Monday, 1 June 2020

Fascism takes Hold in the United States



Widespread curfews, the national guard called in to major cities, civilians shot with paint canisters and live ammunition, tear gas dispensed, antifascism designated terrorism, and now the military mobilising as armed militia take to the streets, all because black people are asking, pleading, screaming for an end to discrimination and brutalisation.

Of course they asked peacefully for decades. They knelt, they engaged in polite conversation, they were remarkably resolute as their brothers and sisters were butchered - and their concerns were dismissed. They were told to know their place as their President described white supremacists as good people. As their President labelled Antifa a terrorist organisation, even though no such organisation exists, even though no Antifa terror attacks have ever taken place, even though the KKK still operates freely. Antifa is simply an acronym for antifascism - opposing fascism makes you a terrorist now.

How much more antagonistic could this President become? No wonder things are exploding. Black people are desperate. The victims of brutality are treated as the enemy in their own country - the so-called land of the free where blacks aren't free.

If your issue right now is with the way the protesters are conducting themselves rather than the actions of the state, then I'm afraid you are a fascist, even if you don't realise.

How do you think fascism arises? Do you think populations suddenly turn evil? Of course they don't. Fascism is enabled by your polite neighbour, the honest hard working citizen who doesn't want to rock the boat. Who never wants anyone to rock the boat. Who tells themselves that if life in their privileged bubble is fine, there must be no problem beyond the bubble for which they must take responsibility. To them, anyone fighting for their rights is ungrateful, disloyal, even dangerous. It doesn't occur the protesters have no reason to show loyalty to a cause which has never shown loyalty to them.

But we've seen a black President so of course there is no problem, right? 

If only Obama had fought for his people, addressed the structural problems, reformed a corrupt and deadly police force who are basically the enforcers of an oligarchy which is only democratic on a superficial level, which has such a stranglehold on democracy, it's managed to narrow the democratic options down to corporatism or corporatism, which controls the media, which labels any attempt to more towards a Scandinavian-style social democracy as dangerous authoritarianism while it subjugates black communities, imprisons legitimate refugees, including children, and forcibly adopts babies. A system of mass incarceration with by far the largest number of prisoners in the world (whether in real terms or per capita) and the second largest number of executions carried out per year.

America is a fascist state masquerading as a democracy. It operates an apartheid system disguised as a land of opportunity by allowing one or two members of the underclass to escape, to do well, to invalidate any proclamation that such a system even exists, but clearly apartheid is there. It is there in the lack of opportunity for black people, the low quality education, the lack of healthcare, the higher rates of unemployment and the much higher rates of imprisonment and of course murder by police.

The problems in society, in any society, do not come from the bottom, they come from the top, from the leadership and its desire, or rather lack of desire, to drive change. And America for so long has pushed the myth that political leadership - state intervention - is bad, dangerous, yet they only portray state intervention as dangerous when it would involve helping people.

Helping your own citizens, addressing inequalities, creating a police force that serves and protects everyone, rather than a privileged few, that would be tyranny. But the state intervening to drone bomb other countries or lock black people up in extraordinary numbers, all driven by private profit, of course that's freedom.

Private corporations profiting from death and imprisonment is freedom. Helping poor people is tyranny. America is a democracy. It's all so Orwellian.

So now, as so many are reaching breaking point, not just in black communities, but increasingly in other communities too, the fascist beast is raising its true and ugly head. It has skilfully kept its face hidden to those who didn't care to look, but now it's in full view and you can't hide from this fact without becoming a fascist yourself.

This is the civil rights battle of our day. If you would have stood alongside Martin Luther King jr or Nelson Mandela, you must now stand with the black community. You must steer the narrative away from the behaviour of the protesters, remembering much of the trouble is coming from paid instigators, and you must focus on the behaviour of the police and the state. Or rather the police state.

We must have a conversation on how the police responded to a protest about police brutality with more police brutality. We must talk about the structures of power, the big money in politics, the foreign lobbyists, the militarised police, the commodification of healthcare and education, the profiteering from war and imprisonment, which led to this situation and which must be addressed if America is to move forward in a democratic way, because the good people have had enough and the only other way out of this situation is with violent suppression. Are you comfortable with that?



Future generations will remember Trump and his supporters as today's Nazis. It's time to decide if you are going to be on the right side of history.


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