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OpEdNews Op Eds    H2'ed 9/30/21

Colonial genocide grows amid climate crisis & imperial decline

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The fascism of the Anthropocene is of a different nature than the fascism that emerged in early 20th-century Europe, or than the proto-fascism which preceded it in states like the Confederacy. It retains the views about ethnic superiority and xenophobic dominionism that fascism has always had, but it's functioning within conditions where the resources of the dominant social class are threatened by an accelerating ecological catastrophe. A catastrophe that's the direct consequence of capitalism, the socioeconomic system that colonialism and its fascist ideological offshoots are tied to. By the nature of capitalism, imperialism, and colonialism, the reaction to this crisis is one where the dominant class sacrifices the lives of the underclass to keep its own status. And the fascists are at the forefront of this drive towards mass death.

For this reason, it doesn't matter that the U.S. government has denounced the border patrol's recent use of whip-like reins to beat back Haitian migrants; because the U.S. is an empire, it's nonetheless going to keep producing the crises that inevitably lead to these and worse human-rights abuses. Biden's ongoing deportations of Haitians shows what the empire's true intentions are towards those it's driven into refugee status.

Imperialism created the refugee crisis--and will soon create a far bigger one

It was Washington that facilitated the rise of a dictatorship in Haiti, which drove down living standards, and that then sent its Colombian mercenary proxies to carry out an assassination that further destabilized the country. It was Washington that carried out a coup in Honduras in 2009, resulting in a dictatorship that perpetuates gang violence and extreme inequality. It was Washington that helped engineer NAFTA, which drove Mexico deeper into poverty. It's Washington that's perpetrated sanctions and chaos-inducing meddling throughout Nicaragua, Cuba, and Venezuela. It's Washington that's used its neo-colonial tool the IMF to impose neoliberal policies across Latin America and the rest of the exploited world, which has made global poverty overall increase over the last several decades. All of these actions have led to the present refugee crisis, but the fascists will never admit this. Their only thought is to punish imperialism's victims.

Global warming, an even bigger and more long-term driver of mass migration, is also being compounded by the imperial hubris that fascism embraces. The fascists, who espouse a crude free-market zealotry and a blind worship of militarism, are the biggest advocates of the unrestrained corporate pollution and imperialist warfare that's exacerbating the climate crisis. As a consequence of these policies, U.S. imperialism is in danger of having many of its neo-colonies be destabilized due to environmental catastrophes, and much of the U.S. is in the process of being consumed by sea-level rise, fires, and drought. It's this reality, that the fascists are actively destroying their own colonial and imperial holdings, which is producing a historically unique series of reactions from the fascists. A reaction that involves the burning down of most of the world just to preserve capital.

In his paper on capitalist realism, the belief that there's no viable alternative to capitalism, Gerry Canavan articulates the roots of this reaction. Pro-capitalist ideology, he says, creates the self-reinforcing belief that war, scarcity, poverty, and environmental destruction are unavoidable. Because the free-market orthodoxy rejects all alternative societal models, he writes:

Necrocapitalist practices are thus reinforced on the level of ideology by a wonderful and terrible double-bind of perpetual threat: things must be this necrocapitalist because, if they were not, our society would be even more necropolitical and wretched than it is now. That is: necrocapitalism's own horrors are perpetually taken as proof of necrocapitalism's necessity, even its own self-prophlyactic [sic]. We ingest the poison to keep ourselves from becoming even sicker... moral critiques of capitalism thus have the opposite effect to what one might expect: they reinforce, rather than undermine, the appeal of hurting others to perpetuate the social order.

Where will this kind of thinking lead our society in the face of the climate crisis? Never in history has civilization faced the kind of threat that global warming and biodiversity collapse pose to it. 50 years from now, around a fifth of the earth's currently habitable land will become unlivable, and by the century's end there will likely be 630 million people who've been forced to flee their homes. Among them, it's possible that 83 million will die due to the impacts of global warming.

The engineering of civilization's destruction

The environmental factors behind this migration and mass death--rising oceans, droughts, expansions of unsuitably hot areas, agricultural breakdowns--are only part of why so many will be killed or have to flee. Other contributing factors will be the wars, ethnic cleansings, resource blockades, engineered poverty, paramilitarism, and repressive state violence that the fascists are going to carry out in reaction to the environmental crises. These measures are how the fascists and their adjacent bourgeois states have responded to capitalism's crises throughout the last half-century; the neoliberal hyper-exploitation policies, the perpetual wars, the genocidal sanctions, the paramilitary death squads in neo-colonies like Colombia, the militarization of police, the concentration camps for refugees, the stoking of racist violence; they've all been part of the reaction to the decline in profits that capital has undergone since the 1970s.

As global warming intensifies, it's contributing ever more to this contraction of capital. The breakdown of stable states in increasing amounts of countries--which imperialist intervention has exacerbated--speaks to this self-inflicted civilizational breakdown. The imperialists know that the worse the climate crisis gets, the more destabilized markets will become. So they're deliberately making the collapse worse in an attempt to retain control over this increasingly volatile situation. Through meddling across the horn of Africa and Latin America, fomenting civil conflicts in places like Myanmar, and building makeshift fascist proxy-war states in places like Ukraine that have turned into failed states, the imperialists are cutting their losses by destroying ever more.

Their goal is to prevent countries from joining the China-led multipolar world order by preemptively throwing them into chaos. A strategy that is accelerating civilization's breakdown by producing unprecedented refugee crises in U.S.-destabilized countries like Syria, Afghanistan, and Libya. Syria in particular is an example of climate-enabled imperialist destruction; due to the drought that had emerged, in 2011 the imperialists were easily able to use their terrorist proxies to ignite a civil war. The imperialists are currently trying to do this again in Afghanistan, where U.S.-created jihadist groups like ISIS and the ETIM are being used to bring the climate-battered and heavily sanctioned country towards a proxy conflict.

This manufactured destabilization is creating more excuses for the U.S. to militarily intervene (neocon senator Lindsey Graham has already said that "We will be going back into Afghanistan"). Which perpetuates the unparalleled pollution from the U.S. military. Which makes the climate crisis even worse, creating even more risks of global destabilization. Which creates even more refugees. Capitalism's crises are a feedback loop, one that capital has an interest in furthering.

As the severity of the climate crisis has gotten more apparent, the U.S. empire has come to actively seek to further this destabilization feedback loop; in a 2019 climate report, the Pentagon named Bangladesh as a country that will likely undergo Syria-style conflict and refugee crises, and that could in turn become a location for U.S. military intervention in the next few decades. Since Bangladesh is a prime example of imperialist-imposed neoliberalism, it's striking how the imperialists have come to openly anticipate a scenario where they'll be waging war against the country.

They evidently now see the crisis they've created as so enormous that at some point, all of their neo-colonies will be placed on the chopping block for imperialism's warfare tactics. Exploited countries like Eritrea and Ethiopia, which Washington is waging war against through sanctions, TPLF proxy attacks, and strategic anti-government atrocity propaganda, have already become targeted in such a way. This is what it looks like when a system eats itself; engineering the collapse of ever more states weakens the markets that capital depends on, but by its nature capital can't stop this destruction. Not when it comes to the climate, the global financial system, the geopolitical order, or any other facet.

The fascists refuse to understand dialectics, so they can't grasp that capitalism is in decline. All they can do is react to the ramifications of the famines, mass migrations, wars, and resource shortages that their system is manufacturing amid its implosion. And what this reaction has so far looked like is a growing wave of atrocities, ones that foreshadow the kind of genocide the fascists are going to use the Anthropocene to perpetrate should they get the chance.

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Rainer Shea is writing articles that counter the propaganda of the capitalist/imperialist power establishment, and that help move us towards a socialist revolution. Donate to me on Patreon here:

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