This morning, 10 July 2021, I saw the following:
Since about 1984, I have lived in Arizona or a neighboring state and can attest to the mounting high temperature extremes. On 20 June 2017, temperatures were so high in Phoenix – nearly 120 degrees F. - Sky Harbor International Airport canceled many flights until the evening when cooler denser air moved in so the planes could fly more safely. Lake Mead, supplying most of the Southwest's water, is now the lowest ever since the Hoover Dam was built in 1937. No, I am not kidding:
Peer into a 160 foot-deep empty well, and you'll start to realize the implications, when that well is supposed to be full.
Global warming obviously is not confined to the U.S., given northwest Canada's extreme heat, polar icecap melting, and methane craters in the Siberian hinterland:
neither cybersecurity issues, resource depletion, deteriorating information quality, environmental degradation, and mounting crime and general political conflict. I read last month:
Put the previous together with:
"Wow! You're all over the map, Horne. How did you get to identity politics from the U.S. Southwest heatwave? And, what does this have to do with nationalism?" In a word linking all these together, it is "community", "cooperation", "mutual assistance", ``common goals" – or, in our case, the critical lack of these things. Years ago in the US, people came together to help neighbors, as in barn-raisings, and some of this has continued, like neighborhood watches. Right now, we need a worldwide barn-raising, but we need to get our individual selves together first. Right now, many people don't even know what sex they are, because the social environment has degenerated so much.
You may read more about my take on identity politics in previous editions of The National Reformationist, demagogues worldwide, especially in liberal democracies, plying on one's "gender, religion, race, social background, class or other identify factor [to] develop political agendas based around one or more of these categories.". In short, the prevailing socio-economic system has been instrumental in stripping identity from people by not adequately compensating them for their labor they give to the capitalist. In The National Reformationist No. 14, I wrote, "our work-related identity, then, is entangled with half our waking time." That is, the capitalist expropriates coercion (job scarcity and job dependence – as in the need to pay debts generated by consumerism) and under-compensation. Frankly, I do not "parasite" too strong a word describing anyone living off the labor power of others. I have used "predator" before, but at least the predator does so merely to survive. In lieu of confronting real problems, liberal-democratic demagogues, like Pelosi, Biden, Harris, and Clinton pander to the small minority of homosexuals, generalizing from a relatively moderate problem of harassing them to one in which almost everyone participates in discrimination. I won't even address the "right-wing", as these individuals (Trump, McConnell, Cruz, etc.) are also fully committed to Wall Street, the banksters, and the military-industrial complex, and the coercive apparatus maintaining them. Then, we have "critical race theory", removing historical events from their context, accusing every Caucasian of racism (when, in fact, "race" doesn't even exist, it being only a social construct).
I argue that at the core, radical income stratification evidences the claim that the capitalist has been instrumental in that identity theft, the demagogues for their own narcissistic advantage using identity politics to herd the masses into supporting the prevailing order, that order responsible for the problem in the first place.
We need to open a conversation about personal identity and social development. This needs to be done if we are to build the cooperative world necessary for our very survival as a subspecies. "That's a radical statement.", you may say, but, again, I kid you not. For starters, read:
The Holocene extinction, otherwise referred to as the sixth mass extinction or Anthropocene extinction, is an ongoing extinction event of species during the present Holocene epoch (with the more recent time sometimes called Anthropocene) as a result of human activity.
… and consider:
If we do not come together as a world community, the short truth is we will not be here for much longer. Try surviving in 130 F.-degree heat over time. It gets particularly interesting without water.
So, we need to have our own identity intact before we can even relate to others. We must have complete control over ourselves before we can cooperate. Getting rid of the prevailing exploitative economic system is a tall order, and perhaps Mother Nature will be the driving force for the necessary change. Meanwhile, we need to take stock of some of our more particular outlooks on counter-productive social situations, such as false substitutes for identity, nationalism in particular.
I should not have to remind this audience of World War I and II, as well as how the United Nations has failed, starting with the U.S. claiming its superiority, Stalin's nationalism, former colonies proclaiming their nationhood, and so forth. Resource depletion, overpopulation, and climate change have exacerbated peoples' ability to cope with their environments, and the much-vaunted technological developments have overcomplicated an already complex world beyond the capacity of the average person to manage it. Where does it all begin, and end?
Aristotle wrote 2400 years ago in his Politics,
He who thus considers things in their first growth and origin, whether a state or anything else, will obtain the clearest view of them. In the first place there must be a union of those who cannot exist without each other; namely, of male and female, The family is the association established by nature for the supply of men’s everyday wants, …
[https://historyofeconomicthought.mcmaster.ca/aristotle/Politics.pdf , pp. 4-5]
A nation is not a country, government, and certainly not the State. It is more akin to a consensus among members of a social group about what binds them together as a society, more culturally-based than a formal social structure. Aristotle continues:
But when several families are united, and the association aims at something more than the supply of daily needs, the first society to be formed is the village. And the most natural form of the village appears to be that of a colony from the family, composed of the children and grandchildren, who are said to be suckled ‘with the same milk.’ When several villages are united in a single complete community, large enough to be nearly or quite self-sufficient, the state comes into existence, originating in the bare needs of life, and continuing in existence for the sake of a good life. And therefore, if the earlier forms of society are natural, so is the state, for it is the end of them, and the nature of a thing is its end.
Prescient of Hegel, Aristotle says,
Further, the state is by nature clearly prior to the family and to the individual, since the whole is of necessity prior to the part; for example, if the whole body be destroyed, there will be no foot or hand, except in an equivocal sense, as we might speak of a stone hand; for when destroyed the hand will be no better than that. [Ibid. p. 6]
From the individual (particularly defined by sex) to the family to the State, there we have it.
How did "nationalism" come to the fore if all we are talking about are social structures? Nationalism, just like identity politics, is a shibboleth used by politicos to frighten the masses into supporting them. Like so many other confabulated terms, like "Nazism" and "fascism", "nationalism" creates more confusion than elucidation, often only the political science student learning the real difference between "nation" and formal social organization, like "government". For example, one only need look at the U.S. indigenous people, as in the University of Arizona's Indigenous Governance Database, "There are 562 federally recognized Indian Nations (variously called tribes, nations, bands, pueblos, communities, rancherias and native villages) in the United States." to learn the correct usage.
It should be abundantly clear by now that border problems are not essentially nationalistic in character but politically structural, i.e., governmental territorial issues. "Nation", as we have seen, spans cultural heritage, and the close link between foreign residents and those within a country's boundaries can be closer than others within the country's boundaries. Latinx persons on either side of a country's boundaries often have closer affinity with each other than residents in Maine and the U.S. Southwest or the U.S. Deep South, let's say, my experience with this coming from living in all three areas for most of my 76-year life.
So, what is all the hubbub at the US-Mexican border all about? In one word, "liberal-democratic exploitation" (including that of the "right-wing"), the liberal-democrats having used every means of intrigue, deceit, lying, and justification for the prevailing socio-economic system, where a relatively small group of persons own and control the means of production and distribution of goods and services, not fully compensating the persons they employ, amassing wealth through that exploitation and speculation, further using that wealth to buy power. They use the power of a country's government to enforce those relationships. Somewhat ironically, the liberal democratic response to capitalism's 1929 collapse was reinforcing unions, the unions, themselves having become handmaidens of the capitalists, themselves, until now, both allied in maintaining the present order. We have this group and the great masses of workers not unionized, further polarizing everyone. US wages have been relatively high – the minimum wage of $7.50/hour, compared to Mexico, for example, at $7.13 a DAY, the former eight times the latter. Go to one of the maquiladoras (factories) along the US-Mexico border to see how the costs of US labor are being averted. But, you won't see much of a price drop at the store! It is the same old story of the capitalists not only exploiting labor but buying cheap to sell expensive – maximizing profits, regardless of the cost of human life.
The US, controlled by corporate elites, has intervened persistently over the past 100 or so years in Latin America to maintain these conditions. Accordingly, these parasites have an interest in keeping these low-paid workers in their place, despite deteriorating environmental and social conditions. This deserves a book in its own right, but an honest researcher can start with this Wikipedia article, "United States involvement in regime change in Latin America '' critically examine the prevailing socio economic system, and see the obvious relationships. In passing, I think "regime" is appropriate, given the dictatorial and oppressive nature of governments the US has maintained there.
What do we do now? It does no one any good to advocate prohibition or relaxed entry requirements. Both have their consequences, the former the latter internal to the US.
Well, do the humanitarian thing, and let them all in to escape the misery and poverty created by environmental degradation and capitalist exploitation. That is no solution, either, just because of the sheer numbers needing entry. Simply saying "no" to immigration leads to a dead-end, as well as supporting the Trumps and Bidens of the world, besides exacerbating already rising tensions inside the excluded countries. Heads I win; tails you lose. Being forced into the false dilemma of "no immigration" and "liberalized" immigration is like selecting between Coca-Cola and Pepsi when both will rot the teeth and enable obesity (among other deleterious effects).
Like everything else, you need to get to the source of the problem, and that is capitalism and that which gives rise to it. While mild attention has been paid by the Biden regime to Latin American poverty and environmental degradation generating social unrest, there is no challenge to the prevailing system. Too much is at stake for the leadership, for they are part of the problem by justifying it.
Better still is raising the essential question, "why does the immigration issue REALLY exist?". More succinctly, "What are its ultimate reasons?". A solution will come only by abolishing this system and replacing it with a more community-driven one, such as occupational organicity, framed by the State.
This makes the liberal democrats very nervous, but the reality of caravans approaching the border and the detention camps overflowing their capacities, along with mounting social strife, helps bring home in real terms the realities of capitalism's effects.
So, immigration is not a nationalist question but a socioeconomic one, where core values – materialism/consumerism – search for truth and community are at stake. This immigration example is a starting point for investigating and considering the larger problems outlined at the beginning of this article. I will say, again, "If we do not come together as a world community, the short truth is we will not be here for much longer.".
Ponder that in the 130-degree heat, Category 5 hurricane, or while watching a fire tornado.