We are all Antifa now!
What the fascist attack on Congress means for America
I’ve spent the past 12 months writing a book called How To Stop Fascism, in anticipation of a Biden victory and a four-year insurgency against the incoming administration. I predicted that Trump would stage a coup — but this is only the foretaste of what’s coming. I want to put down some quick bullet points about the events in DC and what they mean.
The most salient fact is not the invasion of Congress but that Trump, the sitting president, incited it and that the state’s coercive power failed in the face of it. That, in an instant, creates a new template for state failure in America. The separation of powers, and the specific dysfunction built into DC’s status, allowed a fascist mob to invade Congress and disrupt one of its most vital proceedings. Even the electors’ votes, stored in boxes, reportedly came under threat of seizure.
From here on in, America’s far right will elevate this into a myth: “next time with a million people” is the fantasy that will spread across their networks, and they will do it with or without a Presidential figure.
The mob was fascist, but that’s not the worst of it. The core were the Proud Boys, a violent, far right outfit who have attracted a large new periphery of white nationalists, QAnon supporters and MAGA people (ie unorganised people who believe the conspiracy theory that the election was stolen).
Missing, as far as I could see, were the militias: it was also maximum a few thousand. The attack on Congress was heavily telegraphed on Parler and other channels, so this is not only a failure of law enforcement but of intelligence.
It is the result of the complete failure by the US establishment, mirrored in the UK, to understand the severity of the threat and the size of the networked periphery, where “white genocide”, QAnon and Covid conspiracy theories have morphed into a unified Sorelian myth.
If the militias ever turn up to an event like this — and that could be as early as the inauguration — America is looking at a serious fascist challenge for power. You think I’m over-estimating? Mussolini forced his way into power with maybe 40,000 uniformed supporters: it was the refusal of the army to act, and collusion…