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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