This is How Societies Descend into Terrorism and Civil War, When Fanatics and Fascists Give Up on Politics

Image for post
Image for post
Image Credit: Julio Cortez

Today was the day that armed fascists stormed the US Capitol, broke the doors and windows, entered the house chamber, where there was an armed standoff. All that, by the way, was abetted and incited by the President and his key political allies. Is that a sentence or two you thought you’d ever read?

This is the coup I warned you about. Don’t read that in the way of horn-tooting. Many others did, too — and if you’re half way thoughtful, you saw it coming just as much as we did.


How Incompetence, Malice, Greed, and Stupidity Left Britain A Smoking Shattered Wreck

Image for post
Image for post
Image Credit: Heathcliff O’Malley

If you’re American, congratulations. You no longer belong to the dumbest country on earth. That dubious honour now goes to Britain. Sorry, America — you’re now only the second dumbest country on earth.

Britain’s story these days is somewhere between tragicomedy and farce. Let me give you three examples — of what it means for a society to self-destruct, by way of idiocy, greed, recklessness, and ineptitude.

Let me begin by telling you a little story. I have a friend who bought his wife a birthday present, before Christmas. A little necklace. It still hasn’t arrived, and there’s no sign it’s ever going to. It’s been held up at three — or is it four? — borders, and there it is, still stuck. Why is that? Because of Brexit. And this poor guy is getting wifed on, hard. “Do you hate me? Where’s my birthday present!!” “Darling, it’s because of Br — “ “Don’t make excuses! You don’t love me anymore!!” Hello, divorce lawyers. OK, I’m kidding. They’ll be OK. …


“Unity” is How the Democrats End Up Wasting Their Power, Instead of Using It

Image for post
Image for post

There’s an old, old rule of politics that my grandfather taught me. It goes like this. When you have power, real power, use it. Real power — the kind of power that can enact a generational agenda, that can reshape a society along historic lines — does not come along often. It is rare and precious, because politics is too often a game of tedious incrementalism, corrupt checks and balances, and decrepit, failed ideas. Therefore: when you have real power, use it.

The other side, by the way, is sure to. So when it’s your turn, finally, if you don’t use the power you’ve waited so long to hold — you are going to be undone when it’s not your turn. …


How We Live in a Fascist World — and White People Have No Idea

Image for post
Image for post
Image Credit: Adam Dean

Everything’s back to normal! Yay! Is it? After such a terrible year, there should’ve been a time of introspection, leading to growth. But I see scant evidence of such a thing. Americans appear eager to to try and pretend fascism never happened, go back to lives of blissful ignorance, and Covid just goes on laying waste to societies in denial.

We haven’t heard the message yet, my friends. Of an age of apocalypse. Our heads are still firmly buried in the sand, where they seem to be the most comfortable, impervious to any kind of uncomfortable truth. …


Americans Still Don’t Really Understand Why America Collapsed. Here are the Stakes for Biden’s Presidency.

Image for post
Image for post
Image Credit: Alex Wong

OK, party’s over. Joe Biden is officially the President. And it’s time to talk about what his challenge is. The Big One, if you will.

Let me put it as simply and bluntly as possible. Joe Biden’s challenge is transforming America. From a failing fascist empire. To a functioning modern society.

Let me begin with the first part. America’s a fascist empire. Americans won’t like to hear that — especially white Americans, even the liberal ones— but it’s a fact. Most of the rest of the world hates Americans for a very simple and very good reason. America turned their countries fascist. If you think I’m kidding, consider any of the following examples. The CIA installing Pinochet in Chile. The CIA creating the Taliban and Saddam both. …


Pretending Everything’s Okay Won’t Make the Trump Years Magically Go Away

Image for post
Image for post
Image Credit: Brendan Smialowski

I’m not kidding around when I say my kid sister is the Editor in Chief. (If you’ve been a longtime reader, then you’ve suffered the dark days where there was a typo every other word.) My kid sis is a millennial, and like most milennials, she has things to say. Here she is, with one of those things. I have to warn you, you might not like reading this. It’s pretty hardcore, even for me. By the way, she’s not just a millennial — she’s a brown lady millennial. So watch out, my friend, watch out. …


Breathe Out. America Finally Had a Good Day.

Image for post
Image for post
Image Credit: Mac Jameson

As you grow older, or you suffer a terrible illness — or both — you discover the worth of something you once considered mundane. Days. Just…days. The days that went by so fast when you were young, exceptional, invincible, and you laughed at fate and grief.

You discover that there is nothing quite so precious and rare as a good day. I don’t mean a successful day, or a triumphant day, a day where you made a lot of money, or won a promotion, or bought something grand. I mean just…a good day. A day full of human goodness, of all its components: truth, grace, beauty, kindness, delicacy, fragility, dignity. Days like that, you come to know, have a radiance all their own. And they do not happen often, because human life is a thing of strife and conflict and longing. We remember those days with a special kind of happiness. …


Trump Has Left America’s Three Major Social Groups Pitted Against Each Other

Image for post
Image for post
Image Credit: Luis M. Alvarez

As he ascended to the Presidency, Donald Trump famously promised to put an end what he snarled was “American carnage.” It was a statement which left most baffled. Carnage? Where? What was he talking about? Today, as his Presidency ends, it’s clear to the whole world: Trump’s legacy is American carnage.

It’s easy to say: Trump radicalised part of white America. The poor, uneducated, left behind part. Even the aggressively upwardly mobile obviously racist part. That he gave license to them to hate, to laugh at cruelty, to value brutality, to idolise violence. …


What Do the Trump Years Really Say About America? An Ugly Truth You Probably Won’t Want to Hear

Image for post
Image for post
Image Credit: Jeff Kowalsky

Americans often ask what a President’s “legacy” will be. Donald Trump revealed a great and terrible truth: who America “really” is. Now, America’s a lot of things. And yet in the end, too, things reach a kind of balance, and in that balance we can say that the truth of things is revealed at last. Let me explain what I mean.

There’s a dynamic that happens these days that goes like this. A white person, especially a white liberal, will cry, shaking their head at events like, for example, the coup at the Capitol: “this isn’t who America is!” And a minority will respond, shaking their head, “this is exactly who America is!” The white person will feel a sense of white rage at the minority, and the minority will feel a kind of weary, bitter disappointment with the white person. …


The Four Reckonings America Needs to Have If It Wants to “Heal”

Image for post
Image for post
Image Credit: Manuel Balce Ceneta

About a year from now, by next January or so, we’ll begin to have an answer to a crucial, disturbing question: is America going to reckon with the Trump years, or try to sweep them under the rug? I phrase it that way because America has a long, long history of forgetting. Americans — white ones, at least — are very good at forgetting. It may be what they do best. Forgetting — and forgiving, far too soon, and far too often. But forgiveness without repentance is not a virtue: it is just weakness and folly.

The great danger right now is this. America doesn’t have a reckoning — any of the reckonings that should be had — with the Trump Years. It tries to brush them under the rug. But you can’t brush what happened over the last four years under any rug. It will sit there, like a vicious, seething monster covered by half an inch of pile. And, grinning at your weakness, it will attack all over again, the moment you let your guard down, the instant you don’t expect it anymore, having breathed a sigh of relief, saying to yourself: “Phew! I’m glad that’s over.” …

About

umair haque

vampire.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store