While shepherds watched their flocks by night
A mile away the soldiers dynamite the inn
Of the little family whose fifteen year old, like David
Threw a stone at the Israeli Goliath, but without David’s success.
For this crime against the mighty, the lowly are rendered homeless,
And pitch their tent beside the empty tomb.
— Runa Mackay
The fascist Donald Trump reached a new low when he called on immigrants who throw rocks to be shot by the border police. CNN, the Trump-obsessed liberal wing of the corporate fascist state, was surprisingly helpful in pointing to a statistic that stated that zero border patrollers have died as a result of rock throwing. Donald Trump said that if immigrants have rocks, the border patrol should treat the rocks as rifles. It fits well with his stance of believing that armed white gunman shooting up schools, synagogues, and the like, should be treated as if they were merely holding rocks.
Donald Trump, a force of ignorance, greed and stupidity—a one man wrecking ball that has taken down so much in so little time—is worth condemnation. But how on earth does one stop a truck barreling at full speed? Will it really be through polite conversations about fascism, its historical significance, and what it means to be white? It’s hard to find a liberal these days who is not quite busy running for cover by helping to explain how guilty they are as a ‘privileged’ ‘white’ person.
While liberals may seem heroic for turning themselves in for the crime of whiteness, let’s charge the liberal class with a far more specific (and consequential) crime: the support of Israel’s occupation of Palestine. The appeal of the liberal confession under Trump is the same appeal as most liberal sadomasochism. When it comes to Trump guilt, liberals must remain in control of their own crimes. They want to be punished for being so “privileged” and “safe” in the age of Trump! Punished for being privileged and safe? Isn’t that what we all want to be in the age of Trump? It’s as if by proclaiming how privileged one is, it’s a backhanded way of saying “I’m still more rich than you” with a dose of “feel sorry for me” put on top!
Enough! Let’s turn the tables and charge the liberals with fascism! Not Hitler or Mussolini or even Trump fascism! But their own homegrown American (white and liberal, but most of all moneyed) supremacy fascism!
For all we know, liberals may now be using the word “stone” as a trigger word. Hear the word stone and you are reminded of Trump’s war on immigrants and you immediately need to take those vague and addicting anxiety medicine pills just to cope with your lack of control over a white supremacist world order that is benefitting you. Talk about an identity (politics) crisis!
It is a mistake (and a privileged one at that) to get distracted by feckless liberals as a very clear fascist ideology is on the rise. The lack of ambiguity in Trump’s world raises alarm. There are clear-cut lines between who matters and who doesn’t. Donald Trump’s world is ultimately the triumph of a depersonalized identity politics world scripted together by corporations. Dr. Phil’s recent viral interview with the “self-hating” “transracial” Treasure Richards is just another example of a culture completely driven by fetish, profit, sensationalism, and ultimately, stupidity.
In the age of the TV President, our country has become completely tribal and fixed. Political life as seen via the corporate media is not only a joke because it is a soap opera that largely ignores both the climate apocalypse and the privatization of neoliberalism that is rendering all civilians powerless. No, the corporate media also fails us because it casts humans not as complex creatures—but as reality TV characters that we should all “like” or “dislike”—-not explicitly on things politically correct like race, gender or even class, but those looming “character” traits that we are supposed to all take a side on and all come down on each other with our pitchforks—as if our lives are really controlled solely by these “feelings” and “reactions” rather than an oligarchy that has the most concentrated wealth in world history. The propaganda against someone, anyone, other than the 1% is endless.
The “battle” over immigrants, while featuring heroic activism on the ground from a variety of sources, is a talking point for liberal elites. Never mind the endless warfare and mass pollution by the United States that uproots people from their homes. Let’s instead use this moment in time to talk about what “values” America has.
By refusing to confront the war economy that both drives immigration and guarantees poverty around the globe Americans end up simply cleaning up their own messes. And while America may be “exceptional” in creating messes we aren’t so talented at cleaning up our own messes; as any immigrant cleaning worker could note after a college frat bro spring break trip.
Whichever “values” prevail matters only to a point. Liberal diversity and democratic values will be used to justify war and privatization, as they always have under neoliberal Democrats. And conservative patriarchal white supremacist values will be used to justify war and privatization, as they always have under neoliberal Republicans. The entire construct of the Western world relies upon a notion of some superior society coming from this part of the world. Donald Trump may act like a monster—a loony, stupid, evil, mean monster—but it matters little how uncivilized he is. Trump and the Republicans prove we are living in a “superior” society purely by force, selfishness, greed, with whiteness facing outward to control the world—and male power facing inside to keep their potentially sympathetic families in line. The Democrats can only have America be “superior” or an “example” if there is a civilized face with superior values to both their Republican counterparts (a very low bar) and their global counterparts (a bar no one seems to understand in the slightest, and therefore as low a bar as you make it).
The difference between Democrats and Republicans’ cultural values is merely the difference between two different rationale for the same damn profit-driven war economy that keeps both white supremacy afloat and keeps women as the property of men in resource-low countries.
With that being said, let’s denounce the new and dangerous fascism under Donald Trump as both new and dangerous. Most threatening may be Trump’s human fascism—which may be the world’s most common fascism. This is the fascism that humans own the earth. Trump sells off public lands, pollutes our air and water, strips protections for endangered species, and treats nature as property and therefore just a pawn on his chessboard for limitless power and profit.
There is also Donald Trump’s rich people fascism. Stripping health care, food stamps, lowering taxes for the rich, gutting public schools and not paying taxes are some of Donald’s rich people fascism ideas. Rich people are better, because they are ruthless, in this world.
Then there is the gender fascism. Where all women (categorically) are liars, that sexual consent is a lie, that transgenderism is a lie, and that anything women want—whether that be equal pay, reproductive rights, or independence from men, is in fact a lie and will not be taken seriously.
There is also then the race fascism—in which the only way for America to become great is to cleanse the dark spots out of it. Trump has no other agenda—materially, politically or morally that is guiding him or his base these days. It is, quite simply, a job to drain the swamp of all “corruptions” i.e. people of color.
Is any of this new? Not maybe as themes, but as explicit statements, yes, this is new. Some people have complained to me about using the “fascist” title for Donald Trump. Is it an inaccurate title? Perhaps. But it seems to be the word that makes everyone go: hey this guy is really bad. This is a serious situation. Whether or not Donald Trump fits the historical accuracy of the technical term makes no difference to the victims of his tyrant rule.
There is something beyond Trump that should make us all queasy. It is the celebration of dystopia as prophecy we see throughout American culture. Specifically one can point to the most violent forms of culture in video games, Hollywood and pornography, for example. But violence in our culture is really just the tip of the iceberg. For violence is seen as a form of justice and relief. And this comes from the rather ridiculous Blue Lives Matter folks but it also comes from just about every cultural export, liberal or otherwise. Violence is almost mercy in our culture—an escape from the misery.
What looms in its place is both covert wars and a celebration of doom. Trump voters are like flies drawn to the light in this regard but it goes deeper. For a while now we have seen just about every popular story to explain our times expressed as some sort of technologically enhanced dystopia. And one can say that works such as 1984 or Her or Maze Runner or The Purge are brilliant, but I would argue that they are easy. It seems to be the conclusion of everyone—left, right and center—that whatever tale of progress we may have saw ourselves on will end in disaster. This is why reading Karl Marx’s work—which saw socialism as the destination—is essential reading for our pessimistic times.
Trump has not only highjacked politics, he has highjacked culture. Donald Trump has moved beyond the political realm of conversation into the social realm of conversation. One will hear commentators of all subjects comment on Trump—whether or not they are interested in politics. Some people mention Trump because they are good people and see a newness in Trump they cannot avoid mentioning. Fine. But as the light of hope, our dear brother Cornel West said on CNN the other day: where on earth is the coverage of the resistance?
Could there be at least one cultural product that focused on the growing socialist fever in young people today? Could there be one, just one, cultural product that saw an optimistic future for the human race? Trump works just like Hollywood, the dystopian novel complex, and reality TV do: he thrives on fear. Trump is essential for the corporate media because he inspires fear. This fear will drive people back into the Democratic Party tent and make people forget that they ever had bigger aspirations.
Trump trumps his resistance every time as far as the corporate media is concerned because he is the conclusion we have all been waiting for. He is pure evil in a clown suit—he can overwhelm and entertain us all at once. There is something so easy about Donald Trump’s capacity for evil and something so satisfying about his clownish behavior that he becomes immediately the star of the show in a society devoid of hope and longing for a strong man figure to lead them into the promised land—even if the land promised is a fiery hell hole.
Donald Trump is the epitome of the technological new wave nightmare we are all supposed to fear. Every piece of art (left, right or center) displays a government (foreign or homegrown) lost on power, with the hold of too much technology, treating their civilians as animals, and with a rule of law so stringent that no one has any power whatsoever.
Forgive me if I sound like the only crazy one in the room, but isn’t our problem just the opposite? Haven’t we reached a point where the government (no matter the tools it supposedly has at its fingertips) is so underfunded, so highjacked by the very rich, so discredited by the cynicism of the populist and the politicians that run for office, that it really has very little power at all.
Donald Trump isn’t a government figure, he’s just taxidermy. He has no theories about how a government should act. He just wants it out of the way.
There is a case that the groundwork for the numbness to cruelty we feel under Donald Trump was being laid down for a little while now. Let’s return to the stone throwing.
For all the talk about stones being thrown (not being thrown) by immigrants, were we going to miss the obvious parallels between the stones being thrown at the Israel-Palestine border. Where stone throwing is such a topic that it has its own Wikipedia page. While some of the stone throwers may be planted by Israel, anyone who does throw a stone across that border has few other options. Indeed, the human rights violations by Israel and Saudi Arabia, with the United States standing on an island in their defense, have become so ridiculous that it is hard to imagine anyone on the international stage taking our voice seriously—other than out of fear for our belligerence.
Stone throwing (or anything else) justifies force in the mind of Israel. The number of Palestinians killed or injured by IDF does not register very well, even for Black Lives Matter liberals—who want to explain everything to do with the military-industrial complex as just that: “complex”. In the age of “working with the other side” and “embracing difference”, somehow the “it’s complicated” narrative has completely muddled a one-sided occupation that is an international disgrace.
The anti-Palestinian argument used by liberals and conservatives alike often attempts to paint Palestinians as terrorists by pointing to an argument used by some Palestinians that says that Israel should not exist. The argument that Israel should not exist is equated with Hitler’s argument that Jewish people should not exist. The United States hardly had a better argument at the time of Hitler. Our belief was that Jewish people should only exist in Palestine. But now the U.S. is pro-Jewish? Give me a break.
The truth is that Israel should not exist for the same reason Hitler’s Germany should not exist. Israel was founded as a Jewish only state. It is wrong for any state to exist as an ethnic only state. There should be no Christian only states, no Muslim only states, no White only states, no Black only states, no Jewish only states. It is not that complicated. Identity politics only saves minorities where it exists, which is only in the richest places. For the average Jewish person, Israel will inspire far more hatred of Jewish people than tolerance of them.
To do this all in the name of Judaism is incredibly disingenuous and dangerous. Keep in mind that the vast majority of the Western fascists are not Jewish and have no idea what their own country’s role was in aiding the genocide of Jews not so long ago. What do these people think will happen when the United States loses interest in Israel? Has Israel’s ethnic cleansing of Muslims really played well in the world’s eyes, let alone, the Middle East, where Muslims far outnumber Jewish people? How many everyday Jewish people, many of whom no doubt opposed their fascist government, will be left to deal with the consequences of the United States’ war on Muslims? The only way to prevent such a scenario would be to eradicate the state of Israel and work on a two-religion solution. There is no such thing as a two-state solution when one state is Jewish only. This is not a solution. It says one state is allowed to ethnically cleanse, and the other state has to deal with it.
It was support for Israel’s ethnic cleansing of Palestinians, not the trade deals, Wall St. bailouts or loss of health care, that should have been the warning sign for the United States’ descent into fascism. There is no doubt that the United States has gotten poorer and this has only fueled Trump’s divisive fire, but liberals are wrong to assume that as soon as one sees poor people, this means fascism is next. No matter what Trump does, there are poorer states who are far less fascist. No, the warning sign should have been rich people, both conservative and neoliberal, endorsing and promoting ethnic cleansing in Palestine without blinking. This led the way to a complete indifference to Trump among the rich, with the general public who voted for him being richer than Hillary folks, and richer still than Bernie folks, and richer still than fuck this shit folks. The rich ranged from those conservatives who saw little difference between Trump and the current Republican Party (which is true) to the neoliberals who happily watched the stock market, profited from his absurdities via mass media, or at best, were appalled by Trump’s manners, without a care in the world for the infrastructure that put him in office in the first place. It is the same people who can justify Donald Trump that end up supporting Israel. The state of mind that one needs to get to this place is nothing more than a distance from reality and a blind acceptance of the most simplistic narratives, something that supporters of neoliberal policies have been doing for decades.
What on earth was the West thinking when we created a Jewish only state? What did we think would happen? If the goal was chaos in the Middle East, mission accomplished. And as always, that was the goal. Blaming Israel alone is hardly enough. Blame the parties who created this monster. If there is any metaphor for Israel than it is Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein. Create an ugly premise and it will grow up to be an ugly assumption.
The frightening thing in the age of Trump is how many Americans across the political spectrum accept, celebrate and defend a state that openly practices ethnic cleansing. Donald Trump is the type of leader who would be interested in such a goal, but he is hardly smooth enough to convert the liberals. What Israel shows is that the victimhood argument is the secret key to the liberal’s heart. For the liberal relies primarily on validation of his savior status to sleep at night. If the United States does turn into Israel, it will need this line of defense. It is difficult to imagine this happening with race explicitly. Identity politics, as limiting as it is, perhaps saves this argument for two-three seconds.
Michelle Alexander though warns of The New Jim Crow—that is the prison system in the United States which just happens to imprison poor people of color, seemingly by coincidence. In this respect, the United States even beats out Israel in its gross human rights violations. Thanks to Black Lives Matter and others, liberals are getting some skepticism of law enforcement. However, liberals think that it is all about race still. For the police shooting the gun as soon as a young black boy puts on a sweatshirt, this is no doubt true. But for the prison system and the military industrial complex, the system runs on profit and fear. There must be a danger, a public danger at that, to justify mass incarceration and war. Race, in this day and age, can never explicitly have anything to do with it for liberals to sleep at night. Of course, even among anti-racist liberals fear is easiest to inspire when a brown or black person is doing the crime. Such is the terrorist Muslim narrative in Palestine. Such is the narrative everywhere. This dictator killed this many people, we must intervene. This prisoner attacked this many people, we must lock him up. Israel shows these narratives can take many different forms, and that the search for truth, even when it condemns the very class that we hold in highest regard, is worth pursuing.
Only a blatant Zionist could deny the Israeli occupation of Palestine. That means that every one of the United States politicians are blatant Zionists. Israel’s occupation is perhaps the most taboo subject in politics. The hypocrisy of human rights standards by the West is extraordinary, as the West bombed Syria for a suspiciously timed and unproven chemical weapons attack by Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. In contrast, the human rights violations of Palestinians by Israel is ignored by the West. Actually, Israel is celebrated, even seen as a victim.
Israel has no right to Palestinian land but I think the West has forgotten why there is such a conflict in the first place. Left criticisms of Israeli power, as few as they are, sometimes miss out on the West’s role in the establishment of Israel in the first place. Israel was created in theory because Adolf Hitler’s Nazi state was historically dangerous for Jewish people. Given that the West was unwilling to take in Jewish immigrants themselves, we need to complicate this picture. Left commentators are right to note that in a way history is repeating itself in Israel, as Palestinians die in mass as a result of Zionism.
But this totally takes the actions of the Jewish state out of context. For one, there is little acknowledgement of the legitimate reasons for some Jewish people to want a protected Jewish state. They are a persecuted people. Marcus Garvey and others wanted a Black only state, and for good reason. The problem is that what happened in Israel (and to keep the parallel, Liberia) was actually its own form of a settler-colonialist state. One group imposed itself on a land of another. The rights of the indigenous people were thrown out of the window.
Jewish people were being murdered in Nazi Germany, and they needed a place to go. Some say that war was the only answer, but this conclusion was reached before we even tried to assimilate Jewish people under persecution into the richer Western countries. The West instead chose to establish this Jewish state in the Palestine, a colonized region of Britain. In 1946, U.S. President Harry Truman approved the sending of 100,000 displaced people into Palestine and he recognized the state of Israel. Easy for him to say, it wasn’t his country. But there was no doubt somewhere that the Jewish people needed to go.
However, we should also question that the West wanted to protect Jewish people at all, even if this protected state was to be somewhere far away from home. In reality the idea of a Jewish state was in the air before Nazi Germany too, but here both the Arabs and Jews were pawns for the West. The McMahon Agreement promised Palestine to the Arabs in 1915, while the Balfour Declaration of 1920 promised Palestine to the Jews. Why venture to create either state, let alone both? Well, perhaps to create religious conflict that keeps the region in chaos, and therefore, poverty.
It is reasonable to say that the current people of Palestine represent the indigenous people and that the current occupation of their land has something in common with what happens to Native Americans here in the United States. But there are clearly four differences: 1. Many Jewish people were stateless, and needed a state to stay. 2. Many Jewish people existed in the region prior to Israel, and therefore, could also be classified as indigenous 3. Israel was promised as a Jewish state by the West. 4. The West, who is full of anti-semitism, neglected to take in Jewish people themselves, instead choosing to “dump” them off on our Middle East colonies.
What has happened since then has been horrific and one sided. But it has only been possible thanks to the West’s employment of Israel as its state of interest in the region. And Israel itself was a colonial Western invention, a half-baked solution to a serious political problem.
Post-colonialism celebrates the independence of the formerly colonized states. But this independence is in name alone. Military occupations and financial dependence still are imposed on Africa, Asia and South America. State and inter-state conflicts are encouraged to keep these countries fighting with themselves. The United States and its allies will arm those who are obedient, such as Israel and Saudi Arabia, to keep their control in the region. These states are not without some agency, and not without blood on their hands, there is no doubt about that. But let us consider too that this conflict, however unequal, was formed and developed by the West’s broken promises and anti-immigrant policy. There is anti-Semitism on the one hand, and Zionist anti-Islam on the other. Both are in the interests in the West.
All that being said, the consensus in the United States’ establishment is that Israel is the good guy, and that Palestine is the bad guy. Nothing is further from the truth. This is an egregious occupation by the Israelis. The idea of imposing a Jewish state on an already existing state would naturally create conflict. Blaming the Jews, who themselves were pushed into a corner by genocide and neglect, is not the answer. Blame the financial elites and the colonial powers for pushing two persecuted people into a single region and making sure that one controls the other through a bloody occupation far away from the people responsible.
There may be further connections through the stone-throwers and borders still. Migration is becoming the central issue of our times in the age of climate change. The sheer paranoia over immigrants now is preposterous. Anyone who looks at the numbers knows that very few immigrants are coming over the southern border and they are bringing just about zero crime with them if they do. If immigration was treated as it actually happened, it wouldn’t even be brought up in the face of more serious issues like climate change, endless austerity and war, deregulation, hunger, prisons, etc.
But immigration is brought up and brought up continually because there is a looming fear (whether or not it is acknowledged) that because of climate change the whole world is being uprooted and that people will need to move. This is already happening, it is happening everywhere. But the United States isn’t taking anybody in. The extreme right-wing response is not only a reaction against the present day but also a protection against times to come when there will be a real immigration crisis and a real resource crisis.
For fascists under Trump, now is the time to prove your loyalty, before the great storm hits. For liberals, the loyalty to diversity remains, a misplaced, but welcome, excuse to take the other side. Human beings will not be able to survive as a species for much longer. The end is coming soon, and it is coming fast. How we will be remembered in history by Mother Earth is still up for grabs. Our legacy—for how we treated Her—will not go down well regardless. We have already killed most of earth’s species. But Earth will get the last laugh, as we will be gone and She can happily build a new world without us. If we want to make Her shed any tears for our lowly species—we will start changing how we act in our final hour. Will we go down fighting for ourselves, inflicting cruelty on others, just for one more lousy day of our rotten and miserable lives? Or will we take in the stranger from the cold, offer them a place to stay, and die together in dignity?
Every dystopian story (left, right and center) celebrated by corporate media as thoughtful art has us humans turning against each other. There is a side of humanity that never makes the headlines, and that seldom wields power. There is a side of humanity where dark times are not the cause for violence and celebration. There is a side of humanity that finds a dystopia like Trump’s far from entertaining—there is a side of humanity that see Trump’s world as sad, painful, unnecessary and worth fighting against.
In the game Rock-Paper-Scissors, paper always Trumps rock. For contrived Democrats, the paper (money) will always Trump their love for immigrants and their imaginary rocks. The public relations disaster Donald Trump provides a window for even the most spineless of Democrats to say a nice word or two about immigrants. At this point, any rock thrown at the orange fascist is necessary. Democrats should just be hoping Don doesn’t hurl even a pebble back. The Democrat’s glass House (they failed to win a glass Senate) will break easily as long as they stay this morally inept.