In the midst of the threat of Roe V. Wade being overturned, and abortion being automatically banned in 13 states within the next two months, the calls from liberals to vote come across as totally vapid. This is because over the last several decades, we’ve seen dozens of times what happens whenever Democrats become the dominant party: they fail both due to their own lack of principles, and due to the reactionary nature of America’s political structures. Because of this, the paradigm is pushed further towards fascism regardless of which party is in charge. In the present moment, where U.S. hegemony is in decline and capitalism is the most unstable it’s ever been, this dynamic is intensifying.
This is a reblog of an article from last year.
The slow-motion execution that the U.S. empire is subjecting Julian Assange to, where Washington’s satellite state the U.K. is depriving him of the conditions necessary for a sound physical and mental state, is an external version of how the empire’s internal settler state creates political prisoners. Within the borders of the U.S. occupier regime, African liberation fighter Kevin Rashid Johnson and indigenous liberation fighter Leonard Peltier continue to be unjustly imprisoned. Should Assange be convicted, the empire will expand the arbitrary incarceration powers it exercises upon its internal subjects to a global scale, with the added effect of making war crimes journalism criminally prosecutable throughout this expanded range of tyranny.
This is part three in a series on U.S. collapse and the potential for civil war. Read part one for how I think propaganda factors into this instability, and part two for the role that I think neoliberalism has.
This article is Part Two in a series on American collapse and the potential for a U.S. civil war. Read part one for a detailed explanation of the ideas I’ll mention here about the U.S. empire’s internal cognitive warfare.
The imperialists are the architects of their own demise. Through reacting to the decline of U.S. hegemony by domestically applying Washington’s tactics abroad—highly militarized policing, exploitative policies, covert CIA propaganda, clampdowns on journalism, paramilitarism—the imperialists are ultimately accelerating this unraveling. This is because when these and other imperialist tactics are used abroad, they have the effect of making the places they target more unstable.
This article is Part One in a series I’m doing on American collapse, and on how this has the potential to lead to a civil war within U.S. borders.
The “imperial boomerang” effect—where the types of violence an empire commits abroad inevitably become directed at that empire’s own people—is caused by the fact that actions have consequences. When a country subjugates other peoples, this has repercussions for those within that country. A society built on exploitation and violence can’t last. Whether that society wants to face it or not, its greed comes at a cost.
Collapse is a political phenomenon. It’s inextricably tied into the global class war, and into this war’s related factors of imperialism and colonialism. This is because the civilizational breakdowns that the world is experiencing, and that it’s on track to experience in the coming decades, are not natural occurrences; they’re the outcomes of capital’s designs. Therefore when we think about collapse, and about the survivalist steps we plan to take in response to it, we must frame things within a context of war. A war where the ruling class is engineering crises to preserve its own interests, and where these crises can in turn only be addressed by countering their maneuvers.
Two years ago, I underestimated the power of U.S. imperialism, to the consequence of having a nasty shock when I found out that Bolivia’s president had been forced to resign in a U.S.-orchestrated military coup. I had anticipated that Washington would carry out a regime change attempt in Bolivia for months prior to that day, but up until the coup actually happened, I remained under the illusion that Bolivia’s democracy would withstand the onslaught of white supremacist terrorism that Washington’s running dogs were unleashing upon the country after the 2019 election. U.S. hegemony was in decline; even the Pentagon had admitted this two years prior. For the imperialists to have victory at that moment felt counterintuitive, especially to my younger and more naive mind.
“Uncountable are the editorials in every American and European newspaper and magazine of note adding to this vocabulary of gigantism and apocalypse, each use of which is plainly designed not to edify but to inflame the reader’s indignant passion as a member of the “West,” and what we need to do. Churchillian rhetoric is used inappropriately by self-appointed combatants in the West’s, and especially America’s, war against its haters, despoilers, destroyers, with scant attention to complex histories that defy such reductiveness and have seeped from one territory into another, in the process overriding the boundaries that are supposed to separate us all into divided armed camps.” — Edward Said, 2001
The world that late-stage capitalism is creating is one where the only stable states—or things that resemble states—will be the fortified high-tech enclaves that the super-rich create in the wake of a collapsed civilization. In the scenarios that some futurists have been anticipating, by the end of this century the only places with reliable electricity are going to be the walled off communities of these elites, guarded by those seeking to be rewarded with food and housing and sustained by a neo-feudal network of farming.
Last year, when the Bolivian people fought back against brutal repression to force out the coup regime that the U.S. empire installed in 2019, the imperialists quietly went into panic mode. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo looked visibly discouraged at the news that the Movement for Socialism (MAS) Party’s Luis Arce was to become the country’s president. Just a year after Washington had used its terrorists to force out the previous MAS president Evo Morales, the indigenous proletarian movement had reversed the counterrevolution.
Covid-19’s unparalleled U.S. death number, this last year’s irreversible unemployment of tens of millions of U.S. residents, the proliferation of fires throughout the last decade, the extreme heat within much of the country that’s forced many to evacuate, and the other destabilizing factors in the core of global imperialism come in the context of an intensifying class war. A class war that the CIA, the corporate media, the police state, and the other instruments of counterrevolutionary warfare in U.S. borders are intent to keep their pulse on as the conditions of the masses slip ever deeper into chaos.
It’s an open secret among U.S. military experts, corporate elites, and DC insiders that in the coming decades, the country is going to be faced with a war which causes unprecedented destabilization for the American empire—both externally and internally. This is to say it’s quite likely that the military is going to have to fight a potential World War II-level series of conflicts abroad, and a class-based confrontation within U.S. borders which matches or surpasses the Civil War.
Modern imperialism, like the socioeconomic system it’s based upon, is a house of cards. Capitalism, the socioeconomic system that it depends on to continue functioning, wouldn’t be able to go on if its range of market control were to shrink too much. This is because capitalism’s natural tendency towards growth inevitably creates for it a crisis of overproduction, which can only be alleviated by perpetually expanding its market control. As Michael Parenti observed, there can be socialism in one country, but there can’t be capitalism in one country.
The story of the climate’s deterioration is intertwined with the story of class conflict, with the battle between the revolutionaries and the counterrevolutionaries. Much to the chagrin of U.S. national security technocrats, factors show that the instability and destruction from the climate collapse is most likely going to harm the strategic interests of the counterrevolutionaries far more than those of the revolutionaries.
Escalation has consequences. When a government pushes its people too far, a revolt is going to happen that the government may not be able to contain. We’ve seen this in the last year, when the latest series of murders by police following the coming of a new Great Depression resulted in the largest protest movement in U.S. history. And U.S. military experts understand that over these next several decades of ongoing living standards deterioration within the capitalist world, further unrest will come about should the government take its repressive efforts too far; a 2016 Pentagon training video implies that when the U.S. Army gets sent in to suppress internal revolts, it will need to err on the side of caution if it wants to avoid killing civilians and consequently destroying the state’s perceived legitimacy.