As US President Joe Biden takes the White House, this early, his actions speak the following words:
1. Trying to inject optimism
Amid an unprecedented political divisiveness and an unrelenting pandemic that worsens the impact of crises of capitalist overproduction, Biden has expectedly called for unity. He highlighted calls for “democracy” as a rallying point. He issued 17 executive orders on his first day in office, some reversing former US President Donald Trump’s ultra-right divisive policies. For example, the construction of a border wall (to block migrants), the travel ban from Muslim-majority nations, the US exit from Paris climate accord.
Against the coronavirus epidemic, he said there will be a “full-scale wartime effort.” So far it includes an aggressive mass vaccination (100 million Americans per day on his first 100 days) and a proposed $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan.
2. Taking the reins of an imperialist state
“Joe Biden takes over the reins of the most powerful imperialist state in the world. He starts his regime as the US and the global capitalist economy reel from crisis and recessions and as interimperialist conflicts intensify with rival powers seeking to protect their global economic interests and expand their hegemony,” the Communist Party of the Philippines said in a statement on Biden’s first day in office.
The biggest conflicts remain the contradiction between the US imperialist on one hand and the American people and imperialist-oppressed peoples around the world on the other hand, and between US imperialists and its rivals. The American working class, middle class and migrants struggle for better wages, social protection, and employment benefits, while corporations seek juicier bailout packages, tax cuts. They battle for minimum wages but there also are increasing “gig economy” workers who work with less to zero protection.
Biden may be mouthing “democracy,” his campaign may have imbued him but, at the end of the day, he is a leader of an imperialist state. Its shots are for maintaining its imperialist hegemony. The rest of its acts that appear democratic, and may help him stabilize his presidency, lie on how much it will respond to democratic and anti-imperialist struggles within and outside of the US.
Read: eight factors that can play into the prospects of waging democratic and anti-imperialist struggles under the new Biden regime
3. Trying to restore “America’s place in the world”
On top of the already in place US intervention and war footing around the globe, there are suggestions to “launch its most ambitious effort ever” to modernize US cyberdefenses, under Biden.
Specifically to impact the Philippines where the current imperialist puppet president has allowed an expanded and flexible US military basing and an illegal Chinese military occupation and basing, Biden is continuing Trump’s stance on China. Reports say the US-China cold war in high technology and trade continues, as do the US “decoupling” from China.
Aside from US military basing and troops deployed in (or “visiting” in rotation) in the Philippines, the US military is behind the arming, training, ideological formation of the Armed Forces of the Philippines. They regularly enhance their “interoperability” through joint military exercises, sharing of information, military equipment, among others. It is under the US borderless war on terrorism that puppet presidents in the Philippines have been stoking hostilities against critics, activists and revolutionaries.
Needless to say, peoples around the world and the American people have continued to challenge the US claims for democracy. In the Philippines, there are mounting calls to abrogate lopsided military deals with the US (Mutual Defense Treaty, Visiting Forces Agreement, Enhanced Defence Cooperation Agreement). There are also mounting calls for US government to cease supporting tyrannical presidents such as Duterte. ###