Tuesday, December 31, 2019

The Need For Revolution Outweighs The Need For “Peace”

Americans in the anti-capitalist movement are looking towards different outcomes for the years ahead, outcomes that will be vastly influenced by what those in our political strain choose to do. Great responsibility is placed upon us, because we’re the ones tasked with rallying the country’s millions of disaffected workers and poor people towards fighting neoliberal capitalism. Should we take the path of reformism, trying to pursue our goals through electoral politics while doing all we can to avoid violence? Or should we move towards an overthrow effort that potentially consists of civil war?

Which approach you want to take depends on what exactly your goals are. Do you want to create a different version of America, one that has expanded social services, more business regulations, and higher taxes on the wealthy? Or do you want to abolish the United States government and create an entirely new system, one where a bourgeois class is no longer allowed to exist and where the means of production are controlled by a proletarian democracy? If you want to go with a peaceful route for attempting to defeat capitalism, the former outcome is the best you can hope for.

Many on the American left have recognized this reality, and since the idea of going to war against the government sounds initially unappealing to them, they’ve convinced themselves that Bernie Sanders-style reforms are all that the country needs. This vision of reforming capitalism to make it less unequal certainly appeals to the rich people who see that the present levels of inequality aren’t sustainable. A more Scandinavian version of America would put at ease the “Patriotic Millionaires” who want to pay higher taxes, the pro-wealth tax billionaire Warren Buffet, and the multi-millionaire Nick Hanauer, who’s stated in spite of his desire to redistribute wealth that “I am one of those .01%ers, a proud and unapologetic capitalist.”

And for those who’ve embraced Bernie Sanders’ line, there’s nothing wrong with this vision. It would certainly improve living standards for Americans, so from the perspective of many Americans-especially bourgeois Americans like Hanauer-Sanders’ social democracy would be perfect. But this paradise that social democracy promises is an illusion. It would only benefit the bourgeoisie, and the First World proletarians who get much of their wealth from the spoils of U.S. imperialism.

This is the reality that social democrats in the First World want people to ignore. Not only would a more “fair” version of American capitalism perpetuate the system that inevitably leads to social safety net expansions and pro-worker reforms being undone, but it would result in continued violence and subjugation against those in the Third World. Sanders, Warren, Ocasio-Cortez, and the other “progressive” Democrats don’t want to dismantle the American imperialist project. Among them, there’s a mostly shared embrace of economic sanctionsdrone warfare, and imperialist narratives about anti-imperialist countries like Venezuela and Syria. They also support Israel’s colonial project, advocating for the unfeasible notion of a “two-state solution” rather than supporting the decolonization of Palestine. These politicians may want to do away with neoliberalism within the United States, but they don’t seek to end the militarized global corporatocracy that’s killing and exploiting those in the Middle East and the global south.

We shouldn’t pretend that this re-arrangement of the structures of capitalist and colonial oppression is an acceptable alternative to the present system. At this point, we shouldn’t even be arguing about it. It’s long been apparent, especially for the indigenous Americans whose lands have been stolen from them through an ongoing campaign of genocide, that the United States can’t have its violent and oppressive nature “reformed” out of it. The United States needs to be overthrown and replaced with a decolonized territory that’s run as a socialist proletarian democracy.

And this can only be achieved through a war. A war that not always necessarily consists of military combat, but that’s nonetheless waged with the intent of bringing down the bourgeois and colonial power structures through any means necessary. Such wars for indigenous independence and class liberation have been victoriously waged before; Zimbabwe used to be a colonial country called Rhodesia until its indigenous people waged a civil war that turned it into an independent state in 1979, one that was long led by the communist Robert Mugabe. Cubans used a combination of movement-building and guerilla warfare to overthrow their capitalist dictatorship and create the remarkably successful socialist Cuban nation we know today. We in the U.S. have the potential to do the same, but it will take a level of commitment to revolutionary militancy that most of us haven’t yet developed.

It will take the realization that a revolution, as Mao said, “is not a dinner party, or writing an essay, or painting a picture, or doing embroidery; it cannot be so refined, so leisurely and gentle, so temperate, kind, courteous, restrained and magnanimous. A revolution is an insurrection, an act of violence by which one class overthrows another.”

Liberals like Sanders claim that revolution means a reconciliation between the classes, one where capitalism is made stable through higher taxes on the wealthy. But we don’t need to ask the wealthy for more money, we need to take the wealthy out of their position in society in a process of class warfare that results in a dictatorship of the proletariat. In a dictatorship of the proletariat-which is to say a true form of democracy where the proletariat solidifies its place in power-the bourgeoisie is the class that becomes suppressed. As Lenin wrote, “The dictatorship of the proletariat is a most determined and most ruthless war waged by the new class against a more powerful enemy, the bourgeoisie, whose resistance is increased tenfold by its overthrow.”

We’ll wage the first part of this war by organizing mass civil disobedience efforts, similar to the strikes and protests that have gripped France, Chile, and other capitalist countries throughout the last year. As this unrest continues, the proletariat will be presented with opportunities to win territory away from the bourgeoisie. The corporate and political elites could be forced to evacuate from certain areas amid intensive demonstrations, like happened this year in Ecuador when the neoliberal Moreno government relocated the capital in the face of relentless anti-government protests. We must both work to cultivate such scenarios by organizing blockades of streets and buildings, and equip the movement’s participants to defend the momentarily ceded areas from being retaken by the capitalist state.

I’m talking about a series of situations comparable to the one which appeared in Standing Rock in 1973, wherein the American Indian Movement carried out an armed occupation of a reservation. Except in this uprising, millions of proletarians from all ethnicities will need to be involved, and they’ll need to have a strategy for permanently winning territory. Failing a quick takeover of America’s governmental apparatus, we’ll need to first carve out zones controlled by the revolutionaries, like how India’s Maoist militias have done in the communist-run region known as the Red Corridor.

These tasks may be monumental, but the first step towards them can very easily and quickly be realized. This step is the outbreak of major social unrest, which has long been waiting to happen in the United States amid the country’s exceptional inequality and continually declining post-recession living standards. All that needs to happen for this unrest to break out is a catalyst event for lower class outrage, which could appear with the upcoming economic crash.

When this chaos erupts, the job of those who’ve been already educated about class struggle and anti-colonialism will be to rally the masses towards overthrowing and replacing the bourgeois state. This, along with decolonization, needs to be the essence of our goal if we’re serious about wanting a revolution. The bourgeois figures who claim that “revolution” means class reconciliation rather than the elimination of the bourgeoisie are trying to manipulate people’s common desire for peace. They hope that we’ll continue to fear the prospect of actual class confrontation enough that we accept a series of reforms within the First World.

But this “peaceful” solution will inevitably result in continued violence against the many groups who won’t be sharing in American social programs: Palestinians, Venezuelans, Syrians, north Koreans, and the other billions of people-both in the Third World and the First World-who will become victims of the future imperialist and capitalist projects that social democrats seek to perpetuate. This “peace” that the bourgeoisie offers is an illusion, and peace isn’t even a justifiable pretext for avoiding revolutionary confrontation. As the Korean revolutionary Kim Il-Sung said: “It is wrong to try and avoid the struggle against imperialism under the pretext that independence and revolution are important, but that peace is still more precious.”

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If you appreciate my work, I hope you become a one-time or regular donor to my Patreon account. Like most of us, I’m feeling the economic pinch during late-stage capitalism, and I need money to keep fighting for a new system that works for all of us. Go to my Patreon here:

Saturday, December 28, 2019

The 2010s: America’s Frantic Decade Of Late-Stage Imperialist Belligerence & Self-Delusion

Ten years ago, Americans were beginning to confront the reality that their nation was irrevocably in decline. The economy had entered into a downward spiral, the country had been in a nine-years-long war, and democratic rights were disappearing. Given the history of collapsing empires, it’s unsurprising that all of these trends have continued since then. And the geopolitical and cultural dynamics that have developed throughout the 2010s aren’t surprising either.

These dynamics exemplify a great process of reaction, a pathology that the country has taken on as its empire has become destabilized. There are countless ways the internal aspect of this late-stage capitalist societal unraveling can be examined, ones that range from critiquingwarped social media commercialism to exposing neo-Nazi meme culture. But what’s driven these kinds of social and political developments within the U.S. is the larger collapse of the U.S./NATO empire, and the ever-increasing foreign policy belligerence that’s resulted from this decline in American hegemony.

So examining the striking ways that American foreign policy has evolved in the last decade can help us understand the ways that American society itself is changing-and it can give us a clue about where all of these trends will go as the imperial collapse continues. I’m going to split this specifically angled history of the 2010s into three sections, with each one recounting a stranger stage than the last.

From 2010 to 2014: Washington’s embrace of jihadists and neo-Nazis

By 2010, the War on Terror had been expanded to include a bombing and drone campaign that spanned several countries, and that sustained itself through calculated narrative management. The “WMDs in Iraq” narrative had been replaced with a steady stream of government deceptions made to justify the ongoing U.S. occupations and aerial bombardments, with the Pentagon often using civilian casualties as anti-terror propaganda. It was obvious that by that point, the CIA’s propaganda network had been expanded to manufacture consent for the new age of endless war. But the war effort would soon come to include many new regime change target countries. So the military industrial complex and its media extensions would have to be adapted accordingly.

The Obama administration’s facilitation of the 2009 Honduras coup didn’t require any innovations in propaganda, because it was a repeat of all the other Latin American regime change projects that the CIA has carried out. In 2011, when the factors converged to start the Syrian regime change proxy war that the U.S. had long been preparing for, the empire had to work harder to sell the war to the American public. The fact that the U.S. was aiding terrorist groups to overthrow Assad had to he concealed. And Assad had to be targeted with a sustained character assassination campaign that’s involved numerous pieces of theater and multiple coordinated media hoaxes.

This commitment to a regime change attempt in Syria started at the same time that the U.S. ousted Muammar Gaddafi. In the case of Libya, the U.S. and its allies carried out a kind of regime change war-the direct invasion approach-that at that point was only feasible in the form of short military efforts. It would have cost too many resources, and created too much strained credibility, for the U.S. to occupy Libya the way it did in Iraq. So the imperialists had to hastily do their damage to the country shortly before getting Americans to forget about the whole affair. The Iraq and Afghanistan wars had already made the empire too fragile to commit to long-term occupations in additional countries, making the task of Syria regime change into one of covert destabilization and proxy battles.

With these late-stage imperialist limitations in place, the U.S. had to conduct its operations around Syria with a frantic amount of effort. NATO countries and imperialist NGOs pumped tens of millions of dollars into the White Helmets, the “humanitarian” group that regime change operatives created to advance propaganda and aid terrorists. The White Helmets have since been repeatedly used to propagate claims that Assad has committed chemical attacks. To make up for when these claims have been debunked, the Western propaganda machine has relied on manipulative tactics that create sympathy for the “moderate” anti-Assad rebels; for instance, a child named Bana al-Abedhas made carefully scripted appearances in the media that are designed to stir up outrage at the supposed evils of Assad and Putin.

To make this new phase of war propaganda work, the U.S. government expanded its messaging capabilities. The 2012 National Defense Authorization Act included a measure that legalized the use of covert state propaganda on American citizens. This came just in time for the effort to convince the public that an August 2013 chemical attack had been committed by Assad, and for Washington’s campaign to glorify Syria’s jihadists as brave “rebels” while they were wreaking havoc in the region.

This propaganda ban repeal also made the Obama administration better able to conceal the coup that it carried out in Ukraine in 2014. Despite clear evidence of U.S. involvement in the establishment of Ukraine’s fascistic new anti-Russian government, Americans were only shown a picture of a “democratic revolution” in Ukraine. Since then, as a strain of neo-Nazis has continued its takeover of Ukraine with ongoing support from Washington, even this despicable political ploy has been spun as a “humanitarian” intervention. In 2013, the war criminal senator John McCain went to Ukraine and gave a speech next to Oleh Tyahnybok, one of the major leaders in the country’s neo-Nazi movement. Then in a tribute to McCain in 2018 that portrayed him as a “champion” of “human rights,” the Washington Post used a picture from the 2013 speech that showed McCain next to Tyahnybok.

Washington had embraced Islamist terrorists and neo-Nazis because this provided a shortcut for its imperial ambitions in eastern Europe and the Middle East. The worst extremist groups imaginable had been tacitly integrated into the ostensibly progressive brand of American “humanitarianism.” And this had activated the focal points in a dispute between America and Russia that were threatening to lead to a new cold war.

From 2014 to 2018: the creation of Cold War 2.0 and the rise of Western Russophobic paranoia

Despite the fact that U.S. interference had plunged the Ukraine into an ongoing dystopian nightmare of fascist terror campaigns, Putin was portrayed as the sole villain in the Ukraine situation. Language about “Russian aggression” frequently appeared, despite the fact that Putin’s Crimea annexation was done in response to aggressive NATO expansionism and despite Crimeans having overwhelmingly voted in favor of Russia taking control. Russia’s efforts to secure itself amid a belligerent new regime in Ukraine and a Western-backed jihadist invasion in Syria were presented with similar lack of nuance.

Throughout 2014 and beyond, Russia has been made out to be a global aggressor, and its military interventions in Syria have been consistently presented as atrocities. Putin and Assad have been blamed for the Syrian war’s outbreak, and all of its blood has supposedly been on their hands. In many cases these claims have depended on wild sensationalism, such as when Western pundits decried a 2016 Russian-led “destruction in Aleppo” even though there had been no massacre in Aleppo, and when the rebel fighters were allowed to leave with their families and weapons. It’s all been a big self-righteous posturing, one that’s served to deflect from the vast massacres that the U.S. military and its allied jihadists have carried out.

With the 2016 election and the coming of the Trump era, the new cold war greatly escalated. The narratives about Russia having “hacked” the election, which were cooked up by John Brennan and other opportunistic figures within the partisan Obama-led intelligence community, created a paradigm of hysteria about America’s institutions being under attack from a foreign “adversary.” The so-called “Russiagate” scandal continued to be promoted by the media for two years, stoking public hostility against Russia and encouraging the new president to behave even more aggressively towards Russia than his predecessor.

Trump expanded sanctions on Russia, ordered illegal missile strikes against Syria, and provided arms to anti-Russian forces in Ukraine. He refused to recognize Crimea as part of the Russian Federation, threw out Russian diplomats, and trained Polish and Latvian fighters “to resist Russian aggression.” He abandoned the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty, spurring a new arms race between the superpowers. Yet through a series of narrative gymnastics, Democratic politicians and pundits kept pushing the narrative that Trump was somehow in thrall to Putin. They didn’t care about the ways their rhetoric pushed civilization closer to World War Three; they just wanted the partisan leverage and the ratings.

Russiagate’s effects on society have been expanded corporate censorship against the alternative press, a new attitude of xenophobia and militarism among liberals, and a greater potential for Trump to win re-election amid his vindication from the Russia collusion charge earlier this year. Thanks to the paranoid Russia conspiracy theories of corporate media demagogueslike Rachel Maddow, and to the declining U.S. imperial power structure that’s resorted to restarting the Cold War, we’re now in a new era of nuclear tensions and revamped McCarthyism.

From 2018 to 2019: the cold war against China and the fascistic tilt of U.S. geopolitical agendas

The West’s campaign against Russia has gone along with a campaign against China, and against all other countries and entities which oppose U.S. imperialism. Despite the tens of billions of additional dollars that have regularly been put into the U.S. military budget in recent years, the rise of Russian and Chinese power has weakened America’s ability to use its military and continued the trend towards a multi-polar world. Russia and China could very well win a war with the U.S. if they were to team up, and this fact has deterred Washington war hawks from their ambitions for invading Iran and Venezuela.

One-third of the world’s people are now being impacted by the economic strangulations that Washington is carrying out. These underhanded acts of warfare are typically sold under the same “humanitarian” guise as the operations of the NGO-industrial complex, or else they’re blatantly advertised as tools for securing U.S. corporate interests (such as when politicians justify sanctions on China by accusing China of “stealing intellectual property”). Otherwise, the U.S. has increasingly tried to subdue rival nations through stirring up foreign color revolutions that advance American interests in the name of “democracy.”

Using its front group the National Endowment for Democracy, the U.S. has manufactured right-wing protests in Nicaragua and Venezuela to try to overthrow the socialist governments of these countries. The Sandinista and Chavista governments haven’t so far been ousted, and Cuba, Syria and Iran remain anti-imperialist countries that are pursuing different types of socialism. But in the places where the imperialists have been more successful, they’ve propagated an openly fascistic political paradigm.

Last month in Bolivia, the U.S. incited political violence and partneredwith a Christian fascist paramilitary group to force the country’s democratically elected socialist president Evo Morales out of power. To beat back resistance, the new coup regime has carried out ethnic cleansing against indigenous people.

In Hong Kong, the NED has exploited the city’s culturally ingrained resentment towards mainland China to incite angry riots. Not only have the Hong Kong protests mirrored fascist movements in that they enact public violent against perceived enemies, seek to stamp out socialism, and identify with fascist leaders like Donald Trump, but they’ve been aided by none other than the U.S.-backed Ukrainian neo-Nazis.

In China’s Xinjiang Province, an ideological pipeline of sectarian religious extremism has been developed which stems from Washington’s efforts to aid terrorist groups. These extremist factions have already carried out violence within China, and the Communist Party’s efforts to peacefully de-radicalize their movement’s members has been met with plans for future attacks; Uyghur militants in Syria have begun looking to Zionism as a model for their ambitions of building an Islamic state, and many have joined jihadist groups to train themselves for war with Beijing.

Like how Israel has been increasingly embracing fascist leaders around the world in reaction to the threats to Zionism, Washington is investing in fascist movements of various religious and reactionary strains. The goal is to preserve colonial and bourgeois resources by employing armies, paramilitaries, and street thugs to crush the opposition.

The U.S. empire may be in the process of collapse, but the U.S. and its partnered powers aren’t going away. They’re going to continue to use warfare, whether through economic sanctions, proxy fighters, or invasions, to attack the world’s rising socialist and anti-colonial movements. The West’s war against China is at the epicenter of this reactionary trend, because China is the main power that’s leading the world towards multi-polarity and socialism.

The strange and dark place that America has become going into the 2020s

Want a gauge as to how much America’s discourse has deteriorated throughout this last decade of imperial collapse? Observe that in 2006, prominent left-wing commentator Amy Goodman helped write a book called Static: Government Liars, Media Cheerleaders, and the People Who Fight Back. One paragraph from Goodman’s book says this about the Bush White House’s Iraq WMD hoax: “This was propaganda in the purest sense: disinformation that was bought and paid for by the U.S. government. The only thing needed was for respected news outlets to legitimize these fairy tales by running them as fact.”

Yet after the American war machine has spent years normalizing its rhetoric about China and other designated enemies, Goodman has become one of the media figures who participates in the process of manufacturing consent. This July, Goodman’s show Democracy Nowfeatured an interview with Adrian Zenz, an evangelical preacher with far-right views who claims that China is interning millions of Muslims. Like the others who promote such claims, Zenz was offeringpropaganda as flimsy as Bush’s WMD narrative. Zenz’ assertions largely come from two studies which rely on very shoddy search methodologies, and which exist because of U.S. government backing.

These kinds of corrosions of the national discourse amid intensive propaganda and paranoia show how much the U.S. has changed in the last ten years. We’re a nation under siege from itself, a place whose imperial identity has become distorted to alarming extremes. Poverty and inequality continue to get worse as the global economy heads for a new recession. As the Trump administration has continued to escalate the foreign droning and bomb campaigns, America’s police state and immigration authorities have become more and more brutal. Neo-Nazi movements have proliferated, and have been organizing secretive paramilitary training throughout the country. There’s a sense that the worst is yet to come, and that a true American fascism is just around the corner.

It’s a tapestry of chaos, one that will get more grotesque as the 2020s develop. This is what late-stage capitalism looks like, the point where the system consumes itself while the planet buckles under the strain of centuries of intensive environmental exploitation.

The sheer absurdity of the spectacles that this collapsing system produces reflects the horror of the realities we’re facing; recently, Hong Kong’s Trump-loving demonstrators printed out pictures of Trump’s head on the body of a muscular boxer. At the same time, many of the people of Hong Kong are struggling under a hyper-capitalist system that’s driving their living standards down, much like is happening everywhere else. But the corporate mass media machine remains trained on this kind of vapid political theater from reactionaries and opportunists.

As sickening as this capitalist crisis is, it’s also a revolutionary crisis. It gives us opportunities to promote ideas like class struggle, eco-socialism, and anti-imperialism. As we go into this new decade, we must work towards overthrowing the systems that are tearing our world apart.
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If you appreciate my work, I hope you become a one-time or regular donor to my Patreon account. Like most of us, I’m feeling the economic pinch during late-stage capitalism, and I need money to keep fighting for a new system that works for all of us. Go to my Patreon here:

Monday, December 23, 2019

Late-Stage Capitalism Is Creating A Brutal New Kind Of Global Despotism

The power structure that now dominates the globe is a logical extension of the project for colonizing Africa, Oceania, and the Americas that the European imperialist powers began over five centuries ago. From the start of this project, it’s been a constant rule for those in the colonizing powers that one’s society is at war with a weaker enemy. The indigenous people, who have been portrayed as not capable of running things, have had to be brought under the colonial boot according to the ideology of imperial conquest. And in accordance with the global rise of capitalism that colonialism precipitated, the same dynamic of
subjugation has existed between the poor and the rich.

Throughout their efforts to defeat their enemies, the imperialist powers of the last millennium and the empires that came before them have constantly been fighting against adversaries that can’t be totally subdued, even after they’ve been greatly weakened by slavery and mass extermination. The ethnic and religious groups that have been subjugated by imperialism have virtually all been able to survive, and have continued their cultures and their collective will to find self-determination. So they’ve constantly posed a challenge to the power of imperialism even as imperialism has ruled supreme, much like the existence of the proletariat has constantly put the rule of the bourgeoisie into question. The same tension has ultimately existed during every other unjust hierarchy.

To maintain their control over this constant threat from the oppressed, the ruling class in the age of imperialism has used unprecedentedly powerful tools of warfare against groups which have stood in their way. Covert CIA operations alone are estimated to have killed at least six million people. The U.S. has used vast bombing campaigns, starvation sanctions, and most recently drone warfare to kill tens of millions of people since World War II. These methods of genocide have been replicated to great extents by Israel during its war against the Palestinians, and by Saudi Arabia during its war against the Yemenis. This all is added onto the millions of deaths that occur annually because of the poverty that’s sustained by global capitalism, and to the frequent killings of poor people by the ever-deadlier police states throughout the capitalist world.

Despite these methods of warfare, imperialism and corporate power continue to be challenged. American hegemony is declining amid frayings of alliances among the NATO powers, failures from the U.S. to carry out its foreign policy goals in countries like Syria, and the rise of Chinese influence. Massive protests have broken out in neoliberal Third World countries like Chile and Honduras, and worker struggles are intensifying in places like France. Those in the global underclass are fighting as hard as ever, and in places like the DPRK and Venezuela they’ve already gained dominance through proletarian democracy. A power struggle is still in motion.

It’s in motion because of the contradictions of capitalism, which have become heightened during the era of capitalist imperialism. By subjecting entire nations to invasions, severe poverty, and apartheid, imperialism makes the oppressive dynamics of capitalism so pronounced that revolts from the colonized people become inevitable. Added onto the conflict between bourgeoisie and proletariat that’s inherent to all capitalist societies, this self-destructive aspect of imperialism has led to vast decolonization movements and successful socialist revolutions throughout the last century.

As the U.S. empire weakens, this liberation movement is naturally gathering strength. The recent resurgence of Third World revolutionary energy is present even in Bolivia, where strong socialist and indigenous strains threaten to overtake the fascist regime that’s been installed in the country. But there’s still a way that the bourgeoisie can remain dominant in an era after the fall of the U.S. empire, and even in an era after the climate has collapsed.

This transition can be accomplished by making the means for wielding political and social power-such as steady access to electricity, the ability to use weaponry, and reliable nourishment and shelter-available only to the rich. In the developed world, capitalism has sustained itself by letting most of the population share in the technological and economic gains that the system creates, however unequally they’re distributed. The United States and most other core imperialist nations have never experienced a socialist revolution because conditions for the broad masses haven’t deteriorated enough to provoke an effective class uprising. Many bourgeois leaders have deliberately tried to maintain this balance by allowing the welfare state to be expanded, which has deterred the proletariat from pursuing revolution. But faced with the collapse of the climate, the ruling class has overwhelmingly decided to keep making society ever more unequal instead of reducing inequality.

Even in more progressive capitalist countries like Iceland, the prevailing decision within the political establishment has been to continue neoliberalism and not try to alleviate the wealth gap. Austerity has increased throughout almost the entire capitalist world since the 2008 financial crisis, wages have kept falling, and the power of the big banks and corporations is greater than ever. And the collapse of the climate hasn’t driven capitalist governments to resist corporate power, it’s caused there to be more privatization of services and more capitalist efforts to profit from crises. 2005’s Hurricane Katrina and 2017’s Hurricane Irma both caused there to be a wave of privatizations in the impacted areas, and the U.S. army and private military contractors used both disasters to increase the militarization of society.

A recurring part of these responses to climate change has been an effort to more clearly define boundaries between the wealthy areas and the poorer areas. The lines between the wealthy areas (called the green zones) and the poor areas (called the red zones) was how the U.S. decided to distribute resources in Iraq during its post-invasion efforts to reconstruct the country. The green zone/red zone dichotomy, despite not usually being defined with such explicit language, is being increasingly applied to how resources are distributed around the globe. The homes and neighborhoods of the rich are protected from the threats of climate change-like was the case during 2018’s California fires-while poor communities are the ones that suffer.

There’s a political purpose behind this environmentally created inequality, one that’s understood by the billionaires who’ve prepared for a later stage of the climate crisis by creating luxury survival compounds for themselves. It’s to deprive those outside the wealthy enclaves of the resources that they’ll need to survive, or at least to live with modern comforts, as the climate deteriorates. The logical conclusion of climate apartheid, as this 21st century class divide has been called, is a new kind of despotism that’s emerging while capitalism collapses. In a world that’s no longer climatically stable, and where resources have become scarce, the capitalist class will only be able to maintain their status and lifestyle by concentrating wealth at the very top. In other words, by replacing capitalism with a nakedly oppressive system that has virtually no social mobility.

Now that capitalism has reached the long-anticipated point where it consumes too much of nature to be able to sustain itself, the elites are creating a new system which is much more centralized and tightly controlled than the one that preceded it. Since the Industrial Revolution, bourgeois societies have typically been liberal, with freedom of expression usually being legal and the proletariat being able to heavily consume and make a living when the economy was doing well. But now democracy is deteriorating around the capitalist world, and the neoliberal economies are in a perpetual state of decline that makes economic participation harder for the proletariat.

Whereas capitalist markets overall grew massively in the 20th century, in the 21st century they’ve been shrinking. Trade and economic growth are slowing down, and the post-recession economic expansion has been dependent on financial bubbles and beneficial mainly for those in the upper strata. In the U.S., unemployment and underemployment still haven’t recovered  from their pre-recession levels, and the global economy becomes more unequal every year. The next financial crash will create a situation far worse, one that’s exacerbated by the decline of the dollar and by the irreversible economic damage of climate change.

All of these destabilizing factors within capitalist markets are naturally causing capitalist political systems to become less free, and capitalist economies to be more controlled by the state and its partnered corporate monopolies. Economic and climatic disruptions have caused a global rise in reactionary politics and a subsequent decline in democracy throughout much of the capitalist world. And the 2008 crash has caused the U.S. government to transfer many trillions of dollars to the biggest banks, enabling these private financial institutions to become larger than ever.

Similar trends will follow as the collapse of capitalism continues. Power, both political and economic, will become consolidated as the system eats itself. The capitalist class will remain capitalists in the traditional sense only when they’re profiting in some way from the world’s disasters, or when they manage to profit from the labor of the few proletarians who manage to get jobs within the isolated societies of the rich. Otherwise they won’t exploit the proletariat nearly to the extent that they used to, because society won’t even be functional enough for labor and commerce to be robust. Most of the people in the world will be driven into poverty, become climate refugees, or simply die off, leaving the bourgeoisie with no choice but to shrink their business operations and retreat to their green zones.

In such a situation, the ruling class will still be the dominant group, and they could expand their power in new areas. They could pursue capitalist development in eventually hospitable places like Greenland and Antarctica, they could colonize Mars, and they could even buildcities that float on the ocean. But they’ll still need to stop the world’s underclass from overthrowing them, which will be harder than ever after the climate and economy have collapsed. Whether the bourgeoisie can retain its dominance amid the riots, vast influxes of refugees, and massive organized rebellions will depend on whether the bourgeoisie or the proletariat gain the upper hand over political and military power.

The military will be such an important factor because like has been the case in most situations of potential revolution, the group with the military and police on its side will be the group that wins. And unless much of the global proletariat becomes well armed, like the ones in India’s Maoist militias have, this importance of who controls the state’s military forces will continue to apply. In this situation of an overwhelmingly unarmed global proletariat, the proletariat’s only current route for taking control of the militaries of the capitalist governments is to overwhelm these governments through mass civil disobedience.

The proletariat has succeeded in this goal many times since the proletariat first achieved it during the Russian revolution. It most recently succeeded when mass strikes overthrew Sudan’s U.S.-backed dictatorship in April 2019. But this will need to happen in dozens of other places before the proletariat can truly tip the balance of global power in their favor. And the bourgeoisie is militarily safeguarding capitalist influence from the recent protests while regaining lost bourgeois territory in other areas. The armies and militarized police in France, Chile and the other besieged capitalist countries have so far used violent repression to stop protesters from taking control of the state apparatus. And last month’s U.S.-created coup in Bolivia, which was carried out by fascist paramilitary leaders and has been solidified through brutal repression, has restored bourgeois control over the country.

The bourgeoisie will continue to use these kinds of tools to try to fortify and gain territory, whether this will involve a paramilitary crackdown within the United States, a military coup in Mexico, or an invasion of socialist Venezuela. And in the territories that they manage to control, the bourgeoisie will intensify policing and surveillance to extreme levels. In the U.S., which already has highly militarized police and a thorough digital state surveillance system, border security managers are using a private Israeli security firm to build a wall of total surveillance along the southern border. In the communities around the firm’s surveillance towers, people aren’t able to evade being directly watched. The firm plans to ultimately expand this intensely monitored zone to the entire perimeter of the country. This is one facet of the mass surveillance, censorship, and police state aspects that are being established around the capitalist world.

As Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels recognized, the capitalist society that emerged from the old feudalist society did not abolish the ancient class antagonisms. It introduced new forms of oppression and new kinds of struggles between classes, ones that have mainly revolved around wage disputes and workplace rights. The new system that’s emerging amid late-stage capitalism is one which centers around a more severe type of class disparity than the one between employers and workers, which is the disparity between dictators and peasants. The U.S.-installed neoliberal regimes in Iraq and Honduras, which have kept their populations largely poor and unemployed while making their societies heavily militarized, are early examples of what will become the prevailing governing model.

And always throughout this process of social collapse, there’s going to be an effort from the bourgeoisie to suppress or exterminate the sections of humanity which exist outside the green zones. When the victims of the crises in Iraq, Honduras, and elsewhere have fled to the core imperialist nations, these nations have responded by putting them in inhumane camps, deporting them back to the dangerous areas, and attacking them with chemical weapons. When people have been driven to homelessness by decades of neoliberal economic deterioration, the U.S. government has responded by making it easier for the homeless to be arrested. There’s an increasing drive to rid the world of the people whose presence interferes with the continued functioning of the class hierarchy, to cut away the excess within the red zones so that those in the green zones can make business continue. Because in the end, the green zones are the only ones that matter.

In doing all of this, the bourgeoisie aims to finally end class antagonisms, to make themselves the undisputed power players in a world where those in the underclass are killed off or brought under control. At least this is how the bourgeoisie ideally hopes that events will unfold. Despite their best efforts, the class struggle isn’t going away any time soon, and there are still countless opportunities for history to be brought in a different direction. The world’s peasants and workers must fight back before it’s too late.
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