Shock Doctrine: The U.S. Supreme Court has declared war on humanity.

The Supreme Court of the United States of America has declared war on humanity. The assault on bodily autonomy in overturning Roe v. Wade is already set to do incalculable amounts of harm for generations to come, and you think an increasingly fascist U.S. wouldn’t use its power to push this vicious ideology around the world, then I don’t think you’ve been paying attention.

Unfortunately, there’s more. The most recent outrage is the decision to gut the EPA’s ability to regulate carbon emissions.

By a vote of 6 to 3, the court said that any time an agency does something big and new – in this case addressing climate change – the regulation is presumptively invalid, unless Congress has specifically authorized regulating in this sphere.

“That’s a very big deal because they’re not going to get it from Congress because Congress is essentially dysfunctional,” said Harvard law professor Richard Lazarus, an expert on environmental law. “This could not have come at a worse time” because “the consequences of climate change are increasingly dire and we’re running out of time to address it.”

As I understand it, this means that all regulations may be on the chopping block, if they’re not explicitly spelled out by Congress. That doesn’t just mean greenhouse gas emissions, it could theoretically gut the entirety of the agency system of the U.S., which has been the primary bulwark protecting the general public from the murderous greed of corporations.

From everything I can tell, the conservative majority of the Supreme Court is applying Shock Doctrine tactics. To quote Milton Friedman, the Prophet of Neoliberalism:

Only a crisis – actual or perceived – produces real change. What that crisis occurs, the actions that are taken depend on the ideas that are lying around.

In this case, they are creating their own crisis, and using it to destroy barriers to corporate and oligarchic power. They want to take us back to the time of burning rivers an choking smog, and they want to do it in the middle of a warming event that already threatens humanity with extinction.

At this point, it’s starting to seem like the death of most of humanity is their goal.

They’re relying on the scale and speed of their action to shock institutions of power into inaction. They’re also relying on the majority that doesn’t like what’s happening being unable to do anything to stop it. At the moment, I’m worried that they’re right. It doesn’t seem like the Democratic party intends to do much of anything about what this court is doing. They certainly didn’t have any plan ready to go for this extremely predictable situation. It’s not just that we got the leaked Roe ruling, or that it was obvious the three Trump appointees lied about abortion to get on the court. It’s that these tactics have been a standard part of the US foreign policy playbook for decades. Many of those “centrist” politicians whose careers supposedly make them qualified to lead have been involved in inflicting this kind of treatment on other countries, so we have a pretty good idea of the playbook. If you haven’t read The Shock Doctrine by Naomi Klein, I continue to think it’s essential to understanding what’s going on in the world today, and the audiobook is free.

I’m worried about what will come next, and I think you all should be as well. With climate change, habitat destruction, chemical pollution, and fascism all in the mix together, it feels like there’s no limit on how bad things could get. The Supreme Court of the United States has declared war on humanity, and they will wage that war whether we fight back or not. As always: Organize, train, practice coordinated action, and prepare for hard times.

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  1. sonofrojblake says

    “At this point, it’s starting to seem like the death of most of humanity is their goal”

    At what point does it become reasonable to start killing them in self defence?

  2. says

    @Sonofrojblake – That’s not something I can answer for anyone, though it seems to me that there are largely unexplored avenues short directly harming people.

    @Charly – yeah, I’ve noticed that the essay factories in particular seem to be a little better at dodging the filter.

  3. Oggie: Mathom says

    This is a completely unsupported conjecture on my part (based solely on my study (and practice) of history, so take it with 65mg of NaCl:

    I had this thought last night at 3:00am as I lay awake trying to decide if an oxy or a Flexeril was the better choice. Maybe the ‘racial senescence’ idea has something going for it. In the mid-20th Century, during the low point of dinosaur paleontology, one of the ideas floated was the idea of racial, or even genus or order, senescence. That each group of animals is allotted a certain time on earth to develop, to flourish, reach their developmental goal, and then to fade away to make way for the next, and more advanced, group of animals. One of the ways of recognizing, in the fossil record, that this happened, was the extraordinary amount of energy and other resources used by the animal in ‘useless’ things: giant cervical frills, cranial ornamentation, spines and plates in ‘useless’ places. So, obviously (to some of the paleontologists of the day), once things like Parasaurolophus or Chasmosaurus showed up, the dinosaurs had obviously reached the end of their usefulness and were going to go the way of the Dodo.

    Maybe what we have been seeing during my lifetime (it actually started in the 1964 Goldwater campaign, so it does predate me) has been the flourishing of neofascist conservatism leading into the current political senescence. The useless ornaments — corporate personhood, women exist to breed, misogynistic medicine, kill the optimal climate for humans, etc. — are the equivalent of those horns and cranial ornaments of the late Cretaceous. Perhaps the current crop of conservative ‘thinkers’ (seriously, there used to be conservative thinkers who could actually present a decent argument while allowing for political disagreement and debate (even fucking Ronald Reagan used to sit in one of the White House offices with Tip O’Neil discussing how both sides could get part of what they want and where compromise was possible)) seem to be living in LaLa Land. Even the conservatives on the SCOTUS have given up on actual reasoned decisions and are, instead, just grasping at every straw available. Maybe conservative politicians and judges know that this is their last gasp, their last chance to make the world that they imagine in their post-productive wet dreams, their last chance to give gods what they think gods want and get to go to heaven, that they have one last chance before their ideas, policies, laws, rules, and cultural stifling collapse under the very resistance that these ideas have fomented. Just as conservative Christianity becomes more extreme as the number of believers dwindle, perhaps the extremism of the political right is the last gasp of senescence.

    One can hope. I do see, especially among those younger than I, more progressive ideals and more likelihood of political, social justice, education, and economic activism.

    That said, we were screwed even before the SCOTUS went on this orgy of regression. The time to actually deal with global climate change was 40 years ago. The time to deal with economic justice ended with the Reagan revolution. The time to create an economic model combining the best of capitalism with social justice never came. The time to deal with gun control ended the day that armaments manufacturers lobbyists took over the NRA and made it into a front to sell more and more and more guns.

    We are doomed.

    Unless, as Dr. Suess put it, “UNLESS someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It is not.”

  4. says

    Even more than Dirty Clarence’s human rights hit list, the deregulation ruling is an invitation to prosecute every aspect of government that was ever worth a shit, that ever existed to protect human beings. The robber barons probably filed 1500 suits against regulation the day that dropped. What can we say? This sucks.

  5. StevoR says

    The currnet SCOTUS need sto be changed and stopped somehow. Arresting Trump’s treason “Justices” for perjury, Contemptof Congress, sedition and maybe Conspiracy to pervert the cours eof Justice – and Thomas and the Federlaist society for same charges and having them impeached and disbarred from practicing law seems like a good place to start. Biden and the Democratic party have to act on this in my view.They should be told – not asked – to resign for starters. because this sortof “judgement” isn’t acceptable and we shouldn’t have to put up with it..

  6. says

    It’d be nice to see accountability, and the justice dept does seem to be moving in that direction. That said, it’s still likely that the GOP gains control of at least part of Congress as a result of the upcoming election. That ends the hearings, and if the GOP wins in 2024, that probably ends any investigations. It also probably means pardons for a lot of people. It may be that the Dems will be able to stop permanent GOP rule despite the problems with the courts, but I think it’s unlikely that they’ll actually do what’s needed. The party leadership seems to be either in denial, complicit, or too senile to understand what’s going on.

  7. StevoR says

    How do you stop and render null and void the actions of a rogue Supreme Court that has gone mad?

    I have some ideas (see #6) but don’t really know and stopping the current Trump “justice”dominated SCOTUS from doing more harm and fixing the harm they’ve already done seems essential here.

    What other job can you get into by lying and then be fired and punishe dfor that ltying toget the job -which most of Trump’s picks aren’;t qualified for – and keep such incredible power and authority over a whole nation when you shouldn’t be there at all but instead arguably be in jail? Its a really staggering and infuriating situation for the USA -and world – to face.

    I hope the Biden administration fixes this ASAP.

  8. StevoR says

    That’s : What other job can you get into by lying and then NOT be fired and punished for that lying to get the job.. Obvs. But for clarity.

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