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OpEdNews Op Eds    H3'ed 6/20/21

Why U.S. inequalities & racial injustices have made a civil war within the country inevitable

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Rainer Shea
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The struggle for national liberation that's embroiling the settler-colonial states of Israel and Colombia in armed struggles is ultimately going to escalate towards the same level within the United States. The contradictions of colonialism, imperialism, and capitalism have already become so severe that in this last year, they've compelled the largest number of protesters in the country's history to come out in support for Black Lives Matter. At some point, likely within this generation, they're going to produce another manifestation of the armed insurgency that Israel and Colombia are being confronted with.

When things get to this point, it will spell the acceleration of the success of the revolutionary struggles within these countries as well, because for the core of global imperialism the U.S. to undergo a domestic rebellion there will already need to have been an unprecedented deterioration of global capital. When conditions in the core of capital the U.S. have prompted the masses to resort to armed struggle as a means for gaining class and national liberation, capital in the empire's client states and neo-colonies will have gotten even weaker. As Che Guevara wrote in Guerrilla Warfare: A Method, the very presence of armed struggle in a given country is a sign that the conditions have made the masses too desperate to keep forsaking violence as a means for improving their circumstances:

Peaceful struggle can be carried out through mass movements and can-in special situations of crisis-compel governments to yield, so that the popular forces eventually take power and establish a proletarian dictatorship. Theoretically this is correct. When analysing this on the American scene we must arrive at the following conclusions: Generally speaking, on this continent there exist objective conditions which impel the masses to violent actions against the bourgeois and landlord governments; in many other countries there exist crises of power and some subjective conditions too. Obviously, in the countries where all these conditions are given, it would be criminal not to act to seize power. In others where this situation does not occur, it is right that different alternatives should emerge and that the decision applicable to each country should come out of theoretical discussion. The only thing history does not permit is that the analysts and executors of proletarian policy should blunder.

In other words, the objective conditions of a country should determine whether or not guerrilla warfare is utilized. As Mao said, to go on the offensive when the masses are not yet ready would be adventurism that sets back the revolution, just as refusing to go on the offensive when the masses are ready would be right opportunism. And what's striking about the conditions in the U.S. right now is that while they're not yet fit for the masses to be ready for such an offensive, a sociological analysis of these conditions says that they're going to reach this point in the near future.

This was the conclusion that Associate Professor of Sociology at the University of Alberta Temitope Oriola came to two months ago, when he wrote that the U.S. is "at risk of an armed anti-police insurgency." When a civil war starts in this country, said Oriola, it will foremost come from victims of U.S. colonialism who are retaliating against ever-increasing levels of state violence against their communities. Oriola speculates that these proportionate responses will take the forms of attacks on "sites and symbols of law enforcement" via either firearms or improvised explosives. And they'll be done by the poorest and most disenfranchised parts of the country's population, who are primarily the Africans which are living under what's effectively a military occupation.

This isn't hyperbolic to say. Yale reported last fall that the racial disparity in people police have killed has remained unchanged over the last five years, even after all the bursts of popular outrage towards slain unarmed black people and all the efforts to improve police. As Yale said, "Native Americans were killed by police at a rate three times that of white people (77 total killed). Black people were killed at 2.6 times the rate of white people (1,265 total killed); and Hispanics were killed at nearly 1.3 times the rate of white people (889 total killed). Among unarmed victims, Black people were killed at three times the rate (218 total killed), and Hispanics at 1.45 times the rate of white people (146 total killed)." This is partly a consequence of the massive flow of military equipment to police throughout the War on Terror""currently accelerating""that's been shown by Edward Lawson Jr. at the University of South Carolina to be increasing the amount of killings that officers commit.

And as The Progressive reported two years ago, this state of discriminatory violence is being further exacerbated by Israel's training of police throughout this last decade:

In recent years, Georgia has experienced troubling trends in fatal police shootings. These incidents nearly doubled in the state, up 77 percent between 2017 to 2018. By May 2018, Georgia was already reportedly experiencing a more rapid rise in officer-involved shootings than the rest of the country. According to an investigation of deadly police shootings in Georgia, in the six years after 2010, 184 people were shot and killed by police; almost half of them unarmed or shot in the back. In 2019, Georgia has already recorded twenty-two fatal police shootings, The Washington Post reports. As this has unfolded, Georgia continues to pursue a "police exchange" program with the state of Israel.

In the coming years, as the communities targeted by this brutality see that protesting isn't stopping the racialized law enforcement killings from getting worse amid ever-greater militarization of police, many among them are going to retaliate in more severe ways than riots and looting. The deterioration of socioeconomic conditions among the colonized, which during the pandemic has been exposed as also being a public health issue, are going to multiply these grievances. As Oriola said, "African Americans have the second highest per capita death toll from the COVID-19 pandemic: 179.8 deaths per 100,000 (second only to Indigenous Americans with 256.0 deaths per 100,000). They are also at a higher risk of death from cancer, for example. The pandemic has compounded these deaths, adding to the disproportionately high unemployment rate and the impact of layoffs during the pandemic."

The media has been worrying that the radicalized members of the MAGA crowd are going to start a civil war, but their recent flocks towards militias and their mass drive towards manufacturing explosives are eventually going to be caught up to by the revolutionary-minded members of colonized communities. This is because unlike the Fox News-watching CEOs, petty-bourgeois live action roleplayers, and labor aristocrat weekend warriors who stormed the Capitol, the victims of America's increasingly violent colonial project have a material incentive to revolt against the government. As Oriola predicts, this revolt may be likely to start with ill-coordinated attacks, but it's sure to then morph into organizational coalitions, ones so strong that they'll make it impossible for the government to end the insurgency simply by executing or arresting the insurgency's leaders. The fighting is going to continue whether or not the movement has figureheads.

The civil war is going to come from a bottom-up, initially spontaneous retaliatory effort by the people with the most to gain from putting their lives on the line. Not from a cosplay anti-government rebellion by well-to-do white people who've read too many right-wing Facebook memes. Oriola's description of the potential candidates for revolt doesn't resemble the MAGA movement's members:

There is another, related variable: The availability of people willing and able to participate in such insurgency. The U.S. has potential candidates in abundance. Criminal records""sometimes for relatively minor offences""that mar Black males for life, have taken care of this critical supply. One study estimates that while eight per cent of the U.S. general population has felony convictions, the figure is 33 per cent among African American males. Some of these men may gradually be reaching the point where they believe they have nothing to lose. Some will join for revenge, others for the thrill of it and many for the dignity of the people they feel have been trampled on for too long.

For all the propaganda power that far-right conspiracy theories have, what will ultimately prove to be even more effective at rallying a population towards insurrection is the boot of colonialism. Real oppression is a better motivator for guerrilla warfare than the imagined "oppression" of the people who think their votes for Trump were stolen. The MAGA militia types are going to be fighting to preserve the existing state, fearing that the oppressor nation they love so much will be defeated by an uprising from the oppressed nations.

Oriola's assessment provides a crucial detail about the coming U.S. civil war that's been predicted by expert of mathematical modeling on historical patterns Peter Turchin, who's concluded in a study on our society's rising inequalities that the country is "headed for another civil war." Knowing that this war is going to be waged by the victims of colonialism, and is going to be motivated by horrific national oppression that can't realistically be solved through any other route, may cause many to reconsider what they plan for their own roles to be after the conflict begins.

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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: https://www.patreon.com/user?u=11988744

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