If you think Punk is just an aesthetic, get out.
If you think punk is all ripped jeans, rock and roll, and wild hair, please leave.
If you claim to be a punk but make no effort to change society’s standards and challenge the norm outside of your fashion choices, I have a problem with you.
Don’t get me wrong I’m not some elitist asshole who wants to tell you what you can and can’t be, but I will implore you to go look up the history of punk. True punks fight for the oppressed. Punk isn’t just about patches and pins, and it’s certainly not this “I don’t give a fuck” shit I’ve been seeing from some self-proclaimed “punks”.
To be punk is to care enough to say “fuck society for hurting you” to minorities.
Right now, we need the you to really prove how punk you are. If you truly are punk, show some antifascist action.
because I’m positive that liberals are in the process of leveraging the implied sentiment to oppose anti-establishment leftists too. In other words, Trump is an anti-establishment monster who is tearing down the beautiful values that this nation stands for, and leftists are likewise getting scarier when they declare things like “America was never great”. Liberal nationalism is one of our primary hurdles to overcome, this idea that America is (and always has been) a bastion of equality and progressive values. It’s powerful ideology, stuff that will keep millions locked in ineffective centrism over the next few decades.
I know an image like this
will absolutely haunt the liberal imagination in the decades to come, the horseshoe ghost hanging over their shoulders – fascists ready to turn ever-progressive America into an unprecedented tyranny for the few, leftists ready to turn lawful America into chaotic mob rule that only works in theory. After all, if you want legitimacy in the capitalist electoral system (as liberals do), you will absolutely condemn grassroots organizers, socialists, and the like in terms that this second image implies, especially in the decades to come.
I saw a lot of this at the recent pro-immigration rally a week ago – people all over the place carrying signs with stuff like the Statue of Liberty weeping, implying that this isn’t what America stands for. One of the core goals of the leftist project ought to be to help people realize that, yes, immigration bans and racism are what America has historically stood for – at least in the sense of the American capitalist/imperialist state, because I do realize there has been beautiful resistance and solidarity among the masses over the centuries. The history is clear: America is built on centuries of genocide and enslavement, inequality and domination coursing through its veins.
The American exceptionalism is unhelpful at best and super reactionary at worst. Abandon the Lady Liberty imagery and realize that we are already that tyrannical empire to most of the world, not this plucky melting-pot nation of progressive values.
Why is it that fascists have identified themselves as socialists so much in the past?
Because fascism arises most prominently in times of capitalist crisis; crisis screws over the working class, filling them with a deep political anger at the status quo. Socialism was a prominent movement throughout the western world in the early 1900s, and it represented a real outlet of change for many people. Fascists latched onto this rhetoric in order to absorb the disenfranchised into an ideology that appeared, on the surface, to support the working class. This is why fascism is often difficult for laypeople to pin down politically – fascists alter their rhetoric depending on who they’re trying to absorb, and it all conceals a deep desire to reinforce the capitalist class structure when the economy is in crisis and there’s widespread social unrest. In practice, fascism is a capitalist ideology – disempowering unions, crushing strikes, cultivating racism and sexism and nationalism to divide the working class, elevating a “natural set of elites”, abandoning even the pretense of democracy, etc. – the ruling class adapting to different conditions and using more overt rhetoric to defend the system of capital accumulation.
if US conservatives are essentially a different type of liberal, then who would true conservatives be? and what are their characteristics?
Basically conservatism is just another expression of capitalist liberalism, an ideological method the ruling class employs to get traditionalists to support capitalist social relations. Once you start going far enough right towards ultra-nationalism, you’re out of liberalism proper and are now dealing with fascism, the ruling class’s desperate attempt to hold onto capital accumulation when the system is on shaky legs and left-wing thought becomes more common. This is when typical traditionalist “conservative” liberals and propertarian “libertarian” liberals start to slide towards fascism – they recognize that they need to start using more overt and militant tactics to preserve “western civilization” and “freedom” (read: capitalist property rights whereby a select few privatize collectively-used utilities and resources for their own profit). What we saw last night in Virginia was an example of this – fascists trying to “unite the right” under a common banner that recognizes its role in preserving capitalist property rights and white supremacy. Not all conservatives and libertarians are at that point, to be sure, but sooner or later they’ll realize their commonality with fascists, probably when left-wing organization is on the rise again. The wise ones will slide left when they see capitalist contradiction for what it truly is, but most will slide right because their worldviews have been structured so fundamentally around notions of tradition, western civilization, capitalist “freedom”, whiteness, etc. (in short, the status quo).
This may have been a bit of a tangent, but I felt it was necessary to highlight what conservatism truly is within the context of capitalism. Materially, it always serves the ruling class, and it’s used to absorb half the population into a capitalist paradigm under normal circumstances (the other half is “progressive” liberalism, where the people who might be more prone to sliding left are absorbed into the dominant ideology with concessions for marriage equality, some workers rights, some corporate regulation, etc.).
Our elders have been warning us about this for generations now—they saw the unsustainability of settler society immediately. Societies based on conquest cannot be sustained, so yes, I do think we’re getting closer to that breaking point for sure. We’re running out of time. We’re losing the opportunity to turn this thing around. We don’t have time for this massive slow transformation into something that’s sustainable and alternative. I do feel like I’m getting pushed up against the wall. Maybe my ancestors felt that 200 years ago or 400 years ago. But I don’t think it matters. I think that the impetus to act and to change and to transform, for me, exists whether or not this is the end of the world. If a river is threatened, it’s the end of the world for those fish. It’s been the end of the world for somebody all along. And I think the sadness and the trauma of that is reason enough for me to act.
involvement of the indigenous populations in both the United States and
Canada in the opposition to various pipelines, including the Keystone
XL, should come as no surprise.
As we have said, the abuse and misuse of
the eminent domain process in the construction of the pipeline here has
been an effective organizing tool to bring together environmentalists
and ranchers to oppose the project. And if it is nothing else, the
history of the native peoples on this continent is the greatest example
of eminent domain abuse in human history.
They know better than anyone
the feeling that greater forces from the outside can overwhelm and
threaten long-standing ways of life.
Tuesday, in a basement ballroom of a downtown hotel, the Ponca, Santee,
Omaha, and Winnebago peoples organized a treaty among themselves, and
several other tribes, expressing their opposition to the pipeline.
the start, here and in Canada, the indigenous peoples of the continent
have been at the heart of the opposition to projects like this one, most
visibly during the extended confrontation over the Dakota Access
pipeline. In Nebraska, the alliance between Native Americans and
ranchers, particularly over issues of eminent domain, not only was shot
through with remarkable historical je ne sais quoi,
it was a pragmatic decision based on common interests.
buy the right to steal your land. The Native people are familiar with
this phenomenon and with how angry its victims can become…