events of January 6. Liberals urged people not to go to DC, counting on the authorities to deal with Trump supporters. This was a miscalculation. Security forces are not particularly inclined to stand up to the part of the population they sympathize with most—and even when they choose to do so, their hands are effectively tied by the deeply engrained institutional habits of treating conservative white people much more respectfully than they treat people of color, poor people, and anti-capitalists.https://radicalglasgow.me.uk