Yesterday, Trump signaled the possible beginning of the next great crisis when he announced that he would slap a tariff on 60bn u$d in Chinese imports.[1] Needless to say, only “buy american” liberals and MAGA semi-fascists have convinced themselves this will work out for the best, the former with roundabout figures cherry-picked for MSNBC segments, and the latter from their trusty gut. Mad dogs bark at shadows, and sometimes, bite the hand that feeds them. As Smith and Cope show, half of the 14% rise in unskilled wages in the u.$. between 1980 and 2003 was due directly to cheap imports, while, since 1994, as much as 4/5ths of inflationary pressure on wages was offset by cheap imports from China alone.[2] The rise in Chinese imports alone is responsible for offsetting at least one third of official inequality, yet the very consciousness inculcated in the workers of the imperialist countries by their historical condition militates against even parasitic interests in this case. The Chinese bourgeoisie needs no defense from anyone, but the amerikan state may need defending from their own bourgeoisie if the coming trade war precipitates crisis, or war in earnest. Trade war or no, the semi-fascist mass base of parasitism cries out for satisfaction, and will get it one way or another.

Then there is the appointment of Gina Haspel, grand inquisitor of empire, whose rap sheet of torture and criminality are shocking even to other CIA liquidators.[3] It is clear that we are dealing with a qualitatively more rotten amerika than in previous years. Reward for horrific deeds carried out in the name of empire has become more important than cynically posturing as though you somehow oppose torture and murder for political gain. Enter here John Bolton, a man whose only qualification for office is the demand for war that that office truly signifies. In a way, John Bolton is the butcher-in-waiting that the u.$. has always meant to make national security advisor, but never had the guts to. The reader needn’t be reminded to what particular species of devil Bolton belongs. Suffice it to say that the probability is high that, assuming there are hands alive to write it, that the history of WW3 will begin from the date of his apotheosis to the chickenhawk god of war.

And no recap of the last few days would be complete without mentioning the slack-jawed circus surrounding the white-supremacist bombings that have rocked Austin since March 2nd. Once the identity of the bomber was revealed after a suicide explosion as white christian fundamentalist Mark Anthony Conditt, reporting quickly switched from Kaczynski-levels of paranoia to near-paeans to the bomber himself, repeating again and again professions by his all-white community and family that he was “normal”, “very smart and polite”, a “loner” and “full of love”.[4] As of yesterday, I noticed that CNN has stopped mentioning his victims by name, and only briefly once mentioned that his victims were non-white.

Of course, segregated communities of home-schooled, reactionary settlers are the Oranias of the north amerikan empire. Structurally, they are a nexus of settler, labor aristocratic, and fascist revanchism in particular, while the whole settler colonial superstructure produces these tendencies generally, much like the relationship between the kibbutz and the rest of israeli society. Of course, to his neighbors, his family, other whites, and even the media and Austin PD, he was by all accounts normal. Because the conditions and psychology of fascist adventurism and settler colonial contemp for life are normal.

These backward pageants of only the last month are the theatre of an empire in decay. The u.$. Is quickly descending the steps down to multipolarity, below which stretches the killing-fields of imperialist redivision. The interpretative dances and tantrums of a decadent oppressor nation unaccustomed to the downswing are merely the internal excitations of a general decadence, the international symptoms are much more frightening.

We can chant all we wish about the inevitability of imperialist redivision and world war, about how decay is an affirmation of development and that the old must die away for the new to be born, but the reality is that nobody, not you or me, not the left, not the imperialists sleepwalking to world war, are prepared for it. No one can even predict what it will look like.

All is not chaos under heaven, but it will be.

2. Zak Cope, Divided World Divided Class, p. 109.

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Imperialism, News and Analysis, Uncategorized, US/Canada


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