Jim “Fergie” Chambers
“Progressive” Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez jumps on a loudspeaker to protest yesterday’s reversal of Roe v. Wade
Petit Bourgeois individualism, the unending narrowness of the American “Left,” and the Death Cult called the “United States”
25th JUNE, 2022- Yesterday, a reactionary US Supreme Court, empowered by the refusal of the last 3 Democratic administrations to codify Roe V. Wade, and the old racist relic Ruth Bader Ginsberg clinging to her gavel until the Grim Reaper snatched it from her, predictably repealed the 1973 Roe V. Wade ruling, eliminating federal protection for legal abortion in the United States. When the dust settles, as many as 22 states could use this to effectively ban abortion.
In response, the loose coalition of liberal civil society in the US, a smattering of the largely white, college-educated petite bourgeoisie, Democratic elites in the Beltway and along the coasts, progressives, pink hats, mainstream media, and the aesthetic-first, anarchistic “Left” have unleashed a predictably performative flood of outrage which has taken on historic proportions.
Much of this is understandable, even correct, and much of it is so mired up its own rear end of decontextualized American idealism that Justices Thomas and Kavanaugh wouldn’t know how to squirm their way through.
Women’s rights have been attacked again, no doubt, but watching liberals go into full meltdown once again over domestic social developments, while our entire lives as US citizens have been dominated by murder, genocide, imperialism, land theft, wage theft, mass surveillance, imprisonment, and the evisceration of the planet is fairly unimpressive, frankly. This is being heralded as the “rise of fascism,” but this is America: we created fascism. This is the theatrical gamesmanship of an extant, bipartisan fascist beast, manufacturing yet again the illusion of struggle within bourgeois boundaries.
CHOICE IS IMPORTANT; EXISTENCE IS MORE IMPORTANT
It’s unconscionable that in our collective political consciousness, the notion that “these women in X country/neighborhood are struggling to survive, and need access to abortion” supersedes the notion that “these women in X country/neighborhood shouldn’t be struggling to survive.”
but if only we could generate this much outrage for the total lack of public healthcare, childcare, preventative medicine, maternity leave, housing, or wealth redistribution that might make having a child, or not, a more deliberate decision for basically anyone.
Notwithstanding that abortion/birth control *in its liberal form* in the US (I am in no way taking away from more principled, materialist efforts over the centuries) began as a eugenicist project by white feminists to control black populations, abortion, objectively is a traumatic and sometimes dangerous procedure. Socialism is never idealism, it is the tool with which we address the material contradictions in our society, and so necessary abortion is available without question in a socialist society, because there is a human need for it, in many cases. What socialist states don’t usually do, as much of our culture has done, is fetishize abortion above all other causes, and idolize it, because Socialism creates the material conditions wherein abortion becomes far less of a necessity, because resources and education lead to less unwanted pregnancy, and because economic security and public infrastructure make child-bearing and family planning viable for the masses.
In the United States, abortion, like the other morsels of bread sanctimoniously doled out to the people by the ruling class, became a holy grail because it’s all you get. You may be stripped of the ability to choose where you live, where you work, how you exist, and what kind of family you want, but at least you can abort an unwanted pregnancy which might exacerbate the untenable conditions you’re trying to live through. The scattered rights and freedoms we vaguely enjoy in the US are always concessions granted to our populace to ensure that the imperial order is not toppled, and nothing more. As much as the liberal elite wants to blame “religion” in a vacuum, none of these rights and concessions will ever mean a thing, and none of them will ever truly be legislated responsibly, not abortion, not housing, not food, as long as the capitalist class remains in power.
Of course, none of this is unsettling to the power brokers of the Democratic Party, who never intended to settle the issue of Roe, because it has been their most valuable political currency for decades. In an election cycle when democrats control the White House and congress, and the economy is in the gutter, headed by a president unable to form complete sentences, the opportunity to sing “God Bless America” on the capital steps and convert it into fundraising checks is a can’t-miss for the DNC. All of this will mean nothing for the advancement of international working women’s liberation, but it may clear a few more shipments of heavy weaponry to Ukrainian fascists.
THIS IS FAR FROM OUR LOWEST POINT
The last 24 hours have included innumerable statements on “Left” social media and other layers of the “Left” public sphere saying, in one way or another, “I’m so horrified with what this country has become! This has gone too far!”
Really? When was it better?
In the 00s, when we killed 1 million Iraqis, let Wall Street off scott-free for robbing a generation of their livelihood, tried to destroy Venezuela, and suspended all due process for anyone a fed thought might be a “terrorist?”
In the 90s, when we passed the laws that created the worst incarceration state in human history, locked Haitian refugees in concentration camps in Florida, initiated broken windows policing, bombed Belgrade into oblivion, and illegally dismantled the USSR/Eastern Bloc, leaving economic and social wreckage which remains to this day?
Or did you mean the 60s, when we invaded Southeast Asia and waged war on man and nature for a decade, had a deeply co-opted Civil Rights movement which met violent resistance, before women’s rights were even on the table?
No? Then the 50s? When we initiated an international nuclear arms race, committed genocide in Korea which left over 3 million dead, and built a culture of mass consumerism on a foundation of racism and patriarchy?
Why is *this* the breaking point for so many? Why are we so deeply lost in petit bourgeois individualism that nothing means anything until it could affect us ourselves, or our prevailing causes celebres?
The reaction of the white petite bourgeoisie to Roe and to Covid, two issues which could ostensibly affect they themselves, placed next to their total indifference to global and domestic rape and plunder for generations, tells us all we need to know about who is on the side of humanity on earth. “Keep your hands off MY body” is a war-cry which is far more appealing to the American bourgeois mindset than “keep your troops out of our country,” “keep your cops out of our streets,” or “keep your hands off of our means to survival and the fruits of our labor.”
The United States has always been a hyper-individualist death cult. It is a society built for the wealthy few, and those they deem useful. Political education, activism, the non-profit world, and mass media are all reflective of this reality.
If we are to attain anything resembling justice for women in the United States, and women who are the victims of US imperialism abroad, it will be because our collective disillusionment reaches such a peak that a revolutionary party rises from the ashes of the American dream that never was.
What to do? Pessimism is understandably strong amongst the infinitesimal ranks of a principled American Left, and so if the opportunity presents itself, the instinct to leave this burning ship and build the power to bring it down elsewhere on earth, makes sense. But even then, something must rise from the ashes.
For those with the patience, it’s more time than ever to build popular, organized power in the United States. Whether this will happen within CPUSA, PSL, the left-wing of DSA, complete with their countless contradictions and shortcomings, or whether it will come with the simple empowerment of class consciousness and broadening of community self-defense (which includes measure for safe access to abortion) outside of the influence of the Democratic Party entirely, and the creation of an entity which has yet to be, remains to be seen.
But make no mistake, our allies in this fight are not in liberal arts institutions, they’re not on “Decolonization” panels, they’re not staffing NGOs, and most of all, they started shedding tears of outrage at America’s crimes long before their right to have an abortion in a state they’ve never been to was ever threatened.