Trigger Warnings

“Other steps must be taken, both for the immediate security of the lives and property of the present generation, and for the prevention of yet greater and remoter evils which are inevitable unless means to obviate them are found before it is forever too late.” George Perkins Marsh, writing in Man and Nature, published in 1864. He refers specifically to flooding in France, but his words have resonance after the end of the 26th UN climate confidence this last week.

The 26th! After much hot air, leaders of the world are basically returning to the same old same old, with a little tinkering here and there. Big Carbon has nothing to fear. In the U.S., their Congressional representatives. like Manchin and Sinema, can stymie even modest efforts at reducing emissions and preparing for disaster. Biden’s campaign promise to freeze old and gas exploration on federal land came to naught. His promise to end fossil fuel subsidies likewise was so much gas. On Wednesday, the largest auction of offshore leases in American history began–the miserable corporate centrists insist they have no other option to follow through with the leasing. (Grand Old Putschist Republicans, having paid no price for working to exterminate more than 761,000 Americans via Covid, will nevertheless campaign on drill, baby, drill, and more lies).

It’s hard not to be pessimistic. Voting and marching are not working. Nonetheless, the fascists are making even these time-honored methods of peaceful change useless. Their systematic disenfranchisement/gerrymandering around the country proceeds apace. Soon, in many states, the votes of the majority simply will not matter. They’re building a contra-majoritarian, “authoritarian democracy.”

Meanwhile, don’t look to police forces for help. A law unto themselves, they’ll eagerly work with fascist paramilitaries; sometimes they’re the same damn people. (This was written the day the Rittenhouse case went to the jury, which returned with not guilty on all counts. I predicted this murderous guy would be holding office within a year; already the worst of the worst are competing to make him their Congressional intern). The reactionary SCOTUS majority’s coming decision on open-carry, along with their previous approval of Texas’s abortion vigilantism, means that armed vigilantism will become a major component of the right politics of terrorism. They’re militantly-ignorant tools are already threatening medical professionals, school boards, shop workers, etc. And, in case, you haven’t been paying attention, Republicans in several states have passed laws granting civil immunity to people who kill protestors by running over them in their monster pick-ups and suburban utility vehicles.

You’ve been paying attention to Senate candidates like JD Vance and Josh Mandel’s live-action fascism?

I suspect death squads will also become a tool of the right, as they have been in other countries with the U.S.’s blessing. It isn’t a stretch to imagine fascist-plutocrats in the vein of Thiel, Prince, Musk, et al., using their private security forces in this way. (A major U.S. ally, Saudi Arabia, dismembers it enemies with impunity. Another, Israel, is an apartheid state, one that has taught American police its methods.)

As I said, it’s hard not to be pessimistic. Historically, fundamental change is usually accompanied by violence. Even getting an eight hour day was a fierce battle. In other contexts, they don’t call it revolution for nothing.

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