2021 has kicked off with a bang. If anyone had any remaining doubts, yesterday's events exposed the depth of the crisis of US capitalism—and it is only the beginning. Even in the turbulent years before and after the US Civil War, we have never seen the US Capitol building breached by protesters—and encouraged by the sitting president! Anti-terrorist attack emergency protocols were activated as tear gas wafted through the corridors, and at least one person was shot and killed. As former president GW Bush put it, these are the scenes one would expect in a “banana republic"—i.e. in a country ravaged by US imperialist intervention, not in the belly of the beast itself.

Joe Biden beating Donald Trump in the race for the White House shouldn’t come as a surprise. After all, his opponent was an incompetent reality TV star presiding over a devastated economy and an uncontrolled pandemic. Just a few months earlier, the Commander in Chief had been forced to hide in a bunker in the face of the most massive protest movement in the country’s history. What is surprising is that the result was ever anything but a foregone conclusion.