The Persistence of Idiocy

About one-third of the people believe that Donald Trump made America great again, for a time. They actually believe that.

(After the assassination of John F. Kennedy the Democrats contrived the myth of the Kennedy White House as Camelot, the magical kingdom of King Arthur in the then popular musical. In Kennedy’s short tragic term they found in retrospect the “fleeting wisp of glory called Camelot” that Richard Burton sang about. Lee Greenwood’s “I’m Proud to be an American” lacks the wistful appeal of the Lerner and Loewe tune but perhaps rings with similar nostalgia for the grieving, defeated Trumpian. Now that the U.S. is no longer free, but taken over by the communists, how to be proud?)

Trump, believes the Trumpian, made the world respect us again! He gave us the best economy the world had ever seen! He did more for the blacks than any president ever, including Lincoln! He fought back for freedom against that horrible “political correctness,” and let us keep our guns! He kept out the Chinese, to stop the China Flu invented in a Chinese Communist Party lab. He gave us back Christmas. He held up the Bible and made it okay to pray again. He protected the children from the pedophile satanist cannibals who kidnap, rape, kill and eat them with Pelosi’s full knowledge.

That’s why the radical leftist communist Democrats led by AOL and the Quad hated him. They had to stop him. So they stole the 2020 election through massive vote fraud. They used the flu as an excuse to change the voting laws so that mail-in votes would throw the victory to Biden. That’s why the Republicans in Congress refused to certify the vote. Biden is a fake president.

What the mainstream press is calling the “insurrection” at the Capitol was just patriots invited to the capital by the president, answering his call to stop the steal, exercising their right to free speech! Any violence was caused by Antifa.

The Plan for Resurrection (and the Coming Loss of Faith)

That is the basic narrative. (I leave out the part where God chose Trump as his messenger, and Trump called out the Central Park rapists in 1989 and the Kenya-born president from 2011.) Projecting into the future, the Trump myth involves a Second Coming to follow the the midterm elections that will be swept by pro-Trump candidates. Trump will win the 2024 election in a landslide IF it is free and fair. After Biden and the pedophile cannibals wreck the country, the savior will return to restore greatness. That is the plan.

But what happens if the combination of Trump’s legal challenges (embarrassments, humiliations, shocking exposures of incompetence and corruption, sleazy details about hush-money payments, an indictment for incitement to riot); his muzzling by corporate social media (reflecting the bourgeoisie’s general distaste for the dangerous man); the relentless campaign by MSNBC and CNN to depict the Trump followers as deluded cultists in deed of deprogramming; the mere passage of post-Trump time; the prosecution of the Capitol rioters bootlessly appealing to Trump for legitimacy, meeting only with insulting disclaimers—all lead to a general collapse in the ex-president’s credibility?

Recall that the wacko QAnon shaman (that endearing horned clown Jake Angeli) is accusing Trump (from jail) of betraying the movement, of failing to stand with those busted for breaking in. Meanwhile the Feds are honing in on the Proud Boys and Oath Keepers, preparing charges of conspiracy and sedition. Trump is unlikely to file amicus briefs on their behalf. He blew his wad of fascistic political capital on Jan. 6. He now must forge a plan (with the advisors who haven’t fled) to continue to bilk his most gullible malleable supporters while avoiding giving them any offense.

Trump must sustain a dream of his Second Coming, to insure the income flow pay off debts and cover massive legal expenses. The issue is how to remain just ridiculous enough to retain the base’s loyalty, but not so ridiculous as to end up in prison. (One should not suppose that Trump sleeps easily thinking that, since he’d transformed the judiciary, the courts would return his favors; the Supreme Court he’d reshaped shot down his suit contesting the election results, after all. I wager that Trump is very concerned about looming indictments and that his concern with self-preservation as a free man will both shape and outweigh further political ambitions.)

Something unexpected—like a contentious divorce—could alter the situation. There is that case (1:16-cv-07673-RA) filed in the Southern District of New York district court that refers to Trump’s attendance at sex parties in Jeffrey Epstein’s Manhattan apartment in 1994.

“The parties were held by Defendant Epstein at a New York City residence that was being used by Defendant Epstein at 9 E. 71st St. in Manhattan. During this period, Plaintiff was a minor of age 13 and was legally incapable under New York law of consenting to sexual intercourse and the other sexual contacts detailed herein. NY Penal L § 130.05(3)(a)…

“At least four of the parties were attended by Defendant Trump…

“Defendant Trump initiated sexual contact with Plaintiff at four different parties. On the fourth and final sexual encounter with Defendant Trump, Defendant Trump tied Plaintiff to a bed, exposed himself to Plaintiff,and then proceeded to forcibly rape Plaintiff. During the course of this savage sexual attack, Plaintiff loudly pleaded with Defendant Trump to stop but with no effect. Defendant Trump responded to Plaintiff’s pleas by violently striking Plaintiff in the face with his open hand and screaming that he would do whatever he wanted. (Exhs. A and B.11). Immediately following this rape, Defendant Trump threatened Plaintiff that, were she ever to reveal any of the details of the sexual and physical abuse of her by Defendant Trump, Plaintiff and her family would be physically harmed if not killed.”

The Jane Doe in “Jane Doe versus Donald J. Trump and Jefferey Epstein” filed a suit charging rape and battery in California in April and New York in June and and a second suit in September 2016. She cancelled a news conference in Los Angeles in November that was supposed to reveal her identity, citing death threats, and several days later withdrew the suit just as Trump was elected. What if Jane resurfaces now? Imagine Trump in court defending himself against accusations that he slapped a 13-year-old girl’s face as he raped her in Epstein’s apartment and threatened to kill her family if she ever mentioned the matter. (Hasn’t Stormy Daniels accused Trump of sending a goon to threaten her and her child’s lives if she published a story about her encounter with Trump?)

Imagine the embarrassment to Melania and the whole family. (Think of how the British royal family had to sequester Prince Andrew after it became clear he’d been involved in parties with Epstein featuring the latter’s specialty, underage girls.) It is true that the Evangelicals have infinite capacity to forgive leaders for their weaknesses of the flesh, citing King David and all. They have been able to ignore the multiple charges of sexual assault, blaming them on politically motivated, opportunistic, resentful women and the liberal media pursuing its radical feminist agenda. They were able to dismiss his grabbing-pussy boast as “locker room talk.” Trump has reasonably assumed that they will forgive a multitude of sins. But association with Epstein, a real-life known pedophile? Those who saw Trump as their rock against pedophilia might be aghast. QAnon might conclude that it had been wrong about Trump all along; indeed, he is the Antichrist! We were all so confused because of his satanic appeal!

I’m just saying: if we should not underestimate Trump in defeat and disgrace, we should not overestimate him either. The fact that there was some coordination on Jan. 6 between Proud Boys and Oath Keepers, some overlap between some Republican lawmakers and their staffs and white supremacist groups who stormed the Capitol, some active military and police participation, and some delay in national Guard deployment, shows that a few signals from Trump could amass a crowd, promising a wild time, sic it on Congress, watch the windows smash in comfort on TV and then condemn the violence before Twitter shut down his account effectively finally shutting him up.

Trump is not Il Duce, a hands-on leader with a fascist party at his disposal much less a fascist ideology with broad appeal. He is the fluke result of failure of the Bush-wing of the Republican Party to nominate Jeb Bush in 2016 (as process aided by MSNBC’s incessant airing of all Trump appearances live as “breaking news” in an effort to enhance his prospects) and of the Democrats’ failure to nominate Bernie Sanders and to choose the abhorrent Hillary Clinton. He stumbled into right-wing “populist” white resentment politics, made outrageously racist and sexist statements, united the right as their best hope. He won the traditional Republican voters and then some, causing the party establishment to admire his charismatic leadership abilities, and his religious-like power over his benighted base, while fearing his ability to turn what had been the party’s base against themselves. Relations between Trump and Mitch McConnell, Kevin McCarthy, Lindsay Graham are based not on love but fear, only so long as Trump is fearsome.

In the Hans Christian Andersen tale the little boy in the crowd notes blandly that the emperor is wearing no clothes. Suddenly everybody is laughing at the naked emperor prancing around so proudly. In the Wizard of Oz, little Dorothy from Kansas can see that there’s a man behind the curtain fooling everybody, using ignorance and fear. She calls him out (as “just a mean, mean man!”) and his career is over on the spot. Trump may go the way of those two, exposed and ridiculed as Sen. Joseph McCarthy was after 1954.

Another possibility is that he staves off legal challenges, retains his cult following, retains control over a united party increasingly linked to white supremacist organizations (now targeted by the state), and survives relentless media efforts to mold his reputation (as the two-time impeached president, the president who let COVID19 spread, the liar-in-chief, the moral monster) to resurface as a real fascist leader with a real fascist movement truly threatening bourgeois democracy. He would do this by mobilizing his 30% base, opposed by the masses of youth, people of color, educated people in general; establishing operational clandestine support networks among police unions, active service military, and national security apparatus; maintaining control over the Republican Party in Congress (that will remain loyal despite Trump’s legal problems); serving as kingmaker in the mid-term elections swept by “his” party; guiding the effort to change voting laws to reduce African-American participation; winning the 2024 election; moving to eliminate presidential term limits; issuing a ban on communist education in our schools, etc.

The Problem of Biden

But this vision of Hell is as imaginative as the myth of Camelot. As the FBI prepares sedition cases against Trump followers who sacked the Capitol, and who will testify in court that they thought they were following the president’s orders, the ex-president’s future looks much in doubt.

One should be less concerned with Trump and his waning movement at this point than with Joe Biden and his gathering plans for war. Biden begins his term labeling the Russian president a “killer” and the Chinese government “genocidal.” It is as though the Trump years never happened and Biden thinks the U.S. enjoys some position of moral authority in the world. Having declined to call the Saudi prince a killer (because the diplomatic price would be too high), Biden has no problem accusing the Russian leader of murdering journalists. Having supported Saudi attacks on the Yemen designed to annihilate the Shiite Houthis, the U.S. blames China for “genocide” in Xinjiang, provoking understandable outrage in Beijing. (Chinese officials note that the population of Uyghurs in Xinjiang has doubled in the last 40 years; however serious the human rights violations may be in Xinjiang, they do not constitute an effort to annihilate the Uyghur people and for the U.S. to make the claim is deliberately provocative.)

The Biden administration has from the outset established a tone of hostility to its only serious military rival and its main economic competitor. During the Trump years Russia and China had strengthened political, military and economic relations while avoiding a formal alliance—even as the U.S. moved to create an incipient Asian NATO in the form of the Quad (U.S., Japan, Australia and India) covering the “Indo-Pacific” region (superseding the previous “Pacific” region for U.S. military purposes). They are linked by the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (now including Russia, China, India, Pakistan, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, soon to include Iran, Iraq, Mongolia and Belarus). Russia participates in the Belt and Road Initiative and signed a huge energy deal in 2013, just as the PRC emerged as the top global petroleum market.

Russian and Chinese leaders are committed to the ideal of a united Eurasia, comprising a common market connected by high-speed rail. They know that the entire population of the Americas is 592 million while Asia is 4.6 billion and Europe 748 million. There are 5.3 billion Eurasians out of about 7.9 people on earth, a full two-thirds of humanity.

The Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) founded in 2020 is the largest free trade bloc on world history, embracing 30% of the world market. It includes China, Japan, South Korea, all the ASEAN nations, Australia and New Zealand but excludes the U.S. (This follows the collapse of the U.S.-initiated Trans-Pacific Partnership or TPP in 2016.) And as you know, Japan virtually joined the European Union as an associated member in 2018. In 2019 Italy signed a statement of intent to join the Belt & Road Initiative. Austria, Switzerland and Luxembourg have signed similar statements.

Lots of bilateral and multilateral trade agreements are being made in this increasingly multipolar world as the U.S. GDP continues to decline as a percentage of the world total. (40% of the world’s total when I was born, it was 30% when I graduated high school, 25% when I started my current job, around 17% now.) China will be the world’s number one economy soon, if it isn’t already. Biden and his clueless aide Blinken may think they can bark words of moral indignation at Moscow and Beijing, responding to reminders about U.S. police murders of black people as an expression of structural racism in this country, mass racist incarceration on a scale unknown elsewhere in the world, savage racist imperialist wars based on lies, etc. with lame claims of “false equivalencies.” Maybe they really think that—such is global relief at the toppling of Trump—the world will warm to Biden as he’s packaged, as the return to normalcy and renewed alliances (if not the advertised agent of “decency” and “compassion” in this injured age).

Maybe they think they can order Germany (a proud, independent country, potentially) to abandon the 90% completed Nord Stream II pipeline with Russia, to show deference to U.S. energy companies, inflict damage on Russia and pain on the German consumer. And the Germans will say, Fine, boss. We’re just happy that it’s Biden not Trump issuing the diktat! Maybe they think they can take their sweet time rejoining the Iran Deal the U.S. tried to sabotage, demanding further concessions from Tehran while blocking trade agreements between Iran and all other countries, and that the world will be patient waiting for decency to shine through.

Maybe they think that, by promoting a pretender in Venezuela and seeking regime change just like Trump, they will win respect. (Actually European countries are rethinking their recognition of the U.S. puppet.) Maybe they think that their acceptance of Trump’s capitulations to the racist scumbag Netanyahu will augment the U.S’s. rep as fair broker in the Middle East. But decent Biden’s foreign policy looks very reactionary and dangerous so far, much more so than that of the doltish Trump.

The bad-mouthing of Putin is just part of the packaging of the coming Ukraine crisis, in which the U.S. strives to incorporate Ukraine (largest country entirely in Europe, with a long border with Russia) into its anti-Russian NATO military alliance. (Biden will depict this as the most normal thing in the world; after all, why should Russia protest getting totally surrounded by the most lethal military alliance in world history, that ‘s just wanted to preserve peace and stability in Europe since 1949?) Maximal hostility between the countries will be needed to pull that off.

The bad-mouthing of Xi and the Chinese Communist Party is just part of the preparations for conflict in the South China Sea. The Pentagon under any administration opposes China’s rights to expand its naval and commercial reach by building on atolls and reefs in the waters to its south in a sea comparable to the Caribbean. China has not asserted its hegemony over the South China Sea with anything like the thoroughness seen in the U.S. colonization of the Caribbean islands; its claims to islands in both the South China Sea and East China Sea are often well-documented by historical documents and maps. But the U.S. has (after long wobbling) adopted a stance in which it accepts NO country’s claims to uninhabited islands in the sea while demanding its right to swagger through with war ships at its pleasure, just to remind the Chinese that rejects its claims.

Coming from the most arrogant imperialist nation in world history—whose imperialist history is sometimes traced to the infamous Guano Act (1856) allowing U.S. citizens to claim uninhabited islands for the U.S. if they were rich in guano bird-shit for fertilizer—this is especially riling and insulting. Recently the Chinese Coast Guard has been given expanded responsibilities for protecting the Chinese homeland including these claimed islands. The prospects for a miscalculation increase.

The unusual recall of the Russian ambassador from Washington is an apparent statement by the Russian president that he has no faith in improved relations. It is not a question of whether Putin is, or is not, a killer. His comment, “It takes one to know one” is a likely allusion to Biden’s well-known support for, and active promotion of, vicious wars based on lies. Putin is not posturing as morally superior but questioning whether the president of the USA has any moral position to call him, the leader of a great nation with 6000 nuclear weapons, a “killer” as he begins his term.

The World Is Losing Patience with U.S. Posturing and Threats

It’s enough to put Putin on the phone to Xi to talk about more military, intelligence and security cooperation. Simultaneous U.S. attacks on parts of Eurasia (the Crimean Peninsula and the Spratly Islands) could be better resisted through a Russo-Chinese alliance, could they not? The Chinese are signing a 25-year trade and military partnership with Iran. Russia will likely sell Iran Su-30 fighter jets and S-400 anti-aircraft missile systems for use against U.S.-Israeli attacks.

The U.S. doesn’t control the world like it did in 1949, when NATO was formed supposedly to fight global Communism. It doesn’t control it like it did in 1991, when the USSR collapsed, and its Warsaw Pact folded, and Washington crowed about the triumph of capitalism, the End of History, and U.S. Full Spectrum Dominance forever and ever. It doesn’t control the world as it did in 1999, when it used NATO to dismember the neutral country of Serbia, bombing a European capital, Belgrade, for the first time since World War II); establish the dysfunctional NATO state of Kosovo; and expand the alliance the U.S. president had promised a decade earlier would never expand eastwards to include Poland, Czechoslovakia and Hungary.

The U.S. doesn’t control the world like it did when George W. Bush expanded NATO (by Bulgaria, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia) in 2004 to reach the borders of Russia itself. Or in 2008 when NATO announced it would admit Georgia and Ukraine into the band of merry men, and the U.S. declared it would recognize its military base called Kosovo snatched from Serbia earlier as an independent country.

Recall that in response to the announcement Russia found occasion to invade Georgia and declare its own recognition of breakaway republics South Ossetia and Abkhazia as independent countries. The U.S. (John McCain in particular) had a shit fit. But a multi-polar world was reemerging. NATO expansion was partially stymied. Albania, Croatia, Montenego, and North Macedonia have been added since but not the border states of Ukraine and Georgia. That is, the significant expansion was suspended in 2008 following the Russian reaction. But the efforts at “regime change” to allow for NATO expansion proceeded apace and in Feb. 2014 Obama’s State Department was complicit in a coup in Ukraine designed to lead to NATO membership.

Soon after this, as you know, Joe Biden’s son Hunter for no apparent reason other than the obvious one (name) was hired by the Ukrainian gas company Burisma. His meager contributions to the corporation (and lack of apparent presence in the country) plus the massive remuneration he received raise legitimate questions about his role and that of his father while he was vice president. The point is, Biden has a specific deep-seated interest in Ukraine and is on record as firmly supporting NATO expansion.

Biden in his scripted “decency” is as self-centered as his predecessor. He wants his supporters to get back to normal, the warm-fuzzy feel of the Obama era, when he and Barack had a responsible foreign policy. He might under prompting criticize Trump for alluding to the “China Flu” but he accuses the Chinese Communist Party of genocide. He might be obliged to curtail aid the Prince MbS’s regime but he actually calls Putin a killer. Biden is cultivating an air of moral elevation (inconsistent with his political history) as a matter of strategy. He remains the anti-Trump, seeking anti-Trump support for the duration but committed to all the imperialist basics: NATO expansion; maintenance of the military presence in Japan and South Korea (while trying to force them to work together); Full Spectrum Dominance; “push backs” on “adversaries” who never really existed and aren’t really pushing.

He wants the people—including the most anti-racist, the most pro-health care, the most supportive of LGBTQ rights, the most ardent champions of debt forgiveness, etc.—to combine their rejection of business-as-normal at home with acceptance of the mature adults’ traditional ongoing Cold War foreign policy. Biden wants you to think it normal to vilify the Russian leader as a killer, and the Chinese leader as a genocidal killer, and to suppose that such leaders chastened by the charges would work more earnestly to re-win U.S. affection.

More likely they will say, screw you, you myopic old man. We don’t need your shrinking economy. We don’t appreciate your constant interference in the global free market. Our companies don’t appreciate—any more than Daimler does—your efforts to prevent all investment in the Iranian economy. You are arrogant sons of bitches who profited from the defeat of fascism, accomplished largely by Soviet and Chinese Communists, obtaining global hegemony for awhile. Your hegemony peaked when you outspent the Soviets on military causing the overstretched union to collapse, leaving only one superpower. As the lone superpower you expanded your imperialist alliances and slaughtered Serbs, Afghans, Iraqis, Syrians, Libyans and others in wars based on obvious lies.

Who are you, President Joe Biden of the United States, to talk to anybody about killing? You who pray, “God bless our troops” after every speech? Who are you to posture to your people, as the sympathetic corporate media in your country allows you to do, as a moral exemplar “finally” after a long period of drift “standing up to” Russia and China? Did either attack the U.S.? And why are you backing out on the agreement to leave Afghanistan? And why redeploying unwelcome troops in Iraq to Syria, where they are of course illegal?

The world knows the U.S. is indifferent to international law. It is the one nation that while rejecting the jurisdiction by the World Court (because the U.S. is “exceptional,” made by God Himself) nevertheless condemns China (which recognizes the court) for not following court decisions; and demands that China abide by the Law of the Sea (to which the PRC is signatory) while the U.S. itself has not signed the treaty. Pure irrational hypocrisy. Blatant. Insulting.

Trump insulted and alienated world leaders, while engaging some by his transparent stupidity and egoism. (The Saudi king, Xi, Modi, and Kim all found that flattering the man’s worthless ass would yield results.) He sometimes terrified, as in his UN speech threatening “fire and fury” on the DPRK. But in the end he was a paper tiger unable to assert effective leadership over the brass which did not want an apocalypse. Time after time the Pentagon countermanded orders to pull out from Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan. Trump backed off having no firm convictions anyway.

Biden’s Challenge: Get the Opponents of “Structural Racism” to Support Capitalist Imperialism!

Now after the four-year hiatus from normalcy Biden wants to unite a people awakening to the full realities of structural racism around a program of unreconstructed American imperialism. A fuller U.S. domination of Europe, to tighten the (lynching) noose around Russia. A broader presence of the U.S. military in the South China Sea, to contain the expanded settlement of Chinese (on islands that have been visited by Chinese since long before the first Europeans landed in the New World).

The message to the young progressive activist: Thanks so much for your support! Hope you’re patient on the health and debt issues, we’re working on them! This is going to be the most progressive administration ever! Meantime we have to pay attention to the national security threats posed by Russia and China and when listing our issues with them basically fault them with human rights abuses. (So for example, in Biden’s first call with Putin the readout lists START negotiations and Ukraine but then accusations about hacking, bounties, alleged election interference, and Navalny. The Alaska talks with China opened with a list of U.S. accusations including PRC policy in Xinjiang, Hong Kong and Taiwan, which if you say are really not topics for bilateral diplomacy Blinken will respond that this is about basic decency—like that which he stands for as a career warmonger.)

Biden policy means never having to say you’re sorry. The U.S. (through its heroes, God bless them!) did nothing wrong in Bosnia, Serbia, Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, Libya. The U.S. has not altered its sterling reputation as the champion of liberal democracy in world history, just because of all the carnage, all the exposed lies, the waves of refugees hurled at Europe in this young century. The U.S. is still the world’s best hope, thinks the declining Biden. It will rally Merkel, Marcon, Johnson and Shiga to strengthen anti-Russian and anti-Chinese military cooperation, as though this is somehow warranted, necessary and good.

The point is to marginalize the real (anti-imperialist) left, ask the people to forget the massive crime of Iraq, ask them to give Hillary protege Victoria Nuland a new shot at provoking Russia in Ukraine. Ask them to realize the U.S. “cannot” withdraw immediately from Afghanistan, or Iraq, or Syria, or stop military support to Saudi Arabia. Ask them to accept, with Biden, Trump’s multiple capitulations to Israeli Zionist apartheid-style racist colonialism.

Ask them to see that a strong U.S. military presence in the South China Sea is to protect world shipping, not to stymie the growth of China as a rival power. Ask them to accept that U.S. measures against Russia are to promote human rights, not to impede normal trade between Russia and (other) European countries and weaken Vladimir Putin because he opposes NATO expansion and U.S. global hegemony. Ask them to embrace U.S. imperialism versus its opponents even as they declare that black lives matter.

Biden in his first presidential press conference just said: “This is a battle between the utility of democracy or autocracy. Russia doesn’t talk about communism any more, it’s about autocracy.” What splendid analysis, redolent of Plato’s Republic where this same issue’s raised. The U.S. despite all its flaws has always stood for human rights. So what if the U.S. is rooted in indigenous dispossession, African slavery, Jim Crow Laws, mob lynching, and brutal wars since 1898 based on lies? So what if its wars in Korea, Vietnam, Afghanistan and Iraq were all unjustified and wrong? So what if the Chinese respond to U.S. criticisms by dryly listing the U.S. statistics on incarceration, police murders, ethnic income gaps etc. in the USA?

The U.S. (all police state aspects notwithstanding) is a DEMOCRACY! So side with it, kids, versus the Chinese and Russian “autocrats.” When Putin (who we call a killer) joins Xi (who we accuse of genocide) in a military alliance, stand with America—land of the Free and Home of the Brave—as it promotes democracy in the world! Like in Venezuela, aligned with Russia and China, where Biden has happily continued the Trump policy of recognizing a puppet pretender as president.

A dangerous message from a dangerous man posing as Mr. Decency in these uncertain times. May the two men in their dottage deteriorate simultaneously while the multipolar world evolves, and while in this country both the fascist pole and the Biden establishment lose ground to the radical (Marxist) left such as it survives in this country or can be grown.

The subject of socialism is receiving more attention than it has in this country since the 1940s, when CPUSA popularity peaked, or since the 1960-70s when the New Left re-raised the question. This is good. But it is accompanied by a movement in the Democratic Party to suppress any reference to the term or concept. One can no more talk about imperialism in mainstream politics than one can talk about capitalism, as something evil. You can surely inveigh against racism, white supremacism, sexism, homophobia, transphobia, religious bigotry. This is all fine, at least within the Democratic Party.

But you cannot attack capitalism (the system behind “systemic racism” itself) and its historical emanation, imperialism; that goes too far. The Biden agenda is all about preserving and strengthening of the U.S. empire, allegedly weakened under the passive and grumpy Trump. He cannot realize it is in decline. He just said China would not exceed the U.S. GDN “on my watch” as though the curbing of the (largely capitalist) Chinese economy to sustain U.S. superiority is truly feasible.

Dream on, Mr. President.

Biden may not be a fascist. He sounds much more decent than Trump. But he is an unreconstructed, unrepentant U.S. imperialist with blood on his hands. His stated desire to expand NATO should horrify anyone familiar with modern European history.

Many will continue to resist the persistent idiocy, seeing Biden for what he is, the last-ditch imperial president, overseeing just another phase of capitalist decline.

Gary Leupp is Emeritus Professor of History at Tufts University, and is the author of Servants, Shophands and Laborers in in the Cities of Tokugawa JapanMale Colors: The Construction of Homosexuality in Tokugawa Japan; and Interracial Intimacy in Japan: Western Men and Japanese Women, 1543-1900 and coeditor of The Tokugawa World (Routledge, 2021). He is a contributor to Hopeless: Barack Obama and the Politics of Illusion, (AK Press). He can be reached at: