Beginning a discussion on US events whilst waiting (or not waiting) for an ICC response.
I think we are witnessing (or participating in) the first major social upheavals (there have been others) of a new and largely unprecedented situation, within which and totally governed by the period of decomposition:
- the entire globe, almost without exception, is dislocated on the social and economic level by the Covid-19 pandemic;
- the ruling class has little perspective to offer other than violent repression (police, national guard, curfews in over 25 cities) and a return ‘at a lower level’ of the way ‘things used to be!’. In many cases (though not all) the ruling class has lost credibility in the eyes of the populations through its inept handling of the pandemic and the evident social gulf between exploiters and exploited which the latter has illustrated and widened
- unemployment has only just begun to become a major factor animating proletarian struggles and unrest within other non-exploiting strata – such struggles lie ahead of us as do the further repercussions of the economic depression currently unfolding;
- the proletariat, due to the general period and the specificities of the unfolding of events in Minneapolis has a great difficulty in expressing itself on a class terrain. We could suggest that a refusal to be cowed by police brutality and overt racism, the solidarity shown across racial divides (including bus drivers refusing to transport those arrested; the presence of many white protestors amongst those furious at the latest death at police hands of an unarmed African American and minoritarian calls to turn the unrest into a strike movement to push back the state) are positive elements (see also the ICC articles on 'the class struggle forging the future' and also the specific US struggles under the pandemic in a separate article). These are outweighed by the problems presented generally by the retreat in class consciousness which is the hallmark of and contributing factor towards the decomposition of society; the specific difficulties, already highlighted by the ICC, of self-organisation in the pandemic period; the overt racial overtones of the origins of this coast-tocoast protest engulfing 45 cities; the illusions in Democratic rather than Republican ‘solutions’; the weight of a crushed petty-bourgeoisie and the appearance of rioting and looting as the over-arching, immediate response to racist police activity including the murder of George Floyd, are among the negative factors.
- inter-imperialist tensions have not ceased during this period (US-China, The WHO; the G7, Sino-Indian border build-up, etc, etc)
The comrades of the North American section of the federated ICT have issued a statement (see link below) which in my view adheres to basic class positions, makes some good points (particularly on the weight of the petty-bourgeoisie) but which a) takes no cognisance of the period we’re in (unsurprising) therefore b) raises the perspective of turning the present situation towards revolution and c) appears to argue that part of the ‘white working class’ has been ‘bught off’. I’ve only read it once and stand to be corrected in these impressions.
For the ICC, the task is to intervene at whtever level possible, show solidarty with the resistance to state attacks and emiseration, while explaining why things are unfolding as they are and the only way forward.