The direction of the class struggle in the US

The direction of the class struggle in the US

By Orçun Göktürk

In the US, the contradictions within the ruling classes are growing into a conflict. The Texas National Guard blocked the US border patrol on 23 January despite a court order and continued to install barbed wire, while the governors of 25 Republican states issued a joint statement declaring their support for Texas. The issue illustrates the growing tendency towards conflict within the American big bourgeoisie, in particular between the Republicans and the Biden government.

On 5 February, Texas governor Greg Abbott held a press conference with 14 other Republican governors in a show of force against Biden and the central government. The 15 state governments thus signaled to US President Joe Biden that they share a common position on border security.

The declining global power

Although the United States still wields multi-dimensional military, political and economic power in the international order it has built since the 1950s, it is a declining power. The international order it built is crumbling. Most of the direct wars it launched in the 2000s against countries such as Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya and Syria have ended in defeat. It lacks the forces to create power in Central Asia, and its strategy to contain China in Southeast Asia through Australia, the Philippines and India is far from successful. It got bogged down in Ukraine. In its domestic policy, which is shaped by dynamics related to foreign policy, the Biden administration is cornered.

The main contradictions within the US elites are manifested in Ukraine, Israel, the immigration problem and the strategic deadlock against China.

Ukraine: An “honorable” withdrawal?

On Ukraine, the US has two options: Either an ‘honorable withdrawal’ by making a deal with Russia and dividing its sphere of influence with Europe, or prolonging the war at all costs and losing all its financial and military investments. The conditions under which the American deep state was pushing the second option have begun to disappear. The group led by Trump clearly prefers the former. The Wall Street elites, on the other hand, seem to be neutral towards the second strategy and even leaning towards the first option. Will US imperialism choose to maintain its current insane strategy of pursuing world empire at all costs, or will it accept reality and embark on a global strategic contraction to protect Wall Street’s profits and preserve the US empire’s position as the preeminent power?

Conflict about Israel

On the surface, American policymakers, with almost all factions of the American big bourgeoisie, support Israel. On the other side of the spectrum, however, the limits of this and the conflicts between them are evident even in the Epstein scandal. Therefore, in the internal American conflict, is the big bourgeoisie looking to continue its support for Israel at all costs, even at the risk of all-out war with Iran, or is it looking for an opportunity to play it safe and withdraw? In this context, it is interesting to note that the Biden camp and the Trump camp are not fundamentally different, both preferring the latter. Unlike Trump, the Biden administration is more likely to pursue the war with greater enthusiasm, and therefore Trump is more likely to come out with a calmer face to clean up the Israel-made mess in the Middle East.

Illegal migration problem

According to some studies, the number of illegal immigrants entering the US reaches 10,000 a day. Will it continue to indulge illegal immigration on a large scale, completely destroying the existing social contract in the US and making the American proletariat miserable and hooliganized, or will it concentrate on sharing some of the surplus value with the American proletariat and maintaining the appearance of a more or less socially stable society? The most reactionary and insane part of the deep state, the international big bourgeoisie (Soros, WEF), with the complicity of the identity-political petty bourgeoisie, assumes the first strategy, while the US small and medium capitalist class opposes it. The Wall Street bourgeoisie, after several years of sitting on the sidelines and being neutralized, is showing the first signs that it will no longer allow the Biden group to do what it wants. It has come to the point where 25 states, including Texas, have declared a revolt against the central government.

Main rival: China

America goes into the November presidential elections with these contradictions at home and abroad. On the other hand, the US National Security Strategy recognizes that the main challenge will be between the US and China. On January 30, 2024, White House National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan delivered a speech to the Council on Foreign Relations entitled “The Future of US-China Relations” (1) and CIA Director William Burns laid out Washington’s 2024 strategy against Beijing in his article “Espionage and Statecraft” (2) published the same day in the Council on Foreign Relations’ renowned journal Foreign Affairs: China is our main rival. Gone are the days when the US used cheap Chinese labor for world manufacturing production since the 1990s in accordance with the global capitalist division of labor. The nationalist-planned economic model that China has re-entered since the mid-2000s was crowned with the Xi Jinping administration, and the trend continues to grow.

Between Russia’s pioneering war against the US and NATO in the face of the Kiev regime, the rise of independence movements in Africa, and Yemen’s struggle against imperialist ships in the Red Sea, the American global leadership is facing a major challenge. The “American Dream”, once exemplified by Western values in the triangle of “economic vitality”, “diplomatic courage” and “military might”, is fading. This is what the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) admitted in an article that appeared in Foreign Affairs, the renowned journal of the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR), at the end of 2022 under the headline “American power suffers as American democracy loses its luster.” (3)

Trump and the global narrowing strategy

American working people and small and medium-sized producers want to tear up the bitter prescription of neoliberal globalization. Trump leadership gaining power will mean a major reorientation of the US bourgeoisie’s strategy of global and domestic domination. Globally, the insane strategy of world empire will be abandoned in favor of a strategy of global contraction that halts losses and seeks to consolidate established spheres of influence from the Western Hemisphere to the Pacific.

Domestically, limited concessions will be made to small and medium capitalists and the working people, the wave of illegal immigration will be halted, the basic stability of the internal order will be preserved and the basic framework of bourgeois democracy, “constitutionalism” and the “rule of law” will be maintained.

(1) For Jake Sullivan’s full speech to the Council on Foreign Relations: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dy-d2s3JDno

(2) William Burns, Spycraft and Statecraft, Foreign Affairs,January 30, 2024, https://www.foreignaffairs.com/united-states/cia-spycraft-and-statecraft-william-burns

(3) The Decline of the City Upon a Hill, Bruce Stokes, Foreign Affairs, November 17, 2022, https://www.foreignaffairs.com/united-states/decline-city-upon-hill

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June 2024