“We need a third element, a third vision, a third project” to rescue us.
This is how one of the most radical leftist online publications in South Africa sums up the year. I’m cautious embracing NewFrame’s polemics, but I couldn’t agree more that nothing political is working.
“Fuelled by Covid-19 conspiracy beliefs, lockdowns and vaccine mandates have been met with protests accompanied by violence.” NewFrame argues that among sections of society with “declining economic and social conditions” (e.g., much of South Africa, many working white populations in the U.S. and Australia, and especially the youth in Europe) create “the perfect breeding ground for the anti-vaccine movement to morph into extreme far-right politics.”
Bingo! and stave the boredom.
You might think that there’s nothing new in this analysis but you’re wrong. You’re right that Trumpian, Republican and other rightist movements were extracted from unhappy, often increasingly poorer communities. Nothing new about that. It elected Trump in the first place.
But the near revolution of January 6 and the terrifying revelations today on NPR that parts of our own military might consider a coup if Trump isn’t elected the next time – these are different ball games.
NewFrame I think correctly posits that anti vaxxers – intrinsically suicidal – will become kamikazes. “Extreme far-right politics” in NewFrame’s lingo lurches beyond QAnon. It’s the next stage coming.
When society becomes this divided compromise has long ago grown impossible.
Yesterday the famous South African commentator, Richard Poplak, claimed that “two of the planet’s most celebrated democracies” (e.g., South Africa & the U.S.) “suffered Cirque du Soleil-style insurrections.”
I’m not beating my chest or tooting my flute to remind you how many dozens of times I’ve compared South Africa to the United States, Zuma to Trump, Biden to Ramaphosa. I know that the social dangers discussed in this blog appear globally almost everywhere.
But the most promising intellectual power – particularly with regards to the furthering of human rights – really lies within these two societies of America and South Africa. Their struggles and sufferings, wars and capitalist calamities are frighteningly similar.
Like quantum particles, America’s Rachel Maddow and South Africa’s Richard Poplak, NewFrame’s Richard Pithouse and Bernie Sanders are memes of each other. On the right Cape Town’s Helen Zille and our Wild West’s Marjorie Taylor Green are two peas in a pod. And what’s common with them all?
They’re all white.
The social war that risks apocalypse is not the civil rights movement. It’s not the Occupy Wall Street Movement, either. It’s whites coming to grips with their decline.
The good guys are on the left. The bad guys are on the right. Sorry, but it happens to be that simple. Just ordinary arithmetic. As the world’s population squeezes out individual space we’re forced to regulate living closely together. Not even George Will can deny this: More people, more regulation.
And those who controlled the wide opened spaces for millennia didn’t breed quickly enough. So very, very soon they will lose control. If they reach it to the moral high ground before the castle crumbles, there’s hope for their survival as a minority. That’s my hope.
But if they don’t? If the kamikazes prevail?
Poplak: “As a new Dark Age looms… perhaps it’s time to take the portents seriously.. Maybe it’s time to reject these ridiculous dichotomies. The right is dead. The left is dead. At its best, under all the face masks and hand sanitiser, 2021 has delivered a call for a new politics.”