For The Total Destruction of America: An Anarchist Perspective on the Upcoming Civil War
“As to the seventy five years [in prison], i am not really worried, not only because i am in the habit of not completing sentences or waiting on parole or any of that nonsense but also because the State simply isn’t going to last seventy five or even fifty years.”
—Kuwasi Balagoon, December 9, 1983
“The government of the U.S.A. and all that it stands for, all that it represents, must be destroyed. This is the starting point, and the end. We have the means to this end; the problem is to develop acceptance of their use.”
—George Jackson, Blood in My Eye
The American nightmare is now nearly over. Built on a foundation of slavery, white supremacy, and genocide, the American state has continuously oppressed black and brown people within its borders with its murderous pig force and prison slavery system. Abroad, America has trained right wing death squads, staged coups to install fascist regimes, and bombed and invaded countries in the Middle East, Africa and Asia, such as Afghanistan, Cambodia, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Syria and Vietnam (just to name a few). America has maintained a role as a colonial occupier both around the world and within its artificial borders.
As the country veers toward civil war, people will be increasingly forced to choose sides: either you support concentration camps, enslavement, and racist murders or you are willing to fight for the destruction of white supremacy and capitalism by any means necessary. The murder of the comrade Michael Reinoehl by pigs in Washington demonstrates just how serious this situation has become: the state, from its highest level, ordered the execution of an anti-fascist, who, in an act of armed defense, shot a fascist who would otherwise have stabbed a friend of his of color. Those who will not passively watch fascists gun down their friends and comrades will have to accept risking their own lives in this struggle.
America already fits the definition of a failed state. Politicians have encouraged the spread of coronavirus while refusing to agree on a stimulus deal, plunging thousands of people into poverty and homelessness. The Flint and Newark water crises prove that the US government has knowingly poisoned people in two majority-black cities. Now, with the death toll from coronavirus projected to rise above 400,000 by the end of the year, the greed of the American system and its utter disregard for human life has become even more apparent. In the words of Subcomandante Insurgente Galeano, “the current conflict across the entire world [is] money versus life. In that confrontation, in that war, no honest person can be neutral: one is on the side of money or one is on the side of life.”
Internationally, while America has continued to pursue its imperialist intentions, it has become more and more comically inept in its bumbling attempts to pursue its interests. The ridiculously poorly planned coup attempt known as Operation Gideon in Venezuela is a recent example of a humiliating failure for the US in an attempt to install another right-wing regime, as it has in so many places around the world. In the coup attempt, planned by ex-US special forces sergeant Jordan Goudreau (along with US officials and the right-wing Colombian regime), mercenaries tried to invade Venezuela by sea. They were easily repelled by Venezuelan security forces, who killed eight mercenaries and captured the rest– including two Americans.
More evidence of America’s rapid decline in ability to impose its will internationally can be seen in its embarrassing defeat to the Taliban in a war that has lasted for nearly twenty years and cost the US close to a trillion dollars. After all that time, the Taliban currently controls about half of the territory of Afghanistan and have proven its ability to launch attacks anywhere across the country, with ground attacks and bombings in 24 of Afghanistan’s 34 provinces in the past several weeks. By adopting guerrilla tactics, the Taliban’s insurgency successfully mobilized support against the US invasion. The US military’s strength is an illusion: all of their “shock and awe” bombings are no match for an opponent that adopts the principles of asymmetrical warfare, and can easily gain support from people whose families have been massacred by American invaders.
“Organize yourself without bosses or parasites among you. If you don’t do that, there’s no reason for us to keep going forward. We have to create a new world, different from the one that we’re destroying. Otherwise, youth will die on the battlefield for no reason. We’re fighting for the revolution.”
—Durutti during the Spanish Revolution, as the Durutti Column traveled to fight fascists in Zaragoza
While there may be fewer anarchists today in the United States than there were in Spain in 1936, there is an opportunity for anarchist ideas to play a substantial role in the revolutionary upheaval that is yet to come. The streets– and the insurgent youth in particular– have advanced far beyond the limits placed on activism by the organized left in the United States. The uprising that began with the murder of George Floyd is quite possibly the largest and longest sustained rebellion in American history. A police precinct in a major US city (Minneapolis) was burned to the ground, an event that was widely celebrated by people outside the activist milieu, while activist leaders continue to preach nonviolence.
Now, with both presidential candidates condemning looting and pledging to increase police budgets, the people who took to the streets to fight for black liberation and the abolition of police will be looking for possibilities outside of the political establishment. By taking an uncompromising position against American democracy, white supremacy, and capitalism, anarchists can propel uprisings further toward revolutionary struggle. Anarchist organizing can take many forms, from political education to support for imprisoned comrades to the formation of defense units.
While the future is uncharted, the demise of America is now a sure thing; and whether the civil war begins next week or in a few months, we can see the clear trajectory of escalating white supremacist violence on the one hand and revolutionary liberation on the other. Even if Biden wins the election and Trump concedes, the fascists and pigs will continue murdering black and brown people unabated. Liberal reforms will do nothing to satisfy the revolutionary militancy that continues in streets around the country in response to police murders. Anarchists cannot sit on the sidelines of the civil war, but must instead take an insurgent position, fighting alongside the oppressed for the total destruction of the United States.
With liberal politicians increasingly discredited, anarchists can find many people open to the possibility of a world free from prisons, police, and capitalism. With the death of America, a thousand new possibilities for liberation will spring forth.
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