The crisis at the U.S.-Mexico border continues, with no policy solution in sight. During the 2022 fiscal year, nearly 2.4 million migrants were apprehended at the border, up 44 percent from the previous year and a nearly eightfold increase from five years earlier. Nearly 500,000 migrants successfully entered the U.S. across the southern border without authorization, four times the estimated total for 2017.
Justice, it seems, is hard to find. Thousands of grassroots organizations across the country seek justice for their concerns. In the US, some 13,785 nonprofits work for civil rights and social justice. Organizations focused on international justice such as peace, refugees, and international aid number 23,532. There are 27,402 environmental groups.
If Democrats threw out the filibuster today and rapidly passed legislation over the next 8 months as if they gave a damn — as if they were, oh, I don’t know, the Supreme Court — and if they put just what they’re increasing the military budget by into their Build Back Better bill, if they put through with majority votes just those items they were elected on that are favored by significant majorities in the country, they’d have done enough by 6 months from now to not lose those elections. And if they kept going, they’d need never lose an election again. The whole premise of keeping the filibuster around to restrain the Republicans is the plan to go on sucking badly for 6 more months in order to lose — combined with the delusion that Republicans are going to be restrained by something that THEY can and will choose to throw out. The Republicans will certainly plan on never losing an election again. Any elections they can’t win or rig, they can ask the Supreme Court to fix up for them — and hire Al Gore to explain to us that we should sit back and take it.
In front of us, something is unfolding that we don’t want to properly see, but that we subconsciously recognize. The warning signs for a fascist crackdown in America have been here for years, if not decades. It’s now that they’ve become too big for much of this country’s complacent left to ignore. We’re accelerating towards a level of direness which people living under fascism so often can’t perceive at first, until the reality of their situation has finished creeping up onto them. By George Jackson’s definition of fascism, which is when capitalism forcibly maintains itself through reform, we’ve already been living under fascism for generations. With the Supreme Court’s decision and its ramifications, this is becoming more visible to more people.
The overturning of the landmark Roe v Wade case providing federal protection for a woman’s right to choose is both appalling and enraging. Now, several conservative states have already begun outlawing abortion rights. It is undeniable that women’s rights have taken an enormous blow, and the effect will have repercussions around the world.
On May 23, 2022, the Supreme Court issued yet another decision that does greater injustice to the US criminal (in)justice system. It ruled that state prisoners cannot submit claims of inadequate counsel to federal courts, thereby adding yet another barrier to those on death row who are seeking relief amidst serious concerns that justice was not served.
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.
Author’s note: this essay is an updated and expanded upon version of one published in May of this year.
There was a part of Margaret Atwood’s 1985 novel, The Handmaid’s Tale, that is perhaps the most unsettling to me. The protagonist, Offred, is walking past the notorious Wall in the Republic of Gilead. This Wall, once part of a prestigious university in Cambridge Massachusetts, is now being used as a place of public execution, where corpses are left hanging for days to send a message of compliance and terror to the citizens of this authoritarian, theocratic state. Defy “God’s law” and you will suffer the punishment for doing so.
Sixty percent of the U.S. populace backs Roe v. Wade and just 27 percent back its undoing even as the nation’s right-wing Supreme Court is strongly predisposed to reverse the decision by next summer. Where is the call for millions in the streets to defend women’s right to control their bodies over and against this anti-democratic outrage? Where is the uprising against a government structure and social order that permits this and numerous other forms of authoritarian insanity? It’s shocking to hear liberal talking heads say (basically) “oh well there goes Roe v. Wade for a generation, until we can get the votes and a better court back some day.” Are these shrugging accommodationists aware that the nation’s right-wing Minority Rule party is actively and effectively working (in the name of “stop the steal”) to permanently suppress and nullify votes and elections and policies that don’t go their patriarchal, white-nationalist way? How do they not understand that, as the leading feminist and communist Sunsara Taylor notes: Continue reading →
Slavery lives on in U.S.-American life, crippling “our” supposed grand “democracy” in numerous ways. The massive wealth, income, and health gaps between Black and white Americans and the related persistent segregation and mass arrest and incarceration of Black Americans cannot be properly understood without reference to the two and a half centuries in which Black Americans were enslaved.
On the show this week, Chris Hedges talks to the Rev. Mel White about the Christian Right, “a homegrown fascist movement,” which has been organizing to take political power for decades, and during the Trump administration seized senior positions in the legislative, executive and judicial branches of government. A move violating US Constitutional powers of separation of church and state.