Wednesday, July 3, 2019

As Climate Change Creates Fascist Violence, The Global Left Needs To Become Armed

The worst of the threats that the collapse of the climate will bring may not come from the floods, storms, and droughts that the crisis will create, but from the cruelty that human beings will inflict on each other as a result of the destabilization that they’ll be experiencing. We’re entering into the era of climate authoritarianism, where the refugee crises and resource scarcity that the catastrophe creates is resulting in fascistic state control, increased racism, and concentration camps.
All of these dangers have already been realized. The threat I’m warning about isn’t theoretical, it’s something that our civilization is now experiencing-and America is turning into climate authoritarianism’s prime location. The influx of North American asylum seekers, which has been largely created by climate change, is being met with xenophobic paranoia by much of the American population and efforts from the government to exact violence against the refugees. Last year, President Trump sent troops to the southern border to attack migrant families with chemical weapons. Migrant children are being kept in detention centers where they live in unsanitary conditions and are frequently abused by guards. ICE officers are conducting military-style raids in an operation that the president hopes will eventually result in the deportation and/or detention of millions of undocumented people.
These developments have come with all the historical signs of a fascist takeover, including the formation of paramilitary forces that the state can use to intimidate the populace into submission. These paramilitary forces have developed both in the form of private mercenaries and in the form of vigilante groups, and they have a staggering amount of firepower. The War on Terror has produced the rise of Blackwater, the heavily armed company whose operatives are famous for erratically gunning down civilians in war zones. The Trump era has seen the proliferation of far-right militias, one of which recently made headlines for using threats of
violence to help Republican lawmakers Oregon refuse to vote on a climate bill. In terms of their political ideology and their frequently shared symbolism, the members of these groups are one and the same with the ICE officers, the militarized police forces, and the U.S. military.
These are the proportions of the violence that the climate authoritarians are capable of. The brush with fascism that Americans are now seeing is part of a worldwide historical trend towards despotism and state terror, one that’s tied in with the warming of the climate despite the widespread climate change denialism which exists within this movement. The climate change denier Donald Trump is arguably among the first of the demagogues of the Anthropocene, and Brazil’s fascistic new president Jair Bolsonaro also doesn’t acknowledge anthropogenic global warming. These leaders’ contempt for scientific facts and their commitment to advancing corporatist anti-environmental policies is appropriate, since their agenda is not to fix our crisis but to exploit it.
The future they’re bringing us towards is one where governmental resources are virtually all diverted into the police and the military, where migrants and other undesirables are brought to heel by apartheid rule and concentration camps, and where the rich alone remain safe from the unstable conditions of the near future earth. This will be what a United Nations report released this week describes as “climate apartheid,” where the rich can pay their way into safety while the climate’s destabilization pushes “more than 120 million more people into poverty by 2030.”
All of this shows that the global left must become armed and militant in the same fashion of history’s communist revolutionaries. To keep our communities safe, and to defend our revolutionary gains from capitalist aggression, we’ll need to learn from the armed resistance struggles of the Bolsheviks, the Maoists, Ho Chi Minh’s fighters, and others who’ve successfully defended themselves from capitalist violence.
The most important thing they’ve taught us is that a strong organization is essential for the success of an armed revolutionary project. Without a military leadership and training program to give the movement’s armed members the proper guidance, the armed resistance effort will be disorganized and prone to reckless acts of non-defensive violence. The world’s armed left should ultimately come to resemble the armed left of the DPRK: a community where virtually all members of the revolutionary socialist movement volunteer to become armed and trained, making whatever territory that the movement wins into a socialist fortress that’s protected from capitalist aggression. “Working with hammer and sickle in one hand and rifle in the other” is a common saying in north Korea, one that should be popularized among socialists around the globe.
Until that point where we’ve carried out full-on worker’s revolutions, the left can arm and train itself by getting involved in the modern versions of the Black Panthers. The Black Panthers, whose armed resistance activities were suppressed when Reagan imposed racist gun control laws, are having their tradition upheld by the numerous armed leftist groups of today. Organizations like the Socialist Rifle Association, the John Brown Club, and the antifa branches can be joined for the purpose of getting oneself ready to defend from fascist violence.
Those in these groups have a sense of what’s coming in the following years and decades, and they’re trying to become as well armed as they can in preparation of a violent authoritarian crackdown. Duke Aaron, the founder of the Puget Sound John Brown Gun Club, recently told the New Republic’s Corey Pein about these fears. One part of Pein’s article reads:
“People have some real fear about what the future holds for them, and some real fear about what lurks down the street,” [Aaron] said. There is some talk of what would happen when Donald Trump or a more competent authoritarian successor bombs urban centers of resistance, like Seattle, but for the most part, these “community defense” groups are less concerned with doomsday scenarios than they are with immediate threats against mosques, synagogues, abortion clinics, and the like.
As for how we’ll handle these longer term catastrophic scenarios, it’s crucial that we work towards making America’s armed leftist groups much bigger and much better equipped with weapons. The article also says that Socialist Rifle Association member Adrian Bonenberger believes it will take “at least 20 years to create a force to rival the conservative militias that boast tens of thousands of members. By comparison, antifa has a combined membership in the low thousands, and even fewer people belong to armed leftist groups.”
So in addition to the need for vastly increased involvement in the armed leftist organizations, we need to act tactfully; since the armed fascist contingents would presently no doubt win against the leftist ones, we need to avoid stoking a potential civil war and focus on self-defense. And in an event where the socialists have won power in one country and they subsequently come under siege from the capitalists, the leaders of the new working class revolutions will need to ge able to call upon militarily powerful socialist countries like Cuba and the DPRK to come to their aid.
None of these scenarios are beyond consideration, because they’re what could logically arise from the extreme destabilization that’s sure to appear around the world in the next few decades. Pacifism is a liberal pathology that’s very often used by the privileged to feel morally superior to the oppressed groups who’ve had to use arms to defend themselves. And as the collapse of the climate continues, the left-leaning people in the first world who’ve claimed that “guns don’t solve problems” will need to make the choice of whether or not to change their position.
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