Toddlers scrambled alongside their parents on Sunday to escape sprawling clouds of tear gas. A mother attempting to scale a border fence fell and was impaled by a piece of rebar in front of her children. Thousands of desperate people, fleeing nightmares of brutality the US helped to cultivate, are met with a wall of militarism.
As many have stated, this is not new. The United States has committed unspeakable acts against women and children within its own borders, and far beyond, just as European countries have, in many instances, horribly abused migrants amid their own refugee crisis. And yet, here we are, living in our own unique moment of horror that must be reckoned with in its own right, regardless of what’s come and gone before.
Because this is the way the world ends, under neoliberalism or fascism. The reigning politics that preceded Trump’s xenophobic white nationalism — free market worship, paired with window-dressing reforms — and the catastrophes unfolding before us today offer different stories with the same conclusion.
The end-game of late capitalism, amid a slow-motion apocalypse, is a global consolidation of resources. This is true under both neoliberalism — as reflected in Obama’s expansion of AFRICOM and tough-on-immigration policies — and Trumpian fascism, which has enhanced and extended these policies. Hillary Clinton gained attention over the Thanksgiving holiday by arguing that European governments must be harsher on immigration issues in order to arrest the spread of right-wing ideologies. Many found alignment between Clinton’s statements and the nationalist, xenophobic policies of the Trump administration. Others found them to be out of touch, given that European countries are plenty tough on immigration. But these takes overlook an uncomfortable reality: Clinton is not merely attempting to out-right the right in order to win over Trumpian voters. She is also promoting a viewpoint that has always aligned with neoliberalism, and one that…