The significance of the U.S. in this equation is connected to its position as the most powerful and economically advantageous country in human history. Also, because it has used its vast resources to craft a very carefully created, and mythical image of itself as the world’s leader in peace, justice, and equal rights for all. All one has to do to confirm this is listen to newly processed immigrants from anywhere and they will gladly tell you how grateful they are to be here and how wonderful this country is. Right alongside that crowd are the folks who’s perception of every single element of life is viewed through an individualistic philosophy. Meaning, if its happening to them directly, its valid. If its not something they can see with the naked eye, then it isn’t based in reality.
The problem with these groups of pro-capitalist/U.S. people is that you would have a better chance of pushing a camel through the eye of a needle than you would have of finding one of these folks who have any type of comprehensive understanding of why, how, and where oppression is built and maintained on the backs of large segments of these capitalist societies. And, much of the reason this analysis is so absent is because of the capitalist system’s remarkable ability to reframe and reshape social phenomenon in its desired fashion.
Examples abound, but lets use the recent protests for example. These international showcases of disgust at state sanctioned terror and murder against African people reflected a cross section of people coming out to express their demand for justice. Since police only know one method of communication, control and force, of course they often did the only thing they know how to do, unleash violence on peaceful protesters. Its always universally true that oppression breeds resistance so the people elevated in response to these terrorist attacks and numerous cities across the globe saw peaceful resistance transition to angry expressions aimed at the state.
What’s interesting is the capitalist system’s clever response to this. Police departments everywhere were encouraged, probably even ordered in many instances, to engage socially with protesters. This explains why the very same stone-faced state terrorists who gas bombed you yesterday were out there today dancing, kneeling, and seemingly expressing solidarity with your righteous anger against the very system they are out there protecting. Corporations began to display signs everywhere utilizing the slogans of today i.e. “Black Lives Matter!” I even saw one business, that has a reputation among African people for being systemically racist against us, with a mural of George Floyd with the words: “We see your suffering. We feel your Pain. We stand with you! Black Lives Matter!” Despite the obvious contradiction that “Black Lives Matter” only seem to matter to businesses like this as a tactic to hopefully persuade the masses to not set that place on fire, most people seem to be satisfied with this level of hypocrisy.
Writing Black Lives Matter on streets. Netflix, HULU, etc., displaying more African themed content in the last month than they have displayed in the last 10 years. Governments pledging to defund police (which really means just redirecting money and using police facsimiles instead). Governments and corporations pledging not to use racist symbolism, or support racist statues, etc. All of these things represent the basic compromises capitalism is always willing to make because none of those things cost them more than pennies and none of that does a single thing to transform this backward system one inch away from its racist, systemic, and institutional practices.
Still, voices everywhere are viewing these developments as “progress” although during the time all of these things are happening, police are still continuing to harass, terrorize, and murder African and Indigenous peoples. Racist and patriarchal realities are causing women, especially Trans women, to be murdered at record levels with hardly a peep from the government that said it was okay to write “Black Lives Matter” on the street. And, even a novice student of cointelpro knows that the very same government that says write that slogan on the streets is the very same government that is doing everything it can behind the scenes to criminalize protesters and discredit the movement for social justice.
It’s the equivalent of a community of chickens catching a fox in the hen house. The fox, concerned about his safety in the midst of all these angry chickens, agrees to engage in a series of reforms that offer nothing beyond symbolism of safety to the chickens. Meanwhile, at night, while the chickens are lured to relax and sleep by the foxe’s symbolic gestures, the fox picks them off one at a time. As the chickens awake, to find another of their kind gone, they are met by gestures of condolences and support from the very same fox who is causing their demise.
There’s a ton of performance art happening right now posing as legitimate movement work. There’s also an even greater amount of performance art posing as genuine commitment by the power structure to concrete social change. All of this is an illusion because the true social change we all need can never happen until there is an organized and serious movement committed to destroying capitalism and replacing it with a socialist reality that places people over profits. Until we are ready to confront that inescapable reality, the best we will be able to accomplish is to enjoy the performances.