After the Trump election, from CrimethInc …
Move the doomsday clock forward another click.
We were right about the direction things are heading, but wrong about the time frame. We thought Clinton would win the election, and would then be discredited by new scandals and the challenges of preserving an increasingly unpopular status quo, producing a reactionary surge like the one that recently toppled Dilma in Brazil. Instead, the scandal broke before the election, with the announcement of further FBI inquiries into emails associated with Clinton. And, as with the Brexit vote, everyone underestimated just how desperate and reactionary the general public has become—at least the ones who still identify with the ruling order enough to vote at all. It’s later than you think.
It’s significant that the news event that rescued Trump’s presidential bid was essentially an intervention by the FBI. This tells us a lot about the era we are entering: it is the security apparatus of the state that will be calling the shots, not the aspects of government that purport to improve the lives of citizens. Capitalism, long stabilized in the so-called First World by the compromises that produced the middle class, will henceforth be imposed by force. The surplus of the 20th century has run out; the velvet glove is coming off the iron fist. Sure, demagogues like Trump and Sanders will continue to promise us the moon every four years or so, but it won’t be peace treaties that will preserve the prevailing order—it will be police.
News like this is bound to induce despair, but we must not let this election cause us to lose faith in humanity as a whole. Elections serve to represent us to each other at our worst, distilling the most offensive, cowardly, and servile aspects of the species. Many people who would never personally wrest a mother from her children are capable of endorsing deportation from the privacy of a voting booth, just as most people who eat meat could never work at a slaughterhouse. Were it not for the alienation that characterizes government itself, most of the ugly policies comprising the Trump agenda could never be implemented.
Presidential campaigns are calculated to promote apathy, giving the impression that all the important decisions in the world are out of our hands. That’s the point of state politics: to immobilize us outside the halls of power, distrusting each other and ourselves.
Today, even the most law-abiding liberal must realize that we cannot continue to watch from the sidelines. Against the spectacle of powerlessness, we must counterpose our own agency. But to what purpose? Surely not to prop up yet another political campaign. We have to think bigger.
The fundamental problem is that power is structured into such vertical concentrations in the first place. If the President of the United States did not wield such disproportionate influence over the fate of humanity—if the free market did not enable businessmen to accumulate so much leverage over society—then Donald Trump could not be so dangerous, however despicable a person he is.
Those on the Left who have persisted in the naïve belief that the right government could solve the problems generated by global capitalism are partly to blame for this situation. The Democratic Party was foolish to back an establishment candidate at a time when so many people are desperate, angry, and rebellious. In legitimizing the idea that America is or should be great in the first place, Democrats smoothed the way for Trump to promise to make it great once more. Every tax dollar good liberals paid to the government hoping it would care for the poor, sick, elderly, and underprivileged has built the juggernaut that will now roll across their civil liberties. Every law they continue to obey will aid and abet that process. And if the media outlets and politicians that decried Trump as the candidate of the apocalypse accept him now in the name of the democratic process, this only confirms their complicity.
The problem is democracy itself: the form of government that brought Adolf Hitler into office. In response to the polls, we assert that no one should have the right to rule over anyone else. Neither Donald Trump, nor Barack Obama, nor Mother Theresa could ever use such power for good. We have to create horizontal structures and autonomous movements that can meet our needs directly, rather than continuing to feed resources into structures that will be used against us for the benefit of a few.
Let us look for silver linings in this cloud of oncoming tear gas. Perhaps it is for the best that someone like Trump is coming to power now, rather than four years hence. Let the right wing demonstrate that their solutions are just as inadequate as those proposed from the Left. In a time of economic crises, ecological collapse, and spreading war, the state is a hot potato: no one will be able to hold it long. Those who voted for Trump will be disappointed indeed if they actually believe he will bring back the heyday of Fordist capitalism in a globalized world.
Of course, disillusioned Trump voters will not necessarily join our ranks. They are more likely to move further to the right, just as Sanders supporters may simply entrench themselves deeper in futile and antiquated fantasies of 20th century socialism. We should set out to debunk the arguments from both sides, keeping dialogue open with everyone we can while preparing for open conflict with those who are determined to bring about a more totalitarian world.
We must not let the outrage that people feel today shift into a hopelessness that could become the new normal. Only in taking action, however small, can we come into a sense of our collective agency. This is the time to strengthen ties between communities in struggle and those who will be most affected by Trump’s policies. This is the time to dispense once and for all with hope for any solutions from above, any brighter future apart from the actions we take on a day-to-day basis in our immediate surroundings. This is the time to learn and practice proper online security—who knows how far the repressive operations of the state will go, or how fast.
There will be new social movements, new uprisings, new fights ahead. This is the time to find each other and prepare to go resolutely forward into them.
Cradle the seed, even in the volcano’s mouth. Good luck out there, comrades.
A call has been put out to disrupt Trump’s inauguration on January 20th …
On Friday, January 20, 2017, Donald Trump will be inaugurated as President of the United States. We call on all people of good conscience to join in disrupting the ceremonies. If Trump is to be inaugurated at all, let it happen behind closed doors, showing the true face of the security state Trump will preside over. It must be made clear to the whole world that the vast majority of people in the United States do not support his presidency or consent to his rule.
Trump stands for tyranny, greed, and misogyny. He is the champion of neo-nazis and white Nationalists, of the police who kill the Black, Brown and poor on a daily basis, of racist border agents and sadistic prison guards, of the FBI and NSA who tap your phone and read your email. He is the harbinger of even more climate catastrophe, deportation, discrimination, and endless war. He continues to deny the existence of climate change, in spite of all the evidence, putting the future of the whole human race at stake. The KKK, Vladimir Putin, Golden Dawn, and the Islamic State all cheered his victory. If we let his inauguration go unchallenged, we are opening the door to the future they envision.
Trump’s success confirms the bankruptcy of representative democracy. Rather than using the democratic process as an alibi for inaction, we must show that no election could legitimize his agenda. Neither the Democrats nor any other political party or politician will save us—they just offer a weaker version of the same thing. If there is going to be positive change in this society, we have to make it ourselves, together, through direct action.
From day one, the Trump presidency will be a disaster. #DisruptJ20 will be the start of the resistance. We must take to the streets and protest, blockade, disrupt, intervene, sit in, walk out, rise up, and make more noise and good trouble than the establishment can bear. The parade must be stopped. We must delegitimize Trump and all he represents. It’s time to defend ourselves, our loved ones, and the world that sustains us as if our lives depend on it—because they do.
In Washington, DC
DC will not be hospitable to the Trump administration. Every corporation must openly declare whether they side with him or with the people who will suffer at his hands. Thousands will converge and demonstrate resistance to the Trump regime. Save the date. A website will appear shortly with more details. #DisruptJ20
Around the US
If you can’t make it to Washington, DC on January 20, take to the streets wherever you are. We call on our comrades to organize demonstrations and other actions for the night of January 20. There is also a call for a general strike to take place. Organize a walkout at your school now. Workers: call out sick and take the day off. No work, no school, no shopping, no housework. #DisruptJ20
Around the World
If you are living outside the US, you can take action at US embassies, borders, or other symbols of neocolonial power. Our allegiance is not to “making America great again,” but to all of humanity and the planet. #DisruptJ20
Spread the word. Join the fight. #DisruptJ20
CrimethInc. Workers’ Collective
It’s Going Down
New York Anarchist Action
NYC Anarchist Black Cross
Pittsburgh Autonomous Student Network
Pittsburgh Student Solidarity Coalition
Pitt Against Debt
Pitt Students for a Democratic Society
Steel City (A) Team
Antifa Seven Hills
Black Rose Book Distro St. Louis
Resonance: An anarchist audio distro
If you endorse this call, sign your name at the bottom of this list and circulate it. Email [email protected] to be included in the above list.