We can't fight pandemics or climate change under western hegemony. We have to overthrow them.
Climate change, vaccine apartheid, racism, and war are different problems with one cause. Empire. The old colonial empires never disappeared, they just went capitalist. They hid behind borders and institutions but they're still up to the same nefarious shit. The empire struck back, assembled a Death Star of resource extraction and now the whole planet is about to explode. COVID-19 was just a test shot and look how they've spread the disease and left everyone to die. If we don't overthrow them now they're going to finish the job with climate change.
The fact is that we are not going to solve our existential problems through western leadership. They'll give us reports and 'aid' and committments, but they will not change. Their development model was exploitation for hundreds of years and it still is. They keep telling us to 'develop' like them but if we did the Earth would surely melt. We have to overthrow them and chart a new path if we are to survive.
Forget influencing them, forget appealing to their conscience (for they have none). We have to attack and dethrone them. We have to undertake the same non-violent resistance that helped overthrow apartheid and colonialism (there was violence as well) and take them on from a position of strength, what Gandhi called satyagraha, or truth force. Because this is true.
The colonial empires of the US, Europe, and Australia came for our bodies and our land and now they have come for the air, the oceans, and the entire Earth. We do not have time for them to grow a soul. If we do not overthrow these colonial empires again, the Earth as we know it will end.
The Rap Sheet
Before we get to how, why should we overthrow the western empire. I mean, besides the stormtroopers and constant war, let's look at three specific problems humanity has.
- Climate Change
- Vaccine Apartheid
Separate issues of course, but let's look at who is causing them.
1. Climate Change
Over 80% of the responsibility for climate breakdown lies with the US and Europe. Over 90% is with what people call the 'Global North', but as it includes Australia, I'll just call them the global white supremacist minority. For short, 'these assholes'. These assholes were founded on the exploitation of land and people and they have not changed. Their colonial empires spread with massive deforestation, mining, killing and skinning animals, enslaving human beings, shipping, digging, consuming, more, more, more.
Colonial capitalism is a rapacious engine based on always more, more, more. That's what it does. Rich westerners acquire their wealth by taking it from somewhere else, from someone's labor, or from the land. And now the land itself has run out. We have already exceeded our planetary limits. We have already irreversibly warmed the Earth, leading to the destruction of what you could callously call an asset, but what decent people call life as we know it. Anything that grows without end is just cancer, and colonial capitalism has become a cancer upon the Earth.
It didn't stop after colonialism ostensibly fell, and they're still going. Despite the huge climate debt these countries owe the world, despite knowing the cost for years, they're still going. They'll wreck the whole Earth, hide behind their wealth and leave us to die. Just as they are doing with COVID-19.
2. Vaccine Apartheid
For the first time during a pandemic we have been able to produce vaccines in record time. Unfortunately this is also the first time that a few corrupt nations have been monopolizing the technology for profit. We live in an age of miracles, but western empire is a curse.
Just look at this map of people blocking the bare-minimum, waving patents during a pandemic. As much as the US has made a show of getting off this map, it's a bullshit imperial lie. Words but not action. They haven't simply approved the India/South Africa patent-free proposal on the table for months now. Like with climate change, they kill us with negotiations, and profit from the delay.
Countries like China and Russia have been sharing vaccines and setting up factories all around the world from the beginning, even before vaccinating all of their citizens. Because these are the common sense WHO recommendations for fighting a pandemic, which is global by nature. The western empire dismissively calls this 'vaccine diplomacy' and even lobbies countries like Brazil to not take the vaccines, directly killing people. They do not care. There is no appealing to these people. We have to overthrow them.
Perhaps the most urgent reason to overthrow them has become the most invisible simply because it is so constant. As Jimmy Carter said, America is “the most warlike nation in the history of the world” and it's European, Canadian, and Australian lackeys follow wherever they go. From their immigration Gestapos and internal concentration camps to outright war upon dozens of nations to generation sanctions, this empire is constantly at war.
Just look at the map of US troop deployments above. The stormtroopers are everywhere, anchored in Germany and vassal states around the Middle East, actively killing in over a dozen countries and maintaining over 800 military bases across the world. I call this one empire because all of the colonial empires are in on it. The UK handed over their occupied island bases after WWII. The EU, Canada, and Australia all contribute troops and share intelligence. It's one vampire squid, perched atop the world for so long that we think it's old hat.
It is evil and it is wrong. In the last few decades along this war machine has killed millions of people and displaced tens of millions. It is killing, torturing, and maiming, everyday. We cannot negotiate with this ever gaping maw of death and despair. We must resist it, delegitimize it, send this forever occupying army home.
How To Overthrow An Empire?
Now, given the rap sheet, what can we do? What we've been doing is trying to work within their development model, trying to work our way up until we become respectable, like South Korea. But as we should know by now, this model itself will lead to ruin with climate change. We have already exceeded our planetary budget, they have already stolen too much from the future. If we all become like them, our grandchildren will have nothing.
We also beg and grovel and immigrate to their stolen lands, for a chance to personally work our way into whiteness. We become like Priti Patel or Kamala Harris, climbing up the immigration ladder only to kick firmly down. Do we have so little dignity? Do we just accept that their children are better than ours, that they have more rights to the world?
Even within our countries, we think that we are decolonized, but we are still bound by their financial institutions, their vetoes, and—that failing—the ever present threat of sanctions and war. As the deposed first leader of Ghana said,
“The essence of neo-colonialism is that the State which is subject to it is, in theory, independent and has all the outward trappings of international sovereignty. In reality its economic system and thus its political policy is directed from outside."
Hence we live in a world where the heads of the World Bank and IMF are always an American and European, by 'gentlemen's agreement'. Where the empire always has a veto at bodies like the UN and WTO. Where they are free to sanction and besiege civilian populations for generations, and where we are punished if we dare defy them and, say, sell tea to Iran. We are there to provide raw materials and labor for empire, under empire's terms, as we ever were under colonialism. People that resist will be couped, assassinated, or just economically obliterated so everyone learns.
But this is all bullshit.We must withdraw our tacit support for this opppression, because there is no path through for us. While they have been killing us slowly for centuries, we have reached our final acceleration into climate change. It's now or never. We have to overthrow them and take the power we have. We have to strike.
So what do we do?
There are two things I suggest. One big, one small.
The big thing is a global satyagraha. International strikes. People physically walking across borders. Mass protests. Withdrawing the tacit support that props their empire up.
We should stop supplying raw materials to them and buying finished products. This is a colonial relationship. We should stop hosting their troops. This is an imperial relationship. We should not accept their tourists. This is a servile relationship. We must fundamentally accept that we are in an abusive relationship and they're not going to change. We need to get out.
What we must realize most fundamentally is the power we have. The power of truth. Incidentally, we also have the far greater numbers. South Asians, East Asians, Africans, South Americans, Caribbeans, we are not their minorities. This is collective action across borders and also at the heart of whiteness itself. Even ostensibly 'white' people can renounce their whiteness and be decent human beings.
We are numerically most of the people on Earth. We are the global majority. They have stolen some land and drawn violent lines around it, but only within those colonial borders are we minorities. But fuck their borders. The world is ours. Europe is just some stubby peninsula in Asia. Australia and America do not belong to white people at all. We don't need to ask them for visas or permission to walk the Earth. We are the majority. We must take back what's ours. We must take back the world. That's the only way to save it.
Global strikes, of course, seem impossible. Nevermind the force of the enemy, look at the divisions within the global majority. They have racism to hold them together. What do we have? We are divided within our own countries. Our own politicians and elites are happy to make policy for 'investors' and to travel on diplomatic passports, to send their children abroad. We ourselves go into the heart of empire and become its dutiful administrators. The empire bends rather than breaks, and so it continues to stand.
But know this. Every empire must fall. Great historical changes seem impossible until they happen, and we are at a time of great historical change. The first and most vital step is just pointing and saying the empire has no clothes, which I am doing here, and which you are doing as well. The first and most vital bastion of empire is the few cubic centimeters behind your skull, and it's a small thing to overthrow them there.
The first place you can overthrow their hegemony is also the most important. In your mind. Their illusion of goodness, of competence, and—most importantly—of power is ultimately horcruxed in your mind. If enough of us smash their power between our ears, it disappears. And that can happen slowly, then all at once. So the first step in a global strike is a simple one. Withdraw all support for the western empire, in your mind.
They keep telling us that their way is best way and the only way, but this is just an amputation of the imagination, and denial of the real. We absolutely can imagine better (innovation doesn't need to be constrained to a phone screen) and their way is leading to complete ruin right now. We have to question, imagine, and have the self-respect to not appeal to their power but to imagine that the global power is us.
Change your conception of freedom to include actual, obvious freedom, not just the items on a supermarket shelf. Change your conception of democracy to include actual power, not just dropping a rich dude's name in a box. Change your entire conception of development from becoming like them to becoming us.
The western empire has fucked the world up and it has to be taken away from them. There is no other way. The problems of climate change, pandemics, and war will not be solved by the people actively making things worse. We need new people, we need new ideas, we need a new world. The colonial empire has struck back and we have to overthrow them again. If it seems impossible, just remember this. You can do it right now. We have done it before. It can be done.
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