2022 protest at the Supreme Court. (Photo: REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst)
The recent Supreme Court ruling which bans affirmative action as an admissions' criteria does not apply to the military academies. White elites are secure in their advantages while the military machine keeps humming along. The author argues that it must be dismantled for the sake of all humanity.
Originally published in Counterpunch.
On Thursday June 29, 2023, the Supreme Court of the United States Struck down the race-conscious admissions program policies of the US society (called affirmative action) that had been embarked on after the Civil rights uprisings of the sixties and seventies. This is how the headline of the New York Times carried the story on Thursday.
“The Supreme Court on Thursday ruled that the race-conscious admissions programs at Harvard and the University of North Carolina were unlawful, curtailing affirmative action at colleges and universities around the nation, a policy that has long been a pillar of higher education.”
What was being ratified in the highest court has been in practice for the past thirty years where the elite Universities of the United States have resorted to enacting policies to ensure that the Universities become enclaves of white privilege with black athletes as the entertainers of these institutions. The over drive for white power at elite colleges and Universities became so crude that some of America’s most elite colleges were charged with fixing prices, minimizing financial aid for students, and inflating their cost of attendance to maintain their reputation for exclusivity.
The lawsuit, filed in 2022 in Federal court in the Northeast District of Illinois, alleged that 16 schools colluded to set financial aid packages, while some colleges are also accused of discriminating against low-income applicants. Federal lawsuit accuses 16 elite universities of fixing prices and courting wealthy families – CBS News The lawsuit named 16 defendants: Ivy League schools Brown University, Columbia University, Cornell University, Dartmouth College, University of Pennsylvania and Yale University, as well as California Institute of Technology, Duke University, Emory University, Georgetown University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Northwestern University, Rice University, University of Chicago, University of Notre Dame and Vanderbilt University. All 16 institutions are, or have been, members of the 568 Presidents Group, a consortium that uses a common methodology to determine students’ financial aid.’
Already this question of white exclusivity is being felt not only in admissions, but in tenure, retention, admission of graduate students, faculty pay, outlays for research and the entire infrastructure and ideation basis of higher education in the United States. The Biden White House immediately issued a statement saying that , “While talent, creativity, and hard work are everywhere across this country, equal opportunity is not, and we cannot let this decision be the last word.” Every major University, even those 16 involved in the lawsuit issued statements declaring their goal of Inclusive education along with diversity and Inclusion.
Inclusive education, diversity, inclusion, access had become the buzz words for institutions that were closing schools of education and disinvesting in teacher education because these were not profitable in the corporate University. For sixty years the United States has neither signed nor ratified the UNESCO Convention against Discrimination in Education. The Supreme Court Ruling of June 29 is only catching up with what has been the reality for the past thirty years or more. This detail is important in the turn towards unapologetic white racism since the US Supreme Court is only making lawful what has been the practice of higher education for the past thirty years. The push to institute eugenic policies in higher education has been consistent with the eugenic past and present of most of the top universities in North America.
Exempting the military academies from the Supreme Court Decision on Affirmative action.
The interesting and key feature of the affirmative action decision by the Supreme Court is that the military is exempt from this decision that race-conscious admissions programs are unlawful.
Chief Justice Roberts exempted military academies from the ruling in light of “the potentially distinct interests” they present. There had been discussion of whether the military needed to maintain affirmative action in training its future officer corps based on a judgment that it would be bad for military discipline and cohesiveness if the leadership cadre did not reflect the diversity of the rank-and-file troops who do the bulk of fighting and dying in wars.
Here is the crude justification for the insurance needed for nonwhite persons to die to maintain white supremacy in the United States. Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson in her dissent noted,
The Court has come to rest on the bottom-line conclusion that racial diversity in higher education is only worth potentially preserving insofar as it might be needed to prepare Black Americans and other underrepresented minorities for success in the bunker, not the boardroom (a particularly awkward place to land, in light of the history the majority opts to ignore)
This contradiction of diminishing equity in access to higher education while maintaining the recruitment of nonwhites to fight to defend the system of white racism is a contradiction that is coming to the fore in the United States. Of the 1.3 million forces under arms in the US military structures, 43 per cent are nonwhite citizens. Yet only 19 per cent of the top officer corps are nonwhite. (73% white; 8% each Black and Hispanic; 6% Asian; 4% multiracial; and less than 1% Native Hawaiian, Pacific Islander, American Indian or Alaska Native. Deep-rooted racism, discrimination permeate US military – OPB
On the same day that George Floyd was killed in Minnesota on May 25, 2020, Helene Cooper from the New York Times wrote “African-Americans Are Highly Visible in the Military, but Almost Invisible at the Top.” She reported, “some 43 percent of the 1.3 million men and women on active duty in the United States military are people of color. But the people making crucial decisions, such as how to respond to the coronavirus crisis and how many troops to send to Afghanistan or Syria, are almost entirely white and male. “
Chief Justice Roberts and the establishment understand that the society cannot remain stable if three fourths of the officer corps are white, especially when a sizeable number of these elements are open to the white supremacist ideas that are reproduced daily on the hate driven social media, conservative cable news, and other media platforms of the right wing in the USA.
The explosiveness of the white supremacist ideas was already revealed in the attempted coup of January 6, 2021 and the subsequent trials of those involved. Many of the middle of the road media putlets carried reports that a “Disproportionate number of current and former military personnel arrested in Capitol attack.” It is Helene Cooper of the New York Times who has been one of the tenacious journalist tracking the meaning of the place of the extreme right in the US military.
Top Generals implicated in the Coup attempt of 2021.
When Lt General Michael Flynn emerged as a key activist in the networks of white nationalists across the United States, the liberal media carried hand wringing articles entitled, “What Happened to Michael Flynn?”
The bye line in the Atlantic noted that as head of military intelligence, ‘he was renowned for his skill connecting the dots and finding terrorists. But somewhere along the way, his dot detector began spinning out of control.’
The authors of this article sought to see white nationalists in the military as an aberration, out of control and not the entire military apparatus in which he served. Barack Obama had warned the incoming Trump administration about Flynn, but the Trump presidency with known supremacists such as Mike Pompeo, John Bolton, Peter Navarro and Stephen Miller needed elements such as Flynn, inside or outside the military and military intelligence. From time to time the Southern Poverty Law Center revealed the correspondence and musings of these supremacists.
Implicating the brother of Michael Flynn in the January 6 rebellion fell to Col. Earl Matthews and Major General William Walker. This insurrection revealed the open rift in the military between on one side Matthews and Walker and on the other side – General Charles Flynn and William Piatt. The headline in Politico on Gen. Charles Flynn and Lt. Gen. Walter Piatt as ‘absolute and unmitigated liars’ exposed the deep rift in the US military over the interpretation of the US constitution. In this regard the Constitution referred to the question of whether the military should be subordinated to civilian authority. Roxanne Dunbar Ortiz reminded readers in the book Loaded: A Disarming History of the Second Amendment how the Second Amendment of the US Constitution allowed and legalized the “total war” against the First Nation Peoples.
US militarism and racial capitalism
The traditions and divisions within the top echelons of the military have thrown Wall Street and Silicon Valley in a quandary because they have depended on cohesion in the military for so long, that they cannot grasp the fact that they are now sidelined by the march of warfare, far beyond the scenarios of forward planners. One can see the challenges of this march to warfare in the changing rationale of the Biden administration in its relationship with China. The semantic gymnastics of the administration of whether there is a ‘de-coupling’ from China or a ‘de-risking’ relationship with China, represent the deep anxieties within the corporate establishment over the push to war with China.
Corporate elements in the USA were genuinely alarmed when Gen. Mike Minihan, who heads the U.S. Air Mobility Command, warned in a letter to the leadership of its roughly 110,000 personnel that it must speed up preparations for a looming conflict by 2025. Corporate leaders from JP Morgan Chase to Apple, Bill Gates, to the head of General Motors, Tesla and Stephen Schwarzman /Blackstone have all trekked to Beijing to intensify the struggles within the National Security Council of the United States over the push to war with China.
The European corporate elements have also pushed back on the Biden Administration plans to secure the allegiance of European political leaders to also follow a “de-risk/de-couple” strategy, because such a path fails to recognize the degree that European capitalists had become so interwoven with Chinese capitalism. This pushback from the Europeans were the first to formulate the concept of ‘de risking.’ German and French capital already hurting from the high costs of energy and the sanctions against Russia were not about to allow their global competitiveness to be further weakened by succumbing to the military will of the USA about the future of European relations with China.
But capitalist competition means war. No sugar coating of decoupling or de-risking can obscure the contradictions between the rise of China and the inability of the United States to maintain its dominance in the international economic system by increasingly resorting to “weaponized” foreign trade, financial and technology policies. Every aspect of the international system from reserve currency (dollar) to WTO rules, to control of space and control of scientific research depend on the dominance of the US armaments culture. This armaments culture is bonded by white supremacy. Hence, it was not by accident when during the Trump administration an official of the US state Department invoked race as a contributing factor for China being an unprecedented threat to the U.S. Under Donald Trump, Kiron Skinner, the State Department’s director of policy planning, said at the Future Security Forum that challenging “the long-term threat” of China is difficult because the country is “not Caucasian.”
“When we think about the Soviet Union in that competition [the Cold War], in a way, it was a fight within the Western family. This is a fight with a really different civilization, and a different ideology, and the United States hasn’t had that before. Nor has it had an economic competitor the way that we have. The Soviet Union was a country with nuclear weapons and the Red Army but a backwards economy.….
“In China we have an economic competitor, we have an ideological competitor, one that really does seek a kind of global reach that many of us didn’t expect a couple of decades ago. And I think it’s also striking that it’s the first time that we will have a great power competitor that is not Caucasian,”
The fact that a nonwhite official of the US administration would repeat the talking points of the white nationalists expose the ways in which sections of the black bourgeoisie will tolerate racism and white supremacy as long as they are included in the boardroom as Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson begged.
The misreading of the current global conjuncture by all sections of the US ruling circles conceals the reality that access to the military Wall Street nexus is central to the reproduction of racial capitalism in the United States. The time will come when former intelligence officers fully disclose the relationship between the counter intelligence Department of the CIA under James Jesus Angleton and the fascists elements from Europe after the Second World war. In the current era, the intelligence organizations and DARPA are at the center of reproducing big profits for the billionaire class, (which is mostly white). The CIA company, In-Q–Tel is the poster child of the relationships between military, silicon valley and Wall Street, in their world of, ‘connecting cutting-edge technology, strategic investments, and purpose: to enhance and advance national security.’ It bears remembering that the CIA is only one of the 16 intelligence agencies dominated by unaccountable intelligence functionaries. As the journalist Jefferson Morley wrote,
The CIA, with its $15 billion a year budget, is the largest. The NSA, with a budget of about $10 billion, is the second largest. The Defense Intelligence Agency is about $4 billion. Then, along with some other obscure but still very large agencies like the NGIA—never heard of the NGIA? I didn’t think so. The National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency is a $4.9 billion-a-year agency. Collectively, these agencies spend probably $50 billion to $60 billion a year, which makes them a very small, but powerful, potent sector in the American scheme of power.
The adrenaline rush of this potent sector of white supremacy and chauvinism had become so intense the ideas of white nationalism had become a fetter to the future of capital itself.
After the involvement of the top brass in the January 6, 2021, uprisings, there have been a spate of commentaries on the ‘American Abyss’ and fact that the white supremacists dominate the institutions of the United States. The one that we are clear on is the reality that, the white supremacists in the United States are not a marginal force; they are inside its institutions.
The ruling of the Supreme Court demonstrates that the top institutions: Military, University, Corporations, the Churches, and Police are dominated by the culture of systemic racism. Indeed, this contradictory nature of the anti-racist struggles in the United States is coming face to face with the conjunctural crisis of capital where military force is necessary to maintain the US economic hegemony. Trillions of dollars are being poured in a divided military force where numerous reports have stated explicitly that “Extremists in Uniform Put the Nation at Risk.”
Tepidly, there had been the resort to the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion band aid solution for confronting structural racism. More recently the Biden administration proposed to make General Charles Brown, head of the Airforce as Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. The press reports on his appointment specifically stated that one of his tasks will be to deal with the rampant racism in the military. The question that this commentary is posing, if the top brass of the military is so racist, can Charles Brown as one individual shake up this racist structure? The calls for demilitarizing US Society have increased since the end of the wars in Afghanistan and the upsurge in the Black Lives Matter Movement (BLM). On the other side of the BLM has arisen the neo fascist Make America Great Again (MAGA) movement.
Fifty years prior to the January 6 attempted putsch, the white extremists represented a fringe force in the US society where liberals in the Federal government had tolerated the crude Jim Crow realities of the Deep South. The complacency of the liberal establishment has been shattered by aggressive supremacist elements. The struggle between old line liberals and white extremists is being played out in the impeachment of the Attorney General of Texas. With the deindustrialization of the society and the weakness of the organized working classes, the precarious nature of the white working classes has rendered them susceptible to the propaganda of white replacement theory. Neo liberalism redistributed wealth to the top one per cent of the society, but with global competition, the neo liberalism of the past thirty years is now paving the way for outright neofascism. One simply awaits a cataclysmic switch in the international place of the dollar and the cohesion among the forces of the oppressed nations for the economic crisis to have a toll of wiping out the livelihoods of millions of working peoples in the USA.
One can see this white replacement theory being played out with the drastic culture war antics such as ‘social sorting, manufactured ignorance, and the deadening of the mind.’ As Henry Giroux noted, these culture war antics are now celebrated as the organizing principles of education. These antics are then reproduced at the legal level through state legislatures seeking to disenfranchise blacks:
“45 states have considered 230 bills criminalizing protest, with the threat of violent leftist and Black rebellion being used to justify them. That this is happening at the same time that multiple electoral bills enabling a Republican state legislature majority to overturn their state’s election have been enacted suggests that the true aim of bills criminalizing protest is to have a response in place to expected protests against the stealing of a future election (as a reminder of fascism’s historical connection to big business, some of these laws criminalize protest near gas and oil lines). The Nazis used Judeo-Bolshevism as their constructed enemy. The fascist movement in the Republican party has turned to critical race theory instead. Fascism feeds off a narrative of supposed national humiliation by internal enemies.” (Jason Stanley 2021)
For more than thirty years Professor Gerald Horne had been writing about “US Foreign Policy and the General Crisis of White Supremacy.” Horne had been one of those scholars who highlighted the reality that the so-called Cold War had been a scam to support white supremacy. (Horne 1999) In the main, however, scholars of international relations with their studies on Great Power Competition have been cheerleaders for war. (Thucydides Trap) These scholars from the think tanks and international relations institutes have been complicit in overlooking the rise and prominence of white supremacist ideas and practices in the Institutions of higher learning. The rise of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa (BRICS) formation and the current war in Ukraine are providing the material conditions for a real shift in the global balance of power. Before this shift can be sealed the resort to open kinetic war will be attractive.
Abyss and the military budget, affirmative action for the rich and supremacists
Thus far, with the peace movement in the USA there has been numerous studies on the massive US military budget. Figures on the expenditures of the US military apparatus reveal that the U.S. by far is the biggest military spender on Earth, with 39% of the total of military expenditures for 2022 of US 2.240 trillion, exceeding the next 10 nations combined. (National Priorities Project 2023) These expenditures are analyzed in a context where global poverty levels and environmental degradation has intensified. Sections of the peace movement and intellectuals around the National Priorities Project lament the military expenditures pointing the urgency to address the needs of the environment; education and technology; infrastructure; and public health. The late Seymour Mellman had for a long time written about downsizing the military and converting the military industrial system for peace purposes. In the period of the struggles over reparative justice and environmental repair, the calls for the dismantling of the US military are now part of the demands of the peace movement. The ruling of the Supreme Court has the possibility of acting as a school for those who in the past dealt with single issues.
This author is arguing that instead of a single focus on ‘affirmative action’ it will be necessary to go to the core of the reproduction of white racism and violence and call for the dismantling of the military and the conversion of the military machine. The US is bounded by two oceans and mainland USA has not been attacked since 1812. This conversion of the armaments industry and investment in repair of the environment is most urgent in all parts of the world. The irony is that the question of the budget has been addressed more than a century ago by W.E.B DuBois who stated clearly that,
“Hitherto the peace movement has confined itself chiefly to figures about the cost of war and platitudes on humanity. What do nations care about the cost of war, if by spending a few hundred millions in steel and gunpowder they can gain a thousand millions in diamonds and cocoa? How can love of humanity appeal as a motive to nations whose love of luxury is built on the inhuman exploitation of human beings, and who, especially in recent years, have been taught to regard these human beings as inhuman?….. ‘Should you not discuss racial prejudice as a prime cause of war?’ (DuBois The African Roots of War, Atlantic May 2015)
Big military expenditures and military management of the international system
The important scholarship on the Cost of War and National Priorities Project 2023 has been consistently chronicling the size and nature of US military spending. According to a report from the Costs of War project at Brown University in 2021, nearly 20 years after the United States’ invasion of Afghanistan, the cost of its global war on terror stands at $8 trillion and 900,000 deaths. (Brown University Watson Institute 2021, Brown University, Cost of war Costs of the 20-year war on terror: $8 trillion and 900,000 deaths | Brown University
In their study the scholars noted that ‘“The war has been long and complex and horrific and unsuccessful… and the war continues in over 80 countries.”
These studies share the same conclusion that the US war on terror failed, and the US made the world more dangerous. (POOR PEOPLE’S MORAL BUDGET: EVERYBODY HAS THE RIGHT TO LIVE, Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival Institute for Policy Studies, Kairos Center / Repairers of the Breach, June 2019,Editors: Shailly Gupta.
In its 2019 report the center of International Policy’s “Sustainable Defense: More Security, Less Spending” spelt out the savings that would be incurred if the United States eliminated the massive nuclear programs initiated by the Obama Administration. These studies provide details on a long list of conventional weapons, basing infrastructure and Pentagon military and civilian personnel programs that should be cancelled or reduced. What many of these studies have neglected are the cultural and ideological implications of these massive sums. In one instance these studies point to the growth of private military contractors and their centrality in the military management of the international system. Last week the world was transfixed by watching the attempted military revolt of the private military group, the Wagner group in Russia. Many commentaries noted that the Wagner private military force represented a right-wing element in world politics. Many of these commentaries neglect to note that Wagner and the Private Military Contractors are babes in the woods compared to the military contracting system of the United States and NATO. The right wing and racist elements of the USA have joined forces with the very conservative leaders of Arabia. The Washington Post reported that, “more than 500 retired U.S. military personnel — including scores of generals and admirals — have taken lucrative jobs since 2015 working for foreign governments, mostly in countries known for human rights abuses and political repression.”
For over forty years a debate on ‘military expenditure and capitalism’ had raged within the scholarly community. It was the antiwar forces inside organs such as the Center for International Policy (CIP) who have gone beyond the figures on spending to identify the ideological and class affiliations of the beneficiaries of the massive military spending. They have mounted conferences on Dismantling Racism and Militarism in US Foreign Policy. There is an awareness that the revolving door between the military industrial complex/ or military/information/ financial complex solidify the domination of the conservative elements with the higher ranks of the military dominated by whites.
Dismantling Affirmative Action for the racists at military installations
The reports on military expenditures neglect to give the historical context of how the United States military had been stationed primarily in the Southern States of the United States to prop up the Jim Crow laws and the oppression of black and brown workers. It was this racial proclivity that named most of the Southern military bases after Confederate Generals of the US Civil War. Most Confederate Generals and high officers of the Civil War 1861-1865 were ultimately pardoned for the crime of treason against the United States. It is noteworthy that it was after 1917 in the heyday of the Ku Klux Klan when the bases were named after Confederate Generals and the Army began honoring them in southern states.
The best example of this fondness for former fascists in the USA is in the fact that Camp Forrest in Tullahoma, Tennessee, one of the U.S. Army’s largest training bases during World War II was named after the founder of the KKK. These traditions survive and thrive irrespective of the planned change of name of these installations by Congress. The change of names is not and will not change the racist culture of these military spaces for reproducing sexism, white Christian nationalism and white supremacy. The debates on the names of the military bases conceal the more profound fact, that in the counties and states where the bases are located, the military has been the main force for supporting racist and white supremacist elements. The military installations in Florida, (Ft MacDill), North Carolina, (Fort Bragg), (Fort Hood, officially renamed Fort Cavazos) Texas and (Fort Stewart and Fort Benning (Georgia) provide the matrix of linkages between the supremacists and Federal contracts.
An elementary evaluation of the counties within which Fort Bragg lay in North Carolina will expose how every area of life from engineering, computing, real estate, to education, media services, to local government, the racism of the military apparatus sustained local capitalists who are aligned with the MAGA elements. These connections between accumulation, military services and racism will illuminate why a psychological operations officer assigned to the 4th Psychological Operations Group, would lead a busload of 100 persons from Fort Bragg to the January 6 uprising.
Yet, these foot soldiers of white supremacy at the County level and at the level of the military installations are part of a larger class of accumulators who drive the armaments culture of the United States. On top of the more than 8 trillion dollars that had been spent on Overseas Contingency Operations (War on Terror), more than 60 per cent of all federal government contracts were obligated to the military. A county-by-county breakdown of the contracts of the federal government will expose how the networks of the Defense Policy Board Advisory Committee are integrated into the echo chambers of Fox news. The neo conservatives who dominate the Association of the United States Army reproduce and reinforce the network of military capitalists who serve both DARPA and Defense Policy Board. The keen researchers will then make the connections to Xe (Formerly Black Water), Military Professional Resources Inc. (MPRI) and DynCorp.
The US military is a destructive force on the planet earth and in space enforcing the sanctions and bullying of the United States. This bullying has been made manifest in trade wars, embargoes, blockades and sanctions. According to media reports, US government sanctions designations soared by 933% between 2000 and 2021. The Trump administration alone imposed more than 3,900 sanctions, or three per day on average within four years. More than 9,400 sanctions designations had come into effect in the US by fiscal year 2021. The US has slapped unilateral economic sanctions on nearly 40 countries, affecting nearly half of the world’s population. For Americans, the international rules based-order is whatever they say it is. As such they are immune from violating it themselves for they define what it is. The US military is thus the arbiter of the current rules-based order.
The Cost of the War statistics do not usually take into consideration the centrality of the US military in enforcing sanctions that violate international law and reinforce white supremacy. From press reports on the recent book of Norman Solomon, War Made Invisible, How America Hides the Human Toll of Its Military Machine, there is anexplicit link between the military, war and racism. Using the concept of national security, abusing export control, and taking discriminatory and unfair measures against foreign companies, the United States has also used its media influence to justify destructive interventions. Michael Hudson in his studies from Super Imperialism to Finance as War has been able to explain succinctly the centrality of these large expenditures for reproducing the powers of Wall Street over the global economy. His most recent commentaries on the punitive sanctions against Russia and Europe in the era of the Ukraine War elaborated on the challenges of de dollarization and the need to control Europe. Ismael Hossen -zadeh came closest to explicitly making the racist linkages in his study of The Political Economy of US Militarism. By linking militarism in the USA with the neo conservative wing of Zionism his work clarified the differences between the competing wings of the US ruling classes. Hossen -zadeh did not drill down on the question of racism in the US military. The current furor over Israeli apartheid and the inability of the Biden administration to stand up to the extreme right wing elements in Israel will have long term consequences for the global anti racist and anti-apartheid struggles.
Beyond affirmative action
The Supreme court strikes down affirmative action. Wildfires from Canada have polluted many states in North America to the highest magnitude recorded in the world. Stepping out for a minute without a mask equals chain smoking three cigarettes right now. The convergence of these challenges demand that the struggles for equal access to education are linked to wider social transformations. Chief Justice Roberts in granting an exemption to military academies is hoping against hope that the fissures in the US military can be contained. Those who have followed the curriculum of the military academies understand how these curricula can produce elements such as Michael Flynn. Taken together with the global economic changes, the responses to the Supreme Court Ruling of June 29, 2023 must be understood beyond this one ruling. Following upon their rulings on the rights to reproductive health and their rulings as corporations as citizens, the US Supreme Court is taking sides in a society where the rolling elements will go to war to preserve white supremacy.
It was more than twenty seven years ago when the State of California banned affirmative action in admissions in public colleges . The facts are clear in how that legal push has reinforced the class and racial divisions in that state. In many ways, the Supreme Court is catching up with the right-wing mood of the country, making national what has been made legal at the state to state level. In response to the ruling anti racist elements have vowed to fight this Supreme Court Ruling for the next thirty years. These activists ought to study the realignments globally in that coming era.
The struggles against racism and white supremacy at the global level demand that intellectuals and scholars be engaged at the local, national and global levels in the fight against neo fascism. Despite the statements from the White House and leading Universities about inclusive education and diversity, the reality is that the racists and neo fascist elements are the rising forces in the politics of the USA. Newly arrived Asians and Indian immigrants who want to excel within the present University structures are in for a rude awakening as the global competition intensify anti-Asian racism in the United States. The anti racist forces are taking the lead on the left to push for the wider struggles against capitalism, racism and imperialism. The resources of the Federal government, especially the military contracting system feed the network of Generals who are aligned in the armaments culture of financialized capitalism. The impressive studies on the military expenditure have detailed the waste of trillions but few highlight the need to dismantle racist ideas and structures. The studies that call for moral suasion to redirect military expenditures have not fully understood the linkages between militarism, the accumulation of capital, white supremacy, and the coalescence of the neo conservative forces of the United States.
Increasingly, as the shadow of fascism hangs over the society, the shadow brings back the warning 28 years ago when Toni Morrison reminded students ‘that before there is a final solution, there must be a first solution, a second one, even a third. The move toward a final solution is not a jump. It takes one step, then another, then another. (Morrison 1994) That argument about the specter of fascism in the United States was echoed by President Biden in Philadelphia in 2022. He explicitly stated that the Republican Party had semi fascists in its ranks. Yet, the Biden administration continue to feed the organs of semi fascism, especially the US military.
Henry Giroux correctly noted that, “the ugly grasp of fascist politics, culture, and education has moved from the margins to the center of American life and power.” Giroux should, however, rest assured that the long traditions from Harriet Tubman and Frederick Douglas to Malcom X and Martin Luther King Jr will dictate that the fascists will surge but will not hold power for long in the USA. The struggles against racism, police violence and destruction in the United States is bound up with the struggles for a New International Economic Order that breaks the military management of the international system.
Horace Campbell is Professor of African American Studies and Political Science, Syracuse University. He is the author of Global NATO and the Catastrophic Failure in Libya, Monthly Review Press, 2013.