Florida: A Symptom of Fascist Decay

Terrorism-Word-Cloud

Recently, a gunman opened fire in a Queer nightclub in the U.S. state of Florida. Armed with an automatic weapon and a handgun, the terrorist managed to kill at least fifty people and wound dozens more before he was killed by police as he attempted to take hostages. The attack is the worst mass-shooting in U.S. history.

What can we say about this incident? The moralist left has already had their share: it is a senseless, violent act perpetuated by someone deeply disturbed; their hearts are with everyone in this senseless tragedy. Although it is never bad to sympathize and show solidarity with those affected by terrorism, when it comes to violence against oppressed and marginalized communities, such sentimentality misses the point of why the act of violence was carried out in the first place.

In contemporary America, capitalism is, and has been for a long while, in a state of decay. Neoliberalism and neoconservatism have eroded a whole host of welfare and social programs, while, in turn, the Right-wing have gained immensely as Identity Politics have taken the stage; scientific and revolutionary ideology, meanwhile, has degenerated, with Leftist-hobby tendencies (such as Left Communism and Trotskyism), taking a more prominent level of appreciation to the point where they are seen as the official incarnations of Marxism.

This is all to say that the situation in the United States is bleak. The ruling class, moreover, knows that it is bleak and hence why they attempt to bulwark their rotting edifice by prompting identity politics. Although not a time or a place to go into detail on the nature of Queer individualism and identity politics more generally, it needs to be said that the rationale for this latest act of terrorism lies in the hands of the bourgeoisie and their advancement of postmodern Id-Pol.

We need to remember that the capitalist class is in crisis. This is why they are pushing identity politics– they want people, especially minority, oppressed, and super-exploited groups, to feel as if their community has a role to play. So, in order to accomplish this, they have launched a campaign of reform and multi-identity acceptance. Understanding that they have nothing to fear from same-sex marriage and anti-binary gender distinctions, they discarded the archaic heterosexist marriage laws and have allowed trans-queer activists to enter the political fold (so as to, like Gay and Black groups before them, have their goals ultimately usurped by the liberal bourgeois elements and thus recuperated into the superstructure as an instance of American exceptionalism).

Such a moment is done, remember, while ultra-conservative and Rightist neo-reactionary elements have thrived in a country where, under the pushing of minority Identity Politics as spearheaded by Obama the Bomber, have incited counterrevolutionary forces to the zenith of their paranoid-delusional fantasies and conspiracy theories. Under Obama, anti-Semitic, White Supremacist, Neo-Nazi groups have exploded and along with this explosion a deluge of misinformation and historical revisionism; we now see a political landscape mired with forces who view their idea of America as a thing of the past, where ‘ultra lefties, pinkos, commies,’ and the rest, have stolen the country and are indoctrinating youth with their esoteric academic views on gender and sexuality.

While much in the Leftist media have covered the violence against Black and Persons of color in this epoch of identity, little has been said in regards to Queer life. This is funny because non-heteronormative persons suffer all the same under a white-cis-hetero supremacist regime (especially, those Queer Persons of Color who, in this moment as the gunman being identified as someone from Afghan ancestry, will need solidarity which does more than express good wishes).

This brings us back to our present moment where, as over a hundred innocent people are made casualties at the hand of a terrorist, the Moralist left fails to consider the deeper ramifications of this assault; instead of organizing and publishing slogans of resistance to what is clearly a fascistic attack, the Queer and left groups are content to sentimentally mourn over this senseless tragedy instead of organizing self-defense committees and beginning the armament campaign needed to fend off fascist terror.

Fascist terror is not senseless; it is directed and rationalized. Deluded, but rational in its application: they want to “take America back” and “make America great again.” And they know how to do it.

The Leftist response to this attack should be something more than solidarity with the victims, it should, and needs to be, more than merely a sentimental tribute to the victims– it needs to be organized resistance to the white-hetero patriarchy which has fostered this death cult. It needs to be resistance led by a scientific ideal. Otherwise, we can expect to see more of these attacks without the proper means of ending the terror, all the while the further radicalization of the Right spurs ever greater means of violence.

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7 thoughts on “Florida: A Symptom of Fascist Decay

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  1. Interesting post. But the shooter was of *Afghan origin, not Arab. It’s important to make this distinction so as not to perpetuate the homogenisation of the Middle East in servitude of American fascism.

    1. Apologies! I am far from an expert on race and ethnicity and do not always make the correct distinctions. I have fixed it; thank you for your observation, friend.

      -Sincerely,

  2. An interesting article – some of the terminology needs clarification/analysis. What needs to be taken into consideration about this incident by the various news media is social & political context in relationship to mental illness.

    An atmosphere is being been fostered in U.S.A. , Britain, Canada, Australia and various parts of Europe that frames events in the rhetoric of extremist political and religious views ( especially when those views are non-white and associated with Islam ).

    If the perpetrator shows any sympathy or expression of association with extremest groups originating in Middle Eastern politics and religion, they are labelled a terrorist (home grown or Trojan horse immigrant). If the individual is white and associated with far right social & extremist Christian ideology & beliefs, there is more likely an emphasis on the individual’s “troubled’ (mental health) past.

    There is a need to acknowledge that those with a specific range of mental health problems will reflect a set of cultural values and behaviour that justifies, in their perception, their actions. Any statements they make in this regard are ponced upon my politicians and News Media pundits and either held up or discredited to support a political agenda.

    1. Hi,

      I fully agree! I think this is especially important since new information suggests that the shooter frequented the bar often, and so if we are to talk about psychological structures, then it needs to be in the context of how heteronormative society and patriarchy twist people into hateful caricatures of humanity when they do not perfectly align with the current idea of masculinity or heterosexist perfection. What cannot be allowed is for the reactionaries to use this as just another blanket ‘he was mentally ill!’ talking point to brush over the violent history and their subsequent involvement in, of why this massacre happened. Ablest dialogue needs to be dismantled in favor of a socially inclined dialogue, one which focuses on the concrete facts of our society during a time of decay, not something which is just used to demonize people who are classified as psychologically or mentally ‘Other.’

      -Sincerely,

    1. Let’s take a step back and consider things: there have been many massacres in United States history. This much is obvious. But are all massacres the same? Is a massacre committed by United States troops against indigenous people the same as a terrorist gunning down (predominately) Queer Latinix people? Furthermore, is this kind of massacre different from police firebombing MOVE activists, or national guardsmen slaughtering students, marines murdering Vietnamese peasants, army men shooting striking workers?

      That is the first thing we need to think about. But there is a second as well– history.

      Is Wounded Knee United States history, or Native American history? This is complicated, obviously, because no matter how you examine it, there is the possibility of marginalization of Othering. But, I think it is something worth examining because, especially in conjunction with point one about whether all massacres are the same, we find that our classification shifts.

      Simply put, I do not think classifying Wounded Knee as a massacre in the same sense of Orlando does anyone any good. In fact, I think it belittles the very genocide against the native Americans. Wounded Knee was an example of mass murder facilitated by imperialism: it was committed by troops under the reign of a particularly virulent strain of White Supremacy. Orlando, meanwhile, was domestic terrorism: the shooter, from what I have been able to gather, was someone raised in the United States; he was someone viciously against any form of progressive change and decided to take his frustrations out on innocent people (as the Right-Wing always does). Can we really classify this act of terrorism– this massacre– as one in the same with Wounded Knee (or the Tulsa massacre or Kent State or Sandy Hook or…) when the pretexts are different?

      To describe it differently: Wounded Knee was a massacre committed by military units during a war situation. It is a massacre, yes, but more to the point, it is something much worse– it is a war crime. War crimes, as I see it, cannot be considered as civilian massacres, otherwise, Wounded Knee (and a whole host of other massacres) would pale in comparison to the barbaric events which took place in Korea, Vietnam, and Iraq (to just name a few).

      I think it prudent to keep this distinction in mind because imperialism works in different modes within the superstructure. The United States, as a settler-colonial state, displaced and mass-murdered the Native Americans because of the need to expand capitalism and create Empire. The Orlando shooting, meanwhile, was a product of the cis-hetero-patriarchy and culture of cop worship. As a massacre committed by the one segment of the Empire’s citizens against another branch, and represents an intensification of a contradiction among the people (or, a very niche minority swayed by fascist ideology, in the minimum). This is where history comes into play: capitalism’s contradictions and how the ruling class decides to legitimate the realization of surplus-value, changes; this is why massacres committed under a war-time aegis are so much worse than those committed under a civilian aegis. Because there is more at stake. And because there is more at stake, because what is happening economically in the base and superstructure is different, we need to have different methods of examining and classifying these massacres.

      This is the fact of the matter– this massacre was committed against Queer people, many of whom were not White. Furthermore, it was committed during Pride Month, a time of celebration of non-heteronormative identity. And finally, it was committed within a safe space, one of the few realms in heterosexist society that shut down Queerphobic identity politics. To ignore these facts, while plastering the tragedy over by acting like an Alt-Right edglord, by bringing forth massacres committed under entirely different conditions and for wholly different reasons, is to erase Queer identities and history, but worst of all, it is to erase the history of the institutionalized intersectional violence arrayed against Queer people.

      I understand and fully sympathize with fleshing out these other massacres. It is of vital importance that people not forget, or in our case, to learn about, the histories of violence committed against Native populations, against Black, Latino, Arab and non-White populations, and against workers and many others. But, to try and obscure the scale of this massacre, of its status as the most violent act of murder committed against a population by another segment of that population’s civilian sector– and the myriad of contradictions which go along with it– by conjuring forth the ghosts of the dead who were killed in categories all of their own, is to go the ruling class’s bidding for them.

      The first thing which should come to mind when a massacre like this happens is to show solidarity and support; to help organize, and if and where possible, arm, the people effected by such tragedies. Not turn it into an instance of the ‘Oppression Olympics’ where postmodern identity politics tappers over the roots of the attack and allows people to shrug off its materiality because worse instances of murder have transpired. What is needed is a discussion on the nature and materiality of massacres like Wounded Knee, how they converge as well as diverge with contemporary massacres; not only in how they were committed but why they were committed and by who committed them.

      –Sincerely,

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