The Crisis and the Left

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Air date: 
Mon, 07/08/2019 - 9:00am to 10:00am

In this post from her Facebook page, read here by Clayton Morgareidge, political theorist Jodi Dean shows how the Right is ready for the crisis that will soon be upon us due to global warming and asks whether the Left is perhaps in denial -- not about climate change but about the growing power of the Right.

Here is the text (slightly edited for length):

Sometimes I wonder how people who rely on mainstream news sources like the NYT …, MSNBC and CNN, don't go completely mad. How do people who closely follow the Democratic presidential campaign hold themselves together? On the one hand there is climate catastrophe, fascism, Russia-gate, concentration camps, and the end of democracy. On the other are a field of candidates who basically think that the system works and a media that excoriates them for going too far left, as if everything is fine. The end of the world and business as usual.

Most of us on the Left, critical of imperialism and always racialized capitalism, recognize that for majorities in the world, capitalism's business as usual is destructive, deadly, oppressive, barely survivable. But that's not the mainstream story, even though it's true.

I started watching [the Netflix documentary about Brazil] "The Edge of Democracy" yesterday. … What struck me was Bolsonaro promising guns so that people could protect their land from the Landless Workers Movement. It made me think about guns in the US -- the combination of promises of guns and hatred of people of color, poor people, and sexual minorities. The Right is arming their supporters, making sure that their supporters are armed, ready. They inspire them to be willing to defend their way of life.

Some liberals and leftists worry about climate denialism. It seems to me that the ones in denial might be these same liberals and leftists. All over the world, the Right is preparing for the climate crisis. They militarize borders, attack immigrants and refugees, build camps. They know the civil war is already here. The super rich are grabbing more and more of the social product. They are buying up more land, hoarding. Housing is built so that the rich have more and the poor have nothing. And the thing is, the rich, the Right, have people, forces, throughout the government and in the streets. They fight tenaciously and refuse compromise.

And what about us?

--Jodi Dean

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