Submitted to It’s Going Down
On January 20th, the State will usher in another resident of the mansion at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. This time something feels different: unsettling, shaken, and desperate. Many are outraged that Donald Trump, an apologist for openly neo-fascist politics, has ascended to the highest apex of leadership in the United States while not even achieving a majority of the popular vote. Just as many are struck by both fear of seeing his rightist policies put into motion and the humiliation of watching Democracy fail to bring anything other than a semblance of fascism.
The thing that’s most frightening about Trump isn’t the man himself. It’s the far-right base that has consolidated under him; that creeping thing people often call fascism. Historically, fascism emerged as a powerful political tendency precisely in moments in which the Left failed to address crises of capitalism. It is in the shadow of the failure of the establishment Left – Obama, Clinton, and even Sanders – to overcome the current crisis, that a reactionary white nationalism is gaining traction. This is an unfortunate but logical trajectory of American capitalism. A hollow cry to the choir for softer policies from the Trump cabinet is not enough; the Far Right must be attacked wherever they move. No more delays, no more waiting for the perfect moment. No more rationalization, no normalization, and no collaboration.
Even so, every iteration of the State is a form of dispossession. Sometimes, this resembles the neo-liberalism of Obama and Clinton, the “gentle” capitalism that drove the gentrification and immiseration of every major American city, pushing the poor into further desperation. Other times, this resembles the stalwart neo-fascism of the far right that encourages open violence against poor people of color while openly advocating for white nationalism. A politic that reinforces the false dichotomy of Democracy vs Fascism, a discourse that blames the current disaster on abstention or ignorance is uninteresting. When given the ‘choice’ to pick our masters, another round of insults to our agency are heaped at our feet. The Left should be rejected just as much as the Right. Our politics are anti-politics.
The call by democratic socialists for a “General Strike” on inauguration day is a good instinct that should be cautiously heeded. A strike, a tactic that paralyzes business, is only as effective as its participation. In the current climate, it must be asked what a “general strike” means, in which work is precarious and unorganized. Without a critical re-evaluation of this tactic, a nascent movement is left with no more than empty rhetoric. In our context, a shut down must be a disruptive attack on any and all ‘business as usual’, by any means we can.
The call is out to shut down our places of work, the ports, the schools and universities, and disrupt the infrastructure that permits ‘business as usual’. The call is out to make it clear that not just the Right, but any political form that robs us of our agency is the enemy.
Socialist Alternative is calling for a popular “counter” demonstration during the inauguration on January 20th. This is our call: to gather there, under the black flags and have a break away march, on our terms. This is for the ungovernable and those who refuse to be policed. Look for the black flags. Bring your friends, bring your crew, wear black.