The Convenient Chimera of America’s ‘New Civil War’

There is no imminent civil war” coming to the United States between Republicans and Democrats. There is only one war that has been going on for many years: class war.

There’s a lot of fearful talk about the United States descending into a “new civil war” especially as highly fraught mid-term elections approach.

Commentators who indulge this notion are guilty of aiding the pretense that there are two different parties worth fighting for. When in reality the two U.S. parties are from the same stock: defenders of an oppressive, warmongering system.

To get rid of that system and replace it with something actually democratic requires popular recognition of how the two parties are equal parts of the same problem. A genuinely worker-led political movement is required guided by socialist objectives of economic justice and anti-imperialism.

Talk of civil war in the U.S. is a convenient chimera for suppressing real political awareness and democratic progress.

Donald Trump, Steve Bannon and a foreign co-conspirator Guo Wengui are permitted to swan around despite trying to overthrow the government and despite reams of serious fraud charges. Why is that? Because without them and their ilk there would be no “controlled two-party disguise” for the oligarchy that really runs America and its capitalist racket.

We will return to Trump, Bannon and Guo in a moment. First, let’s take stock of the political facade that passes for two “opposing” parties.

The combatants are assumed to be right-wing Republicans and alleged “radical left” Democrats. Republicans label Democrats as “treasonous” against American traditional values (whatever they are) while Democrats claim an increasingly reactionary Republican Party under Donald Trump’s influence threatens U.S. democracy.

Ordinary Americans will indeed tell you the political atmosphere in their country has become bitterly polarized and volatile. And for a nation that possesses more private firearms than its 330 million population, the potential for violent conflict does look ominous.

Nevertheless, there is good reason to doubt that a civil war is imminent. Unlike the 1861-65 war, there is little conviction on either side to mobilize. Many Americans are too politically disorientated and disillusioned to be capable of organizing a coherent fight. There may sporadic mass shootings but there will not be a civil war.

And that suits the ruling class just fine. The nasty tensions between the two political parties are just a bun fight to distract the majority of working Americans from their condition of economic exploitation and oppression. The oligarchy owns both Republican and Democrat parties from lavish donations, often doled out to both at the same time. There is no “right and left”. Both parties are right-wing capitalist servants. Fundamentally, they cooperate to prop up the oligarchic system of domination over the vast majority.

Granted the Republicans are tonally more rightwing and pro-capitalist. While the Democrats have a softer tone. American commentators like Robert Bridge who writes for this journal continually and baselessly refer to Democrats as “radical leftists”. Such a depiction is a risible misconception and misdirection. It feeds into the false narrative of “two opposing parties”. Democrats may have a veneer of presumed liberalism from policies that promote gender and identity politics. But it’s a superficial distinction. Yes, it leads to endless, furious “culture wars” over morals and lifestyles, with the Republicans tending to defend conservative religious norms.

But on the basic social structure of oligarchic power and privilege under capitalism, both parties offer no challenge. Far from it, both parties are ardent defenders of the system. In that all-important context, the purported left-right distinction is rendered meaningless. It is a facade that serves to cover up the established power of corporations, billionaires, their media combines, and the engine of American capitalism – the military-industrial complex.

Just look at the historical record. Under both parties, the U.S. has been continuously at war or engaged in some other form of militarism decade after decade. In recent years, presidents from both parties have pursued policies of wanton confrontation with Russia and China. The bipartisan Congress quickly puts away any internal bickering over relatively nitpicking matters to consistently back massive military spending and all wars overseas. It’s what unites the two as effectively a single War Party.

President Trump was ridiculously accused by jealous Democrats of being a “Russian agent”. This is while Trump’s administration armed the Neo-Nazi regime in Ukraine to antagonize Russia. That policy was taken up with gusto by his Democrat successor Joe Biden to the point where a full-scale war against Russia is now on the cards.

Democrat President Barack Obama sowed the early aggressive policy towards China with his Pivot to Asia in 2011. Trump ramped up that aggression to new heights with his reckless trade-war practices. Biden continues the belligerent pace with deliberate provocations by undermining China’s sovereignty over Taiwan.

Evidently, both parties are united when it comes to implementing U.S. imperial power interests. That’s because both parties are owned by the ruling class whose wealth largely depends on waging wars and violence around the world to make the world obedient to American capital.

At home, the two parties preside over class war against the majority of American citizens. The Republican Party as much as the Democratic Party is bought and paid for by oligarchic wealth to ensure that the structure of obscene inequality remains intact. Both parties have loyally and willingly facilitated the transfer of huge wealth from the majority of working people to a relatively tiny elite of multibillionaires. It is inconceivable for either party to question this system of economic robbery and plunder. How can they bite the hand that feeds? Besides, they are ideologically wedded to the system as a norm.

For these reasons of inherent common interest in protecting the system and its war function abroad, there will be no civil war in America. Because fundamentally they are on the same side – the side of the oligarchy.

Oh yes, there may be altercations and shouting about relatively minor matters to do with “culture wars”. But this is just a sideshow to the main event which is class war by the capitalist system and its imperialist conduct of wars for global domination.

Just take a look at how the Biden Democrats pussyfoot over the criminal sedition that took place on January 6, 2021. It is clear that the outgoing President Trump tried to stage a coup against the election result of November 2020 which saw him lose to Biden. Despite the baseless conspiracies about election fraud Biden won the election (for what it’s worth). The assault on Congress on January 6 by thousands of Trump supporters was a bid to violently overthrow the government. Trump is up to his neck in that crime. Yet for the past two years, the Democrats have lamely tiptoed around what was a shocking violation of the constitution.

Trump and his coup plotters are still at large, free to whip up Republicans into another frenzy for the next mid-term elections in November.

Steve Bannon, a strategist for Trump, who was deeply involved in organizing the coup plot, also remains at large. He is currently being prosecuted for fraud. And he was convicted of contempt of a Congressional inquiry into the January 6 event. But incredibly, Bannon is still free to spout bogus claims and make incendiary remarks that the Democrat administration is aiming to carry out “political assassinations”.

Trump and Bannon and other top conspirators among Trump’s former White House should be in jail for sedition.

Bannon’s financial sponsor is Chinese fugitive Guo Wengui. This alleged billionaire who now claims to be bankrupt to avoid paying multi-million-dollar fines to the U.S. authorities for fraud and other swindles is also wanted in his native China. Guo fled from China in 2014 and ended up in the U.S. where he has resided ever since. He is wanted by the Chinese government over charges of blackmail, bribery, fraud and rape.

Guo teamed up with Bannon in 2018 to launch a series of sophisticated Ponzi schemes to do with digital coins and new media as well as building a fictive $25 million wall on the Mexican border to keep illegal immigrants out. Now these two hucksters are being hounded legally for their ill-gotten gains from scamming thousands of hapless investors. Guo also provided Bannon with media platforms to promote lies about election fraud as well as conspiracies about how China allegedly created the Covid-19 pandemic as biowarfare against the U.S.

The reason why Trump and Bannon are allowed to keep peddling their toxic political wares is that the Democrats are impotent to do anything about it. Because the Democrats are also part of the whole political racket in the guise of the two-party system serving capitalism.

Chinese conman Guo is allowed to remain out of prison to continue running his media scam empire despite his rampant corruption and involvement in trying to overthrow the U.S. Constitution because he is a rabid public voice calling for a hostile policy against China.

Guo is more useful out of prison for U.S. imperialism because he tries to rile up Chinese expatriates to back Washington’s war plans against Beijing. He and Bannon set up the so-called New Federal State of China in New York in 2020 which acts like a Chinese government in exile. The provocation to Beijing must give Washington smug satisfaction.

When senior Democrat Nancy Pelosi made her coat-trailing trip to Taiwan in August, Guo was crowing on his media outlets for the U.S. to use military force in support of the breakaway Chinese territory.

Think about it. If the U.S. establishment somehow had any principle about law and order and respect for democracy, Trump and Bannon and other coup plotters would be in jail serving long sentences. Guo would be either in jail as a foreign enemy of the state or else he would have been extradited to China to face prosecution for his many alleged crimes.

There is no imminent “civil war” coming to the United States between Republicans and Democrats. There is only one war that has been going on for many years: class war. And its attendant wars around the world against designated enemies. The American oligarchy would like to create the chimera of an inter-party civil war because it distracts the majority of working people from identifying and directing their contempt to where it really matters – the capitalist system.

This analysis applies to Europe and many of its so-called right and left parties.

By Finian Cunningham
Source: Strategic Culture Foundation

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