American Decline

The Likely Impact of the “Beer Belly Putsch”

It’s only been a week so it’s still a bit early to fully assess what the long-term effects of the “Beer Belly Putsch” are going to be, but so far it’s looking like these will be among the outcomes.

  1. The legitimacy of the present state will be undermined. Nothing makes a state look weaker than a violent attack on its capital by a mob that manages to terrorize and humiliate the political class. Maintaining an appearance of strength and stability is fundamental to state legitimacy. January 6 was a case study in fourth-generation warfare where non-state actors managed to expose the weakness of a state.
  2. Trump’s legitimacy has been undermined within the context of mainstream politics. A slight majority now want him impeached and his approval level has decreased.
  3. The Red/Blue tribal-sectarian divide will be widened and the two sides will come to view each other as even greater existential threats.
  4. The gulf between the establishment Republicans (fading right-wing of the ruling class) and the Trumpists will become even wider. We’re already seeing this with guys like McConnell apparently hoping for Trump’s impeachment.
  5. A wider split will take place between the mainstream Trumpists who still hold to some level of system legitimacy and those further to the right who regard the system as fundamentally illegitimate.
  6. A split will take place on the far right between those who favor reform and those who favor revolution. The fact that many on the far right have not only abandoned the “blue lives matter” paradigm but have openly embraced violence against the cops is a big deal.
  7. The state will use January 6 as a pretext for strengthening anti-terrorism laws, increasing surveillance, and carrying out politically driven prosecutions. Such efforts had already begun under William Barr and will be continued under the Biden regime.
  8. The “private sector” will escalate repression against political dissidents, e.g. tech/social media censorship, termination of employment, barring individuals from using services, etc. The repression will not only be applied to the far right but anyone with a dissident opinion. To use one of many examples, the “Crimethinc” left-wing anarchist group was banned from Facebook even before the recent events.
  9. Friction will take place between the Democratic Party leadership (rising left-wing of the ruling class) and the “Left” (reform liberals, progressives, social democrats, etc.) over the level of repression that should be used in response to January 6 (e.g. strengthening anti-terrorism laws)
  10. There is likely to be a considerable amount of friction on the Left concerning the degree to which repression against the far right by the state should be supported, with the principal dividing line being those who think the ruling class is a greater threat and those who think the far right is a greater threat.

The major wildcard at present involves the degree to which further right-wing violence takes place. It is possible that there could be a wave of violence by the far-right, rural/suburban lumpenproletariat, sinking middle/reproletarianized labor, miscreant youth, and declasse sectors among Red-Tribe cultural groups, just as there was a previous wave of violence by comparable or counterpart sectors among the far-left, the Blue Tribe, and urban lumpenproletariat. The previous rebellions were ostensibly carried out by the left and historically marginalized but currently rising populations against racist police repression under a “fascist” and perceived illegitimate Republican administration that allegedly stole an election through electoral fraud, the archaic Electoral College, and Russian assistance. A new wave of rebellions could emerge from the right and previously dominant but currently declining populations against a perceived “socialist” Democratic administration that allegedly stole an election through electoral fraud, a stab in the back by Republican leaders, and Chinese assistance.

The major impacts and implications from January 6 so far are the ongoing loss of legitimacy by the US state, escalating repression by both the state and private power, ongoing polarization of the Red/Blue tribes, ongoing internal fracturing of the Left/Right, and rising political violence from multiple directions. However, at present, there is no evidence that state security is actually threatened. In fact, the opposite is true. The state has been given a pretext for attempting to strengthen its position. Clearly, the ruling class does not presently feel threatened as evidenced by the soaring stock market, indicating high levels of investor confidence, and the growing fortunes of the largest corporations. Nor is there any indication of fracturing among the network of governmental, corporate, military, intelligence, or technological sectors that collectively comprise the “military-industrial complex.”

Not only was the ruling class not threatened by the wave of violence that followed the George Floyd protests, but substantial sectors of the ruling class appeared to embrace and commercialize it. The events of January 6 was a little more serious from a ruling class vantage point, because it involved an attack on a primary symbol of state power, and therefore the legitimacy of the state itself from a psywar perspective, as opposed to a single Target store or a local police precinct. And the attack occurred with a seeming wink from the actual head of state, whom the majority of the ruling class regards as a class maverick and renegade. Trump’s implicit nod to the Capitol Hill rioters was not inherently more significant than the previous nod by liberal sectors of the ruling class to the prior waves of rioters. Just as individual Target stores and Amazon warehouses that get looted or torched are merely written off as business expenses and then reimbursed by insurance, the members of the political class who were physically threatened on January 6 are likewise expendable from the perspective of power elite interests, no different from middle-managers or junior executives in a corporation or mid-level or junior-grade officers in the military.

So far, the prevailing consensus among power elite opinion appears to be “let the loser classes fight” and if a few big box stores, local police precincts, or elected officials are sacrificed in the process, this is regarded merely as an investment that allows for the maintenance of the “divide and conquer” approach favored by the upper strata of the power elite, whose real fear is the potential emergence of unified opposition to their own rule.

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